Sunday, March 3, 2024

Murder in Masquerade - A Review & Giveaway

 Review


MURDER IN MASQUERADE by Mary Winters
The Second Lady of Letters Mystery 
 
Concerned that his sister is encouraging the affections of a rogue and scoundrel Simon Bainbridge persuades Amelia, Lady Amesbury, to accompany him to the opera in order to keep an eye on Marielle. Upon meeting the man in question, Amelia finds him charming, although with an apparent eye for the ladies, and not just Marielle. Walking to their carriage after the performance Amelia stumbles upon a body, literally. George Davies has been stabbed to death! Amelia is keen to solve another murder as well as mend the rift between the siblings, but will she be successful?

Amelia is the most delightful protagonist. She's caring, funny, and oh so competitive! She and Lady Tabitha had me chuckling at their competitive nature and skill at various sports. I will never challenge these ladies at croquet! But the laughs, of which there are many, are only a part of this wonderful book and series. 
 
I love how Amelia is coming to grips with her new found status. Now that her mourning period is over, she's able to rejoin society, learn to be a mum to a tween daughter, and perhaps pursue a new love. One of her favorite tasks, and mine, is her secret job as Lady Agony. I particularly love how the letters she receives mirror the action of the mystery and her life. I enjoy how a letter proceeds each chapter.
 
The mystery was exhilarating, as were the scrapes Amelia found herself in. Running into a tree? The twists and turns kept me enthralled and even when Amelia knew killer, I was sure it was someone else! And the romance. The teases and forays into something more. I can't wait to see where things lead!

The Lady of Letters is a historical mystery series and the female characters are bound by the societal rules of Victorian England. That being said, I love how almost all of the female characters push those boundaries of propriety. Even Lady Tabitha, the woman with a strict code to follow the demands of propriety has a willingness to bend at times.

In a series that has it all MURDER IN MASQUERADE brings the best of historical drama with witty repartee, fantastic characterization, and a thrilling mystery. 

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

 Murder in Masquerade (A Lady of Letters Mystery) by Mary Winters

About Murder in Masquerade

Murder in Masquerade (A Lady of Letters Mystery)
Historical Cozy Mystery 2nd in Series
Setting - London, 1860
Publisher: ‎ Berkley (February 20, 2024)
Paperback: ‎ 336 pages

Extra, extra, read all about it! Countess turned advice columnist Amelia Amesbury finds herself playing the role of sleuth when a night at the theatre turns deadly.

Victorian Countess Amelia Amesbury’s secret hobby, writing an advice column for a London penny paper, has gotten her into hot water before. After all, Amelia will do whatever it takes to help a reader in need. But now, handsome marquis Simon Bainbridge desperately requires her assistance. His beloved younger sister, Marielle, has written Amelia's Lady Agony column seeking advice on her plans to elope with a man her family does not approve of. Determined to save his sister from a scoundrel and the family from scandal, Simon asks Amelia to dissuade Marielle from the ill-advised gambit.

But when the scoundrel makes an untimely exit after a performance of Verdi’s Rigoletto, Amelia realizes there’s much more at stake than saving a young woman’s reputation from ruin. It’s going to take more than her letter-writing skills to help the dashing marquis, mend the familial bond, and find the murderer. Luckily, solving problems is her specialty!

About Mary Winters

] © Julie Prairie Pho

Mary Winters is the author of the Lady of Letters historical mystery series. She also writes cozy mysteries under the name Mary Angela. A longtime reader and fan of historical fiction, Mary set her latest work in Victorian England after being inspired by a trip to London. Since then, she’s been busily planning her next mystery—and another trip! Find out more about Mary and her writing, reading, and teaching at marywintersauthor.com.

Author Links: 

Website http://www.Marywintersauthor.com  

Blog http://www.Marywintersauthor.com/blog  

Facebook http://www.Facebook.com/marywintersauthor  

Instagram http://www.Instagram.com/marywintersauthor  

GoodReads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/157979415-murder-in-masquerade  

Purchase Links - Amazon - B&N - BAM - Bookshop.org - Powell's Books - Hudson Booksellers

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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.

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

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?

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

 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!

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

 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.

