Thursday, October 31, 2019

Three Widows and a Corpse by Debra Sennefelder: Review & a Giveaway!

Three Widows and a Corpse

A Food Blogger Mystery

by Debra Sennefelder

Happy Halloween!

About Three Widows and a Corpse

Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Kensington (October 29, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-10: 1496715942
ISBN-13: 978-1496715944
Digital ASIN: B07NCN684X

Food blogger Hope Early finds one item not on her scavenger hunt list—a dead husband . . .

Between developing her food blog, Hope at Home, and choosing low-cal recipes for a feature in Cooking Now! magazine, Hope has a full plate. Still, she’s never too busy to compete in a Jefferson, Connecticut, tradition—the town’s annual scavenger hunt.

But as she races with her team to check off the next item, Hope discovers a grisly surprise—the body of shady real estate developer Lionel Whitcomb, shot in a parking lot. His wife Elaine, who’s also in the hunt, gasps and nearly faints. But two other women on the scene cry out that their husband is dead.

It turns out this louse of a spouse was more than a little lax in legally divorcing his former wives. Did one of them put a bullet in the bigamist? Number one suspect and number three wife Elaine begs Hope to investigate. Now Hope is on a new kind of hunt—for a cold-hearted killer and triple widow-maker . . .

Includes Recipes from Hope’s Kitchen!
MARTHA MOMENTS: Remembering: Martha in the Early Years

About Debra Sennefelder

Debra Sennefelder, the author of A Food Blogger Mystery series and A Resale Boutique Mystery series, is an avid reader who reads across a range of genres, but mystery fiction is her obsession. Her interest in people and relationships is channeled into her novels against a backdrop of crime and mystery. When she’s not reading, she enjoys cooking and baking and as a former food blogger, she is constantly taking photographs of her food. Yeah, she’s that person.

Born and raised in New York City, she now lives and writes in Connecticut with her family. She’s worked in pre-hospital care, retail and publishing. Her writing companions are her adorable and slightly spoiled Shih-Tzus, Susie and Billy.
She is a member of Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers, Women’s Fiction Writers Association and Romance Writers of America.
Vintage country baking

Author Links

Reades can connect with Debra Sennefelder via her Website, Facebook,  and  Goodreads.

End of Year Scavenger Hunt

My Thoughts

Three Widows and a Corpse by Debra Sennefelder is the third A Food Blogger Mystery.  Hope Early is participating in the town’s annual scavenger hunt which benefits the local community center.  Her team stops at Avery Bistro to obtain an item on the list when Hope notices a familiar looking car in the back parking lot.  She wanders over to find the driver’s side door open and real estate developer, Lionel Whitcomb dead on the ground.  It soon becomes apparent that in addition to Lionel’s shady business dealings, he was also a bigamist.  There are three women claiming to be his wife.  Hope has no intention of getting involved with the case, but her natural curiosity wins out.  The killer is not happy with Hope’s nosiness and issues a series of warnings.  Three Widows and a Corpse can be read as a standalone for those new to this series.  Hope Early is a food blogger and is working on an article for Cooking Now magazine as well as taking care of her animals and working on her home.  I found Three Widows and a Corpse easy to read and it moved along at a steady pace.  Jane Merrifield and her sister, Sally are back along with Drew Adams (reporter and friend), Ethan Cahill (Chief of Police and boyfriend), and Claire Dixon (sister).  When Hope stumbles upon Lionel Whitcomb’s body, she states she is not going to investigate which pleases Detective Sam Reid and Ethan Cahill.  However, Hope cannot help but ask questions especially when witnesses keep showing up at her home unannounced.  Hope asks questions while plying them with her culinary delights.  Of course, she is told by Detective Reid and Ethan several times to stay out of the investigation.  The guilty party warns Hope off, but it just makes Hope more determined expose the killer.  There are several suspects along with misdirection and direct clues. Readers will have no problem identifying the killer long before the solution is revealed.  There is mild foul language in this novel.  Three Widows and a Corpse is the perfect story for those readers who enjoy lighthearted, food related mysteries.  Three Widows and a Corpse is an amiable cozy mystery with a troublesome two-timer, warring widows, a scavenger search, a sad sibling, and a repressive reporter.
The three widows - World Photography Organisation
Three Widows (I couldn't resist)
Three Widows and a Corpse is available at Amazon*, Amazon UKB&NKoboGoogle Play, and IndieBound.  The other two novels in A Food Blogger Mystery series are The Uninvited Corpse and The Hidden Corpse.  If you would like to win a print copy (U.S. Only) of Three Widows and A Corpse, click here to enter.  You can also enter via the Rafflecopter form below.  Good Luck!  Happy Halloween!   Tomorrow I will return with my review of The Roll of the Drums by Jan Drexler.  It is the second novel in The Amish of Weaver's Creek series.  I hope all of you have a spooktacular day filled with plenty of sweet treats. Stay safe and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

