Review: SUMMER CAMP CULPRIT by C.K. Fyfe

For those of us who went to summer camp, it is easy to look back at those days through rose-colored glasses. Nostalgia for times gone by and sweet memories. But not all memories are sweet, as soon becomes apparent in Summer Camp Culprit, a romantic cozy mystery novella by C.K. Fyfe.

About the Book

Camp Starfall is closing. But that doesn’t mean the past is going with it.

Despite her misgivings, Lindsey returns to the campground she last left as a broken-hearted teen. She’s determined to spend Camp Starfall’s farewell weekend focusing on the good memories she has of her time as a camper. But fate has other plans.

Lindsey’s teenage sweetheart Tyler shows up, stirring up feelings in her that had long lain dormant. Too bad she doesn’t have time to dwell on him. Someone is breaking into the cabins, and if she doesn’t find the culprit, more than her heart will be at stake.

My Review

A visit to the summer camp she attended in her youth gives Lindsey the chance to reconnect with friends from her past, as well as get closure with respect to a painful memory from her last summer at the camp. I found it easy to identify with Lindsey and her misgivings. The story is sprinkled with a mixture of reminiscing, humor, and flashbacks to antics and events of the past. But something sinister is going on and Lindsey seizes on the opportunity to out the culprit, put her own demons to rest, and lay the foundation for new beginnings. This well written novella was ideal for a quick escape while travelling.

FTC disclosure: I received an advance review copy from the publisher. This has not affected the content of my review in any way.

About the Author

C.K. Fyfe has always enjoyed a good mystery. Fyfe’s childhood love of Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys led to a grown-up love of writing cozy mysteries with quirky, funny, and kindhearted characters. Fyfe lives in “The Wolverine State.” Much like wolverines, Fyfe’s villains have vicious dispositions, but the clever sleuths know how to tame their foes’ tempers.

Author Links

Release Spotlight & Giveaway: DEADLY RESCUE by Kate Parker

For fans of historical fiction, spy thrillers, and cozy mysteries, this new release will take you back to the days of World War II.

About the Book

As the Phony War morphs into the Blitzkrieg, two British intelligence officers risk getting trapped behind enemy lines in the ninth Deadly mystery from USA Today Bestselling author Kate Parker

April, 1940. Hitler is invading Denmark on Tuesday. Olivia Redmond has only a weekend to bring a Nobel Prize winning chemist and his war-altering research to Britain. The scientist and his wife want to leave, but their troublesome daughter will do anything to stop her parents from departing.

When the daughter’s German fiancé is murdered, the police refuse to let anyone depart until they find the killer. If Olivia wants to escape Denmark with the chemist and his breakthroughs, she will have to unmask the killer before the Nazis stop her forever.

Deadly Rescue, book nine of the Deadly Series, is for fans of World War II era spy thrillers and classical cozy mysteries, of intrepid lady sleuths with determination and smarts. No explicit cursing, violence, or sex.

Giveaway

Enter a rafflecopter for your chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card from the author.

About the Author

Since she was unable to build a time machine in her backyard, Kate Parker immerses herself in research and then creates the world that lives inside each book that she writes. Her favorite place is London and her time travel destination is anywhere from the late Victorian era through World War II. Since she lives in the Carolinas with her daughter and a 95-pound puppy, the practical side of her is thankful for air conditioning and all the modern comforts of life. Comforts she will take with her if she ever figures out how to build her time machine.

Author links:

Purchase links – Amazon – B&N – Kobo 

Guest Post, New Release & Giveaway: THE MYSTERY OF THE TEA CUP QUILT by Jodi Allen Brice

Just wanted to let you know about a new series from romance author Jodi Allen Brice. Set in a small town, the Mystery of the Tea Cup Quilt is the first installment in the Harland Creek Mystery Quilters cozy mystery series.

Description

Hi! I’m Dove Agnew, former successful dress designer who was living the high life in New York, until my sleazy business partner used my business to move his drugs, leaving me to pack my ruined reputation and move back home to the tiny town of Harland Creek.

Despite the setback, all was going relatively well until I found Gertrude Brown’s body on the floor of my mom’s quilt shop. Now, rumors are flying and all eyes are on me. I’m a murder suspect! Even my ex-boyfriend, the current chief of police, is suspicious of me.

