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No Filter by Heather Day Gilbert | Blog Tour | Book Review | Giveaway 

No Filter (Barks & Beans Cafe Cozy Mystery) by Heather Day Gilbert

I am delighted to join the blog tour for No Filter by Heather Day Gilbert today! My thanks to Lori at Great Escapes Book Tours for the chance to join and the review copy!

About No Filter 

No Filter (Barks & Beans Cafe Cozy Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher: WoodHaven Press (May 26, 2020)
Number of Pages: ~280 Pages
Digital ASIN: B085BX4N96

Welcome to the Barks & Beans Cafe, a quaint place where folks pet shelter dogs while enjoying a cup of java…and where murder sometimes pays a visit.

Fed up with her go-nowhere job, newly single Macy Hatfield moves back to her small hometown in West Virginia. She joins forces with her brother Bo in his crazy new venture—the Barks & Beans Cafe, which caters to dog lovers and coffee drinkers alike.

When a golf instructor is murdered at the nearby spiritual center, Macy winds up adopting his Great Dane. Just after Macy finds a mysterious message sewn under the dog’s collar, her Dane is dognapped. She launches into a relentless search for her newfound canine friend, but along the way, she digs up a cruel and confident killer.

Join siblings Macy and Bo Hatfield as they sniff out crimes in their hometown…with plenty of dogs along for the ride! The Barks & Beans Cafe cozy mystery series features a small town, an amateur sleuth, and no swearing or graphic scenes.

The Barks & Beans Cafe cozy mystery series in order:
Book 1: No Filter
Book 2: Iced Over

I Thought…

No Filter marks the beginning of a fabulous new series, ‘Barks & Beans Cafe Cozy Mystery’. Having previously read the three books from Heather Day Gilbert‘s Exotic Pet-Sitter series, I was expecting great things from this novel, No Filter.

The story begins with a warm welcome to the new café of brother and sister Macy and Bo Hatfield. Barks & Beans Cafe is a quaint, bijou place where folks can pat and stroke rescue dogs while enjoying a cup of chocolate mint tea or an espresso along with a tasty treat. The lemon poppy seed muffins sound delicious!

Our primary amateur detective in this series début is pet lover and café owner Macy. The café is the brainchild of Macy’s brother, Bo who has returned to his returned to his hometown of Lewisburg, West Virginia following personal disappointments. Modernising and regenerating their Aunt Athaleen’s lovely home by turning it into a trendy cafe with an attached residence for Macy, they expectantly launch their combination canines and coffee business with the town’s quirky community and high-end clientele in mind. Realising Macy’s keenness to work with dogs would be perfect for the business, and that Bo himself has studied coffee for ten years, as well as his extensive research into similar cafés in Asia and out West, he knows he’s onto a winner. It doesn’t enter their heads that murder would appear on their menu, but when a golfing instructor is murdered at the nearby Ivy Hill spiritual centre, Macy adopts his lovable Great Dane, Coal. When Coal vanishes, thought to have been dognapped following Macy’s discovery of a mysterious message sewn under the dog’s collar, she launches into a relentless search for her newfound canine friend. Working out who killed golfer Gerard Fontaine – and why – also hurls right to the top of Macy’s to-do list. Macy is determined to leave no stone unturned, and with the help of Bo, she uncovers a web of secrets that shows that no one really knew Gerard Fontaine, and that his past, and present provide plenty of motives for his murder.

If you enjoy quirky small-town mysteries, or mysteries featuring dogs as companion animals, and occasional sleuthing assistants, No Filter is an absolute delight. Part of the wonder of this story is the way that Macy loves and cares for Coal, and how much fun they have together. Coal serves as Macy’s’s chief comforter, keeper and buddy.

