Enter a Wizard, Stage Left (A Zodiac Mystery) by Connie di Marco #BlogTour #BookReview – #Giveaway

Enter a Wizard Stage Left by Connie DiMarco
I am delighted to provide a review for you at my blog stop today for Enter a Wizard, Stage Left by Connie di Marco on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour. Scroll down to enter your chance to win the Giveaway!

Book Details

Enter a Wizard, Stage Left (A Zodiac Mystery)
Traditional Mystery
Prequel Novella
Suspense Publishing (October 26, 2021)
Print length ‏ : ‎ 111 pages
ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09JGV526H

Book Blurb

Julia Bonatti wasn’t always a crime-solving San Francisco astrologer. She was a young woman, engaged to the love of her life, preparing for a teaching career when tragedy struck. Her fiancé was killed in a hit and run accident. As Julia struggles with her loss and attempts to find meaning in her life again, she takes refuge with her grandmother Gloria. But there’s little time for grief or rest because Gloria, a retired seamstress, needs Julia’s help. Gloria’s been hired to create costumes for a production of Agatha Christie’s Appointment with Death at the newly opened Theatre Mars in San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood.

Theatre Mars is a stunning jewel, the cast is supremely talented and the script is brilliant. What could go wrong? Julia gets the first hint of trouble when her new friend, the owner of The Mystic Eye bookshop, warns that all might not go well. Opening night will take place during the dark of the moon, the last three days before the new moon, a time that bodes disaster for any new project. The dire prediction comes true when the lead actress is murdered before the final curtain, echoing the play itself. Julia discovers a vital clue to the murder, but a clue that puts Gloria’s life in grave danger. Can Julia rescue her grandmother before it’s too late? And will a black cat play a leading role?

My Review

Thank heaven for Grandmother Gloria’s welcoming and understanding home after the sudden fatal accident that killed Julia Bonatti’s fiancé. Julia badly needed a different scene, a waystation to give her the necessary time to push through the grieving process.

Enter a Wizard, Stage Left by Connie di MarcoGloria is a retired seamstress and is involved in the local theatre group facing opening night. They’ve requested Gloria deliver the costumes for a dress rehearsal and to fix any costume problems they may be facing with the various actors and the diva busy making life miserable for all in the cast. She asks for Julia’s help. The production is an Agatha Christie mystery, Appointment with Death. Oops! That title may be prophetic.

Julia takes the opportunity to check out The Mystic Eye Bookshop next door, but the owner promptly warns her that the timing, astrologically-speaking, is asking for disaster. Unfortunately, the prediction comes true when the nasty lead actress is actually murdered before the opening night final curtain.

Ah, I love the subject of astrology and dove into this prequel to the series having previously jumped into the Tale of the Dragon. It’s a fascinating study and Julia begins the research and analysis that leads to her own astrology clinic. There is a lot to the Zodiac and the author imparts a few interesting tidbits along the way.

While Julia is an interesting protagonist, I really enjoy support characters Gloria and Kuan. And let’s not forget the kitty! Fun, fast little mystery, though I was left scratching my head a bit over the search and rescue.

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Giveaway

Sign up for your chance to win one of (10) Digital Copies of Enter a Wizard, Stage Left (A Zodiac Mystery) by Connie di Marco on the Rafflecopter giveaway.

Connie di Marco - authorAbout The Author: With the Zodiac Mysteries, featuring Julia Bonatti, a crime-solving San Francisco astrologer, Connie di Marco has combined her fascination with astrology and her love of writing mysteries.  Writing as Connie Archer, she’s the national bestselling author of the Soup Lover’s Mysteries from Berkley Prime Crime.  You can find her excerpts and recipes in The Cozy Cookbook and The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook.  She is a member of International Thriller Writers, Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters in Crime.  She lives in Los Angeles but dreams constantly of the San Francisco fog.

