Thursday, April 30, 2020

Book Review: SIGN OFF Caught Dead in Wyoming Mystery Series Book #1 by Patricia McLinn


Divorce a husband, lose a career … grapple with a murder.

TV journalist Elizabeth “E.M.” Danniher will tell you she committed two sins — she didn’t stay young, and she made an enemy of a powerful news executive — her ex. She used to break national news. Now her top story as the “Helping Out!” reporter at dinky KWMT-TV in Sherman, Wyoming is getting a defective toaster repaired.

Tough, funny and determined, Elizabeth wrestles with isolation, keeping a professional edge, and an evolving self-image. Is Wyoming — the land of cattle, cowboys, tumbleweeds, and fewer than six people per square mile — her new home or a road to permanent obscurity?

Soon she’s in a battle of wills with ex-football player turned journalist Mike Paycik, who might see her as a handy rung on his career ladder or a romantic partner or both. And there’s the matter of a deputy sheriff—missing or murdered? Elizabeth finds herself investigating at the insistence of a girl who’s set on proving her father’s innocence. Not that enigmatic rancher Thomas Burrell makes investigating easy for an amateur sleuth.

But Elizabeth won’t fade to black without a fight, no matter how final some might want to make her SIGN OFF.


Danny, an investigative reporter, is exiled to a TV station to do a soft show where she helps neighbors address problems - problems like how to get money back when the purchased item is faulty. Not exactly what she's used to, but she hasn't figure out what her next career move should be. Then a little girl, Tamantha, asks her to help her father, a man accused of murder and then released. Her instincts kick in, and with some prodding by the hot shot ex-football player, she gets to know the people involved and a lot more about Wyoming. 

I like Danny aka E. M. Danniher. She's smart, sassy, and curious. She also has misgivings, and some insecurities.  Mike is also likable and loyal. In his own way, even the would-be bad guy, Tom Burrell, has his good points. The story is well-paced. Danny (and Mike) have to deal with obstacles at every turn, with a little help from a friend of two.  Can't miss with this one if you like a cozy mystery, with a bit of humor and romance.


Don’t miss any of the Caught Dead in Wyoming series by USA Today bestselling author Patricia McLinn:

Murder, Mysteries, Humor, a Hint of Romance

Sign Off
Left Hanging
Shoot First
Last Ditch
Look Live
Back Story
Cold Open
Hot Roll
Reaction Shot

Monday, April 27, 2020

Book Review: A HIGH PRICE TO PAY Madeline Dawkins Mysteries Book 2 by Cynthia Hamilton


Madeline’s dual professions as event coordinator and private investigator cross paths during the most lavish affair of her career—a weekend-long fortieth birthday extravaganza for the wife of a famous film director. A simple background check after the disappearance of precious family jewels quickly turns into a murder investigation, and before Madeline and Mike can put the pieces together, another body turns up. As the Santa Barbara police and sheriff’s departments search for clues, the Mad Dog P.I.’s use their own methods to untangle the crimes, discovering some unsavory truths behind the glittering fa├žade of their clients.

Adding to Madeline’s already overflowing plate, the D.A. informs her that Rick Yeoman, one of the men who had abducted her three years earlier, has been prematurely released from prison after cutting a deal with the Feds. Besides fearing reprisals from the man she helped to convict, his parole also triggers the reappearance of soulless Lionel Usherwood, lured out of his hideaway by the call of revenge. When Yeoman’s body surfaces in Lake Cachuma, Usherwood moves on to the next target: Madeline.


Madeline hasn't resolved the effects of being abducted, her husband's duplicity and murder, or her own vulnerability. One effect was her getting training as a private investigator and in self-defense. Although she and Mike have opened the PI agency, she still maintains her event coordinator business. As the times gets closer for the 40th birthday for an obnoxious client who has gone over the top, Madeline is asked to look into the disappearance of some jewels, without telling anyone. Add to that stress, the unexpected release of Lionel Usherwood, the man who abducted and terrorized her three years before. And he's leaving a trail of bodies, Madeline's unnerved, and Mike is concerned for her safety.

