Review & Giveaway: THE QUEEN OF SECOND CHANCES by D.M. Barr

Time for a change of pace. Instead of my usual fare (mysteries), as part of a blog tour organized by Providence Book Promotions, I recently dove into recently released sweet romance – The Queen of Second Chances.

About the Book

Carra’s memoir-writing class teaches seniors to resolve the regrets of their past. But to win over elder attorney Jay, will she follow her own advice? Carraway (Carra) Quinn is a free-spirited English major confronting an unreceptive job market. Desperate for cash, she reluctantly agrees to her realtor stepmother’s marketing scheme: infiltrate a local senior center as a recreational aide, ingratiate herself with the members, and convince them to sell their homes. Jay Prentiss is a straitlaced, overprotective elder attorney whose beloved but mentally fragile Nana attends that center. More creative than mercenary, Carra convinces Jay to finance innovations to the Center’s antiquated programming. Her ingenuity injects new enthusiasm among the seniors, inspiring them to confront and reverse the regrets of their past. An unlikely romance develops. But when Carra’s memoir-writing class prompts Jay’s Nana to skip town in search of a lost love, the two take off on a cross-country, soul-searching chase that will either deepen their relationship or tear them apart forever.

My Review

A fun read. I really liked Carra and could relate to her efforts to find her own way, despite the real pressures she faces to do what she knows would be wrong. Jay would seem to be an odd match for her – older and much more sophisticated – except once you get to know him, you can see how there might be potential. For one thing, they seem to both love puns, which add a light tone to their banter. As befitting any good romance, the attraction is mutual; then there a few misunderstandings and obstacles that threaten to derail their relationship… until the happy ending. Overall, an entertaining, very punny light escape.

FTC disclosure: I received an advance reader copy as a part of this blog tour. This has not affected the content of this review.

Giveaway

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

About the Author

By day, a mild-mannered salesperson, wife, mother, rescuer of senior shelter dogs, competitive trivia player and author groupie, happily living just north of New York City. By night, an author of sex, suspense and satire.

My background includes stints in travel marketing, travel journalism, meeting planning, public relations and real estate. I was, for a long and happy time, an award-winning magazine writer and editor. Then kids happened. And I needed to actually make money. Now they’re off doing whatever it is they do (of which I have no idea since they won’t friend me on Facebook) and I can spend my spare time weaving tales of debauchery and whatever else tickles my fancy.

The main thing to remember about my work is that I am NOT one of my characters. For example, as a real estate broker, I’ve never played Bondage Bingo in one of my empty listings or offed anyone at my local diet clinic. And I haven’t run away from home in fear that my husband was planning to off me.

But that’s not to say that I haven’t wanted to…

Find the Author Online:

DMBarr.com
Goodreads
BookBub – @DMBarr
Twitter – @AuthorDMBarr
Facebook – @AuthorDMBarr
Instagram – @AuthorDMBarr

Purchase Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads

Visit the tour page for an excerpt, author interviews, and more reviews.

Review & Giveaway: WITH NEIGHBORS LIKE THESE by Linda Lovely

As part of a blog tour organized by Partners in Crime, I recently had the pleasure of reading an advance review copy of Linda Lovely’s latest release – With Neighbors Like These (An HOA Mystery)

About the Book

MANAGING AN HOA IS MURDER…

He championed shooting deer inside the HOA’s nature sanctuary. Now his corpse is posed curbside, cradling a trophy deer head. The theatrical murder panics residents, and Ted Welch asks Kylee Kane, retired Coast Guard investigator, to help his HOA management firm calm fears. Kylee agrees. Her own mother is getting death threats over her crusade to protect the deer.

HOA=DOA TERROR REIGNS…

When a belligerent owner in another HOA is murdered, terror reigns. The Sheriff’s Department blames Ted for letting HOA feuds spiral into homicide. Kylee discovers links between the victims and suspects a recently-pardoned general is next. Authorities and the arrogant general dismiss her warning. Can she foil the third act in the crafty killer’s death-as-theater game or will she be the next corpse on display?

My Review

Intrigue abounds in the world of Home Owners Associations, with all their rules and regulations and the self-appointed rule enforcers – real-life in deed-restricted developments, that is except for the puzzling and bizarre murders and attacks. With Ted’s business and Kylee’s mom at risk, the two team up to launch their own investigation. Ted and Kylee make a good pair, they complement each other in many ways, and I enjoyed watching them grow closer. The underlying plot was an interesting one, and unique. The author did a great job with the alternating narrative, giving us insight into the killer’s thinking without hinting at the killer’s identify. Overall, I found it to be a well-written, nicely paced mystery.

