Friday, May 20, 2022

Buried in a Good Book by Tamara Berry

 Buried in a Good Book

Book Summary

A thriller writer who knows way more than anyone should about death and dismemberment

Her young daughter who's more intrigued by dead bodies than she probably should be

An isolated cabin in the woods that's probably―definitely―hiding something

The tiny mountain town that seems less than troubled by a sudden abundance of murders

Bestselling thriller writer Tess Harrow is almost at the end of her rope when she arrives with her teenage daughter at her grandfather's rustic cabin in the woods. She hopes this will be a time for them to heal and bond after Tess's recent divorce, but they've barely made it through the door when an explosion shakes the cabin. Suddenly it's raining fish guts that a human arm?

Tess was hardly convincing Gertie that a summer without Wi-Fi and running water would be an adventure. Now she's thrust into a murder investigation, neighbors are saying they've spotted Bigfoot in the woods near her cabin, and the local sheriff is the spitting image of her character Detective Gabriel Gonzales―something he's less than thrilled about. With so much more than her daughter's summer plans at stake, it's up to Tess to solve this case before anyone else gets hurt. 
My Thoughts

Tess Harrow, thriller writer, and her daughter, Gertrude aka Gertie arrive at the cabin she inherited from her grandfather.  Tess decided they needed a break after her divorce plus Gertie needs a place where she cannot continually check her phone (no electricity, no running water, no wifi).  Gertie has not heard from her father in six months, and it has taken a toll on the teenager.  They are on the front porch when “BOOM”.  They head towards the sound (of course).  At the lake, there is another “BOOM”.   Fish and body parts begin raining down on them (an arm lands on Tess).  Instead of peace and tranquility, Tess and her daughter find themselves in the middle of a murder investigation.  Tess is excited and her fingers are itching to get to her typewriter as ideas start to flow.  The local sheriff, Victor Boyd is a doppelganger for the detective featured in Tess’s books.  On the way to the sheriff’s office to identify the dynamite fisher, Sheriff Boyd and Tess encounter Big Foot running through the woods.  There is no keeping Tess out of this investigation now.  She sets out to discover what is happening in the town of Winthrop. 

Buried in a Good Book by Tamara Berry is the debut of By the Book Mysteries.  Buried in a Good Book is a lighthearted cozy mystery.  I am torn on my thoughts about this book.  In the beginning, I was amused by Tess and Gertie as well as the mystery.  I love Gertie (my favorite character).  She is a precocious teen.  Gertie is helpful and comes up with good ideas.   She is often several steps ahead of her mother.  Gertie is, though, going through that teen angst phase thanks to her absentee father (and arguments with her mother).  There is a large cast of characters (Sheriff Boyd, Peabody brothers, Ivy, Nikki, Quinn, and Carl to name a few) which can make it hard to keep them all straight.  Tess is a strong character.  She can be hard to like at times, but I do find her amusing (for the most part).  Her thought processes are what I love (she always has murder on the brain).  Her mind can wander at times when a writing idea takes hold (usually at inappropriate times).  Sheriff Victor Boyd is a good counterbalance for Tess.  He is normally a calm, levelheaded man who conducts his investigations by the book.  Tess likes to take liberties with the rules which ruffles Sheriff Boyd’s feathers.  If the poor man did not have high blood pressure before meeting Tess, he will have it now.  Gertie also loves being part of a murder investigation (which upsets and impresses Tess).  The mystery is convoluted.  I felt the author tried to put too much into one book. However, it is a fun crime to solve.  There are a variety of suspects, a red herring or two, plus plenty of humor.  I like how it all wrapped up at the end with an entertaining reveal.  I did find it challenging to keep track of the differences between the real crime and Tess’s books.  There are numerous references to Tess’s crime thriller series.  In addition, we have the bookmobile librarian who has read all of Tess’s books (knows them very well) and a deputy who has written a science fiction novel that she would like Tess to read.  I did find it amusing how she got Tess to read her lengthy manuscript.  Let us not forget the errant ex-husband who shows up and causes drama.  If you like light, comical cozy mysteries, then you will enjoy Buried in a Good Book.  I wonder what Tess and Gertie will get up to next time in On Spine of DeathBuried in a Good Book is an entertaining whodunit with flying fish, a derelict dwelling, bothersome brothers, a blue bookmobile, a vexing ex-husband, a staid sheriff, and a witty writer who loves whodunits.

