Saturday, July 31, 2021

Much Ado about Nauticaling by Gabby Allan: Review & Giveaway!

Much Ado about Nauticaling

by Gabby Allan


About Much Ado about Nauticaling

Much Ado about Nauticaling (A Whit and Whiskers Mystery) 


Whitney Dagner is your tour guide to a Pacific paradise that’s to die for—only to find it’s a place people are also willing to kill for—in Gabby Allan’s Much Ado About Nauticaling, first in the Whit and Whiskers Mystery series.

After far too many years in the Los Angeles corporate world, Whitney Dagner has come home to Santa Catalina Island off the California coast to help her brother Nick run Nautically Yours, the family tourism business. Between gift shop shifts selling all manner of T-shirts and tchotchkes and keeping her feline Whiskers in fine fettle, she pilots the Sea Bounder, a glass bottom boat showing tourists the underwater sights of aquatic plants, marine life—and a murder victim?

The self-proclaimed “Master of the Island,” Jules Tisdale was a wealthy man with business interests throughout Catalina who was about to be honored as Person of the Year before someone strangled him with his own tie and tossed his body into the water. That someone appears to be Nick, who had a raw deal from Jules and no alibi the night of his murder. To clear her brother’s name, Whit will have to investigate Jules’ shady associates and not exactly grief-stricken family members—with the unwelcome help of Felix Ramirez, police diver and Whit’s ex-boyfriend who’s looking to rekindle their relationship.

About Gabby Allan

After writing plays for her friends to act out as a kid, bad poetry in high school, and her high school Alma Mater song, GABBY ALLAN finally found her true passion—cozy mysteries. Being able to share her world with readers, one laugh at a time, and touch people’s hearts with her down-to-earth characters makes for the best job ever. This California girl now lives with her husband, daughter, and two insane dogs in Central Pennsylvania where she is hard at work on her next novel.

Author Links

My Thoughts

Much Ado about Nauticaling by Gabby Allan is a breezy cozy mystery set in Santa Catalina Island, California.  Whitney Dagner has left the corporate world to return to her hometown to help her brother, Nick run the family business, Nautically Yours plus open her shop, Dame of the Sea.  After a day filled with tours, Nick and Whitney are cleaning the boat when they see a body under the window in the bottom of boat.  It is the Chamber of Commerce’s Person of the Year, Jules Tisdale who had been on the boat earlier in the evening.  The police zero in on Nick as the guilty party.  Whitney with help from ex-boyfriend, Felix Ramirez and her cuddly cat, Whiskers work to clear Nick’s name.  Much Ado about Nauticaling is the debut of A Whit and Whiskers Mystery series.  Whitney Dagner is a friendly main character who is loyal to her family and not afraid of hard work.  I loved Whitney’s grandparents, Pops and Goldy.  Pops is a darling while Goldy is over-the-top.  She wears high heels (even with a bathing suit), loves to sunbathe, and leaves a trail of sand behind her wherever she goes.  There are several secondary characters that include Felix and Whitney’s roommate, Maribel.  I am sure we will learn more about these people in future books.  The mystery is straightforward with several suspects and misdirection. The whodunit wrapped up quickly leaving a few loose ends.  Whitney was lucky in the investigation because the people she needed to talk to seemed to cross her path at the right moment.  Whitney needs to work on her investigation technique.  To say she lacks subtlety is an understatement.  A reader does need to suspend their disbelief at times while reading.  Since the story is told in the first-person, we are subjected to Whitney’s ramblings thoughts.  I did find it a bit much at times.  I could see her thoughts spinning around like a kid on the teacup ride at Disney.  Whiskers is a fun addition to the story, and he was helpful with the investigation.  Much Ado about Nauticaling is a carefree cozy with a cuddly cat, a glass-bottom boat, treasure map trouble, a bothersome ex-beau, and straggling sand.  

