Sunday 31 May 2020

R.I.P. in Reykjavik (A Traveler Cozy Mystery #2) by A.R. Kennedy

R.I.P. in Reykjavik (The Traveler Cozy Mystery #2)

Traveling with your family can be murder.
One wedding party + one estranged mother = another vacation that goes array for Naomi.

Naomi is off on another international vacation. She thinks traveling with her mother will be the most difficult part of her trip until she meets the rest of the tour group—a wedding party. It only gets worse when she finds the groom dead. Everyone’s a suspect on her Icelandic tour of this stunning country.  (Summary via Goodreads)

The Traveler Cozy Mystery series by A. R. Kennedy is a very unique series.  In this series the main character Naomi is on vacation and someone dies and she spends the rest of her vacation trying to solve the murder.  In the first book in the series, Sleuth on Safari, Naomi and her sister go on an African safari and another guest at the hotel dies and right before the trip ends Naomi figures out who the killer is.  Now in the second book in this series, R.I.P. in Reykjavik Naomi and her mother are going to Iceland......

One thing you would have learned when reading the first book in this series is that Naomi and her sister didn't have a great relationship because when their parents got divorced when they were kids, Naomi went with their father and her brother and sister stayed with their mother.  That also means that Naomi doesn't have a great relationship with her mother either.  But we know that Naomi will still do whatever she can to enjoy the trip....after all she spent a lot of money on it.

This Iceland trip is like the safari trip as there is an itinerary to follow and a tour guide to take them around to the sites.  And they are in with a group of other vacationers.  The group that is with Naomi and her mother are the members of a wedding party consisting of the new bride and groom, their maid of honor and best man and the parents of the bride.  You would think with a group like that everyone would be happy and festive !!!  Unfortunately when the group goes on their first adventure which is a snorkeling experience, not dangerous at all, the groom does not come out of the water alive.  And there are a lot of secrets within this group !!!

Naomi instantly begins to wonder how a young, healthy looking male can die from snorkeling.  He didn't look to be having any trouble, just laid in the water and never got up.  She immediately starts to look at everyone in the group, tour guide included, as being guilty.  She even calls her sister back in the States on a regular basis asking medical questions.  And when she drags her mother into her crazy investigation, it might just be what brings them closer together.

Readers know that they will be taken on an adventure when they open up one of these books in this series by A.R. Kennedy and they don't have to worry about packing, traveling, or having to put up with a family member.  Readers also know that they will enjoy reading how Naomi figures out the case and has her moment of clarity at the absolute right moment !!  

I highly recommend reading this series and cannot wait until the third book in this series.......Naomi is going to Austrialia..... I can't wait to see who her roommate will be this time !!!  Her father ? Her brother ?  It really does't matter who it is as long as they aren't the murderer !!!!

Review by Missi M.

Thursday 28 May 2020

Marshmallow Malice (Amish Candy Shop Mystery #5) by Amanda Flower

Marshmallow Malice  (Amish Candy Shop Mystery #5)
Caught in a sticky situation . . .

With Juliet Brody and Reverend Brook tying the knot in Ohio’s Amish Country’s most anticipated nuptials of the year, Bailey King is determined to do everything in her power to make the event a sweet success. Except midsummer heat waves and outdoor ceremonies don’t mix, and an exasperated Bailey soon finds herself struggling to fulfill bridesmaid duties and keep her stunning marshmallow-frosted wedding cake from becoming a gooey disaster. Then much to everyone’s shock, the entire ceremony crumbles when a guest drops dead, and the cause isn’t sunstroke . . .

Turns out, the uninvited victim came equipped with lots of dirt on the devout reverend’s hidden past. As Reverend Brook tops the murder suspect list on what should have been the happiest day of his life, Bailey and her sheriff’s deputy boyfriend vow to clear his name. Can the duo boil down a series of baffling clues before Juliet considers her marriage a bad mistake—or the killer whips up another deadly surprise?   (Summary via Goodreads)

Ever since Bailey King moved back to Harvest, Ohio to help her grandmother in the family's shop, Swissmen Sweets, there has never been a dull moment.....and she moved there from New York City !!  Bailey's grandmother is Amish and Harvest has a lot of Amish residents as well as business owners.  Bailey is learning to live with English and Amish people and their lifestyles and differences.  One good thing about this is that the Amish trust Bailey.....and not her boyfriend, Deputy Aiden Brody.

