Thursday, March 22, 2018

The Cold Light of Dawn by Anna Belfrage - #review

After Henry of Lancaster’s rebellion has been crushed early in 1329, a restless peace settles over England. However, the young Edward III is no longer content with being his regents’ puppet, no matter that neither Queen Isabella nor Roger Mortimer show any inclination to give up their power. Caught in between is Adam de Guirande, torn between his loyalty to the young king and that to his former lord, Roger Mortimer.

The Uninvited Corpse by Debra Sennefelder - #review

Leaving behind a failed career as a magazine editor and an embarrassing stint on a reality baking show, newly divorced lifestyle entrepreneur Hope Early thought things were finally on the upswing—until she comes face-to-face with a murderer . . .

Friday, March 16, 2018

Playing With Bonbon Fire by Dorothy St James - #review #giveaway

Chocoholic Charity Penn must smoke out the killer to stop her newly inherited beachside chocolate shop from going up in flames in Dorothy St. James’ decadent follow-up to Asking for Truffle.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Lethal in Old Lace by Duffy Brown - #review

Reagan Summerside returns in national bestselling author Duffy Brown’s fifth Consignment Shop mystery, now for the first time in hardcover.

There are two social functions in Savannah guaranteed to get people talking: weddings and funerals. And just as consignment shop owner Reagan Summerside agrees to marry the hunky Walker Boone, her neighbors, sisters Annie Fritz and Elsie Abbot, step up their business as professional mourners. They are so successful that the Sleepy Pines Retirement Center has hired them as a part of their retirement package. But the celebration over good business is cut short when the residents at Pines suddenly begin dying at an alarming rate. And the sisters are the first suspects.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Six Feet Under by Tonya Kappes - #review

Too many cooks in the kitchen spoil the broth. And let me tell you, this broth is in trouble. Get ready for a Southern showdown.

The residents of Cottonwood, Kentucky are sent into a tizzy when the Culinary Channel comes to town to film an episode of Southern Home Cookin’ with celebrity chef Frank Von Lee.

Plum Tea Crazy by Laura Childs - #review #giveaway

Theodosia Browning investigates a Charleston steeped in tradition and treachery in the latest Tea Shop Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Laura Childs.

While viewing the harbor’s Gaslights and Galleons Parade from the widow’s walk of Timothy Neville’s Charleston mansion, local banker Carson Lanier seemingly tumbles over a narrow railing, then plunges three stories to his death. But a tragic accident becomes something much more sinister when it’s discovered that the victim was first shot with a bolt from a crossbow.

At the request of the mansion owner, Theodosia investigates the tragedy and is soon neck deep in suspects. An almost ex-wife, a coworker, a real estate partner–all had motives for killing the luckless banker, but one resorted to murder to settle accounts.




Before I get into the meat and taters of the book review, can someone please talk about how gorgeous this cover is?  When I opened the package, I think it actually took my breath away for a second or two!  I'm more of a smoky back room, family-run coffee bar kind of gal, but if I got to sit at a table that awesome, I could put on my "Sunday best" and learn to hold out my pinky!

And I'm just about in love with the tea shop and its staff.  They provide a level of product and service that is sadly lacking in the world today.  (Ask me about my ignored at Nordstrom's story sometime.)  I can definitely see myself as one of the regulars, or going there as my go-to reward for goal achieved!

Theodosia (such a great name), her partner, and the chef make a superb team - in the tea shop or when 'unofficially' investigating local crime.  And the first chapters present us with a doozy - a man is on the roof of a mansion, is shot by a crossbow arrow, falls over the rail, sails down a couple parts of the roof and finally is impaled through the neck on one of those pointy metal fences.

Me?  I'd probably be losing my lunch right there.  But Theo notices an open window in the B&B next door and takes off running after a possible suspect, followed closely by her business partner.  There is an exciting chase through the three stories of that business, which ends with Theo running into the investigating detective.  Normally, that would be her beau, but he is taken off the case because of their relationship.  But like a good cozy heroine's main squeeze, he no more stops investigating any more than Theo does.