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

 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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Sunday, February 18, 2024

Ill-Fated Fortune - An Interview, Review, and Giveaway

I'm pleased to welcome Jennifer Chow to Cozy Up With Kathy today. Jennifer writes the Magical Fortune Cookie Mystery series. ILL-FATED FORTUNE is the first book in the series and will be released this Tuesday.


Kathy: Felicity Jin had always been hesitant in the kitchen. What about you? Do you enjoy cooking?

JC: I enjoy cooking—but I started later in the kitchen. It wasn’t until college that I actually pulled together a complete meal.


Kathy: Felicity's mom makes enchanted baked goods, including puffy pineapple buns and creamy egg tarts. Just reading those words made me drool. What are some of your favorite baked treats?

JC: Of course, the two mentioned above! I also like chocolate chip walnut cookies, chiffon cake, coconut strudel—the list could go on forever…


Kathy: Felicity makes her own fortune cookies and writes personalized fortunes. Have you ever gotten a fortune from a cookie that was right on point? 

JC: I used to tape fortune cookie messages on my writing journals. One of them read: “You will be successful in your work.” I hope that’s true!

 

Kathy: What first drew you to cozy mysteries? 

JC: Agatha Christie. I would read cozy mysteries with my mom, and years later, it spurred me to write one.


Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?

JC: In my backlist, I have a supernatural YA and an intergenerational family drama. It’s been a while since I’ve done anything non-mystery, though.
 

Kathy: Tell us about your series. 

JC: The Magical Fortune Cookie series features a family-owned bakery that serves charmed treats. Only it’s not so charming when an ill-fated fortune cookie prediction comes true—and a dead body is found behind the bakery.

Other series:
L.A. Night Market—Foodie cousins with opposite personalities get dished with murder cases.
Sassy Cat—Pet groomer Mimi Lee teams up with her telepathic sassy cat to solve crimes.
Winston Wong—An ex-video game tester bumbles his way into catching culprits in the Silicon Valley.


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

JC: Hard to choose, but I really do like Whiskers in Ill-Fated Fortune. She adds an extra layer of enchantment and cuddles. Who wouldn’t want to be friends with a magical bunny straight out of Chinese mythology?


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

JC: A fortune cookie factory tour when I was a child, and also the general idea that I’m like a fortune cookie. I feel like my two sides of Chinese and American come together in a delicious way.


Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?

JC: For the Magical Fortune Cookie books, my agent asked if I had any new ideas. I gave her a list of paragraph-long ideas, and then one sentence with the premise for Ill-Fated Fortune. Guess which concept she loved the most?


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

JC: My inspirations: Agatha Christie (as mentioned before), Amy Tan, Dale Furutani, and Joanne Fluke.


Kathy: What are you currently reading?

JC: I recently read VERA WONG'S UNSOLICITED ADVICE FOR MURDERERS by Jesse Q. Sutanto and loved it!


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

JC: Reading, clearly. Besides that, I like painting with watercolors, taking scenic hikes, and kayaking in calm waters.


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

JC: 1. Tea 2. Bread 3. Peanut butter 4. Apples


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

JC: Yes! There will be at least two more books in the Magical Fortune Cookie series. The next one involves murder at a wedding. Working title: Star-crossed Sweet Tarts


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

JC: The readers. I love it when people come up to me or email me about how my books help them find joy, speak to their identity, or resonate with their lives. 

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

Review

ILL-FATED FORTUNE by Jennifer J. Chow
The First Magical Fortune Cookie Mystery

At Gold Bakery Mrs. Jin bakes traditional Chinese baked goods and infuses them with joy...literally. Her daughter Felicity, try as she might, has never shown a glimpse of the Jin magick, until the day she made her own fortune cookies. Not only are her delicious treats are a hit with customers, she's finally come into her own power, writing eerily accurate fortunes. When a too accurate fortune is found on the dead body found in the Jin's dumpster Felicity comes under suspicion. Felicity will try to understand her power and promote the family business all while investigating the death of the Fortune Cookie King.

Fitting in is a major theme of the first Magical Fortune Cookie Mystery. As close as she is to her mom, Felicity felt she never fit in with her own family as she didn't appear to have the Jin gift. But she's not the only one facing this struggle. Employees at the Smiley Fortunes factory, her best friend, Kelvin, Detective Sun, and several other characters are all looking to fit in and be accepted.