FTC disclosure: I received an advance reader copy of this book. This has not affected the content of my review.

Giveaway

Enter a rafflecopter for your chance to win a $10 Amazon Gift Card from the author.

About the Author

A journalism major in college, Linda Lovely has spent most of her career working in PR and advertising—an early introduction to penning fiction. With Neighbors Like These is Lovely’s ninth mystery/suspense novel. Whether she’s writing cozy mysteries, historical suspense or contemporary thrillers, her novels share one common element—smart, independent heroines. Humor and romance also sneak into every manuscript. Her work has earned nominations for a number of prestigious awards, ranging from RWA’s Golden Heart for Romantic Suspense to Killer Nashville’s Silver Falchion for Best Cozy Mystery. A long-time member of Sisters in Crime and former chapter president, Lovely also belongs to International Thriller Writers and Mystery Writers of America. For many years, she helped organize the Writers’ Police Academy. She lives on a lake in Upstate South Carolina with her husband, and enjoys swimming, tennis, gardening, long walks, and, of course, reading.

Catch up with the author:

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Visit the tour page at Partners in Crime for reviews, author interviews and more.

Spotlight & Giveaway: MUSIC IS MURDER by B.J. Bowen

As part of a virtual tour organized by Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours, today’s spotlight shines on Music is Murder (A Musical Murder Mystery) the first book in a new cozy mystery series by B.J. Bowen.

About the Book

When a symphony musician is murdered—bashed with her own bassoon—flute player Emily Wilson becomes the prime suspect. To save herself and secure justice for her murdered friend, she must find the killer.

In the close-knit, unforgiving environment of the symphony orchestra Emily makes her way through the tender egos and warped relationships of her fellow musicians to find tantalizing clues. Blackmail, the victim’s abusive ex-boyfriend, an angry neighbor, and a shifty Symphony Board member all lead her to feel she is on the right track.

With the dogged Lieutenant Gordon on her trail, she must flee from the police so she can continue her search. She unexpectedly finds a loyal female friend and the possibility of a new man in her life. But she must learn to trust again after her failed and abusive marriage. With time running out, will she be able to evade the lieutenant, face her personal demons, and clear her name?

Giveaway

Enter a rafflecopter for your chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card.

About the Author

Barbara Bowen is a freelance writer. She was a finalist and Honorable Mention in the 2018 Focus: Eddy Awards for her article, “Letting Go with Grace,” published in Unity Magazine. Ms. Bowen is also an accomplished professional oboist who played with the Colorado Springs Symphony for nineteen years.

Drawing on her quirky fellow musicians and orchestral experiences, she created the mystery series, “Musical Murders.” The first is “Music is Murder” (Release date, 6-9-21). The second is “Ballistics at the Ballet” (Release date TBA) The third is “Fireworks on the Fourth” (Release date TBA).

She is a member of Sisters in Crime, lives in Colorado with two canine friends, and has a stock of musical puns and a song for any occasion. Contact Barbara at: www.barbarabowenauthor.com or www.bookbub.com/authors/b-j-bowen

Author Links

Purchase Links – Amazon – B&N – Bookshop  – Target 

Review & Giveaway: DRAW AND ORDER by Cheryl Hollon

As part of a blog tour organized by Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours, I am happy to let you know about Draw and Order (A Paint & Shine Mystery) by Cheryl Hollon, which released last week.

About the Book

Appalachian artist and local guide Miranda Trent opens a new murder investigation after her Paint & Shine tour group discovers the remains of a missing hiker along an ancient trail . . .

For her latest excursion, Miranda is thrilled to take a close-knit group of rock climbers, the Risky Business Adventurers, up the challenging Battleship Rock Trail to paint and sample moonshine. But the outing is cut short when they discover a skeleton near the trailhead. Even more startling, the bones belong to Howard Cable, Miranda’s cousin…and a former classmate of the Risky Business group.

The sheriff chalks it up to a hiking accident, but Miranda isn’t convinced that Howard, an experienced woodsman, died within sight of a well-marked trail. So, with the help of Ranger Austin Morgan, Miranda sets out on her own investigation and discovers that the Risky Business group is keeping plenty of secrets. But is one of them hiding the truth about Howard’s death?

