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Whole Latte Murder by Lena Gregory | Blog Tour | Book Review | Giveaway 

Whole Latte Murder (All-Day Breakfast Cafe Mystery) by Lena Gregory

I am delighted to join the blog tour for Whole Latte Murder by Lena Gregory today! My thanks to Lori at Great Escapes Book Tours for the chance to join and the review copy!

About Whole Latte Murder 

Whole Latte Murder (All-Day Breakfast Cafe Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation Lyrical Press(April 27, 2021)
Paperback: 206 pages
ISBN-10: 1516110498
ISBN-13: 978-1516110490
Digital ASIN: B08F2X8NGW

Ex-New Yorker and local diner owner Gia Morelli is still getting used to the sweltering Florida sun. But this summer she’ll have to deal with a more dangerous kind of heat—when she’s hot on the trail of another murderer . . .

Summer in Boggy Creek has arrived, and Gia’s best friend, successful real estate agent Savannah, is getting hitched. Now she’s enlisted Gia’s sleuthing talents in a desperate search for the perfect wedding dress. But when Savannah mysteriously vanishes after showing a mansion to a bigwig client, Gia investigates the house Savannah was trying to sell. The first clue she finds is Savannah’s car in the driveway. Inside the house, they stumble on Savannah’s potential buyer—dead. Someone had apparently closed the deal—with a two by four full of nails to the client’s head. Soon afterward, a woman’s body is fished from the lake near the same house. The townsfolk are now sweating bullets over the murders, and the heat comes down on poor Gia to find her missing friend, and track down the killer …

I Thought…

Whole Latte Murder is the 5th book in the All-Day Breakfast Cafe Mystery series.

Gia Morelli runs the ‘All-Day Breakfast Café’, a diner in Boggy Creek, Florida. Gia is on a mission to help her BFF property and estate agent Savannah Mills find a wedding frock for her upcoming nuptials. Before they go shopping together Savannah has an appointment showing potential buyer Buster Clarke around Oakley Manor House, a large empty property out in the woods. When Savannah doesn’t show up for their shopping trip, Gia begins to fret and heads out to Oakley Manor to look for her friend taking Trevor Barnes, the owner of Storm Scoopers, an ice cream parlour, with her. They don’t find Savannah, but they do find Buster… dead in the bath.

Whole Latte Murder was my 2nd in this series as I dived in late at book four in A Waffle Lot of Murder. I had no difficulties keeping up with characters and events and it worked for me as an individual story. Gia and Savannah have a brilliant friendship and protagonist Gia is a great character who I find to be instinctive and keen. Cole Barrister and Willow Broussard, a cook and a waitress at the café work with Gia and are eager to help her out when Gia needs to go and search for clues. The great cast of characters, including the hilarious townsfolk, and strong friendship bonds, help to zhoosh up this summer cozy as does Thor, Gia’s Bernese Mountain Dog. I was sold on this summer-themed compulsive story from the very beginning, and Lena Gregory once again really impressed me with her fluid writing. The details of the plot were very well-executed, the story was amusing and easy to follow, and every chapter left me with a compelling need to read on. The story was scattered with scrumptious food references, and clues were sprinkled throughout. As a lover of a good breakfast myself Lena Gregory’s mentions of delectable sounding meals and treats were pure joy and I could almost taste the iced chocolate macadamia nut lattes! The killer’s identity eluded me until the very end.

This was an amazingly good cozy and I am looking forward to reading book six, Mistletoe Cake Murder. If you adore a great cozy mystery, don’t miss out on Whole Latte Murder!

Thanks to Great Escapes Book Tours, Lena Gregory and Kensington Books for a complimentary copy of Whole Latte Murder at my request. This review is my unbiased opinion.

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars

About Lena Gregory

Lena Gregory is the author of the Bay Island Psychic Mysteries, which take place on a small island between the north and south forks of Long Island, New York, and the All-Day Breakfast Café Mysteries, which are set on the outskirts of Florida’s Ocala National Forest.