The friendships, the family, sticking together, and staying true to yourself all give the book more heart. I loved the traditional Chinese aspects to the story, not only the pineapple buns, but Whiskers the bunny bringing Chinese mythology to life. The mystery is intriguing and I enjoyed the various paths Felicity explored, combining her business and her personal power as she searched for the truth.

With a great cast of diverse characters and a sprinkling of magick ILL-FATED FORTUNE is a great new twist on a culinary mystery.

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 Ill-Fated Fortune: A Magical Fortune Cookie Novel by Jennifer J. Chow

About Ill-Fated Fortune

Ill-Fated Fortune: A Magical Fortune Cookie
Cozy Mystery 1st in Series
Setting - California
Minotaur Books (February 20, 2024)
Mass Market Paperback: ‎ 320 pages

Felicity Jin grew up literally hanging onto Mom’s apron strings in their magical bakery in the quaint town of Pixie, California. Her mother’s enchanted baked goods, including puffy pineapple buns and creamy egg tarts, bring instant joy to all who consume them. Felicity has always been hesitant in the kitchen herself after many failed attempts, but a takeout meal gone wrong inspires her to craft some handmade fortune cookies.

They become so popular that Felicity runs out of generic fortunes and starts making her own personalized predictions. When one customer’s ill-fated fortune results in his murder, Felicity’s suspiciously specific fortune has the police focusing on her as the main culprit. Now Felicity must find a way to turn her luck around and get cleared from suspicion.

About Jennifer J. Chow

Jennifer J. Chow writes cozies filled with hope and heritage. She is an Agatha, Anthony, and Lefty Award-nominated author. Her newest series is the Magical Fortune Cookie mysteries; the first book is Ill-Fated Fortune. Jennifer’s previous series is the L.A. Night Market Mysteries. Death by Bubble Tea was reviewed by the New York Times, featured in Woman’s World, and hit the SoCal Indie Bestseller List. Jennifer currently serves as Immediate Past President on the board of Sisters in Crime and blogs at chicksonthecase.com. She is an active member of Crime Writers of Color and Mystery Writers of America. Connect with her online and sign up for her newsletter at JenniferJChow.com.

Author Links: 

Website www.jenniferjchow.com  

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

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

BookBub https://www.bookbub.com/authors/jennifer-j-chow 

 Purchase Links - Amazon - Macmillian - Bookshop.org - B&N - Kobo 

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Friday, February 16, 2024

Once Upon a Murder - A Review & Giveaway

 Review


ONCE UPON A MURDER by Samantha Larsen
The Second Lady Librarian Mystery

Tiffany Woodall is running late for her job as librarian at Astwell Palace, which is nothing new. However, her tardiness on this day is due to stumbling over the dead body of Bernard Coram, a nasty former footman. The despicable Justice of the Peace, Sir Walter Abney, immediately suspects Tiffany of murder, then arrests Constable Samir Lathrop. Knowing he will not receive a fair trial, Tiffany is desperate to discover the real killer herself. But there are lots of secrets in this small village and villagers tend to stick together, especially against a foreigner. In 1784 England there's not a lot a single woman is allowed to do, but unexpected aid comes from the formidable Duchess of Beaufort. Will they be able to get to the truth?

Abuse, discrimination, and greed are the key elements of ONCE UPON A MURDER, but so are loyalty and family. We are witness to base behavior, and also cunning, for good, and not so good. Emotions run high and desperate measures are called for. There's a complex mystery, but also drama, and romance at the book's heart.

I enjoyed the first Lady Librarian Mystery and I loved this second installment even more. Tiffany is a wonderful protagonist, smart, determined, but not without insecurities. She also has to face discrimination, especially as a single mature women. While I don't understand the all consuming desire to have a family, I can appreciate Tiffany's feelings and appreciate how this portion of the storyline was handled. While I loved Samir in the previous book, I was appalled at his male idiocy in this one! And Mary's actions had me stunned and angry as well. Who I truly came to admire was the Duchess. I loved getting to know her better and witnessing her wily machinations. I'm so glad she's on Tiffany's side.

ONCE UPON A MURDER is a gripping historical novel with an intriguing mystery.