Now, it’s up to me to clear my name and find out who the real killer is before someone else gets hurt. But I’m going to need help, and the Harland Creek Quilters, and a goat named Petunia, are just the group to get things done.

Welcome to the new series set in the beloved town of Harland Creek. With the quilting club ladies and a sidekick, which happens to be a goat, this book will keep you guessing and laughing out loud!

Giveaway

Enter a rafflecopter for your chance to win one of three copies of The Mystery of the Tea Cup Quilt provided by and signed by the author.

About the Author

Jodi Allen Brice has written numerous books under different pen names. Under Jodi Allen Brice she writes women’s fiction, small town clean sweet romance, and cozy mysteries.

She transitioned away from paranormal romance in the year 2020 when the virus hit. She still writes about lovable characters who overcome the impossible to get what they want. You’ll find yourself laughing and crying when you are reading her books. She is also an avid quilter and loves camping. Sometimes she does both at the same time!

Author Links – Website,  Facebook
Purchase Links – Amazon, Kobo,  GoogleNook 

Release Spotlight: THE ITCH OF MURDER by Christa Nardi

Christa Nardi is at it again. She recently released a new book in her Izze Di Sante Mystery series, which features an investigative journalist turned restauranteer as she tackles interesting mysteries in her home town.

About the Book

A well-dressed man killed at a demolition site, at night in a snow storm.

Izzie Di Sante loves a challenge and Chance Corcoran’s murder sparks her curiosity. While managing the day-to-day business of the family restaurant, she searches for some connection between the victim and the site of the future Elite Townhomes. A co-worker of the victim disappears, the foreperson of the construction site is injured, and someone’s after Izzie. As her sister, Chloe, prepares for an Easter buffet like none other, Izzie needs to put the pieces together before it’s too late.

You’ll find the book on Amazon. As of this posting, only $0.99 for Kindle.

About the Author

Christa Nardi is an accomplished author of cozy mysteries. Christa’s background is in higher education and psychology, much as her protagonist, Sheridan Hendley in the Cold Creek mystery series. She has always loved mysteries – reading them, writing them, and solving them. Christa is a member of Sisters in Crime. When not writing or reading, Christa and her husband enjoy travel, three grandchildren, and their dogs.

Murder at Cold Creek College is the first in the Cold Creek series, set in a small, fictitious town in Virginia and Sheridan is an accidental sleuth called on to assist the detective in charge of a colleague’s murder. The fifth and last in the series, Murder and a Wedding, was released on August 10, 2017. Sheridan may be moving, but she still gets involved in mysteries with the Sheridan Hendley series.

Christa also authors the Stacie Maroni Myseries. Stacie is a strong female at a crossroads in her life who works with victims of domestic violence. Going back to memories of the Dana Girls,

In addition, Christa collaborates with Cassidy Salem on a YA mystery series featuring teen sisters.

You can contact Christa via twitter @ChristaN7777 or via email: cccnardi@gmail.com or on her blog christanardi.blogspot.com Visit her website at https://cccnardi.wixsite.com/mysite. Sign up for her monthly newsletter at https://cccnardi.wixsite.com/mysite/contact.

Release Spotlight & Giveaway: DEVIL’S KISS by Michelle Bennington

Today’s post introduces the first book in a new cozy mystery series by Michelle Bennington. Set in Kentucky, Devil’s Kiss (A Small Batch Mystery) promises to be packed with southern charm.

About the Book

Rook Campbell is broke, divorced, jobless, and in desperate need of steady employment, which is hard to come by in the small town of Rothdale, Kentucky. With the help of her friend and neighbor Bryan, she lands a good job at the Four Wild Horses Distillery and meets an attractive co-worker with lots of dating potential. Her life is finally headed in the right direction until a co-worker dies under suspicious circumstances and a shipment of rare small-batch bourbon goes missing. Worse, her personal life begins to unravel as her beloved grandmother falls ill. Normally she can depend on her ex, Cam, for help, but his new fiancée’s jealousy is getting in the way. As the body count rises, Rook becomes ensnared in discovering who’s committing the crimes—or she might be the next to die.