Macy spends plenty of time at the café, providing readers with loads of virtual goodies to salivate over. What makes the story so much fun is the cast of characters who frequent the Barks & Beans Cafe, the residents of Lewisburg, the café’s employees and the frequent regulars, like the stylish and elegant Isabella who stops by often. I have a feeling we’ll be meeting many more of the regulars as the series continues. Based on the ones I’ve met so far, it’s going to be wicked getting to know them. But this first story is all wrapped around Macy And Bo. Theirs are the perspectives the reader follows, and both are interesting and likeable protagonists, and not just because of Coal. Macy is easy to relate to, her fears and insecurities make sense under the circumstances, her mistakes feel real and I wished her to succeed. Bo clearly has his own issues as well.

I really wanted them to be happy in their respective potential romances – Macy with Dylan Butler, owner of his art gallery, The Discerning Palette, and Bo with Summer Adkins who owns the local animal shelter – but not anytime soon!

No Filter was a fun cozy mystery in an unusual setting with a great cast of characters. I didn’t figure out the whodunit at all as the mystery was profusely perplexing (to me at least), though I found the red herrings it offered up were as tasty as the offerings at the Barks & Beans Cafe. I’m looking forward to more of Macy’s and Bo’s adventures, and another visit to Lewisburg, when Macy, Coal and Bo are Iced Over later this year.

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

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars

About Heather Day Gilbert

HEATHER DAY GILBERT, an ECPA Christy award finalist and Grace award winner, writes contemporary mysteries and Viking historicals. Her novels feature small towns, family relationships, and women who aren’t afraid to protect those they love. Like her amateur sleuth heroines, she enjoys reading Agatha Christie, playing video games, dogs, and coffee.

Purchase Links: Amazon 

 Author Links: WebsiteFacebook  GoodReadsTwitterInstagramBookbub

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

May 26 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW

May 26 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

May 26 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

May 26 – Diane Reviews Books – CHARACTER GUEST POST

May 27 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW

May 27 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

May 27 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW  

May 27 – The Book Diva’s Reads – CHARACTER GUEST POST

May 28 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

May 28 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

May 28 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT

May 28 – The Power of Words – REVIEW

May 29 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW

May 29 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

May 29 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

May 29 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW

May 30 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW

May 30 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

May 30 – Gimme The Scoop Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

May 31 – Brianne’s Book Reviews – REVIEW

May 31 – I’m Into Books – SPOTLGHT

May 31 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

June 1 – eBook Addicts – REVIEW

June 1 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

June 1 – Reading Authors Network – REVIEW

June 2 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

June 2 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

June 2 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

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Until Next Time, 

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This Is How I Lied by Heather Gudenkauf | Blog Tour | Book Review 

Thank you to the publisher, Park Row Books, for inviting me to be a part of this exciting Blog Tour for Heather Gudenkauf’s latest novel This Is How I Lied and for the eARC of this title via NetGalley.

PUBLISHER: Park Row Books

PUBLICATION DATE: May 12th, 2020

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Book Summary

With the eccentricity of Fargo and the intensity of Sadie, THIS IS HOW I LIED by Heather Gudenkauf (Park Row Books; May 12, 2020; $17.99) is a timely and gripping thriller about careless violence we can inflict on those we love, and the lengths we will go to make it right, even 25 years later.

Tough as nails and seven months pregnant, Detective Maggie Kennedy-O’Keefe of Grotto PD, is dreading going on desk duty before having the baby her and her husband so badly want. But when new evidence is found in the 25-year-old cold case of her best friend’s murder that requires the work of a desk jockey, Maggie jumps at the opportunity to be the one who finally puts Eve Knox’s case to rest.

Maggie has her work cut out for her. Everyone close to Eve is a suspect. There’s Nola, Eve’s little sister who’s always been a little… off; Nick, Eve’s ex-boyfriend with a vicious temper; a Schwinn riding drifter who blew in and out of Grotto; even Maggie’s husband Sean, who may have known more about Eve’s last day than he’s letting on. As Maggie continues to investigate, the case comes closer and closer to home, forcing her to confront her own demons before she can find justice for Eve. 