Author Links

Website:  http://www.conniedimarco.com/

Blog:  http://www.conniedimarco.com/blog/

FaceBook:  https://www.facebook.com/zodiacmysteries/  or https://www.facebook.com/zodiacmysteries/

Amazon:  https://amzn.to/3HdGb25

Twitter: @Connie di Marco

GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/dashboard?ref=nav_profile_authordash

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

Purchase Link – Amazon

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

Tour Participants:

January 5 – Maureen’s Musings – REVIEW

January 5 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

January 6 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

January 6 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

January 7 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, GUEST POST

January 7 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT

January 8 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

January 8 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT

January 9 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

January 10 – Baroness’ Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT

January 10 – Nadaness In Motion – REVIEW

January 11 – Literary Gold – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

January 12 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

January 13 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

January 14 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW

January 15 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

January 16 – Nellie’s Book Nook – REVIEW, GUEST POST

January 17 – I Read What You Write – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

January 18 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book -SPOTLIGHT 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

A Deception Most Deadly (A Cassie Gwynne Mystery Book 1 by Genevieve Essig –#BookReview – #TuesdayBookBlog

Book Blurb:

Meet Cassie Gwynne: bookworm, cat lover, reluctant heiress… and determined detective?

Deception Most Deadly by Genevieve EssigFlorida, 1883. Cassie Gwynne is looking for a fresh start when she steps off the steamship at Fernandina harbor for the first time. She’s trying hard to be a proper lady, for once. She’s styled her unruly hair, shined her boots, and even purchased a whole new fashionable (or at least fashionably priced) wardrobe. However, she’s certain finding a body is not very ladylike behavior…

While out exploring the beautiful island with her Aunt Flora, Cassie stumbles across the body of Peanut Runkles, town grump and her aunt’s neighbor, lying at the foot of the harbor pilots’ lookout tower. To make matters worse, because Peanut and Flora have been quarreling for years over everything from Flora’s eccentric ideas to her pet pig’s fondness for Peanut’s vegetable patch, Flora is immediately arrested for murder.

Desperate to save the only family she has left, Cassie vows to prove Flora’s innocence and untangle the mystery herself, no matter how much the surly local sheriff disapproves. Cassie’s brilliant mind and nose for a clue lead her on an investigation that takes her all around the island, and even earns her a valiant furry friend in Esy the kitten.

But how does the mysterious ledger Cassie finds hidden in a secret drawer in Peanut’s desk connect to the crime? Cassie is determined to dig up the truth, but can she catch the killer before her time on the island comes to a deadly end?

This warm and witty cozy mystery will transport you to the island city of Fernandina and introduce you to a feisty heroine far before her time! Perfect for fans of Verity Bright, T E Kinsey and Deanna Raybourn.

My Review:

I usually enjoy historical cozy mysteries and was hooked by the cover and the blurb that sounded like it might be a bit different. Cassie Gwynne is an heiress (lucky her) and has discovered upon her dad’s death an aunt she never knew existed. So off she goes, to Fernandina, an island city to hook up with the only family she has left.

First, her aunt Flora is highly unusual in that she is an independent perfume entrepreneur who is an animal lover. It’s her pig that first lands her in the pokey when he goes rooting around the neighbor’s garden. Peanut Runkles is the pending victim and though no love is lost to anyone in the town, all points turn to Cassie’s aunt. Right away, you know she’s innocent—right?

A few things I enjoyed: (1) The sense of humor

“So, long as he’s paying, I’m pouring.”

(2) The animals – dogs, birds, cats, including one particular kitten, and, of course, the pig.

Deception Most Deadly by Genevieve EssigOkay, sorry. Two things I enjoyed. What I did not so much:

(1) The length of the narrative. Shouldn’t a cozy be only two-thirds this long? This is one long cozy mystery made longer because I could not get into it.

(2) The characters. So many. Support characters everywhere. A book that requires a chart to keep track of them and what the connection was. Then again, I didn’t care for most of them, including Cassie, so that point goes moot. Clearly, I must have slept through the connection to the heartthrob—or how could she have already known him? This is new territory for her.

(3) Historical questions: LOTS of gum chewing. (Where was she buying all this gum and what was in it?) Wearing a (French?) twist in her hair? Really? In 1883? Other little details that I questioned were common (or at all) in that time period.

(4) Cassie found the body fairly quickly and then due to the ineptness of the local police took another two-thirds of the book to really start making headway while it was Cassie who provided all the clues. And also the twists—not the hair kind.

Some descriptive scenes at the beginning and heavy dialogue dispensing some innocuous minutiae (clothing choices, blah, blah, blah) and the sense of humor is not sufficient to spur page-turning. Sorry, but this obviously is not a book for me. I battled my way through, started skip-reading pages, and still the mystery was no further along. At that point, neither did I care.