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

Once Upon a Murder (A Lady Librarian Mystery) by Samantha Larsen

About Once Upon A Murder

Once Upon a Murder (A Lady Librarian Mystery) by Samantha Larsen
Publication Date: February 20, 2024
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Hardcover: ‎ 304 pages
Book Synopsis

Miss Tiffany Woodall must sleuth the slaying of a footman to clear her beloved's name in the second Lady Librarian mystery, in the vein of Deanna Raybourn and perfect for fans of Bridgerton.

1784 England. Officially hired as the librarian for the Duchess of Beaufort, Miss Tiffany Woodall is through with masquerades and murders for good. That is, until she stumbles upon the frozen dead body of former footman Mr. Bernard Coram. The speed with which her peaceful new life is upended is one for the record books: the justice of the peace immediately declares her the primary suspect in the murder.

As Tiffany hunts for the truth to clear her name, she learns that Bernard got into a fight over a woman at the local pub the night of his death–but he was also overheard blackmailing Samir. The justice of the peace arrests Samir, and Tiffany realizes that her life may have more in common with a tragic play than a light-hearted romance.

With her love locked up in jail and her own reputation on the line, Tiffany must attempt to solve the murder before the book closes on her or Samir’s life.

About Samantha Larsen

 

Samantha Larsen met her husband in a turkey sandwich line. They live in Salt Lake City, Utah, where she spends most of her time reading, eating popcorn, having tea parties, and chasing her four kids. She has degrees from Brigham Young University, the University of North Texas, and the University of Reading (UK). She also writes historical romances under Samantha Hastings. Learn more at www.SamanthaHastings.com

Author Links: 

Website www.SamanthaHastings.com  

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

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

Twitter/X https://twitter.com/HastingSamantha  

Purchase Links: 

AmazonB&NBooks A MillionPowells BooksBookshop.org - Target - Walmart 

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Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Currently Reading...

I just finished reading Once Upon a Murder by Samantha Larsen. This book is the second in the Lady Librarian Mystery series and will be released February 20, 2024.

Tiffany Woodall is running late for her job as librarian at Astwell Palace, which is nothing new. However, her tardiness on this day is due to stumbling over the dead body of Bernard Coram, a nasty former footman. The despicable Justice of the Peace, Sir Walter Abney, immediately suspects Tiffany of murder, then arrests Constable Samir Lathrop. Knowing he will not receive a fair trial, Tiffany is desperate to discover the real killer herself. But there are lots of secrets in this small village and villagers tend to stick together, especially against a foreigner. In 1784 England there's not a lot a single woman is allowed to do, but unexpected aid comes from the formidable Duchess of Beaufort. Will they be able to get to the truth?

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

A Killer Romance - A Guest Post & Giveaway

I'm pleased to welcome Summer Merriweather to Cozy Up With Kathy today. You can find Summer on the pages of the Beach Reads Mystery series by Maggie Blackburn. A Killer Romance is the third book in the series and was released last week.


There is nothing romantic about Romeo and Juliet. So, as a Shakespeare scholar-cum-bookstore owner, I bristled when I read about Lana Livingston’s new romance being touted as a modern Romeo and Juliet, but with a happy ending. Well, then it’s not Romeo and Juliet. That’s pretty simple. Oh I know how these book marketing types are. They are sale people that barely read the books they are trying to get into the hands of bookstore owners and eventually readers. They are doing a great disservice to readers. They could at least read the books they are marketing.

That said, I know this “Romance by the Sea” event will be good for the bookstore, so I try to keep my mouth shut. (It’s getting harder by the minute.) February is a lackluster month for beach communities, so a few years back my mom came up with this event and it’s been a godsend to the community. Even though I despise Valentine’s Day—don’t get me started on that—I find myself looking forward to some of the upcoming events. There’s a new chocolatier in town and she’ll be doing a chocolate and wine tasting. I’m so excited that I could burst. Her chocolate is sublime. I’ve been lucky enough to help her with a few tastings of new products. It’s the least I could do—to help out my new business neighbor, right?

It helps that I like her a lot. I feel she’s a wonderful addition to our beach community. I think we all agree that she’s an asset. Mom would be very proud of the community spirit I’ve adopted. Okay, well not completely. But I’m working on it.

