Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Memories and Murder by Lynn Cahoon: Review, Excerpt and Giveaway!

Memories and Murder 

A Tourist Trap Mystery

by Lynn Cahoon

About Memories and Murder 

Cozy Mystery
10th in Series
Kensington Publishing Corporation (November 12, 2019)
Paperback: 182 pages
ISBN-10: 1516103076
ISBN-13: 978-1516103072
Digital ASIN: B07NTD5L7H
It’s October in South Cove, California, and the locals in the quaint resort seem to be happily pairing off in the lull before the holidays. Everyone, that is, except for Jill Gardner’s elderly aunt, who just dumped her besotted fiancé—and she won’t say why.

When Jill hosts a talk at Coffee, Books, and More on the topic of elder abuse, all that’s really on her mind is lunch. But the topic hits close to home when she discovers Aunt Jackie has been getting mysterious calls. Jill’s certain the caller is a con artist, of course, but her feisty aunt claims to understand this, though she’s still shaken—and Harrold’s still heartbroken. Who’s behind the scam and why was her aunt targeted? When a volunteer from the Senior Project is found murdered, Jill’s detective boyfriend is on the case—and it soon becomes clear no one is safe when a caller from beyond becomes a killer in their midst.

About Lynn Cahoon

Lynn Cahoon is the award-winning author of several New York Times and USA Today best selling cozy mystery series. The Tourist Trap Mystery series is set in central coastal California with six holiday novellas releasing in 2018–2019. She also pens A Cat Latimer Mystery series available in mass market paperback. Her newest series, the Farm to Fork mystery series, debuted in 2018. She lives in a small town like the ones she loves to write about with her husband and two fur babies. Sign up for her newsletter at www.lynncahoon.com.
Avila Beach Kayaking // A 6 day california coast road trip itinerary that combines outdoor adventure travel and local California beach town culture.

Author Links

Twitter - https://twitter.com/LynnCahoon
Home Decoration Ideas Pinterest #HomemadeXmasDecoration Info: 4346369596


To everything, there is a season. This truth was given to us in the Bible as well as through the sacred music of the Byrds. Life goes in cycles.

As I sat and listened to Paula Woods from the Senior Project talk to the business-to-business meeting, I pondered my own life and seasons. And, of course, the seasons of the ones I loved. As the South Cove city council liaison for the business community, it was my job to set up these monthly meetings. Most months we talked about upcoming marketing festivals or rules and regulations that the city council had taken up for discussion.

This month, the topic was hitting closer to home. I’m Jill Gardner. I set up the meeting and its agenda, but I also own Coffee, Books, and More, our regular meeting place. We are the only coffee-shop-slash-bookstore in our small coastal town.
Recycled materials for coffee bar
In addition to the community business agenda items, we had a guest speaker. Paula was also a member of Sadie Michaels’s church. Sadie had advocated for Paula to have a slot on this month’s agenda. October was a slow month for topics, with everyone getting back in gear from the holidays, so I’d scheduled her in for the last hour of our meeting.

I could tell she was winding down and so was the attention span of our attending members. Me? I was checking my dark, curly hair for split ends. “I just wanted to thank Jill again for inviting me to speak with you. Elder abuse is a serious topic that our country needs to address. And I hope all of you will think about the care and attention older people in your life need and deserve. Thank you.” Paula looked my way, and I took that as my cue, jumping up to take the microphone before Mayor Baylor could even get out of his chair.

“Thank you, Paula, for your thoughtful presentation. I know a lot of us will be thinking about what you said for a while.” That got me a glare from my aunt, who neither acted like nor admitted to being elderly. “I just wanted to remind everyone that our next meeting is after Octoberfest finishes, so I thought Darla might have some last-minute instructions for us. Darla, do you mind? I know I didn’t have this on the agenda.”

“Not a problem.” Darla Taylor made her way to the front table. She’d been in charge of South Cove’s festivals for as long as I’d owned my shop. Well, except for that one Christmas, but even then, she’d saved the day after the mayor’s wife had messed up the planning. “I was going to jump in with some reminders before we closed anyway.”
Panta Rhei is a well established and popular bookstore in Slovak Republic.  Café Dias  is a coffee place, which became an addition to in Panta Rhei branches to support bookloving atmosphere. With its size, Panta Rhei is one of the...
As Darla came up, the mayor glanced at his watch. I passed by his chair and he grabbed my arm, bringing me down to his level. He whispered in my ear, “I need to get back to my office.” “Go ahead and leave. You’re not being held hostage.” I turned toward him so my voice wouldn’t carry over Darla’s.