A 1910 Vintage Halloween postcard with three Jack-O-Lanterns and 3 black cats.  Free to download along with many more Vintage Halloween images

Tour Participants

October 28 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews - REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

October 29 – A Wytch's Book Review Blog - REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

October 29 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

October 30 – Carla Loves To Read -REVIEW

October 30 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

October 31 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW

October 31 – Reading Authors - SPOTLIGHT

November 1 - Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

November 1 - Laura's Interests – REVIEW

November 1 - Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

November 2 - Here's How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT

November 2 - Baroness' Book Trove – REVIEW

November 3 – Elizabeth McKenna - Author – SPOTLIGHT

November 3 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

November 4 – The Book's the Thing – REVIEW

November 5 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

November 5 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW

November 6 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW  

November 6 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW

November 6 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

November 7 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 7 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

November 7 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT

November 8 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

November 8 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

November 9 – I Read What You Write – SPOTLIGHT

November 10 – Diary of a Book Fiend – REVIEW

Vintage Halloween Clapsaddle Child Boy Jack o Lantern Hay Graphic Image Art Fabric Block Doodaba
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Wednesday, October 30, 2019

A Very Mummy Holiday by Lynn Cahoon

A Very Mummy Holiday (A Tourist Trap Mystery) by [Cahoon, Lynn]
Good Day!  When I was growing up in Columbus, Ohio we would go trick or treating on October 30 (it was the law at the time).  Instead of costumes from the store, my mother made my sister's and mine.  My most memorable costume was that of a witch.  With a few changes (white collar, no white hat, and add white apron), I could also be a pilgrim which delighted the teacher I had at that time.  Guess who was cast as a pilgrim in the school play that year? One year my mother made snowman (Mr. & Mrs.) costumes for my father and herself (3D).  They were adorable. What was your favorite costume?  
Oregon Coast | The Best Places To Stop On A Oregon Coast Road Trip
A Very Mummy Holiday by Lynn Cahoon has Jill Gardner and her boyfriend, Greg King along with her dog, Emma enjoying the week of Thanksgiving in Oregon.  Blake Jennings and Kathi Corbin, South Cove’s latest couple, rented a cabin from Hilda and Nate Woods so they could enjoy a relaxing getaway.  Aunt Jackie with her beau, Harrold plus Amy and Justin will arrive later in the week for turkey day.  They see a sad man in the area who turns out to be the Woods’ son, Caleb whose fiancé disappeared a year ago without a word.  Kathi obtains an admirer from one of the local men who rides around with a group of rowdy guys who they are warned are trouble with a capital T.  The two couples are out riding on the sand dunes when Blake and Kathi’s vehicle overturns.  Suddenly Kathi is screaming because the ring she saw glinting in the sand is attached to a mummified hand.  It appears that Caleb Woods missing fiancé has been found.  Caleb is the local sheriff’s prime suspect, but Jill and Greg are not so sure.  They decide to do a little digging to uncover the truth.
Saint Anthony Sand Dunes, Idaho
A Very Mummy Holiday by Lynn Cahoon is A Tourist Trap Novella.  It can be read on its own, but I recommend reading one of the full-length stories first.  Jill Gardner and Greg King are off to enjoy a week in Oregon, but things do not go as planned.  I like that Jill is an empathetic person.  She will not stand idly by while a person gets railroaded. I thought the story was engaging with friendly, relatable main characters.  I like Lynn Cahoon’s conversational writing style.  A Very Mummy Holiday moves along at a fast clip and the mystery is well-plotted.  When Caleb’s missing fiancé, Dania turns up in the sand dunes, Caleb is the target of the local police’s investigation.  Jill does a little online sleuthing searching for clues about Dania’s life.  I like that Greg does not discourage Jill and he helps Jill with her quest for the truth.  Readers will have no problem identifying the guilty party in this whodunit.  However, I thought the mystery suited the length of the novel and the storyline.  Jill and Greg are a cute couple who are well suited.  I like that Jill brought Emma along with her on the trip.  The one thing I wondered, though, is why Jill and Greg went off with this couple that they hardly knew.  It is especially odd since Jill has very little in common with Kathi (my mother said I was overthinking it).  A Very Mummy Holiday is a chance to catch up with Jill and the gang.  A Very Mummy Holiday is an engaging cozy mystery with an energized Emma, a forlorn fiancé, iniquitous individuals, a coastline cadaver and stuffing squabbles.
Aunt Ruthie’s 2013 Fall Home Tour! | Sugar Pie Farmhouse
A Very Mummy Holiday* is available in ebook only (Amazon UK*).  The next A Tourist Trap Mystery is Memories and Murder (which will be the tenth full length book in series) which comes out on November 12.  Thank you for dropping in today.  I am featuring Three Widows and a Corpse by Debra Sennefelder tomorrow as part of the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour.  It is the third third A Food Blogger Mystery.  I hope that you have a boo-tiful day.  Take care and Happy Reading!
The Avid Reader
die kleine hexe
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Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Shot through the Hearth by Kate Carlisle

