Sunday, February 28, 2021

New Release Spotlight: MURDER ON MORRISON ( A Rose McLaren Mystery) by Liza Miles

Today, I'm spotlighting a debut novel in a new series by Liza Miles. I haven't read it yet, but I enjoyed my visit to Edinburgh so I'm excited about the setting already. I also like muffins and biscuits. And mystery.


The historic town of Edinburgh appears to be the perfect location for Rose McLaren to set up shop, creating delectable muffins and biscuits. 

But three years later, a death that seemed like an accident brings Rose face to face with a darker and more sinister side of the city. 

Despite several formidable warnings to stay out of things, finding a dead man on her bed is the final straw and Rose reconnects with an old ally from the other side of the fence. 

In her debut as a sleuth, Rose learns that murder, close friends and past enemies all have a role to play in the mystery which she is determined to unravel and solve.

This is the first in the Rose McLaren Mystery series. And the first is always the best place to start a series.

It's a busy month for new releases - you can find some other ones HERE 

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Book Review : POODLE VERSUS THE VIGILANTE (Cottage Country Cozy Mysteries Book 1) by Anne Shillolo

(from Amazon)

Rocco. He’s got a nose for the news… but can he sniff out a killer? 

A 50-something local newspaper publisher and a pampered prince of a poodle stumble upon a shocking crime in a cottage-country small town. Who killed the mayor? It’s up to Zora Flynn and her nasty small poodle Rocco to sort out a distinctive cast of characters in the town of Williamsport and find the murderer. 

Meet Zora. She’s one of a kind, flavored with a dash of Agatha Raisin and a splash of Stephanie Plum, and her exploits and foibles will have you laughing out loud before the end of Chapter 1. Her small dog, Rocco, wears a bright blue collar studded with yellow crowns. With his regal personality, he amuses Zora with his snide comments and princely demands. Despite this, he is a poodle of action. And Zora’s secret weapon. 

Surrounded by rocky cliffs, pristine lakes and picture-perfect scenery, Williamsport is a charming town in cottage country. But now the murder of the mayor casts a shadow. Police chief Arni Korhonen looks like he stepped from the pages of GQ but he’s being forced to consider Zora as a suspect. Can Zora and her reporters Brady and Olivia track down the real killer before the noose tightens around Zora, jeopardizing her business and their livelihood? 

Poodle Versus The Assassin is the highly entertaining first book in an ongoing series starring Zora and Rocco. (It probably goes without saying, but the Poodle Versus… Series is good, clean fun, except for the occasional suspicious death. No graphic violence, sex or swearing.)


This was a fun read, but then, I'm a sucker for dogs, especially poodles. Zora (and Rocco) discover the body of the neighbor, Louise Carling, who is very active in encouraging green behavior. It's odd, not only because she's dead, but the trash that's been left on her door step. The "vigilante" has been leaving reminders (including dog poop) at the person's home or office who was responsible. There are two major controversies in this small town and the victim was heavily involved in both. Zora, rather than being arrested, is intent on finding the killer and the vigilante.

This is a light read, with humorous events, most involving Zora, and various twists and turns as she follows leads. There are a lot of suspects and the outcome of the new landfill is a touchy subject for all involved. Fans of light cozies will enjoy Zora and Rocco as they search out the killer. This is the first of eight Cottage Country Cozy Mysteries and only 99cents at this posting.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Book Review: KNIT ONE, MURDER TWO A Knitorious Murder Mystery Book1 by Reagan Davis


Knitting Can Be Murder! 

I’m not a cop. I’m a soon-to-be-ex-wife, and former full-time mom who works part-time at the local yarn store. The biggest mystery I’ve ever solved is finding a missing knitting needle tucked behind my ear after spending all morning looking for it. 
Someone in Harmony Lake is trying to stitch me up for murder. 

In a small town where everyone has a secret they want to keep hidden, no one is talking to the out-of-town cop who’s been brought in to solve the case. So, armed with everything I’ve learned from watching murder mysteries on TV, and a little help from my friends, it’s up to me to find the real killer and clear my name. 

Can I knit the clues together and expose the killer before they unravel and kill again? 

