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What She Saw by Diane Saxon | Blog Tour | Book Review 

I am delighted to join the blog tour for What She Saw by Diane Saxon today! My thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for my stop and the review copy!

What She Saw by Diane Saxon 

Publication Date: September 22, 2020

Publisher: Boldwood Books

ISBN: 9781838892685

My rating: 5/5

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Book Summary

‘An addictive 5* read that kept me guessing. Diane Saxon’s DS Jenna Morgan series is brilliant’ – bestselling author, Ross Greenwood.

Perfect for fans of Cara Hunter
Why does someone want the Lawrence family dead?

The Lawrence’s were the perfect family; successful, beautiful, and happy until one night their whole world was ripped apart. 
Detective Sergeant Jenna Morgan is called to investigate the suspected arson attack and death of the Lawrence family at the charred remains of their stunning home, Kimble Hall.
The case takes a sinister turn as the body count fails to tally.
Suspecting that someone may have survived the inferno, DS Morgan and her team need to discover whether they have a witness, or someone far more dangerous.
Who set the fire? Who wanted this family extinguished beyond recognition?
As the case progresses, DS Morgan realises she has a calculating, cold-blooded killer on her hands, and the race is on to track them down before they kill again.

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I Thought…

What She Saw is the third instalment in the Detective Sergeant Jenna Morgan series, set in Shropshire, England. Even though I have yet to read the first two books, I jumped at the chance to read this one, and I’m so pleased I did!

The story opens with teenager, Poppy, lying on her bedroom floor along with her dead boyfriend, Aiden, looking at her father who has just shot them. As Poppy plays dead, her father continues his mission to kill the rest of the Lawrence family before setting fire to their home – Kimble Hall.

This exciting start set the tone for the whole book and I was totally hooked. DS Jenna Morgan lives with her sister, Fliss, who is currently dating Jenna’s work partner, DS Mason Ellis. As Jenna and Mason investigate, Diane Saxon strikes a great balance between the crimes and Jenna’s personal life and both are compelling to read. This captivating police procedural is very well plotted and paced and I found Jenna to be a likeable protagonist, though she was certainly not perfect.

With numerous twists and good use of misdirection throughout, What She Saw held my interest. As the tension levels peaked, the shocking revelations left me reeling. A magnificent very highly recommended read.

Thank you to Diane Saxon, Boldwood Books, Rachel’s Random Resources and NetGalley for a complimentary copy of this novel at my request. This review is my own unbiased opinion. 

About the Author:

Diane Saxon previously wrote romantic fiction for the US market but has now turned to writing psychological crime. Find Her Alive was her first novel in this genre and introduced series character DS Jemma Morgan. She is married to a retired policeman and lives in Shropshire.

Social Links: Author WebsiteTwitter * Instagram * Facebook * Goodreads * Pinterest * Bookbub * Newsletter sign up 

Purchase at: Amazon 

Until Next Time, 

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When I Was You by Amber Garza | Blog Tour | Book Review 

Thank you to the publisher, Harlequin Trade Publishing/ MIRA Books, for inviting me to be a part of this exciting Blog Tour for When I Was You by Amber Garza, and for the eARC of this title via NetGalley.

When I Was You by Amber Garza

Publication Date: August 25, 2020

Publisher: MIRA Books

ISBN: 9780778361046

My rating: 5/5

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Book Summary

YOU meets FATAL ATTRACTION in this up-all-night psychological thriller about a lonely empty-nester’s growing obsession with a young mother who shares her name.

It all begins on an ordinary fall morning, when Kelly Medina gets a call from her son’s pediatrician to confirm her upcoming “well-baby” appointment. It’s a cruel mistake; her son left for college a year ago, and Kelly has never felt so alone. The receptionist quickly apologizes: there’s another mother in town named Kelly Medina, and she must have gotten their numbers switched.

But Kelly can’t stop thinking about the woman who shares her name. Lives in her same town. Has a son she can still hold, and her whole life ahead of her. She can’t help looking for her: at the grocery store, at the gym, on social media. When Kelly just happens to bump into the single mother outside that pediatrician’s office, it’s simple curiosity getting the better of her.

Their unlikely friendship brings Kelly a renewed sense of purpose, taking care of this young woman and her adorable baby boy. But that friendship quickly turns to obsession, and when one Kelly disappears, well, the other one may know why.

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I Thought…

There are two women named Kelly Medina living in the town of Folsom. The older Kelly is married to Rafael who is a Professor and they have a son, Aaron, aged 19 and at college. One day she takes a call from the paediatrician’s office about her son’s appointment. It soon becomes apparent that an error has been made and the two Kelly Medinas have been mixed up. But the older Kelly, with time on her hands now that Aaron has left home, decides to turn up for the younger Kelly’s appointment and the two women’s stories follow.

