Sunday, August 28, 2016

Book Review: LOVE, LIES, AND MURDER (Charlotte Ross Mysteries) by Evelyn Cullet

Synopsis

Charlotte Ross sees her world about to crumble when the man she’s in love with–her mysterious boss, John Trent— announces his engagement to someone else.

Charlotte’s best friend, dubious globe-trotter and mystery author, Jane Marshall, arrives back in town only to stumble across the gruesome corpse of the town’s millionaire industrialist. When Jane becomes determined to find the killer, Charlotte joins forces with her friend to ease her heartbreak. In the process, the two self-appointed sleuths turn their small town upside down.

Charlotte is endearingly impractical as her impulsive choices lead her into and out of peril, with only the wry and often-misguided advice of the capricious Jane to guide her. Eldridge Corners is rich with quirky, small town personalities who both aid and thwart the young women’s quest as they discover that people are not always who they seem, and a single error in judgment can prove fatal.


Review

Eldridge Corners is a well-established small town with lots of history, some of which is a bit shady. Charlotte had no clue until the head of Longbourne and Payne is murdered and she starts asking questions and reading the manuscript of Carlton Witherspoon (the deceased). 

With her friend Jane looking for the plot of her next mystery novel and the need for a distraction as she is betrayed by John Trent, Charlotte reluctantly gets more involved. Her curiosity extends to the questionable accidental death of Carlton's wife and unknown heir to Carlton's estate.

This was a fun read, well-paced with interesting characters. Although sometimes a bit impractical and impulsive, Charlotte's heart is in the right place. She is loyal to a fault but even she has doubts. In LOVE, LIES, AND MURDER, part of her motivation is her love for her immediate boss, John Trent, and his betrayal - but what about his role in Carlton's murder? 

This is one of two in the Charlotte Ross Mysteries, but easily read as a stand alone.  MASTERPIECE OF MURDER was the first published in the series - and yes, my TBR list just keeps growing!  I've provided the link for both - hopefully there are more to come in the Charlotte Ross Mysteries.


Amazon link: LOVE, LIES AND MURDER
Amazon link: MASTERPIECE OF MURDER

Saturday, August 20, 2016

New Release: DYING FOR DATA (Adina Donati, Accidental Sleuth Mystery Series) by Cassidy Salem

I am pleased to announce the release of a new cozy mystery – DYING FOR DATA by Cassidy Salem. DYING FOR DATA is the second book in the Adina Donati, Accidental Sleuth mystery series, which features the misadventures of a young college graduate in Washington D.C.  The first in the series THINK MURDER is on sale for 99 cents through August 21!

Synopsis 

Bad karma, a rival suitor, and a deadly attack are enough to put a damper on any date.

Just when Adina’s social life is looking up, her night out is interrupted by the scream of police sirens. Afraid her bartender boyfriend might be accused of murder, Adina’s neighbor enlists her assistance, and in the process exposes her to the seamier side of illegal immigration and crime in the city. Hard as she tries to limit her involvement, the more Adina learns, the more she needs to know – until a case of mistaken identity lands her in hot water. Will she uncover the truth before it’s too late?

DYING FOR DATA is the second book in the Adina Donati, Accidental Sleuth mystery series, however it can be read as a standalone. The first book, THINK MURDER, was released in 2015.

Dying for Data is available from Amazon in both print and Kindle formats: www.amazon.com/dp/B01JGHOQFW/

An excerpt from DYING FOR DATA: 

“My head throbbed the next morning and did a nifty spinning trick when I first stepped out of bed. I sat down and took a few deep breaths before heading into the bathroom. The image that greeted me in the mirror was scarier than usual — bloodshot eyes embellished by remnants of the mascara I had neglected to remove the night before.

My face was covered in soap when my phone rang. It was only 8:55. No one who knows me would ever call that early on a weekend unless it was important. A quick splash and wipe move later, and I grabbed my phone.”

Review

Adina's neighbor, a Russian immigrant, is the hostess at the restaurant where Adina and her date are dining. Dinner is interrupted when someone is killed behind the building. Her neighbor's interesting past is somewhat suspicious and she's afraid for her boyfriend. Adina is likable, loyal to her friend, and open-minded. She works with the nice detective, Jonathan, and tries to help figure out how the pieces of the puzzle fit together.  

DYING FOR DATA has it all - relationships and romance, the cultural and global side of Washington, DC, the seedier sides of a big city, and a hint at policy and politics from the think tank where Adina works. The story is well-written, with a steady pace and characters that have depth and dimension. There is tension and humor with the occasional twists and surprises to keep your interest. If you like cozy mystery and amateur sleuths, you'll like this one.  This is the second in the series but easily read on its own. 