Shot Through the Hearth (A Fixer-Upper Mystery, #7)
25+ Old Victorian Home Exterior Ideas (29)
Shot Through the Hearth by Kate Carlisle has Shannon Hammer and her crew working on renovating Rafe Nash’s new Victorian farmhouse.  Rafe is a tech billionaire who has “retired” and relocated to Lighthouse Cove.  Rafe is unable to remain idle for long and creates the Marigold Foundation to fund eco-friendly projects.  He will be holding the first ever Future Global Survival Con in eight months on his new five hundred acre property.  Rafe has an extensive list of work for Hammer Construction that he needs done before the conference begins.  Eight months later the conference opens with a cocktail party at Rafe’s newly completed home.  Dillon Charles, Rafe’s old business partner, is the complete opposite of the congenial Rafe (in other words, a real slime ball) and he manages to offend several people.  The next morning, the barn raising has just begun when Shannon hears a woman screaming.  She runs over to find Dillon Charles dead.  Rafe rises to the top of the suspect list which has his fiancé, Marigold distraught and, as Shannon’s friend is aware of her sleuthing reputation, Marigold asks Shannon to investigate.  Shannon has her work cut out for her considering the number of people that Dillon had managed to antagonize.  She needs to unearth the killer before the conference ends and all the suspects depart for home.   
Lancaster, PA. The Amish at a barn raising
Barn Raising
Shot Through the Hearth by Kate Carlisle is the seventh A Fixer-Upper Mystery. It can be read by those familiar with the series as well as newcomers.  I found Shot Through the Hearth to be a delightful cozy mystery.  Shannon Hammer is excited by the challenge of Rafe’s project.  He not only wants his Victorian farmhouse renovated, Rafe wishes a unique tower (the Ecosphere) to be constructed and for them to hold a barn raising.  It will be Shannon and her crews first barn.  Rafe also wants them to use green materials as well as unique eco-friendly gadgets.  The one downside is they only have eight months to complete Rafe’s list since he plans on holding the first Future Global Survival Con.  The conference begins and we are introduced to a quirky cast of characters.  There is Marcus Reedy with his special vine, Stephanie to Midge Andresen with her sandcastle worms.  Sketch Horn, an author, is also in attendance and Mac is not thrilled (wait until you meet him).  When Rafe’s old business partner, Dillon Charles is murdered, there are a host of suspects who could have killed the unpleasant man.  There are good clues and some unexpected revelations.  As the conference continues, there are a series of unfortunate events including another death.  Shannon with help from her boyfriend, Mac work to uncover the culprit.  I love the banter between Mac and Shannon.  They are a couple who are truly meant for each other.  I appreciate that Shannon and Mac share information with Eric Jensen, the chief of police.  The female readers will relish the character Niall Rose with his Scottish brogue and the descriptions of him wearing his kilt.   I laughed often while reading Shot Through the Hearth.  It is a humorous story that I was sorry to see end.  I especially enjoyed Shannon’s reaction to the smart mice (it was hilarious).  Shot Through the Hearth is told in the first person which I normally dislike, but it works for this series.  We get to see things from Shannon’s perspective which can be highly entertaining at times (like with the smart mice).  There is one scene at the end that had me in stitches.  I cannot wait to read the next installment in A Fixer-Upper Mystery series.   Shot Through the Hearth is a captivating cozy mystery with a barn building, flirtatious fauna, puzzling patents, malicious mushrooms, wacky worms and a dazzling detective duo.
Comprising two enormous plastic bubbles connected by ring-like hallway, the structure is completely devoid of interior supports. The effect is at once futuristic, playful, and marvelous.
Inflatable music venue (used something
similar for conference center in book)
Shot Through the Hearth is available through Amazon* (Amazon UK).  You can find a list of the other novels in A Fixer-Upper Mystery here.  Thank you for stopping by today.  I am curious as to how many of you listen to audiobooks?  I listen to audiobooks while I am driving because it helps me to concentrate (otherwise my mind tends to wander which is bad while driving).  I like checking out Audible to find a new book each month.  They even have audible escape (romances only).  How about you?  I am featuring A Very Mummy Holiday by Lynn Cahoon tomorrow.  It is A Tourist Trap Novella.  May you have a blissful day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader
20 Works Of Art That Capture The Coziness Of Fall Reading | BOOKGLOW

