Saturday, July 30, 2016

Book Review: DYING FOR A DANCE (Laurel McKay Mysteries Book 2) by Cindy Sample


Discovering she has two left feet isn't the biggest problem for Laurel McKay when she agrees to learn a foxtrot routine for her best friend's Lake Tahoe wedding. Stumbling over the lifeless body of a sexy Russian dance star with her broken shoe heel stuffed in his mouth... is far worse. Almost as bad as running into the hunky detective she dated briefly before he disappeared from her life.

When another death occurs on the ballroom floor, Laurel finds herself waltzing her way into the dark secrets of the Golden Hills Dance Studio. Navigating kids, career, wedding planning and murder requires some fancy footwork. Can Laurel tango with a killer and stay alive?


Laurel McKay is doing her best to learn the dance routine for her best friend's wedding. Liz has arranged lessons at the local dance studio and Laurel meets others learning to dance - or dancing competitively. When one of the dance instructors ends up dead with the heel of her shoe in his mouth, Laurel has to deal with that complication and Tom - the detective she dated briefly who never called back. As she deals with the dance issue and the murder, she also has to come to terms with her mother's romance and the competitive dancers vying for title and prize money.

The murder at the dance studio has many suspects and Laurel is easily distracted from her dance lessons. She is well aware of her lack of coordination and also her desire to appease Liz who has become bridezilla. The characters are well developed, the pace is quick, and there is humor and romance as well as the mystery.  This is the second in the series, but I haven't read the first one - this can easily be read as a stand alone.  There are four others in the series so I see my TBR list growing...

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Book Review: THE DEEP END (The Country Club Murders Book 1) by Julie Mulhern


Swimming into the lifeless body of her husband’s mistress tends to ruin a woman’s day, but becoming a murder suspect can ruin her whole life.

It’s 1974 and Ellison Russell’s life revolves around her daughter and her art. She’s long since stopped caring about her cheating husband, Henry, and the women with whom he entertains himself. That is, until she becomes a suspect in Madeline Harper’s death. The murder forces Ellison to confront her husband’s proclivities and his crimes—kinky sex, petty cruelties and blackmail.

As the body count approaches par on the seventh hole, Ellison knows she has to catch a killer. But with an interfering mother, an adoring father, a teenage daughter, and a cadre of well-meaning friends demanding her attention, can Ellison find the killer before he finds her?


The context is the high society country club set where appearance is everything and in the 1970s divorce is not considered acceptable and neither is a wife earning more money than her husband. Ellison's art and Grace are the plusses in her life  - only her hobby is making more money than her husband. That and his interest in kinky sex spell doom for the marriage.  Ellison is biding her time until Grace finishes high school to end her marriage. Her mother is domineering and Ellison's never stood up to her, until she becomes a suspect in the murder of her husband's latest mistress. She gains more strength in self-preservation as the body count rises.

Ellison stands up for herself and makes the decision for divorce. When her mother accepts that decision, it is time to match her up with the perfect man, attorney Hunter Platt. Hunter jumps right in, a bit bossy to say the least. In the meantime, Detective Jones is doing his best to get Ellison to tell her what she knows.  The country club set have a lot of secrets but are also quick to speculate, stare, and may be a bit afraid of what Ellison knows.

This is the first in the Country Club Murders.  I look forward to reading GUARANTEED TO BLEED and CLOUDS IN MY COFFEE to see more of Ellison - a 70s woman coming into her own.  I'm hoping to see more of Detective Jones as well!

Friday, July 22, 2016

Book Review: TAPAS, CARROT CAKE AND A CORPSE (A Charlotte Denver Cozy Mystery, Culinary Cozy Mystery Book 1) by Sherri Bryan


Small-town murder was never so calculated. 

On a peaceful morning in an English coastal town, a handsome stranger meets a gruesome end. 

As café-bar owner Charlotte Denver takes up the challenge to help find the killer before they strike again, she uncovers a shocking plot that rocks a close-knit community to its core. 