Much Ado about Nauticaling is available from Amazon,  B&N,  Kobo,  Google Play, and IndieBound.  Something Fishy This Way Comes is the next A Whit and Whiskers Mystery.  There is a preview at the end of Much Ado about Nauticaling.  Would you like to win a signed copy of Much Ado about Nauticaling along with some swag? (Sorry, but US Only).  Please leave a comment with your email address (so I can contact you) for a chance to win.  The contest ends August 12 at 11:59 p.m.  Good Luck!  Thank you for joining me today.  On Monday, I am featuring The Walnut Creek Wish by Wanda E. Brunstetter.  It is the debut of the Creektown Discoveries series.  I must go put together a planter for outside.  I miss when items arrived fully assembled. I hope that you have a peaceful day (we all need time to destress/relax).  Take care, be kind, and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader 

Tour Participants

July 30 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW 

July 30 – Here's How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT 

July 31 - The Avid Reader – REVIEW 

July 31 - Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT 

August 1 - Cozy Up With Kathy - REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW 
August 1 - eBook Addicts – SPOTLIGHT 

August 2 – Novels Alive – GUEST POST 

August 2 – I Read What You Write - REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW 

August 3 – Book Club Librarian – REVIEW 
ugust 3 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW 

August 4 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW 

August 4 – Maureen's Musings – SPOTLIGHT 

August 5 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT 

August 5 – Laura's Interests – REVIEW 
August 6 – Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – CHARACTER INTERVIEW 

August 6 – Sapphyria's Book Reviews - SPOTLIGHT 

August 7 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW 

August 8 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST 

August 9 – StoreyBook Reviews - SPOTLIGHT 
August 9 – Christy's Cozy Corners – REVIEW, GUEST POST 

August 10 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – GUEST POST 

August 11 – Novels Alive – REVIEW 

August 12 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT

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

Friday, July 30, 2021

Murder, She Edited by Kaitlyn Dunnett

 Murder, She Edited
Book Summary

As the hesitant new owner of a rundown property outside of sleepy Lenape Hollow, New York, freelance editor Mikki Lincoln must get her facts straight about an old murder on the premises--before the killer returns to meet the next deadline!

When Mikki inherits a nearby farm from a woman she hasn't seen in two decades, the unexpected arrangement comes with a big catch: forgotten diaries hidden in the neglected house must be recovered, edited, and published across the internet within one month. The lonely locale is like an untouched time capsule from the 1950s, and it was left behind for good reason

While searching for the mysterious memoirs and clues about the former owners, Mikki discovers that the once peaceful place was punctuated by an unsolved homicide and other rumored crimes. Worse, suspicious activity in the creepy, dilapidated barn suggests it really hasn't been abandoned at all...

In a remote farmhouse with only her observant calico cat, Calpurnia, keeping her company, Mikki must swiftly crack an eerie cold case from the past and stop a clever culprit from leaving red markups on anything other than pages of revised copy..

 My Thoughts

Murder, She Edited by Kaitlyn Dunnett is the 4th A Deadly Edits Mystery.  It can be read as a standalone if you are new to the series.  Mikki Lincoln is surprised when she learns she has inherited a house and some land from an old friend of her deceased mother.  Of course, there is a catch to the bequest.  She must locate and publish diaries hidden in the old farmhouse within a specified time period or the inheritance will pass on to another individual.  Mikki has a feeling there is something the lawyer is not disclosing.  Entering the old farmhouse is like stepping back in time.  Nothing has been changed since the 1950s.  As Mikki expected, the lawyer failed to tell her about the murder that occurred in the house.  When Mikki learns the case was never solved, she sets out to unravel the case.  

I like that Mikki Lincoln is a mature protagonist.  She is a retired schoolteacher who now does freelance editing.  Mikki is a friendly, relatable character.  She is smart, meticulous, and cautious.  Mikki pays close attention to details and does her research (well, her friend Darlene does the heavy lifting in that area).  She is not afraid to ask for help when she needs it plus Mikki does not put herself into dangerous situation without taking precautions.  I like how she talks to her cat, Calpurnia.  There are some great, developed characters in the series that includes Mikki’s best friend, Darlene.  I enjoy the humor sprinkled throughout the story.  Mikki’s anecdotes about grammar missteps had me chuckling.  The mystery was interesting and well-plotted.  I like that it was a cold case.  In addition to the 1950s murder, Mikki wonders who made some recent modifications to the barn.  I like how everything tied together with a complete resolution.  There was action toward the end that spiced things up.  This is not an action-packed cozy series (just to let you know).  This series focuses on Mikki (her life, job, family, and friends) who stumbles upon the occasional mystery. There is a secondary storyline involving a fan of author who blames Mikki for typos in her latest book.  The woman is relentless.  It will take a special solution to resolve this problem.  The ending left me smiling.  If you like Jessica Fletcher cozy mysteries, then check out Murder, She Edited.  Murder, She Edited is a charm filled cozy mystery with grammar gaffes, a faithful feline, hidden diaries, a fanatical fan, and a bizarre bequest.  

