Friday, March 1, 2024

Double Scoop of Murder - A Review & Giveaway

 Review


DOUBLE SCOOP OF MURDER by Lena Gregory
The Third Coffee & Cream Café Mystery

After two brushes with murder, Dani is content to stay in her Coffee and Cream Café, creating homemade ice cream as well as a place where people can relax and feel at home. Her best friend, Gwen, and employee, Eli, have something else in mind. A treasure hunt in underway in Watchogue and with a prize of over four million dollars adventurers and social media influencers are swarming the town. Even her Uncle Jimmie is part of a team. Agreeing to join in Dani and her friends have an idea where to find the first clue in the progressive hunt, but instead of digging up the next clue they dig up a dead body. Will Dani be able to stay on Detective Barlow’s good side? Will she and her team decipher the clues and find the big prize? Or will someone stop her for good?

Dani dreams of making the Coffee and Cream Café a home away from home for her customers and that’s what Lena Gregory has done with the Coffee and Cream Café Mystery series. It’s a comfortable respite from the world filled with good friends, a dependable family, and lots of good food to eat. Banana chocolate ice cream anyone?

There’s so much to like about DOUBLE SCOOP OF MURDER, but the humor found here tops my list. I love Dani's self deprecating remarks and the situations she and her pals get in to make me laugh out loud. There's a bit of angst to the romantic quandary in which Dani finds herself, but to me there's only one choice. I appreciated the twists and turns the mystery provided and was shocked by the dangerous confrontations.

With gasps and laughs DOUBLE SCOOP OF MURDER is a delectable treat.

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Double Scoop of Murder (Coffee & Cream Café Mysteries) by Lena Gregory

About Double Scoop to Murder

Double Scoop of Murder (Coffee & Cream Café Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery 3rd in Series
Setting - New York
Gemma Halliday Publishing (February 27, 2024)
Number of Pages: 226
From author Lena Gregory comes a hunt for more than just treasure...

Danika Delany is loving running her uncle's old fashioned malt shop on eastern Long Island and putting her own modern spin on the treats they serve. Life is finally looking up for her! That is, until local billionaire Maxwell Crumbholtz dies and leaves his fortune in the form of a treasure hunt. Chaos descends on Watchogue, and Dani and the rest of the gang from the Coffee & Cream Café join the melee when they enter the contest, try to decipher the clues, and go in search of the treasure. But Dani digs up more than she expected when she discovers a dead body buried instead of a treasure! To make matters worse, a witness claims to have seen Dani at the scene of the murder. Now, instead of a four-billion-dollar payday, Dani is on the hunt for a killer.

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, the All-Day Breakfast Café Mysteries, which are set on the outskirts of Florida’s Ocala National Forest, the Mini-Meadows Mysteries, set in a community of tiny homes in Central Florida, and the Coffee & Cream Café Mysteries, which take place in a small town on the south shore of eastern Long Island, New York.

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.

Author Links

Purchase Links - Amazon - B&N - Kobo 

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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Currently Reading...

I just finished reading Double Scoop of Murder by Lena Gregory. This is the third book in the Coffee & Cream Café Mystery series and is being released today! 

After two brushes with murder, Dani is content to stay in her Coffee and Cream Café, creating homemade ice cream as well as a place where people can relax and feel at home. Her best friend, Gwen, and employee, Eli, have something else in mind. A treasure hunt in underway in Watchogue and with a prize of over four million dollars adventurers and social media influencers are swarming the town. Even her Uncle Jimmie is part of a team. Agreeing to join in Dani and her friends have an idea where to find the first clue in the progressive hunt, but instead of digging up the next clue they dig up a dead body. Will Dani be able to stay on Detective Barlow’s good side? Will she and her team decipher the clues and find the big prize? Or will someone stop her for good?

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Chapter and Curse - A Review

 Review


CHAPTER AND CURSE by Elizabeth Penney
The First Cambridge Bookshop Mystery

With nothing holding them in Vermont Molly Kimball and her mum, Nina, move to England to help run the family bookshop. Thrilled to be working at one of the oldest bookstores in Cambridge, Molly has lots of ideas to get the struggling store into the black. Their first major event, a poetry reading with Persephone Brightwell, Aunt Violet's old college classmate, is a huge success; that is until Molly stumbles upon the dead body of one of their guests in the back garden. It seems the victim wasn't exactly a nice old pensioner and when Aunt Violet becomes a prime suspect, Molly knows she can't just sit idly by. Along with her mum and newfound friends, Molly starts quietly looking into things. It turns out plenty of people had reason to want the victim dead, but who would also want Aunt Violet found guilty? 