There are actually a number feisty females in Plum Tea Crazy.  And anyone who thinks Southern belles have class but not a lot of fire, needs to read the scene where two of them throw down in the middle of a posh fashion show.  To paraphrase  W. Shakespeare, I would be "half stunned, half cringing and half *ahem* LMAO".

There are nearly as many Tea Shop Mysteries (19 - yes, you read that right - nineteen) as there are years in my marriage.  Maybe if I start 'hinting' now, more books from the series (and yes, I have a 'stretch yen' - for the entire set) for my 21st wedding anniversary in May! :D



Laura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Tea Shop MysteriesScrapbook Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. In her previous life she was CEO/Creative Director of her own marketing firm and authored several screenplays. She is married to a professor of Chinese art history, loves to travel, rides horses, enjoys fundraising for various non-profits, and has two Chinese Shar-Pei dogs.

Laura specializes in cozy mysteries that have the pace of a thriller (a thrillzy!) Her three series are:

The Tea Shop Mysteries – set in the historic district of Charleston and featuring Theodosia Browning, owner of the Indigo Tea Shop. Theodosia is a savvy entrepreneur, and pet mom to service dog Earl Grey. She’s also an intelligent, focused amateur sleuth who doesn’t rely on coincidences or inept police work to solve crimes. This charming series is highly atmospheric and rife with the history and mystery that is Charleston.

The Scrapbooking Mysteries – a slightly edgier series that take place in New Orleans. The main character, Carmela, owns Memory Mine scrapbooking shop in the French Quarter and is forever getting into trouble with her friend, Ava, who owns the Juju Voodoo shop. New Orleans’ spooky above-ground cemeteries, jazz clubs, bayous, and Mardi Gras madness make their presence known here!

The Cackleberry Club Mysteries – set in Kindred, a fictional town in the Midwest. In a rehabbed Spur station, Suzanne, Toni, and Petra, three semi-desperate, forty-plus women have launched the Cackleberry Club. Eggs are the morning specialty here and this cozy cafe even offers a book nook and yarn shop. Business is good but murder could lead to the cafe’s undoing! This series offers recipes, knitting, cake decorating, and a dash of spirituality.




Click on the banner above to go to the tour page where you will find links to more reviews of this title, as well as interviews, guest posts and spotlights!  You can also find out how to BECOME A BLOG HOST FOR FUTURE BOOK TOURS while you are there!

(Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book from the author and publishers via Great Escapes Virtual Book tours in exchange for my honest review.)

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Witch Way to Mintwood by Addison Creek - #review #giveaway

House falling down? Check. Pet sitting job with annoying clients? Check. Ability to speak to ghosts, which has the unfortunate side effect of having to listen to what they say back? Double check! Hot high school crush still in town being all successful and stuff while you protest his building projects? All kinds of checks! Did anyone say Witch of Mintwood? Yup! Just add murder and this will be a week to remember!

Books in this series:



Most cozy mysteries have the heroine (nearly all are female); many cozies have the heroine realizing a life-long entrepreneurial passion; a few cozies have reluctant MC's returning to a family business they fled to 'find themselves'.  Such is the case in Witch Way to Mintwood.  (On an interesting but not-really-related note, this was the first book I had read before it came up for a tour!)

The current (and newest) Witch of Mintwood had taken the job over when her grandmother had passed away, suddenly and somewhat suspiciously.  She was learning the ropes and trying not to compare her skills to that of her grandmother ... and wishing the townfolk would stop as well.

And she's not the only one who has returned.  Her highschool crush has returned.  And she is once again at odds with her high school rival, and all around mean girl.  That Gracie Coswell was and is a real piece of work.  Gracie made going after the crush her new pet project (as in thorn in the witch's side).  And she plays DIRTY - in great big letters with a brown and muddy-drippy letters

Gracie winds up getting the witch in trouble with many of the other supernatural and/or non-human denizens of Mintwood, adding more to her enjoyment of the situation and the witch's dismay.  Most of these other species go back and forth on whether or not they like/support the witch, who apparently acts as a sort of local LEO - hence she is called in when a dead body is discovered in a local hotel.  The descriptions of the zombie bartender were hilarious!

