Tag Archive | cozy mystery

February 2017 Mystery Releases

I love mysteries and love going through the list each month to see what is coming out.  Here is a list of this month’s releases that I got from http://www.cozy-mystery.com in their monthly release section.  I hope you find a new book that you will love!  I am already working on several of these.  So many GREAT authors in this month’s line-up.

February 2017 Releases

Winnie Archer : Kneaded to Death

David Baldacci: The Width of the World

Christy Barritt: Shadow of Suspicion

M.C. Beaton: Death of a Ghostfacials-can-be-fatal

Laura Bradford : Death in Advertising

Lynn Cahoon: Fatality by Firelight

Nancy J. Cohen: Facials Can Be Fatal

Deborah Crombie: Garden of Lamentations

Maddie Day : When the Grits Hit the Fan

Krista Davis: Mission Impawsible:

Phillip DePoy: The English Agent

Kate Ellis: The Mermaid’s Scream

Joanne Fluke: Banana Cream Pie Murder

Susan Furlong: War and Peach

Cynthia Harrod-Eagles: Old Bones

ghostly-mortalityMiranda James : Twelve Angry Librarians

Tonya Kappes: A Ghostly Mortality

Faye Kellerman: Bone Box

Jonathan Kellerman: Heartbreak Hotel

Diane Kelly: Death, Taxes, and Sweet Potato Fries

Debbie Macomber: If Not for You

Emma Miller: A Love for Leah

Joyce Carol Oates: A Book of American Martyrs

Carlene O’ConnorMurder at an Irish Wedding 

James Patterson: The Darkest February

death-and-the-gravediggers-angel

James Patterson: Achilles

James Patterson & Emily Raymond: Humans Bow Down

James Patterson & Shan Serafin: The Women’s War

James Patterson & James O. Born: Saving Nathaniel

James Patterson & Marshall Karp: NYPD Red 5

Rhonda Pollero: In Justice

J.D. Robb : Echoes in Death

Loretta Ross: Death & the Gravedigger’s Angel

Annelise Ryan : Dead in the Water

Paige Shelton: Bookman Dead Style

Charles Todd: Racing the Devil 

Betty Webb: Desert Vengeance

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It’s Your Party, Die If You Want To by Vickie Fee

Review:
Nothing says woman’s business retreat like a ghost hunt, pagans dancing naked around its-your-partythe fire and the dead body of a community member whose had an affair with just about every man in town. Dang Vickie! What was in your tea when you were writing this? It’s Your Party, Die If You Want To is a non-stop trip of having your mouth hanging open and I loved it!

Small towns are amazing because there is always something going on and everyone knows about it. Dixie Tennessee is just like any other small southern town except a lot more scandalous. Liv McKay, a party planner and her friend, Di Souther, the local mail carrier are in the perfect professions to know everyone’s business in a more intimate way. And can I just say the names, Liv and Di for murder mystery characters are brilliant! I love that to the moon and back.

During the Professional Women’s Alliance of Dixie retreat (PWAD), one of their members who “gets around town”, if you catch my drift, ends up dead with a look on her face that would turn ones blood cold. All this happens during a ghost hunt and the homecoming of Dixie’s very own celebrity ghost hunter, Lucinda Grable. With this twist in the retreat, no one is allowed to leave and everyone starts pointing fingers at each other. Between Liv and Di, they come up with a plan to ensnare the killer at the Halloween fundraiser during a stage performance of “Clue” after Di notes several clues of her own along the way.

These characters were sassy and not afraid to show their crazy at all. When that happens, the reader can’t tell who is naturally crazy and who is mentally crazy and needs to be put in a mental ward. Between the bickering, joking, unusual alliances and backstabbing, I just couldn’t keep up. Have I met these people before? Nah…..okay, maybe.

The ending was just as climatic as my first Clue game. My mouth was hanging open; I was fidgeting and really nervous as the plot was revealed. It was exciting, the dialogue that occurred between them all as the guilty parties were outed.