In Marshmallow Malice by Amanda Flower Aiden's mother is marrying Reverend Brook and Bailey and Aiden are in the wedding party as maid of honor and best man along with Juliet's comfort animal, Jethro the pig.  Bailey and the shop also made the wedding cake.  During the wedding ceremony a woman bursts in and calls the Reverend a traitor before she is escorted out.   The wedding continues without any more outbursts and it looks like things are going to go as planned until Bailey notices the cake start to slip.  She tries to save the cake from falling and being destroyed but ends up in a big pile of marshmallow.  She leaves the reception to run home to change and sees the woman that caused the outburst during the ceremony having trouble walking along the street before argueing with a gentlemen and getting into his car.  Bailey wonders if she should have done something to stop her from getting into the car and when she discovers the woman's body on the front steps of the church the next morning, she decides to find out who killed her and bring peace to her.

It's a good thing Bailey's best friend Cass is visiting from the city so that she can keep Bailey out of trouble....or get her deeper into it.  Bailey has a good relationship with the Amish community and that helps when she finds a connection between the Amish and the dead woman.  Unfortunately there is also a connection between Reverend Brooks and the dead woman.  Bailey doesn't want to cause the newleyweds any more problems so her and Cass do some digging into the womans past and what they find could make things worse for a lot of people.

Marshmallow Malice is the fifth book in the Amish Candy Shop Mystery series and every time readers pick up a book in this series, you are taken to a quaint town where Amish buggies travel the road with the cars and trucks and the Amish have businesses and stores among the English residents.  They all live peacefully among each other until there is a murder.  The Amish do not trust the police and feel that if an Amish person commits a crime, they will deal with punishment as they see fit not how the law dictates.  This makes it hard for Aiden and the police to solve crimes involving the Amish.  Therefore Bailey who knows the community, their way of living, and is trusted because of her grandparents can talk to them and even get answers to questions for the police.

I love every time that I can open up a book in this series because I know I am in for a treat.  There is so much to keep the readers attention.  Readers cannot help but fall in love with everything this series has to offer.  You will look forward to every time that you can escape to Harvest, Ohio.....just don't go chasing pigs into the woods !!!!

Review by Missi M.

Botched Butterscotch (Amish Candy Shop Mystery #4.5) by Amanda Flower

Botched Butterscotch (Amish Candy Shop Mystery #4.5)
A slice of intrigue. . .   
Mother’s Day is a sweet and busy time at the candy shop Bailey King runs with her Amish grandmother. This year is extra special, because Bailey’s parents are visiting Harvest, Ohio. Bailey’s father has rarely returned since leaving the Amish faith over thirty years ago, but Bailey is confident that the right treats can help sugarcoat any awkwardness. For Mother’s Day Tea at the local church, she’s whipping up her mom’s favorite: butterscotch fudge. All’s going well, until a sticky-fingered thief makes off with the money raised for a local women’s support group.
While Bailey tries to discover who stuck their fingers in the cookie jar, she encounters an assortment of suspects. It doesn’t help that Juliet, mother of Deputy Aiden Brody, is conspiring with Bailey’s mom to plan Aiden and Bailey’s wedding…though they’re not even engaged! Can Bailey find the culprit before events—both criminal and personal—boil over into disaster?
Recipe Included!
Praise for Amanda Flower and her Amish cozies
“As it turns out, Amanda Flower may have just written the first Amish rom com.” USA Today
“Flower has hit it out of the ballpark . . . and continues to amaze with her knowledge of the Amish way of life.” RT Book Reviews
“At turns playful and engaging . . . a satisfyingly complex cozy.” Library Journal   (Summary via Goodreads)

Readers cannot help but love the Amish Candy Shop Mystery series by Amanda Flower and if you have an afternoon to kill, Botched Butterscotch will get you through it.

Main character Bailey King lives in Harvest, Ohio which is a big difference from living in New York City.  In NYC she was a workaholic as a chocolatier but moved to Harvest when her Amish grandfather passed so that she could help her grandmother in their candy store, Swissmen Sweets.  Bailey has adjusted well to living around Amish people as well as English like herself.  The only thing that is different for Bailey is that she seems to get involved in solving murders.....which her kind of boyfriend Deputy Aiden Brody does not like.

