Sunday, June 13, 2021

Killing in a Koi Pond - A Review & Giveaway

 Review


MURDER, SHE WROTE: KILLING IN A KOI POND
By Jessica Fletcher & Terrie Farley Moran
The Fifty-Third Murder, She Wrote Mystery

After a fun mystery conference Jessica Fletcher heads to South Carolina to catch up with her old college friend, Dolores Nickens. It seems that her marriage to Willis, husband number three, agrees with her as Dolores appears happier than she's been in years. As delighted as Dolores is with her new husband, the wealthy businessman has a dark side. Willis changes abruptly from charming host to a belittling, nasty, and cruel man, seeming to take delight in ratcheting the tension and making his other guests uncomfortable. The next morning Jessica's morning jog on their property takes an unexpected turn when she sees a body in the koi pond. Willis is dead. Although they won't get to do touristy things and have fun reminiscing, this may turn out to be the best time for Jessica to visit. Once the sheriff determines that Jessica is correct and Willis was murdered, Dolores is sure to be the main suspect. 

Reading MURDER, SHE WROTE: KILLING IN A KOI POND was a nostalgic trip to a comforting past. My mom and I loved watching Angela Lansbury as Jessica Fletcher when the original TV series aired and even though Jessica wasn't in Maine, that good feeling remained as I read this enjoyable mystery. I loved the little details, talking about Malice Domestic, food descriptions that had my mouth watering, and red herrings that I thought for sure would have some bearing on the murder.

Astute readers may pick up a vital clue early in the story. I did and figured out the who, if not the why, but then as I kept reading I kind of forgot about it so near the end I wasn't sure who did it...until Jessica explained and I was like, "Oh yeah". 

MURDER, SHE WROTE: KILLING IN A KOI POND is a delightful addition to this long running series. Fully developed characters, both new and old, inhabit these pages providing rich detail bringing the story to life.

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 Murder, She Wrote: Killing in a Koi Pond by Jessica Fletcher & Terrie Farley Moran

About Murder, She Wrote: Killing in a Koi Pond


Murder, She Wrote: Killing in a Koi Pond
Cozy Mystery 53rd in Series
Publisher: Berkley (June 8, 2021)
Hardcover: 288 pages

When a friend’s husband dies while Jessica Fletcher is in town visiting, Jessica’s vacation turns into a murder investigation in this latest entry in the long-running USA Today bestselling series.

After traveling to Bethesda for a mystery writers’ conference, Jessica Fletcher decides she’s earned a vacation and takes a train to Columbia, South Carolina, to visit her old college friend Dolores, who has recently married her third husband, Willis Nickens, a wealthy and cutthroat businessman. They’ve moved into an opulent historic home with plenty of space for guests, and Jessica is ready for a week of shopping, gossiping, and relaxing at the grand estate.

But the morning after she arrives, Jessica discovers Willis facedown in the koi pond, and despite what the police think, she’s sure foul play is involved. She hadn’t known Willis long, but it’s clear to her that he didn’t concern himself with making friends. The question isn’t if her friend’s husband was murdered but by whom.

 

About the Authors

Jessica Fletcher is a bestselling mystery writer who has a knack for stumbling upon real-life mysteries in her various travels.

Terrie Farley Moran is the author of Murder She Wrote: Killing in a Koi Pond, the latest in the long-running Jessica Fletcher series, to be followed in autumn 2021 by Murder She Wrote: Debonair in Death. She has also written the beachside Read 'Em and Eat cozy mystery series and is co-author of Laura Childs’ New Orleans scrapbooking mysteries. Her short stories have been published in numerous magazines and anthologies. Terrie is a recipient of both the Agatha and the Derringer awards.

Terrie's Links: 

Website: http://www.terriefarleymoran.com  

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

Purchase Links - Amazon - B&N - Penguin Random House - Kobo - Google Play - IndieBound  

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Friday, June 11, 2021

The Time for Murder is Meow - A Review & Giveaway

When Llewellyn stopped its Midnight Ink imprint, many mystery lovers were sad to see favorite series suddenly without a home. I'm pleased to share that T. C. LoTiempo got her rights back to her series and the Purr N Bark Pet Shop Mystery series is back. It is rebranded as the Urban Tails Pet Shop Mystery series. I originally posted this review August 11, 2019, although I have made a few changes. I look forward to reading more books in this delightful series.