My Review

Miranda is an artist living in the process of establishing a distillery on the farm she inherited. She works hard to get what she wants, even in the face of setbacks. She seems to have a great relationship with her mom. Her new business – Paint & Shine – is the perfect way for her to combine her two loves – art and moonshine. And spend lots of time out on the trails with her art students. When her cousin’s body is found during one such outing, Miranda is eager to figure out what happened and, with Austin’s help, pursues her own investigatation, which has the added benefit of bringing them together more often. The plot unfolds at a steady pace, in the process exposing readers to a taste of life in rural Kentucky, its people, and its folklore. Sounds like a cool place to visit.

A well-written, enjoyable. cozy mystery.

FTC disclosure: I received an ARC of this book via NetGalley. This has not affected the content of my review.

Giveaway

Enter a rafflecopter for you chance to win a print copy of Draw and Order (US only) from the author.

About the Author

Cheryl Hollon now writes full-time after she left an engineering career of designing and building military flight simulators in amazing countries such as England, Wales, Australia, Singapore, Taiwan, and India. Fulfilling the dream of a lifetime, she combines her love of writing with a passion for creating glass art. In the small glass studio behind her house in St. Petersburg, Florida, Cheryl and her husband design, create, and produce fused glass, stained glass, and painted glass artworks.

Visit her online at http://cherylhollon.com, on Facebook or on Twitter @CherylHollon.

Purchase Links: Amazon    B&N    Kobo     Google Play  IndieBound 

Visit the tour page for more reviews, guest posts, and more.

Spotlight & Giveaway: FRAMED AND FROSTED by Kim Davis

As part of a tour organized by Great Escapes Virtual Book tours, today’s post shines the spotlight on Framed and Frosted, a new culinary cozy mystery by Kim Davis. And with its colorful, patriotic cover, it’s just in time for America’s Fourth of July celebrations next week.

About the Book

Framed and Frosted, the third book in the Cupcake Catering Mystery series, finds cupcake caterer, Emory Martinez, working at a Laguna Beach society Fourth of July soiree, with her sister and their new employee, Sal. With a host that seems intent on accosting both catering employees and guests alike, things go from bad to worse when he accuses Sal of murdering his long-dead son.

As the crescendo of exploding fireworks overhead becomes the backdrop for cupcakes and champagne, a deadly murder occurs. Can Sal and Emory explain why the cupcake the host ate, after shoving a trayful of buttercream frosted cupcakes onto Sal, resulted in his death? Or will the guests and detective alike believe that Sal is a murderer? Emory and her octogenarian employer, Tillie, whip into action to find out who framed Sal after being frosted by the victim.

Includes recipes!

Giveaway

Enter a rafflecopter for your chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card plus 1 print copy of book (for U.S. residents only) from the author.

About the Author

Kim Davis lives in Southern California with her husband. When she’s not spending time with her granddaughters she can be found either writing stories or working on her blog, Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder or in the kitchen baking up yummy treats.  She has published the suspense novel, A GAME OF DECEIT, and cozy mystery, SPRINKLES OF SUSPICION and CAKE POPPED OFF. She also has had several children’s articles published in Cricket, Nature Friend, Skipping Stones, and the Seed of Truth magazines. Kim Davis is a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime.

Author Links

Website:  http://kimdavisauthor.com/
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Kim-Davis-Author-1532277473479031/
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Kookiesandbooks
Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/dashboard
Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/kimdavishb/

Purchase Links: Amazon 

Check out other stops on the tour for reviews, guest posts and more.

Spotlight & Giveaway: WHOLE LATTE MURDER by Lena Gregory

As part of a blog tour organized by Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours, today’s post features a new cozy mystery from Lena Gregory – Whole Latte Murder (All-Day Breakfast Cafe Mystery). Don’t know about any of you, but I love the cover!

About the Book

Ex-New Yorker and local diner owner Gia Morelli is still getting used to the sweltering Florida sun. But this summer she’ll have to deal with a more dangerous kind of heat—when she’s hot on the trail of another murderer . . .