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in the hopes that I would post an honest review. This has not affected the content of my review in any way.

About the Author


Cassidy Salem has always been an avid reader. She is especially fond of mysteries (both cozy and traditional). Over the years, her favorite mystery authors have included Agatha Christie, Kathy Reichs, Mary Higgins Clark, and John Grisham. Cassidy also enjoys reading historical fiction focused on American and world history, as well as the classics.

Cassidy has never met a dog she didn't like - a fact that influenced her decision to have the protagonist in her mystery series volunteer at a dog rescue center. When she's not reading, Cassidy enjoys singing in an a cappella ensemble. Most of all, Cassidy enjoys spending time with family and friends, and travels with her husband and son whenever possible. Her travels have taken her to destinations throughout the United States and Europe.

Connect with Cassidy:

· Twitter: https://twitter.com/CSalem11

· Website: https://cassidysalem.wordpress.com/

· Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Cassidy-Salem/e/B00ROZERKI/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

· Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AdinaDonati/

· Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/11923940.Cassidy_Salem

Other Works by this Author

Think Murder (Adina Donati, Accidental Sleuth Book 1)

Adina Donati came to Washington D.C. to find excitement, not a dead body.

When a friend is murdered, Adina is drawn into the middle of the police investigation. Tensions rise as the suspect list expands to include Adina, her friends, and colleagues at the prestigious think tank where she works. But every cloud has a silver lining. Between the nice detective, the hot new volunteer at the dog rescue center, and the newly available preppy ex-boyfriend, Adina’s dating dry spell appears near its end. That is, if she doesn’t become the next victim.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Spotlight: ACCIDENTAL DETECTIVE SERIES by Kate Benitez

RELEASE BLITZ

Title: Accidental Detective Book 5
Series: Woman’s Sleuth #5
Author: Kate Benitez
Genre: New Adult/Contemporary Romance
Release Date: August 19, 2016

BLURB
Private detectives, Leo and Anneliese, love the thrill of the investigation. They take on the weirdest of cases for Boston’s rich and famous at his elite agency. No one outwits them for long.

Hired by some of Leo’s old friends to pose as a couple at an exclusive Martha’s Vineyard beach resort has got to be one of their strangest cases yet.
But things take an unexpected turn when they are forced to confront their feelings and their past. Can they put it behind them and solve the crime?

If you love romantic puzzle crime stories with a happy ending, grab this fifth installment of Accidental Detective.

GOODREADS LINK: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31538187-accidental-detective---book-5

PURCHASE LINKS – 99c
US: http://amzn.to/2b2Rg66
UK: http://amzn.to/2boq0Ed
ALSO AVAILABLE IN THE WOMAN’S SLEUTH SERIES

Accidental Detective (Book 1) – FREE August 19 & 20

US: http://amzn.to/2b0cXsq
UK: http://amzn.to/2b0cPJz 


Review
Annaliese is the scapegoat when a bride-to-be decides not "to-be" and out of job; Leo is out of a secretary/admin assistant and Annabelle may have some insights about that bride's family. They work well together and neither wants to risk that with the chemistry they feel.  

This is the first in the series and I liked Annaliese, her independence, and her sense of right and wrong. Leo is also likable.  There are multiple, intertwined mysteries - the most notable of which is the left of hair extensions while the women are wearing them. All tied up in nicely in the end, though it's left in the air how the relationship between Annaliese and Leo will or won't progress.  A quick read - short and to the point. Best for adult readers only.

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in the hopes that I would post an honest review as part of this blog tour. This has not affected the content of my review in any way.


Accidental Detective (Book 2) – FREE August 19 & 20
US: http://amzn.to/2b0e7nL
UK: http://amzn.to/2bbAcwh 


Review
A father and a son dead - natural causes and an accident? or two murders? Leo is hired by the remaining son, Laird. Laird is sure to be the prime suspect and as the police further investigate the death of the father and now the death of Laird's brother, the evidence mounts. Could Laird be guilty? or is it just coincidence after all?

As with the first in the series, Leo and Annaliese make a great team and he relies on her judgment and intuition. This is also a short, quick read. Having read Books 1 and 2 in the same night, the pace is right and the characters enjoyable. The chemistry between them burns up a few pages, so beware!  Now on to Books 3, 4, and 5.

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in the hopes that I would post an honest review as part of this blog tour. This has not affected the content of my review in any way.