Review


THE TIME FOR MURDER IS MEOW by T. C. LoTempio
The First Urban Tails Pet Shop Mystery

Inheriting her aunt's home and popular pet store was just the opportunity Crishell McMillan was looking for. With her popular TV series cancelled and no desire to join the reboot, she's ready to retire to a quiet life in Fox Hollow. Shell receives a warm welcome from several of the town's business owners and discovers she has a roommate as well, a charming Persian named Purrday, much to the dismay of her own cat, Kahlua. Not everyone in town is friendly though, especially Amelia Witherspoon, who has a striking resemblance to the Wicked Witch of the West, and not just in appearance. Within forty eight hours of arriving, Shell managers to anger a good portion of the museum board, finds herself getting bad press from the town's newspaper editor, and becomes a person of interest in the murder of Amelia, the museum board member who had a feud with Shell's aunt. In order to start fresh and re-open Purr N Bark without any hint of scandal, and perhaps pursue a relationship with a gorgeous detective, Shell gathers her friends to figure out who actually killed the wicked witch.

The Urban Tails Pet Shop Mystery series is off to a great start. I felt an immediate bond with most of the characters and loved spending time getting to know them. Shell McMillan is down to earth and completely real, despite being a successful Hollywood actress. She's friendly, honest, and determined, yet can get angry and act rashly. Her desire to resolve matters oftentimes gets her in more trouble! I especially love the unexpected arrival of her former co-star. She and Gary continue to make a great team. I look forward to the upcoming romance between Shell and Josh. Of course, Purrday, Kahlua, and Rocco are wonderful additions, smart cats and a lovable goofball of a dog are perfect assets to a cozy mystery.

This book would have received my highest rating, except for two things. The author gave a significant clue leading me to know the identity of the murderer early on. However, I considered it may have been a red herring and it didn't diminish my enjoyment of the story. The flaw for me was when the killer suddenly becomes crazy. The rational murderer with a solid motive who at the end of the mystery is now described as being crazy is a major pet peeve of mine. Still, I absolutely loved everything else in the book!

THE TIME FOR MURDER IS MEOW is a fantastic start to a new series. Entertaining, smart, and funny, the Urban Tails Pet Shop Mystery series has wormed its way into my heart and I can't wait to spend more time with its residents!

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The Time for Murder is Meow: Urban Tails Pet Shop Mysteries by T. C. LoTempio

About The Time for Murder is Meow

The Time for Murder is Meow: Urban Tails Pet Shop Mysteries
Cozy Mystery 1st in Series
Publisher: Beyond the Page Publishing (June 9, 2021) 
 

Shell McMillan and her furry sidekicks aren’t kitten around when they set out to catch a killer . . .

When her TV series is canceled, struggling actress Shell McMillan considers it a blessing in disguise. A beloved aunt who recently died left her a pet shop in her will, and she sees it as the perfect chance to walk away from Hollywood and make a fresh start in the sleepy town of Fox Hollow.

But adjusting to small-town life won’t be easy, as Shell realizes when the head of the museum board is found murdered not long after Shell had a very public argument with her. And when the new kid in town is fingered for the crime, she’ll have to rely on her own wit and pluck and the kindness of strangers to get herself off the hook.

Desperate to exonerate herself and catch the real culprit, Shell begins digging into the lives of the local residents, and she quickly discovers that the victim had no shortage of enemies. As the suspect list grows and time runs short, Shell and her cats will have to claw their way out of danger—and it’s meow or never . . .

 

About T.C. LoTempio

While Toni Lotempio does not commit – or solve – murders in real life, she has no trouble doing it on paper. Her lifelong love of mysteries began early on when she was introduced to her first Nancy Drew mystery at age 10 – The Secret in the Old Attic. She and her cat pen the Nick and Nora mystery series originally from Berkley Prime Crime and now with Beyond the Page Publishing. They also write the Cat Rescue series from Crooked Lane and the Pet Shop series, originally published by Midnight Ink and rebranded in June of this year as “Urban Tails Pet Shop Mysteries.” Book 1 will be re-released in June with a brand new cover! The series is continued in 2022 with book two, KILLERS OF A FEATHER, from Beyond the Page. Catch up with them at ROCCO’s blog, www.catsbooksmorecats.blogspot.com or her website, www.tclotempio.net

Purchase Link - Amazon -

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Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Currently Reading...