Murder, She Edited is available from Amazon*.  The other A Deadly Edits Mysteries are Crime & Punctuation, Clause & Effect, and A Fatal Fiction.  Kaitlyn Dunnett also writes A Liss MacCrimmon Mystery series.   You can follow Kaitlyn Dunnett on Amazon to get emails when she releases a new book.  Thank you for reading my review today.  Tomorrow I am a stop on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for Much Ado about Nauticaling by Gabby Allan.  It is the debut of A Whit and Whiskers Mystery series.   I hope that you have grammatically correct day (or Mikki Lincoln might pay you a visit).  Take care, be kind, and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader 

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

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Two Wicked Desserts by Lynn Cahoon

Two Wicked Desserts 

Book Summary

Mia Malone conjures up delicacies while casting about for clues in New York Times bestselling author Lynn Cahoon's Two Wicked Desserts, continuing her Kitchen Witch Mystery series...

Magic Springs, Idaho, may be a small town, but Mia Malone is living an enchanted life running her own catering business and cooking school. And while she's teaching the locals culinary craft, her grandmother is teaching her witchcraft for the day she inherits the family magical spells that have been passed down for generations. Unfortunately, all that knowledge is not helping Mia or her grandmother in removing the spirit of warlock Dorian Alexander from Mia's cat Mr. Darcy.

But even though Dorian hasn't yet left this earthly plane, his spells have already been transferred to his daughter Cindy's grimoire. An actress looking for her big Hollywood break, Cindy is hoping there's something in her father's bag of tricks to make her a star. But playing with magic has only resulted in a trip to Idaho where Cindy finds herself the number one suspect in the murder of a hitman whose body was found in the garden of Mia's Morsels. Now it's up to Mia to conjure up a killer before everything she's worked so hard for vanishes with a poof! 

My Thoughts

Two Wicked Desserts by Lynn Cahoon is the 2nd book in A Kitchen Witch Mystery series.  It can be read as a standalone, but I suggest reading One Poison Pie first.  It gives you the backstory on Magic Springs, Idaho.  Mia Malone is getting Mia’s Morsels up and running with help from her grandmother and ex-fiancé’s sister, Christina.  Mia is also learning about magic and spells.  I find the characters to be developed and realistic.  We get to follow Mia as they go about her everyday life (cooking, eating, learning magic, shopping, making menus, going out with Levi).  A stranger is found dead behind Mia’s new residence.  Mia finds herself once again dealing with Detective Mark Baldwin.  When Baldwin becomes fixated on Dorian’s daughter, Cindy as the guilty party, Mia works to prove she is innocent.  The mystery was light.  It was not the central focus of the story.  There are a limited number of suspects which makes solving it a cinch.  I believe more time was spent helping Cindy figure out which spell she activated than on the mystery.  The paranormal element is sprinkled throughout the story.  We get to learn more about kitchen witches and how they are different from other witches in town.  The school may also have a dark history.  Mia is trying to learn more about the school and the witches who helped build it.  Mary Alice, Mia’s grandmother, and Mia spend time trying to find the correct spell to free Dorian from Mr. Darcy’s body.  Dorian is not enjoying his time in a cat’s body.  Gran, though, does not seem to be giving it her best effort.  The grandmother has something she wishes to discuss with Mia, but she never gets out the full story.  I hope we get closure on this issue soon.  Christina is having relationship issues plus problems with her new friend.  I found the pacing to be mixed (sometimes the story moved along at a good pace and other times it was slow) and the ending was anticlimactic.  Two Wicked Desserts is a charming story with fun characters, but I felt it needed a little more work.  I am, though, curious to find out what happens next with Mia and the gang especially as to why Trent can hear Gloria.  Two Wicked Desserts is a magical tale with a spell gone amiss, a gifted grimoire, a selfish friend, a covert room, a deceased stranger, and mouthwatering meals.  

