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Mimi Lee Reads Between the Lines by Jennifer J. Chow | Blog Tour | Book Review | Giveaway 

Mimi Lee Reads Between the Lines (A Sassy Cat Mystery) by Jennifer J. Chow

I am delighted to join the blog tour for Mimi Lee Reads Between the Lines by Jennifer J. Chow today! My thanks to Lori at Great Escapes Book Tours for the chance to join and the review copy!

About Mimi Lee Reads Between the Lines

Mimi Lee Reads Between the Lines (A Sassy Cat Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Publisher: Berkley (November 10, 2020)
Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1984805010
ISBN-13: 978-1984805010
Digital ASIN: B084V8MB5M

When a local teacher is found dead, LA’s newest pet groomer Mimi Lee finds herself in a pawful predicament—with her younger sister’s livelihood on the line.

 

Mimi Lee is on top of the world. She has a thriving pet grooming business, the sweetest boyfriend, and a talking cat to boot. When she arrives at the elementary school where her sister Alice works, she’s expecting a fun girls’ night out—but instead finds a teacher slumped over in her car, dead.

 

Alice was the last one to see Helen Reed, which instantly marks her as the prime suspect. Unable to sit quietly and let the authorities walk all over her sister, Mimi starts snooping and talks to Helen’s closest contacts, including one jumpy principal, a two-faced fiancé, and three sketchy teachers. With the help of her sassy but savvy cat, Marshmallow, and a cute kitten named Nimbus, the clock’s ticking for Mimi to get to the bottom of yet another case before her sister gets schooled.

I Thought…

As a lover of cozy mysteries, this book shouted at me to be picked up! I think it was the cat called Marshmallow that swung it for me. Mimi Lee has a pet grooming business, Hollywoof, a veritable pooches paradise/ doggies based in Los Angeles, California.

Although I have not yet read Mimi Lee Gets a Clue, the first in the Sassy Cat Mystery series, I was not lost off with characters and events in this one, Mimi Lee Reads Between the Lines and it was a good individual read. Mimi has a sister, Alice, who teaches at an elementary school and they arrange to meet up together for a night out. When Helen Reed, a teacher at the same school where Alice works is found dead, Alice finds herself at the top of the suspect list…

Busy Mimi sets out to clear Alice’s name working alongside the rather uptight Detective Brown, though she still manages to spend some time with her boyfriend, Josh. With several suspects and a few clues and red herrings, the mystery itself was very good as I tried to figure out the perpetrator and motive. However, for me, it was Marshallow, Mimi’s telepathic cat, that stole the show. Jennifer J. Chow’s writing style really appealed to me and especially liked the funnies relating to Mimi’s unusual requests at Hollywoof. I found Mimi Lee Reads Between the Lines to be a cracking, fun and lighthearted cozy mystery and I will be looking out for book three, as well as catching up with the first in the Sassy Cat Mystery series.

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 Jennifer J. Chow

Jennifer J. Chow is the author of the hiss-terical Sassy Cat Mysteries, the Winston Wong cozies, Dragonfly Dreams, and The 228 Legacy. She lives in Los Angeles, where she hunts for all things matcha. Connect with her online and sign up for her newsletter at www.jenniferjchow.com. You can also find her on social media under @jenjchow.

Author Links  – WebpageFacebookTwitterInstagram

Purchase Links – Amazon – Penguin Random House – BookShop – B&N  – Kobo – Google Play – 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

November 6 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

November 6 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW

November 6 – Thoughts in Progress – SPOTLIGHT

November 7 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST

November 7 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT

November 7 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

November 7 – Author Elena Taylor’s Blog – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

November 8 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT

November 8 – Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST

November 9 – My Journey Back – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

November 9 – Sneaky the Library Cat’s blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

November 9 – Brianne’s Book Reviews – REVIEW

November 9 – Reading Is My SuperPower – SPOTLIGHT

November 10 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

November 10 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW

November 10 – Baroness’ Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT

November 11 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT

November 11 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

November 12 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – GUEST POST

November 12 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 12 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

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Until Next Time, 

Featured

Mistletoe, Moussaka and Murder by Tina Kashian | Blog Tour | Book Review | Giveaway 

Mistletoe, Moussaka, and Murder (A Kebab Kitchen Mystery) by Tina Kashian

I am delighted to join the blog tour for Mistletoe, Moussaka, and Murder by Tina Kashian today! My thanks to Lori at Great Escapes Book Tours for the chance to join and the review copy!