There's amateur sleuthing, engaging characters, and recipes to try for yourself in Tapas, Carrot Cake and a Corpse, the first book in the feel-good Charlotte Denver Cozy Mystery Series. 

Please Note; This book is written in British English and contains no strong profanity, sex or graphic violence.


Charlotte's cafe-bar is the go to place for folks in this small English town, including the handsome, charming stranger who she finds dead. Nathan Costello tells Charlotte more than once to stay out of the investigation, but she happens on bits of information and follows the leads, always letting him know after the fact. 

As most small towns, there are interesting residents. My favorite was Tom Potts, and his dog of course. This was a fun read, with an easy pace and hints of romance; the characters are engaging and the ending makes sense.  I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the series:


You can find all of these at SHERRI BRYAN'S AUTHOR PAGE 

Monday, July 18, 2016

Book Review: A FLAIR FOR CHARDONNAY by Deborah Garner

When flamboyant senior sleuth Sadie Kramer learns the owner of Cioccolato, her favorite chocolate shop, is in trouble, she heads for the California wine country with a tote-bagged Yorkie and a slew of questions. The fourth generation Tremiato Winery promises answers, but not before a dead body turns up at the vintners’ scheduled Harvest Festival.

All four Tremiato siblings have possible motives, as well as a few peripheral acquaintances, but only one could be the guilty party. As Sadie juggles truffles, tips and turmoil, she’ll need to sort the grapes from the wrath in order to find the identity of the killer.


Sadie Kramer owns a boutique, next door to a chocolatier, Mateo. She is worried about Mateo – it’s obvious something is wrong – so she takes a trip to his family owned Tremiato Winery. She stays at the B&B associated with the winery and tries to find out what’s going on in Mateo’s family. 

Mateo is the only family member not part of the winery and estranged as a result; they don't even carry his famous chocolates. But someone’s trying to buy the winery and that is creating conflict all around as Mateo is part owner. It gets more interesting when there’s a murder on the premises. After consulting with Coco, her Yorkie in her tote bag, Sadie decides to figure out who committed murder and only hopes it's not one of Mateo's family members.

The pace is steady, the characters interesting and unique. In particular, the character of Sadie is well-developed and likable, along with Coco.  Although not key to this story line, it is easy to see how Sadie's shop "Flair" will lend itself to a new cozy mystery series.  I look forward to reading more of Sadie's stories.

Thursday, July 14, 2016


Book Description:

It’s election time in Spencer, Maryland, and the race for mayor is not a pretty one. In recent years, the small resort town has become divided between the local year-round residents who have enjoyed their rural way of life and the city dwellers moving into their mansions, taking over the town council, and proceeding to turn Deep Creek Lake into a closed gate community—complete with a host of regulations for everything from speed limits to clothes lines.

When the political parties force-feed two unsavory mayoral nominees on the town residents, Police Chief David O’Callaghan decides to make a statement—by nominating Gnarly, Mac Faraday’s German shepherd, to run as mayor of Spencer!

What starts out as a joke turns into a disaster when overnight Gnarly becomes the front runner—at which point his political enemies take a page straight out of Politics 101. What do you do when you’re behind in a race? Dig up dirt on the front runner, of course.

Seemingly, someone is not content to rest with simply embarrassing the front runner by publicizing his dishonorable discharge from the United States Army, but to throw in a murder for good measure. With murder on the ballot, Mac Faraday and the gang—including old friends from past cases—dive in to clear Gnarly’s name, catch a killer, and save Spencer!

Author's Bio:

Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose Mysteries. The twelfth installment in the Mac Faraday Mystery series, Candidate for Murder will be released June 2016.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She lives with her husband, son, and four dogs (including the real Gnarly) on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

Connect with Lauren: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

Buy Link  AMAZON

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Blog Tour: NUN BUT THE BRAVE (A Giulia Driscoll Mystery) by Alice Loweecey

Cozy Mystery

3rd in Series
Publisher: Henery Press (July 12, 2016)
Paperback: 292 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1635110494

Giulia Driscoll’s sister-in-law barges into Driscoll Investigations and promptly passes out from OD’ing on an unknown drug. Two OD’d teenagers are found dead in the park and behind a convenience store. DI’s new client insists her missing twin sister is not dead and enlists Giulia as the “Missing Person Whisperer.” Hooray for steady work?