Two Wicked Desserts is available from Amazon*.  The other books in A Kitchen Witch Mystery series are One Poison Pie (can be borrowed with Kindle Unlimited) and Murder 101 (a novella which can also be borrowed with Kindle Unlimited).  The next A Kitchen Witch Mystery Novella is Have a Holly, Haunted Christmas releasing October 26.  You can find Lynn Cahoon's other cozy mysteries here.  Lynn has A Killer Christmas Witch publishing September 14.  It is the latest A Cat Latimer Mystery.  Thank you very much for dropping by today.  Tomorrow I am featuring Murder, She Edited by Kaitlyn Dunnett.  It is the 4th A Deadly Edits Mystery.  I am off to put together a metal planter that is going near out front door (it is powder blue).  I hope that you have an enchanting 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, July 28, 2021

The Rocky Road to Ruin by Meri Allen

 The Rocky Road to Ruin
Book Summary

Justice will be swirled by amateur sleuth Riley Rhodes in the first in Meri Allen's brand-new mystery series!

Riley Rhodes, travel food blogger and librarian at the CIA, makes a bittersweet return to her childhood home of Penniman, Connecticut - land of dairy farms and covered bridges - for a funeral. Despite the circumstances, Riley's trip home is sprinkled with reunions with old friends, visits to her father's cozy bookshop on the town green, and joyful hours behind the counter at the beloved Udderly Delicious Ice Cream Shop. It feels like a time to help her friend Caroline rebuild after her mother's death, and for Riley to do a bit of her own reflecting after a botched undercover mission in Italy. After all, it's always good to be home.

But Caroline and her brother Mike have to decide what to do with the assets they've inherited - the ice cream shop as well as the farm they grew up on - and they've never seen eye to eye. Trouble begins to swirl as Riley is spooked by reports of a stranger camping behind the farm and by the odd behavior of the shop's mascot, Caroline's snooty Persian, Sprinkles. When Mike turns up dead in the barn the morning after the funeral, the peace and quiet of Penniman seems upended for good. Can Riley find the killer before another body gets scooped? 
My Thoughts

The Rocky Road to Ruin by Meri Allen has Riley Rhodes returning home to Penniman, Connecticut for the funeral of her best friend’s adoptive mother.  Riley is a CIA librarian as well as travel food blogger and sometimes undercover spy.  Unfortunately, something happened in Italy that has Riley wondering about her future.  The day after the funeral, Riley finds Mike Spooner, the deceased adoptive son, dead in the barn and his tennis star girlfriend is missing.  Riley’s curiosity has her digging into the case searching for answers. 

The Rocky Road to Ruin by Meri Allen is the debut of An Ice Cream Shop Mystery series.  Meri Allen is a descriptive writer.  She provided detailed word images of the town, the characters, Buzzy’s farm, and, most importantly, the ice cream.  Riley Rhodes is a unique character for cozy mysteries with her occupation.  I like that the author took the time to establish Riley and the town.  I did feel that we are introduced to a few too many characters in this first book.  There are just too many to keep straight (neighbors, relatives, employees, reporters, visitors).  We also get to meet Sprinkles, Buzzy’s prima donna cat, and Rocky, a rescue cat.  I enjoyed reading about their attitudes and antics.  I can tell the author has been around cats.  The mystery is multifaceted with multiple suspects and misdirection.  There are clues to help readers solve the whodunit before the reveal (if you are an avid cozy mystery reader, you will have no problem unraveling this whodunit).  There are delicious descriptions of ice cream that will have you running out for a cold creamy confection.  I did feel the pacing was a little slow with the detailed descriptions and the number of characters.  I also wanted a little more cozy.  I was hoping for a cozy small town with the story focusing around the ice cream shop.  I think the author is trying to give us something different.  Some things worked and others did not.  An example is Riley being a CIA librarian, travel food blogger, and secret spy.   I would have been happy with travel food blogger because the CIA aspect seems out of place (except for Riley’s attention to detail).  The Rocky Road to Ruin is a good start and I do wish to read the next installment in An Ice Cream Shop Mystery series.  The Rocky Road to Ruin is a sweet treat with cat capers, land wrangling, prying reporters, creamy confections, sunflower festival fun, a curious cowboy, and a mysterious murder.

