Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Giving Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrate. In today's world with much stress and negative media, demonstrations, and such, it may be more important to give thanks for the positives in our lives, not just today, but every day.  

Each day, I'm thankful for my good health and the good health of most of my family, friends, and colleagues.  Thankful that those who have been ill or injured are healing. I have a roof over my head and food on my table. I have people who make me feel valued and respected.  I'm glad I'm able to help others.  On the lighter side, I'm thankful for authors who write stories that allow me to escape from the stressors of the day.

What are you thankful for?

Monday, November 20, 2023

Book Review: A Felonious Finale (Owl's Nest Mysteries #4) by C. S. McDonald

Book Details
Book Title: A FELONIOUS FINALE (The Owl's Nest Mysteries)
Author: C.S. McDonald
Category: Adult Fiction, 268 pages
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Publisher: McWriter Books
Release Date: April 2023
Content Rating: G

C.S. McDonald's books are appropriate for YA readers as well as adults - no bad language or sexual content.

Book Description:

Alexa Owl has one burning question: Who killed Bobby Starr?

Out of the blue that ornery angel, Detective Bobby Starr, shows up at The Owl’s Nest Couturier Shoppe. Much to Alexa Owl’s surprise, Bobby doesn’t need her help. Rather, he’s brought along someone else who wants to qualify for Saint Peter’s Guardian Angel Squad. Saint Pete has delegated this new inductee to solve a murder to get into the group, and it’s a doozie: Who killed Detective Bobby Starr? How can Alexa turn this assignment down?

Back in the 60s, Bobby’s fifth wife, Katherine was a diva in a community operetta company. During a performance of The Merry Widow, Bobby was forced to stand-in for a member of the chorus who fell ill. Only, Bobby’s first performance would be his last! The suspects are hitting all the notes as this mystery comes to crescendo!


Welcome to Owl's Nest and the Saint Peter's Guardian Angel squad. When Bobby shows up in Owl's nest, Alexa figures he needs some favor. Only, it's more than that. He's brought along Detective Slater (not the current day one she's involved with, Cliff), who wants to join the squad. Only St. Pete's requirement is that he solve Bobby's murder and Alexa is to help him.

Not as simple as it may sound. This entails time travel for Alexa and Slater back to when Bobby was murdered and replaying the Merry Widow when Bobby took on a small part because the person who should have been there wasn't (because he was also murdered). Alexa takes on a role in the Merry Widow to cover inside; the detective covers outside. A twist occurs when the current day Detective Cliff Slater is assigned both cold cases to investigate. Of course that leaves Alexa dealing with both detective Slaters.

McDonald weaves in murder, humor, time travel, opera, and romance in the plot of this story. The characters of Owl's Nest are well developed with Alexa's role the most interesting of all. The story moves at a steady pace with the renactment of the Merry Widow with Alexa playing a part providing all the background. While others are solving a murder, Bobby has his own part to play, adding a level of complexity.

This is the fourth in the Owl's Nest Mysteries, but is easily read as a stand alone mystery. That said, as with any series, it is best to start at the beginning (see below). Cozy mystery readers will surely resonate all this story offers.

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book. This has not affected my review in any way.

Buy the Book:

Enjoy These Other Owl's Nest Mysteries:

Book Details:
Book Title: Back to the Burgh and Beyond (The Owl's Nest Mysteries, Book 1)
Author: C.S. McDonald
Category: Adult Fiction, 208 pages
Run Time: 5 hours, 59 minutes
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Publisher: McWriter Books
Release date: Sep 10, 2020

Book Description:

Meet Alexa Owl. She's returned home to Pittsburgh after a divorce to start a new life and a new business, The Owl’s Nest Couturier Shoppe. Much to her surprise, she's getting more than she ever bargained for: Detective Bobby Starr, and he's no ordinary sleuth. Bobby is an angel who's returned to Earth in hopes of earning his way into the Guardian Angel Squad. 
He's been sent by none other than Saint Pete to acquire Alexa’s help to solve three cold case murders he left behind. Except, here’s the catch: he’s only been allotted four days to solve the first case! How in heaven’s name is she supposed to do that? Alexa is a professional seamstress—not a detective. Bobby insists the only way to solve the first case is to return to 1953, and Alexa’s not in love with that idea at all!
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Book Details:
Book Title: Maxed Out (The Owl's Nest Mysteries)
Author: C.S. McDonald
Category: Adult Fiction, 184 pages
Length: 5 hours, 32 minutes
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Publisher: McWriter Books
Release date: April 2021

Book Description:

The Owl’s Nest Couturier Shoppe is a huge success! Business is booming and Alexa Owl’s love life is heating up. Yet much to the seamstress’s dismay, Detective Bobby Starr is suddenly back again! Bobby isn’t your everyday gumshoe. Rather, he’s an angel who’s trying to earn a place in Saint Peter’s Guardian Angel Squad. He’s required to solve murders he had left unsettled from when he walked the earth in order to be accepted into this prestigious group. 