Accidental Detective (Book 3)
US: http://amzn.to/2aXRwqG
UK: http://amzn.to/2aQ8J2i


Accidental Detective (Book 4)
US: http://amzn.to/2aI2z6H
UK: http://amzn.to/2b0dWce


AUTHOR BIO
Hello. I grew up in England, and worked a lot of my early life in the corporate world of banking and local government. I love the Stephanie Plum books by Janet Evanovich and I always knew I’d rather be writing for a living than commuting to London every day. I never dreamed it would happen, but after spending some time in Florida, I returned to the UK and now I just love writing light-hearted, steamy romantic stories with a dose of humor.

You can usually find me at my home looking out over the beautiful countryside, drinking tea (and the occasional glass of wine!) while my hubby and I dream up the next story!

AUTHOR LINKS

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KateBenitezAuthor
Website: http://www.katebenitez.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/KBenitezAuthor
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/katebenitezauthor/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15269650.Kate_Benitez
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/KBenitezAuthor/

GIVEAWAY
There is a giveaway for a $20 Amazon Gift card, 3 signed paperbacks of Accidental Detective (Book 1) + 3 ebook sets of Accidental Detective Books 1-5 (7 winners)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Blog Tour and Review: breakfast club - OVER EASY (Continental Breakfast Club Mystery #1) by Pamela Ford

Book Description:

Allie Parker's had enough. Just because she's a dog groomer, her overachieving family of doctors and lawyers treats her like a child. She's convinced that a successful husband is all she needs to change their attitudes. So when she and her friends come up with a brilliant new way to meet eligible men, Allie squeezes into her sister's stylish clothes and sneaks into continental breakfast at an upscale hotel to find herself the perfect guy.

Before Allie has taken her last bite of syrup-laden waffle, she's met the man of her dreams. But what she doesn't know is that he's a jewel thief who mistakenly thinks she's his contact—and so does everyone else who's after his stash of diamonds.

Suddenly Allie's world is crazily upended. And as she scrambles to prove her innocence and get back to her old life, she discovers happily ever after sneaks up when you least expect it.

Buy the book: Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble


Review:

Allie has rebelled against her high achieving family members to do what she loves - groom dogs. Unfortunately, they continue to treat her like a child. She believes that if she were married to some impressive man, that would solve her problems.  She and her two friends come up with the idea of meeting successful businessmen by "crashing" breakfast buffets at the local hotels. All they have to do is sneak in and identify someone who looks promising, single, and sitting alone. Allie meets this great guy, the first breakfast, and they plan to meet later on for a date - so she thinks. Only he disappears, leaving his briefcase behind, and some rough characters on her tail.

This was a light, well-paced, romantic comedy with a touch of suspense as the bad guys and Allie try to find the missing

diamond - which dog ate it? This book has it all, including the unexpected twists and turns. It's not always obvious who the bad guys are and romance comes when least expected. I'm looking forward to FRESHLY BREWED.

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in the hopes that I would post an honest review as part of this blog tour. This has not affected the content of my review in any way.


Author's Bio:Pamela Ford is the award-winning author of contemporary and historical romance. She grew up watching old movies, blissfully sighing over the romance; and reading sci-fi and adventure novels, vicariously living the action. The combination probably explains why the books she writes are romantic, happily-ever-afters with plenty of plot - and often lots of laughter.
After graduating from college with a degree in Advertising, Pam merrily set off to earn a living, searching for that perfect career as she became a graphic designer, print buyer, pantyhose sales rep, public relations specialist, copywriter, freelance writer - and finally author. Pam has won numerous awards including the Booksellers Best, the Laurel Wreath, and a gold medal IPPY in the Independent Book Publisher Awards. She is a Kindle Book Awards finalist and a two-time Golden Heart Finalist. She lives in Wisconsin where she is working on her next novel.


Connect with the author: Website Twitter Facebook Goodreads



Monday, August 15, 2016

New Release: MURDER IN THE THEATER (Cold Creek #4) by Christa Nardi

CELEBRATING RELEASE DAY!

Synopsis
The drama program has never been so dramatic.

It’d be the season to be jolly if only someone hadn’t set the stage for murder. When a student is arrested for the crime, Professor Sheridan Hendley is cast in the role of amateur sleuth. Tensions run high, friendships are strained, and the college administration is beginning to panic. As the plot thickens Sheridan is yet again drawn deeper into danger. Will she find the truth before the final curtain call?

Cold Creek Series Book 4, Murder in the Theater by Christa Nardi, is another great cozy mystery.



Books in the Cold Creek Series
MURDER AT COLD CREEK COLLEGE
MURDER IN THE ARBORETUM
MURDER AT THE GRILL
MURDER IN THE THEATER

For more information on the Cold Creek Series:  
https://www.facebook.com/ColdCreekSeries/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

Stay in touch with Christa:


Excerpt from Chapter 4 MURDER IN THE THEATER

Soon the sounds of Phantom of the Opera wafted into the kitchen. By the time dinner was ready and on the table, I found Brett asleep on the couch with Charlie curled up on his lap. Charlie immediately jumped up when she saw me causing Brett to stir.