The Rocky Road to Ruin is available from Amazon*.  You can follow Meri Allen on Amazon so you will get an email when she has a new release.  Thank you for visiting today.  Next time I am featuring Two Wicked Desserts by Lynn Cahoon.  It is the latest A Kitchen Witch Mystery.  I am off to get some housework done.  With cats and dogs, there is always dusting and sweeping needing to be completed.  I hope that you have a sweet 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.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

An Amish Flower Farm by Mindy Steele

 An Amish Flower Farm
Book Summary

She grows flowers.
He raises bees for honey.
They help each other out,
because that’s what neighbors do…

Belinda Graber loves growing flowers for her family to sell at the Amish marketplace. Venturing beyond the farm to sell them in town, though, is out of the question. People would stare at the birthmark on her cheek, and she’s dealt with enough teasing in her life.

As a beekeeper, Adam Fisher knows how blessed he is to live next door to the Grabers’ greenhouses and fields. But when his father is injured, Adam has to take a job at the local mill. How will he manage the honey harvest?

Adam and Belinda make a deal: if she tends his hives, he’ll sell her flowers in town.

Belinda’s sure that her growing feelings for Adam could never be returned. Meanwhile, Adam can’t help but notice how his shy neighbor charms the bees…or is he the one being charmed? Because his last courtship ended badly, Adam tells himself this arrangement is strictly business, even if Belinda is sweet as honey.
My Thoughts

An Amish Flower Farm by Mindy Steele is a sweet Amish tale.  I was quickly drawn into the story, and I was up late finishing this heartwarming novel.  I thought An Amish Flower Farm was well-written with engaging, developed characters.  Belinda Graber is a beautiful woman inside and out.  She is a caring woman who is shy after being bullied as a child because of a port wine birthmark on her check.  Belinda wants to sell the flowers she grows, but she is unable to approach people to accomplish her goal.  Adam Hostetler has been working extra jobs since his father had a work accident.  It leaves him little time to harvest his honey.  Adam learns that Belinda helped her grandfather with his honey harvest in Kentucky.  He approaches Belinda who suggests they help each other.  Belinda will help Adam with his honey harvest if Adam finds buyers for her flowers.  Adam has been attracted to Belinda since they were in school.  He still finds her lovely, but, after a recent disastrous courtship, Adams is determined that they will just have a business relationship.  I liked seeing the characters grow over the course of the novel.  Mindy Steele created some great characters.  My favorite was Belinda’s maternal grandmother, Mollie Bender.  She is a hoot.  I love the way she talks with God.  Adam’s father, Atlee is another good character.  Despite being laid up with a severe injury, he has an upbeat attitude.  

I like that the story is told from Belinda and Adam’s point-of-view.  We get to see things from each of their perspectives (it is amazing how different their view can be on the same situation).  There is humor scattered throughout the story.  I love it when a book makes me laugh.  The authors word imagery brings the scenes alive for me.  I could visualize Belinda working among her flowers and charming the bees.  There are some good life lessons in this charming story about fear, perceptions, wasting time, helping others, and beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  I like how the people in this community help each other out.  They are there for each other in times of need.  My favorite line in An Amish Flower Farm is, “Don’t ever compare yourself to others.  There is only one you, and you were made special by Gott.”  In An Amish Flower Garden, we see that bees and flowers are a great combination in more ways than one.  I am looking forward to reading more books by this up-and-coming author.  An Amish Flower Garden is a delightful Amish novel with fragrant flowers, busy bees, a meddling Mammi, mocking mates, shielding siblings, and a caring community.