About Mistletoe, Moussaka, and Murder (A Kebab Kitchen Mystery)

Mistletoe, Moussaka, and Murder (A Kebab Kitchen Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Publisher: Kensington (September 29, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 1496726073
ISBN-13: 978-1496726070
Digital ASIN: B082WR6DMT

Not even her impending nuptials can keep Lucy Berberian, manager of her family-owned Kebab Kitchen, from the Jersey Shore’s annual Polar Bear Plunge. But her dive into the icy ocean is especially chilling when she finds a fellow swimmer doing the dead man’s float—for real . . .

Who would kill a man in cold blood during Ocean Crest, New Jersey’s most popular winter event? When Lucy learns the victim is Deacon Spooner, the reception hall owner who turned up his nose—and his price—at her wedding plans, she can’t help wondering who wouldn’t kill the pompous caterer . . .

Perhaps the culprit is the wedding cake baker whose career Deacon nearly destroyed? Or the angry bride whose reception he ruined? With her maid of honor, Katie, busily planning Lucy’s wedding without her, Lucy will have to get to the bottom of this cold-hearted business in time for Kebab Kitchen’s mouthwatering Christmas celebration—and before her hometown’s holiday spirit washes out to sea . . .

Recipes included!

I Thought…

This is my third book from what is proving to be a wonderfully entertaining series. Although I hadn’t read books #1 and #2, Hummus and Homicide, and Stabbed in the Baklava, I jumped in at book #3, One Feta in the Grave. This one, Mistletoe, Moussaka, and Murder is book #5 in the ‘A Kebab Kitchen Mystery’ series. Though I am, in part, familiar with the characters’ histories, I think anyone who hasn’t read any of the books in this series should have no trouble reading this as a standalone.

Mistletoe, Moussaka, and Murder started out great and just kept getting better and better! Lucy Berberian is thriving as manager of Kebab Kitchen, her family’s Mediterranean restaurant on the Jersey Shore. The mystery was really intriguing and it kept me guessing. I enjoyed meeting up with the recurrent characters again and I liked their interaction. Tina Kashian’s engaging writing style and detailed descriptions of the charming seaside town of Ocean Crest continued to delight, drawing me into the story straight away so I didn’t want to stop turning the pages. With the Kebab Kitchen being a central setting, there were plenty of mentions of mouthwatering and delicious ethnic food dotted throughout. Lucy’s family dynamic and the restaurant atmosphere were wonderfully articulated and the locale was fun. She is now engaged to Azad Zakarian, the head chef at Kebab Kitchen. I also really liked that Tina Kashian widened the storyline to include a scrumptious bakery, Cutie’s Cupcakes, owned by Lucy’s friend, Susan Cutie.

This was a quick, light and joyous read, with plenty of action, worthy suspects and red herrings that ticked all the boxes for me as far as cozies are concerned. Definitely an all-round winner, I highly recommend Mistletoe, Moussaka, and Murder and I hope this series continues so I can carry on following Lucy in her exploits!

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

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars

About Tina Kashian

Tina Kashian is an attorney and mechanical engineer whose love of reading for pleasure helped her get through years of academia. She is the author of the popular Kebab Kitchen Mediterranean cozy mystery series for Kensington Publishing. Tina spent her childhood summers at the Jersey shore building sandcastles, boogie boarding, and riding the boardwalk Ferris wheel. She also grew up in the restaurant business, as her Armenian parents owned a restaurant for thirty years. Tina still lives in New Jersey with her supportive husband and two daughters. Please visit her website at http://www.tinakashian.com to join her newsletter, receive delicious recipes, enter contests, and more!

