Sunday, May 31, 2020

Lizzie's Heart by Susan Lantz Simpson

Lizzie's Heart (The Amish of Southern Maryland) by [Susan Lantz Simpson]
Happy Sunday!  It is hard to believe that it is the last day of May.  I want to share some Amish novels with you that will be releasing in the next two months.  Ophelia London has Never an Amish Bride coming out on June 30.  It is the first novel of her Honey Brook series.  His Pretend Amish Bride by Rachel J. Good also comes out June 30.  It is the 2nd book in Unexpected Amish Blessings series.  Promises of Tomorrow by Shelley Shepard Gray is the 7th book in The Walnut Creek Series and it will be out on July 6.  A Springtime Heart by Marta Perry releases July 7 and it is the 2nd book in The Promise Glen Series.  Do you have one or all of these books on your wish list?
Lizzie’sHeart by Susan Lantz Simpson has Lizzie Fisher rescuing three kittens plus a box with her biggest secret from a burning house with the aid of a stranger.  When Lizzie goes to help Mary Zimmerman with her loom, she discovers the man with the captivating blue eyes is Mary’s son, Stephen.  Stephen finds Lizzie pretty, but he just had a bad experience with a woman, so he is reluctant to date again.  Lizzie visits the Zimmerman household to teach Mary weaving and then gets to visit the puppies Stephen raises.  As they spend time together, their relationship evolves.  But Lizzie is Old Order Amish and Stephen is Old Order Mennonite.  Is there a way for them to overcome their differences?  
Amish Cat… ~ SANDY
Lizzie’s Heart by Susan Lantz Simpson is a sweet, heartwarming Amish novel.   Lizzie’s Heart is the 5th book in The Amish of Southern Maryland series.  Each book can be read on its own.  I thought Lizzie’s Heart was well-written with friendly characters and relatable situations.  I enjoyed the descriptions of Maryland.  Lizzie Fisher is twenty years old with a knack for weaving, knitting, and sewing.  She also has a soft heart where animals are concerned.  She has a habit of bringing home strays much to her mother’s dismay (she prefers an orderly, scheduled day).  Lizzie also likes to draw but she keeps it a secret.  She is afraid that the church elders will not approve and tell her to stop. I liked Lizzie’s upbeat personality and that she tries to see the best in people and situations.  Lizzie encounters Stephen when races by him to save the kittens from a burning house. Lizzie has a way of getting herself into sticky situations.  Stephen makes wood furniture and raises Golden Retrievers as service dogs.  He admires Lizzie’s artwork and Lizzie.  But Stephen recently had a bad experience with a woman and is not eager for a new relationship.  They each have an elder sibling and attempt to do a little matchmaking.  I laughed often while reading this Amish story.  I appreciated that the author took the time to explain the differences between Old Order Amish and Old Order Mennonite.  I found this fascinating.  I enjoyed the interactions between Mary and Lizzie.  Mary is such a kind woman who can roll with the punches after raising four boys.  I admit that I am fascinated with weaving and liked this being included in the book.  It is unique for an Amish novel.  Lizzie’s Heart is a heartening and witty Amish tale with cavorting kittens, learning a loom, playful puppies, and matchmaking mayhem.
Amish Weaver at work
Lizzie's Heart can be obtained from Amazon*.  The other novels in The Amish of Southern Maryland series are The Promise, The Mending, and The Reconciliation.  Thank you for reading my review today.  Tomorrow I am sharing The Clutter Corpse by Simon Brett.  It is the debut novel of The Decluttering Mysteries.  I hope you have a fanciful day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader
Giclee Print: A Small Girl Reads 'the Story of the Three Kittens' to Her Two Kittens : 24x18in
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Saturday, May 30, 2020