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Monday, October 28, 2019

Stamped Out by Tonya Kappes

Stamped Out (A Mail Carrier Cozy Mystery #1)
Happy Monday!  I hope that you had a lovely weekend.  Murder at the Courthouse by Meghan Carver*is out today.  It is a charming new Christian cozy mystery.  Murder Can Mess Up Your Masterpiece by Rose Pressey releases tomorrow (October 29) along with Coached to Death by Victoria Laurie.  There are some delightful new cozy mysteries coming out over the next several months.  
Mail Box's
Stamped Out by Tonya Kappes has readers visiting Sugar Creek Gap.  Bernadette Butler is a widow of ten years with a married son who teaches at the local high school.  She returned to work as mail carrier after her husband’s death and enjoys the downtown mail route.  On her route that morning, Bernadette learns the town is up in arms because Chuck Shilling is selling his share of the Sugar Creek Gap Country Club to Bernadette’s friend, Mac Tabor.  Mac has plans to erect condos and the residents are against the development.  The next day, Bernadette stops to feed her duck friend at the bridge and discovers the body of Chuck Shilling.  Mac is taken to the station for questioning by Sheriff Angela Hafley when a neighbor reports that Mac had a public argument the night before with the victim.  After the murder weapon is found in Mac’s front flower bed, Sheriff Hafley arrests Mac.  Mac has been a good friend to Bernadette, and she know that he is innocent.  Bernadette’s job allows her to be privy to town gossip which will be helpful in proving Mac’s innocence.  Can Bernadette deliver the killer to Sheriff Hafley before Mac is railroaded for the crime?
vintage postman illustrations - Google Search
Stamped Out by Tonya Kappes is the debut novel in A Mail Carrier Cozy Mystery series.  Bernadette Butler is an older protagonist which I appreciate.  I like that we are seeing main characters that are in their 40s and 50s.  Bernadette is a widow who is a local mail carrier and lives with a cat.  Bernadette’s son, Grady is an English teacher at the local high school as well as the football coach.  His wife, Julia works as Mac Tabor’s secretary.  Bernadette’s parents own The Wallflower Diner in downtown Sugar Creek Gap. Sugar Creek Gap is a charming small town with quaint shops and variety of residents.  The Front Porch Ladies (Henriette, Ruby, Millie and Gertrude) are a group of older women on Bernadette’s route that are curious by nature bunch.  They see and hear everything that happens on the street where they live which comes in handy when Bernadette needs some helpful gossip.  The whodunit involves the death of Chuck Shilling after he agreed to sell his shares of the Sugar Creek Gab Country Club to Mac Tabor.  Mac mistakenly mentioned that he plans to erect condos.  Many people object to Mac’s development idea.  There are protests, signs, picketing and a murder.  Chuck is shot and the killer has framed Mac for the crime.  Bernadette intends to prove Mac is innocent and deliver the proof to the police chief.  Bernadette is good at picking up pieces of helpful information and searching for clues.   I did feel the story needed a little fine tuning.  There was a repetition of information and there is mild foul language.  There is a potential love interest for Bernadette.  Bernadette is not sure how she feels about these new feelings.  I enjoyed reading Stamped Out and I look forward to the next book in A Mail Carrier Cozy Mystery series.  Stamped Out is an engaging new cozy mystery with rioting residents, country club conundrum, spray paint scribbling, gleeful gossips, a framed friend and delayed deliveries.
Giant Thames Rubber Duck at Tower Bridge, London
Bernadette feeds a duck at a bridge each day.
  I could not resist this picture.
Stamped Out is available in paperback and ebook(Amazon UK) (on 10/29)Stamped Out will be available through Kindle Unlimited.  I hope you check out this new cozy mystery.  Tomorrow I am sharing my review of Shot through the Heart by Kate CarlisleIt is the seventh A Fixer-Upper Mystery.  May you have a smashing day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader
✉ Biblio Beauties ✉ paintings of women reading letters & books - Elsa Backlund Celsing
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Sunday, October 27, 2019

