Bayou Book Thief (A Vintage Cookbook Mystery 1) by Ellen Byron – #BlogTour #BookReview #Giveaway

Bayou Book Thief by Ellen Byron

Bayou Book Thief by Ellen Bryon

I am delighted today to provide a review for you at my blog stop for Bayou Book Thief by Ellen Byron on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour.

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Book Details

Bayou Book Thief (A Vintage Cookbook Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – New Orleans Louisianna
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Berkley (June 7, 2022)
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0593437616
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0593437612
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09FPJHVGK

Book Blurb

A fantastic new cozy mystery series with a vintage flair from USA Today bestselling and Agatha Award–winning author Ellen Byron.

 Twenty-eight-year-old widow Ricki James leaves Los Angeles to start a new life in New Orleans after her showboating actor husband perishes doing a stupid internet stunt. The Big Easy is where she was born and adopted by the NICU nurse who cared for her after Ricki’s teen mother disappeared from the hospital.

 Ricki’s dream comes true when she joins the quirky staff of Bon Vee Culinary House Museum, the spectacular former Garden District home of late bon vivant Genevieve “Vee” Charbonnet, the city’s legendary restauranteur. Ricki is excited about turning her avocation – collecting vintage cookbooks – into a vocation by launching the museum’s gift shop, Miss Vee’s Vintage Cookbooks and Kitchenware. Then she discovers that a box of donated vintage cookbooks contains the body of a cantankerous Bon Vee employee who was fired after being exposed as a book thief.

 The skills Ricki has developed ferreting out hidden vintage treasures come in handy for investigations. But both her business and Bon Vee could wind up as deadstock when Ricki’s past as curator of a billionaire’s first edition collection comes back to haunt her.

 Will Miss Vee’s Vintage Cookbooks and Kitchenware be a success … or a recipe for disaster?

 

My Thoughts

It’s difficult to leave an old favorite like the Cajun Country Mystery series behind when the author pulls the plug and begins a new series.

But if we must, at least we get to enjoy her new series set in Louisiana, as the author favors us with the sounds, scents, and majesty that is the local mystic of New Orleans.

Bayou Book Thief by Ellen ByronRicki (Miracle Fleur di Lis James-Diaz) has returned to New Orleans where she was born after suffering the loss of her husband and a scandalous end to a job n LA in which she was a naïve and innocent pawn.

She has landed a position with the Bon Vee Culinary House Museum where she creates a gift shop containing vintage cookbooks and kitchenware. Unfortunately, a trunk containing a donation of vintage cookbooks turns out to contain a body instead. The body is that of a former Bon Vee employee fired for being a book thief and all-round scoundrel.

Becoming a little put off by the local detective, Ricki begins using her tracking skills to investigate on her own.

“NOPD stands for ‘Not Our Problem, Dude.’”

Ricki is a smart woman, although deemed less than confident after her recent losses, and treads lightly. There are some wonderfully diverse support characters, from Madame to Lyla and Cookie, the latter “a recovering children’s librarian.”

Little sub-plots or threads take the story in different directions and introduce the reader to some interesting practices in the book world. Lyla becomes a suspect, but then there are several lesser characters also vying for the position and it’s difficult to nail down who among them has the greater reason for offing not one, but a second, victim. Ricki’s imagination tends to go wild with motives most of which are tossed immediately.

The red herrings were narrowed and fed into the conclusion, which settled most of any loose threads remaining, and I must admit I was surprised by the culprit. As in most cozy mysteries, there is a fostering romance and one big thread strongly hinted that will be carried forward. It’s a douzy.

Also, as in many cozy mysteries, appropriate recipes, in this case vintage southern recipes are shared after the epilogue with this note that gave me a chuckle:

“Onions, celery, and peppers are affectionately known as the “holy trinity” in Cajun and Creole cooking.”

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Giveaway

Sign up for your chance to win (1) PRINT COPY – Bayou Book Thief (A Vintage Cookbook Mystery) by Ellen Byron (U.S. Only) Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Ellen Byron - author
Ellen Byron – author

About The Author: Ellen’s Cajun Country Mysteries have won the Agatha Award for Best Contemporary Novel and multiple Lefty Awards for Best Humorous Mystery. Bayou Book Thief will be the first book in her new Vintage Cookbook Mysteries. She also writes the Catering Hall Mystery series under the name Maria DiRico.