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: Two-point Five Stars Two and one-half Stars

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Book Details:

Genre: Cozy Culinary Mystery, Cozy Crafts & Hobbies Mystery
Publisher: Bookouture
ASIN: B09M7LM6HS
Print Length: 343 pages
Publication Date: January 14, 2022
Source: Publisher and NetGalley 

Title Link(s): A Deception Most Deadly

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble

Genevieve Essig - authorThe Author: Genevieve Essig was born in Florida but, after many years of school and other shenanigans in the northeast and midwest United States, she now calls New Orleans home. When she’s not writing historical mysteries or getting lost down research rabbit holes, she spends her time practicing law, shooting pool, performing opera and musical theater, ogling old buildings, acting for film and television, futzing with inventions that address highly specific and possibly only-annoying-to-her problems, traveling, ranting at bartenders about the evils of straws, riding horses, and petting strange cats. If you have suggestions for additional hobbies or are interested her books, please visit her website (genevieveessig.com) or connect with her via Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram (@essigauthor).

©2021 V Williams

Christmas bough

 

Count to Three by T R Ragan – #BookReview – #TuesdayBookBlog

Rosepoint Publishing: Five Stars 5 stars

Book Blurb:

For a private investigator on the trail of a missing girl, every second counts in a gripping thriller by New York Times bestselling author T.R. Ragan.

Count to Three by T R RaganOn her first day of kindergarten, five-year-old Tinsley disappeared without a trace…

Five agonizing years later, her divorced mother, Dani Callahan, is a private investigator. She and Quinn Sullivan, a promising young assistant determined to prove herself, are devoted to helping others find missing loved ones. And for Dani, finding Tinsley is still a never-ending obsession.

Their newest case is Ali Cross, a teenager who vanished off a Sacramento street while walking home. A troubled boy’s eyewitness testimony to Ali’s abduction provides their only clues. And as their search for Ali gets underway, new information about Tinsley’s disappearance begins to surface too.

As their investigations lead down two twisting paths, disturbing secrets are revealed and new victims find themselves in mortal danger. Time is running out, and the hunt is only getting grimmer. 

His Review:

Dani considered herself a very good mother. So how had her daughter Tinsley disappeared so quickly? She had gone to elementary school to pick her up and she had been taken by another woman five minutes earlier. How could that be possible? Now the most important case of her young private investigator career was the recovery of her own daughter.

Count to Three by T R RaganAli is preparing to go into school and is abducted right outside the building. Quinn observes her being pushed into a white van but is unable to reach her in time to stop the abduction. Frantic searches are begun for both Tinsley and Ali. They have fallen off the face of the earth.

TR Regan has a great way of spinning a yarn. I found myself immediately invested in the struggles of Dani and Ali. The deeper into the investigation Dani goes, the more frustrated as a reader I became. Having someone disappear in broad daylight in downtown Sacramento seems incredible but certainly possible. Sacramento is a big city and people tend to mind their own business.

Missing persons are not always on the top of the investigator’s agenda. Murder and other violent crimes take center stage. The young senior in high school could have simply run away from an abusive home life. The cases soon go on the back burner of the investigators task list. Meanwhile the victims are suspended in the animation that is these types of crimes.

The perpetrators are two very different types of criminal but the resultant angst is very similar. As a reader I found myself wound up in the investigation and becoming very angry at the criminals. TR wraps them in the confusing morass that is their psyches.

CE WilliamsRead this book and enjoy the way TR Ragan develops her villains. You will not be disappointed. 5 stars – CE Williams

We’ve both read T R Ragan books in two different series now and have never failed to love them (see our links to previous reviews below). We received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and publisher through NetGalley that in no way influenced this review. These are his honest opinions (this time). Currently on pre-order.

Book Details:

Genre: Kidnapping Thrillers, Women Sleuths
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
ISBN: ‎ 1542093945
ASIN: B08LD3LNS6
Print Length: 283 pages
Publication Date: December 14, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: Count to Three [Amazon]

 

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T R Ragan - authorThe Author: T.R. Ragan (Theresa Ragan) has sold over three million books and is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestselling mystery and thriller author.

Readers interested in signing up for a monthly newsletter or getting their name in a TR RAGAN book should check out her website at http://www.trragan.com

Facebook • Twitter • Instagram: @trraganauthor

LIZZY GARDNER SERIES
Abducted
Dead Weight
A Dark Mind
Obsessed
Almost Dead
Evil Never Dies

FAITH MCMANN TRILOGY
Furious
Outrage
Wrath

JESSIE COLE SERIES
Her Last Day (My 4.5 star review here)
Deadly Recall
Deranged
Buried Deep (My 5 star review here)

SAWYER BROOKS SERIES
Don’t Make a Sound – 6/20
Out of Her Mind – 11/20
No Going Back – 1/21 (His 5 star review here)

©2021 CE Williams – V Williams V Williams

These Silent Woods: A Novel by Kimi Cunningham Grant –#BookReview – #TuesdayBookBlog

“The thing about grace is that you don’t deserve it. You can’t earn it. You can only accept it. Or not.”

Book Blurb:

A father and daughter living in the remote Appalachian mountains must reckon with the ghosts of their past in Kimi Cunningham Grant’s These Silent Woods, a mesmerizing novel of suspense.

No electricity, no family, no connection to the outside world.

These Silent Woods by Kimi Cunningham GrantFor eight years, Cooper and his young daughter, Finch, have lived in isolation in a remote cabin in the northern Appalachian woods. And that’s exactly the way Cooper wants it, because he’s got a lot to hide. Finch has been raised on the books filling the cabin’s shelves and the beautiful but brutal code of life in the wilderness. But she’s starting to push back against the sheltered life Cooper has created for her—and he’s still haunted by the painful truth of what it took to get them there.

The only people who know they exist are a mysterious local hermit named Scotland, and Cooper’s old friend, Jake, who visits each winter to bring them food and supplies. But this year, Jake doesn’t show up, setting off an irreversible chain of events that reveals just how precarious their situation really is. Suddenly, the boundaries of their safe haven have blurred—and when a stranger wanders into their woods, Finch’s growing obsession with her could put them all in danger. After a shocking disappearance threatens to upend the only life Finch has ever known, Cooper is forced to decide whether to keep hiding—or finally face the sins of his past.

Vividly atmospheric and masterfully tense, These Silent Woods is a poignant story of survival, sacrifice, and how far a father will go when faced with losing it all.

My Review:

Not sure how I bumbled into this one. It’s not lost on me—Finch—(in this case) the young daughter and relationship of father-daughter of classic Harper Lee fame. (And I must admit difficulty in separating the name from this narrative.) This gripping literary novel, of course, only borrows the unusual name. There is the strongly bonded connection but is otherwise quite the opposite in character and plot.

These Silent Woods by Kimi Cunningham GrantCooper and Finch have lived in severe isolation in the Appalachian woods. Off the grid, off the track, off almost any public connection. But there are two: Jake, Cooper’s former army buddy and the owner of the cabin, and Scotland. And then two events happen almost simultaneously that will have a strong, irreversible impact on their sheltered lives. First, this is the first year in eight that Jake has not shown up with a laundry list of household essentials; groceries, supplies they cannot grow or sustain themselves. And in his stead is Jake’s sister, Marie.

And then there is the discovery of a beautiful young woman on their land next to national forestry land wielding a camera.

Scotland has always been a problem. From the beginning. Popping up at odd times, a nuisance, a pseudo-neighbor who watches, sees, and knows all about Cooper and Finch. His secret, their history. Cooper finds the man detestable while Finch loves him and is always delighted to see him. The two have a special connection.

Finch is precocious. A natural in the woods, schooled at home by her dad, she has never set foot in a store or a school. Knows only what she has gleaned from nature and the books in the cabin.

But their sanctuary is careening to an exposé and soon decisions must be made. Cooper is torn. For eight years he has protected, nurtured, and cherished his daughter and this moral choice is tearing him apart. The very essence of his teachings tested. Can he abandon all that now to continue a life that can’t be reconciled to the decision or bow to it and change possibly lose her?

Cooper made some bad decisions. He can’t afford for them to be discovered or all is lost. It’s a rather slow suspenseful building of the conundrum, a calamity of timing. Raw, emotional, tension-filled, with no apparent solution.

The author is a master storyteller, weaving her well-developed characters through Cooper’s POV, his wartime experience and trauma, the loss of Jake, his wife, the sacrifices he has made. He will NOT lose his daughter as well. Heartbreaking turmoil and beauty in the prose. The decision is made.

And then taken out of his hands.

