Saturday, September 18, 2021

A Calculated Whisk by Victoria Hamilton: Review & Giveaway!


A Calculated Whisk (A Vintage Kitchen Mystery) by Victoria Hamilton

About A Calculated Whisk

A Calculated Whisk (A Vintage Kitchen Mystery) 

In the new Vintage Kitchen Mystery from the author of Cast Iron Alibi, Jaymie Leighton is confronted with two murders and the threat of danger far too close to home . . .

When a woman living under a cloud of suspicion for her husband’s death comes to vintage kitchen collector Jaymie Leighton with a mysterious request, she’s not sure whether, or how much, to get involved. The police believe they have new evidence of foul play in what was initially ruled an accidental death, and the woman’s terrified they’ll try to pin the crime on her. Before Jaymie can decide whether to help her, though, the woman’s found murdered in the woods near Jaymie’s cabin.

Still unsure whether the woman was truly innocent in her husband’s death, Jaymie decides to get to the bottom of both murders. But as she digs deeper into the couple’s past and discovers a tangled array of long-buried wounds and family secrets, Jaymie begins to sense that danger is still lurking in the woods near her home. With a killer on the loose and her family in danger, Jaymie must uncover the culprit before she loses all she holds dear, including her own life . . .

Includes a vintage recipe!

About Victoria Hamilton

Victoria Hamilton is the bestselling author of several mystery series including the national bestselling Vintage Kitchen Mysteries and Merry Muffin Mysteries. She does, indeed, collect vintage kitchenware and bake muffins. She also writes the Lady Anne Addison Historical Mysteries. She drinks tea and coffee on writing days, and wine other times. She crochets (a little), paints (a little) and reads (a lot). A solitary being, she can be coaxed out of her writing cave for brownies and cat videos.

She started her writing life as Donna Lea Simpson, bestselling author of Regency Romances, paranormal historicals and historical mysteries, and still has a soft spot for the Regency period. You can find her online at her website: (Sign up for her newsletter for all the latest!) 

Author Links

My Thoughts

A Calculated Whisk by Victoria Hamilton is the 10th A Vintage Kitchen Mystery.  It can be read as a standalone if you are new to the series.  I have read this entertaining series from the beginning, and I have enjoyed each story.  They just keep getting better.  Jaymie Leighton Muller is a strong female protagonist who has grown over the course of the series.  I like seeing her happy with her husband, stepdaughter, her jobs, and fur babies.  There is a great cast of secondary characters that enhance the story.  They are realistic characters which I appreciate.  The author’s descriptive writing style brings the characters and the charming Michigan town to life.  The mystery was interesting.  There is a five-year-old crime that has been recently deemed a homicide and it involves a neighbor.  At the request of Detective Vestry, Jaymie gets close to the wife of the victim to try and obtain information.  Unfortunately, the woman ends up dead before she shares her information.   Jaymie believes the two crimes are connected.  She wants to get closure for the family so Jaymie begins digging into the case.  Jaymie has her work cut out for her if she is going to solve this whodunit.  It is clever how Jaymie gets helpful information from casual conversations.  You never know what nugget of information will help solve the case.  I thought the murder weapon was quite unique.  I found A Calculated Whisk to be well-written with the story moving at a slower pace courtesy of the author’s expressive writing.  I appreciated that the story contained no foul language and negligible violence. I thoroughly enjoyed the descriptions and information about vintage kitchen items.  I can understand Jaymie’s fascination with them. I enjoyed my visit with Jaymie and her family.  Jaymie’s stepdaughter is such a sweetheart and Hoppy makes me laugh with his antics.  A Calculated Whisk is an engaging tale with wire whisks, a fun new friend, a cold case, a dedicated detective, a senseless slaying, a mournful mother, and a resolute amateur sleuth. 