Ellen is an award-winning playwright, and non-award-winning TV writer of comedies like WingsJust Shoot Me, and Fairly Odd Parents. She has written over two hundred articles for national magazines but considers her most impressive credit working as a cater-waiter for Martha Stewart. An alum of New Orleans’ Tulane University, she blogs with Chicks on the Case, is a lifetime member of the Writers Guild of America and will be the 2023 Left Coast Crime Toastmaster. Please visit her at https://www.ellenbyron.com/

Author Links

Newsletter: https://www.ellenbyron.com/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/ellenbyronauthor/

https://www.facebook.com/CateringHallMysteries/

Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/ellenbyronmariadirico/

Bookbub:

https://www.bookbub.com/profile/ellen-byron

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/maria-dirico

Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/23234.Ellen_Byron

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19130966.Maria_DiRico

Purchase Links

Amazon – B&N – Kobo – Google Books – Alibris – IndieBound – PenguinRandomHouse

Thank you for visiting my stop on the tour! Great Escapes Book Tours

Thanks to Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours for the opportunity to read and review this cozy mystery!

©2022 V Williams V Williams

Gambling with Murder: A Southern California Mystery by Lida Sideris – #BookReview – #TuesdayBookBlog

Book Blurb:

Gambling with Murder by Lida SiderisA late-night call is all it takes for rookie lawyer Corrie Locke to kiss her day job at the movie studio goodbye, and do what she does best: flex her sweet P.I. skills and go undercover to find a senior who’s missing from a posh retirement community. One small stumbling block: skirting past security to gain inside access to the exclusive Villa Sunset. Time to call in the heavy artillery. Besides former security guard turned legal assistant—now wannabe P.I.—Veera, Corrie relies on a secret weapon: her mother, a surprisingly eager addition to Corrie’s team. Armed with enough pepper spray to take down a band of Navy Seals, Mom impersonates a senior to infiltrate the Villa, Corrie and Veera in tow. Turns out the job’s not as easy as they’d thought. These seniors have tricks tucked up their sleeves and aren’t afraid of using them.

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

My Review:

Oops! The fifth in the series and my first. I think I may have missed something. Wannabe PI Corrie Locke (also a newly minted lawyer) is trying her chops at finding a missing person. Villa Sunset is an exclusive retirement home in Santa Barbara and, yes, that is a gorgeous, very expensive area of southern California. The author sets the reader up for beautiful views, ocean-scented air, and palms swaying in the gentle breeze.

Gambling with Murder by Lida SiderisThe novel is a cozy mystery and moves at a laid-back pace. Corrie is joined by her best bud, Veera, a former security guard, and apparently this entry to the series, Corrie’s mother, who proves to be the interesting character (for me). Because it’s a senior community, they need her mother to be their “in.” It appears to work as she is readily accepted and they “temporarily” tag along.

It is supposed to be a senior community, but these seniors are apparently not only “active” but bored and tend to come off more as “geriatric delinquents” than seniors. But nothing is simple, even in a cozy mystery, and things begin, slowly, to become more complex adding characters to the plot, threads, and twists.

The author writes with wit, coining some interesting and funny phrases:

“…he regarded me with the disdain reserved for a virgin eggnog.”

“I can spot a liar like a hawk can spot a grasshopper.”

“I’m not doing it. I’d stick out like a raisin in a jar of mayonnaise.”

At about seventy percent, the narrative begins to heat up and the pacing finds the gas pedal. At this point, there are a lot of issues to clarify which do get ironed out in conclusion following a fairly low-key climax.

I’m not sure whether it was because I started well into the series or there was just too much minutia that didn’t help keep the plot on track, but I found it too slow for me. The dialogue could be humorous at times, however, there were occasions when action got a bit over the top and the residents too juvenile. I am a senior but these characters didn’t ring true for me.

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and publisher through @NetGalley that in no way influenced this review. These are my honest thoughts.

Rosepoint Rating: Three-point Five Stars 3 1/2 stars

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Book Details:

Genre: Women Sleuths
Publisher: Level Best Books
ASIN: B09QYW2VYG
Print Length: 318 pages
Publication Date: March 29, 2022
Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo

 

Lida Sideris - authorThe Author: Lida Sideris first stint after law school was a newbie lawyer’s dream: working as an entertainment attorney for a movie studio…kind of like her heroine, Corrie Locke, except without the homicides. Lida was one of two national winners of the Helen McCloy Mystery Writers of America Scholarship Award for her first book and a Killer Nashville, Silver Falchion Award Finalist for her fourth book – Slightly Murderous Intent. Lida lives in the northern tip of Southern California with her family, rescue dogs and a flock of uppity chickens.