I devoured When I Was You and I flew through its pages, fully immersed in the obsessiveness of the older Kelly Medina and her fixation on the young mother and her baby, Sullivan. Her determination to befriend baby Sullivan’s mother and wriggle her way into their lives was shocking, but believable. With Amber Garza‘s excellent execution, the frequent surprises, alongside an extremely chilling atmosphere, events really turned disturbing in the second half. Written with precisely the right amount of drive resulting in a powerful, and engaging tale, When I Was You was an absolute pleasure to read.

This is the first novel I have read by Amber Garza and I am excited to see what she compiles next. For me, a fabulous, standout novel.

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

About the Author:

Amber Garza has had a passion for the written word since she was a child making books out of notebook paper and staples. Her hobbies include reading and singing. Coffee and wine are her drinks of choice (not necessarily in that order). She writes while blaring music, and talks about her characters like they’re real people. She lives with her husband and two kids in Folsom, California, which is—no joke—home to another Amber Garza.

Social Links: Author WebsiteTwitter * Instagram * Facebook * Goodreads

Purchase at:  HarlequinIndieboundAmazonBarnes & NobleBooks-A-Million / TargetWalmart / Google / iBooks / Kobo

Until Next Time, 

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Someone’s Listening by Seraphina Nova Glass | Blog Tour | Book Review 

Thank you to the publisher, Harlequin Trade Publishing/ Graydon House Books, for inviting me to be a part of this exciting Blog Tour for Someone’s Listening by Seraphina Nova Glass, and for the eARC of this title via NetGalley.

Someone’s Listening by Seraphina Nova Glass

Publication Date: July 28, 2020

Publisher: Graydon House Books

ISBN: 9781525836749

My rating: 5/5

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Book Summary

You’re not alone. Someone’s waiting. Someone’s watching…Someone’s listening.

 In SOMEONE’S LISTENING (Graydon House Books; July 28; $16.99) Dr. Faith Finley has everything she’s ever wanted: she’s a renowned psychologist, a radio personality—host of the wildly popular “Someone’s Listening with Dr. Faith Finley”—and a soon-to-be bestselling author. She’s young, beautiful, and married to the perfect man, Liam.

Of course Liam was at Faith’s book launch with her. But after her car crashes on the way home and she’s pulled from the wreckage, nobody can confirm that Liam was with her at the party. The police claim she was alone in car, and they don’t believe her when she says otherwise. Perhaps that’s understandable, given the horrible thing Faith was accused of doing a few weeks ago.

 And then the notes start arriving—the ones literally ripped from the pages of Faith’s own self-help book on leaving an abusive relationship. Ones like “Secure your new home. Consider new window and door locks, an alarm system, and steel doors…”

Where is Liam? Is his disappearance connected to the scandal that ruined Faith’s life? Who is sending the notes? Faith’s very life will depend on finding the answers.

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I Thought…

Someone’s Listening is an extremely suspenseful story and kicks off with a tantalising prologue. The reader is first introduced to Faith Finley, a talented psychologist with a flourishing career, a bestselling author and the host of a popular local radio program, Someone’s Listening. One icy winter’s night she is travelling home from a book launch party, then wakes up in hospital having been in a car crash. Happily married Faith asks for her husband Liam, but he appears to have vanished… into thin air. The police aren’t listening to Faith’s concerns, but then she starts receiving threatening messages.

This compelling début had me hooked from the very first paragraph, and Faith made a very good, if unreliable protagonist. In this chaotic whirl of lies and duplicity, the abundant wicked twists and turns kept me guessing from the start. The complex characters and arresting dialogue helped to make Someone’s Listening a riveting read. For me, the cherry topping was the obvious ability of Seraphina Nova Glass as she probed ever deeper into the psyches of her characters, creating some fascinating, though alarmingly troubled souls. I read it in one day and was left dumbfounded after the astounding, fast-paced conclusion. Very highly recommended to fans of the genre.

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

About the Author:

Seraphina Nova Glass is a professor and Playwright-in-Residence at the University of Texas-Arlington, where she teaches Film Studies and Playwriting. She holds an MFA in playwriting from Smith College, and has optioned multiple screenplays to Hallmark and Lifetime. Someone’s Listening is her first novel.

Social Links: Author WebsiteTwitter * Instagram * Facebook * Goodreads

Purchase atHarlequin / Barnes & Noble / Books-A-Million / Amazon / Powell’s 

Until Next Time, 

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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?

Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!

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

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!

