Friday, April 29, 2022

Blog Tour and Review: KNIT OR DYE TRYING (A Riverbank Knitting Mystery) by Allie Pleiter


Synopsis

Business is booming for Libby Beckett and her fabulous Maryland shop, aptly named Y.A.R.N., but when a town festival brings a fatality with it, Libby gets all tangled up in murder.

As spring comes to Collinstown, the village launches a food festival to draw a new group of tourists. Libby, the proud owner of Y.A.R.N., has planned a yarn event to provide an alternative option to a foodie weekend. Artisan fiber dyer Julie Wilson—known for her work with animal-friendly, plant-based knitting fibers such as bamboo and hemp as well as her brilliant use of color—will hopefully draw a crowd with a special dyeing workshop.

The festival begins, but it draws more than crowds. First, a flock of sheep parades down the street, herded by farmers protesting Julie’s anti-wool stance. Then Julie’s celebrity chef sister appears, and the siblings resume a long-standing rivalry. Despite all this, Julie’s workshop has sold out. Libby is thrilled, and they’re preparing for a full house. But the night before the event, Julie is found alone in the warehouse event space—dead. The witty “Watch Julie Wilson Dye” workshop title now has a terrible new meaning—and it’s up to Libby to catch a crafty killer.


Review

The witty name of the workshop was the first hint of what was to come. The setting and the circumstances leading to the murder are innovative and provide distraction and a red herring or two. Pleiter's description of YARN and the feel and colors of Julie Wilson's version of yarn bring the store to life. The various characters, their personalities, small town politics, and shepherds add to the dynamics.

This is my first read by Pleiter, but it will not be my last. The pace was steady and there were numerous suspects. What I liked most was Libby's attitude and the relationship between Libby and Gavin, as well as with the others who came into YARN. That she is running to head the Chamber of Commerce and has to be coached for the debate, as well as the budding romance, give her depth. This is the second in the Riverbank Knitting Mystery series, and I'll be adding the first to my TBR.

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

An avid knitter, coffee junkie and firm believer that “pie makes everything better,” Allie Pleiter writes both fiction and non-fiction working on as many as four novels at a time. The bestselling author of over fifty books, Allie has enjoyed a twenty-year career with over 1.5 million books sold. In addition to writing, Allie maintains an active writing productivity coaching practice and speaks regularly on the creative process, publishing, and her very favorite topic—The Chunky Method of time management for writers.

Author Links 

Monday, April 25, 2022

New Release: MUSIC AND MEMORIES, ANOTHER MURDER (A Sheridan Hendley Mystery #7) by Christa Nardi

 

Synopsis

A murdered art teacher, a piano bar, and danger for Sheridan Hendley, amateur sleuth.                                                                                                        
Sheridan Hendley, amateur sleuth, wants nothing more than a return to routine following their family vacation. The last thing she needs is to find herself involved in another murder investigation. But that's precisely what happens when the victim is one of Maddie’s favorite teachers at the high school. 

While Sheridan’s trying not to sleuth, the high school principal assures everyone Sheridan will find the killer. Now the killer, sure Sheridan knows more than she does, is after her. Join Sheridan, Brett, and their friends as they enjoy the piano man and uncover the killer.

Available in ebook and print, coming soon in audiobook on AMAZON.

This was a fun book to write as I am a fan of piano bars, where I can sing along and no one realizes I can't sing on tune. Here are some of the early reviews:

"Music and Memories, Another Murder is a complex, interesting murder mystery. I love Sheridan, Brett, Maddie, the dogs and the family dynamic. This well written book engaged my interest from the beginning. The murderer is clever and it will take everyone to identify him and bring him to justice. I could not put the book down." 

"Music and Memories, Another Murder is Book 7 of A Sheridan Hendley Mystery by Christa Nardi. I love this series and the characters are wonderful. Sheridan, Brett and Maddie are returning from Ireland. What they did not expect to find in the Stop and Go bathroom was a dead body belonging to her Art Teacher. A secondary storyline has Maddie's mother, Victoria, wanting a different custody ruling. I thought the mystery was well written and left me guessing until the end." 