The details that Vickie uses throughout the book to describe the scenes are what make the book really come to life. I felt like I was at the parties. I could envision everything around me, smell the food and felt like I was right in with Liv and Holly doing the decorating and mingling. I was anxious with them as they were preparing each location for the big night. I learned about a new poison I had never heard about and that fascinated me. How Agatha Christie is that? She didn’t just tell a story that was entertaining, she kept me informed, involved me as a reader and even educated me.

its-your-party2This story went above and beyond just a story. Yes, it was a cozy mystery, but it has so many layers. It was like watching a movie in my head more so than some of the books I read. I love detail and love it when writers use it to help me along. I am not in their head when they are writing so it helps me understand their vision. So, if you don’t like a lot of description and detail, this wouldn’t be the book for you. But if you do, Vickie Fee is your author. It’s Your Party, Die If You Want To needs to be on your bookshelf.

About Vickie Fee:
Vickie Fee grew up on a steady diet of Nancy Drew, daydreams and sweet iced tea. Like vickiefeemost people born and raised in Memphis, she didn’t tour Graceland until she was in her 30s – and then only as a host to out-of-town guests. She now lives in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan with her husband, John. If she cranes her neck slightly, she can see Lake Superior from her office/guestroom window.

After earning a journalism degree from the University of Memphis, she spent many years as a reporter covering small Southern towns populated with colorful characters, much like those in her books’ fictional town of Dixie, Tennessee. She’s a past president of the Malice in Memphis chapter of Sisters in Crime and current member of the Wisconsin Sisters in Crime and the Guppies chapter. When not writing, Vickie enjoys reading mysteries and watching B movies from the 1930s and ‘40s.

She’s currently working on the next book in the Liv and Di in Dixie mystery series, published by Kensington.

Buy On Amazon:

BTB Spotlight and Giveaway “The Hammett Hex” by Victoria Abbott

“The Hammett Hex” by Victoria Abbott

 

Excerpt:

 Squished into a cable car, hurtling down a steep hill, hammetthex-hi-resclinging to a rail with the wind rushing in your ears amid the clang and clatter of metal and the shrieks of fellow passengers might not be everybody’s idea of a romantic moment, but, strangely, it was working for me. Sure, my knuckles were white, but I was happy because I was wedged up against Tyler “Smiley” Dekker, the occasional man of my dreams. Plus the cable car we were riding gave us a view of San Francisco Bay. The half dozen-squealing school girls—black asymmetrical haircuts with the weird colored tips, the shredded jeans and the selfie sticks— couldn’t diminish the experience.

After all, you’re only young and pink-tipped once. One of them rolled her eyes at me.

I had also managed to tune out the puffy, bickering couple next to us. Who knew that you could sustain a twenty-minute dispute about the flavor of gelato? Chocolate hazelnut or nocciola? Obviously these two would never run out of things to fight about, and yet, they’d miraculously agreed to the same 49ers T-shirt.

We’d bumped into them before on the tourist walks in the area near Union Station. They always had plenty to argue with each other about.

The hulking guy right behind me was a bit harder to ignore. His large, pink, moon face was damp with sweat and his short-sleeved, blue-checked shirt strained at the buttons. He had clearly forgotten his deodorant this morning. Worse, he didn’t appear to comprehend the idea of personal space.

Smiley turned and flashed his grin. I loved that little gap between his front teeth and the way his blond hair blew in the wind. I loved that we were here in this romantic city. I loved that I could still make him blush.

Two silver-haired ladies wearing Birkenstock sandals and Tilley hats nudged each other and smiled at us in approval. I recognized them from our hotel. I’d noticed their bright toe nail polish in the line-up at the restaurant in the morning. Even though I was a bit jealous that they’d found seats on the cable car, I smiled back at them.

They each gave us a little wave they eased their way to the exit behind me.

All the world loves a lover, as they say. Loves a lover! Imagine that. Smiley and I had taken a few sharp detours in our relationship. It was still hard to believe that we were on a getaway alone without hot and cold running relatives and the persistent, gravelly voice of my employer, Vera Van Alst. Could a cop with ambitions to be a detective and a girl who was the first person in her family to go legit have a chance at happiness?

So far, it was looking good.

