Sunday, February 16, 2020

We'll Meet Again by Rosie Archer

We'll Meet Again (The Bluebird Girls #2)
Welcome! Secrets of My Heart by Tracie Peterson publishes on March 3 along with Lavender Blue Murder by Laura Childs and The Ungodly Hour by Laura A. EganRevenge is Sweet by Kaye George releases on March 10.  It is the debut of The Vintage Sweet Mysteries.  Is there a new release you are looking forward to reading?  On Sunday's I feature books that I was unable to when they were released.  Today I am featuring We'll Meet Again by Rosie Archer.
The Andrews Sisters
The Andrews Sisters (The Bluebird Girls were similar)
We’ll Meet Again by Rosie Archer begins in January of 1941 in Gosport.  Ivy Sparrow, Bea Herron, and Rainey Bird are The Bluebird Girls who performed at the King’s Theatre for which they received a standing ovation.  The bookings begin pouring in for the girls much to their delight.  Blackie Wilson, their manager, works out a schedule and Jo Bird, their chaperone, must request more time off from her position at the newsagents in Alverstoke.  Travel is perilous thanks to the blackout and the frequent bombings.  Ivy has a crush on Eddie Herron, but he still views her as a kid.  Eddie is stepping out with Sunshine who takes a fancy to German POW, Max.  Max has an agenda and he needs Sunshine to accomplish it.  Jo has fallen in love with Blackie, but she is not sure he feels the same way about her.  Will The Bluebird Girls achieve fame?  Come along on tour with The Bluebird Girls in We’ll Meet Again.
Kings theatre Sunderland
Kings Theatre
We’ll Meet Again by Rosie Archer is the second novel in The Bluebird Girls series.  You do need to read The Bluebird Girls before embarking on We’ll Meet Again.  I enjoyed reading this engaging World War drama.  Ivy, Bea and Rainey performed at the King’s Theatre and they received a good write up in the local paper.  Blackie is busy fielding calls from people who wish the book the female trio.  We follow the day-to-day lives of Ivy, Bea, Rainey, Jo, Blackie, Eddie and others.  I like that there are side stories woven into the book.  Eddie has decided to employee German POWs to help with his rebuilding projects.  Max, a German POW, is determined to escape.  He has a plan and it involves conning a woman.  Various romantic relationships, and Little Annette’s act and estrangement from her mother.    I thought the author captured the feel of the time period where bombs are being dumped on the area, spending nights in air raid shelters, and rationing of most items is in effect.  Of course, there are ways to get around the rationing if you know the right people or have enough money.  The Bluebird Girls sing in a variety of clubs.  I liked the girls’ energy and lovely singing voices (I could just imagine them).  I felt bad for Blackie and Jo who quickly tired of the singers bickering (whenever they got into a car).  Their careers are taking flight and the ladies have some wonderful opportunities coming their way.  We’ll Meet Again has drama, suspense, romance, and music.  It was lovely catching up with The Bluebird Girls in We’ll Meet Again and I am eager to read The Forces’ Sweethearts.  
EVERYDAY LIFE AT A MINISTRY OF SUPPLY SHELL FILLING FACTORY, ENGLAND, UK, 1941. A female factory worker fits exploders into rows of shells at this filling factory. Behind her, other munitions workers can also be seen.
Munitions factory worker
Bea, Rainey and Ivy worked at Priddy's
We'll Meet Again is available through Amazon* along with The Bluebird Girls.  The next book in The Bluebird Girls series is The Forces' Sweethearts which is now out.  The fourth book in The Bluebird Girls series is Victory for the Bluebird Girls which releases on June 11, 2020.  Thank you for stopping by today.  On Monday, I am reviewing In Cold Chamomile by Joy Avon which is the latest A Tea and Read Mystery. I hope you have a lovely day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader
Judy Garland reading at home (1941).
*This post contains affiliate links.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Cold Case Connection by Dana Mentink: Review & Giveaway!

About the Book

Book:  Cold Case Connection

Author: Dana Mentink

Genre:  Romantic Suspense

Release Date: February 1, 2020

Convinced his sister’s death wasn’t an accident, private investigator Sergio Ross is determined to catch her killer. But with all the clues hinting at a connection to another unsolved murder, he has to join forces with Helen Pike—a woman linked to both deaths—to find the truth. Can they follow the cold evidence trail to get justice…before they become the next victims?