I Thought…

 Having read another of Heather Gudenkauf‘s novels, Before She Was Found, I was thrilled to be able to read this one, too. Even if I hadn’t, the premise of this was novel was pretty exciting to me, as a keen crime fiction reader.

Twenty-five years ago, Eve Knox, aged 16, was murdered and her body found in the caves near her home in small-town Grotto, Iowa by her best friend, Maggie, and Eve’s sister, Nola. The case was never solved and now, further evidence has come to light. Maggie is now married, has worked hard at her job and has become Grotto PD detective Maggie Kennedy-O’Keefe. Heavily pregnant and soon to give birth, she is decides to take up the cold case…

Right from the start, I was completely absorbed by the suspense and the intriguing story-line. Heather Gudenkauf effortlessly brings to life many interesting characters in this pacy and gripping crime thriller, as well as delving into the motives and thoughts of each of them. Deadly menace and dangerous secrets are uncovered and the author is in complete control as she brilliantly manoeuvres this tale, blurring the boundaries between right and wrong, crime and justice. Heather Gudenkauf’s skilled writing made this appear effortless, keeping the story flowing so that I was never bored. With many twists and turns, I was totally engaged all the way through, until the fulfilling and very strong conclusion.

Overall, Heather Gudenkauf‘s special way with the narrative made this compelling tale quite distinct, resulting in This Is How I Lied being a very worthwhile read. If you’re a fan of the genre, you should really read this book! I will certainly be looking out for more of this talented author’s work in the future.

A special thank you to Park Row Books, the author, and NetGalley for a complimentary copy of this novel at my request. This review is my unbiased opinion.

Meet the Author:

Heather Gudenkauf is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of many books, including The Weight of Silence and These Things Hidden. Heather graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in elementary education, has spent her career working with students of all ages. She lives in Iowa with her husband, three children, and a very spoiled German Shorthaired Pointer named Lolo. In her free time, Heather enjoys spending time with her family, reading, hiking, and running.

Social Links: Website//Facebook//Twitter//Instagram//Goodreads

Purchase at: Barnes & Noble / HarlequinBooks-A-MillionAmazonPowell’s   

Until Next Time, 

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Mousse and Murder by Elizabeth Logan | Blog Tour | Book Review | Giveaway 

Mousse and Murder (An Alaskan Diner Mystery) by Elizabeth Logan

I am delighted to join the blog tour for Mousse and Murder by Elizabeth Logan today! My thanks to Lori at Great Escapes Book Tours for the chance to join and the review copy!

About Mousse and Murder 

Mousse and Murder (An Alaskan Diner Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher: Berkley (May 5, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 0593100441
ISBN-13: 978-0593100448
Kindle ASIN: B07WCZPZY7

A young chef might bite off more than she can chew when she returns to her Alaskan hometown to take over her parents’ diner in this charming first installment in a new cozy mystery series set in an Alaskan tourist town.

When Chef Charlie Cooke is offered the chance to leave San Francisco and return home to Elkview, Alaska, to take over her mother’s diner, she doesn’t even consider saying no. After all–her love life has recently become a Love Life Crumble, and a chance to reconnect with her roots may be just what she needs.

Determined to bring fresh life and flavors to the Bear Claw Diner, Charlie starts planning changes to the menu, which has grown stale over the years. But her plans are fried when her head cook Oliver turns up dead after a bitter and public fight over Charlie’s ideas–leaving Charlie as the only suspect in the case.

With her career, freedom, and life all on thin ice, Charlie must find out who the real killer is, before it’s too late.

I Thought…

What a perfect and brilliant start to a great new series! There is a wonderful sense of anticipation about beginning a new series and this one was no exception. I’m a great fan of cozy mysteries so when I saw Mousse and Murder by author Elizabeth Logan, being launched, I knew I had to read it.