Giveaway

Enter a rafflecopter for your chance to win a prize package from the author, including the book, mug, chocolate, candle, bookmark, and more (US only).

About the Author

Born and raised in the beautiful Bluegrass state of Kentucky, Michelle Bennington developed a passion for books early on that has progressed into a mild hoarding situation and an ever-growing to-read pile.

When she’s not creating contemporary or historical fictional worlds full of mysteries, she obsesses over all things British and historical. In rare moments of spare time, she can be found engaging in a wide array of arts and crafts, dance, and attending ghost tours.

Author Links

Purchase Links:  Amazon – Barnes and Noble

Review: CORPSE AND ROBBERS by Stephen Kaminski

Imagine a cozy mystery with a housekeeper as the main character. Not unheard of. But if that housekeeper is male, it’s a whole other story. That’s what prompted me to agree to read an ARC of the latest addition to Stephen Kaminski’s Male Housekeeper Mystery series – Corpse and Robbers.

About the Book

Paul Bearer & Sons has two memorial services on the schedule, but three dead bodies. When Rusted Bonnet’s funeral home becomes the site of a murder, Cam Reddick finds himself as a prime suspect. To distance himself from the allegations, Cam must untangle a host of clever cons and mini mysteries, from corpse robbing to a fine art scam to a modern-day treasure hunt. Cam soon discovers that Paul Bearer’s more closely resembles a con artists’ colony than a funeral home. With help from his ex-wife and mother, Cam ultimately unearths the most devious and deadly ploy of all.

Giveaway

Enter a rafflecopter for your chance to win a paperback copy of Corpse and Robbers from the author.

My Review

This is a cozy mystery with a man playing the role of amateur sleuth. Cam was an interesting character – smart and sensible. Likable. Cam has inherited his mother’s housekeeping business and is kept busy handling the admin side as well as pitching in on the cleaning side, giving him a unique perspective and the dubious honor of being treated as a suspect when one of his clients is found dead. I found the storyline to be unique, with an intricate plot. There was also an abundance of characters, some more memorable than others, which were introduced early on in the story at a rapid pace. I found it a bit confusing at first, but eventually I was able to keep track of who’s who, and things fell into place. The journey to the mystery’s resolution was filled with twists and turns, making for a satisfying mystery.

This is the second book in the series, however it can easily be read as a standalone (I have not read the first book).

FTC disclosure: I received an advance review copy of this book from the publisher. This has not affect the content of my review.

About the Author

Stephen Kaminski is the author of two cozy mystery series: The Male Housekeeper Mysteries and the Damon Lassard Dabbling Detective series, both published by Cozy Cat Press.

“Corpse & Robbers” (2022) is the latest of Kaminski’s Male Housekeeper Mysteries. The first installment of the series, “An Au Pair to Remember,” was penned in 2019.

Each of Kaminski’s Damon Lassard books — “It Takes Two to Strangle” (2012), “Don’t Cry Over Killed Milk” (2013), and “Murder, She Floats” (2014) — was awarded the Reader Views Literary Award for the Mid-Atlantic Region, and Don’t Cry Over Killed Milk was named Best Classic Cozy in the 2014 Murder & Mayhem Awards and was a 2013 Chanticleer Media CLUE Award Finalist.

Stephen is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and Harvard Law School and currently serves as the chief executive officer of a national energy association. He lives with his 120 lb Swissie, Siberian forest cat, rescue kitty, and a gaggle of occasionally tolerable but always loveable humans in Bethesda, MD.

Purchase link: Amazon

Guest Post, Spotlight & Giveaway: THE FRIDAY NIGHT MYSTERY CLUB

It’s always nice to hear about a promising new cozy mystery series. And even nicer when the author, Joanna Campbell Slan, takes the time to visit my blog as she celebrates the release of The Friday Night Mystery Club and reminisces about life in the1980s.

