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Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Review - Say No Moor

I had reviewed one prior book in the series, the 9th titled Fleur De Lies (click here).  We are back with the Seniors Tour in England now.

Author: Maddy Hunter

Copyright: Jan 2018 (Berkley) 336 pgs

Series: 11th in Passport to Peril Mystery series

Sensuality: Mild

Mystery Sub-genre:
Cozy Mystery

Main Character:
Emily Andrew-Miceli, Travel Agency Owner and Seniors Tour Escort

Setting: Modern, Cornwall England

Obtained Through: Publisher for honest opinion

Cover blurb:  " Hoping to reach an expanded clientele of senior travelers, Emily Andrew-Miceli invites a handful of bloggers to join her group's tour of England's Cornwall region. But when the quarrelsome host of a historic inn dies under suspicious circumstances, Emily worries that the bloggers' online reviews will torpedo her travel agency.

To make matters worse, Emily is roped into running the inn, and not even a team effort from her friends can prevent impending disaster. As one guest goes missing and another turns up dead, Emily discovers that well-kept secrets can provide more than enough motive for murder."

Emily, is pretty laid back for dealing with a group of cantankerous seniors, but add on the divisive bloggers, two of which are feuding, and I wondered how to remained so calm.  There is a regular cast of Iowa seniors that Emily is escorting: Emily's Grandmother Marion known as Nana, Alice, Osmond, Helen, Margi, Dick Stolee, Dick Tieg, Bernice, Lucille, Grace, George, and Tilly.  Plus Emilly's ex-husband, now Jackie.  FYI for fans, Emily's husband Etienne isn't in this book, like in the prior book I read. 

Cornwall sounds amazing and the sights that the tour visits made me want to spend time in Cornwall.  The plot is around the murder of the chef and half owner of the Inn, a gruff and bullish man.  The plot has subplots of a thief steeling items from the tour group, the group having to scramble and do their own cooking in hopes of keeping the bloggers satisfied, and one of the regulars goes missing.  The subplots help to keep the pacing humming along.  The climax is pretty suspenseful and surprising.  The wrap up ties up loose ends and left me satisfied.

This series accentuates the zany seniors who are recurring characters.  They are over-the-top with quarrelsome banter between them, opinionated, and often down right hilarious.  A few places I laughed till I had tears.  I know humor is subjective, but give it a try for a good laugh.  I found more twists in this story than the prior I had read, kudos.  It takes a little for the story to build until the first murder, but it was worth it.

Rating:  Excellent - Loved it! Buy it now and put this author on your watch list

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Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Mid Winters Eve Hop 2017

This is my THANK YOU for following the blog and letting me be a part of your life.

If you are looking for the Mid-Winters Eve Blog Hop, you are in the correct place and thank you for stopping by.  We celebrate everything mystery and suspense here - no doubt you can find something of interest!

We have 3 packs of 1 or 2 books each available to win.

1)  City of Lies (hardover) by Victoria Thompson

2)  Not a Creature was Purring by Krista Davis and Comic Sans Murder by Paige Shelton

3)  Hark the Herald Angels Slay by Vicki Delany and Ring in the Year with Murder by Auralee Wallace

Entry for giveaway lasts until December 31 6:00 p.m. (MST). U.S. entries only please.

I will be shipping the books to the winners.

How to enter:

*** First, you must be a member (follower) of this blog.***

All entries are to be in the comments for this post.

I shall notify the winner via the email address you provide to get your mailing address and have the prize sent directly to you. If I don't hear from you in 3 days, I will select another winner and notify them.

IF you are a member of this blog, you only need to leave a comment with your correct email.

BECOME a member of this blog if you aren't already and enjoy the celebration of all things mystery and suspense.

Here are other blogs participating!

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Monday, December 18, 2017

Review - Murder in Mayfair

I enjoy historical mysteries and I tip my hat to the authors who have all the usual challenges in creating a good murder mystery plus writing the era's details.  

This is a new author to me, and I have been looking more closely at Crooked Lane Books since Penguin/Random House has been killing off many of their mystery series offerings.  D.M. Quincy is also Diana Quincy the historical romance author.  Please read on and see if this new series interests you.

Author:  D.M. Quincy

Copyright: July 2017 (Crooked Lane Books) 304 pgs

Series: 1st in Atlas Catesby Mystery series

Sensuality: Mild, some sensitive subject matter is inferred.

Mystery Sub-genre: Historical 

Main Characters: Atlas Catesby, youngest son of a Baron

Setting: Regency era, London

Obtained Through: Personal purchase

From the cover: "In 1814, Atlas Catesby, a brilliant adventurer and youngest son of a baron, is anxious to resume his world travels after being injured in a carriage accident in London. But his plans are derailed when, passing through a country village, he discovers a helpless woman being auctioned off to the highest bidder--by her husband.

In order to save her from being violated by another potential buyer, Atlas purchases the lady, Lilliana, on the spot to set her free. But Lilliana, desperate to be with her young sons and knowing the laws of England give a father all parental rights, refuses to be rescued--until weeks later when her husband is murdered and Atlas is the only one who can help clear her name of the crime.

Fortunately, Atlas is a master at solving complicated puzzles, with games as well as the intricacies of human motivation, and finds himself uniquely suited to the task, despite the personal peril it may put him in. But soon Altas learns the dead man had many secrets--and more than a few enemies willing to kill to keep them quiet."