Midnight Magic by Jo-Ann Carson

Midnight Magic (A Ghost & Abby Mystery, #1)
Happy Sunday!  I am reviewing Midnight Magic by Jo-Ann Carson* today.  It is a book that I was unable to feature when it was released.  The other three novels in A Ghost & Abby Mystery series are I Messed Up Christmas, Death by Seance and Death by Tarot CardThe Perfect Brew is Jo-Ann Carson's newest novel.  It is the debut novel in Perfect Brew Cozy Mystery series.  
Midnight Magic by Jo-Ann Carson has us traveling to the Pacific northwest to the town of Sunset Cove.   Abby Jenkins is a widow with three children under the age of six.  Abby obtains the position as a night janitor at the haunted Sunset Cove Teahouse owned by Azalea.  With Abby’s contacts among the living and her ability to talk to the dead, she has decided to supplement her income by hanging out her shingle as a private investigator.  Charisma Dubois hires Abby to find diamonds that are somewhere on the haunted estate of Graystone Manor.  Abby soon learns that locating the jewels will be a challenging task.  She will certainly earn her fee on this case.  
Vintage Halloween
Midnight Magic by Jo-Ann Carson is the first tale in A Ghost & Abby Mystery series.  I thought Midnight Magic was a lighthearted magical story with a cast of unique characters.  Abby Jenkins is thirty two years old, a widow and has three young children.  Abby can speak with ghosts, but she does not want others to know about her gift.  If Abby wants to keep her secret, she should really be more discreet since Sunset Cove is a small town.  I wish the author had provided more details on the characters (like last names).  I wanted them to be fleshed out a bit more as well.  I liked the author’s conversational writing style which made Midnight Magic easy to read.  It is a short story that contains under 190 pages (the rest is excerpts from other books).  The story is written in the first person point-of-view which allows us to be privy to Abby’s thoughts.  I was not a fan of the foul language and the amount of time devoted to intimate relations (too explicit).  I did not feel that Midnight Magic needed either of these elements.  I did enjoy the sarcastic banter, but the story felt incomplete to me.  To get the necessary answers, I would need to pick up the next book in the series which I was not compelled to do.  Midnight Magic is an upbeat paranormal mystery with a haunted hall, a vintage Viking, potent potions, and magical mayhem.
A Modern With - F A Leyendecker 1923
Midnight Magic is currently available for free on Amazon (US)* (Amazon UK)Thank you for stopping by today.  I am reviewing Stamped Out by Tonya Kappes on Monday.  It is the first novel in A Mail Carrier Cozy Mystery series.  I am off to relax with a book.  I hope you have a peaceful day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader
🍀Illustration by @lauresillus🍀 *************** #illustrator #illustrations #photoshop #illustration #paint #childrenillustration #art…
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Saturday, October 26, 2019