Click here to get your copy.

The Ranch at Rock Creek–All Inclusive Ranch Vacation in the United States! – Nothing if Not Intentional
My vision of Roughwater Lodge in January

About the Author
Dana Mentink is a two time American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award winner, a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award and a Holt Medallion winner. She is a national bestselling author of over forty titles in the suspense and lighthearted romance genres. She is pleased to write for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense, Harlequin Heartwarming and Harvest House. Besides writing, she busies herself teaching third grade. Mostly, she loves to be home with Papa Bear, teen bear cubs affectionately nicknamed Yogi and Boo Boo, Junie, the  nutty terrier, and a chubby box turtle. You can connect with Dana via her website, on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.
Creepy Tunnel by David Garber on 500px Sloss Furnaces
Creepy tunnels the five teens explored

More from Dana

Cold Case Connection was really fun to write because it’s Helen’s story. She’s an intelligent, sensitive woman who is the sister to the men living on the Roughwater Ranch. Liam is her biological brother, but she’s just as close to Chad and Mitch who might as well be blood relatives. In this novel, Helen has to relive the worst moment of her teenage life, the night when a mysterious murder occurred during a teen prank. Helen is going to have to face the past in order to preserve her future. Cowboys, a case gone cold, a coastal ranch and a whole lot of danger…I hope you will enjoy the ride!

Title: Rustic Log Cabin I found this cabin in Northern California, high in the mountains north of Mammoth Lakes. Please use the drop-down list, on the right side, to select size and type (print or canvas) Please note that some sizes require a bit of cropping to fit the size selected. PRINT DETAILS:
Cabin Helen is in when the book begins
My Thoughts

Cold Case Connection by Dana Mentink is the third book in the Roughwater Ranch Cowboys series.  It can be read as a standalone.  Helen Pike is checking out the old cabin one last time before it is demolished when she hears a noise outside.  Everything fades to black when she is whacked on the head.  Sergio Ross arrives at the cabin to find it on fire and quickly gets Helen outside.  Fifteen years ago, Helen and four of her friends entered the old tunnels on a dare.  Only four of them walked out alive.  Three years ago, Fiona Ross was at the cabin and died later that day from a hit-and-run driver.  Neither culprit has been apprehended.  Helen recently found a note from Fiona in the cabin and turned it over to the police which is why Sergio has returned to Driftwood.  He wants justice for Fiona and Helen is determined to help him.  Cold Case Connection is a riveting tale with suspense, mystery and action.  Sergio Ross wants to find the person responsible for his sister’s death and he believes Fiona’s death is connected Trish’s who died fifteen years prior.  Helen feels responsible for Fiona’s death and she knows that Sergio blames her.  They end up working together especially after someone tries to kill Helen in the cabin fire.  Helen’s older brothers would prefer to wrap Helen in cotton wool and keep her locked in her bedroom, but Helen is just as stubborn as her brothers.  The characters are developed, and I like how they progress.  There are two adorable little girls along with a cute dog which add humor and lightness to the story.  I like how faith is woven into the tale along with the importance of forgiveness.  The mystery was interesting, but it was a cinch to solve.  However, I enjoyed following our characters on their journey for the truth and justice.  It has me eager to read Chad’s story.  The ending of Cold Case Connection will leave readers smiling.  Cold Case Connection is a well-written story with solid characters, an intriguing plot, and two mysterious deaths.  Cold Case Connection is an enticing suspense with sweet twins, a precious puppy, a callous killer, overbearing brothers, and two cold cases.  
3 Year Old Birthday Shirt Girl Three Years by BumpAndBeyondDesigns
Laurel and Lucy Ross

To celebrate her tour, Dana is giving away the grand prize of a Mentink giveaway bundle, including a bag, a copy of the book, and an Amazon gift card.  Be sure to comment on the blog stops (schedule below) for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the here enter.  Good Luck!  Cold Case Connection is available from Amazon* and other major booksellers (Barnes & Noble, Harlequin, Kobo). The other novels in the Roughwater Ranch Cowboys series are Danger on the Ranch and Deadly Christmas Pretense.  The fourth tale in the Roughwater Ranch Cowboys series will be Chad's story.  Thank you for stopping by today.  I am reviewing We'll Meet Again by Rosie Archer on Sunday.  It is the second book in The Bluebird Girls series. I hope you have a joyful day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader 