The conclusion whips the mind around, at a loss to understand what just happened. And while I understand what did happen, I’m not totally understanding the why. Nor was it more fully explained to my satisfaction in the epilogue, which settled most loose strings (though perhaps it was enough for many readers). My mind is still reeling. Currently on pre-order. Queue up for yours!

A novel worthy of many a book club debate and one that will stick with you for some time. Most heartily recommended.

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and publisher through NetGalley (thank you!) that in no way influenced this review, nor could they warn of the impact. These are my honest thoughts.

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

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Book Details:

Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Contemporary Literary Fiction, Coming of Age Fiction
Publisher: Minotaur Books
ISBN: ‎ 1250793394
ASIN: B08R2JNYLX
Print Length: 279 pages
Publication Date: November 16 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley 

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo

Kimi cunningham Grant - authorThe Author: Kimi Cunningham Grant is the author of two books. Silver Like Dust is a memoir chronicling her Japanese-American grandparents and their internment during World War II. Her second book, Fallen Mountains, is a literary mystery set in a small town in Pennsylvania, where fracking has just begun. Kimi is a two-time winner of a Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Memorial Prize in Poetry and a recipient of a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts fellowship in creative nonfiction. Her poems and essays have appeared in Fathom, Literary Mama, RATTLE, Poet Lore, and Whitefish Review. She studied English at Bucknell University and Messiah College. She lives, writes, and teaches in Pennsylvania. You can find her at https://www.kimicunninghamgrant.com.

©2021 V Williams V Williams

Deep in the Forest: A Mystery Novel (Appalachian Mountain Mysteries Book 5) by Lynda McDaniel –#BookReview – @wordwardrobe

Book Blurb:

Deep in the Forest by Lynda McDanielHampshire, England, 2006: I should’ve known not to visit Nigel Steadman; trouble followed him closer than his shadow. But I’d finally made it all the way to Dublin, and it seemed a shame not to hop across the Irish Sea to see my old friend. Besides, he’d always said for me to come stay with him in London.

It wasn’t till I called from Dublin that I learned he’d moved to the New Forest in the south of England. Goodbye London before I ever met you—and hello heartache. That’s where Nigel roped me into doing some undercover work checking out the Ownbey gang he was trying to trick into telling the truth. But as you can imagine, things didn’t go the way we’d planned. Gunslingers, kidnappers, and thieves highjacked my vacation and turned it into a nightmare.

So here I am in a makeshift jail, and it feels like I’ll never see Fiona and the boys again. And if the bad guys have their way, I won’t. Even when my best friend Della Kincaid flies over to help, she can’t do much. I’m in so deep, she doesn’t know where to look for me. Time to pray. ~Abit Bradshaw

You’ll love this suspenseful mystery because who hasn’t tried to do the right thing—only to have it all go all wrong?

My Review:

Each of these series entries works well as a standalone and are unique but I have to say taking Abit Bradshaw and wife Fiona to Ireland is definitely a radical departure from their usual setting in the Appalachians.

Deep in the Forest by Lynda McDanielFiona is from Ireland and this was a grand chance to visit family. A chance also for Abit to get to London to see his old friend Nigel. He is envisioning the sightseeing until he discovers that Nigel is no longer in London—he relocated to New Forest. Nigel may best be a friend from afar as it doesn’t take long before he coerces Abit into doing a little “spying” for him. He’s always got something going on that could be considered dodgy—or even more—and this one appears to involve Nigel’s “gang” as well. Also, there is another gang which may prove downright dangerous and better left alone.

Abit, who got the childhood nickname from his dad who thought him “a bit slow” has, however, become quite the independent, strong, and actually musically talented adult as well as husband and father. I get the feeling Nigel takes advantage of him and wondered again how their friendship got past the first caper.

As always, Ms McDaniel completely immerses the reader into the locality, the local population vernacular, foods, and way of life. And in this particular narrative, it’s the local colorful characters, both good and bad, that take center stage rather than the overwhelming gorgeous atmosphere of the majestic mountains back home.

The POV switches between Abit and Della, his oldest friend and mentor—the lady who bought the little country store his dad owned back in Laurel Hills, North Carolina. Della is investigating her own drama at the store when she gets the word Abit is missing. I always enjoy references to the talent with his mandolin and Bluegrass music and Abit does get to show off some talents here as well.

I particularly enjoyed the inclusion of Bluegrass music in Book 4, Murder Ballad Blues. I have read several of this author’s works and am definitely a fan. These are engaging characters, stunning atmospherics, clean, down home stories without gore, and unique page-turning mysteries.

