domenica 14 luglio 2019

Review & Giveaway: Out of Options by Dianne Ascroft

Out of Options: A Century Cottage Cozy Mysteries by Dianne Ascroft

About the Book

Cozy Mystery 
Prequel Novella 
Independently Published (April 28, 2019)
Paperback: 126 pages
ISBN-10: 1096163373
ISBN-13: 978-1096163374 
Digital ASIN: B07R4GQWQN 

Out of Options is a prequel novella to the Century Cottage Cozy Mysteries series, and introduces Lois Stone and her companions, Raggs and Ribbons, a pair of perceptive calico cats.
A dry district, a shocking secret, a missing person. When Lois Stone’s friend, Beth Darrow, arranges to meet her to reveal an astonishing discovery, Lois’s curiosity is piqued. Then Beth doesn’t keep their lunch date and Lois becomes worried. What has happened to her friend?
Middle-aged widow Lois is settling into life on her own in her neighbourhood and in the library where she works, and she is just about coping with her fear of strangers after her husband was mugged and died in the park at the end of their street. But her quiet existence is rocked when her friend and fellow local historical society researcher, Beth, arranges to meet her to reveal an exciting and shocking discovery she has made about the history of prohibition in West Toronto Junction, the last dry area in Toronto, and then goes missing before she can share her secret with Lois. There isn’t any proof that Beth is missing so the police won’t actively search for her. Only Lois and Beth’s niece Amy are convinced that Beth’s disappearance is very out of character, and they are worried about her. Where has Beth gone? Is she in danger? And, if she is, who might want to harm her and why? Lois knows she must find the answers to these questions fast if she wants to help and protect her friend.
And so begins a weekend of skulking in the park, apple and cinnamon pancakes, familiar faces staring out of old newspapers, calico cats, shadows on the windowpane, and more than one person who might want Beth to disappear from the quiet, leafy streets of the historic and staunchly dry West Toronto Junction neighbourhood.
My Review
It's a very compelling story set in the 80s, it was a pleasant journey back in time.
Lois is a widow and works in a library. She is very worried about the disappearance of her friend Beth, she had to tell her something she had discovered. Since the police are doing nothing, she and Beth's niece are trying to find her by themselves.
The characters are really lovable, Lois is a very sweet but also strong and determined lady, she has lost her husband a few years ago but has not yet fully mourned and the dynamics of her death are still not completely clear
Very intense and touching the short story at the end where she tells how she lost her husband
It was a quick and pleasant read, a great start for this new series that promises to be delicate and engaging
Very recommended

About the Author

Dianne Ascroft is a Torontonian who has settled in rural Northern Ireland. She and her husband live on a small farm with an assortment of strong-willed animals.
She is currently writing the Century Cottage Cozy Mysteries series. Out of Options is a prequel to the series.
Her previous fiction works include The Yankee Years series of novels and short reads, set in Northern Ireland during the Second World War; An Unbidden Visitor (a tale inspired by Fermanagh’s famous Coonian ghost); Dancing Shadows, Tramping Hooves: A Collection of Short Stories (contemporary tales), and an historical novel, Hitler and Mars Bars, which explores Operation Shamrock, a little known Irish Red Cross humanitarian endeavour.
Dianne writes both fiction and non-fiction. Her articles and short stories have been printed in Canadian and Irish magazines and newspapers. When she’s not writing, she enjoys walks in the countryside, evenings in front of her open fireplace and folk and traditional music.

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Twitter: @DianneAscroft
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sabato 22 giugno 2019

Review & Giveaway: Mistaken Identity Crisis (Braxton Campus Mysteries) by James J. Cudney


Mistaken Identity Crisis

(Braxton Campus Mysteries)

by James J. Cudney

About the Book

Cozy Mystery
4th in Series 
Creativia (June 30, 2019) 
Digital Edition, 260 pages 