In this cozy-style mystery, Chef Charlie Cooke, thirty-three, has returned to her hometown of the bustling and touristy Elkview, Alaska, after spending time in San Francisco, to take over her mother’s restaurant, the Bear Claw Diner. But there’s trouble from the off, when her plans to change the menu and some of the recipes are received with distaste by the Head Chef, Paris trained and hothead Oliver Whitestone, 50. They argue about the chocolate bear claw ingredients, which results in Oliver taking the recipe from Charlie and shredding it in front of all of the staff. Shortly after, Oliver doesn’t show up for his shift at the Bear Claw and is found dead… leaving Charlie as the prime and only suspect in the case.

In the opening chapter, we are introduced to enthusiastic Charlie who although pretty savvy, has never done any sleuthing before. She decides to play amateur detective to clear her name, and help out the local police, namely Alaska State Trooper Cody Graham (known only as ‘Trooper’). Not lacking any helpers, including local reporter and former classmate, Chris Doucette, I immediately warmed to Charlie, finding her ebullience, confidence and intuitiveness very refreshing.

Mousse and Murder was certainly a fun cozy for me and I loved the inclusion of Charlie’s tabby cat, Eggs Benedict (Benny). The Alaskan setting was well portrayed with fascinating descriptions of the locale and relaxed way of life. The plot was well thought-out and I very much appreciated Elizabeth Logan’s superb and varied characterisation, even though an odd few of the characters weren’t particularly personable. Being the first book in a new series, the reader gets to know the main characters pretty well, but there is still plenty of room for growth. Apart from Charlie herself, and of course, Benny, there was an assortment of friends, regulars and employees of the Bear Claw, adding another dimension of humour to the story that had me cracking a smile or two.

Elizabeth Logan writes with such flair and an easy style. There was a plethora of suspects to choose from, who might have had the motive to kill and I enjoyed the way in which Charlie and her entourage evaluated the information acquired from their investigative poking around.

All in all, this was a story that held my attention well and I loved that things came together for a great resolution. Being a culinary cozy, there are some delicious sounding recipes, too. I am eagerly anticipating what Elizabeth Logan has in store for Charlie and her sleuthing buddies in her next book in the series, Fishing for Trouble.

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

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars

About Elizabeth Logan

Camille Minichino is turning every aspect of her life into a mystery series. A retired physicist, she’s the author of 28 mystery novels in 5 series, with different pen names. Her next book is “Mousse and Murder,” May 2020, by Elizabeth Logan. She’s also written many short stories and articles. She teaches science at Golden Gate U. in San Francisco and writing workshops around the SF Bay Area.  Details are at www.minichino.com.

 Author Links: Website – Facebook  GoodReads 

Purchase Links: Amazon – B&N  – IndieBound 

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

May 5 – Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder – REVIEW, RECIPE

May 5 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – GUEST POST

May 5 – I’m Into Books – SPOTLIGHT

May 5 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

May 6 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT

May 6 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW

May 6 – The Power of Words – REVIEW

May 6 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT

May 6 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

May 7 – Ruff Drafts – GUEST POST

May 7 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

May 7 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

May 7 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

May 8 – Reading Reality – REVIEW

May 8 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT 

May 8 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

May 8 – Carla Loves To Read – REVIEW

May 9 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW

May 9 – The Ninja Librarian – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

May 9 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST

May 9 – Eskimo Princess Book Reviews– SPOTLIGHT

May 10 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW

May 10 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW 

May 10 – Literary Gold– SPOTLIGHT

May 10 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW 

May 11 – eBook Addicts – REVIEW

May 11 – Brianne’s Book Reviews – REVIEW

May 11 – Sapphyria’s Books – REVIEW

May 11 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

May 12 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW 

May 12 – Diary of a Book Fiend – REVIEW

May 12 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

May 12 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW  

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Until Next Time, 

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The Summer Villa by Melissa Hill | Blog Tour | Book Review 

I am delighted to join the holiday blog tour for The Summer Villa by Melissa Hill today! My thanks to Harlequin Publishing for the invitation to join. I was gifted a copy of The Summer Villa to read in exchange for my honest review. 