A Call for Kelp by Bree Baker

A Call for Kelp (Seaside Café Mysteries Book 4) by [Bree Baker]
Good Day!  Cheryl Hollon has a new cozy mystery series titled A Paint & Shine Mystery series which begins with Still Knife Painting on June 30.  Daryl Wood Gerber has A Fairy Garden Mystery series beginning June 30 with A Sprinkling of MurderDeath on Windmill Way by Carrie Doyle is the debut of A Hamptons Murder Mystery seriesJane Darrowfield, Professional Busybody by Barbara Ross (out on June 30) starts off another delightful new cozy mystery series that has Jane has the discreet fix-it lady in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  I am eager to reach each of these new cozy mysteries.  
Pineapple Ginger Iced Tea - The Wanderlust Kitchen
Pineapple Ginger Iced Tea
A Call for Kelp by Bree Baker has Everly Swan looking forward to spending time with Mitzi Calgon, an actress well-known for her pirate films, that evening so she can learn more about her grandmother.  Mitzi, despite her bee allergy, is supporting the documentary called Bee the Change that will feature Everly’s aunts and bring attention to the plight of the American honeybee.  Everly along with Aunt Clara and Aunt Fran greet Mitzi who has arrived for the luncheon that is the kick-off of the filming.  When it is time for  Mitzi’s entrance, they find her dead inside the plexiglass educational hive.  When the father of Everly’s best friend ends up on the suspect list, Everly begins buzzing around town searching for clues.  The killer is not happy with Everly’s sleuthing and sends her some bee-ware texts.  Will Everly identify the killer or will become the next victim?
Raspberry Hibiscus Iced Tea Recipe | The Almond Eater
Raspberry Hibiscus Iced Tea
A Call for Kelp by Bree Baker is the 4th A Seaside Café Mystery.  It can be read on its own if you are new to the series. Personally, I would read the series in order so she can follow the characters from the beginning.  I thought A Call for Kelp was well-written with friendly characters in a cozy seaside town.  The story moved along steadily thanks to all the action in the story.  Everly lives in Charm, North Carolina where she owns the iced tea café called Sun, Sand and Tea (in a Victorian on the beach).  Her great-aunts, Clara and Fran live in the family home where Everly was raised.  There are some delightful characters in this series.  They are the highlight of this character driven series.  Everly is upset when Mitzi is killed before she can talk to her about her grandmother.  She was looking forward to learning more about her grandmother and maybe the identity of her mysterious grandfather.  The mystery starts off with a bang when Mitzi is found dead inside a plexiglass educational hive. There are several promising suspects, a variety of clues and misdirection.  Detective Grady Hays does not want Everly investigating, but we know her curiosity will win out.  Everly gets several scary threats.  They frighten her, but it does not stop her from sleuthing.  All the details of the whodunit are wrapped up at the end.  There is a side story involving Detective Grady Hays and the case he has been working on for his mother-in-law, Senator Olivia Denver.  I like the humor sprinkled throughout the story as well as the hint of magic.  There are recipes at the end of the book for items served at Sun, Sand and Tea (the Swan Family Rum Cake is one of them).  A Call for Kelp is an enchanting cozy mystery with buzzing bees, threatening texts, sharp stings, documentary drama, and tasty teas.  
Southern Sweet Tea Recipe
Southern Sweet Tea
A Call for Kelp is available from Amazon*.  The other novels in A Seaside Cafe Mystery are Live and Let Chai, No Good Tea Goes Unpunished, and Tide and PunishmentClosely Harbored Secrets is the 5th A Seaside Cafe Mystery and it will be out on December 29.  Thank you for visiting today and reading my review.  Lizzie's Heart by Susan Lantz Simpson is on deck for tomorrow.  It is the latest novel in The Amish of Southern Maryland series.  I hope that you have a charming day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader
4 Books To Kick Off Your Summer Reading
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Friday, May 29, 2020