I hope so, because knitting needles aren't allowed in prison, and I look horrible in orange. 

This ebook includes a link to a free knitting pattern. Clean read: no graphic violence, sex, or strong language.


Meg and Adam continued to live together but are married in name only. The plan is that as soon as their daughter leaves for college, the divorce will occur and they will go their separate ways. Meg works at the local yarn star with Connie, who is both her boss and her friend. Only things get complicated and both Meg and Adam may be suspects when Paul is killed. 

Like many small towns, the dynamics of the townspeople and relationships factor into the story. After her argument with Paul and one of her knitting needles at the scene, Meg is sure she's being framed. She starts asking questions and discovers some things she's not fully prepared for. 

If you like cozy mysteries complete with some quirky and likable characters, you'll enjoy this first in the series. In addition to the murder mystery, there is a bit of humor and the possibility of romance as Meg gets on with the next phase of her life. Besides, there a free knitting patterns!

This is the first of eight in the Knitorious series and it lends a hint to where the series is going, but the mystery is fully contained in this book. I've added the next few to my TBR list.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Blog Tour and Review: SPRING UPON A CRIME : A Seattle Wilderness Mystery Book 2 by ML Erdahl


Wilderness guide Crystal Rainey leads a group of college students to a private campground amidst the awe-inspiring Olympic Rain Forest. The excursion is ruined when the charming hostess Roxie is discovered standing over the land owner’s body, murder weapon in hand. 

Enlisted to investigate the crime to absolve her friend, Crystal descends on the quiet city of Forks to find loggers, developers, and eco-protesters circling the property, intent on either exploiting or protecting the bastion of old-growth forest. The list of suspects is intimidating. Can Crystal find answers in a community determined to keep her in the dark?


When Mr. Baranhof is found dead in his beautiful home in the Olympic Rain Forest, Crystal is determined to prove her friend Roxie is innocent and enlists her friends to help her out, along with Crystal's boyfriend, Conner. Only there have already been rumors of a logging company or development company buying the property and destroying the natural environment. Enter a few hippie-types including one man who is protesting in the nude in a tree. When Conner is injured, Crystal enlists her friends Suzy and Olivia. Like Crystal, Suzy is a wilderness guide. Somehow, although not as outspoken, it's Crystal who ends up in the local jail with its own cast of characters.

The characters are interesting and the setting offers unique opportunities for story twists and turns. The pace is steady and the interactions maintain tensions beyond the murder and threats to the ecosystem. This was an enjoyable read with some humorous moments, some touching moments, and a few surprises along the way. If you like cozy mysteries, the wilderness, humor, and interesting characters, you'll enjoy this one.This is the second in the series, but easily is read as a stand-alone. I'm adding the first to my TBR list. 

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 ML Erdahl 

Award-winning author ML Erdahl lives amidst the trees of the Pacific Northwest, where he pens humorous cozy mystery novels set in the wilderness he has spent his lifetime exploring. The only thing slowing him down is when his adorable rescue dogs, Skip and Daisy, demand to be pet and cuddled on his lap while he types. When he’s not working away in front of a computer, you can find him gardening, hiking, or grumbling to his wife, Emily, about the perpetual Northwest winter rain that prevents him from going outside. 

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Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Book Review: ALWAYS WITH ME : A Whisper Lake Book 1 by Barbara Freethy


From #1 New York Times Bestselling Author Barbara Freethy comes the first book in the WHISPER LAKE series! Set in the majestic Colorado mountains, the books feature sexy romance, heartwarming emotion, family drama, compelling mystery, and a town full of fascinating characters. Once you come to visit, you'll never want to leave! 

After her third broken engagement, Gianna Campbell comes home to help with the family business and to heal her heart, only to realize that she has become the town joke—dubbed the runaway fiancée. If that wasn't bad enough, who should show up in town but her former crush Zach Barrington, a man who has other reasons to hate her. 

Zach returns to Whisper Lake not only for a job opportunity but also for a chance at personal redemption. The last person he wants to see is Gianna, who once got him kicked out of the only place that made him feel whole. But when an accident sends her into the lake, their first face-to-face meeting in years leaves them both breathless. 