Summer in Boggy Creek has arrived, and Gia’s best friend, successful real estate agent Savannah, is getting hitched. Now she’s enlisted Gia’s sleuthing talents in a desperate search for the perfect wedding dress. But when Savannah mysteriously vanishes after showing a mansion to a bigwig client, Gia investigates the house Savannah was trying to sell. The first clue she finds is Savannah’s car in the driveway. Inside the house, they stumble on Savannah’s potential buyer—dead. Someone had apparently closed the deal—with a two by four full of nails to the client’s head. Soon afterward, a woman’s body is fished from the lake near the same house. The townsfolk are now sweating bullets over the murders, and the heat comes down on poor Gia to find her missing friend, and track down the killer . . .

Giveaway

Enter a rafflecopter for your chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card.

About the Author

Lena Gregory is the author of the Bay Island Psychic Mysteries, which take place on a small island between the north and south forks of Long Island, New York, and the All-Day Breakfast Café Mysteries, which are set on the outskirts of Florida’s Ocala National Forest.

Lena grew up in a small town on the south shore of eastern Long Island, but she recently traded in cold, damp, gray winters for the warmth and sunshine of central Florida, where she now lives with her husband, three kids, son-in-law, and four dogs. Her hobbies include spending time with family, reading, and walking. Her love for writing developed when her youngest son was born and didn’t sleep through the night. She works full time as a writer and a freelance editor and is a member of Sisters in Crime.

To learn more about Lena and her latest writing endeavors, visit her website at http://www.lenagregory.com/ and be sure to sign up for her newsletter.

Author Links:

Purchase Links:
Amazon    Barnes & Noble      Kobo    Kensington     Apple    Google Play

For more reviews, guest posts, and more, visit the tour page.

Showcase & Excerpt: THREE MISSING DAYS by Colleen Coble

As part of a blog tour organized by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours, today’s spotlight shines on Three Missing Days, the latest addition to the Pelican Harbor romantic suspense series from bestselling author Colleen Coble. I haven’t had a chance to read it yet, but it sounds great to me.

About the Book

A chilling murder.
Chief of Police Jane Hardy plunges into the investigation of a house fire that claimed the life of a local woman as well as one of the firefighters. It’s clear the woman was murdered. But why? The unraveling of Jane’s personal life only makes the answers in the case more difficult to find.

Her son’s arrest.
Then Jane’s fifteen-year-old son is accused of a horrific crime, and she has to decide whether or not she can trust her ex, Reid, in the attempt to prove Will’s innocence—and whether she can trust Reid with her heart.

Her stolen memories.
Three days of Jane’s past are missing from her memory, and that’s not all that has been stolen from her. As she works to find the woman’s murderer and clear her son’s name, finding out what happened in those three days could change everything. It all started with one little lie. But the gripping truth is finally coming out.

Read an excerpt:

“I know what you did.”

The muffled voice on her phone raised the hair on the back of Gail Briscoe’s head, and she swiped the perspiration from her forehead with the back of her hand. “Look, I’ve reported these calls. Don’t call me again.”

She ended the call with a hard finger punch on the screen and stepped onto her front porch. The late-May Alabama air wrapped her in a blanket of heat and humidity, and she couldn’t wait to wash it off. She should have left the light on before she went for her predawn run. The darkness pressing against her isolated home sent a shudder down her back, and she fumbled her way inside. Welcome light flooded the entry, and she locked the door and the dead bolt with a decisive click that lifted her confidence.

She stared at the number on the now-silent phone. The drugstore again. Though there weren’t many pay phones around anymore, the old soda shop and drugstore still boasted a heavy black phone installed back in the sixties. The caller always used it, and so far, no one had seen who was making the calls. The pay phone was located off an alley behind the store by a Dumpster so it was out of sight.

The guy’s accusation was getting old. Counting today, this made seven calls with the same message. Could he possibly know about the investigation? She rejected the thought before it had a chance to grow. It wasn’t public knowledge, and it would be over soon. She clenched her hands and chewed on her bottom lip. She had to be vindicated.

But who could it be, and what did he want?

Leaving a trail of sweaty yoga shorts and a tee behind her, she marched to the bathroom and turned the spray to lukewarm before she stepped into the shower. The temperature shocked her overheated skin in a pleasant way, and within moments she was cooled down. She increased the temperature a bit and let the water sluice over her hair.

As she washed, she watched several long strands of brown hair swirl down the drain as she considered the caller’s accusation. The police had promised to put a wiretap on her phone, but so far the guy hadn’t stayed on the phone long enough for a trace to work. And it was Gail’s own fault. She should have talked with him more to string out the time.