Killer Chardonnay by Kate Lansing

Killer Chardonnay (A Colorado Wine Mystery #1)
Welcome!  I wanted to share some new books that are coming out June 2 with you.  The titles include The Grim Reader by Kate Carlisle, Deadly Sweet Tooth by Kaye George, Rainy Days for the Harper Girls by Rosie Clarke, Amish Generations by Kathleen Fuller, and The Way of Love by Tracie Peterson.  I like that there are cozy mysteries, historical fiction, Christian fiction and Amish fiction.  Which one of these upcoming releases appeals to you?
Reclaimed barn wood and wine barrel tables are part of the unique setting at Indian Bear Winery in Walhonding, Ohio.
Killer Chardonnay by Kate Lansing has Parker Valentine opening Vino Valentine in Boulder, Colorado.  Parker is surprised when food and wine blogger, Gaskel Brown arrives for a tasting.  His review could make or break her new venture.  Gaskel tastes her chardonnay and does not seem to enjoy it.  He then disappears into the restroom.  When the critic fails to return, Parker finds him dead on the bathroom floor.  Detective Eli Fuller, an old school chum, is on the case and it does not look good for Parker.  Gaskel was poisoned which has #killerchardonnay trending online.  Parker’s winery is in danger of closing if she cannot restore her reputation and prove she did not kill the critical critic.
Focus on Chardonnay in Meursault, France
Killer Chardonnay is the debut of A Colorado Wine Mystery series.  I found Killer Chardonnay to be nicely written with good pacing which made this lighthearted cozy mystery easy to read.  Parker Valentine is a friendly and relatable main character with a passion for wine making.  I liked her cat, Zin (Zinfandel is full name).  There are a variety of secondary characters that include Parker’s parents, her brother, best friend, and a love interest or two.  I liked the descriptions of Boulder and Parker’s winery, Vino Valentine.   I could imagine the both from the author’s word imagery.  It was interesting learning about the different wines and how they are made.  I am amazed at the different flavor profiles that can be obtained from grapes (I could envision someone swirling a glass and taking a taste stating they could taste a hint of chocolate or pear with a hint of smokiness—you can tell I do not drink wine).  The mystery had a variety of suspects along with misdirection.  There was action as the killer attempted to warn off Parker and keep her from finding pertinent clues.  The poison was unique, but I wish it had been harder to identify the guilty party.  I could see Parker in my mind as she put together the final clue and identified the killer.  There was a little too much romance for my taste plus I am never a fan of multiple of love interests.   I prefer romantic relationships in cozies to develop slowly instead of instant passion like a romance novel.  I would have preferred if the author had not used foul language in this story.  There was some luscious food served in Killer Chardonnay.  Recipes and wine pairings are included at the end of the book.  Killer Chardonnay is a merry cozy mystery with a butchered blogger, wicked wines, a cute chef, social media madness, and a cunning killer. 
Rustic winery tasting room at Indian Bear Winery in Walhonding,Ohio.
Killer Chardonnay can be purchased from Amazon*.  Kate Lansing is award winning short story author who lives in Denver, Colorado with her husband, daughter, and a tabby named Maple.  Killer Chardonnay is her first novel.  Thank you for stopping by today.  Next time I am reviewing A Call for Kelp by Bree Baker.  It is the 4th A Seaside Cafe Mystery and my first venture into this world.  I hope that you have a pleasing day.  Take care, stay safe, and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader
The Art of Reading: Sally Rosenbaum (American Contemporary).
*This post contains affiliate links.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

The Railway Girls by Maisie Thomas

The Railway Girls (Railway Girls 1) by [Maisie Thomas]
Good Day!  There are some delightful new books coming out in June.  Some of the new releases are The Grim Reader by Kate Carlisle, A Gilded Lady by Elizabeth Camden, Daddy's Girls by Danielle Steel, Game of Dog Bones by Laurien Berenson, A Sprinkling of Murder by Daryl Wood Gerber, Murder in the Scottish Shire by Traci Hall, Still Knife Painting by Cheryl Hollon, and The Last Curtain Call by Juliet Blackwell.  Once again, I have managed to request too many books (40 at last count).  How can you resist requesting a book that you really want to read?  I am weak!
Photographic Print: Women Rail Workers Standing at Work on Engine of Train, During WWI at Great Northern Railway : 24x18in
Female train workers during WWII
The Railway Girls by Maisie Thomas has Mabel, Joan, Dot, and other ladies volunteering to work for the railway during World War II.  Mabel is eager to escape her hometown so she can get a fresh start away from the memories and the guilt.  Joan and her sister were raised by their grandmother.  Gran praises her sister, but Joan does not live up to her grandmother’s expectations.  Joan wants to obtain a position and show what she is capable of to herself and her family.  Dot has raised two boys who are now married with children of their own.  Dot’s sons are off fighting.  She takes care of the home and her critical husband, Reg.  Dot is the mothering type and likes to be helpful.  Each of these women who are different ages and from different social classes, come together to do their bit for the war.  This group of diverse women start off as strangers, but they soon become close friends who stand by each other through thick and thin.  The Railway Girls is the first book in the Railways Girls series.  There is a great cast of characters in this historical novel.  I thought the characters were realistic and relatable.  They come from different social classes and each have a different reason for volunteering.  Dot was my favorite.  She is such a kind woman who loves her sons and their families. I could understand why she wanted to get out of her home each day.   I did feel that Dot was taken advantage of by her daughter’s in-law.  We get to follow the women through their day to day lives.  Each of them want to help the war effort and are excited to be working for the railway.  The women are assigned different jobs.  I like that we get to see the various positions people work to keep the trains running.  I could tell that the author did her research for this book.  The author took us back in time with the clothing, buildings, the various battles and war engagements, and the men’s attitudes towards women in the workplace.  Maisie Thomas’ detailed descriptions brought the scenes and characters to life.  I did wish that the pacing had been a little peppier.  The story got bogged down with the minutia of the ladies lives (a little too much detail).  I enjoyed seeing the ladies come together as a group and grow as individuals.  It was not easy living during World War II in England with bombings, rationing, and the extra work they had to take on.  The Railway Girls is an emotional story with strong women who want to support their country during trying times.
Servicewoman with a female porter, Waterloo Station, 1942. Helen Madeleine McKie
Female train porter
The Railway Girls is available from Amazon* (ebook).  Paperback version will be available September 1.  The next book in The Railway Girls series is Secrets of the Railway Girls which publishes September 17.  I appreciate you stopping by today and reading my review.  Tomorrow I am sharing Killer Chardonnay by Kate Lansing.  It is the premiere of A Colorado Wine Mystery series.  I hope that you have a stellar day.  Take care, stay safe and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader
Sunset On The Train By Sally Storch
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Wednesday, May 27, 2020

