Sunday, January 22, 2017

Review & Giveaway - Time Out

Review


TIME OUT by Suzanne Trauth
The Second Dodie O'Dell Mystery

With a continued partnership with the Etonville Little Theatre Dodie O'Dell's latest idea is an outdoor food festival with a 1940s Brooklyn theme to correspond with the play, Arsenic and Old Lace. As usual, the theatre is having its own issues, especially with guest director, Antonio Digenza, and his young wife, Tiffany. Dodie is having issues of her own between Henry's niece, Honey "helping" at the restaurant and wondering if she has a relationship with the Chief of Police or not. But when Antonio drops dead after eating a plateful of festival food, both restaurant and theatrical production may be kaput, even if it wasn't the knishes that did him in!  

When the hairs on the back of her neck stand up Dodie O'Dell knows that something's wrong. Those hairs stood up a few times in this second Dodie O'Dell Mystery. TIME OUT is a story and a mystery about relationships. Dodie's new relationship with Henry's niece, Honey, is one frustrating affiliation as is the confusing relationship she has with Etonville's busy Chief of Police. There's also the relationship between the Windjammer restaurant and the Etonville Little Theatre (ELT), Dodie's relationship with the theatre members, and their relationships with each other. Trauth brings in new blood to the ELT in the form of guest director, Antonio Digenza, and his young wife. Antonio's relationships are key to the mystery itself!

TIME OUT provides a satisfying second act to the Dodie O'Dell Mystery series. Well rounded characters, plenty of humor, and an intimate look at community theatre and family restaurants enhance the mystery. So grab a black and white cookie, but perhaps pass on the elderberry wine, and take your own time out to enjoy this delightful mystery.



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Friday, January 20, 2017

Review - A Fatal Twist

Review


A FATAL TWIST by Tracy Weber
The Fourth Downward Dog Mystery

While training to be a doula, Kate witnesses an ugly scene involving a cheating doctor, his mistress, and a nurse. The ugly scene replays when Kate accompanies Rene and Sam to the opening of a new birthing center, where Rene will be giving birth. This time, however, the nurse in question isn't a co-worker, but his wife! Afterward, Kate nearly collides with said wife, who is also her yoga student, running from the employee break room. As Kate enters in an attempt to clean up after a culinary dispute between her friends, she discovers the murdered body of the philandering doctor.

Murder isn't the only mayhem in Kate's life, however. Michael has brought two rescued puppies into their household. Cute as anything, but just as rambunctious and destructive, the two are bent on wreaking havoc. Will Kate survive being involved in yet another murder as Michael attempts to be a puppy foster father?

Tracy Weber has once again delivered a smart, funny mystery with some down to earth realism. Animals are wonderful companions, but in reality, everything is not sunshine and roses. Issues evolve and hard, unhappy decisions must be faced. Tracy Weber does not shy away from these harsh realities while she also shines a light on the horror of backyard breeders.

I find the development of the characters fascinating, especially Tiffany and her relationship with Kate. While I would have happily called the police and had Tiffany hauled to jail in KARMA'S A KILLER, it seems Kate's actions may have been more appropriate. All of the characters are growing and I enjoy seeing the happy progression.

The mystery itself is complex with a dastardly victim and lots of suspects with plenty of motives. In addition to the murder, there is a second crime, which at first seems a totally separate issue, but eventually has readers wondering if they may be connected after all. The mystery, the characters, the humor, and the important dog and rescue knowledge imparted combine to make A FATAL TWIST a mystery not to be missed.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Currently Reading...

I'm currently reading Time Out by Suzanne Trauth. This book is the second in the Dodie O'Dell Mystery series and was released yesterday!