“Dinner?” He rubbed his hand over his face and sat forward. He looked like he hadn’t slept while he was in Altavista.

I smiled and reached out my hand. “Ready and waiting.”

I knew better than to ask about the case and didn’t want to share Max’s theory in case it put Brett on the spot. That limited topics for conversation. I had just broached the topic of Thanksgiving again when the doorbell rang.

“Expecting anybody?”

I shook my head and went to the door. Charlie beat me to the door and Brett followed behind me. I looked through the peephole and commented, “It’s Marty.”

I noted Brett’s jaw working but didn’t understand the sudden tension. I opened the door.

“Hi Marty. Come on in. What’s up? Are you okay?”

Marty looked a mess. An attorney, Marty Cohn most often dressed for court even when walking on the college campus. A suit, dress shirt, and tie, all perfectly pressed comprised his standard uniform. Tonight, though, his shirt was half untucked and both his shirt and pants looked like he’d slept in them. His jacket was nowhere in sight. His eyes were heavy and bloodshot – a perfect match to Brett’s. If I didn’t know Marty better, I’d have wondered if he had been on a bender.

Marty didn’t answer. He glared at Brett who stared back at him. Charlie picked up on the tension and emitted a low growl. As if on cue, the crescendo from the Phantom played. The animosity between them was palpable but I didn’t understand it. I felt helpless to diffuse the situation.

“Someone want to fill me in?”

“You want to tell her, DETECTIVE? Or should I?” Marty shouted, his face flushed and his hands clenched. Charlie growled again and I spoke softly to her to calm her. I shifted my gaze to Brett with trepidation.

“Leave her out of this Marty. She has nothing to do with it. You have to know I didn’t take any pleasure in this process. It would have gone down the same.”

“If it has nothing to do with me, then why is he here?”

I looked from Brett to Marty and back again. Marty didn’t answer and he didn’t move a muscle. It was déja vu from when I worked in a residential treatment center with teenage boys facing off over some perceived slight.

“Nobody wants to talk? Then how about we all sit down. Marty, we were eating dinner, can I fix you a plate? Get you something to drink?”

He fizzled out and slithered into the armchair, rubbing his hands over the stubble on his face. Another first. In the six months I’d known Marty, he’d never needed a shave.

Brett turned and went back into the kitchen. I followed. I looked at him with raised eyebrows silently asking him what was going on. He shook his head ever so slightly and got down another plate. Between us, we got the food and wine for all of us out to where Marty still sat, head in hands.

Brett handed Marty a glass of wine. “Here, you need this.”

Marty looked up, opened his mouth but no words came out. He took the glass of wine and then the plate and utensils I handed him. Brett and I sat on the couch with our plates, our glasses of wine nearby. Charlie sat at attention between Marty and Brett in guard mode.

I kept shifting my gaze from one man to the other for some hint as we ate. Nobody said a word and the tension remained. Marty picked at his food initially, then cleaned his plate without even looking up. I wondered when he had last eaten.

When all the plates were clean, I asked if anyone wanted more. Both men shook their heads in silence. I picked up the plates and took them to the kitchen. The sound score from Phantom was the only sound other than my heels clicking on the kitchen tile.

I rejoined the men. Neither said a word. I looked to Brett as he seemed more in control and asked again, “Could someone fill me in please?”

“What have you heard about the case in Altavista today, Sher?”

I glanced at Marty, not sure where this was going.

“The last I heard was someone had been brought in for questioning and an arrest was expected. That was early this afternoon. I haven’t checked since and didn’t catch the news tonight.”

“Isaac Waxman was arrested for the murder of William Thompson. Waxman is Marty’s nephew.”

My jaw dropped as I shifted my attention to Marty. I glanced back to Brett once the realization sunk in.

“Were you the arresting officer?”

Brett exhaled and pulled his hands through his curly hair, a sure sign he was stressed.

“I assisted in the investigation and was present when he was initially questioned and when he was arrested. For all intents and purposes, this is still local jurisdiction. The Altavista Police Chief officially made the arrest. Waxman is scheduled for arraignment in two days.”

He hesitated before he added, “One other thing, Sher. Isaac is a sophomore at Cold Creek College. He’s in Fine Arts.”

Brett held my gaze and I felt the tension rise as my eyes opened wider. Marty still didn’t say anything and his head was back in his hands. We sat there for a few more minutes in silence.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Blog Tour Spotlight: LOVE THY SISTER by Maria Grazia Swan

Breakthough Promotions presents...