Buried in a Good Book comes out Tuesday, May 24 and it can be preordered from Amazon*.  The next By the Book Mystery is On Spine of Death which publishes on November 29.  Tamara Berry has also written An Eleanor Wilde Mysteries.  If you follow Tamara Berry on Amazon, you will receive notifications when she releases a new book.  I appreciate you taking the time out of your day to read my book review.  On Saturday, I am featuring Her Amish Springtime Miracle by Winnie Griggs.  It is the second book in the Hope's Haven series.  I hope that your day is filled with happiness.  Joy keeps us upbeat and positive.  Take care and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader 

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

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Fatal Flowers by Jess Dylan

 Fatal Flowers
Book Summary

Fatal Flowers is the third in a colorful cozy mystery series from Jess Dylan, set in the Flower House—where you’re as likely to find a killer as a chrysanthemum.

As Aerieville, Tennessee’s Flower House finally gains in popularity, Sierra Ravenswood finds herself feeling ready for new challenges. Luckily, the shop has grabbed the attention of the mayor’s daughter, and bride-to-be, Marissa Lakely. Sierra is thrilled, and nervous, to land her most important job yet: providing flowers for the biggest wedding Aerieville has ever seen.
Fortunately, Marissa bucks all stereotypes and is far from a bridezilla—but her wedding planner, Taz Banyan, has apparently taken on the role for himself. He’s uptight, intense, and a little intimidating. But Taz aside, everything seems to be under control...until Sierra makes a startling discovery in the great room: the wedding planner, lying in a heap at the bottom of the stairs, in very bad shape. In fact, he survives only long enough to mutter: "It was the snake." As Granny Mae would say, seeing a snake is rarely a good sign, and this was clearly no exception.
With the town on edge and the wedding up in the air, Sierra refuses to stop asking questions in her determination to put an end to this latest danger—so both Aerieville and the Flower House can flourish once more.
My Thoughts

Fatal Flowers by Jess Dylan is the third book in The Flower House Mysteries.  Each book in the series can be read as a standalone.  I wanted to give this series one more chance.  I found the pacing to be varied throughout the book.  Frequently the pacing was gentle as Sierra went about her days (working, time with friends, walking the dog, breakfast with parents, chatting with her grandmother, thinking about Calvin, spending time with Calvin). I have mixed feelings about Sierra. I wish she was less wishy washy.  I am amazed her business is making any money with her business practices (her website is not updated, went to meeting without portfolio, and does not have updated pictures of flower arrangements readily available on phone are a couple of examples).  Some of the other vendors thought she was naïve, but it is more the matter of Sierra not putting enough thought into matters (too many brain cells occupied with thoughts of Calvin).  I like Deena, Sierra’s employee and friend.  She is a good friend who stands by Sierra.  There is humdrum dialogue and activities.  

The murder of the wedding planner is straightforward.  There are a handful of suspects that include the other vendors for the wedding.   I wanted more questioning and investigating (less of the namby pamby approach).  At a bakery, Sierra had the perfect opportunity to speak with the owner (the woman was in her office with no way to avoid Sierra).  Instead of knocking on the office door, Sierra decides to sit in the café and wait for the woman to come out (so she can keep avoiding her).  I wanted to yell at Sierra to get her act together.  There are some incidents, but the emotions are lacking to make them feel scary or dangerous.  Instead of fury (or anger), Sierra is more “oh my, what am I to do.”  The killer is easy to identify long before the reveal.  I felt that more time is spent on Sierra and Calvin’s romance than on the mystery.  At times, it felt that I was reading a romance instead of a cozy mystery.  I wanted the murder to have a tie in to flowers.  I felt that this was a missed opportunity.  I did like learning about edible flowers and seeing them used in the tasty treats served in the flower themed café. Fatal Flowers has all the elements of a cozy mystery:  quaint small town, friendly residents, a charming shop (flower shop), a murder, and an amateur sleuth.  I just feel the story (the whole series) needs to be livelier with a more complex crime.  I read the book, but I did not get into the story.  I just kept wondering if the story would ever end.  While Fatal Flowers was not for me, I suggest you obtain a sample to judge for yourself.  Fatal Flowers is pretty as a posy with a puffed-up wedding planner, creative cookies, a soothing spa, a missing automobile, an alarming motorcycle, a mystifying murder, a warm mother-of-the-bride, and an interfering florist.