But in Botched Butterscotch it's Mother's Day weekend and Bailey's parents are coming for the weekend.  Her parents haven't been back to Harvest much since they ran away to get married.  Bailey's dad was Amish but her mother was not so he left the Amish life to marry her.  So Bailey is looking forward to spending time with them, especially her mom, and seeing as it's Mother's Day weekend, she is taking her to a Mother's Day Tea fundraiser.  The fundraiser is to raise money for Abigail's Farm, which is a place for women struggling with alcohol or drug addiction.  Unfortunately the money raised gets stolen during the tea and everyone looks to Bailey to help find it.....that is except for her parents that are just hearing for the first time how close Bailey gets into trouble.

There is so much to fall in love with in this series.  You will love the town of Harvest and its people.  You will love how the Amish and the English people co-exist and look out for each other.  You cannot help but love Aiden's mother, Juliet, and her pig Jethro !!  And the way that Bailey works out the cases will have the reader turning the pages quickly.

I highly recommend this series and Botched Butterscotch is a short story so it won't take you long to fall in love with Harvest and want to return as soon as possible !!!

Review by Missi M.

Tuesday 26 May 2020

20 Questions with Authors : Joyce Tremel

Joyce Tremel was a police secretary for 10 years and more than once envisioned the demise of certain co-workers, but settled on writing as a way to keep herself out of jail.

She is the author of the Brewing Trouble Mystery series and there are 3 books in that series (so far).  They are :

To Brew or Not to Brew
Tangled Up in Brew
A Room With A Brew

Here is how she answered the personal questions....

1.  What is your favorite color ?  I'm not sure I have a favorite exactly, but in clothing I tend to wear black, purple, and raspberry.

2.  Sunset or sunrise ?  Sunrise 

3.  Coffee, tea or soda ?  Definitely coffee, and lots of it.

4.  What is your favorite movie ?  I have a few favorites: The Sting, Dirty Dancing, Casablanca, Gettysburg, Downton Abbey (the series and the movie).

5.  What are your favorite toppings on pizza ?  I love Hawaiian pizza, followed by pepperoni and green peppers.

6.  Cake or pie ? What is your favorite ?  Cake

7.  Favorite author (besides yourself) ?  Annette Dashofy, who is a good friend and writes the Zoe Chambers mysteries.

8.  Horror movie or chick flick ??   Neither! Give me a good mystery or crime story. Or anything WWII related.

9.  Cat or dog person ? Do you have any ? If so, what and names please....  Cat. My previous cat Layla (the cat Hops in my series is based on her) died a few years ago. We're thinking about getting a couple of kittens soon.

10.  Ideal vacation ?  A few days in Gettysburg.

11.  Camping or 5 star hotel ?  Definitely hotel. You couldn't pay me enough to sleep outside or in a tent!

12.  Favorite season and why ?  Fall. I love the colors. 

13.  Name ONE thing you are afraid of ....  Drowning. I won't go in water that I can't stand up in.

14.  Name ONE thing you cannot live without....  Coffee

15.  What was your favorite subject in school ?  English

16.  What was your least favorite subject in school ?  Math

17.  What movie have you seem more than once ?  The movie I've seen the most is Gettysburg. We watch it at least once a year.

18.  What is your guilty pleasure ?  (Can't be an answer already given...)  Craft beer.

19.  Who is your celebrity crush ?  Hmm. I'm not sure I have one!

20.  Tell us something we don't know that you would like people to know about you ......  This is a tough one. Most people don't know that I have a second degree blackbelt in Taekwondo.  

To learn more about her and her books go to :

Monday 25 May 2020

To Kill a Mocking Girl (Bookbinding Mystery #1) by Harper Kincaid

To Kill a Mocking Girl (Bookbinding Mystery #1)
Bookbinder Quinn finds herself in trouble when her ex's fiance turns up dead and if she's not careful, her days might be numbered.

Quinn Victoria Caine is back in her quirky town of Vienna, Virginia, starting her new life as a bookbinder in her family-owned, charm-for-days bookshop, Prose & Scones. With her trusty German Shephard RBG-'Ruff Barker' Ginsburg by her side, what can go wrong? Okay, sure, bumping into her ex, Scott, or her former high school nemesis, Tricia, is a drag. It certainly doesn't help they have acquired the new hobby of shoving their recent engagement in her face every chance they get. But that doesn't mean Quinn wanted to find Tricia dead in the road. So why does half the town think she may have done it?