Author Links

Purchase Links:

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

October 1 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

October 1 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

October 1 – The Cozy Pages – REVIEW

October 2 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW, RECIPE

October 2 – Heart & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT

October 2 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – SPOTLIGHT

October 3 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT

October 3 – fundinmental – RECIPE POST

October 3 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW

October 4 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW

October 4 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

October 4 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW

October 5 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW

October 5 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

October 5 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW

October 5 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

October 6 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

October 6 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW

October 6 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

October 7 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

October 7 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – RECIPE POST

October 7 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

October 8 – Brianne’s Book Reviews – REVIEW

October 8 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

October 8 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

October 9 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT

October 9 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

October 9 – Author Elena Taylor’s Blog – SPOTLIGHT

October 10 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

October 10 – I Read What You Write – SPOTLIGHT

October 10 – eBook Addicts – SPOTLIGHT

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Dash Away All by Christina Freeburn | Blog Tour | Book Review | Giveaway 

Dash Away All (A Merry & Bright Handcrafted Mystery) by Christina Freeburn

I am delighted to join the blog tour for Dash Away All by Christina Freeburn today! My thanks to Lori at Great Escapes Book Tours for the chance to join and the review copy!

About Dash Away All

Dash Away All (A Merry & Bright Handcrafted Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Publisher: Henery Press (July 7, 2020)
Hardcover: 264 pages
ISBN-10: 1635116023
ISBN-13: 978-1635116021
Paperback: 264 pages
ISBN-10: 163511599X
ISBN-13: 978-1635115994
Digital ASIN: B086TYK58V

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…Merry Winters is excited for her dream-come-true moment: Being an on-site crafter for a Christmas movie. The tidings of joy are short-lived as she finds herself becoming a referee, dealing with a raging Ebenezer, participating in a bucket brigade, and finding evidence in a “murder.”

Is someone trying to stop the production or is it tied to a secret someone has on Luna Carmichael, the star of the movie and the queen of Christmas?

When Marie, Luna’s assistant, stumbles away from a car accident and dies, Merry believes the accident wasn’t quite so accidental. Was Luna or Marie the target? Merry finds more questions than answers, but one thing is certain: Everyone has an ulterior motive for being part of the production—including Marie.

After another murder, Merry wonders if the deaths are tied to a baby born long ago and abandoned. And more importantly, will Merry live long enough to find out?

I Thought…

In this third instalment of the ‘Merry & Bright Handcrafted Mystery’ series by Christina Freeburn, Merry Winters has been afforded a wonderful opportunity. The holiday crafter has been chosen to provide her hand crafted items for the set of a Christmas film, Dash Away All, that will star the fabulous Luna Carmichael, the reigning Queen of Christmas movies. She travels to Indiana, however, when she arrives, festive spirit and joy seem to be in short supply. Luna’s personal assistant, Marie is distant, and Luna herself is easily irritable and rather Scrooge-like. Then Marie is found dead following a car accident…

This is my first cosy read by Christina Freeburn and it had a rather different focus to many other Yuletide festive cosies, but that was no bad thing as it really packed a punch. Merry Winters was loyal, hard-working, had a warm heart and tried, where possible, to see the best in everyone and her furry, people-hating, guinea pig friend, Ebenezer was a novel addition to the shenanigans. The plot was terrific with many twists and misdirections and I was certainly left guessing whilst attempting to fine-tune my armchair detective skills. Christina Freeburn’s characterisation was great and each had their individual foibles with many possessing their own hidden agendas, motives or nefarious intentions. I particularly liked the parts of efficient, cool and calm Sheriff Rhodes, and strong, kind and considerate Paul McCormick, Marie’s cousin.

Heavy on drama, I really enjoyed reading about Merry and look forward to becoming better acquainted with her and Ebenezer in future instalments, along with catching up on the first two books, Not A Creature Was Stirring and Better Watch OutDash Away All is a great choice for lovers of craft or less sickly-sweet Yuletide based cosies. A wonderful and satisfying read for Christmas or any other time!