Starting over and new beginnings mark the first Cambridge Mystery. Who wouldn't love to move to a quaint English town famed for knowledge and learning to help run Cambridge's oldest bookshop?! I love that Molly goes with her mom and that running the bookstore is a true family endeavor. Molly makes a delightful protagonist and the friendships she develops are truly special. I enjoyed the mystery and look forward to reading more.

With appealing characters, a delightful setting, and an intriguing mystery CHAPTER AND CURSE is an enchanting start to a new series.

Sunday, February 25, 2024

The Snow Job - A Guest Post & Giveaway

I'm pleased to welcome Lois Stone to Cozy Up With Kathy today. You can find Lois on the pages of the Century Cottage Cozy Mysteries series by Diane Ascroft. The Snow Job is the third book in the series.

Lois Stone’s Scottish Dilemma

Hello! Thanks for inviting me to drop by. I’m Lois Stone and I’m the main character in the Century Cottage Cozy Mysteries series. The books are set in Fenwater, a fictional small town in rural Ontario, Canada that was founded by immigrants from Scotland during the early 1800s. The residents of our town have a strong connection with its Scottish heritage, and everything Scottish is important to them, so the annual Burns Night supper is the biggest event on the calendar.

I’m a bit conflicted about it though. I only moved to town about six months ago. I have Scottish ancestry that my friends want me to celebrate since I’m now living in a really Scottish Canadian town, but I don’t really want to talk about my Scottish roots. You see, my grandfather was a bit of a scoundrel and my mother refused to tell me anything about him. My Scottish roots come from his side of the family so I wouldn’t want to explore them and upset my mother. But I can’t seem to get away from my ancestry here in Fenwater. Everyone around me is excited that the Burns Night supper is coming up and they want me to delve into my ancestry.

I might have been able to avoid all the fuss about the Burns Night supper if I didn’t play the bagpipes in the local pipe band. As The Snow Job, Book 3 in the series, opens our band is getting ready to play at the supper. I guess I’m actually looking forward to that part as this is the first Burns supper that I’ve played at with this band. I like our band uniform’s tartan kilt and I’ve learned all the tunes we’re playing. I’ll even know lots of people at the supper. My neighbours and friends will be there to toast the haggis and Burns’ memory. Though I’m still new in town, it will make me feel like I’m part of the community.

Oh, I’ve been rambling on but do you know what a Burns supper is? If you have any Scottish ancestry, you may have attended one. But, for those who haven’t, a Burns supper is a celebration of the life and poetry of the Scottish poet Robert Burns or Rabbie Burns as he is more commonly known.

Burns Night is celebrated each year in Scotland and in Scottish communities worldwide to honour Rabbie Burns, and it has also become a chance to celebrate all things Scottish – sort of like St Patrick’s Day without the green beer.

So, who was Rabbie Burns? He was a poet and song lyricist from Ayrshire in the southwest of Scotland, who was born on January 25, 1759. Only 37 when he died in 1796, he is regarded as the most prominent poet to have written in Scots, a UK regional dialect that is now recognised as a minority language. You probably know at least one of his works – he penned ‘Auld Lang Syne’.

The first supper was a memorial dinner organised by nine of Burns's friends on July 21, 1801, the fiftieth anniversary of his death. It was held at Burns Cottage in Ayrshire, where the poet was born. Although those present at the first supper didn’t foresee it, the supper has become an annual occurrence and Burns Clubs have been founded throughout Scotland and further afield. Burns suppers are now normally held on January 25th, the poet's birthdate.

Burns Night is steeped in respectful tradition but there are elements of fun and humour to the proceedings too. So, what happens at a Burns Night supper? There’s a traditional meal which consists of tatties (potatoes), neeps (turnips), and haggis, which was a favourite dish of the poet. Are you wondering what haggis is? Haggis is made from a sheep’s liver, lungs, and heart and mixed with suet and oatmeal. It may not sound particularly appetising to some of you, but it really is tasty – sort of like a spicier minced beef. There are also vegetarian versions available. Guests are piped in to the dining room and a Scottish grace is said. The haggis is then piped in with great ceremony and before the meal commences a guest recites Burns’ poem the 'Address to a Haggis', which extols how wonderful haggis is.