Blog Stops

Among the Reads, February 14
The Avid Reader, February 15
Texas Book-aholic, February 15
Inklings and notions, February 16
janicesbookreviews, February 16
Betti Mace, February 17
She Lives to Read, February 17
Genesis 5020, February 17
For Him and My Family, February 18
Remembrancy, February 20
Older & Smarter?, February 20
“A well read woman is a dangerous creature” 📖. . Day three of being snowed in, I’ve read all the books, drank all the coffee, the cabin…
Blogging With Carol, February 20
deb’s Book Review, February 21
Bigreadersite, February 21
EmpowerMoms, February 21
Christian Bookaholic, February 23
KarenSueHadley, February 23
Emily Yager, February 24
Cabin & Cottage
Pause for Tales, February 24
Simple Harvest Reads, February 25 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)
Maureen’s Musings, February 26
Hallie Reads, February 26
Livin’ Lit, February 27
Daysong Reflections, February 27
Cozy log cabin fire - reading a book in pyjamas. Rustic living room ideas.
*This post contains affiliate links.

Friday, February 14, 2020

The Long Bridge Home by Kelly Irvin

A Long Bridge Home (Amish of Big Sky Country #2)
Happy Valentine's Day! Murder Makes Scents by Christin Brecher releases on February 25 along with Egg Drop Dead by Vivien Chen and Here Comes the Body by Maria DiRico.   The Numbers Game by Danielle Steel comes out March 3 with One Little Lie by Colleen Coble.  Nothing better than a pile of new books to read!
Travel deep into the Montana forest and discover the secret Kootenai Falls suspension bridge! With a roaring waterfall, (which is the set of many Hollywood movies!) it's now a popular Inland Northwest destination. Come see it for yourself with our all-inclusive mountain guide! #montana #hiking #outdoors #montanamoment #usa
A Long Bridge Home by Kelly Irvin the residents of West Kootenai, Montana evacuating when the Caribou wildfire raging in the Kootenai National Forest gets close to their homes.  Ben Mast, Christine’s father, had decided before the fire to move his family back to Haven, Kansas.  Christine does not wish to move that far away from her beau, Andy Lambright who has yet to propose.  Andy has received news that his father is hill and will be journeying to the family farm.  Christine can tell Andy has another reason for returning home, but he is unwilling to share it with her.  She wants to stay close to Andy so Christine obtain permission to live with her relatives in St. Ignatius which will allow them to visit.  While working in her uncle’s store, Christine meets Raymond Old Fox.  He introduces her to the history of his people and their views.  Christine is getting to learn things firsthand that she has only read about in books.  A whole new world has opened for Christine much to her family’s dismay.  They do not understand her thirst for knowledge or her friendship with Raymond.  Christine has changed from the woman Andy courted before the fire.  Will Andy love the woman Christine has become? 
Taken on my research trip to St Ignatius, MT. A fantastic celebration.   #stignatiusarlee #powwow #Esyapqeyni #nativeamerican #indigenouspeoples #amishfiction #amishromance #amish #stignatiusmontana #montana #kootenai
A Long Bridge Home by Kelly Irvin is the second novel in Amish of Big Sky Country series.  It can be read on its own for those new to the series.  A Long Bridge Home is different from other Amish novels (in a good way).  I like the setting of Montana with its beautiful mountains.  I thought the story was well-written with developed, engaging characters.  Christine Mast was content in her world until the fire made them flee.  She has been waiting for Andy Lambright to propose (it has been a long courtship).  When Christine learns that her family is relocating to Haven, Kansas, she does not wish to be that far away from Andy.  Christine had no idea that living in St. Ignatius with her aunt and uncle would be life changing.  She meets Raymond Old Fox.  Raymond teaches her about his native heritage and culture.  She is fascinated by their views and is eager to learn more (I found the information fascinating as well).  I could certainly understand Christine’s thirst for knowledge even though her relatives did not. Christine finds herself in the position of making a difficult choice.  I like seeing Christine grow as a person.  While I wanted her to find happiness, I did not want to see her spirit broken (she was so happy learning and meeting new people).  Andy has an issue from his past that he feels he needs to resolve before he can move forward with Christine.  The problem is that Andy fails to share (communicate) with Christine. Forgiveness is one of the main themes in A Long Bridge Home.  We learn the importance of forgiving others and ourselves.  Prayer and trusting in God are two other topics addressed.  A Long Bridge Home gives us a glimpse into the life of the Amish in Montana where a woman must decide which path to follow.  There are discussion questions at the end along with an excerpt from Kelly Irvin’s Over the Line.  A Long Bridge Home is an emotional story where love, a strong faith, close family, a loving God and good friends can help us overcome any difficult situation.
The New Order Amish community near St. Ignatius, Montana
A Long Bridge Home is available from Amazon* along with Mountains of Grace.  The next novel in Amish of Big Sky Country is Peace in the Valley which can pre-ordered now.  It will release on August 4.   Thank you for reading my review.  Do you like to listen to audiobooks?  Audible is having a special promotion for new or returning members that ends on February 18.  Just $7.95 a month for the first 4 months (then goes back to regular price).  It is a good opportunity to give Audible a try (I am going to take advantage of this special).  I listen to audiobooks while driving because it helps me concentrate on the road (otherwise, my mind tends to wander).  I will be back tomorrow to share Cold Case Connection by Dana Mentink.  It is the third book in A Roughwater Ranch Cowboys series.  I hope you have a very special day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader
Vintage Holidays
*This post contains affiliate links.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Playing the Devil by R.J. Lee: Excerpt, Review & Giveaway!