“A smart caper with a heroine to match.” – Kirkus Recommended Review

“…An excellent read. It has everything needed for a cozy afternoon curled up on the sofa – murder, mystery, humor, and plenty of action. The plot is extremely detailed and so well written that I found myself hooked on page one.” – Readers’ Favorite

Bio for The Cookie Eating Fire Dog:

Lida Sideris loves baking and eating all kinds of cookies. Never, ever leave her alone with a batch of fresh baked cookies…if you want any left for yourself. She is the author of a Southern California Mystery series. This is her first book for children. When she’s not writing, she’s running a legal non-profit in Southern California. Lida is a lawyer and mother of two human and two canine kids. She is an avid supporter of the three R’s: reading, writing and rescue dogs.

“The story is charming and readers will love Dan.” – Readers’ Favorite

“If you have any little aspiring firefighters at home, Lida Sideris has penned an adorable and motivating tale that is just perfect for them…the lesson is solid, and as Dan learns the value of selfless acts, so will many young readers” – IndiesToday

©2022 – V Williams V Williams

#TuesdayBookBlog

Mining for Murder (A Happy Camper Mystery Book 3) by Mary Angela #BlogTour #BookReview #Giveaway

Mining for Murder by Mary Angela

It is my privilege to provide a review for you today at the blog stop for Mining for Murder by Mary Angela on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour.

Scroll down to enter your chance to win the Giveaway!

“Underestimate me. That will be fun.”

Book Details

Mining for Murder (A Happy Camper Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – South Dakota
Lyrical Press (April 5, 2022)
Print length ‏ : ‎ 275 pages
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0992TPJ24

Book Blurb

Zo Jones is enjoying the sunny season at her Happy Camper gift shop in Spirit Canyon, South Dakota—when a murder reminds her all that glitters isn’t gold. . 

The South Dakota Gold Rush might be long over, but Zo Jones feels like she’s hit the mother lode when she and her friends browse an estate sale, where a rare old book about the history of Spirit Canyon is causing quite a commotion. In addition to local stories and secrets, the book may even contain the location of a famous stash of gold—a treasure worth killing for.

Zo’s friend Maynard Cline wins the bid on the book, to the chagrin of many interested parties, including the historical society and college history department. But when Zo and Hattie head to Maynard’s mansion to borrow the book for a library event, the only thing they find is Maynard—at the bottom of the mountain. The valuable book is gone. Zo knows this must be murder because there’s no way a germophobe like Maynard would have voluntarily dived into a pile of dirt. Now she’ll have to dig into a new case, and go prospecting for a perpetrator . . .

My Review

The third in the series Mining for Murder continues the saga of the Happy Camper mysteries which takes place in mystical Spirit Canyon in the Black Hills and Badlands of South Dakota. The area is a tourist mecca in the summer central to major attractions such as Mount Rushmore.

Mining for Murder by Mary AngelaThis is where Zo Jones set up her Happy Camper gift shop. She offers everything from souvenirs to memorabilia. Her unique ideas for decoration and promotion keep her shop lively and sustainable through the long non-tourist months.

Jules, a (spirit) shop owner herself, plays a strong supportive role and Max, a forest service ranger, is back as the growing love interest.

When a long time resident with a substantial collection passes away, a valuable book on the history of the area goes missing about the time the man who outbid those who should have received the book is found dead. Zo would like to find the book as she is sure it will contain a possible clue to her birth mother—as well as help to find the perp.

But the missing book may contain more than the hint of her origins—it may also include information on The Theon Stone and clues to gold mines long rumored about the explosive gold mining era—riches hidden just waiting to be discovered.

There are a number of support characters that build interest in the population of the little town, including law enforcement who’s had to warn Zo before to let him do his job while she tends her shop.

I greatly enjoyed the first book in the series, Open for Murder, and looked forward to a well-plotted and fast-paced book with well-drawn characters. Also appreciated are the descriptions of the area, the topography, quirky weather, and wildlife. As with the previous entry, there is strong dialogue patterns that sound natural and personal growth in the protagonist.