Until Next Time, 

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The Last Wife by Karen Hamilton | Blog Tour | Book Review 

Thank you to the publisher, Harlequin Trade Publishing/ Graydon House Books, for inviting me to be a part of this exciting Blog Tour for Karen Hamilton’s latest novel The Last Wife and for the eARC of this title via NetGalley.

The Last Wife by Karen Hamilton

Publication Date: July 7, 2020

Publisher: Graydon House Books

ISBN: 9781525831744

My rating: 5/5

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Book Summary

In Karen Hamilton’s shocking thriller, THE LAST WIFE (Graydon House, July 7, $17.99) Marie Langham is distraught when her childhood friend, Nina, is diagnosed with a terminal illness. Before Nina passes away, she asks Marie to look out for her familyher son, daughter, and husband, Stuart. Marie would do anything for Nina, so of course, she agrees.

Following Nina’s death, Marie gradually finds herself drawn into her friend’s lifeher family, her large house in the countryside. But when Camilla, a mutual friend from their old art-college days, suddenly reappears, Marie begins to suspect that she has a hidden agenda. Then, Marie discovers that Nina had long suppressed secrets about a holiday in Ibiza the women took ten years previously when Marie’s then-boyfriend went missing after a tragic accident and was later found dead.

Marie used to envy Nina’s beautiful life, but now the cards are up in the air and she begins to realize that nothing is what it seemed. As long-buried secrets start surfacing, Marie must figure out what’s true and who she can trust before the consequences of Nina’s dark secrets destroy her.

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I Thought…

Best friends Nina and Marie are inseparable until Nina dies from a terminal illness. In her final days she asks Marie to make sure her children, Emily and Felix, are looked after and Marie is only too happy to oblige. But how well did Nina really know Marie and what lengths is Marie prepared to go to in order to achieve her goals?

This was a really twisted psychological thriller, which I thoroughly enjoyed reading. Marie was perfectly portrayed by Karen Hamilton as the ultimate unreliable and creepy character, and I questioned her integrity from the opening chapters. As she barrelled her way into Nina’s life I was given a powerful sense of exactly how manipulating Marie was prepared to be.

Narrator Marie, along with pretty much the whole of the adult cast, was not particularly affable and, in my opinion, was practically insane as well as being quite the scheming manipulator. As the story progressed I found myself pondering about the agendas and mind games of some of the others, particularly Nina’s husband, Stuart, not to mention Camilla, the friend of Marie and Nina from their University days who suddenly arrives from Canada. As secrets constantly kept bubbling up to the surface and occurrences clearly weren’t as they had first appeared, I began to feel that Marie at least deserved some benefit of doubt, even if I was on tenterhooks wondering what she was going to do next, most of the time.

With buckets of tension, a myriad of twists and different avenues keeps the reader on their toes, building up to an interesting and enthralling conclusion.  

The Last Wife is a dark, dubious and chilling family drama with some great characters, and plenty of oomph!

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

About the Author:

Karen Hamilton spent her childhood in Angola, Zimbabwe, Belgium and Italy and worked as a flight attendant for many years. Karen is a recent graduate of the Faber Academy and, having now put down roots in Hampshire to raise her young family with her husband, she satisfies her wanderlust by exploring the world through her writing. She is also the author of the international bestseller The Perfect Girlfriend.

Social Links: Author WebsiteTwitter * Instagram * Facebook * Goodreads

Purchase atHarlequin / Barnes & Noble / Books-A-Million / Amazon / Powell’s 

Until Next Time, 

Featured

Summer Strawberries at Swallowtail Bay by Katie Ginger | Book Review Tour 

I am delighted to join the blog tour for Summer Strawberries at Swallowtail Bay by Katie Ginger today! My thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for my stop and the review copy!

About the Book

 
Grab your strawberries and cream and get ready to return to the beautiful Swallowtail Bay!
 
Summer is in full swing and the locals are getting excited for the launch of the Swallowtail Bay strawberry food festival. But will all run smoothly when festival organiser Hetty’s heart is torn between lord of the manor John Thornhill and successful bakery owner Ben?

My Thoughts…

Although I haven’t yet read the first book in Katie Ginger’s wonderful ‘Swallowtail Bay’ series the attractive cover design of this one caught my eye and I thought the premise of the book sounded fabulous. Summer Strawberries at Swallowtail Bay was a really lovely story and I especially liked the main character, event planner Hetty Colman, to whom I could really relate. She was rather amusing, feisty and confident and I loved the Summer theme with it’s festive charm and watching Hetty and John’s relationship bloom. It was such fun overseeing them plan the strawberry festival. I wanted to be right there alongside them, especially when it came to the food tasting. The story’s overall tone which was so snug and uplifting, bringing with it all those delicious foodie treats.