Playing the Devil 

A Bridge to Death Mystery

by R.J. Lee

About Playing the Devil

Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Publisher: Kensington (January 28, 2020)
Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496719166
ISBN-13: 978-1496719164
Digital ASIN: B07R7M378R
Reporter and bridge player Wendy Winchester once again plays ace detective when a country club member is murdered in a hot tub . . .

Now an investigative reporter for the Rosalie Citizen in the Mississippi River port of Rosalie, Wendy still likes to unwind over a game of cards. Following the demise of the Rosalie Bridge Club, she's started her own group at the Rosalie Country Club. During the first meeting of the Country Club Bridge Players, the dummy has barely been laid down when another dummy gets in a scuffle at the bar across the room. Bridge player Carly Ogle's husband Brent is at it again.

After the club's new female golf pro breaks up the fight, Brent storms off to soak in a hot tub. But Carey soon finds the bullying Brent dead in the water, clubbed over the head with the pestle the barkeep uses to crush leaves for mint juleps.
Racist, sexist, homophobic, and an all-around lout, Brent made enough enemies to fill a bridge tournament. So Wendy has to play her cards right to get the story—and stay out of hot water long enough to put the squeeze on the killer . . .

About the Author

R. J. Lee follows in the mystery-writing footsteps of his father, R. Keene Lee, who wrote fighter pilot and detective stories for Fiction House, publishers of WINGS Magazine and other ‘pulp fiction’ periodicals in the late ’40’s and ’50’s. Lee was born and grew up in the Mississippi River port of Natchez but also spent thirty years living in the Crescent City of New Orleans. A graduate of the University of the South (Sewanee) where he studied creative writing under Sewanee Review editor, Andrew Lytle, Lee now resides in Oxford, Mississippi.
Author Link:  Facebook  