I'm currently reading Murder She Wrote: A Killing in a Koi Pond by Jessica Fletcher and Terrie Farley Moran. This book is the fifty-third book in the Murder She Wrote Mystery series.

After a fun mystery conference Jessica Fletcher heads to South Carolina to catch up with her old college friend, Dolores Nickens. It seems that her marriage to Willis, husband number three, agrees with her as Dolores appears happier than she's been in years. As delighted as Dolores is with her new husband, the wealthy businessman has a dark side. Willis changes abruptly from charming host to a belittling, nasty, and cruel man, seeming to take delight in ratcheting the tension and making his other guests uncomfortable. The next morning Jessica's morning jog on their property takes an unexpected turn when she sees a body in the koi pond. Willis is dead. Although they won't get to do touristy things and have fun reminiscing, this may turn out to be the best time for Jessica to visit. Once the sheriff determines that Jessica is correct and Willis was murdered, Dolores is sure to be the main suspect.


Tuesday, June 8, 2021

An Interview with Trixie Silvertale

I'm pleased to welcome Trixie Silvertale to Cozy Up With Kathy today. Trixie writes the Mitzy Moon Mystery series.

 

Kathy: Your Mitzy Moon Mystery series features an amateur sleuth, small town intrigue, and a dash of the supernatural. What made you decide to make your series paranormal?

TS: The Mitzy Moon Mysteries are my secret passion, come to life! I have always wanted to be a PI and fancy myself quite the amateur sleuth. I love reading cozy and paranormal cozy mysteries and I love watching detective shows on TV. Ever since the original Bewitched television series I’ve loved the idea of the paranormal in everyday life. (Please do not do the math! Maybe I watched reruns . . . ) Anyway, I enjoy solving the mystery before the end of the book or show, but the fun is always in unraveling the clues!

Kathy: Mitzy inherits an entitled feline, Ghost-ma. Do you have any cats, entitled or not? If so, do they influence Pyewacket’s antics?

TS: I’ve had many cats over the years and worked with some wildcat rescues. All of the nutty and mildly terrifying shenanigans of those felines play into Pye’s antics.


Kathy: Mitzy also gets help from a spirit from beyond the grave. Do you believe in ghosts? Have you ever had any ghostly encounters?

TS: The supernatural has always fascinated me. I think life after death (in some form) plays into our reality. I enjoy ghost tours, séances, and the idea of messages from beyond the veil.

Kathy: What first drew you to cozy mysteries?

TS: The fun! I’m a big fan of humor as a coping mechanism and cozy mysteries handle that with flair.
 

Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?

TS: I write YA Epic Fantasy under the pen name “Rue.”
 

Kathy: Tell us about your series. 

TS: Mitzy Moon is a psychic sleuth with a knack for stumbling onto corpses!
 

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

TS: I love them all the same J
 

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

TS: A lifetime of experiences went into creating Pin Cherry Harbor.


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

TS: Agatha Christie, J.R.R. Tolkien, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and Mary Shelley


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

TS: I LOVE baking!

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

TS: At least 5 pounds of flour, minimum of three types of sugar, amarena cherries, and at least one jar of roasted red peppers.

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

TS: Like I always tell my readers: I’ll keep writing them if you keep reading . . .

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

TS: Writing and emails from readers are tied for 1st place!

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

Trixie’s Website
http://trixiesilvertale.com

Amazon Author Page
https://www.amazon.com/Trixie-Silvertale/e/B07XGGRTWK

BookBub Author
https://www.bookbub.com/authors/trixie-silvertale

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

Facebook Author
https://www.facebook.com/TrixieSilvertale/

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Dial "M" for Maine Coon - A Spotlight

I'd like to shine a spotlight on Dial "M" for Maine Coon by Alex Erickson. This is the second book in the Furever Pets Mystery series. It was released as a B&N exclusive last year and will be released to other sellers later this summer.


Blurb:

Animal rescue is always risky business, but Liz Denton, owner of the Furever Pets, finds out it's also dangerous when someone puts down one of her prospective pet adopters...

Liz is thrilled to find a forever home for her latest rescue, Sheamus, a Maine Coon cat. But on adoption day, she discovers Sheamus's would-be owner, Joe Hitchcock, murdered in his study. Joe's shocking death reveals an even more startling secret: his real name was Joe Danvers...a man accused of killing his wife thirty years ago.

