Friday, August 30, 2019

Blog Tour & Review: NUMBER'S UP A Barrow Bay Mystery by Annabelle Hunter


Jennifer Ward’s To Do List:
1) Turn in my business partner and his lying, cheating, law-breaking client to the SEC for insider trading.

2)Cooperate with the FBI. Do not kiss - scratch that. Do not yell at Special Agent Nicholas Kelly, the FBI agent leading said investigation.

3) Discover a dead body...

Jennifer Ward, MBA, CPA, and business consultant, likes a nice, orderly lifestyle. Schedules and To Do Lists are what gets her through the day. So when the by-the-numbers fashionista finds her business partner was breaking the law, she turned him in to the SEC. Which brought the FBI to her door, and her ordered world to an end.

But that was three weeks ago. Things couldn’t possibly get worse. Right?
Until Jen discovers her business partner dead in his hotel room. With Nic the handsome FBI agent dogging her every step, Jen must use her skills to discover the truth. Who killed Henry? And will she be next?


This book in the Barrow Bay Series focuses on Jen - and Nic, the handsome but oh, so bothersome FBI agent. The FBI and agents continue to harass her and search her home. Jen tries to be angry, but they are so neat about it and she doesn't have anything to hide. She's innocent. Then she finds Henry's body and all is a mess. It's apparent Henry was covering for someone and the question is who. 

While trying to figure out which of the likely candidates killed Henry and was behind the insider trading to begin with, Jen has becomes a partner in the grand plan to have Lark and her Detective get together - after all Barrow Bay needs a new police chief, badly. What sneaks up on her is that there's also a need for someone to take over as head of security. She's single, and Nic's a possible candidate - matchmaking is in the works.

This is a fun, cute read, particularly if you like cozy mysteries with busybody's meddling and matchmaking. Filling the needed positions is almost as important as solving the murder in this small town. Conspiracy on multiple levels.

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 Annabelle Hunter

Annabelle Hunter is a stay-at-home mom and an avid fan of classic mystery shows and dressage. She lives in Southern California with her husband, two children, and too many animals.
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Twitter: @cozycrazyfun



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Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Blog tour and review: I DREAMED IT


Justice for the dead and solace for the living is Baxley Powell’s creed, but she faces uncharted territory in this sixth book of the Dreamwalker Mystery Series. The Suitcase Killer has struck again, only this big city menace is now a problem for Baxley’s hometown. As that investigation heats up, a local woman is reported missing. The sheriff orders Baxley to work the missing person’s case.

Listening to the dead is familiar ground for Baxley but finding a missing young lady isn’t in her skill set. Besides, her dreams rarely follow a timeline. With the clock ticking, can this crime consultant discover a way to reach the living?

Her main source of help in the afterlife, a mentor named Rose, is unavailable. Instead, Baxley must rely on her wits and her Native American boyfriend, Deputy Sam Mayes, to find leads. Each shared dreamwalk and energy transfer binds them closer together, creating another issue. Mayes wants to marry Baxley but it isn’t that easy. They’re hampered by their community roles in opposite ends of the state.

Baxley juggles the pressure of two high-profile cases, a determined suitor, and expanding her limits. One thing is certain. Without her extrasensory sleuthing, the missing woman will die.


Baxley and Sam continue to work together to help others in law enforcement in this next book in the series. Only somehow, they both lost a period of time when they should have been asleep. Neither has any recollection and both have a need to know who used them somehow and for what. 

In the meantime, the Sheriff is very possessive and attracted to Baxley, and not too thrilled that Sam always seems to show up. The case they're called in on is of a missing girl. With a new twist, the girl's pleas for help reach Baxley and provide a different kind of threat. Despite the risk, Baxley wants to find her before she's dead.

The final layer of tension centers on the relationship between Baxley and Sam. He's about to be offered a position in the northern part of the state and he's looking for some indication from Baxley she'd rather he hung around. 

All together, the tension and action move the story. The characters are unique and well-developed. The sense of community among Baxley's family and friends provides balance. Although the fourth in the series, this can be read as a stand-alone mystery. That said, I think to get the full effect of the dreamwalking component, it would be best to start with the first one. All have been highly enjoyable, with me staying up to get to end and find out how Toussaint managed to pull all the loose strings together.