There's an element of the closed room mystery here, with comings and goings recorded to the murder scene. The jewelry issue is murky and may or may not be related. The threat of Usherwood is evident as other possible loose ends are eliminated. There is tension and conflict across the board. It keeps the story moving and the reader reading. This is the second in the Madeline Dawkins Mystery. It can be read as a stand alone. I read it as a stand alone. I'd recommend you read the first one first to be grounded in the Usherwood part of the story. 

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Blog Tour and Book Release: KILLER DEADLINE A Nikki Bryant Cozy Mystery by Lauren Carr

"Lauren Carr's books are never boring, that's for sure. They entertain, give us a good mystery to dig into, keep the reader guessing, give us a few good laughs and make us eager for the next book. Warning: Lauren Carr's series are addictive, so be ready to read more than just one book!" - Laura Fabiani, Library of Clean Reads 

"Here we go! Carr is a master storyteller who always offers a plot full of twists and turns, a bit of humor to offset the dark, and a unique cast of characters. In Killer Deadline that cast includes - handsome Ryan, her first love (who is now her step-brother); a mysterious social media friend called Nerdy Guy; Elmo, a super smart dog, a boxer, she rescued who has become a social media star and has a penchant for cleaning; a TV station full of suspicious employees; and more." -  Marilyn R. Wilson, Olio by Marilyn

Book TitleKiller Deadline (A Nikki Bryant Cozy Mystery) by Lauren Carr
Category:  Adult Fiction (18 +),  232 pages
Genre:  Mystery/Cozy Mystery
Publisher:  Acorn Book Services
Release date:   April 23, 2020
Content Rating: G. This is a true cozy mystery. No sex. No on-stage violence. No swearing. Just good clean fun!

Book Description:

Folks in Pine Grove, Pennsylvania, claim that where Nikki Bryant goes, trouble is not far behind. Her refusal to back down from a challenge has made Nikki Bryant a top investigative journalist.

When an online friend nudges her to join him in a pact to reconnect with their first loves, Nikki and her boxer dog Elmo leave the bright lights of Las Vegas for the charming town of Pine Grove. There, she must face the biggest challenges in her career and life—the first love she had left behind and her father’s unsolved murder.

But before she has time to unpack her car, Nikki stumbles upon the dead body of local news anchor, Ashleigh Addison, her childhood rival. Could Ashleigh’s death be connected to an explosive news story that she had teased about airing live? Did that explosive story have anything to do with the murder of Nikki’s father?

With the clues in her father’s cold case hot again, Nikki intends to chase down the story of her life until she catches his killer—no matter what it takes.


A cozy mystery that focuses on the unsolved murder of Nikki Bryant and her need to answer those unanswered questions, while facing the challenge of returning home and the memories there. Nikki has her social media star dog, Elmo to help her in social situations. Her high school nemesis, Ashleigh, hints that she's solved the cold case and then is found dead. This only fuels Nikiki's resolve. At the same time, her online friend, NerdyGuy, supports her need to confront her feelings with the one guy who got away. 

Lauren Carr's writing is true to form and well-paced. Nikki's personality is strong and well-developed, and who couldn't help but love a dog who does housework and cleans up any untidy area? The plot is well-placed with two murders to be solved - the cold case of Nikki's father and the very new case of Ashleigh Addison. Add in the complicated relationship with Ryan and the story has all the components a reader could ask for. This is the first in a new series and I'm looking forward to the next already.

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.
Order Your Copy Today!

Meet the Author:

Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, Chris Matheson
Cold Case, and Thorny Rose Mysteries—over twenty-five titles across three fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!

Killer Deadline marks Lauren's first venture into mystery's purely cozy sub-genre with a female protagonist.

Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, crime fiction, police procedurals, romance, and humor.