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

 A Killer Romance (A Beach Reads Mystery) by Maggie Blackburn

About A Killer Romance

A Killer Romance (A Beach Reads Mystery)
Cozy Mystery 3rd in Series
Setting - North Carolina
Crooked Lane Books (February 6, 2024)
Hardcover: ‎ 304 pages

Love and murder are in the air this Valentine’s day in Maggie Blackburn’s third Beach Reads mystery, perfect for fans of Eva Gates and Miranda James.

When Beach Reads bookshop hosts a Valentine’s Day event, “Romance by the Sea,” bookseller Summer Merriweather has no idea that the guest author is under investigation for her own husband’s murder. When that same author is found dead at the local bed and breakfast, nobody assumes it’s natural causes–there were plenty of people who wanted her dead.

As Summer searches for the truth about the author’s stranger-than-fiction life, Summer finds suspicious indications of shady behavior in the author’s belongings. But the casual sleuthing is quickly derailed when Summer’s friend Glads gets hauled in for the murder, and they launch a full-blown investigation to clear her name.

As Summer and company pick through the scant clues to solve the case, they may find more treachery and heartbreak than they bargained for.

About Maggie Blackburn

Maggie Blackburn is the pen name for bestselling mystery author Mollie Cox Bryan, who writes cozy mysteries with edge. She's the author of several bestselling mystery series Her books have been selected as finalists for an Agatha Award and a Daphne du Maurier Award and as a Top 10 Beach Reads by Woman's World. She has also been short-listed for the Virginia Library People's Choice Award. She's also penned a historical mystery under the name of Mollie Ann Cox. She lives in Crozet, Va. and is the mother of two grown, nearly perfect daughters.

Author Links

Website http://www.molliecoxbryan.com  

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

Twitter/ X https://twitter.com/molliecoxbryan  

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

 TikTok @molliebryan  

Purchase Links Amazon - B&N - Bookshop.org

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Sunday, February 11, 2024

Murder, She Wrote: Fit for Murder - A Review & Giveaway

 Review


MURDER, SHE WROTE: FIT FOR MURDER
By Jessica Fletcher & Terrie Farley Moran
The Fifty-Seventh Murder, She Wrote Mystery
 
Former newspaper editor, Evelyn Phillips, is back in Cabot Cove for a visit, but instead of relaxing she's causing a ruckus. She's concerned her friend Berthe Mae is losing her marbles, so smitten is she with the new yoga instructor. Convinced the man is up to no good Evelyn convinces Jessica to help her check into things. After taking a class with the man Jessica does notice his familiarity with the much older women in the group. Before they can determine if he truly does have bad intentions, he's found dead in his gym...and it's no accident. With Berthe Mae inconsolable and Evelyn a suspect, Jessica will have to look into the fitness guru's past to determine just who killed him.
 
Cabot Cove is such a charming town with its friendly citizens and lovely scenery. I can picture Jessica cycling through town, waving at her neighbors, and enjoying good food and company, even if at times she'd rather be alone. Just being in Cabot Cove is relaxing and enjoyable...even with all the murders! And in FIT FOR MURDER we have more than one crime to attend to.
 
I really enjoyed the mystery here. A variety of events clouded the picture, making me wonder what was relevant. In fact, when a second crime was committed, I wondered if it was related to the murder. For a little town, there sure is a lot of crime and drama!
 
While light-hearted, the fifty-seventh Murder, She Wrote Mystery tackles a serious subject, the exploitation of the elderly. The authors tackle the subject with grace, but I'm glad awareness is brought to a subject often hidden; young, fit lotharios ingratiating themselves with elderly women just to get their money.

MURDER, SHE WROTE: FIT FOR MURDER is a classic mystery that leaves you with a feeling that, despite some problems, all's right with the world. 

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

 Murder, She Wrote: Fit for Murder by Jessica Fletcher & Terrie Farley Moran

About Murder, She Wrote: Fit for Murder

Murder, She Wrote: Fit for Murder
Cozy Mystery 57th in Series
Setting - Maine
Berkley (January 23, 2024)
Hardcover: ‎ 288 pages

Jessica Fletcher learns that exercise can be murder in this new entry in the USA Today bestselling Murder, She Wrote series.

Former editor of the Cabot Cove Gazette, Evelyn Phillips is back in Cabot Cove. Evelyn tells Jessica and Seth that she got a couple of really weird notes from Bertha Mae Cormier so she’s come back to town to check on her old friend. She demands that Jessica come with her to see Bertha Mae, who is a bit dithery but no more so than Jessica remembers her being in recent years.