My Thoughts

Playing the Devil by R.J. Lee is the second tale in A Bridge to Death Mystery series.  Wendy Winchester got together with Deedah Hornesby, director of Rosalie Country Club, to organize the Rosalie Country Club Bridge Bunch.  To complete their first table is Carly Ogle and Deedah’s son, Hollis.  They are enjoying their inaugural bridge game until Carly’s husband Brent causes a ruckus and then the lights go out courtesy of the storm.  Thirty minutes later the power is restored, and Brent is dead in the club’s hot tub.  Detective Ross Rierson is on the case and, of course, so is Wendy.  Wendy, an investigative reporter for the local newspaper, is quick to dive into the case, gathering information and trying to fit the pieces together to solve the case.  Playing the Devil can be read on its own if you have not had the time to read Grand Slam Murders.  The information a reader needs to know about Wendy and the town is included in Playing the Devil.  Wendy is the daughter of Rosalie’s police chief, Bax Winchester and is dating Detective Ross Rierson.  She has a knack for getting information out of people and solving crimes.  Wendy wants to be a top notch investigative reporter. Brent Ogle was an obnoxious and pompous man who was lucky not to have been killed earlier in life.  It was only a matter of time before someone did him in.  He went too far this time and the killer took advantage of a power outage to do away with the man.  There were eight suspects (give or take) who all had good reasons for wanting Brent Ogle dead.  There are pointed clues to help the reader solve the whodunit before Wendy arrives at the solution.  I thought the mystery went with the story.  Those who play bridge will like that aspect of Playing the Devil and a preemptive bid is explained as well as utilized.  I found Playing the Devil to be a slow starter, but I felt the pacing picked up after the crime takes place.  There are a variety of quirky characters in the small Southern town of Rosalie, Mississippi.  I thought the author captured the feel of the south.  Playing the Devil is a blithe cozy mystery with a loathsome lout, a mystifying murder, a surfeit of suspects, a dreamy detective, and a nosy newsperson.
Vintage bridge invitation | by B-Kay


Finally, it was time for the Bridge Bunch to get things started, and it was Wendy who did the honors after everyone was seated. “Well, here we are,” she began, smiling at the look of anticipation on their faces, “and I trust we will become the only game in town after a little time has passed. We’re only four right now, but we can always hope that we will grow to four or five tables with two dozen regulars. Maybe we can eventually hold our very own championship that will mean something.”

“That would be lovely,” Deedah chimed in, and the others nodded approvingly.

“Before we begin,” Wendy continued, “I’d like to offer a helpful pointer. I thought it would be fun for one of us to take turns explaining one particular element of bridge that’s not used as much as it could be. I’ll be the one this first time, and we’ll go around the table as the weeks pass.”
"Bridge Game", October 14, 1950 Giclee Print by Constantin Alajalov at
She paused and then drew their attention to a hand she had already arranged for herself, separating it by suits and displaying it in the center of the table. “If you need to get up and stand behind me while I discuss this, be my guest.”

Wendy began explaining. “Today’s pointer is the preemptive bid. Take your time to look it over.”
There were, in order:

7 6 4 of spades
K Q J 10 9 6 2 of hearts
9 of diamonds
J 4 of clubs

After a short period of time had passed, Wendy resumed her presentation. “As you all can see, this hand does not have very much in the way of high card points—just seven, counting the four face cards. It does not have the thirteen or fourteen points normally required for an opening bid. But what it does have is length in hearts—seven of them, in fact. This is the perfect hand for a preemptive bid.”

The others agreed by nodding their heads or making soft noises that showed they understood.
There are ‘Ladies who Lunch’ and there are ladies who enjoy a little ‘retail therapy’, but these ladies prefer something a little more exciting. Dressed in their smartest outfits and wearing their best hairdo and makeup, they are really enjoying their weekly game of cards. I can’t help wondering if there might be some cheating going on at the back, or maybe all those long sleeves are concealing more than jewellery, as they all seem so very confident. Perhaps it’s because they’ve all got a winnin
Although it’s possible that the heart suit might become the trump suit, depending upon what your partner has in the way of support, the primary purpose of a preemptive bid is to give the opponents trouble, to disrupt their communication. You preempt by opening at a high level. Thus, if they should get the contract, they will probably be at a much higher level than they would prefer to be. So, you would bid three hearts here, and your partner knows you do not have strength, you have length. The preemptive bid is a defensive bid, but you take the offensive even though you are in a weak position with point count traditionally.”

Wendy allowed a few more moments to pass and then said, “Any questions on the preemptive bid?”
Bridge elegance!
It was Hollis who spoke up, applauding her softly a few times. “You did that beautifully, Wendy. I’ve always understood about preempting, but I must confess, I’m always nervous about actually using it. I’m afraid I’ll actually get caught playing the hand and messing up. You know, going down in flames.”