“Powell Street,” he mouthed. Smiley had a thing for Dashiell Hammett and Powell Street was important to him too. He mentioned the name every few minutes. He had also mentioned something to do with Sam Spade every few minutes on our cable car ride. As far as I could see, he’d watched The Maltese Falcon once too often as a child. It seemed that his grandfather was to blame. I knew all about fascinations with fictional characters and settings. So I got that. But I had just discovered this classic noir detective and I was reserving judgment about Hammett and his gang.

Today, Smiley was also busy taking pictures. I was equally busy hanging on to my gray fedora because of the bouncy ride and the stiff breeze. That fedora had been the perfect vintage find and just right for San Francisco. It was sort of inspired by Sam Spade, (see reserving judgement, above) but mainly I wore it because the foggy damp air turned my mid-length, dark hair into wild frizz. It was either the fedora or a brown paper bag.

It was our third trip on this particular line. We had three-day visitor passports and Smiley wanted us to get our twenty-bucks worth on every form of transportation.

Much of it had to doing with getting to know the city of Sam Spade. Smiley had a strong desire to visit Burrett Alley, off Stockton, where there was supposed to be a sign commemorating the shooting of Miles Archer in The Maltese Falcon. Pulp and Noir were not my thing and, to tell the truth, I’d been a bit surprised that Smiley was such an aficionado. I preferred the gentlemen of the Golden Age of Detection and of course, anything with Archie Goodwin in it. But if he wanted to see that memorial to a fictional murder, I was fine with it as long as I could keep my hat on.

Smiley had managed to turn full circle as we proceeded down the next block. There couldn’t be a building he hadn’t captured for posterity. There were plenty of shots of me too. That was fine as my hair was covered and I had lots to smile about.

“Seafood tonight?” he shouted, suddenly serious.

Well, how about that? I had something else to smile about. “We’re in the right city for it.”

My response was lost in the racket.

We shuddered to a stop again and people pushed onto the cable car. I tried not to get separated from Smiley as people squeezed their way into the car and a short, bullet-shaped man with crisply-gelled black hair attempted to shoulder his way between us. The cable car lurched forward. I steadied myself by grabbing Smiley’s belt with one hand. I held on to my hat with the other. “Sorry,” I said to the bullet-shaped man who seemed determined to take up more space.

I guess I’d been in the friendly, civil society of Harrison Falls, in upstate New York, for a bit too long. I wasn’t used to jockeying for position in confined spaces.

Bullet-man flashed me a bleak look and eased behind me. Good. Let him experience the big stinky guy first hand.

Smiley was pointing now, his enthusiastic words carried away on the wind. No question about it. He was adorable. And he wasn’t the first person to develop a fascination with Sam Spade or the Continental Op. I’d get my turn too. I couldn’t wait to get to Haight-Ashbury Street and its vintage stores.

As I reached for the airborne fedora, I felt something slam hard into my back, knocking the breath out of me. I lost hold of Smiley as I tumbled forward. When I managed to steady myself, a second sharp slam accelerated my fall. Panicked, I tried to grab at nearby passengers, but too little too late. With a roar of shouting voices behind me, I plunged, screaming wordlessly, from the lumbering cable car toward the pavement, my head set to meet Powell Street the hard way.

But I’m getting ahead of my story.

Let me start at the beginning.

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Giveaway:

Enter to win ANY paperback book in the “Book Collector Mystery” Series by Victoria Abbott. This contest is available worldwide! You can enter every day until the 26th!

the-christie-curse  Victoria Abbott Book Giveaway  the-wolfe-widow

*Facebook is not affiliated nor cares anything about this giveaway. So…ya.*

About the Author:

mj-and-vic-fedoraThat shadowy figure known as Victoria Abbott is a happy collaboration between the artist, photographer and short story author, Victoria Maffini, and her mother, Mary Jane Maffini, lapsed librarian and award-winning author of three mystery series and two dozen short stories.

Their contemporary and humorous book collector mysteries draw from the beloved authors of the golden age of detection. There is no extra charge for the crooked Irish uncles or the pug. The good news is that while they’ve written five books together, they haven’t killed each other. Yet.