A popular speaker, Lauren is also the owner of Acorn Book Service, the umbrella under which falls iRead Book Tours. She lives with her husband and two spoiled rotten German Shepherds on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

Connect with the author: 
Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook  ~  Instagram ~ Pinterest

Enter the Giveaway:

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Tour Schedule:
April 20 – Olio by Marilyn – book review / giveaway
April 20 - Working Mommy Journal – book review / giveaway
April 20 - Michelle's Goodreads – book review
April 21 - Rockin' Book Reviews – book review / guest post / giveaway
April 21 - The avid reader – book spotlight / giveaway
April 22 - Thoughts in Progress – book spotlight / giveaway
April 22 - Brooke Blogs – book spotlight / giveaway
April 23 - My Reading Journeys – book review / giveaway
April 23 - Christa Reads and Writes – book review / giveaway
April 23 - Sefina Hawke's Books – book spotlight
April 23 - Books for Books – book spotlight
April 24 - Jazzy Book Reviews – book review / giveaway
April 27 -Cassidy's Bookshelves – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
April 28 - It’s All About the Book – book review / giveaway
April 28 - Down the Rabbit Hole – book review / author interview / giveaway
April 29 - Book Corner News and Reviews – book review / giveaway
April 29 - Laura's Interests – book review / guest post / giveaway
April 30 - I'm Into Books – book spotlight / giveaway
April 30 - Stephanie Jane – book spotlight / giveaway
May 5 - She Just Loves Books – book review / giveaway
May 6 - A Madison Mom – book review / giveaway
May 7 - Locks, Hooks and Books – book review / giveaway
May 8 – Adventurous Bookworm – book review / giveaway
May 11 – Literary Flits – book spotlight / giveaway
May 12 – Bound 4 Escape – book review / giveaway
May 12 - Leels Loves Books – book review / giveaway
May 13 – FUONLYKNEW – book review / giveaway
May 14 – fundinmental – book review / giveaway
May 15 - Splashes of Joy – book review / author interview / giveaway
May 15 – Adventurous Jessy – book review / giveaway
May 18 – Mowgli with a book – book review
May 19 – Pause for Tales – book review / giveaway
May 20 – Peaceful Pastime – book review
May 20 - eBook Addicts – book review
May 21 – Books and Zebras – book spotlight / giveaway
May 22 -  Sahar's Blog – book review

Monday, April 20, 2020

Blog Tour and Review: 18 CALIBER : The Maizie Albright Star Detective Series by Larissa Reinhart



Maizie’s mixing with international stars, spies, and her mother’s dark past in her sixth case in The Wall Street Journal bestselling series.

“Hollywood glitz meets backwoods grit in this fast-paced ride on D-list celeb Maizie Albright’s waning star. Sassy, Sexy, and Fun.” — Phoebe Fox, author of the Breakup Doctor series.

#WannabeDetectiving While ex-celebrity Maizie Albright’s dreams of becoming a for-real private investigator have not exactly been dashed, they have been slightly thwarted. Her ex-manager and still-mother, Vicki Albright, has taken the helm of Nash Security Services while rebuilding her entertainment management company. Sometimes with the same clients. Like Chinese action star, Lili Liang, who’s making the film Unlucky 18 in Georgia.

Thus far, Lili’s living up to her movie title. Her kung fu coach is missing. Her boyfriend’s disappeared. And her director, who gambled on her with the part, might be gambling with her life.

Maizie’s luck is also running out. Maizie and Nash find themselves struggling to balance a new partnership and new relationship between missing persons’ cases, wild goose chases, and tracking a bullet into dangerous places. Sometimes it’s enough to make a girl NOT want to put a ring on it. When it comes to facing an 18-caliber killer, what will Maizie put up as the target? Her heart or her life?

Maizie and Mike and the PI business have some major issues, starting with Vicki Albright, Maizie's mother. Vicki's the boss and hired her to find the missing coach for her newly acquired star, Lili. And Lili wants them to find her new love, Jefferson. Not sure of the plot of Unlucky 18, but involvement in that movie is certainly unlucky for a lot of people, Maizie included. 

