Tag Archive | Berkley

Dyeing with Kath and Geneva…

Dyeing Wishes

A murder of a young couple in a sheep field leaves a group of fabric and fiber loving friends in a tizzy as they race to solve who committed the awful crime with the aide of Kath and her unlikely companion, Geneva…a ghost!

61Q-TnhypOL._AA300_.jpgOh, Molly MacRae, you have written a fantastic story that I absolutely adore.  Sheep, ghosts, murder and friendship!  This story is fun, lighthearted and I couldn’t help but to laugh at Kath and Geneva’s back and fourth conversations. Hysterical! I will never look at people talking on the phone the same again.  I also loved how Molly highlighted the friendships of the TGIF (Thank Goodness it’s Fiber) group through the solving of the mystery. There were lots of players but it all worked together for a really great story.

This is series but having not read the first one, I followed along just fine without feeling lost. I am interested in reading the first one now, however and continuing the series.  Even if you don’t like knitting, fibers or sheep, this book is still fantastic.  I personally don’t knit, crochet or anything.  I do own the most splendid knit wool Aran hooded sweater  from Ireland and it is heavenly.  I am also the biggest fan of sheep there is without actually owning one.  If I see one, I totally fan girl.  Sheep! 

Oh ya…back to the story.  It’s just the setting and not the main crux that deal with the yarn and wool. I loved the mystery from beginning to end.  The paranormal twist was my favorite part however.  I would call this one a paracozy for sure. From the out of town mysterious people to the in town busy-body know- it-alls, this book covered it all in a well paced and entertaining manner.  I can’t wait to learn more about Kath and Geneva’s next adventure.

If you want to know, I listened to this on via CDs via audiobooks.  I really enjoyed the reader Emily Durante.  She is always enjoyable to listen to and helped bring this book to life. 

Buy Dyeing Wishes

81h4pN7oOHL._UX250_About Molly:

Molly MacRae spent twenty years in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Upper East Tennessee, where she managed The Book Place, an independent bookstore; may it rest in peace. Before the lure of books hooked her, she was curator of the history museum in Jonesborough, Tennessee’s oldest town.

MacRae lives with her family in Champaign, Illinois, where she connects children with books at the public library.

Let’s Talk

Do you love one of Molly’s books?  She has several series out already.  Which is your favorite?  Can’t pick one?  Well, tell me about it!  I love to hear from you all and I love to hear book suggestions on which books I should read next in the series or from the authors I review.  So, let’s talk!  Leave a comment below. 

Save Our Cozies READathon

13690613_306391963026599_308016324513905570_nWith the news that some of our favorite cozies getting the ax, we have banned together as readers, bloggers and even authors (who also read and blog) to come together for one day and read some of these book series that are in peril.  There are many, which is sad. They span across many publishers.  My hope is that these get picked up by other publishers so we can continue on our adventures with our favorite heroines, cats, dogs and continue to knit along as we help solve a mystery.  We have so many things to 8bfa7e_d363a24be1654109bd029cb48012d6e5.jpg_srz_p_228_330_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_jpg_srzstill do with these characters.  They are our family, friends and in some cases, characters we LOVE to hate.  You know who you are.

I will be home reading and blogging most of the day tomorrow, Saturday the 16th as we pay homage to these artists of the pen.  Below are some links you can follow.  It’s going to be like a big family gathering via the internet and it will be amazingraisin the dead

29867784Goodreads Link:https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/191144-save-our-cozies-readathon

Facebook Link:https://www.facebook.com/groups/726103940858234/


So, what’s the OFFICIAL word on this READathon?  Here ya go!

Purpose of the Readathon:

Due to mergers among publishing companies, several beloved cozy mystery series have either been cancelled or are in danger of being cancelled. Depending upon an individual author’s contract, he or she may not even be able to self-publish or take the series to a new publisher. The Save Our Cozies Readathon seeks to:

  • Raise the reading public’s awareness of this issue across a range of social media platforms.
  • Introduce the reading public to these series.
  • Encourage publishers to rethink their decision to cancel cozy mystery series.
  • Create and support a community of readers and authors.
  • Read lots of quality, fun cozy mystery books!



What is a cozy?

