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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

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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)
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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

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