The pace of the story is quick and the characters interesting. There are tensions on the business level (Unlucky 18) as well as on the personal level for Maizie, Mike, Vicki, and her father. Good to see that Maizie's salon friends are there for her. If you've enjoyed the earlier books in this series, you will find this one entertaining, especially the ending resolution. Although this is a stand-alone mystery, I'd recommend you start at the beginning (I did) to truly appreciate Vicki.

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.

Purchase links for 18 Caliber
Barnes & Noble:
Apple Books:

Books in the Maizie Albright Star Detective series:

About Larissa Reinhart

A Wall Street Journal bestselling author, Larissa writes the Cherry Tucker Mystery, Maizie Albright Star Detective, and Finley Goodhart Crime Caper series as well as romantic comedies and women’s fiction. She loves to tell funny stories about Southern women looking for love (and sometimes dead bodies) in all the wrong places. You might have seen Larissa and family with their little dog, Biscuit, on HGTV’s House Hunters International “Living for the Weekend in Nagoya” episode, but they’re back in Georgia now. Visit to learn more.

Social Media Links:
VIP Readers:
Official Facebook:
Fan group:

Other Series by Larissa Reinhart:
A Cherry Tucker Mystery
Finley Goodhart Crime Capers

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Friday, April 17, 2020

Book Review: PERILOUS TRUST Off the Grid; FBI Series #1 by Barbara Freethy

While "sheltering in place," I'm  reading a wider range of books. This one is romantic suspense, definitely not a cozy mystery. 

Synopsis (from Amazon)

It was one dark night that brought Damon Wolfe and Sophie Parker together. They were two tortured souls, looking for escape, and they weren't supposed to see each other ever again…

Four years later, Sophie's FBI father, who is also Damon's mentor, is killed in a suspicious car crash after leaving Sophie a cryptic message to trust no one from the agency. When Damon shows up looking for her, she isn't sure if he's friend or enemy, but she knows he could easily rip apart what is left of her heart.

The last thing Damon wants is to get involved with Sophie again. It was hard enough to walk away the first time. But she's in trouble, her father's reputation is under attack, and the lives of his fellow agents are at stake if there's a traitor in their midst.

When someone starts shooting at them, they have no choice but to go on the run and off the grid. Everyone in their world becomes a suspect. They want to uncover the truth, but will it turn out to be the last thing they expect? Proving her father's innocence might just cost them their hearts…and their lives…


A romance that never went anywhere and his allegiance to his mentor serve as motivation enough for Damon to ensure Sophie's safe when she can't be found. It quickly looks like something is wrong and his feelings for Sophia take over. She's not sure who to trust and her father's last words were to not trust anyone, especially anyone in the agency. 

This is a fast paced, active story. The plot moves along with secrets and clues revealed gradually, almost as if Freethy is teasing the reader. Sophie and Damon are both likable characters. You want this to work out well for them both, despite the obstacles. If you like romantic suspense, drama, and action, you will like this book. Only be sure to allow enough time to read it all at once, or you might lose some sleep to finish it. I did. With continued "stay at home" time, I'm onto #2 next.


This is the first in a new series by Barbara Freethy featuring FBI agents working Off the Grid.  The full series is below:

Perilous Trust #1
Reckless Whisper #2
Desperate Play #3
Elusive Promise #4
Dangerous Choice #5
Ruthless Cross #6

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Book Review: SPRINKLED IN MALICE Cookies & Chance Mysteries # 7 by Catherine Bruns


Spring has officially arrived, and while the weather outside may still be frightful, Sally Muccio is feeling especially delightful as she prepares a homemade family dinner in honor of her husband's birthday. Sal's determined to make it an unforgettable night for Mike and even includes homemade fortune cookies like the ones her bakery serves, with messages personalized for each guest.