A Calculated Whisk is available at AmazonB&N, and Kobo.  You can find the other novels in A Vintage Kitchen Mystery series here.  As part of the tour, Victoria Hamilton is giving away a $50 Amazon gift card to one lucky entrant (United States and Canada only).  To enter click here or use the rafflecopter form below.  Do not forget to leave a comment for an extra entry.  Good Luck!  Thank you for visiting today.  I will return on Monday with Trail of Tears by Anne Greene.  I am a stop on the Celebrate Lit Tour for this Christian novel and there is a giveaway!  I hope that you have a relaxing weekend.  Take care, be kind, and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader 

Tour Participants

September 17 – Novels Alive – GUEST POST 

September 17 – This Is My Truth Now - REVIEW 
September 17 – StoreyBook Reviews - SPOTLIGHT 

September 18 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW 

September 18 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book - SPOTLIGHT 

September 19 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW 

September 19 – I Read What You Write – AUTHOR INTERVIEW 

September 19 – Sapphyria's Book Reviews - SPOTLIGHT 

September 20 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW 
September 20 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT 

September 21 – Cozy Up With Kathy - REVIEW 

September 21 – Christy's Cozy Corners – GUEST POST 

September 21 – Thoughts in Progress – SPOTLIGHT 

September 22 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW 
September 22 – Literary Gold - CHARACTER GUEST POST 

September 22 – I'm All About Books – SPOTLIGHT 

September 23 – Brooke Blogs - SPOTLIGHT 

September 23 – Laura's Interests – REVIEW 

September 23 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW 
September 24 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – SPOTLIGHT 

September 24 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – AUTHOR INTERVIEW 
September 24 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT

*This post contains affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Friday, September 17, 2021

Reading Between the Crimes by Kate Young

Reading Between the Crimes

Book Summary

Perfect for fans of Ellery Adams and Kate Carlisle, the members of the Jane Doe Book Club are on the case as Kate Young's peachy-keen Georgia-set mystery series comes back for seconds.

What better time than Halloween to dig into a bracing discussion of a diabolical murder mystery? And what better choice for the Jane Doe Book Club than Agatha Christie's Crooked House? Lyla Moody and her friends are soon embroiled in debate over whether the heroine's actions are particularly believable. But not long after the meeting, sleepy Sweet Mountain, Georgia, is rocked by a murder that uncannily echoes the novel in question.

When Lyla and her grandmother arrive at the charity event that Lyla's mother is hosting, they barely have time to hang up their fall jackets before they stumble upon a body in the library. Leonard Richardson, it seems, was robbed and then hit over the head with a brass candlestick--which throws suspicion on Harper Richardson, his young widow and a friend of the Jane Does.

Lyla and the rest of the Jane Does pool their prodigious intellects to clear Harper's name. Peculiarly, all of the clues seem to have been lifted directly from the plot of Crooked House. But as Lyla probes the pages of Christie's classic whodunnit for hints on catching the killer, she uncovers secrets from her mother's past--secrets that suggest that Lyla's own house may be crooked as well.
My Thoughts

Reading Between the Crimes by Kate Young is the 2nd A Jane Doe Book Club Mystery.  It can be read as a standalone for those new to the series.  Lyla Moody finds herself helping Harper Richardson after her husband is murdered in Moody’s home during a charity soiree.  Reading Between the Crimes has a convoluted mystery.  There are a handful of suspects in this strange whodunit. There is a clichĂ© tough guy detective (Detective Battle) who does not believe Lyla’s story (of course).  The reveal was action packed and filled with tension.  I was left with numerous unanswered questions at the end of the book.  I would have liked a better wrap-up.  I like how the mystery tied into the Jane Doe Book Club’s current selection of Crooked House.  I wish Lyla and the ladies had compared the current murder to the one in the book (gone into detail).   Agatha Christie fans will enjoy this story.  I love Lyla’s grandmother, Daisy.  She is a hoot and my favorite character in the book. I would love a cozy with her as the protagonist.  There is a great deal of repetition of murder related details, and I did not appreciate the foul language.  From the summary of the book, I was anticipating a spooky Halloween themed cozy.  There are references to the October pub crawl, but Halloween seemed to have fallen through the cracks.  I was surprised by Lyla’s sleuthing skills.  As a private investigator, I expected her be different than an amateur sleuth.  I expected her to dig deep to uncover information especially about the victims past.  I thought she would be more curious especially when it appeared there was a tie-in to her own mother.  While I liked the beginning, I had trouble completing Reading Between the Crimes.  Reading Between the Crimes is a literary themed cozy mystery with jovial grandmother, a Christie related crime, a remote mother, tempting treats, a determined detective, and an alarming murder.  