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 Christina Freeburn

Christina Freeburn has always loved books. There was nothing better than picking up a story and being transported to another place. The love of reading evolved into the love of writing and she’s been writing since her teenage years. Her first novel was a 2003 Library of Virginia Literary Award nominee. Her mysteries series, Faith Hunter Scrap This Mystery and Merry & Bright Handcrafted Mysteries, are a mix of crafty and crime and feature heroines whose crafting time is interrupted by crime solving.

Christina served in the US Army and has also worked as a paralegal, librarian, church secretary, and golf shop pro. She lives in West Virginia with her husband, dog, and a rarely seen cat except by those who are afraid and allergic to felines.

Author Links  – WebpageBlogFacebookTwitterGoodreads

Purchase Links – Amazon – B&N – Kobo

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

July 6 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW

July 7 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

July 7 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

July 7 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – SPOTLIGHT

July 8 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT

July 8 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW  

July 9 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT

July 9 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW (Coming Soon)

July 9 – Mysteries with Character – REVIEW

July 10 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW

July 10 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

July 10 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

July 11 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – GUEST POST

July 11 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

July 12 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT

July 12 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

July 12 – Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers – SPOTLIGHT

July 13 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

July 13 – Thoughts in Progress – GUEST POST

July 13 – Diane Reviews Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

July 14 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW

July 14 – I Read What You Write – SPOTLIGHT

July 14 – Brianne’s Book Reviews – REVIEW

July 14 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

July 15 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

July 15 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

July 15 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

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Until Next Time, 

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Still Knife Painting by Cheryl Hollon | Blog Tour | Book Review | Giveaway 

Still Knife Painting (A Paint & Shine Mystery) by Cheryl Hollon

I am delighted to join the blog tour for Still Knife Painting by Cheryl Hollon today! My thanks to Lori at Great Escapes Book Tours for the chance to join and the review copy!

About Still Life Painting

Still Knife Painting (A Paint & Shine Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher: Kensington (June 30, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-10: 1496725247
ISBN-13: 978-1496725240
Digital ASIN: B07W8VL149

Miranda Trent has set up a sweet life in a scenic corner of Appalachia  – until she stumbles across the trail of a killer . . .

After inheriting her uncle’s Red River Gorge homestead in Eastern Kentucky – smack dab in the middle of the Daniel Boone National Forest – Miranda comes up with a perfect business plan for summer tourists: pairing outdoor painting classes with sips of local moonshine, followed by a mouthwatering sampler of the best in southern cooking.

To Miranda’s delight, Paint & Shine is a total success – until someone kills the cook. As the town’s outsider, suspicion naturally falls on Miranda. Murdering the best biscuit baker of Red River Gorge is a high crime in these parts. Miranda will have to prove her innocence before she’s moved from farmhouse to jail cell faster than she can say “white lightning” . . .

I Thought…

Still Knife Painting marks the start of a brand new and intriguing cosy mystery series featuring Miranda Trent. Her Uncle Gene has left her a remote farmhouse on Pine Ridge, sited in the eastern Kentucky hills. One of the conditions that her uncle stipulated in his will was that Miranda must set up and make a success of a business including a distillery within a specified timescale, otherwise she will lose the right to her inheritance. So Miranda sets up a painting and distillery enterprise called Paint & Shine, pairing outdoor painting classes with sips of local moonshine, followed by a scrumptious homecooked meal, the best in southern cooking, but not everyone is happy that she is promoting moonshine within her business. When the cook is found dead in Miranda’s kitchen, as an outsider she becomes the main suspect.

I totally adored the premise of Still Knife Painting and Cheryl Hollon‘s character development was excellent. I took a while to warm to the main narrator and artist Miranda, at first finding her rather brusque and impatient but I felt more in tune with her as the story meandered along. The comfortable pacing helped to make this a very pleasant cosy mystery, and the author’s portrayal of the locale was terrific. There was a number of suspects to choose from to satisfy my tendency to play armchair detective, each with a plausible motive. I enjoyed the contributions from the quirkier characters such as Doris Ann (receptionist at the Hemlock Lodge)  as well as the splashes of humour dotted throughout the story.