“The past is never really the past, is it?”

I love reading about the history of these areas, steeped in folklore, indigenous peoples, and wild west experiences. I had a few problems, however, with her descriptions of riding (her Kawi motorcycle—perhaps she doesn’t ride?) and the reveal in the conclusion.

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Giveaway

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About the Author

Mary Angela is the author of the Happy Camper cozy mystery series, the Professor Prather academic mystery series, and several short stories. When Mary isn’t penning heartwarming whodunits, she’s teaching, reading, traveling, or spending time with her family. She lives in South Dakota with her husband, daughters, and spoiled pets. You can find out more about her loves, including her writing, at MaryAngelaBooks.com.

Author Links

Website: www.maryangelabooks.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/maryangelabooks

Twitter: @maryangelabooks

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15342425.Mary_Angela

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/maryangelabooks/

Purchase Links – Amazon – B&N – Apple – Google Books – Kobo

Thank you for visiting my stop on the tour and please visit the other stops listed below!

Tour Participants:

April 5 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT

April 5 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

April 6 – I Read What You Write – SPOTLIGHT

April 6 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

April 7 – Baroness Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT

April 7 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

April 8 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

April 8 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – SPOTLIGHT

April 9 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT

April 9 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

April 10 – Books Blog – SPOTLIGHT

April 10 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

April 11 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT

April 11 – Lady Hawkeye – SPOTLIGHT

April 12 – The Mystery Section – SPOTLIGHT

April 12 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

April 12 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW

April 13 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

April 13 – Rebecca M. Douglass, Author – REVIEW

April 14 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – SPOTLIGHT

April 14 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

April 15 – Nellie’s Book Nook – REVIEW

April 15 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT

April 16 – This Is My Truth Now – REVIEW

April 16 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT

April 17 – Author Elena Taylor’s Blog – REVIEW

April 17 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

April 18 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT  

April 18 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW Great Escapes Book Tours

Thanks to Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours for the opportunity to read and review this cozy mystery!

©2022 V Williams V Williams

Second Chance (Jack Dillon Dublin Tales Book 12) by Mike Faricy – #BookReview – #readingirelandmonth22

Second Chance (Jack Dillon Dublin Tales Book 12) by Mike Faricy

A Reading Ireland Month book 4 leaf clover w leprechan

Book Blurb:

Second Chance – Jack Dillon Dublin Tales 12

US Marshal Jack Dillon is sent to the coastal village of Skerries to investigate a murder. Since his partner D.I. Paddy Suel can’t make it, Dillon is accompanied by D.I. Kevin Rafferty. Turns out the victim in the murder is an American.

What’s even worse is D.I. Rafferty is killed in a car accident returning to Dublin…

Or was it an accident?

Things get very complicated very fast.
Dillon is sent to the west of Ireland to investigate a case and to keep him safe. There’s only one problem – It doesn’t work.

Marshal Jack Dillon becomes the primary target of a killer who has been given a Second Chance! 

His Review:

Second Chance by Mike FaricyPeople are being executed for no apparent reason. When several of the deceased are part of law enforcement, it becomes personal for Ireland’s law enforcement. Finding detectives shot dead along major thoroughfares makes everyone nervous.

A young lady lays in a hospital bed clinging to life. She was suffering from a bad head wound. How could this happen in the sleepy Irish town called Sligo Town. Someone with anger issues had pushed her hard against a building and she cracked her head. Suspects were few and far between.

Another person had come over to Ireland to arrange for the burial of his wife. A bullet stopped his progress and another case was opened for An Garda Siochana Special Branch out of Dublin. The suspicion is that the target was probably Marshall Jack Dillon and not the person actually slain. Arranging for funerals in Ireland had suddenly become very dangerous.

CE WilliamsMike Faricy has a system he utilizes to develop his tales. This story was predictable as well but maintains suspense because of the amping risk to the investigating detective. Jack tries to solve the cases while keeping his head down to keep from becoming one of the victims. His movements are restricted due to the threat on his life. The banter between the higher ups and Jack are entertaining. This book kept me turning the pages. Enjoy! 4.5 stars – C.E. Williams

We have reviewed a number of Faricy’s novels (the last in this series being Dublin Moon), as well as the Dev Haskell series (the last being Silencio!) and all continue to be engaging and entertaining.