Reading Between the Crimes is available from Amazon*.  The first A Jane Doe Book Club Mystery is On Borrowed Crime.  You can find Kate Young's other novels here.  I want to thank you for stopping by today and reading my review. Tomorrow I am a stop on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for A Calculated Whisk by Victoria Hamilton.   It is the 10th A Vintage Kitchen Mystery.  I am off to enjoy the rest of my birthday!  I hope that you have a special day.  Take care, be kind, and Happy Birthday!


The Avid Reader 

*This post contains affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Thursday, September 16, 2021

The Secret Keepers of Old Depot Grocery by Amanda Cox

 The Secret Keepers of Old Depot Grocery

Book Summary

Present Day. After tragedy plunges her into grief and unresolved anger, Sarah Ashby returns to her childhood home determined to finally follow her long-denied dream of running Old Depot Grocery alongside her mother and grandmother. But when she arrives, her mother, Rosemary, announces to her that the store is closing. Sarah and her grandmother, Glory Ann, make a pact to save the store, but Rosemary has worked her entire life to make sure her daughter never follows in her footsteps. She has her reasons--but she'll certainly never reveal the real one.

1965. Glory Ann confesses to her family that she's pregnant with her deceased fiancé's baby. Pressured into a marriage of convenience with a shopkeeper to preserve the family reputation, Glory Ann vows never to love again. But some promises are not as easily kept as she imagined.

This dual-timeline story from Amanda Cox deftly explores the complexity of a mother-daughter dynamic, the way the secrets we keep shape our lives and the lives of others, and the healing power of telling the truth.
My Thoughts

The Secret Keepers of Old Depot Grocery by Amanda Cox involves three generations of Clearwater women.  I thought the story was well-written with realistic, developed characters.  It is a dual-timeline novel that is told from Glory Ann, Sarah, and Rosemary’s point-of-view.  The story revolves the family grocery store began by Clarence Clearwater, Glory Ann’s husband.  Each woman is at the Old Depot for a different reason.  They have secrets that come to light over the course of the book. There is misunderstandings and miscommunications that do not help these ladies’ relationships. There are good life lessons presented in this generational saga.  Forgiveness of others and oneself is the first one and the second one is that God is in control.  We can worry, manipulate, scheme, and plan.  In the end, it is best to leave it in God’s hands because His plans are the ones that will happen in the end. I liked that there was hope in the story.  A person may be going through a tough time or grieving, but there was still hope to help get them through.  I enjoyed the epilogue that nicely wrapped up this emotional, thought-provoking tale. There is something for each reader in this Southern story.    The Secret Keepers of Old Depot Grocery is a story that will linger with you long after you finish it.  

The Secret Keepers of Old Depot Grocery is available from Amazon* as well as other major retailers.  Amanda Cox also wrote The Edge of Belonging.  Thank you for visiting today.  Next time I am featuring Reading Between the Crimes by Kate Young.  It is the 2nd A Jane Doe Book Club Mystery.  I hope you have an inspiring day.  Take care, be kind, and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader

*This post contains affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Burden of Poof by Julie Anne Lindsey: Review & Giveaway!


Burden of Poof by Julie Anne Lindsey

About Burden of Poof

Burden of Poof (Bonnie & Clyde Mysteries) 

An amateur sleuth named Bonnie and her kitty companion Clyde, with names like those, what could possibly go wrong?

Life hasn't sparkled too brightly for Bonnie Balfour over the past few years, but a heart-breaking divorce has brought her back to her small rural hometown of Bliss, Georgia, and things are starting to shape up.

The proud new owner of Bless Her Heart—a second chance dress shop and boutique on the town square—Bonnie thinks thirty-eight might not be too late for a fresh start in life after all.

Until a grouchy old widow turns up dead in a pile of donations meant for Bonnie’s shop, and the town’s new detective pins her to the top of his suspect list!

To save her shop, dream and reputation, Bonnie must coordinate clues and stitch together the truth about her innocence, but the unreasonably handsome detective and prying eyes of the local gossip mill are fast fraying her nerves.

When a series of anonymous attacks begin to hem her in, Bonnie fears the real killer is fixing to make her his next victim. Can this amateur sleuth measure up?

About Julie Anne Lindsey

Julie Anne Lindsey is an award-winning and bestselling author of mystery and romantic suspense. She’s published more than forty novels since her debut in 2013 and currently writes series as herself, as well as under multiple pen names, for Harlequin, Kensington, Sourcebooks and Crooked Lane Books.