A clever thief with a sinister calling card has invaded Braxton campus. A string of jewelry thefts continues to puzzle the sheriff, given they’re remarkably similar to an unsolved eight-year-old case, back when Gabriel vanished one stormy night.
When a missing ruby, and a body, are discovered at the campus, Kellan must investigate the killer's motive to protect his brother. As if the latest murder isn’t enough to keep him busy, Kellan partners with April to end the Castigliano and Vargas crime family feud. What really happened to Francesca while all those postcards showed up in Braxton?
The mafia world is more calculating than Kellan realized. If he wants to move forward, he’ll have to make a few ruthless sacrifices. And as the summer heat begins to settle in Wharton County, a couple more surprises are also in store.
My Review
Finally a male protagonist in a cozy mystery, Kellan is a great detective and a wonderful father for Emma, ​​a sweet 7-year-old girl.
Kellan woks as an assistant professor specializing in communications and film studies in Braxton a small town in north-central Pennsylvania. He thought he was a widower but in reality his wife Francesca had died out of pretense, now she has been kidnapped by the rival family and he has to find her and try to end this war. In the meantime, he has to find out who the thief on campus is.
The characters are very realistic. I really loved the love-hate relationship between Kellan and April, the detective who was beaten by Kellan four times to resolve the cases. Not to mention Nana, Kellan's sparkling grandmother.
Although it is the fourth book in the series you can read it as standalone, the author is good at providing the essential information to understand the characters, their stories and their relationships.
I really love the style of this author, since the first pages he manages to completely involve you in the adventures of the protagonists and keeps you in suspense until you solve the case with them.

Highly recommended

About the Author

James is my given name, but most folks call me Jay. I live in New York City, grew up on Long Island, and graduated from Moravian College. I spent fifteen years building a technology career in the retail, sports, media, and entertainment industries. I enjoyed my job, but a passion for books and stories had been missing for far too long. I’m a voracious reader in my favorite genres (thriller, suspense, contemporary, mystery, and historical fiction), as books transport me to a different world where I can immerse myself in so many fantastic cultures and places. I’m an avid genealogist who hopes to visit all the German, Scottish, Irish, and British villages my ancestors emigrated from in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Writing has been a part of my life as much as my heart, my mind, and my body. I decided to pursue my passion by dusting off the creativity inside my head and drafting outlines for several novels. I quickly realized I was back in my element growing happier and more excited with life each day. My goal in writing is to connect with readers who want to be part of great stories and who enjoy interacting with authors. To get a strong picture of who I am, check out my author website or my blog. It’s full of humor and eccentricity, sharing connections with everyone I follow—all in the hope of building a network of friends across the world.
When I completed the first book, Watching Glass Shatter, I knew I’d stumbled upon my passion again, suddenly dreaming up characters, plots, and settings all day long. I chose my second novel, Father Figure, through a poll on my blog where I let everyone vote for their favorite plot and character summaries. It is with my third book, Academic Curveball, the first in the Braxton Campus Mysteries, where I immersed myself in a college campus full of so much activity, I could hardly stop thinking about new murder scenes or character relationships to finish writing the current story. Come join in the fun!
List of Books
Braxton Campus Mysteries 
Websites & Blog 

Social Media Links 

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venerdì 21 giugno 2019

Review & Giveaway: Spirited Away by Lena Gregory


Spirited Away 

(A Bay Island Psychic Mystery)

 by Lena Gregory

About the Book

Paranormal Cozy Mystery 
4th in Series 
Beyond the Page Publishing (May 16, 2019)
Paperback: 218 pages 
ISBN-10: 1950461068
ISBN-13: 978-1950461066 
Digital ASIN: B07RCKYSN2

In the new Bay Island Psychic Mystery, psychic Cass Donovan is thrown into the middle of a macabre murder she never saw coming . . .
With the summer tourist season on Bay Island in full swing, shop owner Cass Donovan barely has a minute to breathe, and things at Mystical Musings become even more hectic when a fight breaks out at one of her psychic readings. Shaken by the fracas and discouraged that her sixth sense seems to be on the blink, Cass is even more dispirited to learn that one of the men involved in the altercation was later found dead—and that a close friend of hers is the main suspect.
Desperate to help her friend prove his innocence and consumed by haunting visions, Cass follows the clues from one possible culprit to the next, including some very mysterious tourists and not a few questionable locals. And when the police turn to Cass to help them find out who committed the ghoulish deed, she knows she’ll have to tread carefully, because her next grim premonition may be her last .
My Review