After the meal there are several toasts and speeches. The most important is the ‘Immortal Memory’, which is a speech commemorating Burns and his life followed by a toast to the poet.

At our supper, Dave Stewart, who has an antique stall in our market, is giving the toast, ‘The Address to the Lassies’. It’s a thank you to the women who prepared the meal, and the speaker often includes humorous opinions about women in general. My friend Marge is giving the ‘Reply to the Laddies’, rebutting any comments Dave might make about women. I’m rather nervous about that as you never know what she’ll come out with.

Preparations for our supper were going well until one of the Burns Night committee members died in suspicious circumstances the week before the event. My friend Connie found him lying in the snow. I had just been chatting with her on the street and I rushed back to help her when I heard her scream. I tried to revive the man while we waited for an ambulance. I was sad to hear later that he died, but I didn’t expect to have any more involvement in the matter. Marge had other ideas though. She worked with him at the museum and she wants to see justice done. So, she asked me to help her find his killer. I’ve promised my partner Bruce that I’d stay out of police matters but Marge is persuasive and what’s the harm in asking a few questions? So, I turned my thoughts from getting ready for the Burns Night supper to helping Marge find the killer. What could possibly go wrong?

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 The Snow Job (Century Cottage Cozy Mysteries) by Dianne Ascroft

About The Snow Job

The Snow Job (Century Cottage Cozy Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery 3rd in Series
Setting - Fenwater, a fictional small town in the province of Ontario in Canada during the early 1980s.
Independently Published (December 13, 2023)
Paperback: ‎ 310 pages  

A Scottish shindig, a pretty pin, a cold corpse. When a well-liked and respected townsman is murdered on a snowy street in Fenwater, it’s up to Lois Stone to sift through a multitude of motives to find the killer.

Middle-aged widow Lois is beginning to feel part of the Fenwater community, and as winter sets in, she is getting ready for the town’s biggest Scottish event, the annual Burns Night supper. But when one of the committee members dies in suspicious circumstances, Lois has more to worry about than the fate of this year’s celebration. She tried unsuccessfully to revive the man and her friend Marge worked with him. So, they want to find his killer even though Lois promised her partner Bruce that she would stay out of police matters. But, what’s the harm in asking a few questions? Such as does someone want to safeguard their inheritance or give their business a boost? Will finding the motive for the murder lead them to the killer or maybe more?

And so begins a fortnight of slippery sidewalks, angst about ancestors, capable firemen and cunning firebugs, unreliable records, swirling Scottish music and swinging tartan kilts, calico cats and smouldering spooks set against the backdrop of snow glistening under streetlamps on serene streets, the comfort of ritual in a cold churchyard, the swish of skate blades in crisp night air and the tang of mouthwatering meatloaf in rural Canada in 1984.

The Century Cottage Mystery series is mainly set in rural Ontario, Canada during the early 1980s.

A tale for fans of Cindy Bell, Leighann Dobbs, Dianne Harman and Kathi Daley.

About Dianne Ascroft

 

Author Links: 

Website: http://www.dianneascroft.com  

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/DianneAscroftwriter/  

Twitter/X: @DianneAscroft  

Newsletter: https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/y1k5c3  

Purchase Links: Books2Read Amazon

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Friday, February 23, 2024

Sprites and Scuttlebutt - A Review & Giveaway

 Review


SPRITES AND SCUTTLEBUTT by Elizabeth Pantley
The Sixth Magical Mystery Book Club Mystery

The Magical Mystery Book Club has started another book journey, this time going to the Kingdom of Everglow . This fairy tale land is a multi-hued place where everything in nature is enhanced, from the green sky and pink clouds to the houses that appear to grow out of trees. Everglow is inhabited by sprites, dazzling beings with vibrant hair and delicate wings. A concert is just beginning as the gang arrives, but the beautiful music is cut short when a hulking sprite falls to the ground, dead. Frank's surprising revelation gets the Book Club members invited to stay at the castle where they offer to help solve the murder. Things get complicated when they witness a break-in and one of the princesses falls under what appears to be a sleeping spell. The Magical Mystery Book Club team will have their work cut out for them as they interview sprites both inside and outside of the palace in order to unravel the mystery.