Murder at the Courthouse by Meghan Carver

Murder at the Courthouse (Grace Pointe Cozy Mysteries #1)
 Good Day!  Apple Cider Slaying by Julie Anne Lindsey* will be out on Tuesday, October 29 along with Nogged Off by Barbara Ross, A Very Mummy Holiday by Lynn Cahoon, and Stamped Out by Tonya Kappes.  Dead Wrong by Vannetta Chapman releases on November 5 as does Cast Iron Alibi by Victoria Hamilton and The Bake Shop by Amy Clipston.  I just finished reading Shot through the Hearth by Kate Carlisle which was delightful.  I always enjoy a cozy with a strong female character and an action packed mystery.
Guillermo Forchino-The Judge
Murder at the Courthouse by Meghan Carver has readers visiting Grace Pointe.  MacKenzie Baker has recently returned to town where she has taken up residence in the apartment over the parsonage’s garage and is working as a librarian at Grace Pointe Library.   Her brother, Douglas Baker is the pastor of Grace Pointe Community Church and is happy to have his sister close by once again despite her curious nature plus her propensity to eavesdrop.  MacKenzie goes with her brother to drop off a book for Judge Antony Vail at the courthouse.  They walk into Judge Vail’s office to find him dead after being whacked in the head with copy of the Indiana code.  While waiting for the police to arrive, MacKenzie takes the opportunity to notice any pertinent clues.  When Judge Gregory Canter, a friend of the family, ends up under suspicion, MacKenzie teams up Ian Canter and her friend, Callie to find the true culprit. 
Practical Household Uses For Salt Muddy footprints on carpet – Sprinkle salt on carpets to dry out muddy footprints before vacuuming. Stainless steel – Rub with a gritty paste of two tablespoons of salt mixed with lemon juice. Rinse well and pat dry with a soft cloth. Settling suds – If a washing machine bubbles over from too many suds, sprinkle salt on the suds to reduce them.
Murder at the Courthouse by Meghan Carver is the first novel in A Grace Pointe Cozy Mystery series.  It is a Christian cozy mystery which I appreciate.   The Christian theme is prevalent with focus on prayer, having faith, and following the path He has for our lives.  MacKenzie Baker is forty years old with a degree in library science, lives in the apartment over the parsonage’s garage, has a thing about germs, tends to wear her hair in a ponytail, and has a kitten named Mr. Darcy.  I would have liked more background information on MacKenzie, but I am sure we will get to know her much better as the series proceeds.  I enjoyed MacKenzie’s inquisitive nature.  I like the cast of characters which include Callie Marson, MacKenzie’s best friend.  It is great that there is a wide variety of personality types from the cranky octogenarian to MacKenzie’s very kind sister-in-law, Nancy.   Grace Pointe Community Church seems a welcoming place with Pastor B leading his flock.  We get lovely descriptions of Grace Pointe with its variety of shops including Rudder’s.  When Judge Antony Vail turns up dead, MacKenzie is curious from the beginning.  I like how she remained calm and looked for clues while being careful to not contaminate the evidence.  There are several viable suspects in this whodunit along with good clues.  I welcomed the detailed resolution of the crime.  As MacKenzie works the murder, she finds that law enforcement interests her, and she begins looking at alternative career paths.  I have a feeling that additional knowledge will be dangerous in Mackenzie’s hands.  I am eager to read more books in A Grace Pointe Cozy Mystery series.  Murder at the Courthouse is a delightful new cozy mystery with a tainted tome, a defiant daughter, a troublesome team, muddy marks, and a snoopy sister.
Murder at the Courthouse* (Amazon UK) publishes on Monday, October 28.  It is available through Kindle Unlimited.  You can find more of Meghan Carver's books on her Amazon Author Page.  Thank you for stopping by today.  I hope I have helped you to find a new author and book.  May you have a relaxing day.  Take care and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader
Reading and Art: Rowland Davidson. Girl in her favorite chair
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Friday, October 25, 2019

Pretty Little Fliers by Erin Johnson

Pretty Little Fliers: A Cozy Witch Mystery (Magic Market Mysteries Book 1)
Happy Friday!  For those who love the Hallmark Christmas movies, they begin today at 2 p.m. with the first new movie of the season airing tonight at 9 p.m. which is A Merry Christmas Match (on Hallmark Movie and Mysteries channel).  I noticed that the Lifetime channel will also be airing Christmas movies starting today (24/7 per their commercial).  Do you have a favorite Christmas movie?  My favorite is The Christmas Card.
Ruli Island from The Last Story #illustration #artwork #gaming #videogames #characterdesign
Pretty Little Fliers by Erin Johnson takes us back to Bijou Mer.  Jolene is down on her luck thanks to a jealous colleague who outed her as a shifter.  She is now living in Darkmoon Night Market area and working as a pet psychic.  A curse has robbed her of her magical abilities and Jolene has let herself go lately (she really needs a bath).  Jolene witnesses a murder across from her fleabag apartment and lands a consulting gig.  Officer Peter Flint along with his German Shepard partner, Daisy knock on her door when they need her to talk a parakeet who witnessed the crime.  Jolene teams up with Officer Flint and Daisy to help sniff out the killer.
Owl and Moon ...
Pretty Little Fliers by Erin Johnson is the debut of the Magic Market Mysteries.  I enjoyed reading this creative new tale.  The authors writing style is casual and friendly.  I was quickly immersed into the story.  We return to Bijou Mer from Erin Johnson’s Spells & Caramels series where we enter the seedy section of the island.  Darkmoon Night Market is where the poor live and criminals conduct their activities.  Jolene used to a well-paid lawyer until a certain co-worker revealed that she was an owl shifter (shifters get a bad rap).  A curse has taken away her ability to shift as well as her magical powers.  She can, though, talk to animals and insects which is why she hung out her shingle as a pet psychic.  When a woman is murdered across the street, Jolene gets hired by Officer Peter Flint.  Jolene is eager for the work because she is close to being evicted and she does like to eat.  I found myself laughing frequently while reading Pretty Little Fliers.  It is an entertaining story.  We meet a variety of unique characters as Officer Flint, Daisy (Officer Flint’s canine partner) and Jolene investigate the murder.  There are a variety of suspects and they uncover some unusual information.  Daisy and Jolene do not get along which led to some witty exchanges.  This case may be just what Jolene needs since she has just been going through the motions the last four and half years.  I enjoyed reading this magical cozy mystery and am eager to read Friday Night Bites.  Pretty Little Fliers is a spellbinding tale with a saucy secretary, peculiar plants, secret snapshots, and a bewildering botanist.
Pretty Little Fliers is now out and available through Amazon* (Amazon UK).  It is also on Kindle UnlimitedFriday Night Bites is the next Magic Market Mystery and it releases on November 15.  You can find Erin Johnson's Spells & Caramels series on her Amazon author page.  Thank you for joining me today.  I am reviewing Murder at the Courthouse by Meghan Carver tomorrow.  It is the debut of A Grace Pointe Cozy Mystery series.  May you have an enchanting day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader
Sabrina The Teenage Witch 
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Thursday, October 24, 2019