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and these are my honest thoughts. I thoroughly enjoy the author’s sense of humor and prose, and I’m always left looking forward to the next novel.

Rosepoint Publishing recommended

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

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Book Details:

Genre: Religious Mysteries, Heist Crime, Women’s Detective Fiction
Publisher: Lynda McDaniel Books
ASIN: B09HR7SMDJ
Print Length: 254 pages
Publication Date: October 3, 2021
Source: Direct author connection 

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo

Lynda McDaniel - authorThe Author: [Lynda McDaniel] I love writing page-turners—both fiction and nonfiction. And I love helping others to do the same, living into their dreams of writing books. I believe my success comes down to a respect for my readers and clients. I know I’m easily bored, so I work hard to engage and inspire my readers.

After all, we’re all busy these days, and I want to deliver value–whether that’s a gripping mystery filled with memorable characters or books on writing that give you the tools to write your own fiction and nonfiction. Both make me happy.

I got my start as a writer in the most unlikely place—a town of 200 people in the mountains of North Carolina. But living there changed my life in so many positive ways. Decades later, I realized that everything I value today, I was introduced to there. My Appalachian Mountain Mysteries–“A Life for a Life,” “The Roads to Damascus,” “Welcome the Little Children”–pay homage to the people of Appalachia who taught me so much. And to Mollie the Wonder Dog, who plays a role in both “The Roads to Damascus” (aka Millie) and in “Welcome the Little Children (as Millie and Mollie).

To keep up to date with Abit, Della, and the gang (and receive a free novelette that pulls back the curtain on Abit’s and Della’s lives before they met in Laurel Falls), head over to http://www.LyndaMcDanielBooks.com. No spam, no pestering, just the free novelette, a 12-part serialized preview of my upcoming Book Four (via my blog), and special offers/updates.

Over the years, I’ve written more than 1,200 articles for major magazines, hundreds of newsletters and blogs. I’m proudest of the 18 books I’ve written. My nonfiction books include “Words at Work,” which I wrote straight from my heart, a much-needed response to all the questions and concerns people have about writing today. (It won top honors from the National Best Books Awards.) I’ve also written two Amazon Bestselling Books: “How Not to Sound Stupid When You Write” and “Write Your Book Now!” (with Virginia McCullough).

I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, but I’ve lived all over this country—from the Midwest to the Deep South to Appalachia to the Mid-Atlantic to the Pacific Northwest. Whew! I finally settled in Santa Rosa, California, a place that reflects the values I learned while living in the mountains of North Carolina, all those years ago.

©2021 V Williams V Williams

YouTube attribution: Stuche51

The Good Guy by Dean Koontz – #Audiobook Review – #suspense #TBT

The Good Guy by Dean Koontz

Book Blurb:

Timothy Carrier is an ordinary guy who enjoys a beer after work. But tonight is no ordinary night. Instead, Tim will face a terrifying decision: Help or run. For the jittery stranger sitting beside him at the bar has mistaken Tim for someone else—and passes him a manila envelope stuffed with cash and the photo of a pretty woman. “Ten thousand. The rest when she’s gone.”

Now everything Tim thinks he knows—even about himself—will be challenged. For Tim Carrier is the one man who can save an innocent life and stop a killer as relentless as evil incarnate. But first he must discover resources within himself that will transform his idea of who he is and what it takes to be the good guy.

My Review:

From the prolific pen of Dean Koontz came The Good Guy, published in 2007. I’ve read a number of his books, mostly of the Jane Hawk series, which I enjoyed. So, it was time I sampled some of his other books while trying to avoid the hardcore horror that my son attributed to him. This one is billed as suspense.

The Good Guy by Dean KoontzIn this standalone, Timothy Carrier (our good guy) is approached by a man who mistakes him for the hired killer he was to meet, handing him an envelope with $10k and leaves. When the real killer arrives and mistakes Tim for the client, Tim tries to cancel the contract, offering half the money back to drop it.

Oh, wait…I think I’ve heard this one!

Tim, being stuck and checking out the target, decides he’ll warn the unsuspecting woman and together try to figure out why the impending hit. (Cue the violins.) She’s clueless why someone would want to kill her. She’s a simple woman, albeit a bit unusual in her tastes, and they’re both single with baggage and unhappy histories. (I think I can see where this is going.)

