Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Something Shady at Sunshine Haven - An Interview & Giveaway

I'm pleased to welcome Kris Bock to Cozy Up With Kathy today. Kris write the Accidental Detective Mystery series. Something Shady at Sunshine Haven is the first book in the series and was released last month.


Kathy: In Something Shady at Sunshine Haven we meet Kate Tessler, an injured war correspondent forced to return home. Have you ever had to return home as an adult?

KB: Not like Kate does! I spent summers back home when I was in college, and that created challenges in establishing a new relationship with my parents as an adult. It might be easier if you’d been apart for thirty years, but I think many people fall back into the parent-child relationship during visits, which isn’t always healthy. It takes work and respect to establish new patterns between two equal adults.


Kathy: Kate's mom is on an Alzheimer's unit. Do you have personal experience with this illness?

KB: My grandmother had Alzheimer’s. There’s a lot of it in my husband’s family as well, although not (yet) in the people I spend time with. I know people who are afraid of that as they grow older. It can sometimes be hard to tell if an older person is getting dementia, has trouble hearing, has the normal poor memory many of us have, or simply wasn’t paying attention.


Kathy: This book is described as a cozy, but it certainly has themes conducive to a thriller. Why make it a cozy and how do you keep it there?

KB: At the most basic level, a cozy has an amateur detective rather than a police officer or private investigator, and cozies avoid swearing, sex on the page, and gory violence. Many cozies also feature crafts or cooking in the plot and might include recipes or craft instructions. Mine doesn’t have anything like that. Kate is a journalist, which is an investigator in one sense, and Kate thinks about becoming a private investigator later in the series, so maybe it’s more of a traditional mystery. But it’s not like there are really strict definitions for these things. I think readers of cozies would enjoy the series.


Kathy: What first drew you to cozy mysteries?

KB: I’ve always enjoyed reading mysteries, starting in childhood. I read all the Sherlock Holmes stories in high school. I’ve even been a ghostwriter on some very well-known children’s mystery series. I shy away from cozy series that are very cutesy, but on the other hand, I don’t like too much explicit violence or gore. Series featuring main characters who are police officers, FBI agents etc. tend to be darker and more depressing. I want to feel good when I finish the book! Cozy mysteries give you the intrigue of a puzzle, the fun of interesting characters, and a guaranteed satisfying ending.


Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?

KB: I write fiction and nonfiction of all types for children and adults. As Kris Bock, I also write romantic suspense, often involving outdoor adventures and Southwestern landscapes. I write sweet romance, such as my Furrever Friends series, which features the employees and customers at a cat café. (Learn more at my website or visit my Amazon US page or Amazon UK page. For other countries click here.)

In addition, I write for young people under the name Chris Eboch. I do a lot of educational publishing and have also published middle grade novels (for ages 9 to 12).


Kathy: Tell us about your series.

KB: In the humorous Accidental Detective series, a witty journalist solves mysteries in Arizona and tackles the challenges of turning fifty.

Book 1 is Something Shady at Sunshine Haven: When patients are dying at an Alzheimer's unit, a former war correspondent must use her journalism skills to uncover the killer and save her mother. Kate has followed the most dangerous news stories around the world, but can she survive going home?

Future books follow Kate and her quirky gang of sidekicks as they tackle new problems in the greater Phoenix area. Because Kate is a journalist, people bring her problems, so she doesn’t have to accidentally stumble over dead bodies all the time.

Something Shady at Sunshine Haven made Barnes & Noble's list of Handpicked Favorites You'll Love! Jane Porter on BookBub said, “I couldn't put it down. I loved reading a story where the heroine is so fascinating, as fascinating to me as the mystery. This promises to be an exciting series and I can't wait for the next!"


Kathy: Do you have a favorite character? If so, who and why?

KB: Kate is the most like me, and since I’m writing in first person, I feel close to her. But I also adore her gentle father, her sister Jen, who is trying hard to focus her intense drive somewhere new now that her kids are older, and their father’s coffee group. I loved bringing these older characters to life, with their desire to help and their humor. I want the audience to laugh with them, not at them. Too often older characters are presented as jokes or pests.