Opening the pages of a book will take you on a journey, and for members of the Magical Mystery Book Club, doing so literally takes them places. It's a book lovers dream come true and it's fun tagging along with this silly and loving group of friends. There's also a bit of a moral to be found in the sixth Magical Mystery Book Club Mystery; things may look completely different, but there are more similarities between beings and worlds than differences.

SPRITES AND SCUTTLEBUTT is a dreamy, more relaxing trip for the crew. Although they are faced with a murder early on, their investigation is more meandering. While they always take time to enjoy their surroundings as they try to solve the mystery, this time they seem less invested in bringing a killer to justice. They are truly unsure of who the murderer is and they really don't even solve the crimes...they are merely witness to the resolution. 

I was thrilled to learn Frank's history...and laughed as Zell tried in vain to keep his secret. I appreciate his desire to hide this aspect of himself, though loved his taking advantage of his past in this tale. I am also enamored with the author's imagination, painting a world with green sky and pink clouds, wacky characters, and splatberry juice. It's uniquely different, yet with it's family of characters, it still has the comforting feeling of home.

SPRITES AND SCUTTLEBUTT is a magical story about relationships, envy, and partaking in a snack whenever possible!

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 Sprites and Scuttlebutt: Magical Mystery Book Club by Elizabeth Pantley

About Sprites and Scuttlebutt

Sprites and Scuttlebutt: Magical Mystery Book Club
Paranormal Cozy Mystery 6th in Series
Independently Published (February 15, 2024)
Print length: ‎ 289 pages

Would you join a book club that gets absorbed right into their cozy mysteries? These people did, and now they are hooked on traveling into books to become the amateur sleuths!

In this journey, the book club travels to the Kingdom of Everglow, where the royal family is rocked to the core when a key staff member falls dead at a community event. In the turmoil that follows, any evidence of what happened is destroyed, so they must go by the recollection of witnesses who were too busy enjoying the celebration to offer any valuable testimony. The royal family is further distressed when they return to the castle to see signs of a break in that somehow defied their complex security system. They wake the next day to discover that one member of the royal family has fallen into a deep, deathlike sleep.

Can the Snapdragon Inn Book Club uncover the plot behind this attack on the royal family? Can they find the antidote to wake the princess from her supernatural slumber? Can they bring peace back to the worried royal family and the frightened community? Let’s hope they can, since they must solve the mystery and reach The End to get out of the book and back to their home in Colorado.

About Elizabeth Pantley

Elizabeth Pantley is the author of fourteen fun, magical cozy mystery books, as well as the international bestselling No-Cry Solution parenting series.

She simultaneously writes well-loved cozy mysteries: The Destiny Falls Mystery & Magic book series and the Magical Mystery Book Club series.

Elizabeth lives in the Pacific Northwest, the gorgeous inspiration for the setting in many of her books.

Author Links: 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/24811.Elizabeth_Pantley  

Website: https://www.nocrysolution.com/books/  

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DestinyFallsMysteryandMagic  

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

Amazon Purchase Links: US CA UK AU All the books in this series are now available as Audio Books! 


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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Currently Reading...

I'm currently reading Sprites and Scuttlebutt by Elizabeth Pantley. This book is the sixth in the Magical Mystery Book Club series and was released last week.

The Magical Mystery Book Club has started another book journey, this time going to the Kingdom of Everglow . This fairy tale land is a multi-hued place where everything in nature is enhanced, from the green sky and pink clouds to the houses that appear to grow out of trees. Everglow is inhabited by sprites, dazzling beings with vibrant hair and delicate wings. A concert is just beginning as the gang arrives, but the beautiful music is cut short when a hulking sprite falls to the ground, dead. Frank's surprising revelation gets the Book Club members invited to stay at the castle where they offer to help solve the murder. Things get complicated when they witness a break-in and one of the princesses falls under what appears to be a sleeping spell. The Magical Mystery Book Club team will have their work cut out for them as they interview sprites both inside and outside of the palace in order to unravel the mystery.