"Sheridan, Brett, Maddie and their friends are wonderful characters. I haven’t read this series from the beginning so I don’t know how it started, but I like the relationship between Maddie and Sheridan. Maddie isn’t a bratty teen and Sheridan isn’t the wicked step-mother. The murder mystery was interesting and kept me guessing until the end."

A lucky commenter will be gifted an ecopy of Music and Memories, Another Murder.  Just for fun, here's a word search all about the book and characters.

Thursday, April 7, 2022

Blog Tour Cover Reveal: MURDER IS NO PICNIC (A Cape Cod Foodie Mystery) by Amy Pershing

Murder Is No Picnic (A Cape Cod Foodie Mystery) by Amy Pershing

COMING JUNE 7, 2022

When a celebrity chef is found dead,

                     

Samantha Barnes, the "Cape Cod Foodie,"

           finds her search for the world's best blueberry buckle

               

turning into a search for a killer . . .

                           

READY!

                              

SET!!

                                 

REVEAL!!!

Murder Is No Picnic (A Cape Cod Foodie Mystery)

Cozy Mystery 3rd in Series Setting – Cape Cod, Massachusetts Publisher ‏ : ‎ Berkley (June 7, 2022) 

Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 336 pages 

ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0593199189 ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0593199183 Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09K66BGZF

The Fourth of July is coming, and for professional food lover Samantha Barnes, it’s all about the picnic. Okay, and the fireworks. And the parade. But mostly the picnic. What could be better than a DIY clambake followed by the best blueberry buckle in the world? Sam has finally found the perfect recipe in the kitchen of Clara Foster, famed cookbook author and retired restaurateur, and she’s thrilled when Clara agrees to a buckle baking lesson.

But when Clara dies in a house fire blamed on carelessness in the kitchen, Sam doesn’t believe it. Unfortunately, her doubts set in motion an investigation pointing to the new owner of Clara’s legendary restaurant—and a cousin of Sam’s harbormaster boyfriend. So, in between researching the Cape’s best lobster rolls and planning her clambake, Sam needs to find Clara's killer before the fireworks really start....

You can Pre-Order Your Copy Today!

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Amy Pershing, who spent every summer of her childhood on Cape Cod, was an editor, a restaurant reviewer and a journalist before leading employee communications at a global bank. A few years ago she waved goodbye to Wall Street to write full time. Murder Is No Picnic is the third of the Cape Cod Foodie mysteries featuring Samantha Barnes, a disgraced but resilient ex-chef who retreats home to Cape Cod where she finds herself juggling a new job as the local paper’s “Cape Cod Foodie,” a complicated love life, a posse of just-slightly-odd friends, a falling-down house, a ginormous dog and a propensity for falling over dead bodies. 

Elizabeth Gilbert called the first book in the series, A Side of Murder, “the freshest, funniest mystery I have ever read,” and Kirkus Reviews gave the second book, An Eggnog to Die For, a starred review, saying, “A delightful sleuth, a complex mystery, and lovingly described cuisine: a winner for both foodies and mystery mavens.”




Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Blog Tour, Book Review: GAMBLING WITH MURDER (A Southern California Mystery) by Lida Sideris

 

About the Book 

A late-night call is all it takes for rookie lawyer Corrie Locke to kiss her day job at the movie studio goodbye, and do what she does best: flex her sweet P.I. skills and go undercover to find a senior who’s missing from a posh retirement community. One small stumbling block: skirting past security to gain inside access to the exclusive Villa Sunset. 

Time to call in the heavy artillery. Besides former security guard turned legal assistant—now wannabe P.I.—Veera, Corrie relies on a secret weapon: her mother, a surprisingly eager addition to Corrie’s team. Armed with enough pepper spray to take down a band of Navy Seals, Mom impersonates a senior to infiltrate the Villa, Corrie and Veera in tow. Turns out the job’s not as easy as they’d thought. These seniors have tricks tucked up their sleeves and aren’t afraid of using them.