Quinn is determined to find Tricia's killer, even if it means partnering with her cousin-turned-nun, Sister Daria, and Detective Aiden Harrington, her older brother's too-movie-star-handsome-for-his-own good, best friend. They believe she's innocent, but of course that doesn't influence the police, who peg her as their prime suspect. Or, at least until she's poisoned.

But there is no way Quinn is going to stop now. Vienna is her town and-for better or worse-Tricia was one of their own. Someone may have killed the mocking girl, but no one's going to stop the notorious QVC.
   (Summary via Goodreads)

Okay two things I will tell you right up front about To Kill a Mocking Girl by Harper Kincaid is that even though it is a cozy mystery and not a love story, readers are going to be rooting for main character Quinn and police detective Aiden from the get go.  Their chemistry is off the charts electric !!  (but that doesn't have a chance with their stupidity level unfortunately).  The other thing I will tell you right away before you open the book and start reading is that there is no way you are going to figure out who the criminal don't even try to figure it out.  Just sit in your comfy chair and start reading.......

There is so much to love when reading To Kill a Mocking Girl.  You will love Quinn and her family.  She has her parents, her brother, Bass,  and her cousin Sister Daria and her aunt and uncle.  Her parents own a great store that she works at, Prose and Scones.  She is a bookbinding genuis !!  She lives in a barn turned house with her german sheperd, RBG.   She lives in a quaint little town in Vienna, Virginia.  She has a great relationship with her cousin Sister Daria and loves her life pretty much.

Unfortunately the day after her ex-boyfriend Scott announces his engagement to Tricia, she is found dead.  Tricia and her twin sister, Trina are real estate agents and long-time bullies to Quinn.  Even though they had bad history, that doesn't mean that Quinn would want one of them dead.  Things don't sit well with Quinn regarding the murder especially seeing as her and RBG are the ones to find Tricia's body and heard a car leaving the scene.  After Quinn learns that there was a death 6 months ago, she can't help but wonder if the two are connected.  

So while Quinn and Sister Daria try to investigate, Aiden tries to stress that it is not their job to solve the case and wants Quinn to stay out of it and stay safe.  Unfortunately when RBG is targeted, Quinn goes into overdrive trying to figure things out.

Readers will love everything about To Kill a Mocking Girl.....even the friction between Quinn and Aiden.  Harper really throws readers off when they think they know who is behind everything.  You will be thoroughly shocked when you finally see who is the mastermind involved !!  There is no way you will see it coming !!!    I will definitely be on the look out for future books in this series !!! 

Review by Missi M.

20 Questions with Authors : Harper Kincaid

Harper Kincaid is described as "a woman with the heart of a revolutionary, the mind of a pragmatist, and the inappropriate humor of your tipsy BFF" on Goodreads.  And her books verify that.

Her books are :

The Break on Through series:
Rule Breaker
Heart Breaker
Girl Breaker

Bind Me Before You Go
The Wonder of You
You Do You

Bookbinding Mystery series :
To Kill A Mocking Girl

Let's get to know her personally....

1.  What is your favorite color ?   Black to wear, but otherwise, every color has its own appeal.

2.  Sunset or sunrise ?   I am not a morning person so I guess that leaves sunset.

3.  Coffee, tea or soda ?  Coffee, definitely.

4.  What is your favorite movie ?  Annie Hall

5.  What are your favorite toppings on pizza ?  None. I’m all about the cheese! 

6.  Cake or pie ? What is your favorite ?  My mom makes this incredible strawberry shortcake with homemade whipped cream frosting that's my absolute favorite. Now, I'm hungry!

7.  Favorite author (besides yourself) ?  Okay, asking to pick a fave author is like asking to pick your favorite child - it's impossible! LOL - okay, so that said...I have a handful of my go-to fave cozy mystery authors...Catherine Brun, Molly MacRae, and Misty Simon :) 

8.  Horror movie or chick flick ??  Definitely chick flick, mostly because I can't handle horror movies, but I do love a good horror book on occasion. I actually watch documentaries all the time. They're my favorites. 

9.  Cat or dog person ? Do you have any ? If so, what and names please....  I love all animals, but I'm allergic to cats, so we have a dog - a bichon named Q-Tip.

10.  Ideal vacation ?  I'm all about a relaxing locale with great food-and space to read my books lol.

11.  Camping or 5 star hotel ?  Oh honey, definitely the nice hotel. I admire people who camp. I especially like campy people, but I do not camp.