We received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author that in no way influenced this review. These are his honest opinions.

Rosepoint Publishing: Four point Five Stars 4 1/2 stars 

Book Details:

Genre: International Mystery & Crime, Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Credit River Publishing: 12th Edition
ASIN: B09R4QBBHQ
Print Length: 305 pages
Publication Date: February 23, 2022
Source: Author request
Title Link: Second Chance [Amazon]

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Mike Faricy - authorThe Author: [Mike Faricy] was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, I still live there as well as in Dublin, Ireland. I’ve been a soldier, freelance journalist, tended bar, sold designer cakes, owned a painting and decorating company along with a number of other schemes and scams. If that doesn’t offend you I also play bagpipes with the Brian Boru Irish Pipe Band. All my books stand alone, read them in whatever order you wish. They are filled with the sort of oddballs we are all curious about, but wisely, prefer to keep at a distance. None of my characters will be saving the world from terrorism, international banking conspiracies or coups to take over the government. Rather, they inhabit a world just below the surface of polite society, characters with one foot on either side of the law. The circumstances they find themselves in are usually due to bad decisions, but bad decisions lead to interesting stories. They serve not so much as an example but as a warning to us all. Thanks for taking the time, happy reading. [Goodreads bio]

⇒⇒⇒⇒

[Amazon] Faricy’s Jack Dillon Dublin Tales series was originally released under the pen name Patrick Emmett. US Marshal Jack Dillon is sent to Dublin to escort a prisoner back to the US. Things don’t go exactly as planned and trouble ensues. Dillon becomes permanently stationed in Dublin, just to get him out of his boss’s hair. Things take an entertaining turn from there, think of a cross between Dev Haskell and James Bond.

Visit Mike on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MikeFaricyBooks

Visit Dev Haskell’s Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/DevHaskell

Email Mike” mikefaricyauthor@gmail.com

Follow Mike on Twitter @mikefaricybooks

Mike’s web site; www.mikefaricybooks.com

©2022 CE Williams – V Williams V Williams

Have a great weekend!

Wild Irish Rose (Molly Murphy Mysteries Book 18) by Rhys Bowen and Clare Broyles – #BookReview – #historicalmysteries

Wild Irish Rose by Rhys Bowen and Clare Broyles

A Reading Ireland Month book St Patty's Day Hat

Book Blurb:

[New York Times bestselling author Rhys Bowen, now writing in partnership with her daughter, Clare Broyles, transports and enthralls readers through the incomparable Molly Murphy Sullivan. A brand new novel in this beloved mystery series is cause for celebration for readers and critics alike.]

Wild Irish Rose by Rhys Bowen and Clare BroylesNew York, 1907: Now that she’s no longer a private detective—at least not officially—Molly Murphy Sullivan is looking forward to a time of settled tranquility with friends and family. Back in New York, where her own story began, Molly decides to accompany some friends to Ellis Island to help distribute clothing to those in need. This journey quickly stirs up memories for Molly. When you’re far from home and see people from your country, every face looks like a family member.

That evening Molly’s policeman husband, Daniel, is late returning home. He comes with a tale to tell: there was a murder on Ellis Island that day, and the main suspect is the spitting image of Molly. The circumstances are eerily similar to when Molly herself arrived on Ellis Island, and she can’t help but feel a sense of fate. Molly was meant to be there that day so that she can clear this woman’s name.

My Review:

Once again, I bit on a book well into the series with the 18th book. With some books, it makes no difference. I suspect this is not one of those.

I liked the blurb, Molly identifying with a new Irish arrival to Ellis Island, and then befriending her even in the face of a fresh murder in which hubby policeman Daniel determines she is number one suspect. Molly was on the island to help disseminate warm clothing to immigrants not prepared for the severe cold weather of New York.

Wild Irish Rose by Rhys Bowen and Clare BroylesMolly is a former private detective, now married and a mother, but as she watches Daniel put the puzzle pieces together of the mystery, she is drawn into the investigation sure that Rose McSweeney is an innocent pawn. Molly is sure she can do a better job of teasing clues from Rose and the others in attendance than could Daniel or the other investigators.

Here’s where I have a problem: Molly can be caustic. She has a quick temper and sometimes works to control it—sometimes not—but she is seldom kind or thoughtful and doesn’t elicit empathy. She pounds on her theory without question that it’s right, although it’s easy to figure who the culprit is. Being a mother is okay–but she misses the old (exciting) life and is quick to delegate childcare when and where she can get it so she can be free to be off, which it seems is most of the time.

