Saturday, July 20, 2019

Out of Options by Dianne Ascroft: Review and Giveaway!

Out of Options

A Century Cottage Cozy Mysteries
by Dianne Ascroft

About the Book

Cozy Mystery
Prequel Novella
Independently Published (April 28, 2019)
Paperback: 126 pages
ISBN-10: 1096163373
ISBN-13: 978-1096163374
Digital ASIN: B07R4GQWQN

Out of Options is a prequel novella to the Century Cottage Cozy Mysteries series, and introduces Lois Stone and her companions, Raggs and Ribbons, a pair of perceptive calico cats.

A dry district, a shocking secret, a missing person. When Lois Stone’s friend, Beth Darrow, arranges to meet her to reveal an astonishing discovery, Lois’s curiosity is piqued. Then Beth doesn’t keep their lunch date and Lois becomes worried. What has happened to her friend?

Middle-aged widow Lois is settling into life on her own in her neighbourhood and in the library where she works, and she is just about coping with her fear of strangers after her husband was mugged and died in the park at the end of their street. But her quiet existence is rocked when her friend and fellow local historical society researcher, Beth, arranges to meet her to reveal an exciting and shocking discovery she has made about the history of prohibition in West Toronto Junction, the last dry area in Toronto, and then goes missing before she can share her secret with Lois. There isn’t any proof that Beth is missing so the police won’t actively search for her. Only Lois and Beth’s niece Amy are convinced that Beth’s disappearance is very out of character, and they are worried about her. Where has Beth gone? Is she in danger? And, if she is, who might want to harm her and why? Lois knows she must find the answers to these questions fast if she wants to help and protect her friend.

And so begins a weekend of skulking in the park, apple and cinnamon pancakes, familiar faces staring out of old newspapers, calico cats, shadows on the windowpane, and more than one person who might want Beth to disappear from the quiet, leafy streets of the historic and staunchly dry West Toronto Junction neighbourhood.

About the Author

Dianne Ascroft is a Torontonian who has settled in rural Northern Ireland. She and her husband live on a small farm with an assortment of strong-willed animals.

She is currently writing the Century Cottage Cozy Mysteries series. Out of Options is a prequel to the series.

Her previous fiction works include The Yankee Years series of novels and short reads, set in Northern Ireland during the Second World War; An Unbidden Visitor (a tale inspired by Fermanagh’s famous Coonian ghost); Dancing Shadows, Tramping Hooves: A Collection of Short Stories (contemporary tales), and an historical novel, Hitler and Mars Bars, which explores Operation Shamrock, a little known Irish Red Cross humanitarian endeavour.

Dianne writes both fiction and non-fiction. Her articles and short stories have been printed in Canadian and Irish magazines and newspapers. When she’s not writing, she enjoys walks in the countryside, evenings in front of her open fireplace and folk and traditional music.
12.9 тис. вподобань, 78 коментарів – Better Homes & Gardens (@betterhomesandgardens) в Instagram: «We love Tudor-style homes, but they're especially charming when they're teeny tiny ❤️ 📷:…»

Author Links

Twitter: @DianneAscroft

Another pinned wrote: SearsWishbook- I found a site that has old wishbooks, from the 1930's to the 1980s. Fun Fun!!

My Thoughts

Out of Options by Dianne Ascroft is a prequel to A Century Cottage Cozy Mystery series.  Lois Stone is a librarian at Annette Library in West Toronto Junction in May of 1983.  She has been a widow for three years after her husband had a heart attack following a mugging in a local park.  Lois is worried about her friend, Beth Darrow who failed to show up for their lunch date.  Beth told Lois that she had made an intriguing discovery in the Payne papers, but she would not reveal it over the phone.  Lois stops by Beth’s house later and she is not at home.  Lois then visits Beth’s niece, Amy and learns she has not seen or heard from her either.  Since it is too soon for the police to become involved, Lois sets out to find her friend.   Out of Options sets out to tell why Lois Stone moved to Fenwater and purchased a century cottage near her friend, Marge (A Timeless Celebration).  Out of Options moves along at a steady pace with friendly characters and a small town setting.  I liked getting to know more about Lois and her friend, Marge.  The mystery was uncomplicated but the guilty party’s motivation was interesting.  Lois is not a sleuth in this story, but a woman concerned about her friend.  There is a bonus story titled City Sunset at the end of Out of Options.  It tells what happened to Lois’ beloved husband, James.  West Toronto Junction is a unique town being the last dry (no alcohol sold) city in that area and it is an issue that is voted upon by the citizens.  I also learned a new word while reading Out of Options which is plebiscite.  I thought the author captured the 1980s especially with Lois stamping library cards and her spotting a Cabbage Patch kid. Out of Options is a sweet cozy mystery with a teetotaling Reverend, a misplaced comrade, two cute calico cats, and one concerned librarian.
vintage library card, shabby grunge ephemera, printable library card, date due card, junk journal printable
Out of Options is available at AmazonBarnes and Noble, and Kobo.  The first book in A Century Cottage Cozy Mystery series is A Timeless Celebration (available on Kindle Unlimited).  As part of the tour, there is a giveaway for one print copy of Out of Options.  Click here to go to the giveaway page or use the Rafflecopter form below.  Thank you for visiting today. Don't forget to visit the other stops on the tour (schedule below). I will be sharing my thoughts on Deadline with Death by Zara Keane tomorrow.  It is the first book in A Time-Slip Mysteries.  Take care and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader

Tour Participants

July 8 – I'm All About Books – GUEST POST

July 9 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

July 10 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

July 10 – The Ninja Librarian – REVIEW

July 11 – Laura's Interests – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

July 12 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW

July 12 – A Wytch's Book Review Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

July 13 – Baroness' Book Trove – REVIEW

July 14 – LibriAmoriMiei – REVIEW

July 15 – Sapphyria’s Books – REVIEW

July 15 – A Blue Million Books – GUEST POST

July 16 – Here's How It Happened – REVIEW

July 17 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

July 17 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

July 18 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW

July 19 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW

July 19 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

July 20 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Avid Reader for taking time to read and review Out of Options. I'm glad you enjoyed it and I loved the images you found to go with the post - the Cabbage Patch dolls ad and the library borrowing slip bring back memories.

    The cottage in the example below is a great one of an Ontario Cottage which is the type of century house Lois Stone lives in. See the symmetrical sides to the front of the house with the gable over the front door: