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Murder in the Secret Maze by Judith Gonda | Blog Tour | Book Review | Giveaway 

Murder in the Secret Maze (A Tory Benning Mystery) by Judith Gonda

I am delighted to join the blog tour for Murder in the Secret Maze by Judith Gonda today! My thanks to Lori at Great Escapes Book Tours for the chance to join and the review copy!

About Murder in the Secret Maze

Murder in the Secret Maze (A Tory Benning Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher: Beyond the Publishing (February 26, 2020)
Paperback: 273 pages
ISBN-10: 1950461386
ISBN-13: 978-1950461387
Digital ASIN: B084HNMVGV

First in a new series featuring California landscape architect Tory Benning!

Landscape architect Tory Benning knows the lay of the land, but she’ll have to dig through the clues to unearth a killer . . .

After a whirlwind romance and a glorious wedding at the luxurious Hotel Santa Sofia, Tory Benning is ready to let down her hair, slip into her dancing shoes, and celebrate—until she discovers that her newly minted husband has vanished. The police suspect cold feet and second thoughts are behind Milo’s disappearance, but Tory’s certain he’s met with foul play. And since she designed the plush resort, she knows every nook and cranny of the grounds and adjoining secret maze, and wastes no time delving into her search.

As clues begin to emerge that Milo may have taken his last breath in the maze, Tory steps up her sleuthing, even as she learns she’s the prime suspect of a cop with a chip on his shoulder and is squarely in the sights of a menacing stalker. And when a second body is found on the grounds, Tory fears she’s up against a killer determined to silence any and all who get in the way. .

Not to be deterred, Tory forges ahead, navigating a case with more twists and turns than the maze itself, until the labyrinth of clues leads her to shocking revelations about her husband, her family, and the identity of a killer who’s dead set on making her the next victim . . . .

I Thought…

It is always so exciting to start at the beginning of a new cozy mystery series and Murder in the Secret Maze is the first in (hopefully!) a number of books set on the California coast and featuring landscape architect Tory Benning.

Kicking things off, after a whirlwind romance, Tory has just married the love of her life Milo Spinelli, a fellow architect at the prestigious Hotel Santa Sofia. Shortly after, Tory receives a text informing her that Milo has taken Iris, their Pomeranian dog, back to their home. But there is a problem – Katie Omstead, a neighbour, still has Iris with her. Along with her best friend and maid of honour Ashley Payne, Tory goes in search of her husband. As she designed the plush resort, she knows every part, in minute detail of the grounds and its adjoining secret maze, thus she wastes no time embarking on the trail of her beloved. But all she finds are indications that a fight has occurred, and there is no sign of Milo…

As is usual in a new series, this first book sets up the characters as well as providing some background on Benning Brothers, the company that Tory works for. Judith Gonda’s descriptions of the luxurious Hotel Santa Sofia were impressive and the pacing was spot on. There was always plenty going on and there was certainly never a dull moment!

Judith Gonda clearly knows how to write a story that is compelling, entertaining and fun, with characters that were not necessarily easy to love but fitted with the story really well. I really enjoyed Tory’s personality traits – particularly her spirit and astuteness. Then there was the supportive and caring Ashley and the amiable Sergeant Adrian Ramirez, who didn’t seem to mind Tory and Ashley muscling in on his case. All of the characters had a great part to play, whether or not they were likeable and all had plenty of drive and resolve. The plot was brilliantly executed and I was desperate to find out what was going to happen next.

The combination of description and dialogue was great and I had plenty of opportunities to play armchair detective as the suspect list was a long one. I was definitely surprised with the final denouement. All things considered, I loved this fascinating mystery and I highly recommend this humorous, easy to read cozy. I am already looking forward to reading the next book in the series. A well-deserved five stars!

I received a complimentary copy of this novel from Great Escapes Tours at my request and this review is my unbiased opinion.

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars

About Judith Gonda

Judith Gonda is a mystery writer and Ph.D. psychologist with a penchant for Pomeranians and puns, so it’s not surprising that psychology, Poms, and puns pop up in her amateur sleuth mysteries featuring California landscape architect Tory Benning.

Author Links:

Website – https://www.judithgonda.com

Blog – https://www.judithgonda.blogspot.com

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/JudithGondaAuthor/

Twitter – https://www.twitter.com/JudithGonda

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/judithgonda/

GoodReads – https://goodreads.com/goodreadscomjudith_gonda

Pinterest – https://pinterest.com/judithgonda/

Purchase Links – Amazon – Barnes and Noble  –  Kobo  – Smashwords – Google Play 

There is a Rafflecopter Giveaway for this tour. Please click below to enter and good luck!

Don’t forget the other stops on the tour!

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

April 8 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW

April 8 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

April 9 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW

April 10 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

April 11 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

April 11 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW

April 12 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

April 13 – Brianne’s Book Reviews – REVIEW

April 13 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

April 14 – Bea’s Book Nook – REVIEW

April 14 – eBook Addicts – SPOTLIGHT

April 15 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW

April 15 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW

April 16 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

April 16 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – SPOTLIGHT

April 17 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW

April 18 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

April 19 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT

April 19 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT

April 20 – Sapphyria’s Books – REVIEW

April 21 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

April 21 – Dee-Scoveries – SPOTLIGHT

March 31 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

March 31 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

April 1 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – GUEST POST

April 2 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

April 3 – Ruff Drafts – GUEST POST

April 3 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

April 4 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

April 5 – Brianne’s Book Reviews – REVIEW

April 6 – The Self-Rescue Princess – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

April 7 – I’d Rather Be At The Beach –  REVIEW

April 8 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST

April 9 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

April 9 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

April 10 – eBook Addicts – REVIEW

April 11 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

April 12 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

April 13 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!