No Filter by Heather Day Gilbert: Review & Giveaway!

No Filter

Barks & Beans Cafe Cozy Mystery

by Heather Day Gilbert

About No Filter 

Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher: WoodHaven Press (May 26, 2020)
Number of Pages: ~280 Pages
Digital ASIN: B085BX4N96
Welcome to the Barks & Beans Cafe, a quaint place where folks pet shelter dogs while enjoying a cup of java...and where murder sometimes pays a visit.

Fed up with her go-nowhere job, newly single Macy Hatfield moves back to her small hometown in West Virginia. She joins forces with her brother Bo in his crazy new venture—the Barks & Beans Cafe, which caters to dog lovers and coffee drinkers alike.

When a golf instructor is murdered at the nearby spiritual center, Macy winds up adopting his Great Dane. Just after Macy finds a mysterious message sewn under the dog's collar, her Dane is dognapped. She launches into a relentless search for her newfound canine friend, but along the way, she digs up a cruel and confident killer.

Join siblings Macy and Bo Hatfield as they sniff out crimes in their hometown...with plenty of dogs along for the ride! The Barks & Beans Cafe cozy mystery series features a small town, an amateur sleuth, and no swearing or graphic scenes.
10 of the Best Dog Friendly Cafes | STYLETAILS

About Heather Day Gilbert

HEATHER DAY GILBERT, an ECPA Christy award finalist and Grace award winner, writes contemporary mysteries and Viking historicals. Her novels feature small towns, family relationships, and women who aren't afraid to protect those they love. Like her amateur sleuth heroines, she enjoys reading Agatha Christie, playing video games, dogs, and coffee.
French Bulldog Latte Art

Author Links

Instagram: @heatherdaygilbert

How to Make Healthy Coffee Creamer?

My Summary

No Filter by Heather Day Gilbert has Macy Hatfield moving back to her hometown of Lewisburg, West Virginia after receiving a phone call from her brother, Bo.  The brother and sister duo are opening the Barks & Beans Café which caters to coffee and dog lovers.  They will be bringing in dogs from the local animal rescue in the hopes that customers will want to adopt them. Customers can enjoy their coffee with a tasty treat and cuddle a cute dog.   A golf instructor at the Ivy Hill Spiritual Center for Healing is murdered and his Great Dane, Coal ends up at the shelter.  It is love at first sight for Macy and Coal.  Macy finds a metal tag sewn onto the back of Coal’s collar with a message on it.  When Coal is dognapped, Macy knows the person is after the tag.  Macy and Bo set out to get Coal back.  Unfortunately, they catch the attention of the killer who is not about to let a witness live. 
Dog Great Dane Coffee Co. Tall Dark And Refined Black/White Poster No Frame #fashion #home #garden #homedcor #postersprints (ebay link)
Coal has his own ideas for the cafe!