Jessica does become somewhat concerned when Bertha Mae starts to talk about her new neighbor, Martin Terranova. He is quite charming and very health conscious and he teaches yoga and meditation in his pool house. Maureen Metzger says that she and Bertha Mae became friends in Terranova’s class and mentions how solicitous he is to his older clients.

Jessica attends one of his classes and does notice that Terranova is flirtatious with several elderly clients, especially Bertha Mae. Evelyn is becoming convinced that Bertha Mae is being mesmerized by Terranova and that he is after Bertha Mae’s money. A short while late, Martin turns up dead in his weight room. What at first blush seems to be an accident, soon proves to be murder and Jessica must put her investigative skills to the test when Evelyn becomes the prime suspect.

About the Authors

 

Along with Jessica Fletcher, Terrie Farley Moran co-writes the Murder She Wrote mystery series including Murder, She Wrote: Killer on the Court. She is the author of the Read ‘Em and Eat cozy mystery series and also co-writes the Scrapbooking Mysteries with Laura Childs. Recipient of both the Agatha and the Derringer Awards, Moran has published numerous mystery short stories. The only thing Terrie enjoys more than wrangling mystery plots into submission is hanging out with any or all of her seven grandchildren.  

Author Links – Webpage Facebook  

Purchase Links – AmazonB&NKoboBookshop.orgPenguinRandomHouse – 

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Friday, February 9, 2024

Hammers and Homicide - An Interview, Review, & Giveaway

I'm pleased to welcome Paula Charles to Cozy Up With Kathy today. Paula writes the Hometown Hardware Mystery series. HAMMERS AND HOMICIDE is the first book in the series and was released last month.

Kathy: In HAMMERS AND HOMICIDE we meet Dawna Carpenter who runs a hardware store. Are you a handy person who's at home in a hardware store?

PC: My grandparents owned and operated the hardware store in our small hometown, so I spent scads of time in the store. For small projects, I can swing a hammer and use a saw with the best of them. For the last handful of years, my favorite projects have been restoring furniture like April does in the book.


Kathy: Dawna's adult daughter April has moved back to town and the two become involved in the murder investigation. Why choose a daughter as a crime solving partner instead of a friend, or someone else?

PC: That’s a good question. I have two adult daughters myself, who I count as a couple of my closest friends. If it were me needing to jump in to investigate a murder, I’d trust my daughters to have my back.


Kathy: I almost always feel developers are the devil incarnate. What are your thoughts as to why they make great victims?

PC: This question made me chuckle. I’m a former escrow officer who dealt with quite a few land developers. While some are upstanding citizens, it wasn’t too far of a stretch to pull pieces and parts from others together to form the victim in Hammers and Homicide. There’s an arrogance that just makes you want to slap some of them into next week.


Kathy: What first drew you to cozy mysteries?

PC: I’m an avid reader and read widely in most genres. Cozy mysteries have long been what I reach for when I need something light between heavier reads. They’re fun and comfortable, like a visit with an old friend.


Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?

PC: I’m new to this author gig, and loving it! This is my first published book of fiction and I have another cozy mystery series coming out in March under the pen name of Janna Rollins, so to answer your question, not yet. I have an idea for a historical fiction novel, but the research seems daunting, so we shall see!

 

Kathy: Tell us about your series. 

PC: So far, I’m only contracted for the first book in this series, but the second is written and my fingers are crossed for good news. I also write the Zen Goat Mysteries under the pen name of Janna Rollins. AN ESCAPE GOAT comes out in March and features a goat yoga instructor who accidentally invites a murderer to stay at her family’s farm in New Hampshire.

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

PC: That’d be like picking a favorite child, though Dawna Carpenter is near and dear to my heart because she’s based on my grandmother.

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

PC: Yes, as I mentioned above, Dawna is loosely based on my grandmother, who owned and operated the hardware store in my hometown. Pine Bluff is also based on my hometown, though I’ve fictionalized it.

Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?

PC: I wanted my grandkids to think I was famous!

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

PC: Laura Ingalls Wilder, Alice Hoffman, Ann Hite, and Harper Lee.

Kathy: What are you currently reading?