Fatal Flowers comes out on May 24.  Fatal Flowers can be preordered through Amazon*.  You can read an excerpt here.  The first two A Flower House Mysteries are Death in Bloom and Petals & Poison.  You can follow Jess Dylan to receive an email when she has a new release.  Thank you for stopping by today and reading my review.  Tomorrow I am featuring Buried in a Good Book by Tamara Berry.  It is the debut of By the Book Mysteries.  I hope that you have a glorious day.  Take care and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader 

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

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Blowin' Up a Murder by Tonya Kappes

 Blowin' Up A Murder
Book Summary

There's a murder blowin' up and Sheriff Kenni Lowry is the only one who knows how this will end.
My Thoughts

Kenni Lowry is attending a wedding with her beau, Finn.  Her mother is in attendance as well with her gossip buddies.  Kenni’s mother is taking advantage of the circumstances to comment on what she plans for Kenni’s wedding ignoring the fact that Kenni is not engaged.  At the reception, the wedding party are giving their speeches to the happy couple.  When it comes time for the best man, he fails to appear.  A flash of lighting illuminates the patio and Kenni sees a man on the ground with one of the wedding umbrellas protruding from his body.  The only umbrella missing belongs to the best man.  Kenni doubts the case is as simple as it appears.   Much to the bride’s outrage, Kenni shuts down the reception so everyone can be questioned.  With help from Poppa, Kenni’s deceased grandfather, Kenni sets out to catch the killer.

Blowin’ Up a Murder by Tonya Kappes is the eighth A Kenni Lowry Mystery.  It can be read as a standalone if you are new to the series.  If you read the whole series, it will allow you to get to know the characters and their storylines.  The story has quirky characters that suit the southern town of Cottonwood.    Humor abounds in this cozy mystery thanks to Kenni’s mother.  She is determined to push Kenni towards the altar as quickly as possible.  She is not going to let the matter of no fiancé stand in her way.  I love Poppa.  He is a delight and provides several laugh out loud moments.  He also gives some helpful advice to Kenni regarding the murder case and her life.  The whodunit is a fun one to solve.  The wedding party and their attorney were determined to give Kenni a challenging time.  The case was even more challenging thanks to Kenni’s mother and her friend.  They decided to do a little snooping on their own.  You just know that it is going to cause more problems for Kenni.  There is a large pool of suspects and good clues.  We are left with a cliffhanger at the end of the book. We will have to wait for Heavens to Bribery to find out it turns out.  Blowin’ Up A Murder is a lighthearted Southern cozy mystery that will have you laughing from beginning to end.  Blowin’ Up A Murder is a witty whodunit with a domineering mama, a bouquet bashing bridezilla, a spectral Poppa, a slew waiter, rampant rumors, a malicious lawyer, and a curious cliffhanger. 

Blowin' Up a Murder comes out on May 20 and it is available from Amazon*.  You can find the other seven A Kenni Lowry Mysteries here.  The next A Kenni Lowry Mystery is Heavens to Bribery which comes out September 29.  Rangers, RVs and Revenge comes out June 30.  It is 26th A Camper & Criminals Cozy Mystery.  If you follow Tonya Kappes on Amazon, you will receive notifications when she has a new release.  Thank you for visiting today.  I will return on May 19 with Fatal Flowers by Jess Dylan.  It is the third A Flower House Mystery.   I hope that you have a glorious day.  I am enjoying a break in the heat while it lasts.  It is nice to be able to work outside in the garden.  Take care and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader 

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

Monday, May 16, 2022

Threads of Hope by Leslie Gould

 Threads of Hope
Book Summary

Can they find a way to stitch their suffering into hope and embrace an uncertain future?

Tally Smucker's quiet life of reading and quilting hides her sorrow over her mother's declining health and the lack of a fulfilling future for herself. When her daily life is shaken by her free-spirited neighbor Danielle--who grew up Plain but joined the Army at eighteen--Tally's instinct is to distance herself.

Yet she finds she can't turn away when Danielle's brother, Kenan, specifically asks for her help. She invites Danielle to visit Plain Patterns quilt shop with her, where the story of the plight of a WWI soldier and the girl he left behind resonates with both Tally and Danielle, but for different reasons.

When Tally's mother suffers a setback at the same time Danielle's PTSD becomes unmanageable, it seems Tally's efforts to aid them only make things worse. Can the soldier's story, along with the care of Kenan, help Tally accept the hope that waits just around the corner?

My Thoughts

Threads of Hope by Leslie Gould is the third book in the Plain Patterns series.  Each book can be read as a standalone, but they are wonderful to read as a whole.  We return to Plain Patterns owned by Jane Berger where they have the bi-weekly quilting group meeting.  Tally Smucker and her mother, Regina attend the meetings when her mother’s health allows.  Tally has been her mother’s caregiver since she was eighteen when her mother suffered a stroke.  The Smucker’s have a new neighbor, Danielle and her daughter, Maggie.  Danielle grew up Amish but left at eighteen to join the Army to get away from her strict parents.  Danielle is a widow who is suffering from PTSD.  She is managing her symptoms by self-medicating.  Danielle’s brother, Kenan is worried about Danielle and Maggie.  He asks Tally to call him if there are any problems.  Tally befriends Danielle and Maggie.  Regina, Tally’s mother, invites them to the quilting group.  The pair soon begin spending more time at the Smucker household.  At the quilting group, Jane Berger is restoring an old family quilt.  She also acquired some family letters dating back to World War I.  She begins telling the story of Katie and Amos which resonates with Tally and Danielle.  