“You know I like to close the meeting. Besides, its election year and I need to remind people to register to vote.” He cocked his head and studied me. “Your boyfriend isn’t thinking about running for mayor this year, is he? Maybe this is a ploy to keep me from getting in front of the business owners?”

        “I’m not Greg’s campaign manager.” I saw the fear my choice of words had caused. I pulled my arm free, certain everyone was pretending to listen to Darla but really focused on our little spat. “Anyway, he’s not running. At least, not to my knowledge. Stop being paranoid. Go now or stay and talk. It’s your call.”
Rome - Bookshop in Trastevere

My Thoughts

Memories and Murder by Lynn Cahoon is the tenth A Tourist Trap Mystery.  Jill Gardner owns Coffee, Books and More in South Cove, California where she is currently worried about her Aunt Jackie.  Jackie suddenly called off her engagement to Harrold Snider and refuses to explain why.  After a little coaxing from Jill, Jackie confesses that she has been getting some disturbing calls.  If the identity of this individual is correct, then Jackie could not marry Harrold.  Jill had just heard a lecture about elder fraud, and she believes someone is targeting her aunt.  Jill contacts her boyfriend, Detective Greg King so they can look into the matter.  Unfortunately, a volunteer at the Senior Project is murdered that evening which becomes Greg’s priority.  Jill is not one to standby, so she begins to do some sleuthing on her own.  Memories and Murder can be read as a standalone for those new to the series.  The author provides the necessary background information on the main characters.  Memories and Murder is easy to read thanks to the author’s conversational writing style and smooth flow of the story.  The mystery was different because it addresses the issue of elder fraud.  People, unfortunately, try to take advantage of those who are not as technologically savvy and who are more trusting.  Jackie is lucky that she has Jill and such caring friends.  Jill is positive that someone is taking advantage of Jackie and she begins going research online as well as talking to some people in town.  Jill got lucky when people approached her with information because they had heard of Jackie’s predicament.  I would have liked some more active sleuthing on Jill’s part.  I enjoyed Deek’s participation and how he added to the case.  Deek is a hard worker and a good addition to Jill’s business.  I like how everything tied together to provide a satisfying conclusion.  I am curious about Jill’s decisions making regarding Coffee, Books and More.  Deek will ask to add a book group, and Jill tells him to check with Aunt Jackie since it will happen in the evenings when she works.  Since Jill owns the business, I feel she should make the decision.  I just found it odd and unfair to Deek since Aunt Jackie is not his biggest fan (yet).  There are plenty of cozy moments with Jill enjoying endless cups of coffee, indulging in Sadie’s confections, taking Emma for runs, helping Amy work on her wedding including a disastrous crafting session, time with Greg, talking with new hire Deek, and reading advance reader copies that have been sent to the store.  Memories and Murder is a comfortable cozy mystery with curious calls, a mysterious murder, copious quantities of coffee, plentiful pastries, wedding work, a cute canine, and a busy boyfriend.
 Little Helsinki: Think Corner café
Memories and Murder is available at Amazon*, Amazon UKB&N, and Kobo.  You find a complete list of A Tourist Trap Mystery books here on Amazon (list does not include the novellas).  For a list of the novellas, visit Lynn Cahoon's website.  To win a print copy of Memories and Murder (U.S. Only), click here to enter or enter via the Rafflecopter form below.  Good Luck! Thank you for joining me today.  I return tomorrow Silent Knit, Deadly Knit by Peggy Ehrhart.  It is the fourth A Knit & Nibble Mystery.  I hope you have a charming day.  Take care and Happy Reading!   