And suddenly the past feels a lot closer… 

Zach and Gianna back away as fast as they come together, both wary of more danger to their damaged hearts. But their search for a truth leads them to surprising secrets, life-changing revelations, heartbreaking emotion, and the chance for a love more powerful than they ever imagined. Can they trust each other the second time around?


Zach and Gianni were close as teenagers at a camp. That changed and both left Whisper Lake. Now, they’ve both returned to figure out what to do with their lives. When they meet up as Zach saves Gianni at the lake, it’s awkward. Neither can forget the issues that tore them apart so many years ago. As they work through the tragedy at the camp, the confused teen, and a missing locket, their search spins off in multiple directions. At the same time, Zach has his own issues. 

A second chance romance, Always With Me, is a romance with heartfelt passages and stories for the characters; the mystery is secondary. The unanswered questions from long ago and Zach’s story tie into the mystery and the happily ever after. Always With Me will be enjoyed by those who enjoy second chance romance and the promise of happily-ever-after. This is the first in a contemporary romance series with different characters in each book.

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Blog Tour - Spotlight: ONE POISON PIE : A Kitchen Witch Mystery by Lynn Cahoon

In the first in New York Times bestselling author Lynn Cahoon’s Kitchen Witch series, Mia Malone is starting over in Magic Springs, Idaho—where murder is on the menu . . .

What’s a kitchen witch to do when her almost-fiancé leaves her suddenly single and unemployed? For Mia Malone, the answer’s simple: move to her grandmother’s quirky Idaho hometown, where magic is an open secret and witches and warlocks are (mostly) welcome. With a new gourmet dinner delivery business—and a touch of magic in her recipes—Mia’s hopes are high. Even when her ex’s little sister, Christina, arrives looking for a place to stay, Mia takes it in stride. 

But her first catering job takes a distasteful turn when her client’s body is found, stabbed and stuffed under the head table. Mia’s shocked to learn that she’s a suspect—and even more so when she realizes she’s next on a killer’s list. With Christina, along with Mia’s meddling grandma, in the mix, she’ll have to find out which of the town’s eccentric residents has an appetite for murder…before this fresh start comes to a sticky end. . . Includes Recipes! 

About Lynn Cahoon 
Lynn Cahoon is the author of the NYT and USA Today best-selling Tourist Trap cozy mystery series. She also pens the Cat Latimer series, the Farm to Fork series, and the Kitchen Witch series. Small town setting, big time fun with a bit of murder to keep it interesting. Romance novels are published under the pen name, Lynn Collins. She lives in a small river town like Mark Twain with her husband and three fur kids.. 

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Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Book Review: THE STORIES THEY TELL A Homefront Mystery #2 by Liz Milliron


It’s December 1942 and Betty Ahern is enjoying her fledgling career as a private detective, investigating everything from missing jewelry to wandering boyfriends. But when Bell Airplane co-worker Emilia Brewka, whose grandmother recently died, wants Betty to prove the death was murder and not natural causes, Betty thinks Emilia’s grief has her seeing things that aren’t there. 

After a member of the visiting Polish government in exile is murdered, she learns the grandmother may have contacted him about a secret involving a wealthy Buffalo family–a secret that goes all the way back to the Old Country and the aftermath of the Franco-Prussian war. Suddenly, murder looks more than possible.

Betty and her friends travel between Buffalo’s working-class neighborhoods and the city’s high society, determined to unearth the secret and find justice for Emmie’s grandmother. But mixing with the upper class quickly becomes dangerous and potentially deadly—both for Betty’s career as a detective and herself.


Think World War II, 1940s, and at home, women have replaced many men in the factories. As a point in history, the war opened doors for women to work and to think outside the box. Betty Ahern is one of these women. She's working in the factory building planes and leaving her mark on the part she adds. She also likes to think of herself as a solver of mysteries, much like her fictional idols. When a co-worker seeks her out, Betty is ready to find a lost item as she's done in the past. Only the co-worker's focus is on her grandmother's death and she's sure it was foul play. Betty agrees to investigate, along with her friends, Dot and Lee. A link they discover leads to a dead end and another murder, this one not questionable. Betty pursues her leads and the body count rises.