12.  Favorite season and why ?   Hmm...probably spring because everything outside is being reborn and, here in Virginia, it's still cool without being too cold or hot. Spring lasts three days here usually before sliding into the heat and humidity of summer.

13.  Name ONE thing you are afraid of ....  Poor health.

14.  Name ONE thing you cannot live without....  My drawing/art supplies. When words evade me, art finds me.

15.  What was your favorite subject in school ?  English literature.

16.  What was your least favorite subject in school ?  Math. I still have a mental block in that area.

17.  What movie have you seen more than once ?  If it's a mafia movie, I've seen it many, many times...The Godfather, part I and II, Goodfellas, Casino...

18.  What is your guilty pleasure ?  (Can't be an answer already given...)  Bologna & cheese sandwiches, like I had when I was a kid. Yacht rock from the 70s.

19.  Who is your celebrity crush ?   It used to be Henry Cavill - but then he opened his mouth and said something really dumb about the #metoo movement and that killed it for me. Any suggestions for a replacement?

20.  Tell us something we don't know that you would like people to know about you ......  Oy that's a hard one! I'm pretty much an open book. I guess what's not common knowledge is that my day job is as a social worker clinician and I've been very busy during quarantine. I feel grateful I can be of service :)

To learn more about her and her books, check her out here :

Saturday 23 May 2020

20 Questions with Authors : Amy M. Bennett

Amy M. Bennett was born and raised in El Paso, TX. She is a 1985 graduate of Father Yermo High School and attended the University of Texas--El Paso. In 1988, she married her husband, Paul, and moved to Alamogordo, New Mexico, where she attended New Mexico State University--Alamogordo, and, except for a six-month stint in Mt. Kisco, New York, has been a resident of New Mexico ever since.

She currently works as a cake decorator with Walmart in Alamogordo, NM after twelve years in the Ruidoso Downs store (this is her nineteenth year with Walmart) and a "vino slinger" with Noisy Water Winery in Ruidoso, NM for the last six years. She has been a "closet" novelist for over twenty years and has an impressive collection of rejection letters to show for it! "End of the Road" started as a project for National Novel Writing Month in 2009; it won the Oak Tree Press 2012 Dark Oak Mystery contest. Her first and second books in the series, "End of the Road" and "No Lifeguard on Duty", were both awarded The Catholic Writers Guild Seal of Approval. “Fiesta of Fear” is the sixth book in the series and she is currently working on the seventh book.

She and Paul currently reside in Bent, New Mexico, with their son, Paul Michael, who grew up believing that having a mother who writes mystery novels is normal.

Her Black Horse Campground Mystery series has 6 books and she is working at the seventh.  They are :

End of the Road
No Lifeguard on Duty
No Vacancy
At the Crossroad
A Summer to Remember
Fiesta of Fear

Now let's see how she answers the personal questions......

1.  What is your favorite color ?  Hard to pick just one! Mostly southwestern shades of blue/teal

2.  Sunset or sunrise ?  I love both, especially in the summertime! In the wintertime, they both come way too early!

3.  Coffee, tea or soda ?  I NEED my coffee!

4.  What is your favorite movie ?  Ratatouille! I really identify with Remy the rat!

5.  What are your favorite toppings on pizza ?  Pepperoni, red onion, and fresh garlic

6.  Cake or pie ? What is your favorite ?  I love pie, almost any kind, but I’ll never turn down Italian Cream Cake

7.  Favorite author (besides yourself) ?  The Queen of Suspense, Mary Higgins Clark

8.  Horror movie or chick flick ??  Neither

9.  Cat or dog person ? Do you have any ? If so, what and names please....  I’ve had several of both in my lifetime, but right now, our family includes two dogs, Duke and Camo

10.  Ideal vacation ?  Any place my husband and I can relax and enjoy ourselves! Preferably a place that’s not too crowded (no big cities) with plenty of good food and wine!

11.  Camping or 5 star hotel ?  Camping with amenities!

12.  Favorite season and why ?  I love fall! The colors, the smells, the tastes of autumn really get my creative juices flowing.

13.  Name ONE thing you are afraid of ....  It may sound strange, but I’m afraid of fear. Fear is what keeps people from doing a lot of things they really should do or want to do.

