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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

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The Last Time I Saw You by Liv Constantine | Review

About The Book

The internationally best-selling author of The Last Mrs Parrish follows that success with an addictive novel filled with shocking twists about the aftermath of a brutal high-society murder.

Kate English’s mother, Lily Michaels, is dead, the victim of a terrifying attack in her tony suburban Baltimore home. Barely keeping it together for the sake of her family, Kate is surprised and grateful to see Blaire Barrington, her old high school BFF, at the funeral.

Thick as thieves from middle school through college graduation, the girls fell out on the morning of Kate’s wedding to the confident, arrogant Simon English nearly fifteen years before. Almost instantly the years of separation fall away, and Kate and Blaire slip comfortably back into their old roles. Kate, now a prominent heart surgeon, is the accomplished, anxious achiever, while Blaire, a best-selling mystery author, serves as her fierce defender against all enemies.

And now more than ever, Kate needs Blaire’s loving protection. Lily’s killer is still out there . . . and has begun taunting Kate with threatening notes sometimes accompanied by gruesome clues. Without any solid leads, the police investigation has stalled. As the messages become increasingly macabre, Blaire decides to take matters into her own hands, alienating friends and relatives with her relentless, almost accusatory questions.

As Blaire pushes further, the danger for those around her—including the increasingly unstable Kate—grows. But will her relentless quest for the truth push her—and Kate—over the edge?

In this second novel, told with the lightning pace of The Last Mrs Parrish, Liv Constantine raises the stakes, creating an exquisitely tension-filled and absorbing tale of psychological suspense in which innocent lives—and one woman’s sanity—hang in the balance.

My Thoughts

This new novel by international best-seller Liv Constantine was incredibly creepy and intense!  

I went into The Last Time I Saw You with much enthusiasm, having read ‘The Last Mrs Parrish’. I was not disappointed as this novel was also an absolute treat. For me, it was another best read of the year.

The murder of Blaire’s mother reunites estranged friends Kate and Blaire. As the two women, now a successful author and a surgeon respectively, grow closer, Blaire begins to notice that Kate is becoming increasingly unstable. With the murderer still on the loose, Blaire vows to find justice for her mother even as her childhood friend’s behaviour becomes more and more erratic.

The Last Time I Saw You was cleverly told from different perspectives resulting in the reader not knowing who was reliable, nor who could be trusted.

This book was jam-packed with drama and deceit and there were many twists and turns throughout this hugely suspenseful story. Kate was a really unreliable narrator, forcing me to ask myself what was real and imagined. There were so many secrets and the pacing of the many twists and turns was excellent.

I can’t say that I particularly warmed to any of the characters created by Liv Constantine in this thrilling novel, but they still lent a great deal to the story and I believe that was the intention.

The emotional complexity of the story was definitely one of the highlights of this book and I loved Liv Constantine’s particular writing style. It had everything for me, from secrets and friendship to suspicion, tragedy and fear.

I thought that Liv Constantine presented a very comprehensive and fulfilling conclusion to a complex mystery and an extremely delightful story.

All in all, I found this book to be a fantastic and very worthwhile read and I look forward to reading more from Liv Constantine.

Thanks to Edelweiss, HarperCollins and the author, Liv Constantine for my complimentary ARC of The Last Time I Saw You. My honest review is entirely voluntary.

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars

Happy Reading!

The Better Sister by Alafair Burke | Review

About The Book

From Alafair Burke – New York Times bestselling author of the runaway hit, The Wife – comes another twisty tale of domestic noir. When a prominent Manhattan lawyer is murdered, two estranged sisters – one the dead man’s widow, the other his ex – must set aside mistrust and old resentments . . . but can they escape their past?

Though Hannah was the younger of the two Taylor sisters, she always seemed to be in charge. She was the honor roll student with big dreams and an even bigger work ethic. Nicole was always restless . . . and more than a little reckless – the opposite of her ambitious little sister. She floated from job to job and man to man, and stayed close to home in Cleveland.

For a while, it seemed like both sisters had found happiness. Hannah earned a scholarship to an Ivy League school and moved to New York City, where she landed a coveted publishing job. Nicole married promising young attorney Graham McIntosh, and gave birth to a baby boy they named Ian. The Taylor sisters became virtual strangers.

Now, more than fifteen years later, their lives are drastically different – and Hannah is married to Graham. When he’s murdered by a masked intruder at the couple’s East Hampton beach house, Hannah reluctantly allows her teenaged stepson’s biological mother – her estranged sister, Nicole – back into her life. But when the police begin to treat Ian as a suspect in his father’s death, the two sisters are forced to unite . . . and to confront the truth behind family secrets they have tried to bury in the past.

My Thoughts

I have both seen and heard so many great reviews about the author, Alafair Burke, particularly with reference to ‘The Wife’.

I couldn’t believe I hadn’t picked up anything by her before – until recently! I was therefore ecstatic to receive a copy of THE BETTER SISTER. The premise of this was pretty exciting, too, as a keen mystery and thriller reader.

The suspense and intriguing story-line immediately grabbed my attention from the start, planting me firmly into the lives of the two sisters, Chloe and Nicky.

With perfect pacing and many twists and turns, I was totally absorbed all the way through, until the fulfilling and very strong conclusion. The author’s writing style was very appealing, brilliantly encapsulating the core of the scenes that I was visualising whilst reading. The characterisation was also pretty impressive, particularly with regard to the interaction of the different characters.

Although the plot is one that that has been tried and tested before, Alafair Burke’s special way with the narrative made this complex and compelling tale quite distinct.

Overall, THE BETTER SISTER is a very worthwhile read with a side of courtroom drama and lots of family dynamics to unearth. If you’re a fan of the domestic thrillers, you should really read this book!

Thanks to Edelweiss, HarperCollins and the author, Alafair Burke for my free ARC of The Better Sister. My honest review is entirely voluntary.

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars

Happy Reading!