The Avid Reader

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Monday, November 11, 2019

Fan Mail by Daryl Wood Gerber

Fan Mail (An Aspen Adams Novel of Suspense Book 2) by [Gerber, Daryl Wood]
Happy Veterans Day!  I hope you had a lovely weekend.  If you have been thinking about joining Audible(or giving as a gift to someone on your list), now is the perfect time.  They are offering a promotion of $6.95 a month for the first three months (instead of $14.95).  I am going to take advantage of the offer.  I listen to audiobooks while driving because it helps me to concentrate (and I am almost out of new audio books).  Reese's Book Club has chosen The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes as this months audiobook selection.  Do you listen to audiobooks?  I am always looking for good recommendations.
Fan Mail by Daryl Wood Gerber returns readers to Lake Tahoe, Nevada.  Aspen Adams is trying to reach her gynecologist, Dr. Kristin Fisher when she gets a call from her boyfriend, DS Nick Shaper.  Dr. Fisher was found murdered in her office by her assistant, Heather.  That evening, Nick is called out to another gruesome crime scene.  Local restaurateur, Tony Vittorio was found murdered at Vittorio’s Restaurant with a butcher knife (sensing a trend).  Aspen then gets a frantic call from local news anchor, Gloria Morning.  Someone sent Gloria notes after each crime claiming the murders were done in her glory.  Gloria hires Aspen to find out who is behind the notes.  Just as Aspen begins digging into the case, there is an attack close to home.  Aspen is even more determined to track down the person responsible.  But then another person is murdered with a note delivered to Gloria.  Each victim has a connection to Gloria and Aspen believes everything ties together.  There are too many suspects and too few clues.  Aspen stumbles upon the answer, but it may be too late.
A great ziplining/treetop obstacle course adventure for the whole family.  Adults and kids alike were challenged and exhilarated.  Had a great time!
Fan Mail by Daryl Wood Gerber is the second novel An Aspen Adams Novel of Suspense series.  It can be read as a standalone for those who have not indulged in Desolate Shores. Fan Mail is a complex novel full of twists and surprises.  Aspen Adams quit her job as a therapist to work for her aunt’s detective agency.  Aspen has a long way to go before she gets her license, but she is learning the ropes.  Then her gynecologist is killed after leaving Aspen two messages that were cut off.  A local restaurant owner is murdered soon thereafter.  Gloria Manning phones Aspen because she received odd letters after each crime.  Gloria is used to fan mail as a news anchor, but these notes scare her.  She wants Aspen to get answers.  Aspen starts questioning the numerous suspects.  Unfortunately, the killer is just beginning.  Fan Mail is a fast paced suspense novel that will have you on the edge of your seat.  I like that there are cozy moments tossed in.  Aspen is learning to be a private investigator by working at her Aunt Maxi’s agency.  I like Aunt Maxi with her no nonsense approach.  She is careful to give Aspen rules (not that she always pays attention).  Candace, Aspen’s niece, lives with her and is now thriving.  Candace is mature for her age and provides good insights into the murders.  Nick Shaper is Aspen’s boyfriend and a detective with Placer County Sheriff’s office.  He has mixed emotions about Aspen’s getting involved in these crimes.  He appreciates her helpful information, but Nick does not want anything to happen to her.  The characters are developed and realistic.  There are multiple murders along with taunting notes and other nefarious activities in Fan Mail.  There are multiple suspects for Aspen to wade through, but the clues are meager.  Readers will have a hard time pining down the guilty party unless you pay close attention to the clues.  It is a complex mystery that continues to evolve as the story progresses.  I enjoyed all the action along with the tense atmosphere.  You never knew what the perpetrator was going to do next.  I like Daryl Wood Gerber’s descriptive writing which brought the story alive for me.  Fan Mail is an absorbing novel with an active adolescent, multiple murders, a dashing detective, a crafty killer, and a resolute rookie investigator.
Visiting Lake Tahoe: North Shore or South Shore?
Fan Mail comes out on November 12 and is available for pre-order through Amazon* (Amazon UK).  Desolate Shores is the first An Aspen Adams Novel of Suspense.  You can learn more about the author along with the various book series she writes, by visiting her website. Thank you for joining me today and I hope I have helped add another book to your extensive TBR pile.  Tomorrow I am featuring Memories and Murder by Lynn Cahoon as part of the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour.  It is the tenth A Tourist Trap Mystery.  I hope you have a joyful day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader
Aiken House & Gardens: What a wonderful spot to read.
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Sunday, November 10, 2019

A Precious Gift by Shelley Shepard Gray

A Precious Gift (Walnut Creek #2.5)
Happy Sunday!  Friday Night Bites by Erin Johnson* comes out on November 15.  It is the second tale in Magic Market MysteriesThe Hope by Patricia Davids releases on November 19.  It is the second novel in The Amish of Cedar Grove seriesHoliday Roast Mortem by Tonya Kappes will be out on November 26.  It is the seventh A Killer Coffee Mystery.  These are just a few of the new books coming out in November.  Is there a new book you are looking forward to reading?
Two young Amish boys clear snow from a pond in Walnut Creek, Ohio. Ice skating is a popular activity for many Amish youth in the winter.
A Precious Gift by Shelley Shepard Gray returns readers to Walnut Creek, Ohio.  Gabrielle “Gabby” Ferrara has been dating Kyle Lambright despite her mother’s objections.  Gabby is an Englischer while Kyle is Amish.  Her mother got pregnant by her Amish boyfriend who then retreated within his community to avoid his responsibilities.  Kyle and Gabby are in love, but there are many obstacles in their path.  Is there a chance for a happily ever after in their future?
 Ohio Amish Country, Holmes County where half the residents are Amish
A Precious Gift by Shelley Shepard Gray is book 2.5 in The Walnut Creek series.  I would not recommend reading A Precious Gift on its own.  It is best to read the books in this series in order so that you can get to know the characters.  I thought A Precious Gift was well-written with developed, realistic characters.  Kyle Lambright is nineteen years old, but he has the maturity of a much older man.  Kyle is a kind and thoughtful individual who is there for Gabby.  Gabby is a sweet, smart young woman.  I thought the situations presented in the story were realistic.  I could see this story playing out right now for two teenagers.  I enjoyed reading this story that had love, family, friendship and faith.  I look forward to my next visit to Walnut Creek, Ohio.  A Precious Gift is an emotional story that will touch your heart. 
Love shopping at Walnut Creek Cheese!  When the tourists aren't as many!
The Precious Gift is available in ebook through Amazon*.  The Protective One is the next book in The Walnut Creek series and it will be out on January 21, 2020.  The novels in The Walnut Creek series are Friends to the End (prequel), The Patient One and The Loyal One.  Thank you for joining me today.  I will feature Fan Mail by Daryl Wood Gerber tomorrow.  It is the second novel in An Aspen Adams Suspense series.  I hope you have an enjoyable day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader
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Saturday, November 9, 2019