For readers who are looking for a new cosy mystery series I think Still Knife Painting will fit the bill with its delicious sounding, scrummy recipes, hints of romance, and wonderful descriptions of the gorgeous scenery. I’m definitely curious to see how things develop for Miranda in the next book!

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 Cheryl Hollon

Cheryl Hollon now writes full-time after she left an engineering career of designing and building military flight simulators in amazing countries such as England, Wales, Australia, Singapore, Taiwan, and India. Fulfilling the dream of a lifetime, she combines her love of writing with a passion for creating glass art. In the small glass studio behind her house in St. Petersburg, Florida, Cheryl and her husband design, create, and produce fused glass, stained glass, and painted glass artworks. Visit her online at http://cherylhollon.com, on Facebook or on Twitter @CherylHollon.

Purchase Links: Amazon * B&N * Kobo

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

June 29 – Brooke Blogs – CHARACTER GUEST POST

June 29 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

June 30 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – GUEST POST

June 30 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW  

July 1 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT

July 1 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

July 2 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW

July 2 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT

July 2 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

July 3 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – SPOTLIGHT

July 3 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW

July 4 – OFF

July 5 – Cozy Up with Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

July 5 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

July 6 – Diary of a Book Fiend – REVIEW

July 6 – Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST

July 7 – Brianne’s Book Reviews – REVIEW

July 7 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST

July 8 – Thoughts in Progress – CHARACTER GUEST POST

July 8 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

July 9 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

July 9 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW

July 10 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW

July 10 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

July 11 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

July 11 – Here’s How It Happened – GUEST POST

July 12 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW, GUEST POST  

July 12 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

July 13 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST

July 13 – La libreria di Beppe – SPOTLIGHT

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Until Next Time, 

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Booked for Death by Victoria Gilbert | Blog Tour | Book Review | Giveaway 

Booked for Death: A Book Lover’s B&B Mystery by Victoria Gilbert

I am delighted to join the blog tour for Booked for Death by Victoria Gilbert today! My thanks to Lori at Great Escapes Book Tours for the chance to join and the review copy!

About Booked for Death 

Booked for Death: A Book Lover’s B&B Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (August 11, 2020)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1643853074
ISBN-13: 978-1643853079
Digital ASIN: B07XX7PHTV

From the critically acclaimed author of SIBA Okra Pick A Murder for the Books, Victoria Gilbert embarks with a new series for perfect for fans of Kate Carlisle and Juliet Blackwell.

A book lover’s B&B in an idyllic waterfront village becomes the scene of a grisly murder–and a ruthless battle between treachery and the truth.

Nestled in the historic waterfront town of Beaufort, North Carolina, Chapters Bed-and-Breakfast is a reader’s paradise. Built in 1770, the newly renovated inn hosts a roster of special events celebrating books, genres, and authors. It’s the perfect literary retreat–until a rare book dealer turns up dead in the carriage house during a celebration of Golden Age mystery author Josephine Tey.

The victim’s daughter points the finger at forty-two-year-old widow and former schoolteacher Charlotte Reed, who inherited the B&B from her great-aunt Isabella. Charlotte is shocked to discover that the book dealer suspected Isabella of being a thief who founded Chapters on her ill-gotten gains. Charlotte has successfully learned the B&B business in a year, but nothing has prepared her to handle a death on the premises.

Armed with intelligence and courage and assisted by her vibrant older neighbor, a visiting author, and members of a local book club, Charlotte is determined to prove her innocence and to clear her great-aunt’s name. But the murderer is still at large, and equally determined to silence anyone who might discover the truth behind the book dealer’s death. Now, Charlotte must outwit an unknown killer–or end up writing her own final chapter.

I Thought…

Booked for Death by Victoria Gilbert marks the start of a new cosy mystery series set in Beaufort, North Carolina. I love a cosy mystery and I was absolutely thrilled to be able to get stuck in at the beginning rather than part way through a series! I wanted to read this particular novel as I have a fancy for cosies about book-lovers, libraries and other book-related things.