"Probably not, though,” Wendy said. “At the very least, you will likely rob your opponents of a legit contract they could have had if you hadn’t thrown them off the track and gotten them out of their comfort zone.” Wendy then asked for further questions, but as there were none, the foursome again took their places around the table, and the Bridge Bunch began their very first deal.
Playing the Devil is available at the following retailers:  Amazon*,  B&N, Google PlayIndieBound, and Kobo.  The first novel in A Bridge to Death Mystery series is Grand Slam Murder.  As part of the tour for Playing the Devil, there is a giveaway for five (5) hard copies of the book (sorry, but U.S. Only).  You can click here to enter or use the Rafflecopter form below to enter the giveaway.  Leave a comment on my blog for an extra entry.  Good Luck!  Thank you for visiting today.  Next time I am featuring The Long Bridge Home by Kelly Irvin.  It is the second book in Amish of Big Sky Country series.  I hope you have a merry day.  Take care and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader

Clubwomen Playing Bridge Photographic Print by Nina Leen |

Tour Participants

February 13 – The Avid Reader  - REVIEW, EXCERPT

February 13 – Lori's Reading Corner – GUEST POST

February 14 – Elizabeth McKenna - Author – SPOTLIGHT

February 14 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

February 15 – Baroness' Book Trove – REVIEW

February 15 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – GUEST POST  

February 16 – A Wytch's Book Review Blog – GUEST POST

February 16 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
Snooopy And Bridge - November 07, 1999
February 17 – T's Stuff – SPOTLIGHT

February 17 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT

February 18 – I'm All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

February 19 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT

February 19 – Readeropolis - SPOTLIGHT

February 20 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT 

February 20 – Hearts & Scribbles - SPOTLIGHT

February 21 – Dee-Scoveries – SPOTLIGHT

February 21 – Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers – SPOTLIGHT
*This post contains affiliate links.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Mercy House by Alena Dillon

Mercy House
Welcome!  Murder in the Secret Maze by Judith Gonda comes out on February 26.  It is the debut of A Tory Benning Mystery series.  Revenge is Sweet by Kaye George releases on March 10.  It is the debut of The Vintage Sweets Mysteries.  Dead in the Doorway by Diane Kelly publishes on March 31.  It is the second novel in A House Flipper Mystery series.  Do these books appeal to you?  Are you a cozy mystery fan or prefer a mystery with a little more meat to it?
BedfordStuyvesant Brooklyn by /jstiles81/ J. Stiles Photographer | newyork newyorkcity newyorkcityfeelings nyc brooklyn queens the bronx staten island manhattan
Mercy House by Alena Dillon takes us to Brooklyn, New York in 2010.  Sister Evelyn along with Sister Maria and Sister Josephine created and run Mercy House which provides shelter to abused women.  The three nuns are a little unorthodox, but they are dedicated in their mission to helping women in need.  Bishop Robert Hawkins is coming Mercy House as part of the apostolic visitation, which is a nationwide Vatican-initiated investigation of the sisters.  The church wants to nuns to focus on church doctrine instead of social injustices.  Sister Evelyn is worried what Bishop Hawkins will uncover because the nuns do certain activities that are forbidden by the Catholic Church.  Bishop Hawkins took advantage of Sister Evelyn when she was a novitiate and it is something that still eats at her.  Sister Evelyn will do what it takes to keep Mercy House open for the women it serves and for the nuns who view it as home.  
Angel doorknocker
Mercy House by Alena Dillon is not what I expected.  The three nuns who run Mercy House are spunky and untraditional especially Sister Evelyn.  I like that they are helping abused women.  They work with the women to help them regain their confidence and begin a new life away from their abusers.  The residents of Mercy House are diverse and colorful.  Sister Evelyn is the primary narrator of the story with chapters featuring each of the girls living at Mercy House.  Sister Evelyn is sixty-nine years old and her body is feeling its age (aches and pains).  She is a no-nonsense type of woman who will protect the women under her care.  Sister Evelyn is a familiar figure in her neighborhood where she a network of informants and does what she can to improve situations. What the women have endured including Sister Evelyn is detailed in the book.  It may be hard for some people to read the details of the abuse.  There is also a substantial amount of foul language (even the nuns use it).  There is a significant focus on the Catholic Church and the injustices within it.  It does not critique the faith, but how things are handled.  The apostolic visitation mentioned in the book truly happened in the United States.  The book is trying to show that while the Church is focusing on the sisters who do good work (though not always following Church doctrine), it should take a hard look at the priests and other church officials who commit terrible crimes.  Mercy House contains good writing with a cast of unique characters.  The detailed descriptions provide visual imagery, but they do slow down the pacing of the story.  There is a lot going on in the book.  I wish Mercy House had been about the three sisters, Mercy House and the women they helped.  Mercy House is a graphic novel that did not appeal to me.  Bishop Hawkins is a malicious man who descriptions seems almost a caricature.  Unfortunately, I am sure that there are men like Bishop Hawkins in the Catholic Church.  I am fortunate to have a kindly bishop overseeing my diocese.  I felt like that author was picking on the Catholic Church.  Events that are depicted in the book do happen and it is terrible.  They should not be hidden or swept under the rug.  But I read fiction to get away from the news and real life.  The book contains a note from the author on her inspiration for Mercy House, an interview with Sister Suzanne Franck of St. Joseph’s College, and book discussion questions.  Mercy House is not my type of book, but many others do find it compelling.   Mercy House has a beastly bishop, a smart cracking sister, alarming abuse, sinful situations, and hair raising hijinks.  
Holy Innocents Roman Catholic Church in Beverley Square East is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Mercy House can be obtained through Amazon*.  If in doubt about a book, I suggest you obtain a sample.  That way you can see if the story suits you.  Thank you for dropping in today.  I will be a stop on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for Playing the Devil by R.J. Lee on February 13.  It is the second novel in A Bridge to Death Mystery series.  I will have an excerpt from Playing the Devil for you to read.  I hope you will join me.  May you have a capricious day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader
Benedictine Nuns
*This post contains affiliate links.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