Lena grew up in a small town on the south shore of eastern Long Island, but she recently traded in cold, damp, gray winters for the warmth and sunshine of central Florida, where she now lives with her husband, three kids, son-in-law, and four dogs. Her hobbies include spending time with family, reading, and walking. Her love for writing developed when her youngest son was born and didn’t sleep through the night. She works full time as a writer and a freelance editor and is a member of Sisters in Crime. To learn more about Lena and her latest writing endeavors, visit her website at http://www.lenagregory.com/ and be sure to sign up for her newsletter http://lenagregory.us12.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=9765d0711ed4fab4fa31b16ac&id=49d42335d1.

Author Links 

Newsletter: https://lenagregory.us12.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=9765d0711ed4fab4fa31b16ac&id=49d42335d1

Website:  http://www.lenagregory.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/lena.gregory.986

Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/Lena.Gregory.Author/?fref=ts

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/LenaGregory03

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14956514.Lena_Gregory?from_search=true

Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/lenagregoryauth/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lenagregoryauthor/

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/lena-gregory

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Lena-Gregory/e/B01BKZQES0?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1&qid=1591718042&sr=8-

Purchase Links:

Amazon    Barnes & Noble      Kobo    Kensington     Apple    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!

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Long Island Iced Tina by Maria DiRico | Blog Tour | Book Review | Giveaway 

Long Island Iced Tina (A Catering Hall Mystery) by Maria DiRico

I am delighted to join the blog tour for Long Island Iced Tina by Maria DiRico today! My thanks to Lori at Great Escapes Book Tours for the chance to join and the review copy!

About Long Island Iced Tina 

Mia Carina is back in the borough of Queens—in charge of the family catering hall, Belle View Banquet Manor, and keeping her nonna company. But some events—like murder—are not the kind you can schedule . . .

Mia Carina is back in the borough of Queens—in charge of the family catering hall, Belle View Banquet Manor, and keeping her nonna company. But some events—like murder—are not the kind you can schedule . . .

Mia’s newly pregnant friend Nicole plans to hold a shower at Belle View—but Nicole also has to attend one that her competitive (and mysteriously rich) stepmother, Tina, is throwing at the fanciest place in Queens. It’s a good chance for Mia to snoop on a competitor, especially since doing a search for “how to run a catering hall” can get you only so far.

Mia tags along at the lavish party, but the ambience suffers at Nicole’s Belle View shower when a fight breaks out—and then, oddly, a long-missing and valuable stolen painting is unwrapped by the mom-to-be. Tina is clearly shocked to see it. But not as shocked as Mia is when, soon afterward, she spots the lifeless body of a party guest floating in the marina . . .

Italian recipes included!

Long Island Iced Tina (A Catering Hall Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Publisher: Kensington (February 23, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 1496725352
ISBN-13: 978-1496725356
Digital ASIN: B089NCJ9NS

I Thought…

Long Island Iced Tina is the 2nd book in the Catering Hall Mystery series by Maria DiRico.

It was great to be back in bustling Astoria, Queens, New York City even vicariously, for a few hours, to meet the residents there and solve a perplexing mystery. The mystery is plenty puzzling, and the red herrings it offers up are as tasty as the offerings at the Belle View Banquet Manor.

The primary amateur detective in this one is manager and events organiser Mia Carina. Belle View Banquet Manor is the catering hall that her father has created. Mia’s close friend, Nicole plans to hold a baby shower at Belle View but first Nicole must attend a shower that her wicked stepmother, Tina is throwing, held at the ritzy Versailles on the Park and Mia is looking forward to checking out how her competition runs their business.

However, at Nicole’s own shower a gift is given which turns out to be a valuable, stolen painting. When a fight occurs in the bathroom, between Tina and Nicole’s grandmother, Minnie, Mia can’t imagine that things could possibly get any worse… until she glimpses a guest’s dead body floating in the water. Figuring out exactly who killed Tina – and why – bobs right to the top of Mia’s to-do list.