An Amish Flower Farm is available from Amazon*.  You can follow Mindy Steele here on Amazon to receive updates on her latest releases.   You can find her website here.  Ms. Steele has His Amish Wife's Hidden Past publishing September 28 and Christmas Grace on October 26.  To Catch A Hummingbird by Mindy Steele is the first book in the Miller's Creek series and it can be borrowed through Kindle Unlimited.  I am eager to read each one of them.   Thank you for joining me today.  I hope that you enjoy An Amish Flower Garden as much as I did.  Some of the other books out today are:  Murder, She Edited by Kaitlyn Dunnett, Two Wicked Desserts by Lynn Cahoon, Courting His Amish Wife by Emma Miller, The Rocky Road to Ruin by Meri Allen, The Cider Shop Rules by Julie Anne Lindsey, Knot Ready for Murder by Mary Marks, A Vineyard Crossing by Jean Stone, Murder in a Teacup by Vicki Delany, and Much Ado about Nauticaling by Gabby Allan.  So many wonderful new books!  I will be featuring The Rocky Road to Ruin by Meri Allen tomorrow.  It is the debut of An Ice Cream Shop Mystery series.  I hope that you have an uplifting 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.

Monday, July 26, 2021

A Deadly Deletion by Lorna Barrett

 A Deadly Deletion
Book Summary

A murder leads to a string of shocking revelations for bookstore owner Tricia Miles in the latest entry to Lorna Barrett's New York Times bestselling Booktown series.

Tricia Miles has just received a second marriage proposal within fifteen minutes. The first was from her friend with benefits, Marshall Chambers, and the second from her ex-lover, police chief Grant Baker. Tricia's got some serious thinking to do.

She's still weighing her options when she hears the sound of an engine roaring down Main Street. It's a big white pickup truck that aims for and hits Marshall as he's walking back to his apartment. Tragically, he's killed, leaving Tricia feeling bereft and guilty. She retreats to her sister, Angelica's, apartment to wait for Baker to update her on what happened. While there, Tricia takes Angelica's dog out for a comfort call behind the building, and the same white pickup roars up the alley and just misses hitting Tricia.

Still shaken by that news, Tricia returns to Haven't Got a Clue and is met by federal marshal Kirby, who tells her that Marshall had been in the Federal Witness Protection Program. Everything Marshall told Tricia was a lie--in particular, that he was a widower. Was his death an act of revenge?

Tricia's on the hunt for a killer, and it seems like she might be next on the list.
My Thoughts

A Deadly Deletion by Lorna Barrett has Tricia Miles dealing with two marriage proposals.  As Tricia prepares to go inside to her apartment, a white truck zooms down Main Street and she hears a sickening thud.  Marshall Chambers, who had just left Tricia after his unexpected proposal, is dead.  A short time later while Tricia is walking her sister’s dog, the same truck tries to run her down in the alley.  The next day, Tricia is further shocked when she learns that Marshall was in WITSEC.  She wonders if any of what he told her is true.  Tricia wants to know who is responsible for killing Marshall and she intends to get answers.  Someone, though, does not appreciate her snooping.  A series of events has Tricia wondering if she will end up the next victim.  

A Deadly Deletion by Lorna Barrett takes readers back to Stoneham, New Hampshire to the town full of bookshops.  This is an eventful cozy mystery.  I loved all the action that kept me wondering what would happen next.  Tricia Miles and her sister, Angelica are warm, friendly characters.  They are developed and realistic.  I like that they are mature characters.  It is great that the sisters are close (talk frequently, have lunch and dinner together, look out for each other).  I like how they want to help others and make their town a success.  There is a great cast of secondary characters.  I especially love Pixie, Tricia’s bubbly employee who loves to dress uniquely.  A Deadly Deletion has a dark, complex whodunit.  I enjoyed following Tricia’s investigation.  The action kept things lively and interesting.  There are clues to help readers solve the mystery before Tricia arrives at the solution if you pay close attention.  I like that the mystery was multifaceted with a solution that will surprise most readers.  There is a secondary story line involving the Stoneham Chamber of Commerce.  It is in a disarray thanks to their former nefarious leader. The members still left would like Tricia to become president, but a newcomer to town has a different agenda.  A Deadly Deletion is the 15th A Booktown Mystery.  While A Deadly Deletion can be read as a standalone, I recommend reading the series in order.  It will allow you to get to know the characters and the town.  I hope Tricia has some joy coming her way soon.  She deserves some happiness after what happened in A Deadly Deletion. A Deadly Deletion is a hectic and gripping whodunit with chamber of commerce kerfuffle, unpredicted proposals, slagging book sales, tasty thumbprint cookies, a determined dentist, an orderly abode, and a shocking solution.  