14.  Name ONE thing you cannot live without....  Aside from my husband and son, I really, REALLY need books!

15.  What was your favorite subject in school ?  English (surprise!) followed closely by Literature and History

16.  What was your least favorite subject in school ?  Physical Education!

17.  What movie have you seen more than once ?  Oooofff… many! I love the whole “Rocky” series (especially the story of how Sylvester Stallone believed in his screenplay and wouldn’t make a deal if he couldn’t play the lead!)

18.  What is your guilty pleasure ?  (Can't be an answer already given...)  I love good wine, but I refuse to feel guilty about it!

19.  Who is your celebrity crush ?  I’ve been crushing on George Strait for over thirty years!

20.  Tell us something we don't know that you would like people to know about you ......  I have worked as a cake decorator for over forty (yes, 40!) years, since I was 11 years old!

You can learn more about Amy and her books at :

Thursday 21 May 2020

20 Questions with Authors : Nicole Asselin

Nicole Asselin's debut novel Murder at First Pitch was recently released and I know her and I will get along because we are both Red Sox fans and when you click onto her website the first thing you will see is an outside wall of The Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY which is about an hour from where I live.  I have been going to Cooperstown every summer since I was a little girl and I have a lot of fond memories going there.

But enough about me.  This isn't about getting to know me so let's see how Nicole answered these personal questions.......

1.  What is your favorite color ?  Emerald Green

2.  Sunset or sunrise ?  Sunrise (I'm an early bird)

3.  Coffee, tea or soda ?  Soda - Diet Coke

4.  What is your favorite movie ?  CenterStage

5.  What are your favorite toppings on pizza ?  I'm a purist.....cheese!

6.  Cake or pie ? What is your favorite ?  CAKE !! Funfetti

7.  Favorite author (besides yourself) ?  Ruth Ware, Kate Calisle, Catherine Coulter (too many othersto name!)

8.  Horror movie or chick flick ??  Chick Flick

9.  Cat or dog person ? Do you have any ? If so, what and names please....  Cat. I have three: Julia, Jacques, and Madeline

10.  Ideal vacation ?  A cottage on the west coast of Ireland with sheep around. No close neighbors, just cute Irish sheep farmers. :)

11.  Camping or 5 star hotel ?  5 star hotel all the way. I hate roughing” it.

12.  Favorite season and why ?  Fall.the colors! The crisp air! The sports!

13.  Name ONE thing you are afraid of ....  Fire in my house.

14.  Name ONE thing you cannot live without....  My kitties. Or my books

15.  What was your favorite subject in school ?  Not surprisingly..English. Oh! Or the history of Musical Theatre in HS.

16.  What was your least favorite subject in school ?  Any and all Math courses

17.  What movie have you seem more than once ?  Crossroads (Yes, the Britney Spears movie)

18.  What is your guilty pleasure ?  (Can't be an answer already given...)  Britney Spears albums.

19.  Who is your celebrity crush ?  Historically Gene Kelly Currently Chris Evans

20.  Tell us something we don't know that you would like people to know about you ......   Hmmm..I took dance lessons for over 20 years. Ballet, tap and jazz and minored in it in college.

Learn more about Nicole at :

Murder at First Pitch by Nicole Asselin

Murder at First Pitch
32-year-old Madeline Boucher’s Grandfather instilled a love in the Boston Red Sox into her from an early age and increased that love by purchasing a local Independent League Baseball team, the Abington Armadillos.

After losing her corporate job in Boston, Madeline realizes her best option is to join the family baseball business. As the new “Social Media Director” for the team, Madeline attends her first business function and witnesses an argument between her brother Ben, and a strange man.

A few days later when walking the ballpark during her early morning hours, she finds the body of a man beaten to death with a baseball bat in the Visitor’s Dugout. It was the man her brother was arguing with at the party. Madeline is concerned that her brother would be considered a suspect. Through the local Detectives and Davis - the head of security for the ballpark she learns the victim is Christopher Dailey, a local baseball scout and prior felon.

When her brother is arrested and taken to the police station, she realizes she needs to figure out who the real culprit is, so her brother doesn’t take the fall for something she knows he didn’t do.  (Summary via Goodreads)

Okay I have to admit that I am a baseball fan which Murder at First Pitch by Nicole Asselin is about and I am a Boston Red Sox fan which main character, Madeline "Maddy" Boucher is also...... so it is with no doubt that I would want to read this book.

Readers will fall in love with Maddy, her family, her job, and the ballpark immediately.  Murder at First Pitch will grab your attention as soon as you open the book and start reading and you may even be a little sad when you finish reading it.....only because you finished reading it.