Stitches in Time by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Stitches in Time (The Deacon's Family #2)
Welcome!  Some upcoming new Amish books are Dead Wrong by Vannetta Chapman, Amish Front Porch Stories by Wanda E. Brunstetter along with Jean & Richelle Brunstetter, and The Bake Shop by Amy Clipston which all release on November 5.  Abraham by Jennifer Beckstrand will be available on November 26.  Which one are you looking forward to reading?
schoolroom.  No million dollar school, no state testing, yet they learn! Should tell us something.
Stitches in Time by Suzanne Woods Fisher returns readers to Stoney Ridge, Pennsylvania where the Gmay is picking a new deacon.  Luke Schrock draws the lot much to everyone’s surprise including his own.  Luke made a promise to Amos to help empty out the foster care system in Lancaster County, but he is not sure how to go about it.  He contacts social worker, Roberta Watts who happens to have an emergency and the Amish community is the answer. The local group home has black mold and they need to find temporary placements for eleven girls.  New schoolteacher, Mollie Graber is eager to help and requests to sisters.  Mollie wants to bake cookies, have cozy chats and read with the girls.  Her dreams are dashed when she receives two eleven year old delinquents.  The first night they disappear and are returned by the police.  Sam Schrock is attracted to the pretty new schoolteacher and becomes worried when he sees the dark circles under her eyes from the girls.  When the tweens want to learn to ride horses, Sam sees a chance to tame the girls and help Mollie.  Little does Sam realize that by helping Mollie and the girls, he is helping himself.  What does the future hold for Mollie and Sam?
The World's Coolest Coming Of Age Traditions
Stitches in Time by Suzanne Woods Fisher is the second novel in The Deacon’s Family series.  I recommend reading Mending Fences before embarking on Stitches in Time, so you fully understand what is happening. However, there is a cast of characters to help new readers to the series and some backstory is provided.  I found Stitches in Time to be well-written with developed characters going through realistic situations.  When Luke Schrock draws the lot for deacon, he knows his life will forever be changed and so does his wife, Izzy.  Luke has troubling following through on projects which will not fly as deacon.  He started the expansion of their small home by demoing some walls and then he became deacon (project is at a standstill).  Izzy is struggling to connect with her mother, Grace, but they are still two distant strangers.  Izzy is also upset because she has yet to become pregnant and Luke does not understand her concern.  Izzy is grateful for her sheep who provide comfort and a listening ear along with the sanctuary of her yarn shop.  Mollie Graber is the new schoolteacher and she is happy to be out from under her mother’s thumb.  She wants to live life to the fullest and when Luke asks for volunteers to become foster parents, Mollie is quick to raise her hand.  She wants two young girls but gets two eleven year old sisters who have been in the foster system since they were small.  They delight in skipping school and shooting off firecrackers to scare horses (and so much more).  Mollie and Sam were getting to know each other when she took in the girls.  Sam then became distant and Mollie does not understand why.  There are dropped stitches in Sam’s heart that need mending and God has a plan.  There is love, sadness, hope, faith, dismay, confusion and frustration in Stitches in Time (all of life’s normal emotions).  We watch as Izzy and Luke navigate married life with the added complication of his new job as deacon.  The importance of having strong faith and praying to God.  We forget to pray when faced with troubling situations and that should be the first step.  God can work wonders if we just let Him.  One of the phrases from Stitches in Time stuck with me and it is “The more I pray the more things happen.” Hank Lapp provided amusement as he always does with his loud voice and directness.  I like that we get to see that the Amish suffer from the same afflictions that the English do.  Stitches in Time is a thoughtful story that will linger in your mind with you long after you finish it.  I found Stitches in Time to be an inspiring story with troubled tweens, scared sheep, deacon duties, a half-done house, and startling surprises.
An Amish couple in Ethridge, TN, about to cautiously cross the railroad track that runs north and south through Ethridge, Tn.
Stitches in Time is available through Amazon* (Amazon UK)as well as other major booksellers (CBD, Kobo, Barnes & Noble).  The first novel in The Deacon's Family series is Mending Fences (as of 10/22 the kindle version is $.79).  The third novel is Two Steps Forward which is available for pre-order and comes out on February 4, 2020.  Thank you for joining me today. I am featuring Pretty Little Fliers by Erin Johnson next time.  It is the debut of  Magic Market Mysteries. I hope that you have a chipper day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader
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Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Death by Jack-O'-Lantern by Alexis Morgan