Kathy: Did you have a specific inspiration for your series?

KB: Kate was inspired by my own experiences. Okay, the part about turning fifty, not traveling the world as a war correspondent. I traveled a lot when younger, but not to war zones. But as I faced 50, I wanted to create a mystery lead dealing with some of the same issues: aging parents, concerns about financing retirement someday, and a body that doesn’t recover like it once did. I gave Kate the background as a war correspondent because I wanted her to be adventurous and fearless.

I didn’t necessarily intend to write humor, but early readers said they laughed a lot. That comes from how Kate sees the world, which is how I see the world. Laughter helps with the pain.


Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?

KB: I’ve been a professional writer in one way or another for over twenty years. For this series, I landed with a great small publisher, Tule, which is really supportive and excited about the series. Four books are in the pipeline with two more under contract.


Kathy: If you could have a dinner party and invite 4 authors, living or dead, in any genre, who would you invite?

KB: Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers were both members of Detection Club, formed in 1930 by a group of British mystery writers. They'd be interesting. Maybe add Arthur Conan Doyle, who could grouse about the popularity of Sherlock Holmes, and PG Wodehouse, who wrote so many entertaining humorous novels.


Kathy: What are you currently reading?

KB: I’ve been rereading lately, possibly because my mind is too tired to process completely new info. Most recently I’ve been rereading some books by KJ Charles (historical mystery, paranormal and romance) and the Magic in Manhattan series by Allie Therin.


Kathy: Will you share any of your hobbies or interests with us?

KB: I enjoy hiking with friends, and my husband and I try to do archery once or twice a week. We have ferrets, which are a fun pet. Most of my free time is spent reading though.


Kathy: Name 4 items you always have in your fridge or pantry.

KB: Chocolate, tea, taco fixings, and popcorn or similar salty snacks.


Kathy: Do you have plans for future books either in your current series or a new series?

KB: I’m writing a five-book sweet romance about cowboys who become billionaires when they win a huge lottery. The first book, which has a Christmas theme, will launch in the fall. The Accidental Detective series will have at least six books and hopefully more. I also have another mystery, set in Hollywood, but I haven’t found a publisher for it yet.

To hear about future releases, sign up for my newsletter. You’ll get a free Accidental Detective short story and bonus material, plus Lions and Love at the Cat Café, a free 30-page sweet romance set in the world of the Furrever Friends cat café, and “22 recipes from the cat café.”

I’m also writing a series with my brother, scriptwriter Douglas J Eboch, who wrote the original screenplay for the movie Sweet Home Alabama. Follow the crazy antics of Melanie, Jake, and their friends a decade before the events of the movie. Sign up for our romantic comedy newsletter and get Felony Melanie Destroys the Moonshiner’s Cabin. Or find book 1 at Amazon US or All E-book retailers.


Kathy: What's your favorite thing about being an author?

KB: I get to work from home, in my small town, setting my own schedule, and I get to learn so many wildly different interesting things through my book research. Ostrich farming, the effects of strangulation, and laws about keeping big cats in America! How hackers can copy your fingerprints, license plate tracking, and small-town corruption cases! Like many writers, I just have to hope that if the FBI checks my browser history, they realize I’m a writer.

***********************************************************************

 Something Shady at Sunshine Haven (The Accidental Detective) by Kris Bock

About Something Shady at Sunshine Haven

Something Shady at Sunshine Haven (The Accidental Detective)
Cozy Mystery 1st in Series
Setting - Arizona
Tule Publishing (April 7, 2022)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 324 pages

She’s pursued the most dangerous news stories around the world. But can she survive going home?

Injured in a bombing, war correspondent Kate Tessler returns to her hometown in Arizona to recover. For the first time in her life, she's starting to feel her age of nearly fifty despite living like a teenager again: staying in her childhood bedroom with only a cat for company, trying to understand why her sister resents her so much, and running into people who still refer to her as Kitty. The hardest part? Seeing her once-sharp and witty mother stuck in an Alzheimer's unit.

