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Saturday, August 20, 2016

Murder at the Mansion

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Murder at the Mansion Cozy Mystery
Lyrical Underground (June 7, 2016)
Paperback: 190 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1616509323
Fortunes, fineries, and foul play . . .
It’s whale-watching season in Redwood Cove, and B&B manager Kelly Jackson’s battening down the hatches for the tourist rush at Redwood Heights—a Victorian-style estate owned by her boss. And due to recent jewelry thefts, her duties include keeping track of the many dust-covered artifacts spread throughout the property. But when Kelly finds Sylvia Porter’s lifeless body, menial tasks don’t seem so terrible. Enlisting the help of a ragtag group of brainy retirees, aka the “Silver Sentinels,” Kelly’s on the hunt for clues hidden behind the mansion’s glamorous façade. . .and for a killer who may want to make history of her next!
What I Thought:

This was a very entertaining read.  I really like Kelly, the protagonist.  While I haven't read the book before this one, I did not feel lost.  Janet writes so well and the characters were very well developed.  I enjoyed visiting Redwood Cove.  When Kelly finds a body at the bottom of the stairs, she enlists the help of the "Silver Sentinels" to help her find the killer.  This made for some very interesting reading.  I look forward to more in this series.

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

janet finsilver

janet finsilver

About the Author

Janet Finsilver is the USA TODAY best-selling author of the Kelly Jackson mystery series. She worked in education for many years as a teacher, a program administrator, and a workshop presenter. Janet majored in English and earned a Master’s Degree in Education. She loves animals and has two dogs–Kylie and Ellie. Janet has ridden western style since she was a child and was a member of the National Ski Patrol. One of the highlights of her life was touching whales in the San Ignacio Lagoon. MURDER AT REDWOOD COVE, her debut mystery, was released on October 13, 2015. Her second book, MURDER AT THE MANSION, was released on June 7, 2016.

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The Kelly Jackson Mystery Series


Janet Finsilver

Welcome! In this post I’d like to give you some background about the Kelly Jackson mystery series as well as a share some of the story of my most recent release, Murder at the Mansion.

Kelly Jackson

My protagonist, Kelly Jackson, was raised on a Wyoming cattle and horse ranch that rents cabins to guests in the summer. They have opportunities to go horseback riding, fishing, and hiking. Her sister and two brothers work on the ranch. Her parents would like her to be there as well, but Kelly wants to create a career of her own. Resorts International hires her, and she becomes the manager of Redwood Cove Bed and Breakfast.

I have fun weaving in similes and metaphors as well as using vocabulary that connects with her ranch experiences. My last two vacations to guest ranches have given me some great material for doing this.

The Silver Sentinels

The previous manager of the bed and breakfast dies in what is deemed an accidental fall from a seaside cliff. I wanted some of his friends to question that decision. I “interviewed” a number of people in my mind and eventually formed the crime-solving group of seniors I named the Silver Sentinels.

There are five members with hair ranging in color from silver to white. Gertrude Plumber, “Gertie,” a retired school teacher, and Mary Rutledge, known for the baked goods she generously shares, are the two women of the group. Rudy and Ivan Doblinsky, Russian brothers, and Herbert Winthrop, known as the Professor, round out the Silver Sentinels.

Redwood Cove is based on Mendocino, California, a tourist town on the Pacific Coast in northern California. The Silver Sentinels make their appearance in my first book, Murder at Redwood Cove. When pickpockets created problems for the community, the five friends banded together to help catch those responsible. They were successful and decided to continue their work to help the town and dubbed themselves the Silver Sentinels.

Dogs with Special Abilities

I read an article about a poodle that had been successfully trained to detect cancer. I began researching some of the ways dogs benefit us and became fascinated with the many areas I found. I used the cancer-sniffing dog in Murder at Redwood Cove. In Murder at the Mansion I put in two beagles trained to detect bedbugs and termites. Book three, Murder at the Fortune Teller’s Table, has a hearing assistance dog.