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Mrs. Morris and the Mermaid - A Review & Giveaway

 Review


MRS. MORRIS AND THE MERMAID by Traci Wilton
The Eighth Salem B&B Mystery 
 
Charlene Morris is thrilled to have a full house at her B&B. Her guests are in Salem for the city's first Mermaid parade. Brandy Flint, Charlene's friend and resident witch, managed to bring the recluse and star of the famed mermaid movie Sirena into town to celebrate the film's anniversary. The stars from the recent reboot of the film have also arrived and rabid fans are taking sides. When Charlene discovers a major player dead, the whole event could be washed away. With the help of her ghostly best friend Charlene will have to uncover the murderer and make sure this first Mermaid event is not the last.

Many people forget that the word fan comes from the word fanatic. Instead of merely liking and showing appreciation, fanatics take things to the next level and are excessive in their devotion. While MRS. MORRIS AND AND THE MERMAID has some fans, it also has a host of true fanatics whose beliefs and actions lead to murder.  

I always enjoy visiting Charlene's B&B. She treats her guests like family. In fact her hospitality can be a bit over the top, being overprotective of her guests and wanting their every needs met. I certainly wouldn't pass up Millie's cooking, however, and wish I had her and Will taking care of my home! 
 
Several suspects and lots of bad behavior, along with stars who are too high and mighty populate the pages of MRS. MORRIS AND THE MERMAID. Even our victim wasn't that nice. And I certainly wanted to smack the smirks off the young stars of the reboot. As for the fan club presidents...whoo boy.

In addition to the murder, there's a good deal of personal drama in the eighth Salem B&B Mystery. Charlene is starting to open her heart up to romance with Sam, but is sneaking around and not being completely honest a true relationship? And then there's Jack. No spoilers, but what an ending.
 
Movie stars, mermaids, and murder combine in a unique mystery, decades in the making. MRS. MORRIS AND THE MERMAID is a delightful tale that questions your ability to truly know someone.

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 Mrs. Morris and the Mermaid (A Salem B&B Mystery) by Traci Wilton

About Mrs. Morris and the Mermaid

Mrs. Morris and the Mermaid (A Salem B&B Mystery)
Cozy Mystery 8th in Series
Setting - Massachusetts
Publisher: ‎ Kensington Cozies (February 20, 2024)
Mass Market Paperback: ‎ 368 pages

Set in Salem, Massachusetts, this fun, cozy series sees a widowed B&B owner teaming up with a charming ghost to solve murders—an engaging read for fans who like a paranormal tinge to their mysteries.

Charlene and her handsome spectral friend, Dr. Jack Strathmore, are thrilled that their Salem, Massachusetts, B&B is overflowing with mermaids in advance of the town’s newest attraction—a mermaid parade! Retired Hollywood actress Trinity Powers has even agreed to appear on the lead float to commemorate her breakout role as the eponymous mermaid in the blockbuster cult classic, Sirena. The parade also features Trinity’s rival, an up-and-coming ingénue, who stars in the film’s recent (and somewhat controversial) reboot. Though their rabid fan clubs seem ready to tear each other—and the festivities—apart, the vying actresses are keeping it cool, for now . . .

But when Charlene discovers a mermaid murdered, she realizes a killer is out to steal the show. With the help of Jack and Detective Sam Holden, Charlene plunges into the case, determined to stop a killer from striking again . . .

About Traci Wilton

 

From cozy mysteries to seaside romance, USA Today bestselling author Traci Hall writes stories that captivate her readers. As a hybrid author with over sixty published works, Ms. Hall has a favorite tale for everyone. Mystery lovers, check out her Scottish Shire series, set in the seaside town of Nairn, or the Salem B&B Mystery series, as Traci Wilton. Her latest project is an Irish Castle cozy as Ellie Brannigan. Whether it’s her ever-popular By the Sea romances, an Appletree Cove sweet romance, or a fun who-done-it, Traci finds her inspiration in sunny South Florida, living right near the ocean.  

Author Links:

Website https://www.tracihall.com/ 

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/tracie.hall.35/ 

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/traciella/  

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Traciwiltonauthor/  

Twitter https://twitter.com/tracihallauthor  

Amazon https://amazon.com/author/tracihall  

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

Kensington https://www.kensingtonbooks.com/author/traci-wilton/  

Purchase Links – Amazon - Kindle Amazon - Paperback - B&NKobo - Bookshop.org 

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