Liz knows she should focus on finding Sheamus a new home, but this mystery already has its claws in her. So Liz begins vetting the clues from both investigations. But with a stalker sniffing at her heels and a rival swatting at her business, Liz's curiosity may come at a hefty price...especially since Joe's case has more lives than a cat.

Friday, June 4, 2021

A Fiancee's Guide to First Wives and Murder - A Review

 Review


A FIANCEE'S GUIDE TO FIRST WIVES AND MURDER by Dianne Freeman
The Fourth Countess of Harleigh Mystery
 
Moments after Frances, the Countess of Harleigh, sees her mother and daughter off for a trip to Paris Inspector Delaney shows up her door with a young woman in tow. The woman makes a variety of outrageous claims, the most shocking being that she is the wife George Hazelton. The very same George Hazelton to whom Frances is engaged.
 
In A FIANCEE'S GUIDE TO FIRST WIVES AND MURDER readers are introduced to Irena. What a character! Her revelations had me stunned and slack-jawed. And angry. Angry that Frances was forced to deal with her. And stunned again when Irena was murdered! (I guess I didn't read the back cover.) As bad as she made Frances' life, her death made it even worse. In order to remain a respectable member of society, Frances and George must sort out the truths in Irena's stories in order to identify her killer. Considering that most people who spent more than five minutes with Irena, or even five minutes reading about her, would want to kill her, their task is quite difficult.

I've always loved reading novels set in Regency, Victorian, and Edwardian England, but I am quite glad not to have actually lived back then! Even if I was lucky enough to be born into the upper classes, I don't think I'd deal well with with the social mores and rules. The Countess of Harleigh did nothing wrong, if anything, she was wronged, and yet she was almost made a social pariah. How Frances is able to weave her way through society, despite its pitfalls, is admirable and smart. There are plenty of surprises in this fourth Countess of Harleigh Mystery, keeping readers on their toes.

A FIANCEE'S GUIDE TO FIRST WIVES AND MURDER is a thoroughly enjoyable, compelling, page-turning mystery that focuses on appearances, societal rules, and the consequences of ignoring them. A delightful book, providing many laughs, it ignited my emotions making me at times angry, worried, and ultimately happy.


Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Currently Reading...

I'm currently reading Barnabas Tew and the Case of the Hellenic Abduction by Columbkill Noonan. This book is the fifth in the Barnabas Tew Mystery series.

While practicing their yoga on the banks on the Ganges Victorian private investigator Barnabas Tew and his assistant, Wilfred, are unceremoniously whisked away and deposited in Ancient Greece. Upon Odin's recommendation Zeus has summoned the duo to help him rescue a princess. Barnabas and Wilfred undertake the mission, but find Zeus's intentions not entirely honorable and are unsure if they should indeed find the woman for him. Running into various deities and other mythological beings from Ancient Greece Barnabas and Wilfred will have to keep on their toes or risk death...again!

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Murder at the Beacon Bakeshop - A Spotlight

I'd like to shine a spotlight on a book in my towering TBR pile. Since yesterday was Memorial Day, I thought it fitting to spotlight a book that takes place during this holiday. Murder at the Beacon Bakeshop by Darci Hannah is the first book in the Beacon Bakeshop Mystery series and was released earlier this year. 


From the back cover:

More interested in kneading dough than adding it up, Lindsey’s breakup inspired her to set up the shop she always wanted in a place that always made her happy. She’d spent many childhood summers near this beach community and converting the old run-down lighthouse into a bakery café and home offers a perfect fresh start for Lindsey and her devoted Newfoundland dog, Wellington.
 
But not everyone in town has a sweet tooth. The preservation society won’t have the lighthouse’s history sugar coated by lattes and cakes—and a protest group crashes Lindsey’s Memorial Day opening. Then her ex-fiancé Jeffrey Plank and his girlfriend Mia Long arrive to trash the place. In the ensuing chaos Mia chokes on a donut and dies.
 
An autopsy reveals cyanide in Mia’s bloodstream and Lindsey is the police’s prime suspect. To clear her name, she’s going to need to combine ingredients found in the town’s checkered past to uncover the identity of a desperate killer . . .
 

Recipes included.