Mia is determined to leave no stone unturned, and with the help of the family, she uncovers a web of secrets. I was really engaged in the mystery from the start. There is a lot happening and a lot of layers and clues to sift through in order to figure out the identity of the killer.

The unusual thing about Long Island Iced Tina is that it’s set in a city rather than a small town, giving a different vibe than the majority of cozies. Maria DiRico’s well-formulated and super-packed plot involving Tina becomes surprisingly complex as the story develops. Mia’s father, Ravello, offers his ‘expertise’ and wisdom to help Mia with the case.

I continued to warm to Mia, finding her ebullience, confidence and intuitiveness very refreshing. I very much appreciated Maria DiRico’s superb and varied characterisation, even though some of the characters weren’t particularly personable. Apart from Mia herself, my favourite was probably Nonna Elisabetta, a true Italian believing that food can solve any of life’s problems. She added another dimension of humour to the story and had me cracking a smile or two.

Maria DiRico writes with such flair and an easy style. There were a plethora of suspects to choose from who might have had the motive to kill and I enjoyed the way in which Mia evaluated the information acquired from her poking around. With some zig-zagging along the way, this was a story that held my attention well and I loved that things came together for a complicated though great, logical resolution. Being a culinary cozy, there are some delicious sounding recipes at the end along with a tip for hosting events yourself. I may well have a go at making the Honey Phyllo Rollups!

The interesting growth for the series regulars cements my enthusiasm in anticipating what Maria DiRico has in store for Mia and her family and acquaintances next. In addition, reading Long Island Iced Tina has tempted me to take a look at the Cajun Country Mystery series which is written by DiRico under the name of Ellen Byron. Book #1 in that series is entitled ‘Plantation Shudders.’

Thanks to Kensington Books, Great Escapes Book Tours and NetGalley for a complimentary copy of this novel at my request. This review is my unbiased opinion.

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars

About Maria DiRico

Maria DiRico

Maria DiRico is the pseudonym for Ellen Byron, author of the award winning, USA Today bestselling Cajun Country Mysteries. Born in Queens, New York, she is first-generation Italian-American on her mother’s side and the granddaughter of a low-level Jewish mobster on her father’s side. She grew up visiting the Astoria Manor and Grand Bay Marina catering halls, which were run by her Italian mother’s family in Queens and have become the inspiration for her Catering Hall Mystery Series. DiRico has been a writer-producer for hit television series like Wings and Just Shoot Me, and her first play, Graceland, appears in the Best Short Plays collection. She’s a freelance journalist, with over 200 articles published in national magazines, and previously worked as a cater-waiter for Martha Stewart, a credit she never tires of sharing. A native New Yorker who attended Tulane University, Ellen lives in Los Angeles with her husband, daughter, and two rescue dogs.

Website – https://www.ellenbyron.com/catering-hall-mysteries

Chicks on the Case – http://chicksonthecase.net/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/CateringHallMysteries/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/ellenbyronla

Purchase Links – Amazon – 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

March 1 – Baroness Book Trove – REVIEW

March 1 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

March 1 – Novel Alive – SPOTLIGHT

March 2 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

March 2 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

March 2 – Brianne’s Book Reviews – REVIEW

March 3 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW, EXCERPT

March 3 – This Is My Truth Now – REVIEW, RECIPE

March 3 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

March 4 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

March 4 – ebook addicts – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE

March 5 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – GUEST POST

March 5 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

March 5 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – SPOTLIGHT

March 6 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE

March 6 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT

March 7 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW

March 7 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE

March 7 – I Read What You Write – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

March 8 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

March 8 – Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST

March 9 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT

March 9 – Novels Alive – REVIEW

March 9 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT

March 10 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW

March 10 – Author Elena Taylor’s Blog – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

March 10 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

March 10 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

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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,