Book Info and Rating  

THE SUMMER VILLA
Author: Melissa Hill
ISBN: 9780778359982
Publication Date: April 28, 2020
Publisher: MIRA Books                                                                                                Genres: fiction, contemporary, women’s                                                                Rating: 5 stars

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Book Summary

When a little white lie becomes the story of your life, what if the truth comes out?

For three women, it’s a life-changing trip: one finds the man of her dreams, another discovers inspiration amidst Italian food and culture, while a chance encounter with a handsome local ushers in the ultimate life change for the third. But most importantly, it’s the beginning of a deep and lasting friendship between all three.

Now years later, Kim Weston – entrepreneur and owner of internationally successful Italian food and lifestyle business, The Sweet Life – has bought and restored the tumble-down villa to its former glory – and plans to reopen Villa Dolce Vita as a wellness/cultural retreat – a fitting honor to the root of her business inspiration.

To celebrate the villa’s grand opening, she and her Italian business partners are throwing a huge three-day party; flying a group of family, business and media contacts to the Amalfi Coast to join in the celebrations. And most importantly, the (still) close friends who started the journey with her: Annie and husband Nate, whose love story began at the villa, and single mum Eva, whose son was the result of an ill-advised Italian fling.

But in the run up to the planned weekend in Italy, it becomes clear that not everyone is happy about the party, nor are they on board with such ambitious plans for the location. And, as Villa Dolce Vita’s grand relaunch draws closer, old memories and past secrets come to light, and the three old friends are forced to question if anything that happened on that first fateful trip to the villa is at all what it seemed.

I Thought…

The Summer Villa, an engagingly sweet summer escape, saw me relaxing in a pretty villa in Italy – it was certainly an enchanting read! I revelled in losing myself to Melissa Hill’s fabulous novel. The characters were amicable and convivial, though flawed, but still a real pleasure to get to know.

Three women, Kim, Annie and Colette, all fleeing from their problems at home, pitch up at a crumbling villa in Italy, called Dolce Vita. The women all form a close bond, and their lives are forever changed. Five years later, successful entrepreneur Kim decides to buy and restore the charming villa, and along with some business associates, is now planning a three-day grand opening. It will be a perfect opportunity for the three great friends to reunite and spend some time together enjoying themselves on the Amalfi coast. Naturally, everything does not go as planned – secrets are unearthed and old memories are dredged up, all resulting in oodles of melodrama.

Melissa Hill has written a divine story that is bursting at the seams with vivid and exquisite descriptions of Italy and Villa Dolce Vita. All of the characters were adeptly developed and I often found myself wishing I could be there along with my new friends, Kim, Annie and Colette.

I thoroughly enjoy books with strong friendship themes so The Summer Villa was a perfect read for me. The author’s writing was just as I expected it would be, first-class, and the perfect pacing and compelling plot-line all added a touch of style to the novel.

With its exciting resolution, this is one story you won’t want to miss! Very highly recommended without any hesitation to anyone looking for their next great read.

Thanks to NetGalley, Harlequin - MIRA and the author, Melissa Hill for the complimentary copy. This is my honest and totally voluntary review.

Meet the Author:

MELISSA HILL lives in south Dublin with her husband and daughter. A USA TODAY and international #1 bestseller, she is the author of 13 novels, including The Gift of a Charm and A Gift From Tiffany’s. The Gift of a Charm was a USA TODAY bestseller. Hailed “the queen of the big plot twist,” she combines all the warmth and humor of contemporary women’s fiction with plots that keep readers guessing from page to page. Melissa also cowrites forensic thrillers with her husband, Kevin, under the pseudonym Casey Hill, featuring crime scene investigator Reilly Steel. For more information, visit www.caseyhillbooks.com

Social Links: Website//Facebook//Twitter//Goodreads

Purchase at: Barnes & Noble // Kobo // Amazon // IndieBound // Harlequin // Walmart // Target // Google

Until Next Time,