I got very definite visuals of the characters and settings while reading, which is something that adds to my reading enjoyment immensely.  The character of the witch grows over the course of the novel, becoming more competant and confident as time goes on.  

And just when you think things are resolved, gift-wrapped with a nice big bow, there is one last switcheroo that changes the situation entirely.  So it's very good this is a series.  Will she get the guy?  Or will Gracie win?  Only the author (well, and other people who have read the whole series may) know(s) for sure.  But one day I will know too, because I just added at least seven more books (all with the word witch on the cover, not-so-concidentally) to my TBR.



Reading, writing, dark chocolate, and cheese.

 Hello! I’m the author of the Witch Way to Mintwood series and the Spooky Business series! I live in New England and love it. I survive the winter by layering, good-natured complaining, and more layering. In case you were wondering. Hearing from readers is always lovely, so come visit me here me on my blog or Facebook. 


Click on the banner above to go to the tour site, where you will find links to more reviews of this title as well as interviews and guest posts.  You can also find out how to BECOME A BLOG HOST FOR FUTURE BOOK TOURS while you are there!

(Disclosure:  I received this book through the BookBub free-and-low-cost ebook daily newsletter in May of 2017.  There was no obligation to do a review, and the opinions are my own.)

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Southern Discomfort by Caroline Fardig - #review #giveaway

Southern hospitality meets deadly deception in the start of a charming new mystery series from the USA Today bestselling author of the Java Jive novels.

Quinn Bellandini loves her life in Savannah, Georgia, where she runs her grandfather’s B&B with her sister, Delilah. From baking fresh scones and serving up grits every morning to ensuring the guests see the best of their historic city, Quinn can’t imagine doing anything else—even if it means dealing with nuisances like the occasional malfunctioning commode. But when Quinn drops by the local restaurant owned by her friend Drew Green, and stumbles upon a murder, her whole world comes crashing down.

Monday, March 5, 2018

39 Winks by Kathleen Valenti - #coverreveal

39 Winks

Former pharmaceutical researcher Maggie O’Malley is losing sleep. Her boyfriend Constantine’s aunt is a multitasking sleepwalker who prepares meals, folds laundry and, one winter night, stumbles across her husband with his throat slit.

It’s a rude and gruesome awakening that’s upsetting to Aunt Polly.

And interesting to the police.  Maggie and Constantine work to uncover who killed the cosmetic surgery mogul and why. As they dig into the lives of those who knew him best, they discover that doctoring perception has deadly side effects.

A gripping page-turner with more twists than a surgeon’s suture, 39 Winks is a tale of lies, betrayals, and greed that will keep you up at night—and looking over your shoulder.







39 Winks by Kathleen Valenti is coming May 22 from Henery Press!

You can pre-order your copy this week!!

Kathleen's Amazon Author Page



When Kathleen Valenti isn’t writing page-turning mysteries that combine humor and suspense, she works as a nationally award-winning advertising copywriter. 39 Winks is the second of the Maggie O’Malley mystery series and follows her Agatha- and Lefty-nominated debut mystery, Protocol. Kathleen lives in Oregon with her family where she pretends to enjoy running.


Learn more at

Hummus and Homicide by Tina Kashian - #review #giveaway

When Lucy Berberian quits her Philadelphia law firm and heads home to Ocean Crest, she knows what she’s getting—the scent of funnel cake, the sight of the wooden roller coaster, and the tastes of her family’s Mediterranean restaurant. But murder wasn’t on the menu . . .

Things are slow in the off-season in this Jersey Shore town, but Lucy doesn’t mind. She doesn’t even mind waitressing at the Kebab Kitchen. Her parents have put in a new hummus bar, with every flavor from lemon to roasted red pepper. It’s fun to see their calico cat again, and to catch up with her old BFF, who’s married to a cop now.