Koontz is nothing if not adept at developing his characters carefully, a nuance at a time, right down to nervous tics and tells. Tim is a simple mason—but good at his job. Linda harbors secrets and I’m thinking, “run, Forest, run!.” But no, they are ducking and outwitting the antagonist who is one very nasty guy, free of any moral compass, and so far hasn’t hesitated to knock off those who block his way or just generally piss him off. Krait also has a history,

But you don’t want to know…

Krait anticipates their moves and positions himself very well. He really hates the thought he may be losing cred with his employers and the tension ramps up.

As usual, Koontz kicks in his own macabre sense of humor bestowing it mostly on Krait and the sense of the man rises the hair on the back of the reader’s neck. Some tender scenes with Tim and Linda, natural dialogue, Tim rising to his white knight position, Linda to distressed damsel.

The narrator used a soft sell voice on the antagonist adding to the creepy factor. He is truly going over the deep end trying to save his face on this one and his handlers are cueing in.

The conclusion actually arrives with more of a whimper not a bang but Koontz has one more little surprise for you. If you like suspense thrillers, you’d probably like this, and I’d recommend the audiobook. Do you read Dean Koontz? Did you enjoy his Jane Hawk series? What is your favorite Koontz book? Strangely, I don’t see that many five stars on his books in Goodreads. Well, anyway, I like the pictures of his dogs.

Book Details:

Genre: Suspense, Suspense Thrilllers
Publisher:  Random House Audio
ASIN: B000R34YQ6
Listening Length: 9 hrs 18 mins
Narrator: Richard Ferrone
Publication Date: May 1, 2007
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Link: The Good Guy [Amazon]
 

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Rosepoint Publishing:  Four of Five Stars 4 stars

Dean Koontz - authorThe Author: Dean Koontz, the author of many #1 New York Times bestsellers, lives in Southern California with his wife, Gerda, their golden retriever, Elsa, and the enduring spirits of their goldens, Trixie and Anna.

Richard Ferrone - narratorThe Narrator:  Richard Ferrone is a former lawyer who became an actor in the 1970s. He has appeared on Broadway and in theaters across the country. His television appearances include ”Law & Order,” “Against the Law,” “Guiding Light,” and “One Life to Live.“ He became an immediate favorite of audiobook fans more than 20 years ago with his first audiobook, “The Stranglers” by Loren D. Estleman, and since then he has recorded the works of many bestselling authors including Dean Koontz, Dashiell Hammett, and myself! Although he has recorded books in nearly every genre, from romances to children’s stories to self-help books, he is best known for his mystery and thriller recordings, especially those of John Sandford’s “Prey” novels and the Tim LaHaye/Jerry Jenkins “Left Behind” series. He is an Audie Award winner and is married to actor Cynthia Darlow.

©2021 V Williams V Williams

Flea Market Felony: A Cozy Mystery Novel (The Mattie and Mo Mysteries Book 1) by Tricia L. Sanders #BlogTour #BookReview #Giveaway

Flea Market Felony by Tricia L Sanders

Welcome to my blog stop for a review of Flea Market Felony by Tricia L Sanders on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour.

Scroll down to enter your chance to win the Giveaway!

Book Details

Flea Market Felony (The Mattie and Mo Mysteries) 
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher: Independently published (April 1, 2021)
Paperback: 190 pages
ISBN-13: 979-8729049523
Digital ASIN: B08ZMBTQ8B

Book Blurb

These new retirees have just hit the road. Will their first campsite’s shenanigans land them both in handcuffs?

Mattie Modesky’s been hankering to start retirement right. Even if it’s in an RV. The sassy senior believes there’s no time like the present after her policeman husband hangs up his badge and they hit the road. 

When they reach their first RV park, the yoga instructor hitting on Mattie’s man turns her peaceful vacation sour. In an effort to stand her ground and confront the sneaky resident, Mattie finds a new friend, a stiff corpse, and her husband as the prime suspect.

She is shocked to her core when her man’s newly purchased pocketknife is the murder weapon. But when the real killer makes the fatal mistake of dognapping her beloved pooch, the silver-haired sleuth sets her sights on solving the crime herself and proving her lawman’s innocence. 

Can Mattie clear her hubby’s name and reclaim their pup before the villain turns their golden years into iron bars? Or will the killer roll away in a motor home with Mattie’s dog in the passenger seat? 