Remembering the 1980s by Joanna Campbell Slan

The Friday Night Mystery Club (FNMC) is the first book in a new flagship series for me. Unlike my other two cozy mysteries, FNMC is set in 1980s rather than contemporaneous times. Of course, I’ve lived through the 80s, but I have to admit, I’d forgotten a lot about life back then. It feels strange to research a time I should know, but I’ve had to do exactly that. Here are a few of the topics that I’ve remembered/researched:

  • Car phones – Not the slim cell phones we now use, but honking big things bolted to the floor of our cars.
  • Mazda RX-7 – This is my protagonist’s car, and it’s one I owned back then. They no longer sell these in the US.
  • Beepers – Because we didn’t have cell phones, we carried beepers that would display the phone numbers of people who wanted a call-back.
  • Phone answering machines – These typically had a small cassette tape recorder inside. They were not portable. To access your messages, you had to be there, literally.
  • 1-800 lines – Back then, you had to pay extra for long-distance phone calls. An 800 number line allowed people to phone the number free of charge to them…but not to you.
  • ERA – The Equal Rights Amendment was a big deal at the time as women strove to codify their rights to equality under the law.
  • Career women hurdles – Living as we do now in the “Me, Too” era, it’s easy to forget that back in the 1980s, women who worked outside the home were a brave new species.
  • Free love – Helen Gurley Brown had published Sex and the Single Girl, a paean to sex without strings.
  • AIDS – At first considered a problem only for gays, the world quickly learned anyone could die from this disease.

These are only a few topics that I’ve considered as I write my new series, The Friday Night Mystery Club. If you, too, have lived through the 80s, I bet you have all sorts of thoughts about the changes we’ve seen. I’m curious…will you share them with me?

About The Friday Night Mystery Club

Decatur, Illinois/1986 – A nasty divorce leaves Cragan Collins with a mountain of bills and her grandmother to support. She takes a job as an ad salesperson for The Gazette. The market is tough, but Cragan finds a mentor in business reporter, Robert Smithson. One icy January day, Robert is found dead in a city park. His murder is dismissed as gay-on-gay crime. Cragan asks The Friday Night Mystery Club to find justice for Robert. Will Cragan’s quest for the truth land her on the obituary page?

Giveaway

Enter a rafflecopter for your chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card from the author.

About the Joanna Campbell Slan

Joanna is a New York Times Bestselling, USA Today Bestselling, and Amazon Bestselling author as well as a woman prone to frequent bursts of crafting frenzy, leaving her with burns from her hot glue gun and paint on her clothes. And the mess? Let’s not even go there.

Otherwise, Joanna’s a productive author with more than 80 written projects to her credit. Her non-fiction work includes how to books, a college textbook for public speakers, and books of personal essays (think Chicken Soup for the Soul). Currently, she writes six fiction series: The Kiki Lowenstein Mystery Series (Agatha Award Finalist, contemporary, St. Louis setting, crafting), the Cara Mia Delgatto Mystery Series (contemporary, Florida setting, DIY, and recycling), the Jane Eyre Chronicles (Daphne du Maurier Award Winner, 1830s England, based on Charlotte Brontë’s classic), the Sherlock Holmes Fantasy Thrillers (late 1800s, based on Arthur Conan Doyle’s books), the Tai Chi Mystery Series (featuring a mature female amateur sleuth!) and the Friday Night Mystery Series (set in Decatur, IL in 1986 with a spunky female heroine.)

A former TV talk show host, college teacher, and public relations specialist, Joanna was one of the early Chicken Soup for the Soul contributors. She won a Silver Anvil for her work on the original FarmAid concert to benefit farmers.

In her ongoing quest never to see snow again, Joanna lives with her husband and their Havanese puppy, Jax, on an island off the coast of Florida. You can email her at jcslan@joannaslan.com or visit her website at https://linktr.ee/jcslan

Author Links

Purchase Link – Amazon 

Spotlight & Giveaway: A BRIDE’S GUIDE TO MARRIAGE AND MURDER by Dianne Freeman

Mystery, romance, and murder all wrapped up in a new historical cozy mystery – A Bride’s Guide to Marriage and Murder, the fifth book in the Countess of Harleigh Mystery series by Dianne Freeman.

About the Book

Frances Wynn, the American-born Countess of Harleigh, returns in Dianne Freeman’s charming, lighthearted mystery series set in Victorian England, and finds her wedding day overshadowed by murder . . .