When an old friend asks her to investigate suspicious deaths at the nursing home, Kate limps into action. Is a self-appointed "Angel of Mercy" killing patients to end their suffering? Are family members hastening their inheritance? Is an employee extorting money and removing the witnesses? Kate uses her journalism skills to track clues, but the puzzle pieces simply won’t fit.

If Kate can't uncover the truth quickly, her mother could be next on the killer's list.

About Kris Bock

Kris Bock writes novels of mystery, suspense, and romance, many with outdoor adventures and Southwestern landscapes. Get a free Accidental Detective short story and bonus material when you sign up for her newsletter. You’ll also get a free 30-page sweet romance set in the world of the Furrever Friends cat café and a printable copy of the recipes mentioned in the cat café novels

Kris is also writing a series with her brother, scriptwriter Douglas J Eboch, who wrote the original screenplay for the movie Sweet Home Alabama. Follow the crazy antics of Melanie, Jake, and their friends a decade before the events of the movie. Sign up for our romantic comedy newsletter and get Felony Melanie Destroys the Moonshiner’s Cabin. Or find the books on Amazon US or All E-book retailers

Find Kris:  

Website   

Blog   

GoodReads Author Page  

BookBub  

Amazon US Author page or Amazon UK page

 Twitter 

 Instagram 

 TikTok Facebook 

 Pinterest  

Purchase Links - Tule Publishing Amazon Kindle - Amazon Kindle UK B&N Nook Apple Books Kobo Google Play 

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Sunday, May 22, 2022

Old Bones and Ice Cream Cones - A Review & Giveaway

 Review

 OLD BONES AND ICE CREAM CONES by Elizabeth Pantley
The Sixth Destiny Falls Mystery & Magic Book

Concern over her missing boyfriend, Han, leads to shock when he reappears looking differently. His appearance has been enhanced and he has no memory of his missing time. As a conduit to the magic in Destiny Falls Hayden is certain that dark magic is involved. While she, along with her family and friends, attempt to get to the bottom of his transformation they happen upon another mystery. Hayden and Han discover human remains in an old boat. The skeleton has no head so identification will be challenging. Do these old bones have anything to do with Gladstone Island or Han’s mysterious disappearance? Is Han in even more danger? Will Hayden be able to save him?
 
Destiny Falls is an amazing place and I love every minute I spend on this enchanted island.  I love seeing more of Bob and the fact that he slowly getting through to Nessie. Meanwhile, the new villain is becoming even more villainous! I adore the cats and love how eager they are to get involved. I can still see the members of the SCS club dancing around and getting even more involved in investigating the mystery. Baby Lola is so sweet and I am curious to see her personality develop as she grows up. The humans are pretty wonderful too and the love they so freely share is wonderful to see, especially as today's real world is more reminiscent of Gladstone Island.

As with all the books in the series there are two mysteries-one specific to the current book and the other, the overlapping mystery encompassing all of Destiny Falls. I had my suspicions about a few Destiny Falls residents and learned even more secrets, but the conclusion was a jaw dropping spectacle. As for the overlapping mystery, I love how it cements Hayden's relationship with Han and especially how it's her destiny to rescue him. Destiny Falls and Gladstone Island are slowly revealing their secrets as we get to know more about their residents, but I know there will always be more surprises around the bend.

OLD BONES AND ICE CREAM CONES is a feel good adventure. There's drama, mystery, and plenty of laughs that had me captivated from the start and eager for the next installment.

*********************************************************************

 Old Bones and Ice Cream Cones: Destiny Falls Mystery & Magic Series by Elizabeth Pantley

About Old Bones and Ice Cream Cones



Old Bones and Ice Cream Cones: Destiny Falls Mystery & Magic Series
Paranormal Cozy Mystery 6th in Series
Better Beginnings, Inc. (May 20, 2022)
Print length ‏ : ‎328 Pages

A boyfriend who’s missing. Or was. . . Or is. . . A boat full of old bones. A community ice cream social. A friend in trouble, a spiteful witch, and an angry villain. The mysteries and fun abound in Destiny Falls. Hayden, Latifa, and their family and friends are up for the excitement and adventure.

Old Bones and Ice Cream Cones follows the series format of combining two stories that blend into one. A murder mystery and the island mystery.

