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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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Until Next Time, 

Featured

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, 

Barty and Darcy by Mo Bird | Review

About The Book

How often do we come across a couple who are complete opposites and yet bond brilliantly?

This book tells of a pig and a duck who suffer similar fates. Both of them run away from home and by chance meet up where they create a bond which proves unbreakable. Together they decide to seek a new future which is reliant on the pig finding a cure for his affliction.

Like a lot of mothers who encourage their children to pursue their talents Barty Hog’s mother was convinced her son was going to be a World famous singer. Unfortunately, neither she or Barty were aware of a serious problem he had with his voice.

There was also a similar situation with Barty’s new friend Darcy. The problem with Darcy was the fact that her legs were too long to pursue her first chosen career. Follow them both as they journey through their young lives trying to overcome what they call their handicap.

There could be a tear at the end, not only from Barty and Darcy but also you the reader!

My Thoughts

What an adorable, simple, little book! “Barty and Darcy” is a sweet and entertaining tale of a piglet, Barty, that aspires to be an opera singer and a duck, Darcy, a budding ballerina.

When I opened this wonderful book, my first thoughts were how beautifully it had been illustrated by Brenda Howden.

Bartholomew (Barty) lives on Gentle Farm and anyone who lives there is certain to have a long and peaceful life. He also has a magical voice and his dream is to sing at the most famous opera house in the world.

His mum, Elsie, makes it her mission to give Barty every opportunity to become a world famous singer.

Unfortunately, Barty suffers from Aqua Voce, a non-life-threatening condition that renders him unable to sing unless submerged in water.

In order to achieve this Elsie creates the Gentle Farm Symphony Orchestra with the help of the other farmyard birds and animals.

However, Barty’s fellow animals mock and boo him and embarrassed and upset, he runs away.

He meets Darcy at a pond some miles away, who, having failed at becoming a synchronised swimmer, empathises with him. Long-legged Darcy now hopes to become a ballerina.

The couple find out from a wise old owl that there is a cure for Aqua Voce but they have to travel to Italy to find it.

“Barty and Darcy” communicates a positive message of perseverance and eventually finding solutions to problems, no matter how big they might seem, in order to realise your dreams. The pig and the duck eventually became world-famous, but they never forgot the support of those who believed in them.

This story, as well as being very amusing in parts, was beautifully and vibrantly illustrated using different animals throughout and I would definitely recommend it. The book would make a lovely addition to a family library.

Thank you to NetGalley and Troubador Publishing Limited (Matador) for the complimentary ARC. This is my honest and totally voluntary opinion.

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars

Happy Reading!

The Secret Life of Mac by Melinda Metz | Review

Book Synopsis

Inspired by the true story of a kleptomaniac cat who stole his way into America’s heart . . .

HE’S THE CAT THIEF OF LOVE

MacGyver the tabby is feeling very pleased with himself. His human, Jamie Snyder, has found the perfect packmate—and it’s all thanks to Mac. By stealing personal items from the home of Jamie’s handsome neighbor David, the matchmaking cat brought these two L.A. singles together. Now, while the newlyweds are off on their honeymoon, MacGyver is ready for a well-deserved cat nap. That is, until he meets his cat sitter Briony. Like most humans, she’s hopeless when it comes to romance. And Mac can’t resist a challenge . . .

SHE’S FOUND THE ESCAPE CLAWS

Briony feels terrible about leaving her fiancé at the altar. When her cousin Jamie offers her the chance to cat sit MacGyver, the runaway bride leaps at the chance to cuddle up with the only male creature she trusts herself around. But MacGyver has other plans. He lures Briony to a friendly neighborhood retirement community—run by a charming young hottie named Nate. Briony and Nate hit it off instantly. But Briony’s still not sure she’s ready for a relationship. And Nate’s got problems of his own—someone is sabotaging his community.

Crazy humans. Why can’t they follow their instincts and go after the love they deserve? MacGyver is on the case. And this time, he’s not pussyfooting around . . .

RAVES FOR TALK TO THE PAW

“Filled with romance and adorable kitty antics . . . a light and cozy read!”

—Modern Cat

“Surpassingly cute story of a matchmaking cat determined to pair off his human with a neighbor through the power of stinky laundry.”

—Kirkus Reviews

“Whimsical . . . fans of cozy romances will root for these . . . appealing characters.”

—Publishers Weekly

My Thoughts

THE SECRET LIFE OF MAC by Melinda Metz appears to be a sequel to the ‘Talk to the Paw’ which was published last year. This quaint little romance story is something slightly unique as it is told from the point of view of a tabby cat called McGyver (Mac), alongside two other characters, Nate and Briony. Mac is on a mission to make the people in his life happy, either romantically, generally or where there are friends involved.

This was an easy, light read so I did not feel disadvantaged in any way not having read ‘Talk to the Paw’ first, though it would have been preferable to me if I had read them in sequence.

This book is a romantic comedy where Mac acted as the matchmaker. As well as being wildly humorous and funny, it is also a tale about personal development and self-discovery. There’s even a mystery linked to the retirement home which added to the interest of this sweet tale.

Most of this story was told from the viewpoint of Briony and Nate.  Nate had some personal issues that he needed to deal with, helped along by Briony who had woes of her own. All of the characters had something to offer and the mystery was concluded very well.

All in all, THE SECRET LIFE OF MAC by Melinda Metz was a charming, sweet and worthwhile read.  

Thanks to NetGalley, Kensington Books and the author, Melinda Metz, for my free ARC of The Secret Life of Mac. My honest review is entirely voluntary.

#NetGalley #TheSecretLifeOfMac

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Four Stars

Happy Reading!

The Boy and the Egg | Ellen DeLange | Review

The Boy and the Egg by Ellen Delange

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


What an adorable, simple, little book! “The Boy and the Egg” is a sweet tale of the different animals or birds that could be hatched from within an egg that small children might find, from turtles to dinosaurs.

Told from the child’s viewpoint, it is beautifully and vibrantly illustrated using different animals throughout the story. Focusing on children’s expectations and their own investigations, there is also a discussion question at the end of the book.

[Thank you to #NetGalley, #ClavisPublishing and #EllenDeLange, for a free ARC of #TheBoyAndTheEgg in exchange for an honest review.]



View all my reviews

The Boy and the Egg

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars

Happy Reading!