Nogged Off by Barbara Ross

Nogged Off by [Ross, Barbara]
Hello!  I hope you have had a good week and are enjoying a relaxing day. A Mystery Before Christmas by Adriana Lucio* releases on November 20.  It is the third An Italian Village Mystery.  Thin Ice by Paige Shelton comes out December 3 along with Holiday Homecoming Secrets by Lynette EasonVerse and Vengeance by Amanda Flower is available on December 10.  It is A Magical Bookshop Mystery.
Design Moving Announcement/ Verhuiskaart by Anet van der Vorst www.kaartje2go.nl / déménagement
Nogged Off by Barbara Ross has Julia Snowden finally letting go of her Tribeca apartment.  Imogen Geinkes has been subleasing the apartment and has agreed to take over the lease.  Julia arrives to find Imogen crying because she lost her job and her boyfriend within one week.  Imogen is now unable to take over the lease or buy the furniture plus she has nowhere else to go.  Julia quickly rents a moving truck, packs up the contents of her apartment and invites Imogen to spend Christmas with her family in Busman’s Harbor, Maine.  The arrive home in the middle of the night so Julia leaves the moving van in her mother’s driveway.  The next morning the van is gone.  The police find the moving van in a remote location with Imogen’s ex-boyfriend dead inside.  Julia wants to tie up this investigation quickly so she can enjoy the holiday with her family.  Things, though, do not go quite as planned.
Christmas Prelude Celebration in Kennebunkport -- Credit: Robert Dennis
Nogged off by Barbara Ross is a part of the A Maine Clambake Mystery series.  If you read Eggnog Murder which came out a year ago (three novellas in one book), then you have already enjoyed Nogged Off.  Julia Snowden goes to clear out her Tribeca apartment and ends up taking Imogen Geinkes home to her mother’s house for the holidays.  Murder and confusion soon ensues.  I enjoyed reading Nogged Off.  It is well-written and proceeds at a steady pace.  Julia, Chris, Gus, Julia’s mother are all included in the story.  It can be read as a standalone for those new to the series.  I thought the whodunit was clever with a surprising twist.  In addition, there are some mysterious happenings at the Snowden house.  They are beginning to wonder if the house is haunted.  I enjoyed the humor sprinkled throughout Nogged Off.  Nogged Off is an entertaining novella with a curious mystery, Christmas traditions, good food, family, friends, humor and a little mayhem. 
Christmas Tree - Camden, Maine - New England
Nogged Off is available in ebook through Amazon* (Amazon UK).  Sealed Off is the next A Maine Clambake Mystery which comes out on December 31.  Thank you for stopping by today.  I plan on sharing my review of A Precious Gift by Shelley Shepard Gray next time.  It is part of The Walnut Creek series.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader
Merry Christmas: Young Child/Toddler Reading "How The Grinch Stole Christmas" Christmas Card Photo Idea