The Island Mystery: Hayden’s boyfriend Han is missing. But she swears she saw him zoom by in his car. She’d thought it was a surprise, and that he was home early from his secret service case. She was wrong. The surprise is that his signal isn’t pinging, and no one knows where he is. There appears to be black magic behind his disappearance. Can they learn who’s responsible and bring Han safely home?

The Murder Mystery: A pile of old bones is found in an ancient fishing boat. They could be tied to the disappearance of two young women years ago, back when many of the Destiny Falls people where in high school. Many of the citizens had bad history with the missing students. Do the bones belong to them, and what happened? Were the they murdered? And could the murderer be living among them?

Hayden and Latifa’s many adventures in Destiny Falls will keep you guessing with each book in this fun and intriguing series.

About Elizabeth Pantley

Elizabeth Pantley says that writing the Destiny Falls Mystery and Magic book series is the most fun she's ever had at work. Fans of the series say her joy is evident through the stories she tells. Elizabeth is also the internationally bestselling author of The No-Cry Sleep Solution and twelve other books for parents. Her books have been published in over twenty languages. She lives in the Pacific Northwest, the beautiful inspiration for the enchanted Destiny Falls world.

Author Links
Purchase Link - Amazon -
 

Friday, May 20, 2022

Fatal Flowers - A Review

 Review


FATAL FLOWERS by Jess Dylan
The Third Flower House Mystery 

Always looking to expand her business, Sierra Ravenswood is pleased at the opportunity to provide the flowers for the wedding of the mayor's daughter. Shocked that the wedding is only a few weeks away and surprised that the bride appears blasé, Sierra nonetheless is excited to join in. While the bride and her mother are gracious Taz, the wedding planner, is arrogant and condescending. A meeting of the wedding vendors turns into a crime scene when Sierra finds his body. Known for her investigative talents as well as her flowers, Sierra will try to uncover the secrets Taz had as well as who had enough of the pompous wedding planner.

An unhappy bride, an insular group of wedding vendors, as well as the status of the wedding, make the story rife with drama, like a pressure cooker ready to pop open. Adding to the drama, someone appears to be targeting Sierra and she is questioning her relationship with Calvin. I admit that I am concerned about some of his ideas.

Appalachian folk wisdom is interspersed throughout the mystery bringing a wonderful sense of place. Combined with Deena's decadent floral themed treats and a sweet dog, I long to visit Aerieville and will have to content myself to waiting for the next book to be released.

FATAL FLOWERS is a smart engaging mystery that captivates with Appalachian charm, wonderful characters, and a clever plot.

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Currently Reading...

I’m currently reading Old Bones and Ice Cream Cones by Elizabeth Pantley. This book is the sixth in the Destiny Falls Mystery and Magic series and was released this week.

Concern over her missing boyfriend, Han, leads to shock when he reappears looking differently. His appearance has been enhanced and he has no memory of his missing time. As a conduit to the magic in Destiny Falls Hayden is certain that black magic is involved. While she, along with her family and friends, attempt to get to the bottom of his transformation they happen upon another mystery. Hayden and Han discover human remains in an old boat. The skeleton has no head so identification will be challenging. Do these old bones have anything to do with Gladstone Island or Han’s mysterious disappearance? Is Han in even more danger? Will Hayden be able to save him?


Tuesday, May 17, 2022

A Fatal Overture - A Review

 Review



A FATAL OVERTURE by Kathleen Marple Kalb
The Third Ella Shane Mystery

Forced to postpone her opera company's London run, Ella Shane is relaxing at home in New York City.  While she's disappointed not to be seeing her beau, it gives her time to consider the consequences should she marry. She's stunned when Gil's mother and aunts arrive at her doorstep. Instead of being opposed to the match, they've come to ensure the nuptials! A murdered man in their bathtub at the hotel gives Ella and Gil, who has followed his relatives to New York, pause. The trio didn't know the man, they certainly couldn't be involved, could they? They certainly seem to know something. As Ella and Gil attempt to come to an agreement about marriage, strange accidents and illnesses keep occurring, and Ella's aunt warns of fire. Will Ella overcome her doubts? Or will she lose everything, including her life?