A Deadly Deletion publishes Tuesday, July 27 and it is available from Amazon*.  You can find the other novels in A Booktown Mystery series here.  Thank you so much for visiting today.  I will return tomorrow to celebrate the release of An Amish Flower Farm by Mindy Steele.  I will also tell you about the other novels publishing tomorrow.  I hope that you have an inspiring day.  You never know where you will find inspiration.  Take care, be kind, and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader 

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

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Murder in a Teacup by Vicki Delany

 Murder in a Teacup
Book Summary

National bestselling author Vicki Delany's delightful Tea by the Sea mystery series continues, as Cape Cod tearoom proprietress and part-time sleuth, Lily Roberts, stirs up trouble when she unwittingly serves one of her grandmother's B&B guests a deadly cup of tea...

Lily has her work cut out for her when a visit from her grandmother Rose's dear friend, Sandra McHenry, turns into an unexpected--and unpleasant--McHenry family reunion. The squabbling boils over and soon Tea by the Sea's serene afternoon service resembles the proverbial tempest in a teapot. Somehow, Lily and her tearoom survive the storm, and Sandra's bickering brethren finally retreat to Rose's B & B. But later that evening, a member of their party--harmless Ed French--dies from an apparent poisoning and suddenly Tea by the Sea is both scene and suspect in a murder investigation!

Mercifully, none of the other guests fall ill. They all ate the same food, but Ed insisted on bringing his own special blend of herbal teas. So it seems, amid the whining and dining, someone snuck up to one of Lily's cherished teapots and fatally spiked Ed's bespoke brew, but who? Was it Ed's long-estranged sister-in-law? Did teenage troublemaker Tyler take a prank too far? Or perhaps the family's feuds have been steeping for longer than anyone realizes? It's up to Lily, Rose, and their friends to get to the bottom of the poisoned pot and bag the real culprit behind the kettle murder plot.
My Thoughts

Murder in a Teacup by Vicki Delany is the 2nd A Tea by the Sea Mystery.  It can be read as a standalone if you have not had time to indulge in Tea & Treachery.  Everything a new reader needs to know is included.  The author provides beautiful descriptions of North Augusta, Massachusetts where Lily’s grandmother, Rose runs Victoria-on-Sea Bed and Breakfast and Lily Roberts has her cozy teashop, Tea by the Sea.  Rose has her friend, Sandra visiting from Iowa along with her family.  Her granddaughter, Heather is footing the bill for the family reunion.  Their bickering and backbiting is fraying the staff’s nerves.  Lily is happy she has her cottage to retreat to at the end of the day.  Unfortunately, one of the family members end up dead from poisoning casting suspicion on Lily and her staff.  Lily wonders which one of the family members committed the evil deed.  She intends to find out since another death has once again closed down her tea shop.  I found Murder in a Teacup easy to read with a fun cast of characters.  I love Lily’s grandmother, Rose.  She is a classy lady.  I also like Lily who is an excellent baker and her cute dog, Éclair.  There are some good secondary characters that include Simon, the English gardener, and Matt, the new neighbor.  I am not as enamored with Lily’s friend, Bernie.  I find her flighty and annoying.  The mystery was straightforward. There was a family of suspects along with misdirection.  A piece of information early in the book provided me with the killer’s identity. It also helped me guess some secrets that would be revealed at the end of the book.  I wish the whodunit had been more of a challenge (I love a good puzzle). There are mouthwatering descriptions of Lily’s baked goods that includes orange zest scones.  I like learning about the various types of tea, foods served at tea time, and the different types of tea pots.  I loved the description of Lily’s special china she received when she was eighteen.  There are recipes at the end of the book for the tempting teats featured in the book.  I enjoyed reading this lighthearted cozy mystery set by the sea.  Murder in a Teacup is a cute Cape Cod cozy with bickering brethren, delectable delights, a gifted gardener, a bespoke brew, a cat conundrum, and a malicious murder.  