Flea Market Felony is the adventure-packed first book in The Mattie and Mo Mysteries series. If you like irresistible characters, fun surprises, and captivating whodunits, then you’ll love Tricia L. Sanders’s clever read. 

Buy Flea Market Felony to catch a dastardly devil today!

 

My Review

Love it when I get to read a novel of (close) contemporaries and most especially a story about RV’ers as I still get pangs that our Rvving experience couldn’t have been longer. I miss it. It was fun and always held a discovery around the corner.

Much like the discovery Mattie and Mo made when pulling to the entry of the Oldies but Goodies RV Park and Flea Market. Mattie hadn’t started out with the same enthusiasm as I though and given that she and Mo had a 40’ Class A, I can only imagine how much nicer that might have been. The park, however, had seen better days; ah, yes, so many of those. Mo is a retired police chief from Pine Grove, Missouri and they also have their rescue dog, Max, with them.

Mo, usually a bit more reticent than Mattie about meeting new people meets Stan right away (next unit over) who has a boat and is an avid fisherman. Perfect! Mattie also hits it off with Sandi (his wife). The new couple meets several residents, both permanent and temporary (Mattie and Mo constitute temporary) and discover there are some residents with whom they’d rather not get to know.

There is also a contiguous flea market (we called them “craft fairs”) and Mattie, a shopper, was interested in shopping the booths and quickly finds several gifts, one of which she gives her hubby.

When her “gift” is found at the scene of a crime, Mo becomes a person of interest. Mattie can’t have that.

There are few characters other than Mattie and Mo, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to narrow down the suspects. The couple dutifully attend fish fries and get to know their park grounds a bit better, along with the local small town cafe that offers up a down home perfected biscuits and gravy special.

I can see potential here in the further fleshing of Mattie and Mo and their long term marital dynamic and the chance to travel to different states (next stop—Wisconsin). New experiences are wide open as they put on the miles and get to know their new house on wheels. (For first timers in a 40’ RV (diesel pusher with slides?), they seemed to have remarkably few issues.)

I fell in love with that book cover and the blurb and received a gifted copy of this book from the author. These are my unbiased opinions.

Giveaway

Sign up for your chance to win two (2) Prize packs (Print Books) containing Book 1 Murder is a Dirty Business AND Book 2 Death, Diamonds, and Freezer Burn. (U.S. ONLY).
Rafflecopter giveaway
 

About the Author

Tricia L Sanders - authorTricia L. Sanders lives in the Austin, Texas area and writes about women with class, sass, and a touch of kickass. A former instructional designer and corporate trainer, she traded in curriculum writing for novel writing, because she hates bullet points and loves to make stuff up. And fiction is more fun than training guides and lesson plans.

When she isn’t writing, Tricia is busy crossing dreams off her bucket list. With all 50 states checked, she’s concentrating on foreign interests. She’s an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan, so don’t get between her and the television when a game is on. Currently, she is working on a mystery series set in the fictional town of Wickford, Missouri. Another project in the works is a women’s fiction road trip adventure.

Her essays have appeared in Sasee, ByLine, The Cuivre River Anthology, and Great American Outhouse Stories; The Whole Truth and Nothing Butt. She is a proud member of The Lit Ladies, six women writing their truths into fiction.

Website: www.triciasanders.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/authortricialsanders/

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/tricia-l-sanders

Cozy Clique Reader Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/599311313773440/

Twitter: www.twitter.com/tricialsanders

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/tricialsanders/

YouTube: www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXRJSRSmTjg

Newsletter Sign Up: https://mailchi.mp/23a87d715dc3/tricia-l-sanders-sleuthscoop

Purchase Links – Amazon – Books2Read 

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

Tour Participants:

June 1 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

June 1 – Christa Reads and Writes – SPOTLIGHT

June 2 – Novels Alive – GUEST POST

June 2 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

June 3 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST,

June 3 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

June 4 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE

June 5 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

June 5 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

June 6 – I Read What You Write – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

June 7 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

June 8 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW

June 8 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT

June 9 – Ascroft, eh? – GUEST POST

June 9 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

June 10 – Novels Alive – REVIEW

June 10 – Baroness’ Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT

June 11 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

June 12 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

June 12 – Reading Is My SuperPower – GUEST POST

June 13 – Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST

June 14 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT Great Escapes Book Tours

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

2021 V Williams

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