I absolutely love this series and this third entry is a wonderful addition. There's danger, cunning, and strong women aplenty. I love how Gil's aristocratic family is accepting and welcoming, providing quite a different reception than Ella could have faced. I admire their practicality and hope to see more of them.

A FATAL OVERTURE shines a light on the plight of women in service at the turn of the century. It also shows how desperate and despicable men can be when they can't have the woman they want. Sadly, these issues remain prominent today, well into the next century.

With protection a key theme A FATAL OVERTURE combines romance and adventure in a smartly written mystery.

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Cover Art - An Interview & Giveaway

I'm pleased to welcome Vanessa Westermann to Cozy With Kathy today. Vanessa writes the Charley Scott Mystery series. Cover Art is the first book in the series and will be released this week.


Kathy: In Cover Art we meet Charley Scott an artist determined to turn her hobby into a career. Have you done the same?

VW: I think anyone who is passionate about a creative pursuit, whether writing or painting, hopes to one day turn their hobby into a career. I felt very much like Charley, while submitting my first manuscript to agents and publishers. It was a dream come true, when I received a publishing contract!


Kathy: Charley is running a summer pop-up gallery in a lakeside village in Ontario. Do you enjoy artistic pursuits of your own?

VW: I’m much better at painting a picture with words than watercolors, but I love visiting art galleries, like Port Hope’s Inuit Fine Art gallery (https://inuitfineart.com/), The Art Gallery of Ontario and the Vincent Van Gogh immersive exhibit. Pre-pandemic, the Northumberland Hills studio tours, showcasing local artists, were wonderful as well.


Kathy: What first drew you to cozy mysteries?

VW: A cozy mystery is a whodunit featuring an amateur sleuth, a distinctive setting and a limited number of suspects. There’s normally a healthy dose of humour and the sleuthing focuses more on interpersonal relationships than crime scene analysis or lab results. In fact, the focus is as much on the sleuth’s world, as on the murder. I wrote Cover Art during lockdown and it was so lovely to write a mystery that has emotional resonance but also features interesting characters, some lighthearted moments and a challenging puzzle.


Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?

VW: At the moment, I’m focusing on writing mysteries with a hint of romance.


Kathy: Tell us about your series.


VW: In the Charley Scott Mystery series, artist Charley Scott solves murders in Canada’s cottage country with the help of chocolatier, Matt Thorn, and her dog, Cocoa.


Kathy: Do you have a favorite character? If so, who and why?

VW: One of my favourite characters in Cover Art is Cocoa, Charley’s chocolate Labrador retriever. She loves eating human food, getting into trouble and opening doors, which is a dangerous but adorable combination.


Kathy: Did you have a specific inspiration for your series?

VW: The idea of writing a mystery involving death by chocolate was actually sparked years ago. My mom took part in a workshop run by a local chocolatier about how to make truffles and Belgian pralines. She came home with recipes covered in hand-written notes, samples, a chocolate-stained apron and a ‘behind the scenes’ glimpse into a chocolatier’s workshop. We tried out the recipes in our own kitchen, chopping blocks of chocolate and tempering it to a glossy sheen. Then, later on, I thought about setting that mystery in cottage country, and the series evolved from there.


Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?

VW: I love telling stories and write to entertain others. I can’t wait to get Cover Art into readers’ hands!


Kathy: If you could have a dinner party and invite 4 authors, living or dead, in any genre, who would you invite?

VW: I would invite Agatha Christie (and hope she brought one of her notebooks with, to share her plotting secrets!), Georgette Heyer, Dilys Winn, and Dorothy B. Hughes.


Kathy: What are you currently reading?

VW: I’m currently reading Find You First by Linwood Barclay.


Kathy: Will you share any of your hobbies or interests with us?

VW: One of the best activities to do at the cottage is go canoeing on a quiet lake. The sound of the paddle gliding through the water is the most wonderful thing. I’m still learning how to steer though!


Kathy: Name 4 items you always have in your fridge or pantry.

VW: Dark chocolate, Red Rose tea, maple syrup, and cinnamon-raisin sourdough bread from my local bakery.