I loved the first two books in this series and couldn't wait to read this: it didn't disappoint me, a great mistery with a bit of paranormal, wonderful characters, a compelling storyline.
Cass knows that something is going to happen but continues her psychic readings. During one of these, however, a terrible quarrel occurs and one of the two litigants is found dead. One of her dear friends is the main suspect, she knows she's innocent and  will help the police to exonerate her.
The characters are fantastic, especially Cass and Bee. Her powers are getting stronger but she has to fight against everyone, has many enemies who want to ruin her reputation.
It was a truly compelling read, the author is very good at keeping you glued to the pages and suffering together with Cass. There are many funny and some very sweet scenes. The setting is also amazing.
Highly recommended for those who love paranormal mysteries

About The Author

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, the All-Day Breakfast Café Mysteries, which are set on the outskirts of Florida’s Ocala National Forest, and the Puzzle Solvers Mysteries, which take place in a small town on eastern Long Island. Lena grew up in a small town on the south shore of eastern Long Island, where she still lives with her husband, three kids, son-in-law, and five dogs. Her hobbies include spending time with family, reading, jigsaw puzzles, 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 and be sure to sign up for her newsletter

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Review: Granny Bricks A Bandit by Julie Seedorf


Granny Bricks A Bandit

(Fuchsia, Minnesota Series) 

by Julie Seedorf


About the Book

Cozy Mystery
6th in Series 
Cozy Cat Press (February 18, 2019) 
Paperback: 239 pages 
ISBN-10: 194606372X 
ISBN-13: 978-1946063724 
Digital ASIN: B07P1J663L

Granny and her cohorts are at it again! When Granny and her neighbor Mavis, go water-skiing and discover a dead body, Granny’s sleuthing instincts take over! She is determined to identify the corpse and find the killer. But wait! No sooner are Granny and her cohorts on the murderer’s trail, then Mavis’ husband George suddenly disappears! Could he be the killer’s next victim? Or could he be the killer? When the gals take a side trip to the Mall of America, they find a man fell to his death on a climbing wall––and Mavis is certain she spots George nearby! What does it all mean? Will Granny get to the bottom of it, with the help of her entourage of buddies and pets?

My Review

I had missed a lot this series: I read some books a few years ago and couldn't wait to read a new adventure from Granny and her bizarre friends. It was a really pleasant and rich read: there are so many funny scenes, a very intricate mystery to solve and lots of twists. To read in one breath.
Her brothers Abraham and Briony now live in Fuchsia and are making so much trouble. Abraham wants to run for mayor of the city to restore order. Granny runs up against him to prevent him from making further trouble. Also while she is doing water skiing and Mavis is driving her boyfriend George's boat, they find a corpse. Granny can't help but investigate
The characters are really adorable and colorful. Granny and Silas are a formidable and well-matched couple, their dialogues are really hilarious. They live with their many animals, cat dogs, a parrot and a goat. Adorable also her granddaughter of six years which already seems a little Granny.
It's a funny story, wonderfully well written, a well-woven storyline, a flowing pace, brilliant dialogues and lots of humor.

This book is perfect to read if you are a bit down in the dumps, it will make you laugh.

About the Author

A Bit About Me As An Impassioned Writer As human beings, we are always a work in progress. From birth to death we live, hurt, laugh, cry, feel, and with all of those emotions we grow as people, as family members, and as friends. I am a dreamer and feel blessed to have the opportunity in my writing to pass those dreams on to others. I believe you are never too old to dream and to turn those dreams into a creative endeavor. I live in rural Minnesota and I am a wife, mother, and grandmother. I have worn many hats throughout my life such as working as a waitress, nursing home activities person, office manager and finally a computer repair person eventually owning my own computer sales and repair business. I never forgot my love of writing and quit my computer business in 2012 after signing a contract with Cozy Cat Press for Granny Hooks A Crook, the first book in my Fuchsia, Minnesota Series. Adding four more books to the Fuchsia Series, adding a new Brilliant, Minnesota Series and writing a column for local newspapers feeds my writing creativity. I also dabble a bit in watercolor painting and hope to eventually add pictures to my children’s book series, Granny’s In Trouble. Oh, and did I tell you I like to be a little bit silly.