She dried off and wrapped her hair in a turban, then pulled on capris and a top. Her phone vibrated again. She snatched it up and glanced at the screen. Augusta Richards.

“I got another call, Detective. Same phone at the drugstore. Could you set up a camera there?”

“I hope I’m not calling too early, and I don’t think that’s necessary. The owner just told me that old pay phone is being removed later today. Maybe that will deter the guy. It’s the only pay phone in town. He’ll have to use something else if he calls again.”

“He could get a burner phone.”

“He might,” the detective admitted. “What did he say?”

“The same thing—‘I know what you did.’”

“Do you have any idea what it means?”

Gail flicked her gaze away to look out the window, where the first colors of the sunrise limned the trees. “Not a clue.”

“Make sure you lock your doors and windows. You’re all alone out there.”

“Already locked. Thanks, Detective.” Gail ended the call.

Ever since Nicole Pearson’s body had been found a couple of months ago, no one needed to remind Gail she lived down a dirt road with no next-door neighbors. No one wanted to buy the neighboring place after such a lurid death, so the area remained secluded other than a couple of houses about a mile away and out closer to the main road.

She stood back from the window. It was still too dark to see. Was someone out there?

Pull back the reins on your imagination. But once the shudders started, they wouldn’t stop. Her hands shaking, she left her bedroom and went to pour herself a cup of coffee with a generous splash of half-and-half from the fridge. She had a stack of lab orders to process, and she couldn’t let her nerves derail her work.

The cups rattled as she snatched one from the cupboard. The coffee sloshed over the rim when she poured it, then she took a big gulp of coffee. It burned all the way down her throat, and tears stung her eyes as she sputtered. The heat settled her though, and she checked the locks again before she headed to her home office with her coffee.

No one could see in this tiny cubicle with no window, but she rubbed the back of her neck and shivered. She’d work for an hour, then go into the lab. The familiar ranges and numbers comforted her. She sipped her coffee and began to plow through the stack of papers. Her eyes kept getting heavy. Weird. Normally she woke raring to go every morning.

Maybe she needed more coffee. She stretched out her neck and back and picked up the empty coffee cup.

Gail touched the doorknob and cried out. She stuck her first two fingers in her mouth. What on earth?

The door radiated heat. She took a step back as she tried to puzzle out what was happening, but her brain couldn’t process it at first. Then tendrils of smoke oozed from under the door in a deadly fog.

Fire. The house was on fire.

She spun back toward the desk, but there was nothing she could use to protect herself. There was no way of egress except through that door.

If she wanted to escape, she’d have to face the inferno on the other side.

She snatched a throw blanket from the chair and threw it over her head, then ran for the door before she lost her courage. When she yanked it open, a wall of flames greeted her, but she spied a pathway down the hall to her bedroom. Ducking her head, she screamed out a war cry and plowed through the flames.

In moments she was in the hall where the smoke wasn’t so thick. She pulled in a deep breath as she ran for her bedroom. She felt the cool air as soon as she stepped inside and shut the door behind her. Too late she realized the window was open, and a figure stepped from the closet.

Something hard came down on her head, and darkness descended.

***

Excerpt from Three Missing Days by Colleen Coble. Copyright 2021 by Thomas Nelson. Reproduced with permission from Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Colleen Coble is a USA TODAY bestselling author and RITA finalist best known for her coastal romantic suspense novels, including The Inn at Ocean’s Edge, Twilight at Blueberry Barrens, and the Lavender Tides, Sunset Cove, Hope Beach, and Rock Harbor series.

Connect with Colleen online at:
colleencoble.com
Goodreads
BookBub: @ColleenCoble
Instagram: @colleencoble
Twitter: @colleencoble
Facebook: @colleencoblebooks

Guest Post, Release Spotlight & Giveaway: SHRIMPLY DEAD by Maggie Toussaint

As part of blog tour organized by Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours, I am happy to have Maggie Toussant as my guest today as she celebrates the release of her latest Seafood Caper Mystery – Shrimply Dead. In her guest post, she lets us in on her take on inventing interesting characters.

Carbon copy?
By Maggie Toussaint

Remember the phrase “carbon copy?” It originated from typewriter days when you would insert a piece of carbon paper between two sheets of paper and then roll the set into the typewriter. When you finished with the typed page, you’d have an extra copy, a carbon copy. In time, carbon copy got shortened to “cc” on memos, letters, faxes, and emails, though no carbon paper is involved now.