Milliron did a nice job of capturing the ambivalence around women working in the factories or any where else men would have been if not for the war. The characters express the worry and concerns of those left at home for their loved ones. For Betty, that's her brother and boyfriend. 

The story is well-written, well-paced, and there are enough twists to keep the reader guessing. Betty is a memorable character with ambitions and caring for others. This book is easily read as a stand-alone mystery. There's history, humility, and humor, as well as a mystery to be solved.  

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.

Monday, February 8, 2021

Blog Tour & Review: 18 1/2 DISGUISES - A Maizie Albright Star Detective Book by Larissa Reinhart





#Disguised Detectiving Maizie Albright might have once played a (teenage) private investigator on TV, but she’s now living the part. Her (mother’s) name is on her business cards. Her (boss’s) appointment book is brimming with new clients. And her bank account has grown large enough to finally trade in her dirt bike for an actual new (pre-owned) vehicle.

And then there’s Wyatt Nash. Love of her life. Future father of her…  Wait.

And then there’s Wyatt Nash. Future partner in her business. Because Nash is now working for her father. Not the private investigation business that’s waiting for Nash to get out of the red so they can get on with…

Just what, Maizie isn’t so sure.

But she is sure about one thing. She’s ready to take on her own cases. To prove to (herself) her friends and family, she’s more than just a (washed-up actress) assistant private eye. And when Maizie finds her costume designer friend killed during a masquerade gala, it’s the opportunity Maizie hoped she’d never get. An investigation into an old friend’s murder. One that’s put her new friend, Rhonda, in jeopardy.

While the police begin their inquiries, Maizie starts her own case. She’s needling Black Pine’s wealthy do-gooders, threading through lies, stitching together clues, and ripping out false leads. Her investigation may cost Maizie her job, her relationships, and her life. But by unspooling the truth, Maizie’s darned if they stop her from catching a killer who’s sew evil, it’s shear madness.


Maizie can't seem to escape Hollywood or her role as Julie Pinkerton, even at a benefit event with the most prominent people, as well as her dad, sister Remi, and her mother. Maizie convinced her two friends to attend as well (as her plus 2). The originator and person who made all the costumes, Lorena, is dead. A costume designer, Lorena was more to Maizie than a friend, more a mother to her than her real one. She's determined to find the person who killed her friend and prove that Lorena didn't steal from the charity she spearheaded.

With lots of false starts and the rivalry between the cop and Maizie's mentor, Wyatt Nash, not all is at it seems and Maizie has to think fast. There are twists and turns in the action, conflict between characters, secrets, and surprises. For fans of Maizie Albright, this will not disappoint. It is part of a series, but can be read as a stand alone mystery. Still, I always recommend starting at the beginning of the series.

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 Larissa Reinhart
Visit Larissa's website to join her VIP Readers email group and get the free prequel to The Cupid Caper plus other exclusive bonus content! 

A Wall Street Journal bestselling author, Larissa writes the award-winning Cherry Tucker Mystery, Maizie Albright Star Detective, and Finley Goodhart Crime Caper series. She loves to tell funny stories about women, looking for love (and dead bodies) in all the wrong places. 

Larissa, her family, and Cairn Terrier, Biscuit, lived in Nagoya, Japan, but have returned to Peachtree City, Georgia. You can see them on HGTV's House Hunters International "Living for the Weekend in Nagoya" episode. Larissa loves books, food, and traveling with her family. You can often see her adventures on Instagram (and her little dog, too). 


The Maizie Albright Star Detective series in reading order: 15 MINUTES -First in series (15 MINUTES) is free during COVID. 16 MILLIMETERS NC-17 A VIEW TO A CHILL 17.5 CARTRIDGES IN A PEAR TREE 18 CALIBER (2020) 19 CRIMINALS (2021) 

Finley Goodhart Crime Caper series: Pig'N a Poke (for newsletter subscribers only) THE CUPID CAPER THE PONY PREDICAMENT (2020) THE HEIR AFFAIR (2021)

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Monday, February 1, 2021

Blog Tour & Book Review: DEATH BY INTERMISSION An Abby McCree Mystery by Alexis Morgan


Abby McCree spends a summer showing family films under the stars—only to end the season with an unexpected slasher flick . . .
Ushered once again onto another committee by the mayor of Snowberry Creek, Washington, Abby is tasked with keeping the box office receipts of the town’s Movies in the Park nights. Cut to the director’s chair from where she’s suddenly organizing the summer’s last feature. From the opening scene through the final credits, Abby feels she’s earned nominations for best volunteer, best movie date with her tenant Tripp Blackston—and best daughter for ignoring her mother Phoebe’s own movie date with Owen Quinn.

