Monday, June 24, 2019

Down in Flames by Cheryl Hollon: Review, Excerpt and Giveaway!

Down in Flames

A Webb's Glass Shop Mystery
by Cheryl Hollon

About the Book


Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Kensington (June 25, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496711793
ISBN-13: 978-1496711793
Digital ASIN: B07HVY1GRJ
A fatal hit-and-run in front of Savannah Webb's glass shop proves to be no accident . . .

A highlight of Savannah's new glass bead workshop is a technique called flame-working, which requires the careful wielding of acetylene torches. Understandably, safety is a top priority. But as Savannah is ensuring her students' safety inside, a hit-and-run driver strikes down a pedestrian outside her shop.

The victim is Nicole Borawski, the bartender/manager at the Queen's Head Pub, owned by Savannah's boyfriend Edward. It quickly becomes clear that this was no random act of vehicular manslaughter. Now the glass shop owner is all fired up to get a bead on the driver—before someone else meets a dead end.

About the Author


Cheryl Hollon now writes full-time after she left an engineering career of designing and building military flight simulators in amazing countries such as England, Wales, Australia, Singapore, Taiwan, and India. Fulfilling the dream of a lifetime, she combines her love of writing with a passion for creating glass art. In the small glass studio behind her house in St. Petersburg, Florida, Cheryl and her husband design, create, and produce fused glass, stained glass, and painted glass artworks. Visit her online at, on Facebook or on Twitter @CherylHollon.
Haslam's Books ~ St. Petersburg,FL...we have driven past this bookstore so many times and never stopped. It's supposedly haunted by Kerouac
Down in Flames by Cheryl Hollon takes readers south to St. Petersburg, Florida.  Savannah Webb is beginning a flameworking class in the new expanded studio space.  She has the stations set up with vents and the acetylene torches that are required for working with the glass rods.  Savannah carefully explains the safety procedures and has an example of what can go wrong after Faith Rosenburg set her sweater on fire.  After the class, Savannah hears screaming and a thud.  She dashes outside to find Nicole Borawski, who works at the Queen’s Head Pub, a victim of a hit-and-run driver.  Officer Joy Williams is assigned the case by Detective Parker who is in the midst of moving to the new police building where chaos is reigning.  It soon becomes apparent that this was no accident which has Savannah slipping on her deerstalker cap once again.  Savannah soon uncovers another side of Nicole which shocks her friends.  When Savannah is almost run over, she knows she is getting close.  Can she unmask the killer before there is another fatality?
VortexGlassWorks - Video Tutorial: Learn how to make an Ammonite Shell Pendant with flameworked ( lampworked ) Borosilicate glass by Kenny Talamas
Down in Flames is the sixth installment in A Webb’s Glass Shop Mystery series.  While it can be read alone, I would recommend reading the series in order.  It will allow you to know the characters and their relationships (cast of characters at end of book).  Savannah has her hands full in Down in Flames with Nicole’s death, the new flameworking class, Amanda’s mother has been admitted to hospice so she is working part-time, Jacob has a setback after witnessing the hit-and-run that killed Nicole which leaves no one to run Webb’s Studio, Best Burger in the Burg competition and she is being pressured to set a wedding date.  Savannah is a delightful protagonist.   She is a well-developed character who is friendly, outgoing, and relatable.  Edward Morris, Savannah’s fiancé, is the perfect mate for her.  He is understanding and dives into the investigation’s with Savannah (he knows there is no stopping her).  Amanda Blake is going through a rough time.  Her mother, Viola, is in hospice so she knows her days are limited and wants to spend as much time with her as possible.  Jacob is a high functioning autistic eighteen year old who has a support dog, Suzy. The Rosenberg twins are always a delight.  I especially liked that we got to see more of Officer Joy Williams and Detective Parker.  The police moving into their new HQ provided several humorous moments.  I had to chuckle at Detective Parker’s office situation.  I had to agree with Detective Parker when he said the following about Savannah conducting an investigation “sometimes she lets her enthusiasm overcome good sense.”  I like how the author dealt with sensitive and timely topics (prejudice against LGBTQIA for example). The mystery takes a little bit of time to get started, but I did find it interesting as it delved into the graffiti community in St. Petersburg.  There are a variety of suspects plus a red herring or two.  I wish, though, it had been more of a challenge to identify the guilty party.  I live near St. Petersburg, which is the setting for this series, so I particularly enjoyed the local color.  It mentions area businesses (like Haslam’s), streets and sights.  The author described flameworking in an easy to understand fashion.  I enjoyed learning more about it (it has me exploring classes in my area).  Down in Flames has manslaughter, mischief and mayhem wrapped up in one charming cozy mystery.  
Dali, Warhol, and Chihuly: A Trifecta of Arty Awesomeness in St. Petersburg, Florida |
Excerpt from Down in Flames:

Monday afternoon,
Webb’s Glass Shop

“Fire!” screamed Rachel Rosenberg. She pointed at her twin sister. “Faith started a fire.”

Savannah Webb sniffed the distinctive odor of burning hair. She ran over to Faith’s student bench, grabbing the fire extinguisher on the way. She quickly scanned each twin’s short white hair, which appeared untouched. Faith was near tears but pointed to a pink cashmere sweater that lay in a smoldering heap on the floor behind the metal work stool.

Faith snuffled like a toddler. “I tossed it over there.”

As normal, the twins had been the first students to arrive. Also, as usual, they dressed alike and wore head-to-toe vibrant pink. From pink ballet flats and slacks embroidered with flamingos, to cotton sweater-sets with flamingos screen-printed on the front. All topped by large flamingo earrings and pink polished nails.

Using two rapid spurts from the extinguisher, Savannah sprayed the burning sweater. Then she stomped on the remains for good measure. She turned to her perennial students, her throat still pulsing from the surge of adrenalin. “Are you all right? Did you get burned?”

“No.” Faith sat very still with her eyes wide, staring at the sodden lump of pink char. “I forgot about the rule banning loose clothing. I got a chill and drew the sweater over my shoulders. My sleeve must have dangled across the flame.” Faith’s eyes began to fill with tears. “I’m sorry.”

The twins were typically aloof, tightly controlled, but friendly. Emotion at this level felt awkward. Savannah heard the pitch of her voice rise.

“What possessed you to turn on the torch? We haven’t started class.”

Faith’s eyes grew even wider. “I just don’t know. It seemed to call to me to turn it on. I couldn’t resist. I’ve never had that happen before.”

Savannah covered her mouth with a hand and pressed her lips together. I’m so relieved they’re okay!  Rachel huffed a great breath and put both hands on her hips. “You’ve always been clumsy. You should have waited for Savannah to tell us exactly how to light the torch. Perhaps this class isn’t such a good idea.”
Glassblowing a glass butterfly figurine - lampwork, flamework, hotglass
Down in Flames comes out Tuesday, June 25.  You can pick up at copy at AmazonB&N, and Kobo.  For a complete list of the books in A Webb's Glass Shop Mystery series, you can find them here on Amazon. There is a giveaway!  To enter to win a print copy of Down in Flames, enter using the Rafflecopter form below or click here (Sorry, but US Only).  Good Luck! Please take time to visit the other stops on the tour for character interviews, reviews, excerpts, character interviews, and character guest posts.  Thank you for joining me today.  I am highlighting Toxic Toffee by Amanda Flower tomorrow.  I hope you have a splendid day.  Take care and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader

Tour Participants

June 24 – The Avid Reader - REVIEW, EXCERPT

June 24 – Baroness' Book Trove - SPOTLIGHT

June 25 – Celticlady's Reviews - SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT

June 25 – Readeropolis - CHARACTER INTERVIEW

June 26 – Babs Book Bistro - SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT

June 26 – I'm All About Books – GUEST POST

June 26 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

June 27 – Author Teresa Watson – CHARACTER GUEST POST

June 27 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT

June 28 – Carla Loves To Read - REVIEW, EXCERPT

June 29 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews - REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

June 29 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT  

June 30 - Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

July 1 – The Book Diva's Reads – CHARACTER GUEST POST

July 1 – A Blue Million Books – GUEST POST

July 2 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

July 2 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW

July 3 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews - REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

July 3 – fundinmental - SPOTLIGHT


  1. Thank you for hosting my book on the blog tour. 🤗

  2. Haven't read this series before. Sounds good.