Centred around Chapters, a book themed Bed & Breakfast, I thought this was a fabulous story. Chapters, a perfect book-lover’s retreat is run by forty-something widow and former schoolteacher Charlotte Reed, who inherited the B&B from her great-aunt Isabella. Charlotte is hosting a celebration event for mystery author Josephine Tey and the during the first part of the book the reader is introduced to the staff and guests at the B&B. All is well at the party until an argument breaks out between guests, Jennifer and Tara Delamont. As friction develops amongst some of the other guests as well as the staff, Charlotte knows she needs to keep control of the situation. But then a dead body is found in the carriage house…

The descriptions of small-town life with all its complications and relationships were very enjoyable and believable. I also enjoyed the flow and style of writing and character development. The characters were distinct and entertaining and I felt as though I was making some new friends. I really warmed to Charlotte in particular – she oozed confidence and style and I adored her matter-of-fact approach.

The addition of Ellen Montgomery, an ex film location scout, friend and neighbour of Charlotte, was a masterstroke by the author. She assisted with the sleuthing as well as helping Charlotte with business related matters. She was straightforward and convincing and slotted into the storyline perfectly as a secondary character, and in my humble opinion, the story benefited very much from her inclusion. For his part, Damian Carr was the stereotypical irascible part-time cook at Chapters whose uneven temper leads to difficult relationships with other people.

A large part of the wonderfully developed plot included the mystery of great-aunt Isabella’s life. This definitely added extra dimension and excitement to the story for me. Victoria Gilbert provided exactly the right amount of description of the Beaufort, North Carolina setting and I found myself wishing that I could take a trip to Chapters myself.

Booked for Death is a brilliant executed cosy that kept me guessing and I would love to see what Victoria Gilbert has in store for Charlotte in book #2.

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 Victoria Gilbert

Victoria Gilbert, raised in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains, turned her early obsession with reading into a dual career as an author and librarian. Victoria has worked as a reference librarian, research librarian, and library director. When not writing or reading, she likes to spend her time watching films, gardening, or traveling. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and International Thriller Writers and lives in North Carolina.

Purchase Links:     Amazon     B&N    Kobo    Indie Bound

Author Links: WebsiteFacebook  GoodReadsTwitterInstagramYouTube  

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

June 8 – The Bookwyrm’s Hoard – REVIEW

June 8 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

June 9 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW

June 9 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT

June 10 – MJB Reviewers – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

June 10 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT

June 10 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW

June 11 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW

June 11 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

June 12 – Book Club Librarian – REVIEW

June 12 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

June 13 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

June 13 – The Book Diva’s Reads – GUEST POST

June 14 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW

June 14 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW

June 15 – eBook Addicts – REVIEW

June 15 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

June 15 – Brianne’s Book Reviews – REVIEW

June 16 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

June 16 – Moonlight Rendezvous– REVIEW

June 16 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST

June 17 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW

June 17 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

June 18 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW

June 18 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

June 19 – That’s What She’s Reading – REVIEW

June 19 – Sapphyria’s Books – REVIEW

June 20 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW

June 20 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW

June 21 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

June 21 – Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST

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Snowed Under by Mary Feliz | Blog Tour | Book Review 

Snowed Under (A Maggie McDonald Mystery) by Mary Feliz

I am delighted to join the blog tour for Snowed Under by Mary Feliz today! My thanks to Lori at Great Escapes Book Tours for the chance to join and the review copy!

About Snowed Under 

Snowed Under (A Maggie McDonald Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Publisher: Lyrical Press (June 9, 2020)
250 Pages
Digital ASIN: B07WBY669T

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When professional organizer Maggie McDonald finds a body in a snowdrift outside her friend’s ski cabin, she must plough through the clues to find a cold-blooded killer . . .

Lake Tahoe in February is beautiful, but Maggie can’t see a thing as she drives through a blinding blizzard with her friend Tess Olmos and their dogs, golden retriever Belle and German shepherd Mozart.Maggie has offered her professional decluttering skills to help Tess tidy up her late husband’s cabin in preparation to sell. She also plans to get in some skiing when her husband Max and their boys join them later in the week.