Unfortunately, Abby and the others are treated to a post-credits scene: the body of local insurance agent Mitchell Anders. This discovery is followed by a plot twist revealing that the murder weapon comes from Owen’s food truck. With her mother’s boyfriend suspected of murder, Abby starts her own investigation determined to shine a spotlight on the real killer . . .


Abby's romancing with Tripp keeps getting interrupted, if not by a dead body, then by her mother flashing the outside light. That dynamic along with Abby's displeasure with her mother's boyfriend and his mysterious (aka suspicious) past, add humor to the death of the insurance agent, now dead. As Abby begins her investigation to find the killer, she discovers a lot of people, and not just Owen Quinn, are not what they seem.

The combination of the murder mystery, the family dynamics, and small town interactions keep the story moving and the reader engaged. Cozy mystery fans will not be disappointed with this one. Death by Intermission is the fourth book in the series. It was my first and not difficult to follow. It is easily read as a stand-alone mystery. Still, I'd always suggest starting a series at the begin. 

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 Alexis Morgan

Alexis Morgan is the USA Today bestselling author of over forty-five novels, novellas, and short stories that span a variety of genres: American West historicals (as Pat Pritchard); paranormal and fantasy romances; contemporary romances; and cozy mysteries. A RITA® Award-finalist, Alexis Morgan is a member of RWA and Sisters in Crime. She lives in Washington State and can be found online at:

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Blog Tour Spotlight: EGG SHOOTERS - A Cackleberry Club Mystery by Laura Childs



A murder in the local hospital is raising everyone's temperature in the latest book in the New York Times bestselling Cackleberry Club series.

Suzanne Dietz co-owner of the Cackleberry Club Café is visiting her fiancée, Dr. Sam Hazelet when a masked gunman bursts into the emergency room. He shoots two people and would probably have done more damage had Suzanne not brained him with a thermos full of chili. Still, the gunman manages to escape. 

Now the ladies of the Cackleberry Club are determined to find the killer before he finds them.  

About Laura Childs

Laura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Tea Shop MysteriesScrapbook Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. In her previous life she was CEO/Creative Director of her own marketing firm and authored several screenplays. She is married to a professor of Chinese art history, loves to travel, rides horses, enjoys fundraising for various non-profits, and has two Chinese Shar-Pei dogs. 

Laura specializes in cozy mysteries that have the pace of a thriller (a thrillzy!) Her three series are:

The Cackleberry Club Mysteries – set in Kindred, a fictional town in the Midwest. In a rehabbed Spur station, Suzanne, Toni, and Petra, three semi-desperate, forty-plus women have launched the Cackleberry Club. Eggs are the morning specialty here and this cozy cafe even offers a book nook and yarn shop. Business is good but murder could lead to the cafe’s undoing! This series offers recipes, knitting, cake decorating, and a dash of spirituality.

The Tea Shop Mysteries – set in the historic district of Charleston and featuring Theodosia Browning, owner of the Indigo Tea Shop. Theodosia is a savvy entrepreneur, and pet mom to service dog Earl Grey. She’s also an intelligent, focused amateur sleuth who doesn’t rely on coincidences or inept police work to solve crimes. This charming series is highly atmospheric and rife with the history and mystery that is Charleston.

The Scrapbooking Mysteries – a slightly edgier series that take place in New Orleans. The main character, Carmela, owns Memory Mine scrapbooking shop in the French Quarter and is forever getting into trouble with her friend, Ava, who owns the Juju Voodoo shop. New Orleans’ spooky above-ground cemeteries, jazz clubs, bayous, and Mardi Gras madness make their presence known here!

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