Kathy: Do you have plans for future books either in your current series or a new series?

VW: I do have plans for future books in the Charley Scott Mystery series! I’m grateful to have received an Ontario Arts Council writing grant, to support the completion of the second Charley Scott Mystery, which I’m working on now.


Kathy: What's your favorite thing about being an author?

VW: My favourite thing about being an author is creating fictional worlds and getting to spend time with my imaginary friends. 

************************************************************************

 Cover Art (A Charley Scott Mystery) by Vanessa Westermann

About Cover Art

Cover Art (A Charley Scott Mystery)
Cozy Mystery 1st in Series
Setting - Kawartha Lakes, Ontario, Canada
Cormorant Books (May 17, 2022)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 440 pages

Charley Scott is thrilled to be running a summer pop-up gallery in cottage country. Returning to the lakeside village, not on vacation but as an artist, she’s determined to turn her hobby into a career.

But, beneath the surface of this peaceful town, darkness lurks. There’s a history.

Local chocolatier, Matt Thorn, is struggling with his father’s death and his legacy of deception. As Matt plans to expose his father’s secrets, a local is found dead, the result of eating Matt’s chocolates.

Luckily, art is all about perspective and Charley’s always had a keen eye. Can she see past the obvious and find the killer?

About Vanessa Westermann

An avid reader of mysteries, Vanessa Westermann is a former Arthur Ellis Awards judge, holds an M.A. in English Literature, as well as a Bachelor of Education, and has taught creative writing. Her debut mystery, An Excuse for Murder, was published in 2019. At the heart of all of Westermann’s stories are strong female protagonists inspired by the heroines in her own life. She currently lives in Ontario.

Social media links:  

Blog: https://www.vanessa-westermann.info/  

Twitter: https://twitter.com/VanessasPicks 

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

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18861715.Vanessa_Westermann  

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/vanessa-westermann  

Purchase Links - Amazon - B&N - Indigo 

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Friday, May 13, 2022

Bear Witness - An Interview, Review, & Giveaway

I'm happy to welcome Linda O. Johnston back to Cozy Up With Kathy. As Lark O. Jensen she writes the Alaska Untamed Mystery series. BEAR WITNESS is the first book in the series and was published this week.

Kathy: Your latest series is set in Alaska and features a naturalist working as a tour boat guide. Why Alaska?

LOJ: I set the series in Alaska since I was inspired to write a mystery series involving a naturalist when I took a boat tour near Juneau while on an Alaskan cruise a few years ago and was impressed by guides who pointed out a lot of wonderful wildlife.


Kathy: Stacie Calder prefers working in the great outdoors. What about you? Do you love the great outdoors or would you prefer to stay inside?

LOJ: As a writer and former lawyer, I’m much more of an inside person. But given the opportunity, I love sightseeing where I can view animals in their own habitats, even talk to them there—not that they ever talk back.


Kathy: I love how your books include dogs and am happy to see one of my favorite breeds here in Sasha, a husky. While it seems natural to have a husky in a book set in Alaska, was there another reason to feature this breed?

LOJ: I wanted Stacie to have a very special dog who could help her in her adventures. I know that huskies are smart and caring—and Sasha’s name means “defender,” and she’s into defending Stacie when necessary.

 
Kathy: Was there a specific inspiration for this series?

LOJ: As indicated before, it was a boat tour where I got to see lots of wildlife. Not that there were any murders connected with it, but my mind always churns around how I can use a new experience in a story or series sometime.


Kathy: When it comes to writing I understand there are 2 general camps-plotters, who diligently plot their stories, and pansters, who fly by the seat of their pants. Are you a plotter, a panster, or do you fall somewhere in between?

LOJ: I tend to be a plotter. Once I get one of those ideas I want to run with, I have to figure out who my main characters will be and what happens to them, then start determining what will happen when by filling out a form I call my plot skeleton. I then will often stick it all in a synopsis, and voila! A new book will start materializing.


Kathy: Authors are required to do a lot of their own marketing, especially for a new release. What's your favorite part of marketing your work? What do you dislike about marketing?