On the eve of her marriage to George Hazelton, Frances has a great deal more on her mind than flowers and seating arrangements. The Connors and the Bainbridges, two families of American robber barons, have taken up residence in London, and their bitter rivalry is spilling over into the highest social circles. At the request of her brother, Alonzo, who is quite taken with Miss Madeline Connor, Frances has invited the Connor family to her wedding. Meanwhile, Frances’s mother has invited Mr. Bainbridge, and Frances fears the wedding may end up being newspaper-worthy for all the wrong reasons.

On the day itself, Frances is relieved to note that Madeline’s father is not among the guests assembled at the church. The reason for his absence, however, turns out to be most unfortunate: Mr. Connor is found murdered in his home. More shocking still, Alonzo is caught at the scene, holding the murder weapon.

Powerful and ruthless, Connor appears to have amassed a wealth of enemies alongside his fortune. Frances and George agree to put their wedding trip on hold to try and clear Alonzo’s name. But there are secrets to sift through, not just in the Bainbridge and Connor families, but also in their own. And with a killer determined to evade discovery at any cost—even if it means taking another life—Frances’s first days as a newlywed will be perilous indeed . . .

Giveaway

Enter a rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win a hardcover copy of the book from the author.

About the Author

Dianne Freeman is the acclaimed author of the Countess of Harleigh Mystery series. She is an Agatha Award and Lefty Award winner, as well as a finalist for the prestigious Mary Higgins Clark Award from Mystery Writers of America. After thirty years of working in corporate accounting and finance, she now writes full-time. Born and raised in Michigan, she and her husband split their time between Michigan and Arizona. Visit her at www.DiFreeman.com.

Author Links:

Purchase Links:

Amazon *  B & N * Bookshop.org  *  IndieBound.org

Guest Post, Spotlight & Giveaway: SOMETHING SHADY AT SUNSHINE HAVEN by Kris Bock

As part of the release celebration for Something Shady at Sunshine Haven (The Accidental Detective) by Kris Bock, the main character Kate Tessler has stopped by to tell us a bit about what makes her tick and how she came to find herself back living with her dad.

Here’s what she had to say:

Hello from Arizona. I’m Kate Tessler. I’ve been a journalist for my whole adult life – almost 30 years – specializing in covering wars and natural disasters. I thought I’d seen it all, and most of it half a dozen times. I’m uncomfortable in an interview if the subject doesn’t have guards armed with AK-47 assault rifles. It’s a dangerous life, no matter how much you start to take it for granted.

Then one day I was too close to a bomb when it exploded. 

Don’t worry, I’m not a ghost – merely a 49-year-old woman who now walks with a cane. I never felt old before, but I sure am noticing the difference as I face 50. My body doesn’t recover like it used to. I can’t tell if the brain fog is from the painkillers, PTSD, or menopause. When people see my silver hair and cane, their gazes slide on by.

I’m not even sure if it’s a blessing or a curse that the accident brought me back home to Arizona. It’s weird sleeping in my childhood room and trying to figure out how to be roommates with my father. My mother was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and it’s hard seeing her like that. Dad is still pretty sharp, but he’s showing his age too. Meanwhile, my sister Jen holds a grudge. For what? She’s not saying, and I don’t have the energy to figure it out. 

I promised myself I’d only be home for a few months to heal. Then I’d head back to the trenches. I assumed those months would be boring. What excitement could the Phoenix Metropolitan Area offer compared to Middle Eastern war zones?

But I’m no longer a teenager known as Kitty. Now I’m a famous journalist, or at least one who is somewhat well-known in my hometown. People are coming to me when they have problems that need investigation and they don’t want to go to the police.

Like Heather, an old high school acquaintance who now runs a nursing home. She’s afraid two recent patient deaths might not have been natural. She wants to know if someone is killing her patients.

Why is that my problem? I’ll tell you why: because my mother lives in that nursing home now. She may be fading from the woman I knew, but I’m not ready to lose her. 

So it’s time to shake off the brain fog, pick up the cane, and get back to investigating. This time, instead of warlords and military commanders, I’m facing down suburban housewives and trying to get information from memory care parents. Instead of a research assistant, I have a young computer genius who looks like a cheerleader and thinks like Bill Gates with better morals. Instead of bodyguards, I have my father with his men’s coffee group, the Coffee Shop Irregulars.