The action gets dicey when the missing senior case turns into attempted murder by a criminal mind who’s always one step ahead. Corrie’s hot on the trail, but finds more than she bargained for…when her mother becomes a target.

Review

Corrie Locke is an attorney in the entertainment field, but with her father's influence she also aspires to be a PI. Veera helps her out when there are props missing and Corrie tries to find them. Then she gets a call to help find someone missing from a senior community in Santa Barbara - a very exclusive community and a paid PI job. As would be expected there are complications, more than missing props, and many close calls. To get inside, Corrie's mother joins Corrie and Veera in their PI endeavor. That only adds additional tension. 

The story is well-written with snappy dialogue, tension, and humor. Corrie and Veera are likable characters, with Corrie the more adventurous. Then there's the geeky, tech-savvy boyfriend. The story is well-paced and Sideris adds twists and turns that kept me reading. 

This is the 5th in a series, and I always recommend readers start at the beginning of series. That said, I've only read one other in the Southern California Mystery series and this was easily read as a stand alone. This is an enjoyable cozy mystery series. The rest of the series will be on 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 the Author

Lida Sideris' first stint after law school was a newbie lawyer's dream: working as an entertainment attorney for a movie studio...kind of like her heroine, Corrie Locke, except without the homicides. Lida was one of two national winners of the Helen McCloy Mystery Writers of America Scholarship Award and a Silver Falchion Award Finalist. She lives in the northern tip of Southern California with her family, rescue dogs and a flock of uppity chickens. To learn more, please visit: www.LidaSideris.com 

Author Links 

Twitter @lidasideris 
Instagram @lida_sideris 

Purchase Links - Amazon 




Friday, April 1, 2022

Blog Tour and Spotlight: THE ART OF THE DECOY (A Scandal Mountain Antiques Mystery) by Trish Esden

 

Perfect for fans of Jane K. Cleland and Connie Berry, Tricia Esden's series debut is sure to please. 

About the Book

After her mother is sent to prison for art forgery, Edie Brown returns to Northern Vermont to rebuild her family’s fine art and antiques business. She’s certain she can do it now that her mother is gone. After all, butting heads with her mom over bad business practices was what drove Edie away three years ago, including a screwup that landed Edie on probation for selling stolen property.

When Edie scores a job appraising a waterfowl decoy collection at a hoarder’s farmhouse, she’s determined to take advantage of the situation to rebuild the business’s tarnished reputation and dwindling coffers. In lieu of payment, Edie intends to cherry-pick an exceptional decoy carved by the client’s renowned Quebecoise folk artist ancestors. Only the tables turn when the collection vanishes. 

Accused of the theft, Edie’s terrified that the fallout will destroy the business and land her in prison next to her mom. Desperate, she digs into the underbelly of the local antiques and art world. When Edie uncovers a possible link between the decoy theft and a deadly robbery at a Quebec museum, she longs to ask her ex-probation officer, and ex-lover, for help. But she suspects his recent interest in rekindling their romance may hide a darker motive.

With the help of her eccentric uncle Tuck and Kala, their enigmatic new employee, Edie must risk all she holds dear to expose the thieves and recover the decoys before the FBI’s Art Crime Team or the ruthless thieves themselves catch up with her.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One 

The brrring of the phone bounced off the van’s metal walls. 

    Jolting from an adrenaline-fueled dream involving dumpster diving and a FabergĂ© egg, I fumbled under the pillow for the offending device.  “Hello?” 

    “It’s Tuck. You awake?” 

    Aaarggh. Of course, I was awake. Now. If it had been anyone other than my uncle, I’d have bitten their head off for calling at two in the morning. “Hang on a minute.” 

    Wriggling out of the sleeping bag, I squeezed toward the van’s sliding door, past suitcases and an early nineteeth-century blanket box from a rummage sale. Though nowhere near as life-altering as discovering a FabergĂ© egg in a dumpster, the blanket box was a quality piece and an easy sell. I had a knack for finding such things, even when they were hidden amid piles of fakes and other junk. Perhaps it came from growing up in the antiques and art trades, now a fine-tuned instinct after years of tagging along with my grandparents. Maybe it was heightened by my education and internships. Whatever, the neurons at the back of my brain jumped to life every time I crossed paths with a genuine, quality piece. 