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Friday, November 8, 2019

Poppy Redfern and the Midnight Murders by Tessa Arlen

Poppy Redfern and the Midnight Murders (A Woman of WWII Mystery #1)
Good Day!  Murder with Cherry Tarts by Karen Rose Smith will be out on November 26 as well as Cobblered to Death by Rosemarie Ross and Invitation Only Murder by Leslie MeierAn Amish Christmas Promise by Jo Ann Brown releases on December 1.  Now is the time to start giving hints to family and friends for holiday gifts (such as an Amazon Gift Card so you can buy books).  I love to give books as gifts.  How about you?
Poppy Redfern and the Midnight Murders by Tessa Arlen has Poppy Redfern, in the summer of 1942, returning to Little Buffenden, England after completing her training in London.  Poppy is the be the villages Air Raid Precautions Warden (aka Air Raid Warden).  She spends her evening patrolling Little Buffenden making sure the residents are adhering to the rules because stray light could give enemy planes their position.  They need to be cautious with the newly completed American airfield nearby on the farmland belonging to Poppy’s family.  Their home, Reaches was also requisitioned by the War Office for the American Air Force.  While out on patrol, Poppy encounters Lt. Griff O’Neal who has moved into Reaches.  The local single women are thrilled with the influx of Americans soldiers who take them out dancing and to the pictures.  But then Doreen Newcombe is found strangled with nylon stockings and suspicion falls onto an American soldier.  When a second girl is found dead, the soldier is arrested.  Poppy has her doubts and so does Lt. O’Neal.  The pair team up to uncover the truth.  Can Poppy unmask the killer before another girl is attacked?
An ARP post near London, 1939. #worldwartwo #wwii #history #londonblitz #homefront #forties
Poppy Redfern and the Midnight Murders by Tessa Arlen is the first A Woman of WWII Mystery.  I love the cover of this new historical cozy mystery.  Poppy Redfern is a spunky woman who has become the Air Raid Warden for Little Buffenden, England.  She spends her daytime hours working on a novel featuring her heroine, Ilona Linthwaite and her evening patrolling the village.  But then someone begins killing off the young women in the town who are dating American soldiers.  Poppy believes the wrong man was arrested for the crime and so does Lt. Griff O’Neal.  The two work together to get to the truth.  I thought Poppy was a great character with her red hair and zest for life.  I appreciated that she had a unique position as Air Raid Warden. She is more progressive than the grandparents who raised her and she currently lives with in their small village.  I wish the author had taken the time to establish the other characters.  I would have liked more on Griff and Poppy’s grandparents.  We are introduced to a number of villagers and I found it difficult to keep them straight.  The author captured the time period with rationing, homes requisitioned, lack of men, air raids, planes flying overhead, Anderson shelters and bombs dropping out of the sky.  I felt like I was transported back in time with the author’s descriptive writing.  I did find the pacing to be on the slow side.  I wish it had a little more pep.  The mystery had some good components.  There are two dead women, unique murder weapons, misdirection, and a unique takedown scene.  Unfortunately, the guilty party stood out like a beacon on a dark night.  I would have liked a complete wrap up instead of part truth and part supposition.  I also felt the book needed more action and less of Poppy thinking (about her book, the town, Griff, the case).  Little Buffenden is a typical small town.  Poppy has known the residents her whole life.  They like to offer advice plus pump her for information.  Gossip spreads rapidly in this quaint hamlet.  This is a good start to a new historical mystery series.  The ending gives us a glimpse of what Poppy will be up to in the next book.  Poppy Redfern and the Midnight Murders is an appealing new historical cozy mystery with bomb blasts, good natured gossips, ration regulations, a hijacked house and a conniving killer. 
11 Jun 40: British householders in possession of "Anderson Shelters" are required by law have them up and earthed by today. #WWII
Entering Anderson Shelter
Poppy Redfern and the Midnight Murders by Tessa Arlen is available through major booksellers (iBooks, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, Waterstone's) including Amazon* (Amazon UK).  Tessa Arlen is the author of A Lady Montfort Mystery series.  Thank you for joining me today.  I will be back tomorrow with my review of  Nogged Off by Barbara Ross.  It is A Maine Clambake Mystery (a mini one).  I hope you have a joyful day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

Oct. 19, 1940    Mr. and Mrs. Murray bed down for the night in their Anderson shelter.
Inside Anderson Shelter
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Thursday, November 7, 2019