What she doesn’t plan on is finding a boot in a snowdrift attached to a corpse. The frozen stiff turns out to be Tess’s neighbour, Dev Bailey, who disappeared two months ago. His widow Leslie expresses grief, but Maggie can’t help but wonder if it’s a snow job. As more suspects start to pile up, things go downhill fast, and Maggie must keep her cool to solve the murder before the killer takes a powder . . .

I Thought…

Snowed Under is the sixth book in the Maggie McDonald cosy mystery series written by Mary Feliz. Although I’ve not read the earlier books in this series I decided to jump in with this latest one anyway, as I thought it had a great premise.

Maggie McDonald, a professional organiser is travelling from her home in Orchard View, Silicon Valley to Lake Tahoe in a blizzard with her friend, Tess Olmos to help with the de-cluttering of a cabin, left to Tess by her late husband. Tess is planning to sell the cabin but neither Maggie nor Tess bargained on finding a body buried in the snow. The corpse turns out to be a neighbour of Tess, Dev Bailey, who unexpectedly vanished two months ago. Maggie is keen to focus on clearing the house, but ends up becoming embroiled in the investigation…

Maggie was a wonderfully drawn character and I loved her for her sensitivity, candour and focus. Dev’s murder is a reminder to Tess that she lost her own husband eighteen months ago, and Maggie showed her and her son Teddy great sensitivity, giving them time to make the best decisions for themselves.

The pacing was very comfortable and there was some interesting dynamics going on within the local neighbourhood. Many of the neighbours were potential suspects, making for some fascinating reading. There were lots of opportunities, red herrings and misdirections for me to play armchair detective and Maggie’s and Tess’s dogs, golden retriever Belle and German shepherd Mozart were a definite highlight, too. As the story continues, Maggie’s friend, Stephen Laird arrives with his mastiff, Munchkin, and others from Orchard View, Silicon Valley, including Rocket, a winter kills instructor, to help determine and arrest the culprit. The author is a talented descriptive writer and I felt like I was right there alongside Maggie, watching the blizzards and feeling the bitter cold.

This fabulous cosy was a fascinating cocktail of drama, murder, intrigue and threatening behaviour and I loved the additional subplot which served to enhance the main story very well. The ending was quite a surprise. I look forward to reading more in the series and I aim to start with the first book, Address to Die For. I recommend Snowed Under to those who appreciate well-written cosy mysteries with wintery themes and the camaraderie of a small community.

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 Mary Feliz

Mary Feliz writes the Maggie McDonald Mysteries featuring a Silicon Valley professional organizer and her sidekick golden retriever. She’s worked for Fortune 500 firms and mom and pop enterprises, competed in whale boat races and done synchronized swimming. She attends organizing conferences in her character’s stead, but Maggie’s skills leave her in the dust.

Author Links: Website – Blog – Facebook – Twitter

Purchase Links: 

Amazon B&N – KoboGoogle Books – Kensington

Don’t forget the other stops on the tour!

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

June 9 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

June 9 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

June 9 – I’m Into Books – SPOTLIGHT

June 10 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

June 10 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

June 10 – The Power of Words – REVIEW – unable to post

June 11 – Sneaky the Library Cat’s Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

June 11 – Mysteries with Character – REVIEW

June 11 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

June 12 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT

June 12 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST

June 13 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW

June 13 – eBook Addicts – SPOTLIGHT

June 13 – Brianne’s Book Reviews – REVIEW

June 14 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

June 14 – Gimme The Scoop Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

June 15 – This Is My Truth Now – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

June 15 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

June 15 – Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers – SPOTLIGHT

June 16 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

June 16 – My Journey Back – CHARACTER GUEST POST

June 17 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

June 17 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT

June 17 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

June 17 – Moonlight Rendezvous– REVIEW, GUEST POST

June 18 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW

June 18 – Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST

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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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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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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

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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 

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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

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