A Crafter Quilts a Crime by Holly Quinn: Review and Giveaway!

A Crafter Quilts a Crime

 A Handcrafted Mystery

by Holly Quinn

About A Crafter Quilts A Crime

Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (February 11, 2020)
ISBN-10: 1643852906
ISBN-13: 978-1643852904
Perfect for fans of Betty Hechtman and Maggie Sefton, Holly Quinn's third Handcrafted mystery aspires to wrap you in its warmth.

Community Craft proprietor Sammy Kane must piece together a patchwork of clues when a "live" mannequin ends up stone-cold dead.

Snowcapped pines and glittery dusted sidewalks adorn tranquil Heartsford, Wisconsin, while residents cuddle beneath heirloom quilts in front of cozy wood fires. But come the next day, the below-zero temperatures won't keep the locals away from Heartsford's annual Fire & Ice event. To boost customer traffic at Community Craft's one-night-only sale, Samantha "Sammy" Kane persuades a few of the craftspeople who sell their wares at the store to participate in a live mannequin window display contest.

Local quilter Wanda Wadsworth emerges as a favorite to win the contest, as she manages to not move a muscle for an unusual amount of time. Onlookers outside the window try everything to get her to crack--tapping on the glass and making funny faces--but nothing disrupts Wanda's stillness. When the eagle-eyed spectators realize Wanda isn't breathing, a blanket of grief and fear descends upon the wintry town.

Detective Liam Nash can't seem to piece the clues together. Fortunately, Sammy's cousin, Heidi, and her sister, Ellie, are on hand to reconvene their detective team, S.H.E. They set out to solve Wanda's untimely death before the case grows as icy as a sub-zero Wisconsin winter. But they are all too aware that the killer is too close for comfort.
Live Mannequin Display

About Holly Quinn

Holly Quinn has published two stand-alone fiction novels in another persona. She graduated from Carroll University in Wisconsin with a Bachelor of Science in business and a minor in marketing. This is her third A Handcrafted mystery. Visit her @
Maher Art Gallery: Peter taylor QUIDLEY

Author Links

A winter panorama of the picturesque village of Ephraim on the shore of Eagle Harbor in Door County, Wisconsin.
Winter in Wisconsin