My Thoughts

No Filter is the debut of A Barks & Beans Café Cozy Mystery series.  No Filter has two great protagonists with Macy and Bo.  I enjoyed the interactions between this brother-and-sister duo.  They get along well and have started an interesting new venture.  Bo handles the business side of the café since he has the background in coffee while Macy takes care of the dog area.  Dogs make her happy and she is thrilled to have a job where she can interact with canines all day.  Summer Adkins, owner of the local animal shelter, is another good character. There are sparks between Summer and Bo.  I liked that the author took the time to establish the characters.  The café idea is fun.  I wish there was one in my area.  It is a great way to help shelter dogs find forever homes.  There is more than meets the eye to one of our main characters.  Coal stole the show, though, in No Filter.  Coal is a sweetie, but he is protective of his new owner (a bit of a bed hog as well).  The mystery was intriguing.  There are multiple suspects, a red herring, and clues for readers to find.   I enjoyed reading No Filter and I am looking forward to reading Iced Over.  No Filter is a charming cozy mystery with a clever canine named Coal, deafening drums, a gone golfer, Brazilian beans, and a despicable dognapper.
The Barkbershop Pet Grooming Studio & Cafe by Evonil Architecture, Jakarta – Indonesia » Retail Design Blog
No Filter can be purchased from Amazon*.  The next A Barks & Beans Cafe Cozy Mystery is Iced Over which releases July 27.  Both books are available through Kindle UnlimitedThe title of the third tale in A Barks & Beans Cafe Cozy Mystery is Fair Trade.  As part of the tour, the author is hosting a giveaway.  You can click here to enter or use the Rafflecopter form below.  Leave a comment on my blog for an extra entry.  Good Luck!  Heather Gilbert also writes An Exotic Pet Sitter Mystery series starring Belinda Blake. Thank you for stopping by today.  I will be back tomorrow with my review of The Railway Girls by Maisie Thomas.  It is the first novel in The Railway Girls series featuring Mabel, Joan and Dot.  I hope that you have a lively day.  Take care, stay safe and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader  

Tour Participants

May 26 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW

May 26 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

May 26 – Diane Reviews Books – CHARACTER GUEST POST

May 27 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW


May 27 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW  

May 27 – The Book Diva's Reads – CHARACTER GUEST POST
dog badly in need of coffee
May 28 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

May 28 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

May 28 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT

May 28 – The Power of Words – REVIEW

May 29 – Christy's Cozy Corners – REVIEW

May 29 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
Because Every Dog Matters
May 29 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

May 29 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW

May 30 – Baroness' Book Trove – REVIEW

May 30 – Laura's Interests – REVIEW

May 30 – Gimme The Scoop Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

May 31 – Brianne's Book Reviews – REVIEW

May 31 – I'm Into Books – SPOTLGHT
Handsomely White Dog Costumes #dogsofinstag #DogStuffForPeople
May 31 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

June 1 – eBook Addicts – REVIEW

June 1 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

June 1 – Reading Authors Network – REVIEW

June 2 – Melina's Book Blog – REVIEW

June 2 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

June 2 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
Lin Wang, Cute girl and her dog reading in bed
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Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Marshmallow Malice by Amanda Flower