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 Maggie Toussaint

Southern author Maggie Toussaint evolved into a mystery author after getting her feet damp in romantic suspense and dystopian fiction, with twenty fiction novels and two nonfiction novels to her credit. Her work won two Silver Falchions, the Readers’ Choice, and the EPIC Awards. She’s a past president of Southeast chapter of Mystery Writers of America and an officer of Lowcountry Sisters In Crime. She lives in coastal Georgia, where secrets, heritage, and ancient oaks cast long shadows. Visit her at

Author Links
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Saturday, August 17, 2019

Blog tour and Review: STIR UP A Lark Davis Mystery by Annabelle Hunter


Peace and quiet is underrated.

After her last brush with murder, Larklyn Davis is relieved to be spending her time with the talented new horse at her stables instead of tripping over body parts. While she’s trying to figure out why her newest horse has lost his mojo, she’s also puzzling over her relationship with the brooding, uncommunicative Detective Brecken Wilson.

But then, disaster strikes, and both Lark’s reputation and business are on the line. Once again she finds herself pulled into a murder case and in close proximity to the handsome Detective. Throw in a dashing veterinarian plus a matchmaking town and Lark’s life spins out of control. As clues pile up and all evidence leads back to her barn, Lark gets saddled up to solve another mystery.

Who knew life in Barrow Bay would stir up so much trouble?


Lark is already wondering what's going on with Bon, the great horse she'd just been hired to take care of, train, and show - preferably to the top of the field. All the videos show his promise, but his previous trainer, Emily, hasn't had the best of luck lately and Abby, Bon's owner, moves Bon without telling her. Bon comes with his own charming vet who surprises Lark with a "house visit" to check out how Bon's doing. 

Barrow Bay is small town with gossip and second guessing traveling fast, and Lark's possible romances - first with Brecken and now with the vet, Connor has bets flying. Somehow this seems perfectly normal to the Barrow Bay residents. Only this time it's in the midst of an investigation of insider trading and Bon's untimely death on Lark's watch. 

This is the second Lark Davis Mystery, and my first dose of Lark. She's strong, speaks her mind, and a single mom, with her own insecurities. She's not perfect and that makes her even more likable. Brecken is a mess in his own way as well, but I hope he becomes a regular. 

This was a fun read, easily a stand-alone, though I'll go back and read the first one now. It is well-written, with a stead pace and the not swearing ("shittake mushrooms" for example) and some of Lark's other comments made me laugh. But hey, she takes having a seven-year-old to heart. If you like cozy mysteries, horses, and handsome detectives, you'll enjoy Stir Up.

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

Annabelle Hunter is a stay-at-home mom and an avid fan of classic mystery shows and dressage. She lives in Southern California with her husband, two children, and too many animals.

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Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Book Review: THE STINK ON RACOON CREEK A Roy Martin Mystery by John Rose Putnam


In book three of his Roy Martin Mysteries, bestselling author John Rose Putnam takes on a very troubling problem and comes out smelling like a rose.

Summer doldrums and a severe heat wave combine to cause a slump in business for the Laurel County Sheriff, leaving Roy Martin free to investigate the complaint of a terrible odor along the remote and once idyllic Raccoon Creek. What Roy finds there is a sinister conspiracy to force Ernestine Walden, a charming elderly woman, to leave her lifelong home so that they can develop the land along the stream for a handsome profit. The plotters have already shown a ruthless determination to get what they want, including at least one cold-blooded murder.


Sheriff Roy Martin wouldn't usually investigate a complaint about a smelly creek, but there's not much else to do and that's just who he is. Mrs. Walden isn't kidding and he immediately smells more than just bad air. The tension rises as he starts to ask questions about the way sewage is diverted - it's not supposed to end up in the creek. Before long he's asking more questions and is very concerned that Mrs. Walden may be in danger.

I like Roy Martin a lot and Putnam's writing style. The story is well-written, with enough detail to give you a sense of the time and place, with twists and tension to keep the story moving. This is the third in the series, and it can be read as a stand-alone mystery. As with the other two, I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes mystery, small towns, and historic bent. I'm hoping there's a number 4.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Book Review: RESORT TO HOMICIDE: A Merrifield Mystery Novella by Christine Chianti


Vacations can be Murder

After the loss of her husband, ex-homicide detective turned mystery writer, Laura Merrifield turns to her family. Giving in to her brother's request, she goes to visit his new island resort during a special weekend for the investors. Spending time at Rim Runners should have been the perfect prescription to help rebuild her life, but the mood at the resort is like the weather-stormy. As hurricane Anna cuts them off from the mainland, tempers flare resulting in threats and sabotage. When the body of one of the guests is found, Laura is forced to rely on her training to find the killer before the storm lets up and they can slip away.