Death by Jack-o'-Lantern (Abby McCree Mystery #2)
Happy Wednesday!  I hope you are having a good week so far.  Halloween* is fast approaching.  I like seeing all the decorations people are putting up outside.  My neighbor has a giant spider dangling in front of his house and this creepy character driving a bone wagon with a cemetery plot in front.   Murder at the Courthouse by Meghan Carver is the debut of A Grace Pointe Cozy Mystery series and it publishes on October 28.  It will be available through Kindle UnlimitedStamped Out by Tonya Kappes is the debut of A Mail Carrier Cozy Mystery series (also available through Kindle Unlimited).  It releases on October 29 along with A Very Mummy Holiday by Lynn Cahoon
The New England Guide to Leaf Peeping - Classy Girls Wear Pearls
Death by Jack-O’-Lantern by Alexis Morgan* has Abby McCree busy preparing for the upcoming Halloween Festival in Snowberry Creek, Washington.  Abby, of course, is on the planning committee for the event.  She is whipping up a meringue when her tenant, Tripp Blackston invades her kitchen to announce he has nominated her to chair the committee for a fundraising event to help fund projects that the local veterans' organization has planned.  Tripp, a veteran, has been helping Sergeant Kevin Montgomery who is living in the local woods.  On a rainy day, Abby is at Ronald Minter’s farm to pick up pumpkins for the committee.  She is searching for the argumentative farmer and finds him in a shed in the middle of the corn maze with a knife in his back.  Unfortunately, the farm falls under county jurisdiction and Detective Ben Earle is in charge of the investigation.  Kevin Montgomery rises to the top of the suspect list when police are told about Minter accosting Kevin in town and accusing the sergeant of trespassing on his farm to seal pumpkins.  With Tripp in jail for being uncooperative, it is up to Abby to get the root of the matter.  There is something rotten in this pumpkin patch and Abby is determined to expose it, so Tripp does not continue to wither in jail. 
PUMPKINROT.COM: What's Brewing: The Scarecrow Catacomb
Death by Jack-O’-Lantern by Alexis Morgan is the second An Abby McCree Mystery.  It can be read as a standalone for those new to the series.  Abby McCree has been “volunteered” to help with the planning of the Halloween Festival.  When Glenda’s driver bails because of the pouring rain, Abby takes her neighbor out to Ronald Minter’s farm to pick up the pumpkins for the festival.  Abby finds the cranky farmer dead in a shed in the middle of the corn maze.  When Tripp and his friend, Kevin Montgomery find themselves afoul of the law, Abby begins searching for the guilty party.  I thought Death by Jack-O’-Lantern was easy to read with a charming town and a variety of quirky characters.  Abby keeps getting herself “volunteered” to committees and projects (I think gullible is written on her forehead).  When Abby is not helping others, she is whipping up baked goods that come in handy for bribes and to offer to police when they inevitably end up at her house.  Zeke, Abby’s dog, is my favorite character.  He is such a lovable and smart fellow.  Gage Logan, the chief of police, is a good guy.  He is a fair minded individual who cares about his daughter.  I wish Gage was Abby’s love interest.  The murder of Ronald Minter provided a couple of suspects along with misdirection and direct clues.  I would have liked the mystery to be more challenging.  It seemed like the author was pointing a giant neon arrow at the culprit.  I thought the reveal was interesting and entertaining.  There were some appealing aspects to the crime, and I appreciated that it was completely resolved.  The pumpkin carving sculptures were a delightful addition to the story especially Gage Logan’s.  I would have liked less repetition of case details (I got it the first time).  Death by Jack-O’-Lantern is a cute Halloween themed cozy mystery with purloined pumpkins, copious cookies, a humorous hound and a vigorous volunteer enforcer.  
The One Small Town In Connecticut That Transforms Into A Terrifying Halloween Wonderland
Death by Jack-O'-Lantern* (Amazon UK) will get you in the spirit of the season.  The first An Abby McCree Mystery is Death by Committee.  My mother enjoyed both books in this series and is eager for the next one to come out.  I hope you have a spellbinding day.  Take care and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader
Orla Kiely Fashion Show | AW 15
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