A Fair Time for Death by Adriana Licio

A Fair Time For Death (An Italian Village Mystery, #2)
Welcome!  Fan Mail by Daryl Wood Gerber* is the second An Aspen Adams Novel of Suspense.  It releases on November 12.  Spy by Danielle Steel comes out November 26 along with Paw of the Jungle by Diane Kelly.  I am looking forward to reading all three of them!
A Fair Time for Death by Adriana Licio takes us back to Italy.  It is time for the annual Chestnut Fair in Trecchina which draws numerous visitors to their tiny village.  Vanda Riccardi is helping to organize the massive event.  After final preparations, Vanda heads into the nearby forest to pick up chestnuts for the cakes she needs to make.  She finds a woman dead and that is the last thing she remembers until she awakens in the local hospital.  When Vanda was found, the body was gone.  The local carabinieri do not believe her story and try to get Vanda to retract her statement.  Gio Brando, a local travel writer and amateur sleuth, along with her sister, Agnese believe Vanda and set out to obtain answers. 
Harvest Festivals in Italy: From Grapes to Wine, and More  #fallitaly #italyautumn #italyfestivals #fallfestivalsitaly #italiansagre #italianfestivals #harvestitaly #italy #wine #truffles #chestnuts #cheese #grapes
A Fair Time for Death by Adriana Licio is the second An Italian Village Mystery.  I enjoyed the authors lovely descriptions of Trecchina, Italy which transported me to the region.  I could just imagine walking through the woods and picking up chestnuts.  I thought A Fair Time for Death was well-written with interesting characters.  The main characters are developed, and I like that we get know the locals.  Gio Brando is busy working on her travel book and she has convinced inspectors from the Travel Writers’ Conference to visit Maratea.  She is hoping they will consider Maratea as the site for the upcoming conference.  Agnese, Gio’s sister, has a couple of unique customers at the perfumery.  I like the clever game Agnese plays with her customers to help them find the right scent.  When their friend, Vanda Riccardi stumbles upon a dead woman who then disappears, the sisters help her get to the truth.  The mystery is intriguing with a variety of suspects.  There are twists and suspense that will keep readers turning the pages.  I recommend reading Murder on the Road before picking up A Fair Time for Death.  It will give you the information you need on the main characters and the town. My favorite phrase from A Fair Time for Death is “I’m positive people will rediscover the joy of good reading.”  A Fair Time for Death is a charming cozy mystery with cooking commotion, a fun fair, puzzling perfume picks, indolent inspectors, and bookstore buzz.
Chestnuts roasting on an open fire. . . . Though it’s from a classic American song, this holiday image is most germane throughout Europe, where chestnuts are a key facet of late-autumn life and many residents head to local parks in October to pick up nuts from the ground. Soups, lar to Champagne) by the European Union. In October, the village of Marradi celebrates its local fruit during a monthlong, every-Sunday festival.
A Fair Time for Death is available on Amazon* (Amazon UK) as well as Murder on the Road.  They are both available through Kindle Unlimited.  The next An Italian Village Mystery is A Mystery Before Christmas which comes out on November 20.  Readers can connect with Adriana Licio on Facebook.  You can also sign up for her newsletter here and visit her website.  Thank you for stopping by today.  I will be sharing my review of Poppy Redfern and the Midnight Murders by Tessa Arlen.  It is the debut of A Woman of World War II Mystery.  I hope you have a delightful day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

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Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Dead Wrong by Vannetta Chapman

Dead Wrong (Agatha's Amish B&B #1)
Happy Wednesday!  If you like clean Christian romance novels, I suggest you check out Sweet Promise Press.  They have a variety of series so there is something for every reader.  One of my favorite series by this publisher is Holidays in Hallbrook*Love & Order, Love & Family, and Love & Peace are the three books in the series.  Love & Order was my favorite as it is filled with humorous situations.    All three are available through Kindle Unlimited.  
Amish Farm Guesthouses - Lancaster Farm Bed & Breakfast
Dead Wrong by Vannetta Chapman has Agatha Lapp moving from Shipshewana, Indiana to Hunt, Texas.  Agatha’s brother and sister-in-law passed away in a buggy accident, leaving Agatha their bed-and-breakfast.  Agatha is a widow whose children have all left home which leaves her without a purpose.  She is looking forward to making a success of the B&B.  Ten months later, Agatha’s Amish Bed-and-Breakfast is doing well with all her rooms plus the cabins she added fully occupied.  Agatha goes to clean Cabin 3 and finds it is a disarray with the back door open.  Outside the door, she finds her guest, Russell Dixon dead.  Agatha hustles next door to the home of Tony Vargas, a retired Hunt Police Department detective.  Lt. James Bannister is in charge of the investigation, and he quickly zeros in on Agatha as the Mr. Dixon’s killer.  Tony knows that Agatha did not commit the crime.  He teams up with Agatha to prove the police are dead wrong.
Guadalupe River which is behind Agatha's Amish B&B
Dead Wrong by Vannetta Chapman is the debut of Agatha’s Amish B&B series.  I was quickly engrossed in this engaging Amish cozy mystery.  Agatha Lapp has inherited her brother’s bed and breakfast in Hunt, Texas on the Guadalupe River.  She relocates from Shipshewana, Indiana and quickly begins fixing up the rundown building.  Ten months later, Agatha has a successful inn that Englisch and Amish like to visit.  When Agatha finds guest, Russell Dixon dead outside his cabin, she rushes to her neighbor, Tony Vargas for assistance.  Tony is a retired detective who lost his wife to cancer in the last year.  He has been sitting in his home mourning while life continues to go on around him.  Vannetta Chapman took the time to establish the characters.  We get to know Agatha, Tony and Gina Philips (Agatha’s friend and employee).  Gina provided some humorous moments that had me giggling.  I like Agatha’s character.  She is a caring woman with faith and fortitude.  The mystery is complex with several suspects and a variety of clues.  I like that this whodunit was difficult to solve (they are the best type).  This is one mystery that will keep you guessing with a great reveal.  I was just delighted with Dead Wrong.  I thought Dead Wrong was well-written and it moved along at a steady clip.  There are some great characters including Bishop Jonas Schrock.  I am eager to read the next book in the Agatha’s Amish B&B series.  Dead Wrong is a charming Amish cozy mystery with suspicious guests, helpful friends, gorgeous countryside, a determined investigator, and a caring community.
6Must-Visit Places in Missouri Amish Country
Dead Wrong is available through Amazon* (Amazon UK). Vannetta Chapman's next book is An Unlikely Amish Match which will be out on February 1, 2020 Thank you for stopping by today.  Tomorrow I am featuring A Fair Time for Death by Adriana Licio.  It is the second An Italian Village Mystery.  May you have a peaceful day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