Atlas Catesby is a confirmed bachelor until of course the events in this book.  I liked him tremendously for his sense of right and wrong and even his chivalry.  Lilliana is a hoot, strong-willed and proud, and smart.  She is Atlas's match and bests him occasionally.  But she is also hiding something in her past.  Gabriel Young, the Earl of Charlton is Atlas' good friend and he rises to the challenge to be more than a spoiled noble and assist Atlas when he needs it. The investigating Bow Street Runner, Endicott, has Atlas or Lilliana in his sites for the murder - but he is sharper than you might think.  Thea Palmer is Atlas' sister and an avid mathematician takes Lilliana under her wing.  I particularly enjoyed her character.

Regency London and the rural township that Lilliana's husband resides are accurately rendered, particularly with regards to her legal status.  These facts all play into the plot as a motive for her to be suspected of murdering her husband.  The writing keeps a good pace and several twists spring up to keep the pages turning.  

The killer reveal has a level of danger and tension that were unexpected and throat clenching for me.  Well done.  The wrap up was bitter sweet and made me ache for the next book to see how Liliana and Atlas find their way to each other.

This debut novel for a new series presents two strong lead characters with their respective baggage, and a twisting plot.  I will give one note of caution, occasionally modern language (contractions etc.) and attitudes (sympathy towards women's rights) seep into the story.  If that is a deal breaker for you, then please note that now.  I was aware of the break with true Regency customs and mores between Atlas and Lilliana, but it didn't stop my enjoyment.

Rating: Excellent - Loved it, it had a good grip on me! Buy it now and put this author on your watch list 

The next book, Murder in Bloomsbury is due out February 13, 2018.

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Monday, December 11, 2017

End of Year Giving

I love cats.  I like dogs too, even grew up with a poodle born two weeks before me.  But I love cats personally.  For the last three and half years I have volunteered at a cat shelter as the media and event coordinator.  If you don't love cats, perhaps you love other animals and can relate to some of this post.

Look What the Cat Brought In Rescue and Shelter was the first cat exclusive shelter in my town (since 2008).  They are an adoption guaranteed outfit that takes most cats brought to us (if we have the room).  We have taken cats rushed to us from other states (New Mexico and Kentucky off the top of my head) to save them from high-kill shelters or literally on death row.  

One year we took in over seventy (that's 70+) cats from one severe hoarding situation!  We take care of all the medical costs for these cats, get them physically patched up and out of pain.  We work with an animal behaviorist to heal their emotional traumas, too. 
Snickerdoodle came to us with a severe eye
infection and her eye had to be removed.

For many of these cats, it is their last chance and other shelters won't even take them because they aren't a quick turn around item.  We have rescued so many abused, abandoned, and neglected cats it makes my head spin.  But the beautiful thing is we have just as many success stories of healed cats now in well matched homes, a loving part of a forever family.  

This time of year we hear about miracles and blessings.  I have witnessed the transformation of a surly abandoned cat rescued from a Walmart parking lot who, once we took care of healing the medical issues and getting them out of pain, become nurturing and cuddly.  No cat (or any pet) makes the choice to suffer. The choice is made for them through neglect or abandonment. We make a different choice for our cats when they are in pain, ill, or injured.  
Dolly was simply not a kitten & took longer to find
a home.  She is a joy and we found her a home.

I wanted to share this because this is also the time of year when many people make donations to non-profits as part of the holiday good will.  We are a volunteer organization, even or executive director is a volunteer.  Any money is truly going to care for these little furry angels, giving them a chance - for many the last chance - at a happily ever after.  
Please consider partnering with us to save cat's lives.  If you
Hope came to us weighing only ounces and her eye
in bad shape.  Her eye had to be removed and she
finally put on weight.  She is in a loving home now!

are interested, here is our fundraising campaign (click here.)  If you don't live in Colorado, the incentives offered by businesses won't be as meaningful for you.  Any amount you give we appreciate, and the cats are grateful even if they don't understand what you have done for them!

Join us on Facebook (click here)
Join our newsletter (click here) or text "Kitty" to 42828.

Thank you for letting me share this part of my life with you!

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Monday, November 27, 2017

Secret Santa for Readers

SantaThing: Secret Santa for Book Lovers

SantaThing is LibraryThing's Secret Santa for book lovers. This is their ELEVENTH year!
How it works:

Become a Secret Santa. Choose your gift level ($15–50) and bookstore, such as Powell's, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and others. 

LibraryThing takes no "cut." If you pay $30, you get $30 worth of books (plus shipping at some sellers).

1) You can sign up for yourself, or make it a gift for a friend on or off LibraryThing.  You can do multiple SantaThings, one for yourself, gift ones for a family member or friend.

2) They choose a LibraryThing member to be your "Santee," the person you'll be buying for. They try to match up members with similar tastes in books.

3) You pick books for your Santee within the SantaThing system.

4) LibraryThing elves order the books and the books are shipped directly to your Santee. Only LibraryThing and the bookseller see your address.

5) You receive a package with the books from your Secret Santa—and rejoice!

Dates to know:
Monday, December 4th at 12pm EST (18:00 GMT). Sign-up ends. Secret Santas are chosen, profile messages are sent to the Secret Santa, and you can then enter your gift choices.

Monday, December 11th at 12pm EST (18:00 GMT). After the weekend, gift picking ends. LibraryThing sends the order via eight tiny ponies to the bookstore you chose.

Go here to sign in or start an account.

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