Authors are often asked if the lead character in a work of fiction is a proxy for the author, i.e., a character with identical character traits as the author. Most of the time, I live vicariously through my characters because they are so much more interesting and braver. If I wrote about my life, I doubt that would interest most people.

As the author of several series, I have multiple protagonists. Here are a few:

  1. Cleopatra Jones is the owner and operator of Sampson Accounting in Maryland. She’s the mother of two teenaged girls and a St. Bernard. Her hobbies are golfing, sleuthing, and riding herd on her flamboyant mother. (3 books and 1 novella series, Cleopatra Jones Mysteries)
  2. Lindsey McKay comes home to coastal Georgia with her dog to take over the family newspaper business when her father’s accused of murder. She reconnects with a high school crush, Sheriff Ike Harper. She’s too busy to have hobbies other than investigating, which comes to her as naturally as breathing. (3-novella series, Lindsey & Ike Mysteries)
  3. Baxley Powell lives in Sinclair County, Georgia, and she develops her entire repertoire of paranormal talents during the course of her 7-book series. She’s a conduit to the dead, an energy sharer, a walking lie-detector, and more. She’s married to Deputy Sam Mayes, and they have a son and Baxley’s daughter from a previous marriage. She also has a menagerie of cats and dogs, including Elvis the therapy dog.
  4. River Holloway owns Holloway Catering, and she loves to cook more than anything else in the world. She’s energized throughout the day. She’s super good with cats and dogs, and she’s rescued two cats and a dog. She’s married and wants children. Her favorite place after her backyard is the beach. (Dreamwalker Mysteries)

So let’s take those four fictional women and compare them to me in 10 different categories.

Marital status: Baxley, River, and Maggie=married; Lindsey and Cleo=single

Pet owner: Cleo, Baxley, Lindsey, and River=yes; Maggie=no

Children: Cleo, Baxley, Maggie=yes; Lindsey and River=no

Favorite beverage: Lindsey, River, Cleo=coffee; Baxley=restorative broth; Maggie=tea

Beach or mountains: Cleo and Lindsey=mountains; River and Baxley=beach; Maggie = beach but not when it’s sunny

Read books or watch TV: Maggie=read; Cleo, Lindsey, River, and Baxley=watch TV

Occupations: all 4 have different occupations, none of which Maggie ever attempted.

Family loyalty is key: true for all

Strong sense of right and wrong: true for all

Compassionate, caring individuals: true for all

Thus it seems clear that while there are differences among my female protagonists, the same bedrock traits apply to all, traits that I share. Definitely not carbon copies but there are some likenesses. That’s what makes it interesting, don’t you think?


About Shrimply Dead

When veterinarian and amateur naturalist Jasmine Garr is shot in her yard, residents of Shell Island press caterer River Holloway into investigating the homicide. River dons her amateur sleuth cap and sets out to discover who killed her former catering customer.

Between Jasmine’s estranged cousin, a rival veterinarian, a wild animal trapper, the chicken lady, and a real estate broker, River has plenty of suspects to consider. As she peels back the layers of Jasmine’s life, dangerous secrets come to light.

Jasmine’s orphaned kitty, Iris, along with River’s cat Major, and her husband Pete help River sift through the evidence. At the same time, River recently expanded her catering business. She must service her regular catering clients, plus provide fresh baked goods for Pete’s ice cream shop.

The killer follows River’s every move relishing the thought of another victim. Time is running out. Will River solve the murder before she becomes a cold dish?

Giveaway

Enter a rafflecopter for your chance to win one of two print copies of Shrimply Dead (A Seafood Caper Mystery) by Maggie Toussaint (U.S. Only).

About the Author

Southern author Maggie Toussaint writes cozy and paranormal mysteries, romantic suspense, and dystopian fiction, with more than twenty fiction novels published. A multi-year finalist for Georgia Author of the Year, she’s won Silver Falchions, the Readers’ Choice, and the EPIC Awards. She’s past president of Mystery Writers of America-Southeast chapter and an officer of LowCountry Sisters In Crime. She lives in coastal Georgia, where secrets, heritage, and ancient oaks cast long shadows. Visit her at https://maggietoussaint.com/

Author Links

Purchase Links
Kindle  *  Nook *  Kobo  * IBooks

Review & Giveaway: THE HASIDIC REBBE’S SON by Joan Lipinsky Cochran

As part of a blog tour organized by Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours, I recently read an advance review copy of The Hasidic Rebbe’s Son (A Becks Ruchinsky Mystery) by Joan Lipinsky Cochran.