The evening is memorable, but not as Sal had hoped, when Mike and a family friend find themselves in the middle of an armed robbery...and only one will make it out alive. It's just the beginning of more grief for Sal, who soon discovers the robbery is related to a scheme that spells financial ruin for her family. Add in her morbid father's book signing at the bakery complete with coffin shaped cookies, a sister who won't stop eating them, and an accidental gig at a local strip club, and Sal once again finds herself in deep dough. Only this time, there may not be a way out...

*Recipes Included!*


Sally's birthday celebration for Mike is postponed when he stops to pink up sprinkles for her. What looks like an armed robbery leaves his friend and employee, Trevor, dead and Mike in surgery.  Now Sally is faced with taking care of him, keeping her bakery afloat, and taking care of Mike's construction business. What she has to tell him isn't far behind getting shot when it comes to unwelcome birthday presents. Sally searches for clues and answers to missing money and the person who shot Mike. Add in a little tension with her favorite cop, a very pregnant sister, and a few twists and turns along the way.  

The funeral themed book signing complete with coffin cookies is unique and the description of Sally's mother's new funeral wardrobe, is well, interesting. Josie and Sal's undercover adventure at the strip club adds comic relief as well. The pace is steady and keeps the readers' attention, with an unexpected surprise in a fortune cookie. It's easy to like Sally and Mike, Gianna, Johnny, and Josie.  This is the seventh in the series, but can easily be read as a stand-alone. If you like cozy mysteries, you will like this one. And you get recipes, besides.

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.


Cookies and Chance Mysteries
Tastes Like Murder (Book #1)
Baked to Death (Book #2)
Burned to a Crisp (Book #3)
Frosted With Revenge (Book #4)
Silenced by Sugar (Book #5)
Crumbled to Pieces (Book #6)
Sprinkled in Malice - (Book #7)
Ginger Snapped to Death - (Book #8)
Icing on the Casket - (Book #9)

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Blog tour and Review: MURDER IN THE SECRET MAZE A Tory Benning Mystery by Judith Gonda


First in a new series featuring California landscape architect Tory Benning!

Landscape architect Tory Benning knows the lay of the land, but she’ll have to dig through the clues to unearth a killer . . .

After a whirlwind romance and a glorious wedding at the luxurious Hotel Santa Sofia, Tory Benning is ready to let down her hair, slip into her dancing shoes, and celebrate—until she discovers that her newly minted husband has vanished. The police suspect cold feet and second thoughts are behind Milo’s disappearance, but Tory’s certain he’s met with foul play. And since she designed the plush resort, she knows every nook and cranny of the grounds and adjoining secret maze, and wastes no time delving into her search.

As clues begin to emerge that Milo may have taken his last breath in the maze, Tory steps up her sleuthing, even as she learns she’s the prime suspect of a cop with a chip on his shoulder and is squarely in the sights of a menacing stalker. And when a second body is found on the grounds, Tory fears she’s up against a killer determined to silence any and all who get in the way. .

Not to be deterred, Tory forges ahead, navigating a case with more twists and turns than the maze itself, until the labyrinth of clues leads her to shocking revelations about her husband, her family, and the identity of a killer who’s dead set on making her the next victim . . . .


Suspects abound and the body count rises in the aftermath of the "I do's" and not-reception. Tory Benning designed the landscaping of the Hotel Santa Sofia, including the very eerie secret maze. She knows her way in the maze more than the average person. While that helps her in her search for her husband of only minutes, it also adds to the suspicion cast her way. Something is definitely not as it seems and at each turn information contradicts what she thinks and knows. 

First off, I would love to see the grounds Tory so meticulously brought to life. The grounds sound beautiful. I tend to agree with her friend, though, about the maze's creepiness in the darkness. This story is well developed with many twists that eventually come together in a believable, yet surprising, way. 

Tory is a likable character. Unfortunately, Milo, now dead, also was a highly likable character. However, there are many other supporting characters, including an investigator looking into the case for her and her best friend. On the other hand, there's the cop who Tory rebuked in high school who has her in his sights for the murderer, with hopes of the arrest getting him promoted. 