Marshmallow Malice (Amish Candy Shop Mystery #5)
Retro Tea Length Wedding Dress with Polka Dot | BRIDGET – ieie Bridal
Polka dotted wedding dress
Marshmallow Malice by Amanda Flower has Bailey King wearing a frothy lavender and white polka dotted dress as maid of honor to Juliet Brody who is marrying Reverend Simon Brook.  Jethro, Juliet’s pet pig, is the ring bearer sporting a lavender polka dotted tie.  Bailey is worried that the marshmallow frosting on the wedding cake will melt in the hot July weather on the polka dotted wedding cake, but her grandmother assures her that she has it in hand.  The minister is about to pronounce them man and wife when a woman barges into the church.  She is obviously drunk and soon ousted.  The next morning, Bailey arrives early at the church where she finds the wedding crasher dead on the steps.  It looks like the honeymoon to Prince Edward Island is one hold when Reverend Brook becomes the prime suspect.  Deputy Aiden Brody wants to get this case solved quickly since Reverend Brook is his new stepfather.  Bailey with her best friend, Cass decide to do a little poking around on their own.  
Marshmallow Malice by Amanda Flower is the 5th An Amish Candy Shop Mystery.  While it can be read on its own, I do recommend reading each book in this entertaining series.  I like Amanda Flower’s engaging writing style.  I was quickly drawn into the story and I did not want to put down my book (a very pushy cat got insistent at dinner time).  I laughed often while reading Marshmallow Malice.  Jethro is one mischievous pig.  Of course, Bailey manages to get herself into some sticky situations.   I love the cast of characters in this series.  Bailey, Cass, Emily, Charlotte, Aiden, Juliet, Jethro, and even Margot.  I like that Bailey is close to her grandmother and has a wonderful group of friends.  Aiden and Bailey make a cute couple.  There are also some adorable little animals.  It is so cute how Nutmeg, the cat at the Swissmen’s Sweets, likes to play with Bailey’s rabbit, Puff.  Don’t forget Jethro who can get into trouble faster than you can say chocolate.  Harvest, Ohio is a charming small town with a mix of English and Amish shops and residents.  There are one or two bad eggs (two people at Esh’s Pretzel Shop spring to mind), but the rest of the people are friendly and welcoming.  The mystery was well-crafted.  I had a good time playing sleuth alongside Bailey and Cass.  There are good clues along with a red herring and misdirection.  Bailey had an additional worry in Marshmallow Malice.  A woman from Aiden’s past has returned to town and she seems determined to rekindle her relationship with the dashing deputy (and so does her pushy mother).  I like how Millie Fisher from An Amish Matchmaker Mystery series attended the wedding.  This was a delightful story that I finished much too quickly.  Marshmallow Malice is witty cozy mystery with hair hijinks, a playful pig, marshmallow madness, a plethora of polka dots, hot hooch, and partner problems.
This #Easter Polka Dot #Cake is a gorgeous spring cake with polka dots on both the outside AND inside of the cake! Learn how to create this cute, easy cake with surprise polka dots inside.
Marshmallow Malice is available from Amazon*.  The other novels in An Amish Candy Shop Mystery series can be found here.  I hope you enjoy this delightful story as much as I did.  Lemon Drop Dead will be the 6th An Amish Candy Shop Mystery and it will be out next year.  Amanda Flower's next release is Courting Can Be Killer.  It is the 2nd An Amish Matchmaker Mystery and releases November 24. Thank you for stopping by today and reading my review.  On Wednesday, I am featuring No Filter by Heather Day Gilbert as part of the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour.  It is the debut of A Barks & Beans Cafe Cozy Mystery series.  I hope that you have a tranquil day.  Take care, stay safe, and Happy Reading!    

The Avid Reader
*This post contains affiliate links.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Southern Sass and a Crispy Corpse by Kate Young: Review & Giveaway!

Southern Sass and a Crispy Corpse

A Marygene Brown Mystery

by Kate Young

About Southern Sass & A Crispy Corpse

Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Publisher: Kensington (May 26, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 1496721470
ISBN-13: 978-1496721471
Digital ASIN: B07W4MRDKR
On Georgia’s picturesque Peach Cove Island, a killer is serving up a two-for-one special . . .

After their mama's passing, Marygene Brown returned to Peach Cove Island to help her sister Jena Lynn run the family diner, renowned for its homemade peach desserts. But Mama is never too far away—her sassy spirit haunts the island, and more specifically Marygene. Lately Mama has been warning her that the dead will seek her out to solve their murders, an idea Marygene is far from peachy keen on.

But that prophecy appears to be coming true when she goes skinny-dipping off the island and swims right into a woman's charred corpse floating in the waves. And when Marygene and her brother Sam come upon a second burned body in a wine cellar at an event they're catering, it appears they have a double homicide on their hands. It soon turns out the victims have more in common than their charred remains, and Marygene will need to double down to find a killer who has no aversion to playing with fire. Good thing Mama has her back . . .

Includes Seven Recipes from Marygene’s Kitchen!
 And this

About Kate Young

Kate Young writes Southern mystery novels. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and the Guppy Chapter. Kate lives in a small town in Georgia with her husband, three kids, and Shih Tzu. When she is not writing her own books, she’s reading or cooking.
Skinny dip in the ocean. Amazing!