My Thoughts

A Crafter Quilts a Crime by Holly Quinn is the third A Handcrafted Mystery.  Sammy Kane has Community Craft ready for the town’s annual Fire and Ice event.  Sammy dreamed up a live mannequin contest that will take place in her front display window.  Sammy goes to check on Wanda’s progress and notices her lips are blue.  Wanda is dead and her husband is MIA.  When Ellie’s husband, Randy becomes a suspect, the S.H.E. team convenes.  Sammy, Heidi and Ellie work to stitch together the clues that will reveal Wanda’s killer.  A Crafter Quilts a Crime can be read as a standalone for those new to A Handcrafted Mystery series.  I like the close, heartwarming relationship between Sammy, Ellie and Heidi.  They get along well together and make a formidable team.  I admit that I prefer Ellie and Heidi to Sammy.  Sammy is nervy and lacks understanding of Liam’s position.  She does not understand when the police cannot share information with civilians.  Holly Quinn captured the feeling of winter with her word imagery.  I could feel the cold tingling my ears and nose from her descriptions.  I remember what that bitter cold feels like.  I enjoyed the images of Community Craft with its beautiful handmade items inside.  I wish my town had such a place where people can learn a craft and sell their handmade wares.  The live mannequin contest was a unique event that had an unfortunate end.  The investigation progressed slowly for Detective Liam Nash because he had limited clues.  He is searching for Wanda’s husband as well as a reason why someone would want to harm Wanda.  Sammy feels Liam is moving too slow.  When her brother-in-law is brought in for questioning, Sammy quickly calls Ellie and Heidi.  The three of them (S.H.E.) will do what it takes to prove Randy is innocent.  Sammy’s sleuthing methods could use some finetuning.  She is a little reckless and is quick to break the law as well as obstruct justice.  I like how quilts tied into the mystery.  There were some interesting clues to help readers solve this whodunit.  A Crafter Quilts a Crime is a cute cozy mystery that interweaves Sammy’s daily activities with the mystery of Wanda’s death.   A Crafter Quilts a Crime has a big bonfire, wintry weather, quilt clues, a spouse gone astray, and the S.H.E. squad.  
J Johnson on Instagram: ““Night and Day” quilt barn located on the Door County Wisconsin Quilt Barn Trail. #quiltbarn #quiltbarns #barnquilt #barnquilts…”
A Crafter Quilts a Crime is available at Amazon*,  Barnes and Noble,  BAMIndieBound,  Powell’s Books, and Walmart.  The other two novels in A Handcrafted Mystery series are A Crafter Knits a Clue and A Crafter Hooks a Killer.  Would you like to win a print copy of A Crafter Quilts a Crime (sorry, U.S. Only)?  You can click here to enter or use the Rafflecopter form below.  Leave a comment on my blog for an extra entry.  Good Luck!  To learn more about the Wisconsin Barn Quilt Trail, click here.  Thank you for stopping by today.  I will return tomorrow with my review of Mercy House by Alena Dillon.  I hope you have day filled with joy.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

Tour Participants

February 1 – Diary of a Book Fiend – SPOTLIGHT 

February 1 – Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST

February 2 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW

February 3 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

February 3 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

February 4 – A Wytch's Book Review Blog - REVIEW

February 4 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW

February 5 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT

February 5 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
How to make a barn quilt
February 6 – Cozy Up With Kathy – CHARACTER GUEST POST

February 6 – Baroness' Book Trove – REVIEW

February 7 – The Book's the Thing – REVIEW

February 7 – I'm All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

February 8 – This Is My Truth Now – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

February 8 – Brianne's Book Reviews – REVIEW

February 9 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

February 9 – Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers – SPOTLIGHT

February 10 – My Reading Journeys – SPOTLIGHT

February 10 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 11 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW

February 11 – Maureen's Musings – REVIEW

February 12 – Christy's Cozy Corners – REVIEW

February 12 – Brooke Blogs  SPOTLIGHT

February 13 – Mysteries with Character – GUEST POST

February 13 – Gimme The Scoop Reviews – REVIEW

February 14 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW

February 14 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

February 14 – Diane Reviews Books – GUEST POST
*This post contains affiliate links.