  Author Links


  Purchase Links Amazon - Kobo 
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lunedì 10 giugno 2019

Review & Giveaway: The Alchemist of Lost Souls by Mary Lawrence

The Alchemist of Lost Souls

(A Bianca Goddard Mystery) 

by Mary Lawrence


About the Book

Historical Mystery
4th in Series 
Kensington (April 30, 2019)
ISBN-10: 1496715314
ISBN-13: 978-1496715319 
Digital ASIN: B07G6R99SR

A dangerous element discovered by Bianca Goddard's father falls into the wrong hands . . . leading to a chain of multiple murders.
Spring 1544: Now that she is with child, Bianca is more determined than ever to distance herself from her unstable father. Desperate to win back the favor of King Henry VIII, disgraced alchemist Albern Goddard plans to reveal a powerful new element he's discovered--one with deadly potential. But when the substance is stolen, he is panicked and expects his daughter to help.
Soon after, a woman's body is found behind the Dim Dragon Inn, an eerie green vapor rising from her breathless mouth. To her grave concern, Bianca has reason to suspect her own mother may be involved in the theft and the murder. As her husband John is conscripted into King Henry's army to subdue Scottish resistance, Bianca must navigate a twisted and treacherous path among alchemists, apothecaries, chandlers, and scoundrels--to find out who among them is willing to kill to possess the element known as lapis mortem, the stone of death . . .
My Review
 I have read the second book in this series, I really liked it and couldn't wait to read a new episode.
Since discovering that she is pregnant, Bianca has decided to distance herself from her father. She has excellent knowledge of herbs and uses them to help people while he is an alchemist and has recently discovered a very dangerous potion. Unfortunately she remained alone, her husband was sent to the Scottish border. Her good intentions jump when her father asks her for help to find the thief who stole his dangerous potion. Meanwhile she must also find out what is behind the murder that took place in her infamous neighborhood.
It is a very realistic and raw story, the descriptions are so accurate that it seems to be there, to perceive the typical smells of the London slums, the food, the humidity. Even the language is adequate at the time. A truly compelling mystery, written brilliantly with a well-woven plot full of suspense and with interesting characters.
It can be read as a standalone but for more enjoyment I recommend reading the series in order.
Absolutely to read for lovers of cozy historical mystery.

About the Author

Mary Lawrence lives and farms in Maine and worked in the medical field for over twenty-five years before publishing her debut mystery, The Alchemist’s Daughter (Kensington, 2015). The book was named by Suspense Magazine as a “Best Book of 2015” in the historical mystery category. Her articles have appeared in several publications most notably the national news blog, The Daily Beast. The Bianca Goddard Mystery series also includes Death of an Alchemist, Death at St. Vedast, The Alchemist of Lost Souls, and the fifth title for 2020.

Twitter: @mel59lawrence

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domenica 9 giugno 2019

Review: Sconed to Death by Lynn Cahoon

Sconed to Death 

(A Cat Latimer Mystery)

by Lynn Cahoon

About the Book

Cozy Mystery
5th in Series 
Kensington (May 28, 2019) 
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages 
ISBN-10: 1496716833 
ISBN-13: 978-1496716835 
Kindle ASIN: B07H1ZCS2Z
Cat Latimer pursues a scone-cold killer who iced a top chef in a local bakery . . .
Cat has a full plate at her Aspen Hills Warm Springs Resort, as a group of aspiring cozy mystery authors arrives for a writers retreat. So when baker Dee Dee Meyer stirs up trouble by filing a false complaint with the health inspector against the B&B—all because she insists Cat's best friend Shauna stole her recipes—Cat marches into the shop to confront her.
But Dee Dee's about to have her own batch of trouble. Greyson Finn—a celebrity chef and, until today, one of Denver's most eligible bachelors—has been found dead in her bakery. Cat's uncle Pete, who happens to be the chief of police, warns her not to engage in any half-baked sleuthing. But as her curiosity rises, Cat's determined to discover who served the chef his just desserts—before the killer takes a powder . . .
My Review