In other good news, their fourth book collector mystery, The Marsh Madness, won the 2016 Bony Blithe award for ‘mysteries that make us smile’. They’re smiling because their fifth book collector mystery will be released on October 4th.

You can find more at: www.victoria-abbott.com   or www.maryjanemaffini.com

You can sign up for their e-newsletter (contests, book news, dog fashions, nonsense and recipes) through either website.

 

Other Fun Link Victoria Suggests

Buy On Amazon:

http://amzn.to/2cJpPSj

Websites:

www.victoria-abbott.com
www.maryjanemaffini.com

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/BookCollectorMysteries

https://www.facebook.com/maryjane.maffini

https://www.facebook.com/BookCollectorMysteries

The Hammett Hex Trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hg8lreWUOo4&feature=youtu.be

 

btb-hammett-hex

 Cover art by Tony Mauro. 

The Book Collector Mystery Series is published by Berkley Prime Crime

 

 

BTB Spotlight and Giveaway Tuesday! Murder of A Cranky Catnapper

 

In the latest from the New York Times bestselling author of Murder of an Open Book, a school psychologist has her hands full after a school board sourpuss meets a MurderCatnapper_Bluebitter end…
“With her morning sickness finally abated, Skye Denison-Boyd is ready to pounce on the pertinent problems she faces as Scumble River Elementary School’s psychologist. After trying
almost every trick in the book to aid a handful of socially awkward fourth grade boys, Skye opts for the innovative approach of pet therapy with the assistance of the local vet, a Siberian husky, and a Maine coon cat.Unfortunately, the first session only breeds disaster and draws the ire of cantankerous school board member Palmer Lynch. But Skye’s worry over the episode changes to dread after Lynch is found dead in his home with the therapy cat hidden in his garage. With a clowder of questions unleashed, Skye finds herself dealing with a killer who isn’t pussyfooting around…”

 

Upcoming Releases from Denise Swanson:

September 6, “Sinfully Delicious“, a contemporary romance, 

Take one smoking-hot top chef who thinks food should be a sensual adventure, add a venture capitalist who has struggled with her weight since she was a teenager, and mix well. Is this a recipe that sizzles, or is he just another craving she must resist?

July 2017, “Lions, & Tigers, & Murder, Oh MyDevereaux’s Dime Store Series

 

Swanson1    Enter GIVEAWAY from Denise Swanson!   swanson2

Click to BUY “Murder of a Cranky Catnapper”

About the Author:Denise Swanson

New York Times Bestseller author Denise Swanson was a practicing school psychologist for twenty-two years. She writes the Change of Heart and Delicious Love contemporary romance series, as well as the Scumble River and Devereaux’s Dime Store mysteries. Her books all feature small-town heroines with lots of heart.

Denise’s books have been finalists for the Agatha, Mary Higgins Clark, RT Magazine’s Career Achievement, and Daphne du Maurier Awards. She has won the Reviewers Choice Award and was a BookSense 76 Top Pick.

Denise Swanson lives in rural Illinois with her husband, classical composer David Stybr.

Contact Denise!

Website: http://www.DeniseSwanson.com

Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/DeniseSwansonAuthor/

Twitter : https://twitter.com/DeniseSwansonAu

Click to BUY “Murder of a Cranky Catnapper”

 

Review: Betting Off Dead by Tonya Kappes

Betting off Dead Cover

I can’t imagine that keeping one’s identity, as a witch in a southern town in Kentucky can be very easy. Southern ladies love to gossip you know. I know. I have lived in Kentucky most all of my life. That’s why I am pretty impressed with how clever Maggie Parks and her family have been, hiding out in Belgravia Court in Louisville all these years. Perfect setting to become a spy, right? Let’s just pile more secrets on. Anyway, if it weren’t for that flying owl, Miss Kitty, and a few other things, maybe Mrs. Hubbard would lay off them. Okay, may not.

Betting off Dead is the second in the Spies and Spells series from the Kentucky native, Tonya Kappes. She captures southern culture to a tee. Between the close knit family to the nosy neighbor, she has this witch family sitting pretty in one of the pretties cities in the state.