With a continued partnership with the Etonville Little Theatre Dodie O'Dell's latest idea is an outdoor food festival with a1940s Brooklyn theme to correspond with the play, Arsenic and Old Lace. As usual, the theatre is having its own issues, especially with guest director, Antonio Digenza, and his young wife, Tiffany. Dodie is having issues of her own between Henry's niece, Honey "helping" at the restaurant and wondering if she has a relationship with the Chief of Police or not. But when Antonio drops dead after eating a plateful of festival food, both restaurant and theatrical production may be kaput, even if it wasn't the knishes that did him in!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Riverman - Spotlight & Giveaway

The Riverman

by Alex Gray

on Tour January 9 - February 15, 2017

Synopsis:


Fans of atmospheric police procedurals will love watching Glasgow vividly come to life with the shocking twists and turns that have made Alex Gray an international bestseller
When a dead body is fished out of Glasgow’s River Clyde the morning after an office celebration, it looks like a case of accidental death. But an anonymous telephone call and a forensic toxicology test give Detective Chief Inspector William Lorimer reason to think otherwise. Probing deeper into the life and business of the deceased accountant, a seemingly upright member of the community, Lorimer finds only more unanswered questions.
What is the secret his widow seems to be concealing? Was the international accounting firm facing financial difficulties? What has become of the dead man’s protégé who has disappeared in New York? And when another employee is found dead in her riverside flat these questions become much more disturbing. Lorimer must cope not only with deceptions from the firm, but also with suspicions from those far closer to home . . .

Book Details:

Genre: Police Procedurals
Published by: Witness Impulse
Publication Date: January 10th 2017
Number of Pages: 368
ISBN: 0062659138 (ISBN13: 9780062659132)
Series: A DCI Lorimer Novel, #4
Purchase Links: Amazon  | Barnes & Noble  | Goodreads 

Read an excerpt:

PROLOGUE

April
THE RIVERMAN
The riverman knew all about the Clyde. Its tides and currents were part of his heritage. His father and others before him had launched countless small craft from the banks of the river in response to a cry for help. Nowadays that cry came in the form of a klaxon that could waken him from sleep, the mobile phone ringing with information about where and when. It wouldn’t be the first time that he’d pulled someone from the icy waters with only a hasty oilskin over his pajamas.
This morning, at least, he’d been up and doing when the call came. The body was over by Finnieston, past the weir, so he’d had to drive over the river towing a boat behind him on the trailer. He was always ready. That was what this job was all about: prompt and speedy response in the hope that some poor sod’s life could be saved. And he’d saved hundreds over the years, desperate people who were trying to make up their mind to jump off one of the many bridges that spanned the Clyde or those who had made that leap and been saved before the waters filled their lungs.
George Parsonage had been brought up to respect his river. Once it had been the artery of a great beating heart, traffic thronging its banks, masts thick as brush-wood. The tobacco trade with Virginia had made Glasgow flourish all right, with the preaching of commerce and the praising of a New World that was ripe for plucking. The names of some city streets still recalled those far-off days. Even in his own memory, the Clyde had been a byword for ships. As a wee boy, George had been taken to the launch of some of the finer products of Glasgow’s shipbuilding industry. But even then the river’s grandeur was fading. He’d listened to stories about the grey hulks that grew like monsters from the deep, sliding along the water, destined for battle, and about the cruise liners sporting red funnels that were cheered off their slipways, folk bursting with pride to be part of this city with its great river.
The romance and nostalgia had persisted for decades after the demise of shipbuilding and cross-river ferries. Books written about the Clyde’s heyday still found readers hankering after a time that was long past. The Glasgow Garden Festival in the eighties had prompted some to stage a revival along the river and more recently there had been a flurry of activity as the cranes returned to erect luxury flats and offices on either side of its banks. Still, there was little regular traffic upon its sluggish dark waters: a few oarsmen, a private passenger cruiser and the occasional police launch. Few saw what the river was churning up on a daily basis.
As he pushed the oars against the brown water, the riverman sent up a silent prayer for guidance. He’d seen many victims of despair and violence, and constantly reminded himself that each one was a person like himself with hopes, dreams and duties in different measure. If he could help, he would. That was what the Glasgow Humane Society existed for, after all. The sound of morning traffic roared above him as he made his way downstream. The speed of response was tempered by a need to row slowly and carefully once the body was near. Even the smallest of eddies could tip the body, filling the air pocket with water and sending it down and down to the bottom of the river. So, as George Parsonage approached the spot where the body floated, his oars dipped as lightly as seabirds’ wings, his eyes fixed on the shape that seemed no more than a dirty smudge against the embankment.
The riverman could hear voices above but his eyes never left the half-submerged body as the boat crept nearer and nearer. At last he let the boat drift, oars resting on the rowlocks as he finally drew alongside the river’s latest victim. George stood up slowly and bent over, letting the gunwales of the boat dip towards the water. Resting one foot on the edge, he hauled the body by its shoulders and in one clean movement brought it in. Huge ripples eddied away from the side as the boat rocked upright, its cargo safely aboard.
The victim was a middle-aged man. He’d clearly been in the water for some hours so there was no question of trying to revive him. The riverman turned the head this way and that, but there was no sign of a bullet hole or any wound that might indicate a sudden, violent death. George touched the sodden coat lightly. Its original camel colour was smeared and streaked with the river’s detritus, the velvet collar an oily black. Whoever he had been, his clothes showed signs of wealth. The pale face shone wet against the pearly pink light of morning. For an instant George had the impression that the man would sit up and grasp his hand, expressing his thanks for taking him out of the water, as so many had done before him. But today no words would be spoken.There would be only a silent communion between the two men, one dead and one living, before other hands came to examine the corpse.
George grasped the oars and pulled away from the embankment. Only then did he glance upwards, nodding briefly as he identified the men whose voices had sounded across the water. DCI Lorimer caught his eye and nodded back. Up above the banking a couple of uniformed officers stood looking down. Even as he began rowing away from the shore, the riverman noticed a smaller figure join the others. Dr. Rosie Fergusson had arrived.
‘Meet you at the Finnieston steps, George,’ Lorimer called out.
The riverman nodded briefly, pulling hard on the oars, taking his charge on its final journey down the Clyde.
Excerpt from The Riverman by Alex Gray. Copyright © 2017 by Alex Gray. Reproduced with permission from HarperCollins | WitnessImpulse. All rights reserved.

Author Bio:


Alex Gray was born and educated in Glasgow. After studying English and Philosophy at the University of Strathclyde, she worked as a visiting officer for the Department of Health, a time she looks upon as postgraduate education since it proved a rich source of character studies. She then trained as a secondary school teacher of English.
Alex began writing professionally in 1993 and had immediate success with short stories, articles, and commissions for BBC radio programs. She has been awarded the Scottish Association of Writers' Constable and Pitlochry trophies for her crime writing.
A regular on the Scottish bestseller lists, she is the author of thirteen DCI Lorimer novels. She is the co-founder of the international Scottish crime writing festival, Bloody Scotland, which had its inaugural year in 2012.

Connect with Alex Gray on her Website  & on Twitter .

 

Tour Participants:

Visit the other tour stops for more great features and reviews!  

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This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours for Alex Gray and William Morrow. There will be 3 US winners of one (1) PRINT copy of The Riverman by Alex Gray. The giveaway begins on January 9th and runs through February 23rd, 2017.
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Sunday, January 15, 2017

Review - Dead and Breakfast

Review


DEAD AND BREAKFAST by Kate Kingsbury
The First Merry Ghost Inn Mystery

Melanie West was looking for a change when her grandmother, Liza Harris, asked her to move to the Oregon coast to become her partner in owning and running a bed and breakfast. Leaving the remnants of a nasty divorce and a boring job as a financial analyst behind, Melanie joins her grandmother and starts to transform the house into a B & B. Although they had heard rumors that the house was haunted, the pair certainly did not expect to find a skeleton during their renovations. The police halt the remodeling until a detective can further investigate this cold case. But, Liza is not one to sit idly by and she convinces her granddaughter that they need to investigate themselves so they can open the inn on time and start earning the money they desperately need. Meanwhile the sounds of male laughter when no one is near and small items found in odd locations add to Liza's conviction, and marketing plan, that there truly is a ghost, while unnerving Melanie, who doesn't believe that ghosts exist.