Author Links

No Skinny Dipping by SteveDelamare on DeviantArt
Skinny Dipping

My Thoughts

Southern Sass and a Crispy Corpse by Kate Young has Marygene Brown going for an early morning swim sans bathing suit.  Unfortunately, Marygene encounters a corpse while frolicking in the ocean.  She quickly calls her father, Sheriff Eddie Carter who arrives with Deputy Alex Myers, Marygene’s beau and the reason she was taking an early morning swim.  Eddie’s new hire, Deputy Javier Reyes takes Marygene’s statement at the station which leaves a bitter taste in her mouth after the encounter.  The Peach Diner, owner by Marygene and her sister, Jena Lynn, cater Yvonne Brooks open house showcasing her renovations of Palmer house.  Marygene and her brother, Sam take extra champagne down to the cellar and find a charred corpse leaning against a wall.  Time to call Eddie again.  The two bodies have Marygene perplexed and she knows her mother has the information she needs.  Pesky rules, though, prevent Clara from giving that type of aid.  Marygene and Betsy begin asking questions and end up ruffling a few feathers.  Marygene may find herself in limbo with her mother if she is not careful.
Southern Sass and a Crispy Corpse by Kate Young is the 2nd A Marygene Brown Mystery.  It can be read as a standalone because the needed background information is provided.  We return to Peach Cove Island, Georgia where deceased souls who have been murdered are drawn to Marygene Brown.  Marygene gets a help with the cases from her mama, Clara who is in limbo (she should have done more good deeds while alive).  Marygene co-owns The Peach Diner with her sister, Jena Lynn.  Marygene is a wonderful baker whose pastries are in demand by the island’s residents and tourists.  Marygene is having relationship troubles with beau, Deputy Alex Myers.  Alex was seen doing something that landed him in hot water with Marygene.  Alex wanted his cake and to eat it too (if you get my drift).   Deputy Javier Reyes is new to the force and sparks fly between him and our protagonist.  It looks like Alex has competition.  I wish less time had been devoted to Marygene’s love life.  It was a little much for me. Marygene deserves a good guy who is understanding, kind, and loyal.  There are a variety of colorful characters whose antics had me laughing.  Betsy, an employee and friend, is a hoot.  The food descriptions will have your mouth watering.  Thankfully, there are recipes at the end of the book.  I like the author’s conversational writing style which made Southern Sass and a Crispy Corpse was easy to read.  The story moved along quickly.  The mystery was an enjoyable one to solve.  It was complex (love that) with a variety of clues, several suspects and misdirection.  I had a good time assembling the clues and arriving at a solution.  There is a dramatic reveal where I got to see if my deductions were correct.  There was plenty of action in this story that helped move this story along quickly toward the end.  The paranormal element is fun and enhances the series.  Southern Sass and a Crispy Corpse is a capricious cozy mystery with a disdainful deputy, unabashed bathing beauty, a chill cellar, pretty pastries, a defensive dad, and crispy corpses.  
This classic, Southern Peach Pie is absolute dessert perfection! Filled with summer's juiciest, sweetest fresh peaches and made with a flaky, buttery double-crust dusted with sanding sugar, this fresh peach pie is as beautiful as it is delicious and wonderful served à la mode with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream!
Southern Peach Pie
Southern Sass and a Crispy Corpse can be purchased from AmazonB&N, Kobo, and IndieBound.  The 1st A Marygene Brown Mystery is Southern Sass and Killer Cravings.  Now for the giveaway!  As part of the tour, the author is giving away a $50 Amazon Gift Card!  You can click here to enter or use the Rafflecopter form below.  Leave a comment for an extra entry.  Good Luck!  Kate Young's next book is On Borrowed Crime which releases October 6.  It is the debut of A Jane Doe Book Club Mystery series.  Thank you so much for dropping by today.  Tomorrow I am sharing my review of Marshmallow Malice by Amanda Flower.  It is the 5th An Amish Candy Shop Mystery.  I hope you have a fun and safe Memorial Day.  Take care and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader

Tour Participants

May 25 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW

May 25 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT

May 25 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW  

May 26 – Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder – REVIEW, RECIPE

May 26 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW


May 27 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

May 27 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

May 27 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW  

May 28 – Diane Reviews Books - REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

May 28 – Christy's Cozy Corners - REVIEW

May 28 – Baroness' Book Trove – REVIEW

May 28 – Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers – SPOTLIGHT

May 29 – Cozy Up With Kathy - REVIEW

May 29 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

May 29 – I'm Into Books – SPOTLIGHT

May 29 – T's Stuff – SPOTLIGHT

May 30 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW

May 30 – The Self-Rescue Princess – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

May 30 – Gimme The Scoop Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

May 30 – eBook Addicts – SPOTLIGHT

May 31 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

May 31 – Laura's Interests – SPOTLIGHT

May 31 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

May 31 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT

June 1 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT

June 1 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

June 1 – Melina's Book Blog – REVIEW

June 1 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
by Sally Storch
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