A really pleasant reading, how can you not love a book set in a retreat for writers run by a writer ...
Cat runs a writers' retreat in Aspen Hills, Colorado: for a week they have so many activities at their disposal but especially a lot of time to write. Shauna helps her with the kitchen and her boyfriend Seth is the handyman. When the bakery owner accuses Shauna of stealing her recipes and a corpse is found right in the bakery, Cat can't help but investigate.
It was nice to visit this lovely little university town. The characters are lovable and warm. Cat is a curious woman, very open to others and enterprising. I also loved Shauna very generously. Her recipes are really tasty, definitely worth trying.
Even if it is the fifth book in this series you can read it as standalone, the author is good at providing the information necessary to understand the story and the various characters.
A fun, well-written reading, with a good pace, brilliant dialogues, a well-developed storyline with lots of tracks and clues and a few twists and turns.
Highly recommended for those who love cozy mysteries

About the Author

Lynn Cahoon is the award-winning author of several New York Times and USA Today bestselling cozy mystery series. The Tourist Trap series is set in central coastal California with six holiday novellas releasing in 2018–2019. She also pens the Cat Latimer series available in mass market paperback. Her newest series, the Farm to Fork mystery series, debuted in 2018. She lives in a small town like the ones she loves to write about with her husband and two fur babies.

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giovedì 6 giugno 2019

Review & Giveaway: Murder at Royale Court by G.P. Gardner

Murder at Royale Court 

(A Cleo Mack Mystery) 

by G.P. Gardner


About the Book

Cozy Mystery 
2nd in Series
Lyrical Underground (June 4, 2019) 
Paperback: 228 pages 
ISBN-10: 1516109023 
ISBN-13: 978-1516109029 
Digital ASIN: B07H72BF6W

Harbor Village is a vivacious retirement paradise known for its beachy locale and active senior scene. But ever since murder moved in, the idyllic coastal community is becoming a little less lively . . .
With the first annual antique car show cruising into the tranquil bayside oasis of Fairhope, Alabama, there are bumpy roads ahead for Harbor Village director Cleo Mack. As an automobile-themed lecture series gets off to a rough start, she finds herself balancing one too many responsibilities—and dodging advances from a shady event sponsor. It’s enough to make Cleo feel twice her age. But the festivities reach a real dead end when she discovers a body at the Royale Court shopping center . . .
When an innocent man lands in the hot seat for murder, Harbor Village residents look to Cleo to crack the case. Aided by an eclectic group of energetic seniors, Cleo races to identify the true culprit from a growing list of harmless Sunday drivers—before a killer revs up for another hit and run!
This ebook includes an exclusive knitting pattern!
My Review

This cozy mystery is really compelling with bizarre characters, an amazing setting, a well-developed storyline with lots of twists and turns.
Cleo is a retired widow who works in a community of elderly people not knowing that this was a project of her ex-husband Travis. The situation becomes more complicated when a corpse is found and a friend asks Cleo to investigate to exonerate her brother.
The characters are well developed and lovable, Cleo is a wonderful mother, a generous friend and a great worker. Despite many disappointments she has not yet renounced love. I loved this little Alabama town and its inhabitants, I really want to live there.
It is the second book in the series but can be read as standalone, I didn't read the first book and I had no difficulty understanding
The writing was pleasant and flowed easily. It was a hard to put down because from the first chapter I really wanted to know the ending.
A must read for those who love cozy mysteries and vintage cars.

About the Author

Born and raised in Alabama, G. P. Gardner earned BS and MA degrees in Psychology from the University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa, AL) and an MBA from Jacksonville State University (Jacksonville, AL). She also attended the University of Georgia (Athens, GA), where she studied biopsychology and primatology. But her heart belongs to Talladega College—an HBCU and the first educational institution in Alabama to admit students without regard to race—where she taught business. Her writing life began with short stories, some of which were published in regional literary journals and some of which won prizes. She enjoys the classic mystery writers as well as contemporary whodunits but reads widely. She is a knitter and once owned a knit shop in Fairhope, AL. She studied mystery writing with Terry Cline, another Fairhope resident. Murder in Harbor Village is the first in her series about social worker Cleo Mack. You can visit her at

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