So I had a problem with the protagonist, with the support characters, and felt sorry for Daniel, who had my sympathy while wondering why he didn’t step up appropriately. There were a few twists and red herrings and I also had a problem with the pace, my attention often waning—just could not stay with it.

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and publisher through @NetGalley that in no way influenced this review. These are my honest thoughts.

Rosepoint Rating: Three-point Five Stars 3 1/2 stars

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Book Details:

Genre: Historical Mysteries, Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Minotaur Books
ASIN: B092T8VJJP
Print Length: 310 pages
Publication Date: March 1, 2022
Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo

 

Rhys and ClareThe Author(s): Rhys Bowen is the New York Times bestselling author of two historical mystery series as well as the #1Kindle bestseller In Farleigh Field, the international bestseller The Tuscan Child. and three other historical novels–including the newly released THE VENICE SKETCHBOOK. This story takes a young woman to Venice to discover her great aunt’s secret life.

In Farleigh Field was nominated for the Edgar Award, won the Agatha award for best historical mystery as well as the MacAvity and Bruce Alexander Memorial Awards.

Rhys was born in Bath, England and educated at London University but now divides her time between California and Arizona. Her books have been nominated for every major mystery award and she has won twenty of them to date, including four Agathas.

She currently writes two historical mystery series, each very different in tone. The Molly Murphy mysteries feature an Irish immigrant woman in turn-of-the-century New York City. These books are multi-layered, complex stories with a strong sense of time and place and have won many awards including Agatha and Anthony. There are 17 books so far in this series plus three Kindle stories, The Amersham Rubies, Through the Window and The Face in the Mirror–a great way to introduce new readers to Molly’s spunky personality.

Then there is Lady Georgie, Rhys’s latest,and very popular, heroine. She’s 35th in line to the throne of England, but she’s flat broke and struggling to survive in the Great Depression. These books are lighter and funnier than Molly’s adventures. They poke gentle fun at the British class system–about which Rhys knows a lot, having married into an upper class family rather like Georgie’s, with cousins with silly nicknames, family ghosts and stately homes. The thirteenth book in the series, Love and Death Among the Cheetahs, was published August 2019. Two books in the series have won the Agatha award for best historical mystery.

The series received the Readers Choice Award for favorite mystery series and Rhys was nominated for career achievement. It was also voted one of Goodreads top 10 cozy mysteries. The books have been translated into many languages and brought Rhys fans from around the world.

Her most recent achievement has been the big World War 2 stand-alone novels, In Farleigh Field and The Tuscan Child as well as The Victory Garden, a novel of WWi and Above the Bay of Angels–a young woman becomes a chef for Queen Victoria. They have enjoyed impressive sales world-wide and brought Rhys many new readers.

As a child Rhys spent time with relatives in Wales. Those childhood experiences colored her first mystery series, about Constable Evans in the mountains of Snowdonia. 10 books including the Edgar nominee Evan’s Gate. She has lived in Austria, Germany and Australia, but has called California her home for many years. She now escapes to her home in Arizona during those cold California winters. When she’s not writing she loves to travel, sing, hike, paint and play the Celtic harp–and hear from her readers!

©2022 V Williams V Williams

Have a good week!

Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead: A Mystery by Elle Cosimano – #Audiobook Review – #womansleuths

Finlay Donovan Knocks 'Em Dead by Elle Cosimano

Book Blurb:

Finlay Donovan is – once again – struggling to finish her next novel and keep her head above water as a single mother of two. On the bright side, she has her live-in nanny and confidant Vero to rely on, and the only dead body she’s dealt with lately is that of her daughter’s pet goldfish.

On the not-so-bright side, someone out there wants her ex-husband, Steven, out of the picture. Permanently. Whatever else Steven may be, he’s a good father, but saving him will send her down a rabbit hole of soccer moms disguised as hit-women, and a little bit more involvement with the Russian mob than she’d like.

Meanwhile, Vero’s keeping secrets, and Detective Nick Anthony seems determined to get back into her life. He may be a hot cop, but Finlay’s first priority is preventing her family from sleeping with the fishes…and if that means bending a few laws then so be it.