A sub-genre of mystery or crime fiction in which the violence is downplayed or happens “off screen”. The books tend to focus on non-professional crime solvers and contain little or no sex or foul language. For a complete definition visit the excellent Cozy-Mystery.com at http://www.cozy-mystery.com/Definition-of-a-Cozy-Mystery.html


What is an online cozy readathon?

An online readathon is an online 24 hour event that brings together a community of readers and authors to participate in all things cozy. This includes reading, posting frequently on social media, visiting author’s websites, posting reviews, visiting book blogger’s websites, and/or participating in fun challenges/activities. The amount and type of participation is up to the individual.



Canceled Series and Books by Publishers:

51WdpWVmJ6L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Penguin Random House
Avery Aames – Cheese Shop mysteries
Beverly Allen – Bridal Bouquet Shop Mysteries (not renewed) Now writing Vintage Toyshop Mysteries for Crooked Lane as Barbara Early.
Janet Bolin – Threadville Mysteries
Melissa Bourbon -Magical Dressmaking. Is thinking of self publishing but not anytime soon. Source: Author’s FB page.
Jacklyn Brady – Piece of Cake mysteries
Lucy Burdette – Key West Food Critic series
Amanda Carmack – Kate Haywood Elizabethan mysteries
Maia Chance – Fairy Tale Fatal
Erika Chase – Ashton Corners
Peg Cochran – Gourmet DeLite
Laura DiSilverio – Mall CopMall Cop
Monica Ferris – Betsy Devonshire Needlework series. Is shopping for new publisher and has plans for future books.
Christy Fifield – Haunted Souvenir. Owns rights, plans to self-publish.
Shelley Freydont – Celebration Bay
Eva Gates – Lighthouse Library (not renewed, possibly still hope). Is writing the Sherlock Holmes Bookstore and Emporium series for Crooked Lane under the name Vicki Delany. The year-Round-Christmas series by Vicki Delany is still continuing with Berkley.
Rosie Genova – Italian Kitchen mysteries
PickledVictoria Hamilton – Vintage Kitchen mysteries (she is continuing the series with another publisher, ebook only.)
Mary Ellen Hughes – Pickled and Preserved mysteries.
Annie Knox – Pet Boutique
Elizabeth Lee (Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli) Nut Shop Series
Meg London – Sweet Nothings Lingerie
Molly MacRae — Haunted Yarn Shop (plans to continue the series)
Leigh Perry – Family Skeleton. Shopping for a new publisher.
Cate Price – Deadly Notions
Paige Shelton – Farmer’s Market and Country Cooking School
Christine Wenger – Comfort Foods Mysteries (NAL, which was merged into Berkley); is considering self-publishing.Peril by Ponytail

FIVE STAR (Gale Cengage)
Five Star has dropped their entire mystery lineup.
Nancy Cohen – Bad Hair Day
Maggie Toussaint – Dreamwalker Mysteries
Susan Van Kirk- Endurance Mysteries
Limitless Publishing
A E H Veenman – Marjorie Gardens Mysteries (Limitless Publishing)

Anna Loan-Wilsey – Hattie Davish

Move your blooming corpseMacmillan / St. Martin’s Press
D.E. Ireland – Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins (switching publishers)

Fat Cat Takes The Cake; Interview and Review

Interview with Janet Cantrell

51Hzt44RE6L._SX308_BO1,204,203,200_Booth Talks Books: Why “Fat Cat”?  Where did this idea come from for a series?

Janet Cantrell: The idea for the series came from my publisher, Berkley Prime Crime, as well as a few of the main characters’ names. The very beginnings of a plot were given to me, and I filled everything in, including the killer, the method, and all of the rest. This worked well for me since I’ve lived in the Minneapolis area (Minnetonka), and have also been owned by a cat as clever and almost as fat as Quincy.

BTB: I love the way you have Quincy laced throughout the book to help the
reader know something your main character doesn’t. Tell us a little about the development of Quincy as a character.