I’ve enjoyed learning what dogs can do and felt readers would also like to read about their unusual skills.

Plot Summary

Murder at the Mansion begins with Kelly returning to Redwood Cove. She exchanged her position as an executive administrator with Resorts International to become the manager of Redwood Cove Bed and Breakfast. Her inn is being renovated and during the interim she’s assigned to inventory a collection of objects from the 1800s at Redwood Heights, a sister property, as well as help with the annual Whale Frolic festival. She’s asked to see if she can learn anything about some guests’ jewelry that’s gone missing while she’s at the mansion.

Not long after her arrival, she finds a murdered guest in a room with the doors and windows locked from the inside. The woman had created difficulties for staff members and the police question them as well as Kelly. Some of the missing jewelry turns up in the possession of the son of one of the Sentinels.

The Silver Sentinels and Kelly band together to solve the crimes before anyone else dies or someone is wrongly accused of a crime they didn’t commit.


I hope you’ve enjoyed learning more about the Kelly Jackson mystery series!




Die, Die Birdie

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Die, Die Birdie
Cozy Mystery
• New Series
• Publisher: Kensington – Lyrical Underground
• (August 16, 2016)
•Paperback: 200 pages •ISBN-13: 978-1601838315 • 288 Pages
• ASIN: B018CGZ1J8
For Amy Simms, hatching a birding shop in her hometown of Ruby Lake, North Carolina, hasn’t exactly been a breeze. But could a deadly discovery clip her wings for good?
It’s just days before Amy plans to open Birds & Bees on the first floor of her creaky Victorian house, but delayed seed shipments have prevented the fledging owner from stocking her shelves. And it doesn’t help that Amy’s best friend and business partner is out of town indefinitely. With locals skeptical about the niche shop taking flight, the last thing Amy needs now is a dead man in her storeroom-or for a crotchety tenant to catch her holding a bloody birdfeeder hook over his body . . .
Pigeonholed as a leading murder suspect by police and lacking a solid alibi, Amy’s delving into the victim’s ugly past and buzzing around Ruby Lake for clues on his killer . . . beforeshe ends up like so many of her beloved feathery friends-trapped behind bars!

What I Thought:

I know you can't judge a book by it's cover, but the cover of this book is so terrific, and the book did not disappoint either.  It was well written and flowed really well.  It was quick and entertaining read.  It had funny its share of funny parts and it had its share of suspenceful parts also.  I enjoyed the setting and the somewhat quirky characters.  I also liked that it kept me guessing.  I look forward to the next in this series.

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

gmeganckauthorphoto (1)

About The Author
J.R. Ripley is the pen name of Glenn Meganck, the critically acclaimed author of the Tony Kozol mystery series. As a member of the Mystery Writers of America, he has chaired the Edgar committee for Best Original Paperback novel and served on the Best Short Story Committee. As a member of the International Association of Crime Writers, he has served on the Hammett Award committee for Best Novel. When not writing books, Glenn is writing songs, often singing them to the consternation of his audience and neighbors, or involved in one of his many passions, none of which have involved any of the dead bodies that seem to keep cropping up in his mysteries. For more information about him, visit
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Thursday, August 18, 2016

Crepes of Wrath by Sarah Fox

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New Cozy Series File Size: 6124 KB
Print Length: 257 pages
Publisher: Alibi (August 16, 2016)


When Marley McKinney’s aging cousin, Jimmy, is hospitalized with pneumonia, she agrees to help run his pancake house while he recovers. With its rustic interior and syrupy scent, the Flip Side Pancake House is just as she pictured it—and the surly chef is a wizard with crêpes. Marley expects to spend a leisurely week or two in Wildwood Cove, the quaint, coastal community where she used to spend her summers, but then Cousin Jimmy is found murdered, sprawled on the rocks beneath a nearby cliff.
After she stumbles across evidence of stolen goods in Jimmy’s workshop, Marley is determined to find out what’s really going on in the not-so-quiet town of Wildwood Cove. With help from her childhood crush and her adopted cat, Flapjack, Marley sinks her teeth into the investigation. But if she’s not careful, she’s going to get burned by a killer who’s only interested in serving up trouble.