The story moves along well, with enough tension and action to maintain attention. This is the first in the series. I'll be looking for the next installment.

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.

Purchase Links 

Amazon – Barnes and Noble – Kobo – Smashwords – Google Play – 

About the Author:

Judith Gonda is a mystery writer and Ph.D. psychologist with a penchant for Pomeranians and puns, so it’s not surprising that psychology, Poms, and puns pop up in her amateur sleuth mysteries featuring landscape architect Tory Benning.

Author Links:

Website –
Blog –
Facebook –
Twitter –
Instagram –
GoodReads –
Pinterest –


April 8 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW
April 8 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
April 9 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
April 10 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 11 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
April 11 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW
April 12 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
April 13 – Brianne’s Book Reviews – REVIEW
April 14 – Bea’s Book Nook – REVIEW
April 14 – eBook Addicts – SPOTLIGHT
April 15 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
April 15 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW
April 16 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
April 16 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – SPOTLIGHT
April 17 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW
April 19 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT
April 19 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT
April 20 – Sapphyria’s Books – REVIEW
April 21 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 21 – Dee-Scoveries – SPOTLIGHT

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Blog Tour Spotlight: PERILS AND LACE A Ghostly Fashionista Mystery by Gayle Leeson


A murderer outwitting a quirky flapper ghost? Seams unlikely!

Budding retro fashion designer and entrepreneur Amanda Tucker is thrilled about making costumes for Winter Garden High School’s production of Beauty and the Beast. But when the play’s director Sandra Kelly is poisoned, Amanda realizes there’s a murderer in their midst. She’s determined to keep herself and the students safe, so when her ghostly fashionista friend Max suggests they investigate, Amanda rolls up her sleeves and prepares to follow the deadly pattern…

Purchase Links

About Gayle Leeson

As Amanda Lee, she wrote the Embroidery Mystery series, and as Gayle Trent, she writes the Daphne Martin Cake Mystery series and the Myrtle Crumb Mystery series. Going forward, Gayle intends to keep her writing until the Gayle Leeson name. She has a series of women’s fiction novellas set in a shopping mall that has been converted to include micro-apartments (the Kinsey Falls series) and is enjoying writing the Ghostly Fashionista Mystery Series, the Down South Cafe series, and co-writing the Victoria Square series with Lorraine Bartlett. 

Saturday, April 4, 2020

NEW RELEASE: MAYHEM ON THE MIDWAY A Hannah and Tamar Mystery by Christa Nardi and Cassidy Salem

I'm happy to announce that the 5th Hannah and Tamar Mystery is ready for all those teens, and young adults stuck at home. Writing this, I was reminded of school fairs when I was growing up, without the mystery or mayhem, of course.  To celebrate the release, the ebook is only $0.99 for a limited time.


It's the time and place, but it's not all fun and games.

Emotions run high at Rosedale High as Tamar and her friends plan the junior class's year-end fundraiser - a school fair set to involve students, staff, and the community. Even when a series of puzzling incidents put a friend and their plans at risk, the teens are not deterred. They are determined to pull off a spectacular fair and help the police identify the source of the mayhem on the midway.

This standalone read is the fifth in the Hannah and Tamar Mystery Series for teens and young adults.

The Hannah and Tamar Mysteries

The Mysterious Package (A Hannah and Tamar Mystery #1)
Mrs. Tedesco’s Missing Cookbook (A Hannah and Tamar Mystery #2)
The Misplaced Dog (A Hannah and Tamar Mystery #3)
Malicious Mischief (A Hannah and Tamar Mystery #4)

Mayhem on the Midway (A Hannah and Tamar Mystery #5)

BTW, did you know that all of the books in the Hannah and Tamar Mystery Series are available in both ebook and paperback editions? FREE with Kindle Unlimited.

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As we continue to deal with COVID-19, I hope everyone stays healthy and tries to focus on something positive everyday.