Murder in a Teacup publishes Tuesday, July 27 and is available from Amazon*.  Tea & Treachery is the first book in A Tea by the Sea Mystery series.  You can borrow it for free if you belong to Kindle Unlimited.  You can find Vicki Delany's other novels hereA Three Book Problem by Vicki Delany is the next A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery and it releases January 11, 2022.  Thank you so much for stopping by today and reading my review.  I will return on Monday with A Deadly Deletion by Lorna Barrett.  It is 15th A Booktown Mystery.  I hope that you have a relaxing and sunny weekend.  Take care, be kind, and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader 

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

Friday, July 23, 2021

The Mothers of Victory Street by Pam Howes

 The Mothers of Victory Street
Book Summary

From Amazon charts bestseller Pam Howes comes a heartbreaking and uplifting historical novel about a young woman trying to snatch her chance at happiness amongst the ruins of World War Two.

1946, LiverpoolBella Harrison cannot believe the devastating war that stole the lives of her father and sister is truly over at last. She wonders how they will ever rebuild Victory Street with the city in ruins, and half their neighbours gone. But for now, she and her childhood sweetheart Bobby are happy newlyweds, doting on Bella’s little son, her child with black American pilot, Earl Franklin Junior.

With the other members of Bella’s wartime singing trio, The Bryant Sisters, busy starting families of their own, Bella focuses on recording and writing songs with her husband. Everything seems to be falling into place until they get a surprising letter: Earl is moving to England and wants to see them.

Earl arrives and is delighted to see that his son is well and happy. He joins them as a singer and together, they start recording songs. But one night as Earl leaves the recording studio, a racist gang brutally attacks him and sets the place alight, leaving Bobby trapped inside. Meanwhile, Bella is at home, waiting to tell Bobby a devastating secret…

With peace in Liverpool at last, Bella had hoped for a brighter future. But as she faces her life being ripped apart once again, can she rediscover the strength that carried her through the war?

My Thoughts

The Mothers of Victory Street by Pam Howes has readers journeying back in time to 1946 in Wavertree where Bella, Fran, and Edie (aka The Bryant Sisters) are moving on with their lives now that the war is over.  The three women are married and live near each other.  With the war over, the families can now get on with their postwar lives.  We get to join The Bryant Sisters and their families as they experience life’s ups and downs.  I thought The Mothers of Victory Street was well-written with steady pacing.  The characters are realistic and developed.  I like that the author gives us a realistic look at life (it is not all sunshine and rainbows).  The Mothers of Victory Street is a full book with romance, tragedy, heartbreak, grief, births, and shocking surprises.   The book description does not do this novel justice.  That is only one storyline in the book.  While The Mothers of Victory Street can be read as a standalone, I recommend reading the series in order.  I enjoyed reading this delightful story that transports readers back to postwar Liverpool.  I stayed up late to find out how The Mothers of Victory Street would end.  I did feel a bit of a letdown with one storyline which really did not have a shocking upset.  I thought the author captured time and place especially with her timely movie references.  The Bryant Sisters is my favorite series by Pam Howes.  The Mothers of Victory Street is a charming historical saga with a bouncing baby, a tragic accident, new neighbors, an alienated daughter, a wonderful wedding, and melodic mates. 

The Mothers of Victory Street is available from Amazon*.  If you belong to Kindle Unlimited, you can borrow it for free.  You can find the other two novels in The Bryant Sisters series here.  Check out Pam Howes other novels here.  I wanted to share the new serialized fiction platform called Amazon Vella with you.  The stories are told "one short episode at a time".  All the genres are represented including cozy mysteries.  You should check it out when you get an opportunity.  Thank you for joining me today.  I will return tomorrow to share my thoughts on Murder in a Teacup by Vicki Delany.  It is the 2nd A Tea by the Sea Mystery.  I hope that you have a blissful 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.