I’ve lived through wars, “military operations,” a kidnapping, three major earthquakes, and two hurricanes. Turns out that was just the warmup.

About the Book

War correspondent Kate Tessler has followed the most dangerous news stories around the world. But can she survive going home?

Injured in a bombing, war correspondent Kate Tessler returns to her hometown in Arizona to recover. For the first time in her life, she’s starting to feel her age of nearly fifty despite living like a teenager again: staying in her childhood bedroom with only a cat for company, trying to understand why her sister resents her so much, and running into people who still refer to her as Kitty. The hardest part? Seeing her once-sharp and witty mother stuck in an Alzheimer’s unit.

When an old friend asks her to investigate suspicious deaths at the nursing home, Kate limps into action. Is a self-appointed “Angel of Mercy” killing patients to end their suffering? Are family members hastening their inheritance? Is an employee extorting money and removing the witnesses? Kate uses her journalism skills to track clues, but the puzzle pieces simply won’t fit.

If Kate can’t uncover the truth quickly, her mother could be next on the killer’s list.

Giveaway

Enter a rafflecopter for your chance to win an e-copy of the book and a gift card for your favorite bookstore.

About the Author

Kris Bock writes novels of mystery, suspense, and romance, many with outdoor adventures and Southwestern landscapes. Get a free Accidental Detective short story and bonus material when you sign up for her newsletter. You’ll also get a free 30-page sweet romance set in the world of the Furrever Friends cat café and a printable copy of the recipes mentioned in the cat café novels

Kris is also writing a series with her brother, scriptwriter Douglas J Eboch, who wrote the original screenplay for the movie Sweet Home Alabama. Follow the crazy antics of Melanie, Jake, and their friends a decade before the events of the movie. Sign up for our romantic comedy newsletter and get Felony Melanie Destroys the Moonshiner’s Cabin. Or find the books on Amazon US or All E-book retailers.

Find Kris:

Purchase Links: 

Release Spotlight & Giveaway: LIES, SPIES, AND THE BAKER’S SURPRISE by Terry Ambrose

Have you heard about Lies, Spies, and the Baker’s Surprise? It’s the latest addition to the Seaside Cove Bed & Breakfast Mystery series by Terry Ambrose. I have yet to read this one, but I enjoyed two of the earlier books in the series. Adding it to my TBR list.

About the Book

Rick Atwood is happy to welcome Henry and Tara Nicholas to his Seaside Cove Bed & Breakfast. Henry owns a bakery and Tara, a bookstore. They seem like a nice couple—until Rick’s daughter Alex overhears Henry talking on his cellphone to his real wife. The situation blows up the following morning when Tara discovers Henry has been lying to her—thanks in part to Alex’s interference. Tara disrupts the entire breakfast service. She then demands Rick evict Henry.

After finding Henry a room at the town’s motel, Rick hopes the drama is over. But when Henry is found dead the following morning, Rick feels partially responsible. He and Chief of Police Adam Cunningham launch an official murder investigation. They quickly find multiple witnesses who saw Tara in Henry’s room at the time of the murder.

Alex, convinced Tara is innocent, launches her own undercover investigation. Her discovery puts her in a deadly showdown with a sociopath on a bluff near the Seaside Cove Lighthouse. What happens on the bluff could make or break the official murder investigation.

Giveaway

Enter a rafflecopter for your chance to win a $35 Amazon gift card from the author.

About the Author

Once upon a time, in a life he’d rather forget, Terry Ambrose, tracked down deadbeats for a living. He also hired big guys with tow trucks to steal cars—but only when negotiations failed. Those years of chasing deadbeats taught him many valuable life lessons such as—always keep your car in the garage.

He has written eighteen books, several of which have been award finalists. In 2014, his thriller, “Con Game,” won the San Diego Book Awards for Best Action-Thriller. His series include the Trouble in Paradise McKenna Mysteries, the Seaside Cove Bed & Breakfast Mysteries, and the License to Lie thriller series.

You can learn more about Terry and his writing at terryambrose.com.

Author links:
Website    Facebook      Twitter     Instagram     BookBub     Goodreads    Amazon

Purchase links: Amazon