Reading and Art: Anthony A. González
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Tuesday, November 5, 2019

The Bake Shop by Amy Clipston

The Bake Shop (Amish Marketplace #1)
Happy Book Release Day!  A few of the new books that were released today are (each book title is a clickable link) Poppy Redfern and the Midnight Murders by Tessa Arlen*, Cast Iron Alibi by Victoria Hamilton, The Angels' Share by Ellen Crosby, A Precious Gift by Shelley Shepard Gray, Amish Front Porch Stories by Wanda E. Brunstetter, Richelle Brunstetter, & Jean Brunstetter, Dead Wrong by Vannetta Chapman and The Bake Shop by Amy Clipston. Which one are you planning to grab first?  
Visit Amish farmers markets
Bird-in-Hand Farmers Market
The Bake Shop by Amy Clipston features Christiana Kurtz who loves to bake.  She has been running a roadside bake stand outside her family’s home.  The one problem is customers will come up to the house when the stand is closed looking for her delectable desserts.  Christiana is visiting three of her cousins at the Bird-in-Hand market where each of them have stalls when they recommend, she relocate to the market.  There happens to be a stall available plus there is not a bakery in the market.  After gaining permission from her conservative father, Christiana opens her stall which is an instant success.  Jeff Stoltzfus sells various leather products that he creates at the market in the stall next to Christiana.  Christiana and Jeff get off to a bumpy start, but she sees a sadness in him and wants to become his friend.  After a few setbacks, they slowly become friends and get to know each other.  The friendship soon blooms into something more.  Before Jeff can request permission to date Christiana, her father visits the market and discovers that Jeff utilizes electricity to run one of his machines.  Freeman Kurtz forbids Christiana from having anything more to do with Jeff even though Jeff has permission from the bishop to use electricity.  Her father has always been strict, but she does not understand his reasoning.  Will Christiana and Jeff be kept apart? 
Roadside Stand 
The Bake Shop by Amy Clipston is the first An Amish Marketplace Novel.  I know when I pick up a book written by Amy Clipston, that I will enjoy it.  The Bake Shop did not disappoint with the lovely setting of Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania and the developed as well as realistic characters.  I picked up The Bake Shop and was quickly drawn into the story thanks to Amy Clipston’s engaging writing style.  You cannot help but root for the young couple whose relationship got off to a rocky start.  I like how the characters developed over the course of the story especially Christiana’s father, Freeman.  Faith is woven into the story beautifully.    We see the importance of having faith, the power of prayer, and how forgiveness is good for not only the person receiving it but also for the person giving it.  I like the messages or life lessons I got from reading this book.  The Bake Shop allows us to see how the past can influence our present behavior.  We need to work through our issues if we are to have a fulfilling life.  I was happy that there was an epilogue that nicely wrapped up the story. There is a family tree at the beginning of the book.  The Bake Shop is a sweet Amish novel that will leave you with a smile on your face.  
Lancaster Central Market
The Bake Shop is available through Amazon* (Amazon UK--December 12) as well as other major retailers (Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Google Play, CBD, and iBooks).  The next An Amish Marketplace Novel is The Farm Stand which will be out on May 5, 2020.  Thank you for reading my review today.  Tomorrow I am featuring Dead Wrong by Vannetta Chapman.  Debut novel in Agatha's Amish B&B series.  I hope you have an upbeat day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader
I love reading books
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Monday, November 4, 2019

Apple Cider Slaying by Julie Anne Lindsey: Review and Giveaway!