Until Next Time, 

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A Small Town Can Be #Murder by Julie Seedorf | Blog Tour | Book Review | Giveaway 

A Small Town Can Be #Murder (Whistle Stop Mysteries) by Julie Seedorf

I am delighted to join the blog tour for A Small Town Can Be #Murder by Julie Seedorf today! My thanks to Lori at Great Escapes Book Tours for the chance to join and the review copy!

About A Small Town Can Be #Murder

A Small Town Can Be #Murder (Whistle Stop Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher: Skye Bridge Publishing (December 21, 2019)
Paperback: 196 pages
ISBN-10: 0578605481
ISBN-13: 978-0578605487
Digital ASIN: B082YLDW43

You have all heard the story: big-city girl moves to small town and lives happily ever after. That’s not the forever-after Angel Delaight found when she moved to Whistle Stop, Minnesota. First her realtor is found dead in her new house, which is also rumored to be haunted. Then homeless animals began showing up at her door, along with a bevy of townspeople who seem to know what she is doing at all times. Not to mention a secret journal turning up during renovation, revealing more secrets hidden in this small community.

Will those secrets from the past put Angel’s life and those of her friends and family in danger? When the big-city girl meets a small town, it can be murder.

I Thought…

This was a fabulous beginning to a brand new series!

Angel Delaight, city-girl and a carpenter, has recently relocated to Whistle Stop, Minnesota, where she has bought herself a dilapidated Victorian house that is rumoured to be haunted. On her first day in her new accommodation she begins the renovations but whilst inspecting the condition of some wood panelling in the living room, it gives way and a corpse lands on top of her. The body is that of a young woman who is identified as no other than the estate agent who sold her the property. Can Angel and the detective on the case find the killer and discover the mystery of the murder?

I loved this fascinating mystery! Julie Seedorf’s pacing was perfect and there was never a dull moment, with plenty going on. The author’s characterisation was brilliant. I loved the feisty and fearless Angel Delaight and the adorable Matt who came across as charming and friendly. All of the characters had a great part to play, whether or not they were likeable and all had plenty of audacity and spirit.

The plot was brilliantly executed and I was desperate to find out what was going to happen next. The combination of description and dialogue was great and I had opportunities to play armchair detective as the story progressed, although, like Angel, I didn’t figure out who the murderer was until the exciting reveal. The soupçons of romance added richness to the tale as did the animals that were given, or found a home with Angel.

Although not as humorous as many of the cozy mysteries I’ve read, I highly recommend A Small Town Can Be #Murder. I am already looking forward to reading the next book in the series. A well deserved five stars!

I received a complimentary copy of this novel from Great Escapes Tours at my own request. This review is my own unbiased opinion.

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars

About Julie Seedorf

A Bit About Me As An Impassioned Writer

As human beings, we are always a work in progress. From birth to death we live, hurt, laugh, cry, feel, and with all of those emotions we grow as people, as family members, and as friends. I am a dreamer and feel blessed to have the opportunity in my writing to pass those dreams on to others. I believe you are never too old to dream and to turn those dreams into a creative endeavor. I live in rural Minnesota and I am a wife, mother, and grandmother.

I have worn many hats throughout my life such as working as a waitress, nursing home activities person, office manager and finally a computer repair person eventually owning my own computer sales and repair business. I never forgot my love of writing and quit my computer business in 2012 after signing a contract with Cozy Cat Press for Granny Hooks A Crook, the first book in my Fuchsia, Minnesota Series.

Adding five more books to the Fuchsia Series, adding a Brilliant, Minnesota Series and writing a column for local newspapers feeds my writing creativity. This year the Whistle Stop series was born. Small towns have my heart and I hoped to convey that in my new series.

I also dabble a bit in watercolor painting and hope to eventually add pictures to my children’s book series, Granny’s In Trouble.

Oh, and did I tell you I like to be a little bit silly.

You can follow Julie on:

Facebook – WebsiteTwitterPinterestInstagramYoutubeAmazon – Goodreads

Purchase Links – Amazon – KoboSmashwords – AppleBarnesandNoble – Skye Bridge Publishing 

There is a Rafflecopter Giveaway for this tour. Please click below to enter and good luck!

Don’t forget the other stops on the tour!

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

March 31 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

March 31 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

April 1 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – GUEST POST

April 2 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

April 3 – Ruff Drafts – GUEST POST

April 3 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

April 4 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

April 5 – Brianne’s Book Reviews – REVIEW

April 6 – The Self-Rescue Princess – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

April 7 – I’d Rather Be At The Beach –  REVIEW

April 8 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST

April 9 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

April 9 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

April 10 – eBook Addicts – REVIEW

April 11 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

April 12 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

April 13 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!

Until Next Time,