The missing sister’s trail leads to married, pregnant, ex-nun Giulia’s first experience with online dating sites, to the delight of her husband and employees. Those dates lead her to local Doomsday Preppers. They grow their own everything, and that everything may be connected to the drugs, her sister-in-law, and the missing twin. These Preppers are about to learn the true meaning of doom.


This installment of the Giulia Driscoll Humorous Mysteries is every bit as entertaining as NUN TOO SOON, the first in the series. Giulia is making a name for herself as able to find missing persons, but her real interest is finding out how her sister-in-law ended up almost dying from an overdose. Of course that means dealing with her brother who has yet to forgive her for leaving the convent. 

As Giulia tries to find a missing sister and solve the riddle behind her sister-in-law's problems, there are just too many similarities that pop up, not the least of which are found on dating sites.  Well-written with enough action and humor to keep it going, Loweecey has done it again. Although this is the second in the series, it can easily 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.

Books in the Giulia Driscoll Humorous Mystery Series:

CHANGING HABITS (prequel short story)

About the Author

Baker of brownies and tormenter of characters, Alice Loweecey recently celebrated her thirtieth year outside the convent. She grew up watching Hammer Horror and Scooby-Doo Mysteries, which might explain a whole lot. When she’s not creating trouble for Giulia Falcone-Driscoll, she can be found growing her own vegetables (in summer) and cooking with them (the rest of the year).

Author Links:





Purchase Links


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Sunday, July 10, 2016

Blog Tour: MURDER UNDER THE COVERED BRIDGE (A Bucket List Mystery) by Elizabeth Perona

Cozy Mystery

2nd in Series
Paperback: 312 pages
Publisher: Midnight Ink (July 8, 2016)


Working on a television taping to promote the Parke County Covered Bridge Festival, the ladies decide to use their access to the Roseville Bridge to cross an item off Charlotte's bucket list: #39) Be a Sexy Calendar Girl. But the photo shoot is interrupted by gunshots and Francine's cousin William stumbling down the riverbank followed by a man with a gun. William sustains life-threatening injuries, but is it homicide?

Francine and Charlotte go into detective mode to uncover the secret William knew about the shooter. Their success, however, depends on surviving two arson events, a séance, a shortage of Mary Ruth's wildly popular corn fritter donuts, memory-challenged nursing home residents, and a killer who refuses to go up in flames.


This is a fun and entertaining light mystery featuring mature adults (being closer than I'd like to their age, I'm avoiding the "senior" word here) and their 60 item bucket lists as well as a hidden agenda or two.  Although humor lightens the mood, there is the matter of William's murder and no shortage of frightening events that seem too convenient to not be related.  Francine and Charlotte and the other ladies manage to bake up a storm, make corn fritter donuts and unearth family history in short order.

This is the second in the series, but the first I've read. It can easily be read as a stand alone. That said, the references to MURDER ON THE BUCKET LIST have put that one on my TBR list as well as any others Perona may write in the future.

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 Authors

Elizabeth Perona is the father/daughter writing team of Tony Perona and Liz Dombrosky. Tony is the author of the Nick Bertetto mystery series, the standalone thriller The Final Mayan Prophecy(with Paul Skorich), and co-editor and contributor to the anthologies Racing Can Be Murder andHoosier Hoops & Hijinks. 

Tony is a member of Mystery Writers of America and has served the organization as a member of the Board of Directors and as Treasurer. He is also a member of Sisters-in-Crime.

Liz Dombrosky graduated from Ball State University in the Honors College with a degree in teaching. She is currently a stay-at-home mom. Murder on the Bucket List was her first novel.