While reading this book I really couldn't help but love hanging around with Maddy at the family business.  Her family owns a ballpark and baseball team, the Abington Armadillos and Maddy has just started her new job as Social Media Director and the season is just starting up !!  She has a lot to do organizing events and keeping the social media sites current and exciting to keep fans coming to games.  One of Maddy's favorite things to do is walk around the field and the stands and make sure everything is in order every day.  Unfortunately on one of her early morning walks through the ballpark, she comes across a dead body in the visitors dugout and it is the guy she saw her brother arguing with at a party recently.....and the police have him high on the suspect list !!

Maddy will do whatever it takes to prove her brother's innocence, however, there is someone who really wants her brother in jail.  No matter what Maddy does or who she talks to, she seems to be making things worse and when she starts to receive threatening notes, Davis, head of Security, tries to reason with her which only sends her head first into trouble.

Asselin hits this one out of the ballpark !!  Readers cannot help but get lost in this story.  Readers will love the characters and the setting.  Just reading about Maddy working at the ballpark and then going to the bar to hang out with friends will have readers wishing for that for themselves.  Even the murder and everything surrounding that will have readers reading faster than a player can steal first base.  

I highly encourage readers to pick up their copy of Murder at First Pitch and get lost in this don't have to like sports or baseball to enjoy it but I think when you finish you may find yourself thinking about catching a game..,....just stay away from the dugouts !!!

Review by Missi M.

Wednesday 20 May 2020

Bells, Tails, & Murder: (A Dickens & Christie Mystery #1) by Kathy Penn

Bells, Tails, & Murder: (A Dickens & Christie Mystery)
A Cotswolds village . . . a grieving heroine . . . two furry sidekicks . . . and a murder!
Do you like heroines who’ve lived a little? Who’ve suffered life’s ups and downs but kept on trucking? Then you’ll love Leta Parker and her new friends in the Cotswold village of Astonbury.
When tragedy strikes Leta Parker’s life, the successful banker and closet sleuth chases a lifelong dream to retire to England. Leaving her friends and neighbors in Atlanta, she settles into Astonbury with her talkative dog and cat, Dickens and Christie. 
Picture her driving a refurbished London taxi to the bookshop and the tearoom, enjoying leisurely walks with Dickens the dog, and sipping coffee in the garden with Christie, her sassy cat.
When Leta stumbles across the dead body of a new acquaintance, her inner Nancy Drew comes out. Before you know it, she’s enlisted the help of Wendy, a retired English teacher friend—and even Wendy’s elderly mum.
Two whipsmart retirees, one spunky senior citizen, and a feisty dog and cat are on the case!
Who better to unearth clues from their friends in the village? Even Dickens and Christie get in on the act gathering intelligence from their four-legged friends and pointing out the obvious to Leta.
What do authors A. A. Milne, Arthur Conan Doyle, and J. M. Barrie have to do with all this?
Is their connection with the Cotswolds merely an interesting bit of trivia, or is it more? Will Leta and Wendy let their literary noses lead them astray?
You’ll be captivated as this unlikely team chases clues and ferrets out a long-buried secret—a scenario that would make any BBC cozy mystery producer proud.  No matter the clues uncovered by Dickens and Christie, you’ll be hard-pressed to guess who the villain is unless, like Leta, you’re able to “talk to the animals.” 
Grab a copy of Bell, Book, and Murder today—book one of a new and finely crafted Cozy Animal Mystery Series by author Kathy Manos Penn.   (Summary via Goodreads)