LOJ: Hey, I love being here and part of the Great Escapes Blog Tour! I also enjoy meeting readers when I can, and joining other writers in talks or panels. I’ve done a lot less of all of that since the beginning of Covid but am glad group get-togethers are starting to return.


Kathy: Will there be additional books in your series? Will you share any other upcoming books?

LOJ: I’m currently working on the second book in the series. It’s too early to talk about it, though. You can be sure that Stacie and Sasha will have another murder to solve, for a good reason. And yes, there will be wildlife in it too.

*****************************************************************************

Review 

 
BEAR WITNESS by Lark O. Jensen
The First Alaska Untamed Mystery


Stacie Calder loves her job. As a naturalist, she's well suited to being a guide on an Alaskan tour boat, pointing out wildlife to enthusiastic tourists. One passenger is more than he seems, however. A former employee, he's now trying to create his own tour company starting by badmouthing Stacie's. When he disappears from the boat, Stacie wonders if it's a trick, another way to create trouble. But when he's found dead the next day, Stacie isn't so sure. With her trusty dog, Sasha, at her side Stacie will look to solve the murder, and if it gets her closer to the hunky state police officer also investigating...even better!

I love the concept of a mystery surrounded by Alaskan Wildlife. There are a few implausibles here, how law enforcement welcomes Stacie's assistance, being the big one. There's also the growing relationship between Stacie and Liam. With a small pool of suspects and limited avenues of investigation, it seemed that more time was spent on the romance than the mystery. But, if you can suspend your disbelief, you can enjoy the story.

While there were things I liked about Stacie, I didn't feel a great depth to her or any of the characters. Even the romance was hasty and not very romantic. I love animals and do love Sasha. Admittedly, I didn't need Stacie continually saying how great she was. Indeed I found a lot of repetition. The same basic things happening every cruise...and described every time. In fact, lots of details are included, specifically the minutia surrounding Stacie's day to day life. Details that didn't really add to the story.

With a great setting and an exciting conclusion BEAR WITNESS has lots of potential for a new series.

*******************************************************************

 Bear Witness (An Alaska Untamed Mystery) by Lark O. Jensen

About Bear Witness

Bear Witness (An Alaska Untamed Mystery)
Cozy Mystery 1st in Series
Setting - Alaska
Crooked Lane Books (May 10, 2022)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 320 pages

Alaska tour boat guide Stacie Calder faces the deep freeze in this scenic cozy series debut perfect for fans of Paige Shelton.

No nine-to-five cubicle career will suit Stacie Calder—the naturalist much prefers working in the great outdoors. Specifically, the spacious and spectacular Alaskan wilderness, whose rugged charms she shares with sightseers on the top deck of the tour boat where she works. But one May afternoon, Stacie’s passengers see more than glittering glaciers, frolicking harbor seals, climbing bears and soaring seabirds…they also witness a man lying dead in the frigid Alaskan waters. And it seems likely that someone gave him a fatal push.

Stacie didn’t know the unfortunate victim, but he sure wanted to know a lot about her. He spent most of his final afternoon bombarding her with questions quite awkward to answer. And when he wasn’t in her hair, he was arguing incessantly with the boat’s beleaguered crew. Which makes for a suspect list about as long as the passenger manifest. Furthermore, as police helicopters relentlessly circle her boat in search of any clues, Stacie is shaken to find herself on that suspect list.

Before the tour boat reaches shore Stacie—accompanied by her beautiful blue-eyed husky, Sasha—must deduce just who sent the testy tourist tumbling into the turgid waters and have the authorities take custody. Because if she can’t, then the killer might aim a fatal ice-cold stare at Stacie.

About Lark O. Jensen

Lark O. Jensen is the pseudonym of Linda O. Johnston, a former lawyer who is now a full-time writer. Lark has written Bear Witness, the first Alaska Untamed mystery for Crooked Lane. Linda has written the Barkery & Biscuits Mystery series and the Superstition Mysteries for Midnight Ink and the Pet Rescue Mysteries and Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime. Linda also writes for Harlequin Romantic Suspense, and her stories often involve dogs.

Author Links: 

Website: www.LindaOJohnston.com  

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

Purchase Links Amazon Barnes & Noble

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