In this second installment, we join Maggie after she has found out what her life calling is suppose to be and just like all southern moms, mama isn’t having it. Mom Parks is going to do everything she can to protect her daughter from danger and that handsome, shall I say smoking hot guy, that keeps popping up that everyone in the family says is going to cause her nothing but trouble. What’s a daughter to do? After all, Mick Jasper is her co-worker and partner. Well, get dressed and go get into danger with the guy of course! It’s horse city and there is something fishing going on down at the Derby. With her familiar, a 1965 AC Cobra named Vinnie, and some witchy know-how, Maggie tries to help the horses of the Blue Grass state.

Not all goes smoothly of course. In the process, she loses a dear friend, faces a death she doesn’t realize would hit her so hard and starts to own who she really is. Maggie comes into herself in this second book. Tonya helps us journey with not only Maggie, but Aunt Mimi, Ms. Parks, Lilith and Abram. It’s a tough transition to watch, but well worth it once everything is revealed in the end.

Betting off Dead was an amazing book, so I can’t imagine how book three will be. Maggie is now aware of who she is and I am hoping fully accepted by her family. This is for a sure a coming of age story that so many people can relate to. Maggie is the one who is different from the rest of her family and they have to learn to accept her differences and I think they do. I hope they do. Beautiful book Tonya. The action and adventure in the book are fantastic, but the take away for me was the acceptance Maggie finds.

Tonya Kappes Pic

About the Author:

For years, USA Today bestselling author Tonya Kappes has been publishing numerous mystery and romance titles with unprecedented success. She is famous not only for her hilarious plot lines and quirky characters, but her tremendous marketing efforts that have earned her thousands of followers and a devoted street team of fans.

Tonya lives in Kentucky with  husband, four grown sons and two schnauzers.

Betting off Dead Cover

CLICK TO BUY!

Review: Sunny Side Up by Maureen K. Howard

Sunny Side Up by Maureen K. Howard is a story of friendship, a story of mystery, a story that will make you wonder what in the world these two ladies are thinking. Francie and June are a modern day Lucy and Ethel on vacation together where 11907197_163808767284920_8300223443773095718_neverything goes wrong (dead body anyone?) as they face obstacles together that show how deep and how fun friendship can be.

Hammond Egge is Francie’s husband who constantly shakes his head at the over the top antics of the best friend and free-lance writer, June. When the couple of empty nesters meet up with the best friend at Beacon Pointe Resort, things start turning stranger than usual. A shopping trip and interview for June’s article turn into a murder investigation; one they didn’t see coming. They meet a mermaid, an ex-husband, a mysteries man with his over-protective dog and a handsome detective on their wild adventure of amateur sleuthing while trying to get to the bottom of the cause of a mysterious fire in their favorite shopping boutique where a body is found and Hammond is the prime suspect. As the story unfolds, people aren’t who they seem and the situations the women find themselves in gets sticky, making the reader shake their head and wonder how in the world the ladies will get out of this one.  You go arm in arm with Francie and June as they trespass, escape showers of bullets and become Facebook celebrities from “borrowing” items around the island and snapping smiling pics of themselves. In the end, the mystery is solved and drinks are served.

Sunny Side Up was a fun read. The story was slow to start on the action due to needing to get to know the characters, but once it starts, is fantastic. Hang in there because it is worth it. There were so many times I burst out laughing at the crazy situations that June and Francie had gotten themselves in to. These ladies are such great characters and remind me of what good girlfriends should be. They drink together, they laugh together, they get in trouble with the law together. I loved how developed each of the characters were. I really felt like I knew them so well. As a mother myself, I could totally see being Francie after my kids are grown, hanging out with my best friend on vacation. It sounds just like us.

Maureen K. Howard did a fantastic job of character development. I do wish there had been “mystery” action closer to the beginning in the first few chapters. This might lose some readers who are looking for a quick start to action after the initial mention of a charred body in chapter one. Honestly though, the characters need to be explained because their personalities are so quirky and three dimensional. I can’t wait for Francie and June’s next adventure. Those ladies are crazy-fun.

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