Apple Cider Slaying

A Cider Shop Mystery

by Julie Anne Lindsey

About Apple Cider Slaying

Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Kensington (October 29, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1496723473
ISBN-13: 978-1496723475
Apples are at the core of the family business run by Winona Mae Montgomery and her Granny Smythe. But this year’s crop is unseasonably ripe with murder . . .

Blossom Valley, West Virginia, is home to Smythe Orchards, Winnie and her Granny’s beloved twenty-five-acre farm and family business. But any way you slice it, it’s struggling. That’s why they’re trying to drum up business with the “First Annual Christmas at the Orchard,” a good old-fashioned holiday festival with enough delicious draw to satisfy apple-picking locals and cider-loving tourists alike—until the whole endeavor takes a sour turn when the body of Nadine Cooper, Granny’s long-time, grudge-holding nemesis, is found lodged in the apple press. Now, with Granny the number one suspect, Winnie is hard-pressed to prove her innocence before the real killer delivers another murder . .
Includes Recipes!
Antique apple orchard...we had about 5-6 apple  trees "  behind the house " we'd say, but actually it was beside the house to the west. They were different varieties. Mom like the  Transparent Apples for applesause. Had two apple trees that were  especially good for climbing on. Spent many an hour out there dreaming young girl  dreams...wondering what the future held for me...:)

About Julie Anne Lindsey

Julie Anne Lindsey is a multi-genre author who writes the stories that keep her up at night. When she's not creating new worlds and organizing the epic adventures of fictional characters, Julie can be found carpooling her three kids around Northeastern Ohio and plotting with her shamelessly enabling friends. Today, she hopes to make someone smile. One day she plans to change the world. Julie is a member of the International Thriller Writers, Romance Writers of America, and Sisters in Crime.
Apple Cider Press With Grinder: 9 Steps (with Pictures)

Author Links

Visit her online at www.JulieAnneLindsey.com

Pinterest - https://www.pinterest.com/juliealindsey/
Bushels of Apples

My Thoughts

Apple Cider Slaying by Julie Anne Lindsey is the debut of A Cider Shop Mystery series.  Winnie Montgomery and her Granny Smythe run Smythe Orchards in Blossom Valley, West Virginia.  Winnie wants to add a cider shop in the Mail Pouch barn, but she needs a loan from the local bank.  Winnie is showing around Mr. Sherman, the local loan manager, around the property when they discover Nadine Cooper, Granny’s longtime neighbor and nemesis, dead on the cider press.  Sheriff Colton Wise quickly sets his sights on Granny which sends Winnie on the hunt for the real culprit.  Apple Cider Slaying is a cute new cozy mystery that gets off to a solid start.  We are introduced to Winona Mae Montgomery and her grandmother, Granny Smythe.  They have a close relationship that I admired (so sweet together).   I like that the author took the time to establish the main characters and introduce readers to their orchard.  The descriptions of the orchard, Blossom Valley and the Blue Ridge Mountains were wonderful.  It was interesting to learn about the different apple varieties and how cider is made. The mystery had a couple of suspects and there was plenty of action.  While it is a snap to identify the killer, I enjoyed following the investigation.  I was curious as to why Mrs. Cooper was killed which took longer to come to light.  I enjoyed the author’s conversational writing style which made Apple Cider Slaying a breeze to read.  There are also two adorable kittens in the story.  I could tell the author has experience with kittens from the scenes she wrote.  Kittens sharp little claws and how it feels is accurately described (they love to climb up a person’s legs).  Winnie also dreams up a Christmas festival for the orchard and spends time getting it organized.  She has clever ideas and is a Martha Stewart wannabe.  There is romance in the air for Winnie as well.  I will definitely be reading Pulp Friction when it comes out next spring.  Apple Cider Slaying is a charming new cozy mystery with a strong minded sheriff, cinnamon cider, classic cars, cute kittens, a polluted press and Christmas cheer.  
Apple Cider Slaying is available at Amazon*, Amazon UKB&NKoboGooglePlay, and Indie Bound.  The second A Cider Shop Mystery is Pulp Friction which comes out April 28, 2020.  To win a print copy of Apple Cider Slaying (U.S. Only), you can click here to enter.  You can also enter the giveaway via the Rafflecopter form below.  Good Luck!  Thank you for stopping by today.  I will be sharing my review of The Bake Shop by Amy Clipston tomorrow.  It is the debut An Amish Marketplace Novel.  I hope that you have a pleasurable day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

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Nothing Says Fall Like Homemade Apple Cider Delish
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