PC: TIDELANDS by Phillipa Gregory. Historical fiction set in England in the 1600s.

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

PC: Reading! I love to read and am never without a book nearby. I knit, though not as much as I used to. I find after a day of writing, my hands aren’t up for an evening of knitting. In the spring and summer, I like to dig in the dirt. We plant a vegetable garden and I have scads of flower beds.

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

PC: Almond milk, potato chips, cashew ice cream, and broccoli.  

 

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

PC: I’d like for their to be a minimum of three books in the Hometown Hardware series, but that depends on my publisher. I’m contracted for three books in the Zen Goat series and have just finished up writing book two. 

 

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

PC: The people I have met. The cozy mystery community is incredibly welcoming and supportive. I’ve made some great new friends here! 

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

Review


HAMMERS AND HOMICIDE by Paula Charles
The First Hometown Hardware Mystery

It's another beautiful summer's day in Pine Bluff, Oregon. Dawna Carpenter is preparing to open her hardware store for the day and not even her annoying tenant who owns the shop next door can get her down. Her youngest daughter, April, has moved back into town, ostensibly to help with design aspect of the store, but Dawna thinks she's there to make sure she hasn't lost whatever marbles she has left after becoming a widow. The day soon gets a lot darker, not because of an impending mountain storm, but because Dawna finds a dead body in the bathroom. Dawna soon discovers that a lot of people had issues with the dead developer. When her good friend is arrested and she thinks the police have stopped investigating, having found their man, she and April step in. Will the mother and daughter duo be able to find the real killer?  
 
Dawna Carpenter is a bit silly, goofy, and accident prone, but I find I really like her. She is aware of her foibles and embraces them. Her daughter, April, also makes a fine character, strong, yet caring with a wry sense of humor. One of my favorite things about HAMMERS AND HOMICIDE is the slight paranormal touch. Dawna senses her late husband...and cat. It is by no means considered a paranormal mystery, but I love that special touch. Pine Bluff, Oregon makes a gorgeous setting. I'd love to wander around town. And I love that while there may be a romance on the horizon, it's not with Dawna.

I enjoyed the mystery and the way Dawna goes about her regular business while she investigates. I also got a kick out of the ruse she and Dawna used to gain access to neighbors' homes. I can just picture them and that little red wagon.

A fun mother daughter duo make HAMMERS AND HOMICIDE an enjoyable start to a new series.
 
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 Hammers and Homicide (A Hometown Hardware Mystery) by Paula Charles

About Hammers and Homicides

Hammers and Homicide (A Hometown Hardware Mystery)
Cozy Mystery 1st in Series
Setting - Oregon
Crooked Lane Books (January 16, 2024)
Hardcover: ‎ 280 pages

Perfect for fans of Kate Carlisle and Victoria Gilbert, when a body is found in a hardware store, will Dawna Carpenter’s sleuthing measure up to find the killer?

Recent sexagenarian widow Dawna Carpenter thought running her own hardware store after the death of her husband was hard enough. With her adult daughter, April, moving back into town, and Darlene, the annoying boutique owner next door to her shop poking around, Dawna has her hands full. But when she finds a dead man in the bathroom of her store, with a framing hammer by his side, she’s in way over her head.

The victim, Warren Highcastle, was a land developer who was looking to purchase the old theater in town to build a new hotel. Dawna and April, worried about the implications of the crime scene at the hardware store, put themselves on the case. They soon learn that Warren had made quite a few enemies in his short amount of time in town. As the suspect list starts growing, so too do the threats against Dawna and April. Can Dawna and April nail the killer before they strike again?

About Paula Charles

 

When Paula Charles isn't writing under the towering trees of the Pacific Northwest, she can be found in the garden with her hands in the dirt or sitting on her front porch with a good book and a glass of iced tea. She has a love for small towns, ghost stories, and pie. Paula lives on a small farm in Southwestern Washington with her patient husband and a handful of furry and feathered critters. Paula also writes cozy mysteries under the pen name of Janna Rollins.  

Author Links: 

Website: Cozy Mystery Writer | Paula Charles Cozy Mystery Author  

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

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

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show41170333.Paula_Charles  

Purchase Links - PenguinRandomHouse.com: Books - Amazon - B&N - Kobo - Bookshop.org  

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