What a fun start to a new series. Melanie and Liza make a great team: the down to earth Melanie and the exuberant, willing to take a chance Liza, who continually tried to get Melanie to stop calling her Gran! Despite some of the physical limitations that come with age, Liza is the younger fun loving soul who longs to solve the murder. Melanie, though younger in years, is weighed down more with the unpleasant realities of the world. What makes me appreciate this mystery is that Melanie doesn't go into it by declaring she has to solve the crime. Instead, she intends to do what most logical people would do, leave it to the police. It's infinitely more realistic that she would play along with her grandmother rather than pursue the murder head on.

Kate Kingsbury gives us a cold case mystery, a new murder, and the possibility of a ghost, not to mention the ongoing puzzle of Melanie's missing mother. Told with a deft, engaging style the first book in the Merry Ghost Inn Mystery series is a delight!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Towhee Get Your Gun - Spotlight & Giveaway

towhee-get-your-gun 

Towhee Get Your Gun
by J.R. Ripley

2nd in Series
Lyrical Underground (January 3, 2017)
288 Pages

Synopsis:

When Birds & Bees owner Amy Simms volunteers to act in a local production of Annie, Get Your Gun, she finds herself upstaged by a killer waiting in the wings . . .
Who’s got time for birdwatching? Amy has enough to do running her shop, fighting attempts by the town planning commission to demolish her old Victorian house, and rescuing an injured towhee. Yet somehow she allows herself to get roped into performing in the Ruby Lake, North Carolina, community theater’s new musical after some cast members get injured by mysterious mishaps. The production seems plagued by bad luck, but events turn tragic when a member of the company is found murdered in a locked dressing room.
Trading in her binoculars for a magnifying glass, Amy steps into the role of amateur sleuth and soon discovers the victim ruffled a lot of feathers. With a flock of suspects, Amy will need to beat the bushes before the cagey killer takes flight. After all, the show must go on . . .

About The Author:





J.R. Ripley is the pen name of Glenn Meganck, the critically acclaimed author of the Tony Kozol mystery series. As a member of the Mystery Writers of America, he has chaired the Edgar committee for Best Original Paperback novel and served on the Best Short Story Committee. As a member of the International Association of Crime Writers, he has served on the Hammett Award committee for Best Novel. When not writing books, Glenn is writing songs, often singing them to the consternation of his audience and neighbors, or involved in one of his many passions, none of which have involved any of the dead bodies that seem to keep cropping up in his mysteries. For more information about him, visit glennmeganck.com.

Author Links
Purchase Links:
Amazon

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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Currently Reading...

I'm currently reading A Fatal Twist by Tracy Weber. This book is the fourth book in the Downward Dog Mystery series and was released Sunday!

While training to be a doula, Kate witnesses an ugly scene involving a cheating doctor, his mistress, and a nurse. The ugly scene replays when Kate accompanies Rene and Sam to the opening of a new birthing center, where Rene will be giving birth. This time, however, the nurse in question isn't a co-worker, but his wife! Afterward, Kate nearly collides with the wife, who is also her yoga student, running from the employee break room. As Kate enters in an attempt to clean up after a culinary dispute between her friends, she discovers the murdered body of the philandering doctor.

Murder isn't the only mayhem in Kate's life, however. Michael has brought two rescued puppies into their household. Cute as anything, but just as rambunctious and destructive, the two are bent on wreaking havoc. Will Kate survive being involved in yet another murder as Michael attempts to be a puppy foster father?