With her next book’s deadline looming and an ex-husband to keep alive, Finlay is quickly coming to the end of her rope. She can only hope there isn’t a noose at the end of it….

From Edgar-Award nominee Elle Cosimano comes Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead – the hilarious and heart-pounding follow-up to Finlay Donovan is Killing It. 

A Macmillan Audio production from Minotaur Books.

My Review:

Yes, it’s the dreaded sophomore novel, the sequel to the hilarious Finlay Donovan is Killing It, and always a nail-biter wondering if it will mirror Book 1. I was really looking forward to this one and got the audiobook (again), although this one through NetGalley. I loved that debut, the first in what appears to be a successful series in the making if you can believe the cliffhanger in this one.

Finlay Donovan Knocks 'Em Dead by Elle CosimanoMy favorite characters are back—of course, Finlay and her close buddy, nanny, accountant, and crime partner, Vero. These two can get into more trouble than a gaggle of two-year-olds with a bowl of chocolate pudding.

It’s another “in the story in the story” concept, Finlay is struggling with a strong case of writer’s block. Her agent is hounding her for the book that was promised but she’s easily distracted as we know by now and discovers that “Fed Up” has posted a hit request aimed at her ex on a female chat forum. Well, not that she wouldn’t do it herself, but she needs him to hang around for his kids who truly love him. And, let’s face it, he is a good father.

In one short stint as an accidental hit woman who’s totally inept, she’s experienced Russian mobs, detectives, corpses, and a variety of threats. Somehow no matter how far afield she gets in ca-ca, she still manages to come up smelling like a rose. And Vero either assists or comes up with the next crazy idea. These two are Laurel and Hardy. It’s slap-stick comedy with virtual pratfalls.

And always, at the worst possible timing, another call from her agent, but it’s beginning to look like she’s got this. Book 2, though, just didn’t quite have that humorous level of innocent bumbling quality as the first for me. Perhaps, while they still don’t know what they are doing, they are getting better at what they don’t know?

And what of the two possible romances of the first book? Nick and Julian. There must be some sort of romance, I guess. Her sister, a cop, is a great character among a number of engaging characters. The writer levels her brand of humor at the reader in staccato-like patterns with advance and retreat schemes. I didn’t hear a lot of Fin’s two youngsters and since Vero was with her most of the time, sometimes wondered who was watching them. The narrator tended to lapse into aggravating kiddie dialogue voice when they did appear. The conclusion left an obvious in for Book 3.

Okay, novel 2 done. I’m looking forward to Book 3—the characters provide a chuckle or two, the mysteries are well-plotted and entertaining, and the tension ramps up nicely into a satisfying conclusion.

My thanks and appreciation to Macmillan Audio and NetGalley for the copy of the audiobook.

Book Details:

Genre: Women Sleuth Mysteries, Women Sleuths
Publisher:  Macmillan Audio
ASIN: B094DRV832
Listening Length: 9 hrs 20 min
Narrator: Angela Dawe
Publication Date: February 1, 2022
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead [Amazon]
Barnes & Noble
Kobo 

Add to Goodreads

Rosepoint Publishing:  Four point Five Stars 4 1/2 stars

 

Elle Cosimano - authorThe Author: Elle Cosimano is the Edgar-nominated and award-winning author of the acclaimed young adult novels Nearly Gone, Holding Smoke, The Suffering Tree, and Seasons of the Storm. Her debut novel for adults, Finlay Donovan Is Killing It, kicked off a witty, fast-paced contemporary mystery series, which was featured as a People Magazine Pick and one of New York Public Library’s Best Books of 2021. In addition to writing novels for teens and adults, her essays have appeared in The Huffington Post and Time. Elle lives with her husband and two sons in Virginia. You can learn more about her at her website: http://www.ElleCosimano.com.

Photo courtesy of Powell Woulfe Photography

Angela Dawe - narratorThe Narrator: Angela Dawe is originally from Lansing, Michigan, and currently calls Chicago home. Her work includes film, television, theater, and improvisational comedy, as well as audiobook narration.

 

 

 

©2022 V Williams V Williams

happy thursday!

Murder on an Irish Farm (An Irish Village Mystery Book 8) by Carlene O’Connor – #BookReview – #cozymystery

Book Blurb:

The wedding of Siobhán O’Sullivan and Macdara Flannery in the village of Kilbane in County Cork, Ireland, comes to an abrupt halt when the skeleton of a groom is unearthed . . .