This was a beautifully written, humorous story of love, friendship, dreams, accepting help, and overcoming obstacles. A dash of sparkling friction kept things fizzing and everything was wrapped up very nicely in the end.

A wonderful read with a really strong sunshiny feel, this is a book that I will certainly be recommending to friends and family.

I received a complimentary copy of this novel at my request from Rachel’s Random Resources and this review is my own unbiased opinion.

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars

About The Author

KATIE GINGER lives in the South East of England, by the sea, and she really wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. Summer Strawberries at Swallowtail Bay is her fifth novel. The first, Spring Tides at Swallowtail Bay is available now. Her debut novel The Little Theatre on the Seafront was shortlisted for the Katie Fforde Debut Novel of the Year award, and her stand-alone Christmas novel Snowflakes at Mistletoe Cottage was a US Amazon bestseller. When she’s not writing, Katie spends her time drinking gin, or with her husband, trying to keep alive their two children, Ellie and Sam. And there’s also their adorable King Charles Spaniel, Wotsit (yes, he is named after the crisps!).

Follow Katie: www.keginger.com | Facebook  | Twitter | Instagram

Buy Summer Strawberries at Swallowtail Bay

Amazon UK | Amazon US | Amazon AU | Amazon CA 

Don’t forget the other stops on the tour!

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  

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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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Featured

Stranger in the Lake by Kimberly Belle | 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 Kimberly Belle’s latest novel Stranger in the Lake and for the eARC of this title via NetGalley.

Stranger in the Lake by Kimberly Belle

On Sale Date: June 9, 2020

Publisher: Park Row

ISBN: 978-0778309819

Pages: 352

Genre: Fiction, Thrillers, Psychological

My rating: 5/5

🖤 🖤 🖤 🖤 🖤

Book Summary

When Charlotte married the wealthy widower Paul, it caused a ripple of gossip in their small lakeside town. They have a charmed life together, despite the cruel whispers about her humble past and his first marriage. But everything starts to unravel when she discovers a young woman’s body floating in the exact same spot where Paul’s first wife tragically drowned.

At first, it seems like a horrific coincidence, but the stranger in the lake is no stranger. Charlotte saw Paul talking to her the day before, even though Paul tells the police he’s never met the woman. His lie exposes cracks in their fragile new marriage, cracks Charlotte is determined to keep from breaking them in two.

As Charlotte uncovers dark mysteries about the man she married, she doesn’t know what to trust—her heart, which knows Paul to be a good man, or her growing suspicion that there’s something he’s hiding in the water.

I Thought…

Charlotte (Charlie), has recently married Paul Keller, a former widow and feels extremely happy in her surroundings. Paul is wealthy and the couple live in a gorgeous home overlooking Lake Crosby, North Carolina. The minted owner of Keller Architecture, Paul is a highly respected magnate and entrepreneur whereas Charlotte, a twenty-something gas station attendant, grew up in a caravan home, and often took charge of her younger brother, Chet when her mother was absent. Charlotte ignored all the rumours when she was swept off her feet by Paul. After all, despite her being a strong swimmer, the death of Paul’s first wife, Katherine, by drowning was deemed to be an accident. But when a second woman also drowns, in exactly the same spot under Paul’s jetty, secrets begin to surface…

 The story switches seamlessly between two timelines, the present and 1999, when Paul and friends Jax Edwards and Micah Hunt are spending their summer partying before leaving for college. The scenes from the present are mostly centred on the investigation that ensues. Stranger in the Lake has a thrilling premise and it is doubtlessly a spine-tingling story, while I regularly found myself pondering who to trust.

 With its comfortable pacing, the icing on the cake for me in this exhilarating tale was the incredible atmospheric setting. The lake was truly a malevolent presence throughout the proceedings. Kimberly Belle did a sterling job of exploring the motivation behind human weakness and imperfection, and I liked those aspects of the story detailing Charlotte’s bond with Sam Kincaid (Charlotte’s policeman friend), though I think more could have been made of this.

If you’ve enjoyed Kimberly Belle‘s previous books, or if novels with oodles of secrets, lies, misdirection and surprises dripping from the pages give you a buzz, then look no further than Stranger in the Lake!

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.

About the Author:

Kimberly Belle is the USA Today and internationally bestselling author of six novels, including the forthcoming Stranger in the Lake (June 2020). Her third novel, The Marriage Lie, was a semifinalist in the 2017 Goodreads Choice Awards for Best Mystery & Thriller, and a #1 e-book bestseller in the UK and Italy. She’s sold rights to her books in a dozen languages as well as film and television options. A graduate of Agnes Scott College, Belle divides her time between Atlanta and Amsterdam.

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

Purchase at: Barnes & Noble / Books-A-MillionAmazon / IndieBound / Bookshop   

Until Next Time,