When Julie's not creating new worlds or fostering the epic love of fictional characters, she can be found in Kent, Ohio, enjoying her blessed Midwestern life. And probably plotting murder with her shamelessly enabling friends. Today she hopes to make someone smile. One day she plans to change the world. Learn more about Julie at

Author Links

My Thoughts

We are taken to Bliss, Georgia where Bonnie Balfour has opened Bless Her Heart, a second chance boutique.  Bonnie is looking for a second chance herself after the disintegration of her marriage.  Bonnie was surprised when Viola showed up at the boutique with a donation of dresses.  Viola had been less than pleasant when Bonnie approached her at Christmas regarding donations.  Viola asks Bonnie to stop by that evening to pick up the rest of the dresses.  Bonnie arrives to find Viola dead at the bottom of the stairs surrounded by dresses.  Detective Mason Wright is assigned the case and he has Bonnie at the top of his suspect list.  Bonnie has never been one to sit on the sidelines.  She sets out to get answers regarding Viola’s death.  The killer, though, is less than pleased and begins leaving a series of threatening messages.  Can Bonnie identify the guilty party before she ends up the next victim?  

Burden of Poof by Julie Anne Lindsey is first book in the Bonnie & Clyde Mysteries. I like Julie Anne Lindsey’s conversational writing style.  It makes the story a breeze to read. We meet Bonnie Buttercup Balfour who needs a fresh start after her the end of her marriage.  She returns home to Bliss, Georgia where she opens a second chance boutique called Bless Her Heart.  The author takes the time to establish the main character and the town.  There are some quirky characters in the town (a lady who talks and listens to plants) and a unique bookshop called What the Dickens (some unusual happenings at the bookstore). Clyde is more than Bonnie’s cat. He is her companion and comforter.  Clyde also loves to wear bow ties that match Bonnie’s outfits (he likes to be stylish).  Bliss is a charming small Southern town where gossip flows faster than melting butter on hot pancakes.  There is humor sprinkled throughout the story that will have you chuckling out loud.  Bliss is a special town.  It is a community where people are there for each other.  The mystery has several suspects, misdirection, and a dashing detective.  Bonnie cannot sit by and wait for her name to be cleared.  She begins asking questions which soon lands her in the killer’s crosshairs.  I enjoyed the reveal scene.  The ending will leave you smiling and ready to read Seven Deadly SequinsBurden of Poof is a charming Southern cozy mystery with a comforting cat, refashioned frocks, a determined detective, a rapid rumor mill, a caring community, and busybody Bonnie.

Burden of Poof is available from Amazon  and B&N.  You can find the list of the upcoming Bonnie & Clyde Mysteries here.  The next Bonnie & Clyde Mystery is Seven Deadly Sequins which publishes October 15.  Beating the Wrap releases November 15 and Eyelet Witness on December 15.  Do you want to know how Bonnie met Clyde?  You can obtain the prequel here.  You can find Julie Anne Lindsey's other novels here. You can follow Julie Anne Lindsey on Amazon to receive updates on her latest releases.   Are you ready for the giveaway?  Julie Anne Lindsey is giving away a Kitty Prize Package (U.S. Only) to one lucky person.  You can click here to enter or use the Rafflecopter form below.  Do not forget to leave a comment for an extra entry.  Good Luck!  Thank you for joining me today.  The Secret Keepers of Old Depot Grocery by Amanda Cox is planned for tomorrow.  Stop by to learn more about this Christian novel.  I hope that you have a blissful day.  Take care and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Participants

September 15 – Novels Alive – GUEST POST


September 15 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW

September 15 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW, GUEST POST

September 16 – Baroness’ Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT

September 16 – Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder – REVIEW, RECIPE

September 16 – I Read What You Write – GUEST POST

September 17 – Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

September 17 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

September 17 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – REVIEW

September 18 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

September 18 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

September 19 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

September 19 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

September 20 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – GUEST POST

September 20 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

September 20 – My Journey Back the Journey Back – CHARACTER GUEST POST

September 21 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – GUEST POST

September 21 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

September 21 – Maureen’s Musings – REVIEW

September 22 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

September 22 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT

September 22 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

September 23 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW

September 23 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

September 23 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT

September 24 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

September 24 – Literary Gold – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

*This post contains affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.