Love Thy Sister
By Maria Grazia Swan

ISBN-10: 1518651542
ISBN-13: 978-1518651540
CreateSpace
Series: Mina's Adventures Book 6
Paperback: 184 pages
October 24, 2015, $11.99
Genre: Mystery

Also available for Kindle



Italian-born Mina Calvi lives in a mansion in idyllic Orange County, California with her protective older sister, Paola. Unemployed again and aimless, Mina can’t seem to find her niche in her adopted country, but confusion and restlessness soon become the least of her problems. Someone is stealing from the software business owned by Paola and her husband, losses so great the business is sinking like the Titanic. And the strange death of a company employee turns out to be murder. Then, while, facing a loss so terrible she can’t bear it, Mina discovers an old family secret that turns her world upside down. There’s some solace in the arms of her blue-eyed lover, amateur sleuth Brian Starr, but danger still stalks her at every turn, edging closer and closer as Mina tries to untangle the web of lies, adultery and treachery, and put her life back together.

Other books in the series:

1. Love thy Sister

2. Bosom Bodies

3. Italian Summer

4. Ashes of Autumn

5. A Cat to die For

About the Author

Award winning author Maria Grazia Swan was born in Italy, but has also lived in Belgium, France, Germany, in beautiful Orange County, California where she raised her family. She is currently at home in Phoenix, Arizona.
As a young girl, her vivid imagination predestined her to be a bestselling author. She won her first literary award at the age of fourteen while living in Belgium. As a young woman Maria returned to Italy designing haute couture. Once in the U.S. and after years of concentrating on family, she tackled real estate. These days her time is devoted to her deepest passions: writing and helping people and pets find the perfect home.

Maria loves travel, opera, good books, hiking, and intelligent movies (if she can find one, that is). When asked about her idea of a perfect evening, she favors stimulating conversation, Northern Italian food and perfectly chilled Prosecco.

www.mariagraziaswan.com
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/MariaGraziaSwan?ref=hl

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Blog Tour: DEATH AND DISAPPEARANCE by


Mystery/Suspense
5th in Series
Self Published (May 30, 2016)
File Size: 682 KB
Print Length: 272 pages
ASIN: B01GEK7UOI
Synopsis


While Denny battles demons of his own and Cookie and Clancy disappear, a pregnant Fina Fitzgibbons investigates the death of her friend’s husband and in doing so lands in the middle of a group of art and drug traffickers.

Review

Fina's "intern" happens on a body - the husband of a high school friend.  Fina and Cookie, both pregnant seek to help not only their friend, who seems out of touch, but also the their police detective friend, Jane. And of course, the interns are doing their own sleuthing to help Fina. The body count rises and then Cookie and Clancy disappear. Who is behind the art shipments, probably drug trafficking, and Denny's murder? Fina, Cookie, and Clancy are now all loose ends to be dealt with along with the others.  

Amidst the mystery and murders, Denny is still trying to deal with his father's death, his mother's new boyfriend, and the prospect of fatherhood. Anderson weaves in the different ways people grieve and the impact of their grief on others. Readers also get insight into how Fina is coping and the stressors of work, impending motherhood, and her strained marriage. The resolution - the "whodunit" makes sense and fits with the characters developed. This can be read as a stand alone.

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in the hopes that I would post an honest review as part of this blog tour. This has not affected the content of my review in any way.
About The Author

Susan Russo Anderson is a writer, a mother, a member of Sisters in Crime, a graduate of Marquette University, and a life member of The Art Students League of New York. She has taught language arts and creative writing, worked for a publisher, an airline, an opera company. Like Faulkner’s Dilsey, she’s seen the best and the worst, the first and the last. Through it all, and to understand it somewhat, she writes.

TOO QUIET IN BROOKLYN, the first in the Fina Fitzgibbons Brooklyn mystery series published December 2013. The second book in the series,MISSING BRANDY, published September 2014, and WHISKEY’S GONE published in January 2015 and completes a trilogy. The fourth book in Fina’s series, THE BROOKLYN DROP, published August 2015.

DEATH OF A SERPENT, the first in the Serafina Florio series, published January 2012. It began as a painting of the Lower East Side, the landmark immigrant neighborhood in Manhattan, and wound up as a mystery story set in nineteenth-century Sicily. NO MORE BROTHERS, a novella, published May 2012, the second in the series. The third book, DEATH IN BAGHERIA, published in December, followed by MURDER ON THE RUE CASSETTE in January 2014.

Author Links:
a Rafflecopter giveaway