JC: I knew, when I started this series, that Quincy had to be based on a rescued feral cat we had a few years ago. He did develop diabetes, but died of a brain tumor. Before that happened, though, he kept us in stitches. Remember the old computer game, Elf Bowling? He loved it! He would sit in my lap as I bowled for him. Sometimes he let me take his
paw and push the space bar to bowl the ball. He lived for the end, when Santa popped up in the corner and he swiped at him when he said, “Ho ho ho.”

BTB: The friendships between the characters seem to be the main glue of the stories of the Fat Cat series.  Can you speak to the friendships and which ones you like the most or the ones that are the most meaningful to you.

JC: I was given the characters of Chase, her friend Julie, and Julie’s grandmother Anna. I was also given the situation of Chase and Anna being in business together. I am lucky that I had two terrific grandmothers (who are long gone and fondly remembered). I wanted the relationships to have some bumps, as all of them do, but for my readers to feel the love underlying them. I do find that, no matter what I’m writing, that I often put family relationships into my work, so I guess family is the most meaningful.

BTB: High School reunions…groan!  We all have the people we like and don’t like to see at those.  What was your inspiration for that scene in book three without giving too much away!  It seemed to be a very important part of the book.

JC: The idea of the reunion was mine. Given that my plot involved people from the pasts of Chase and Julie, I thought of high school, right away. Where better to bring up high school memories and traumas than a reunion? To get everything started off kilter, I made if a fourteen year reunion. Once I decided to put that in, everything clicked into
place to pivot around that night.

BTB: Let’s talk about the battle between the bakeries and now the added one of the Heath Bar.  Do you love writing these scenes between the feuding stores?  What has been your favorite so far? What was your inspiration for these characters and their issues with each other? They are a riot!

JC: I had a ball writing about Eddie Heath and his health food place. I wanted to throw up an obstacle for Chase and her developing relationship with the vet. It was fun to go to the exact opposite of a dessert bar shop, Chase’s Bar None, and to put in a character who
serves green liquid things with ingredients no one had ever heard of until a few years ago. I will say that I think I eat a pretty healthy diet (although maybe too much of it), but can’t bring myself to go overboard on the extremes of health food that I’ve encountered. Since
Chase is my main character, dessert bars have to rule here!

BTB: Janet, you are always fun to talk to. Thank you for taking the time to answer a few of my questions and talking about your amazing books and characters. So, to end this interview I have to ask….what’s next?

JC: I’ll say my own thanks and a “You’re welcome!” The continuation of this series hinges on sales of this book. I’ll also add that I have plans for three more if I get the contract. Thanks also to all my wonderful readers and Quincy’s fans. You’re a terrific bunch of



Review of Fat Cat Takes The Cake

What do you get when you mix a baking contest between two competing bakeries, a high school reunion and a realty scam? A dead body of course!

What a ride Janet Cantrell took me on along with Chase Oliver, Quincy the cat and crew as 12994571_269878210011308_2678747949942786874_nthey try to figure out who killed a classmate the night of the high school reunion and clear the name of one of their close friends in the process of not only murder but being involved in a realty scam to buy out the neighborhood. Honestly though, they are the perfect suspect. Janet sets several traps throughout the book, leading the reader in directions of several possible killers but in the end, I did not see THIS person being the murderer! I really thought I had this one figured out.

I liked that the high school reunion was the center point of the whole dramatic conflict. When is there not drama at a reunion of some sort? We have all of our players in one place and so many reasons why each person would want this person dead. Chase is a great amateur detective the way she goes about decoding the evidence. I enjoyed trying to decode it along with her. Again, Janet uses this as a way to confuse the reader and send them off looking for a different suspect than who is finally named in the end. Sneaky.


I really liked the writing element of understanding what Quincy knows, giving us a bit more insight into the case than the characters. I would have liked to have seen this used more however. It’s clever. Quincy is just a regular cat and I love seeing the world from a perspective I am not used to. He just kind of stumbles upon some of the most important elements the characters could use to solve the case. More Quincy-Wincey please!

Great book, characters and recipe. I can’t wait to see the next installment!



Visit Janet Cantrell’s Links!

Buy “Fat Cat Takes the Cake”: http://amzn.to/1T7R5HX

Amazon: Fat Cat Takes The Cake

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7855179.Janet_Cantrell

Website: http://janetcantrell01.wix.com/fat-cat-mysteries