Author Links
Webpage –Tony
Webpage – Elizabeth,
Facebook –

Purchase Links 


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Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Book Blast: BRING YOUR OWN BAKER by D E Haggerty

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Bring Your Own Baker (Death by Cupcake Book 2)
Cozy Mystery Self Published Print 
Length: 166 pages
Publication Date: June 20, 2016


BYOBCVAnna just wants to earn enough money on the side to buy into the bakery, Callie’s Cakes, where she works together with her best nerd pal, Callie. The last thing she expects to see when she walks into Arthur’s apartment to do some moonlighting is a blood bath. Callie’s ready to jump into the investigation of Arthur’s murder, and she’s bringing another bakery worker, Kristie, into their hijinks whether Kristie wants to or not. But things aren’t as they seem. There are gang affiliations, illegal gambling dens, and ladies of the night to wade through. Will Anna and Callie discover who murdered Arthur, or will Callie’s detective boyfriend and Anna’s self-appointed protector put a stop to such aspirations? 
Come join us at Callie’s Cakes, where murder investigations are on the menu, but make sure to bring your own baker, because Anna’s a bit preoccupied at the moment. 
Warning: This is NOT your mom’s cozy mystery. Bring Your Own Baker may be a ‘clean’ read, but if gangs, illegal gambling, and pimps make you turn your nose up at your e-reader, you might want to skip this one. Although you’ll be missing some sizzling chemistry between Anna and her protector. Not to mention a whole bunch of witty dialogue.


DENAI grew up reading everything I could get my hands on from my mom's Harlequin romances to Nancy Drew to Little Women. When I wasn't flipping pages in a library book, I was penning horrendous poems, writing songs no one should ever sing, or drafting stories which have thankfully been destroyed. College and a stint in the U.S. Army came along, robbing me of free time to write and read, although I did manage every once in a while to sneak a book into my rucksack between rolled up socks, MRIs, t-shirts, and cold weather gear. A few years into my legal career, I was exhausted, fed up, and just plain done. I quit my job and sat down to write a manuscript, which I promptly hid in the attic after returning to the law. Another job change, this time from lawyer to B&B owner and I was again fed up and ready to scream I quit, which is incredibly difficult when you own the business. Thus, I shut the B&B during the week and in the off-season and started writing. Several books later I find myself in Istanbul writing full-time.

Author Links: Website: Blog: Facebook: Twitter: Google+: Pinterest: Goodreads:   Buy links: Amazon: Smashwords: Barnes and Noble: Kobo:

July 5


Community Bookstop – Review
Laura's Interests – Review
Tea and A Book – Review

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Book Review: CAPPUCCINOS, CUPCAKES, AND A CORPSE (A Cape Bay Cafe Mystery, Book 1) by Harper Lin


Francesca Amaro moves back to her hometown of Cape Bay, Massachusetts, and takes over the family business, Antonia’s Italian Café. She spends her days making delicious artisan cappuccinos, until she stumbles upon her neighbor’s dead body. When the police discover Mr. Cardosi was poisoned, Francesca becomes a suspect.

The victim’s son, Matty, happens to be Francesca’s old high school friend. Together, they uncover the secrets of the locals in order to find the killer in their idyllic beach town.

Includes two special cupcake recipes!


Francesca returns home, grieving for her mother and reunited with her grandmother. Life returns to what it was before she left the small town for New York and the pressures of the big city with the other cafe workers providing friendship and support.  Then she discovers the body of her old friend's father as she takes a short cut walking home one day. When the cause of death is determined to be homicide, she becomes involved with the investigation as a possible suspect.  She learns the problems with investigating a murder including uncovering histories of neighbors that are less than positive. 

The story is evenly paced and best exemplifies the positives of small town friendships and supports.  Francesca's relationships are all positive and she is a likable character.  Her involvement in the investigation is less credible, but she acknowledges her lack of experience and skill. The ending is somewhat sudden but acceptable. This is the first of the Cape Bay Cafe Mysteries with at least two others available already. Recipes are included as well as detailed descriptions of Francesca's drawings on the cappuccinos.

The Cape Bay Cafe Mysteries
Cappuccinos, Cupcakes, and a Corpse (Book 1) AMAZON
Tea, Tiramisu, and Tough Guys (Book 2)
Margaritas, Marzipan, and Murder (Book 3)