About the Book

Boca Raton reporter Becks Ruchinsky is stunned when her son, Gabe, brings an ultra-Orthodox friend home from college and asks her to hide him. Six days later, his body is found floating in a canal. When police deem his death an accident, Becks launches her own inquiry—a journey that takes her from secretive Hasidic enclaves to the seedy underbelly of South Beach’s glitzy club scene—to find his killer. What she discovers jeopardizes her son’s life and challenges her religious conviction.

The Hasidic Rebbe’s Son is an intriguing and compulsively readable mystery that contrasts the beauty of Hasidic tradition with the unbending rules that may lead to desperation and murder.

This book is available on Amazon.

My Review

Becks is an independent-spirted, obstinate woman. Her natural curiousity and background in journalism lend to her pursuit of the truth regarding the young man’s death. She is unwilling to relent despite her husband’s opposition, which is but one of the issues in their troubled relationship. Her son, Gabe, suffers from Asperger’s, and the challenges he and his family face are highlighted as part of the story. At the same time, her investigation brings with it insights into the widely divergent levels of religious observance practiced by Jews in different communities, and an interesting glimpse into some of the unique aspects of the Hasidic world.

The story is both well-written and well-paced. The plot became increasingly complex as Becks gathered more and more information on Mennie’s family, friends, and overall background, with the resolution something of a surprise.

A good choice for readers who enjoy mysteries or Jewish fiction in general.

FTC disclosure: I received an advance review copy of this book as part of this blog tour. This has not affected the content of my review.

Giveaway

Enter a rafflecopter for your chance to win a digital copy of The Hasidic Rebbe’s Son from the author.

About the Author

Joan Lipinsky Cochran is a South Florida-based writer whose crime and mystery novels focus on subcultures of American Judaism. In her latest novel, The Hasidic Rebbe’s Son, her protagonist is compelled to explore the glitzy South Beach nightclub scene and the secretive world of Hasidic Judaism to find a killer. It is the second in The Becks Ruchinsky Mystery Series. The first, The Yiddish Gangster’s Daughter, is the story of a woman whose world is upended – and life threatened – when she discovers her father was a member of the Jewish mafia.

Author Links

Review & Giveaway: THE INFLUENCER by Frankie Bow

As part of a tour organized by Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours, I recently read the most recent release from Frankie Bow – The Influencer, A Professor Molly Mystery. A nice choice for fans of cozy mysteries.

About the Book

In Which Professor Molly Learns There Is, In Fact, Such a Thing as Bad Publicity

It’s spring break. Donnie’s taken the baby to visit relatives on the mainland, and Professor Molly finally has time to catch up on the assessment paperwork she owes the Student Retention Office.

Molly’s new renter is a social media star seeking privacy in remote Mahina. The arrangement seems to be working out–until her celebrity renter disappears. Molly and her best friend Emma dutifully call in the Mahina PD and try to stay out of the way. But when fame creates its own reality distortion field, everyone has an angle and nothing is as it seems.

My Review

In this latest installment in the series, Professor Molly and best friend and partner-in-crime, Emma, are eager to help figure out what happened to a prominent social media influencer. Helped out by Pat and his new sidekick, Howdy, the team comes up with theories, which inevitable require revisions, as new details are revealed en route to the mystery’s revolution. The characters are well-defined, and include Molly’s old nemesis from the Student Retention Office. That said, I was at times distracted from the story by Emma’s frequent use of local dialect. The plot moved along at a steady pace, with just enough twists to keep curious readers on their toes.
Overall, this is a pleasant and well-written read for cozy mystery fans.

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

Giveaway

Enter a rafflecopter for your chance to win a copy of The Influencer (Professor Molly Mysteries) by Frankie Bow. 

About the Author

AuthorPhoto

Like Professor Molly, Frankie Bow teaches at a public university. Unlike her protagonist, she is blessed with delightful students, sane colleagues, and a perfectly nice office chair. She believes if life isn’t fair, at least it can be entertaining. In addition to writing murder mysteries, she publishes in scholarly journals under her real name. Her experience with academic publishing has taught her to take nothing personally.

Author Links 

Purchase Links:
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For more reviews, guest posts, and more, visit the tour page.