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Book Details:
Book Title: DOUBLE DOG DARE (The Owl's Nest Mysteries)
Author: C.S. McDonald
Category: Adult Fiction, 274 pages 
Genre: Cozy Mystery 
Publisher: McWriter Books

Release date: May 2022
Book Description:

That ornery, but oh, so handsome, charming, and somewhat, wayward angel, Detective Bobby Starr, has returned. This time, he’s back to fulfill his third and, hopefully, his final requirement to get into Saint Peter's prestigious Guardian Angel Squad. This time, the usually reluctant time traveler, Alexa Owl, is ready to go back to the 1960's to assist in solving one more long-ago murder. 

Why? Because if all goes well, she'll be rid of the menacing angel once and for all. 

Except, an emergency jerks Alexa back to her own time, and to complicate matters, she’s got a tag-along. Can Bobby solve this last case without Alexa’s help? After all, she’s got her hands full with a life-or-death mystery in the twenty-first century!

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Meet the Author:

For twenty-six years C.S. McDonald’s life whirled around a song and a dance. Classically trained at Pittsburgh Ballet Theater School, The Pittsburgh Dance Alloy, and many others, she became a professional dancer and choreographer. During that time, she choreographed many musicals and an opera for the Pittsburgh Savoyards. In 2011 she retired from her dance career to write. Under her real name, Cindy McDonald, she writes murder-suspense and romantic suspense novels. In 2014 she added the pen name, C.S. McDonald, to write children’s books for her grandchildren. In 2016 she added the Fiona Quinn Mysteries to that expansion. She decided to write the cozy mystery series that everyone, including teens and tweens, can read and enjoy. Presently, the Fiona Quinn Mysteries includes nine books with a tenth slated for 2021. The books are also available on audio, narrated by Maren Swenson Waxenberg.

Cindy’s newest venture is The Owl’s Nest Mysteries. Once again, she has set her cozy mystery in Pittsburgh and the female protagonist, Alexa Owl, is much different from Fiona Quinn. The Owl’s Nest Mysteries has a little grit, a little time travel, a little romance, and a whole lot of cozy!

Ms. McDonald resides on her Thoroughbred farm known as Fly by Night Stables near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with her husband, Bill, and her poorly behaved Cocker Spaniel, Allister.

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Wednesday, November 15, 2023

New Release: A CATASTROPHIC NEIGHBORHOOD (A Pet Momma Cozy Mystery Book 1) by Maryann Shanesy

About the Book 

Tarsey Quinston and her husband Steve are excited about moving to their new home in the picturesque community of Bluffington Hills. It turns out the neighborhood isn’t as idyllic as they hoped. Mystery overshadows the community with quirky neighbors, an angry property manager and the suspicious death of the town seamstress. 

With a nudge from her cat, Tarsey feels compelled to find out what happened with the unsolved case. As the layers of perfection are peeled away and drama within the Homeowners Association causes uproar, the property manager and Tarsey’s cat suddenly go missing. Now desperate to find her beloved pet, Tarsey must solve the mystery of what happened to all three of them before there is a CATastrophic situation! 

Purchase Links 

About Maryann Shanesy

Maryann Shanesy is a native of Maryland who has always enjoyed writing. A lifelong lover of mysteries and anything gardening, she is a pet momma to a rescue dog and cat that brightens her life. She and her husband have two wonderful daughters and live in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. She hopes you will enjoy her first cozy mystery. 

Author Links 

Thursday, November 9, 2023

Book Spotlight: MURDER MAYHEM AND 4 OF A KIND (High Cotton Mysteries) by Duffy Brown

Murder, Mayhem and 4 of a Kind (High Cotton Mysteries) 
Cozy Mystery 1st in Series 
Setting – Georgia 
Independently Published (September 21, 2023) 
 174 pages 


About the Book

When rotten-to-the-core Payton Wilder winds up dead in Savannah, Nola Cottonwood’s two aunts are suspects in the murder. Can Nola find the real killer, and how will the others help them get away with it. 

About the Author

Duffy Brown loves anything with a mystery. While other girls dreamed of dating Brad Pitt, Duffy longed to take Sherlock Holmes to the prom. She has two cats, Spooky and Dr. Watson, her license plate is Sherlok and she conjures up who-done-it stories of her very own for Berkley Prime Crime. Duffy’s national bestselling Consignment Shop Mystery series is set in Savannah and the Cycle Path Mysteries are set on Mackinac Island. 

Author Links 

Purchase Link