     As I slid the van door open, the overhead light flashed on. The smell of smoldering campfires hung in the damp air. Frogs chimed in the distance. 

     “You still there?” Tuck asked. 

    “Yeah. What’s going on?” I settled down in the van’s open doorway. As a rule, Tuck didn’t keep normal hours. Still, this was late, even for him. 

     “I meant to call earlier. Kala and I were away at an auction.” 

     “Who’s Kala?” 

     “She’s not why I called.” His voice tensed. “It’s about your mom.” 

    I closed my eyes and prayed that the months of waiting and not knowing had come to an end. 

     “She took the plea agreement. Nine months. Federal prison. Art forgery.” 

    The air bottled up in my lungs released. Finally. “So she decided not to risk going to trial.” 

     “Didn’t have much choice. It could have been a lot worse.” 

     “You’re right about that.” Even the thought of jail terrified me. “I still don’t understand how Mom got herself into this situation. She knows what’s legal and what isn’t.” 

     Tuck was silent for a moment. “Edie, I need you to come home.” 

    “I’d love to see you, but I’m camped out in the Berkshires, doing a flea market this weekend.” 

     “Your internship at the auction house is over, right?” 

     “Yeah. Last week.” A sick feeling knotted in my chest. He was up to something. 

    “I didn’t mind helping your mom, but that doesn’t mean I can do everything on my own. Plus, I have the gardens and my African violets…” As he rambled on about retirement and his latest horticultural ventures, thoughts of the longtime family business seeped into my mind: Scandal Mountain Fine Arts and Antiques. For decades, collectors and dealers had flown in and driven up to northern Vermont to buy from us. Famous artists had held court in the shop and camped out in the spare bedrooms. I vividly remembered racing home from grade school to watch my grandparents unbox their latest finds: primitive paintings, folk art carvings, etched powder horns… so many stunning pieces created by master artisans, history and beauty melding together. I thought of the warmth and strength of Grandma’s hands, and the scent of Grandpa’s corduroy jacket, beeswax, lemon oil, and damp humus. 

     But along with success came rivals and trouble, and the plane crash that killed my grandparents. After that, Mom took over the business. She was hopelessly inept. It had been nearly three years since I’d lived at home and attempted to work for her. One of her lapses had culminated in my arrest for selling stolen property. Thank you very much, Mom. 

     Tuck cleared his throat, pulling me from my thoughts. “There’s this appraisal event coming up. An Antiques Roadshow sort of deal. The shop’s under contract to be there, but it’s going to be hard to pull off without your mom’s expertise. I really could use your help.” 

    “I can’t believe they’d want any of us there. Mom’s arrest has been in the news for months.” 

     “It’s here in Scandal Mountain. Will you do it? Please.” 

    I rubbed a hand over my face. I was good at saying no, but this was Tuck and he rarely asked for anything. 

    “All right. When is it?” 

    “Tomorrow. Actually, today—it is after midnight.” 

    “You’ve got to be kidding! I’m five hours away.” 

    “That’s why I called now. It’s on the village green. Ten o’clock sharp.” 

    He hung up. I stared at the phone, then laughed. Tuck, the slick bastard. He’d purposely called at the last minute so I wouldn’t have time to wiggle out of the deal, and I’d fallen for it hook, line, and sinker. And that definitely wasn’t normal for me.

Excerpt from The Art of the Decoy. Copyright © 2022 Trish Esden. All rights reserved.


About the Author

Trish Esden loves museums, gardens, wilderness, dogs, and birds, in various orders depending on the day. She lives in northern Vermont where she deals antiques with her husband, a profession she’s been involved with since her teens. Don’t ask what her favorite type of antique is. She loves hunting down old bottles and rusty barn junk as much as she enjoys fine art and furnishings.

Author Links 


Purchase Links