Murder on an Irish Farm by Carlene O'ConnorIf only her mother could be here! The entire O’Sullivan brood—not to mention the regulars from Naomi’s Bistro—have gathered at St. Mary’s Church for the wedding of Siobhán and Macdara. It’s not every day you see two garda marrying each other. Only Siobhán’s brother James is missing. They can’t start without him.

But when James finally comes racing in, he’s covered in dirt and babbling he’s found a human skeleton in the old slurry pit at the farmhouse. What farmhouse? Macdara sheepishly admits he was saving it as a wedding surprise: he purchased an abandoned dairy farm. Duty calls, so the engaged garda decide to put the wedding on hold to investigate.

James leads them to a skeleton clothed in rags that resemble a tattered tuxedo. As an elderly neighbor approaches, she cries out that these must be the remains of her one true love who never showed up on their wedding day, fifty years ago. The garda have a cold case on their hands, which heats up the following day when a fresh corpse appears on top of the bridegroom’s bones. With a killer at large, they need to watch their backs—or the nearly wedded couple may be parted by death before they’ve even taken their vows. 

My Review:

Here I am again with a favorite series for the #BEGORRAHTHON in honor of the annual celebration of Reading Ireland Month (March). Of course, this one lands somewhat early in the year, but no problem, I always enjoy these quirky cozy mysteries.

I began with Book 4 of the series and managed to catch each successive entry through Book 7 last year, Murder in an Irish Bookshop. The author’s sense of humor and strong Irish flavor in her writing style never fails to keep me engaged and entertained.

Murder on an Irish Farm by Carlene O'ConnorBook 8 finds Siobhan O’Sullivan and Macdara Flannery excited about their wedding day and poised to walk up the aisle when brother James arrives disarrayed and dirty to announce a skeleton has been found on the property Macdara just bought. Rather than proceed with the nuptials or postpone for an hour while they investigate, they totally call off the wedding. Talk about garda dedication—no way on earth I’d have done that! A skeleton?

Has been there for awhile. It’ll keep a few minutes longer.

The skeleton is in a slurry pit—oh UGH! If not before, right there, I’d have bowed out. (Where’s my gas mask?) The problem is that it is the body of a groom (Tommy) intended also to have been wed that same day—50 years ago. Uh oh. I don’t believe in coincidences. (Do you?)

As you can imagine, the storyline takes on a complicated tack and proceeds to become more complex as they find one clue only to have it open fifty more questions. They won’t want for suspects, really, and especially after a second (but fresh) body is found, the clues become more pointed, narrowed, eliminating one then the other from suspicion. (Well, still suspicious, but good alibis anyway.) And did I mention the small but poignant missing or unaccounted for 30 grand (Euros?)?

No matter. My love for this series is the two gardai, their communication with each other, the sense of humor, and the strong large family (keep them together) theme. Yes, Dara knows what he’s getting into. The mysteries are good ones, always interesting and I learn something, but I love the setting, the peek into rural Irish life, the countryside, and the food. My only reservation this time was the extended conclusion wrapping up all loose ends–every one of them.

And did they finally get married? Yes! If I’d spent boo-koo bucks getting there for the one postponed, however, not sure I’d have wanted to do that all over again. Thinking it was smaller than intended maybe? Oh yes, and I miss a pronunciation key—how in the world is Siobhan pronounced?

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and publisher through @NetGalley that in no way influenced this review. These are my honest thoughts.

A 2-22-22 release sure to be a fun, fast hit. Currently on pre-order.

Rosepoint Rating: Four point Five Stars 4 1/2 stars

Add to Goodreads

Book Details:

Genre: International Mystery & Crime, Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Kensington Cozies
ASIN: B0964F2G1Y
Print Length: 322 pages
Publication Date: February 22, 2022
Source: Publisher and NetGalley 

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo

Carlene O'Connor - authorThe Author: Carlene O’Connor comes from a long line of Irish storytellers. Her great-grandmother emigrated from Ireland to America during the Troubles, and the stories have been flowing ever since. Of all the places across the pond she’s wandered, she fell most in love with a walled town in County Limerick and was inspired to create the town of Kilbane, County Cork. Carlene currently divides her time between New York and the Emerald Isle.

http://www.carleneoconnor.com

©2022 V Williams V Williams

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