What I Thought:

What a great setting this was, it made me want to go to the beach really badly.  The writing was superb and the plot line was really well developed.  There were a lot of characters that threw me off in this book.  I like that in a cozy, though because it keeps me guessing.  I thought Marley was a good character without being to overbearing.   I look forward to reading more about Marley and her adventures in Wildwood Cover. 

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

Sarah Fox

About The Author
Sarah Fox was born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia, where she developed a love for mysteries at a young age. When not writing novels or working as a legal writer, she is often reading her way through a stack of books or spending time outdoors with her English Springer Spaniel.
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Friday, August 5, 2016

Silk Stalkings

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SILK STALKINGSSilk Stalkings (A Material Witness Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Berkley (August 2, 2016)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425270592
E-Book ASIN: B01839Q47C
Fabric shop owner Polyester Monroe can get tangled up in textiles, but it’s murder that really throws her for a loop in the latest mystery from the national bestselling author of Crushed Velvet.
The time has come for San Ladrón, California’s annual Miss Tangorli beauty pageant, and Poly has agreed to use Material Girl’s inventory of shimmery silks to create embellished gowns fit for a crown. But when millionaire Harvey Halliwell—the man who revived the city’s citrus trade with his imported tangorli tree—is found dead days before the pageant contestants are announced, something sour takes over the town.
To make matters worse, her friend, mechanic Charlie Brooks, is soon caught up in the crime, having been seen in the company of the case’s prime suspect. Now Poly’s on a mission to squeeze out the truth. But as she searches for a pattern, the killer seems intent on cutting up the evidence…

What I Thought:
This is the third in the Material Witness series, and each one gets better and better.  I love he main character Polyester, she is such an engaging protagonist who always seems to get herself mixed up in a mystery or two.  In this one, she is asked to provide the material for gowns for the Ms. Tangorli beauty pageant.  Of course the pageant coordinator turns up dead and Poly is right in the middle.  This book was well written and flowed really well.  It kept my attention throughout and kept me turning pages. 

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


About The Author
I’m a former fashion buyer turned mystery writer, trading fashion accessories for accessories to murder. I was bit by the mystery bug as a kid reading Trixie Belden, Connie Blair, and The Three Investigators. Now I’m writing three series: the Style & Error Mysteries, the Mad for Mod Mysteries,  Material Witness Mysteries, and the new Costume Shop Cozy Mysteries!
The Material Witness mysteries feature Polyester Monroe, who inherits the fabric shop where she was born. Books include SUEDE TO REST  and CRUSHED VELVET . The third, SILK STALKINGS,  will be out in August 2016.
The Style & Error Series features former fashion buyer turned amateur sleuth Samantha Kidd. Books in that series include DESIGNER DIRTY LAUNDRYBUYER, BEWARETHE BRIM REAPER ; and SOME LIKE IT HAUTE . (A short story, “Just Kidding ,” tells the story of how Samantha first met shoe designer Nick Taylor). Book 5, GRAND THEFT RETRO, will be out in 2016.
The Madison Night Mysteries feature a modern day interior decorator who specializes in midcentury design (studying Doris Day movies to get the look right). Books are PILLOW STALK ,THAT TOUCH OF INK , and WITH VICS YOU GET EGGROLL . A prequel novella, “Midnight Ice,” can be found in OTHER PEOPLE’S BAGGAGE .
The new Costume Shop Cozy Mysteries feature former magician’s assistant Margo Tamblyn who has come home to run her family’s costume chop. A Disguise to Die For was released February 2, 2016 and Masking for Trouble will be released October 4. 

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