Laura Merrifield is a likable character, smart and not particularly thrilled to be in the position of solving a murder. In fact, she's rather write them than live them. Only there she is, in the middle of a storm and no way to for law enforcement to get over the bridge to them or for them to get to the mainland with a dead guest and a murderer. A quick read to be sure, but well-written. I haven't read others by Christine Chianti, but will look for more in the future.

Monday, August 5, 2019

Blog Tour Book Review: REST, RELAX, RUN FOR YOUR LIFE : An Ooey, Gooey Bakery Mystery by Katherine H. Brown


Piper and Samantha are in heaven. Well, close. After winning a contest to raise the most money for human trafficking awareness and prevention, Piper and Sam are rewarded with a long weekend at the O Heavenly Day Spa. When mysterious notes start appearing everywhere, things get uncomfortable. When spa treatments go awry it is starting to get dangerous. A threatening message in Piper’s closet convinces Piper and Sam that they have to find out who is behind all of these disasters before someone gets hurt. Is it Broussard the stuffy concierge? Gladys, the sweet old lady who decided to join them for the weekend? When the smoke alarms go off and the spa erupts into panic, the chaos separates the friends and Piper stumbles into trouble. Will her friends be able to help her in time?


This was a fun read, with Piper and Sam trying to avoid the next mishap. Meantime, Piper keeps receiving threatening notes and coincidence doesn't explain all or any of those mishaps. Yet, for most of the book, it's not clear why. The "why" is the mystery. It's also not clear what Gladys' role is in the whole spa fiasco, other than that she is thrilled to be included and exposed to the life of the younger set. Even if she isn't always thrilled.

There are some humorous as well as serious points in this story line. The pace is quick, moving from the Ooey Gooey bakery to the spa and the various "choose" two or more options for today, with the ladies sometimes selecting something based on the name and not knowing what they've actually signed up for. The frequent "mishaps" keep the tension moving. This is marketed as YA - yet it's not really clear how "young" Piper and Sam are. Obviously old enough to have gone into business together.  Don't let the YA label put you off. If you enjoy a light mystery, you'll enjoy Piper's story. And the goodies of the Ooey Gooey Bakery? Just thinking about them could add pounds.

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

Katherine Brown is a Texas girl, a lover of books, and a weaver of words. Her first official publication was of two children’s books in 2017, which has now grown into five books of the School is Scary series; however, she likes to think her career as a writer started when she sold her parents newsletters of articles about school and poetry for fifty cents per copy as a pre-teen. Married to a wonderful husband and mom of a smart, spunky stepdaughter, Katherine enjoys spending time with family and reading as many new books as she can get her hands on. Her YA series, the Ooey Gooey Bakery Mystery series, is ramping up in 2019 with book 1 released in March and book 2 was released June 1, 2019.

Amazon Author Page
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RELEASE DAY: DECEPTION, DENIAL & MURDER A Stacie Maroni Mystery #3 by Christa Nardi

Deception, Denial & Murder
A Stacie Maroni Mystery #3

A domineering co-worker, a new flirtatious neighbor, and a dead body with way too many questions. 

As HR Specialist and trauma counselor, Stacie Maroni is used to dealing with difficult situations. When her night out is derailed by the discovery of a body, she’s glad she’s not involved. That is, until the murder affects her close friends and makes for awkward situations with the men in her life, her father included. With her friends potential suspects, Stacie works with the police, only the suspect list is slim and she’s grabbing at straws.

Here is an excerpt:

My morning run was invigorating. The sun was shining and the temperature crisp, but not frigid. A great day to get started on those New Year’s resolutions for sure. A quick shower, Jasper, my Maltese, taken care of, and I parked my car in my usual spot at Foster’s Insurance Group.
As the one stable feature of my life for the past year, it was a good thing I liked my job. HR specialist and crisis counselor for the company, my day was predictable enough with the occasional crisis to keep me charged.
Opening the doors leading to my office area, I greeted my assistant in reception. “Hi, Rosie.”
She jumped. “Good morning, Stacie. It doesn’t look like a busy day today. Did you have a good weekend?”
I nodded and didn’t elaborate. Rosie was in her fifties and had a penchant for gossip. Still, she did her job to perfection and kept me organized.
Not stopping to chat, I went down the hall to my office and settled in to work. I smiled at the email from Kevin McNair, the man in my life. A fellow supporter of victims of domestic violence, Kevin earned my trust as we faced down a murderer who was targeting members of the board of the newly established Theodore Noth Foundation.
He made the career change from professional athlete to policeman at about the same time. This week, he was in Quantico at a training seminar and sent me GIFs of flowers and sunshine daily. I could get used to this, though having him in town would be preferable.
A knock on my door broke my concentration. True to form, Jillian didn’t wait for the “Come in.” She burst in and slammed the door so hard I wasn’t sure the hinges would hold. From the set of her mouth to her wide eyes, her mood matched her jet black hair. Jillian was my best friend and I’d never seen her this riled.
“What’s wrong? Sit down, chill.”
“It’s … it’s that woman they transferred from Georgia – Gertrude Butts. Have you interacted with her at all?”
I shook my head. “Only to collect the paperwork. I haven’t seen her since she started. She’s in Special Projects with you, right?”
Jillian slumped over, her head in her hands.
“She is. The woman is a witch. A bully. She wants to add more structure, picks on the women – but is oh so nice to Tony and Jim. Everything I’ve done? She hates. She’s obsessed with being on time and apologetic when she’s late, which she is often. She gets upset if anyone is even a minute late or takes too long in the restroom.”
“Calm down. You have a cohesive unit. You have worked together for a long time. You’re a good lead.”
“That’s what I’m trying to tell you. She acts like she knows everything and doesn’t see why the staff should be able to talk to each other or socialize. The tension is building. I’m afraid it will not be pretty. Besides, she doesn’t have a clue what she’s doing and keeps missing the details on the projects.”
“The holidays are always stressful and she’s only just gotten here. Give it a few more weeks. Try talking to her. Make her feel like her opinion matters.”
“I know, I know. I’m just afraid she’ll run off my best staff. She keeps pushing my buttons and everyone else’s. She sent me an email demanding I comply with her requests within 24 hours. She’s not my boss. I don’t understand why Reinhardt thought I needed help. We each have a job and I’m afraid she’s wreaking havoc on me and my unit.”
She exhaled and stood up. “I just needed to vent. We’ll work it out. See you at lunch.”
I stared at the closed door after Jillian left. I was confident she could handle the woman. Only I didn’t enjoy seeing her so upset. I sat back and thought about my job.
Most of the time, Foster’s Insurance Group was a well-oiled machine. As the lead HR specialist, I had first-hand knowledge of the turnover and complaints. I’d already had a complaint from one of the people in Jillian’s unit about Gertrude.
A high rate of turnover didn’t happen often. If it did or one unit suddenly wasn’t as productive or had high turnover, I’d have to report to Reinhardt. Lynisha Cook, the other HR specialist, and I “jokingly” referred to her as the “Wicked Witch of the West.”
I shuddered and turned my attention back to my email and the reports I needed to get done. I could only hope this would pass. Engrossed in number crunching, I jumped when my cell rang, the ring tone alerting me it was my dad. I smiled and answered.
“Hi, Dad. How’s it going?”
“Hi, Stacie. Everything’s good here. Working on the final touches for the wedding. How are things with you?”
“Good here, too.” I cringed, anticipating what he would say.
“Deanna and I were wondering when you will arrive and if you’d gotten around to inviting Kevin yet? Deanna is looking forward to meeting him.”
“I have vacation time and requested the week off, hoping to get some skiing and relaxation in. My plan was to arrive midweek. When will Vince arrive?”
I hadn’t seen my brother in at least two years. He made the army his career and deployments kept him away. At least so he said.
“Stacie, you didn’t answer my question. Why haven’t you invited Kevin to the wedding yet?”
I took a deep breath. “You realize we haven’t spent a lot of time together, what with him at the police academy and now the special training at Quantico. He’s starting a new job and I’m not sure he can take time off.”
“You’ll invite him, won’t you?”
“Yes. I think so. I don’t know.”
“Stacie, you’re running – no, you’ve run out of time here. He may be insulted you waited so long and say no.” He groaned and I imagined he was shaking his head and scowling.
“As for your brother, Vince will be on leave for two weeks. He plans to stay at my place in New Jersey for a while to decompress. He’ll come up to Bricksville by Tuesday or Wednesday. Nate is driving up on Thursday. Talk to Kevin today and let me know so we can plan accordingly.”
“Okay. I will.”
      We disconnected and I shuddered at what “plan accordingly” meant. It would be awful if they “found” me a date for the wedding. That would be so uncomfortable. I’d hash it out with my friends at lunch.

Excerpt from Deception, Denial & Murder Copyright © 2019. All rights reserved.

Stacie Maroni Msyteries (available on Amazon, with Kindle Unlimited)

Prestige, Privilege & Murder
Foundations, Funny Business & Murder
Deception, Denial & Murder

For the backstory on the series, check out the dedicated Stacie Maroni Mysteries page on this blog!

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