She could do without Heather Banks, though. The Gucci-toting ex-cheerleader is still as nasty as she was back in high school . . . and unfortunately, she’s just taken over as the local health inspector. Just minutes after eating at the Kebab Kitchen—where she’s tallied up a whole list of bogus violations—she falls down dead in the street. Word on the grapevine is it’s homicide, and Lucy’s the number one suspect . . .



I grew up in a small town, and my family were middle-class WASPs.  Not that there is anything wrong with that, but the most culinarily curious we got at my house growing up was lasagne and maybe some salmon that my father brought home from a business/fishing trip once.

I had not heard of and did not know what hummus was until I think I was in my 20's.  Up until my husband developed a taste for hummus in all its glorious flavor possibilities did it become a staple in our kitchen.  (I think we have three varieties in the fridge right now!)  Up until recently, the majority of my experience with hummus was from the movie You Don't Mess With the Zohan, where hummus (which the movie mostly pronounced "hoo-moose") was at least equal to gorilla tape in versatility.  So this is what goes through my head each time I see, read about or eat hummus! :D

The recipes and the story of Hummus and Homicide both had my mouth watering!  Although, unlike Lucy, who had a perfectly good reason for leaving a good job in a big city, I probably would have left the job and gone home, just because it was in a big city.  (Yup, I'm a small-town gal.)

And that Heatther Banks is a piece of work, isn't wasn't she?  Giving Lucy's family's restaurant a particularly spurious health inspection because of a high-school rivalry?  If she weren't, you know, dead, I'd like to wag my finger at her and say, "Grow up, already!"  And then, she has the gall to come in to eat at the restaurant the next day, bellying up to the hummus bar and sampling every variety.  I'd be whipping my phone out and setting up a video recording (complete with time and date stamp) to show Heather eating there after giving the restaurant a bad inspection as proof against her report.  Or, maybe she was just setting up the family in order to extort money from them to change the report.  It wouldn't be the first time.

I also l.o.v.e.d. the fact that Lucy had not one, but TWO men interested in her.  The first was an ex-fiance who had broken up with her several years previously (to the start of the book), and the second was the Harley-riding son of the business owner (the dad being rumored to be involved with the mob) next door.  I really didn't know whose team to be on (Team Ex or Team Biker) until the ex became huffy when Lucy said she was thinking of hanging around and taking over the restaurant herself.  I don't know about Lucy, but I was firmly on the back of the motorcycle then!

Hummus comes to a great conclusion for the first book in a new series.  The resolution of the murder is well done, and enough open questions are left for many stories to come!  In fact, just sitting here thinking, I think Ms. Kashian has done one of the better jobs I've seen at providing enough information to satisfy reader appetites for a good story, while keeping enough in reserve to have readers wanting seconds (thirds, etc....)

Two more books are in the works for this series so far, Stabbed in the Baklava and One Feta in the Grave (LOVE those titles!).  I think I'll warm up some pita bread and whip me up a couple hummus recipes before then...*wink* *wink*.



Tina Kashian spent her childhood summers at the New Jersey shore, building sand castles, boogie boarding, and riding the boardwalk Ferris wheel. She also grew up in the restaurant business where her Armenian parents owned a restaurant for thirty years. She worked almost every job—rolling silverware and wiping down tables as a tween, to hosting and waitressing as a teenager.

After college, Tina worked as a NJ Deputy Attorney General, a patent attorney, and a mechanical engineer. Her law cases inspired an inquiring mind of crime, and since then, Tina has been hooked on mysteries. The Kebab Kitchen Cozy Mystery series launches with Hummus and Homicide, followed by Stabbed in the Baklava and One Feta in the Grave by Kensington Books. Tina still lives in New Jersey with her supportive husband and two young daughters. Please visit and join her Newsletter to enter free contests to win books, get delicious recipes, and to learn when her books will be released.




Click on the banner above to go to the tour page, where you will find links to more reviews, as well as guest posts and interviews!  You can also find out how to become a blog host for future book tours while you are there!

(Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book from the author and publishers via Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours and NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.)