Bells, Tails, and Murder by Kathy Penn is a TREAT for all readers !!  This is the first book in her Dickens & Christie Mystery series and it will knock your socks off !!!
I will warn readers that you will be sad for a quick minute when you start reading this book.  When you begin you are with Leta and her husband, Henry, while they are enjoying a bike ride unfortunately Henry is in an accident and dies.  Fast forward, or in this case, turn the page, and you are with Leta who has moved from the States to the village of Astonbury in the Cotswolds in England.  She has purchased an old schoolhouse turned into a quaint cottage, made a bunch of friends and is getting ready to pick up her dog, Dickens and cat Christie from the airport....and boy do they have a lot to say !!  
The Dickens & Christie Mystery series has a unique twist in that Leta can understand and talk to animals !!  As you read Bells, Tails, & Murder you will love the conversations Leta has with the two pets as well as other animals in the story.
After you get use to Dickens and Christie carrying on conversations with Leta, you are heading to a cocktail party at The Olde Mill Inn with Leta and Dickens.  Dickens, you will see, gets to tag along with Leta as a lot of places welcome dogs in the village....some even accommodating with dog beds throughout them.  Anyway Dickens is a big hit at the party with everyone and we get to meet a lot of Leta's friends.
The morning after the cocktail party Leta decides to take Dickens for a walk by the cricket pavalion but as soon as they get out of the car, Dickens takes off behind the building and won't stop barking !!  When Leta finally catches up to him, he is beside a person laying head down on the ground.  Leta determines that the person is dead and also the identity.  It is Alice who is a friend of practically everyone in the village as well as housekeeper, baker and maid for Leta and others in the village including The Olde Mill Inn.
Leta teams up with Wendy and her mother Belle to try to find out who killed Alice and why. When the three go to Alice's place to check on her cat, they find the place has been ramshacked and Leta sees some of her knick knacks there.  They come to find out that other people have things missing when they look.  When Wendy's brother Peter is involved in an accident and Leta finds an old book of Bella's on a bookshelf in the Inn, things get dicey for Leta.
Readers will love digging into this book.  And you will have no trouble keeping track of the main characters in the story because Penn has provided you a list of characters with descriptions in the front of the book....sorry she doesn't tell you who the murderer have to work with Leta and crew to figure that out.  

Review by Missi M.

20 Questions with Authors : Jen Pitts

Jen Pitts is a lifelong mystery reader who turned her obsession into writing cozy mysteries of her own. When she isn’t plotting fictional murder and mayhem, she’s chugging coffee, traveling, reading, and enjoying life with her children and husband in the Pacific Northwest.
The Key to Murder is the first book in her French Quarter Mystery series.

1.  What is your favorite color ?  My family would say black because I wear it all the time, but really it's pink.

2.  Sunset or sunrise ?  Sunset since its more romantic. And I'm always awake for sunset, not always for sunrise.

3.  Coffee, tea or soda ?  Coffee! Always coffee, anytime and anywhere.

4.  What is your favorite movie ?  Rear Window. From the story to the cast to the set, it's the perfect movie.

5.  What are your favorite toppings on pizza ?  Throw them all on. I even like the controversial pineapple topping.

6.  Cake or pie ? What is your favorite ?   Is both OK? For cake I'd say anything chocolate. For pie, it's a tie between pumpkin and pecan.

7.  Favorite author (besides yourself) ?  Agatha Christie is my favorite since I was about ten years old.

8.  Horror movie or chick flick ??  Neither! If I had to choose I guess I'd go with horror if it's not too gory.

9.  Cat or dog person ? Do you have any ? If so, what and names please....  I love them both, but I'm a cat person through and through. I even ran a cat-theme gift website in my previous career. We don't have any pets at this time.

10.  Ideal vacation ?    Sanibel Island, FL. It's the most beautiful and relaxing place. I keep a jar of shells from the island on my desk.

11.  Camping or 5 star hotel ?  5-Star Hotel please! The joke in my family is that I consider roughing it a hotel without room service.

12.  Favorite season and why ?  It's a toss-up between summer and fall. I love the warm weather of summer, but the leaves, pumpkin pie, and holidays in the fall make me happy, too.

13.  Name ONE thing you are afraid of ....  Hairy spiders give me the creeps! I can deal with daddy long-legs, but if there's a hairy spider, I'm gone.

14.  Name ONE thing you cannot live without...  My family. My husband and kids are my world.

15.  What was your favorite subject in school ?  Surprise, English! My college degree is in English and I loved reading everything and anything.

16.  What was your least favorite subject in school ?  Math. I just can't wrap my head around any advanced math.

17.  What movie have you seen more than once ?  So many as I find watching movies again and again to be relaxing. Lately I've watched all the Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot movies for the millionth time.

18.  What is your guilty pleasure ?  (Can't be an answer already given...  Pralines from New Orleans. I'm a sucker for Aunt Sally's Pralines in any and all flavors.

19.  Who is your celebrity crush ?  Dave Grohl from the Foo Fighters. Being funny and passionate about music is a great combination in a man.

20.  Tell us something we don't know that you would like people to know about you ......  As much as I love and write about New Orleans, I have actually never lived there. Maybe one day!

To learn more about Jen and her book, go to her website :