I enjoyed reading this dual timeline story.  I found myself captivated and did not want to stop reading.  I like Leslie Gould’s writing style.  It is engaging and draws the reader into the story.  I can tell the author did her research for the historical timeline.  She brought the earlier storyline to life with the historical details.  We get to see how the Spanish Influenza devastated the world in 1918, how conscientious objectors were treated, and how the Amish were against the war, but they profited from it (vegetable prices skyrocketed).  Danielle could relate to Amos’ plight as Tally could relate to Katie’s.  The characters are developed, realistic, and likeable.  I like how the author addresses real life issues (PTSD, addiction, harassment, and depression).  We get to see our characters deal with their problems and grow as individuals.  They must learn to lean of God for help to experience the healing balm of God’s love.   Faith is an integral part of the story which I thought was beautifully incorporated.  I like how we get to see the parallels between what happened in the past and events in the present.  Despite the span of over a hundred years, some things never change (disease, war, family drama, war trauma).  Threads of Hope is an emotional story with themes of family, friends, and faith.  I am glad that we also got updates on the characters from the other two novels in the series.  I hope that this is not the last book in the Plain Patterns seriesThreads of Hope is a poignant tale with whacked caregivers, extensive influenza epidemic, war trauma, conscientious objectors, farm struggles, life lessons, and His healing balm.

Conscientious Objectors at Camp Funston

Threads of Hope is available from Amazon*.  The other two novels in the Plain Patterns series are Piecing it All Together (on Kindle Unlimited) and A Patchwork Past.  You can find Leslie Gould's other novels here.  Thank you for stopping by today.  My mother's eye doctor appointment explained a lot about my mother's vision problems.  She now needs to see a specialist for glaucoma.  We ordered two pairs of glasses (a sale).  I wanted her to have a backup pair.  One of the frames is red (she wanted a red pair) while the other is black, but the stems have beautiful scrollwork on them.  They were also able to temporarily fix her broken frames.  It was a good day.  I will return tomorrow with Blowin' Up A Murder by Tonya Kappes which publishes May 20.  It is the 8th A Kenni Lowry Mystery.  I hope your day is filled with happiness.  I am looking forward to watching the season finale of 9-1-1 (on Fox) and 9-1-1 Lone Star tonight.  Do you have shows that you watch regularly?  Take care and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader 

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

Saturday, May 14, 2022

When the Day Comes by Gabrielle Meyer

 When the Day Comes
Book Summary

How will she choose, knowing all she must sacrifice?

Libby has been given a powerful gift: to live one life in 1774 Colonial Williamsburg and the other in 1914 Gilded Age New York City. When she falls asleep in one life, she wakes up in the other. While she's the same person at her core in both times, she's leading two vastly different lives.

In Colonial Williamsburg, Libby is a public printer for the House of Burgesses and the Royal Governor, trying to provide for her family and support the Patriot cause. The man she loves, Henry Montgomery, has his own secrets. As the revolution draws near, both their lives--and any hope of love--are put in jeopardy.
Libby's life in 1914 New York is filled with wealth, drawing room conversations, and bachelors. But the only work she cares about--women's suffrage--is discouraged, and her mother is intent on marrying her off to an English marquess. The growing talk of war in Europe only complicates matters.

But Libby knows she's not destined to live two lives forever. On her twenty-first birthday, she must choose one path and forfeit the other--but how can she choose when she has so much to lose in each life?
My Thoughts

When the Day Comes by Gabrielle Meyer is the first Timeless Book.  I thought this historical novel was creative and well-written.  It contained realistic characters and situations.  Libby lives two different lives:  one in 1774 and one in 1914.  In one she is the managing editor of her deceased father’s newspaper.  Libby and her mother work hard to provide a living for their family and pay off their father’s debt.  Libby is in love with Henry Montgomery, but he is about to betrothed to the Royal Governor’s fourteen-year-old daughter.  

Consuelo Vanderbilt (Libby's 1914 character based on her)

In 1914, her mother is determined to marry her off to a titled Englishman.  When Libby turns twenty-one, she will need to decide which life she will live for the rest of her life.  The story is told in alternating chapters (back and forth between 1774 and 1914).  I can tell the author did her research for both time periods and locations.  She captured the grandeur of London Society, the beginning of the Great War, and the fashions (especially the tight-fitting hobble skirt that ladies had trouble walking in).  We get to experience Colonial Williamsburg on the brink of the Revolutionary War.  I like the time travel concept (unique).  When Libby goes to sleep in 1774, she awakens in 1914.  She lives both lives simultaneously.  I enjoyed reading both time periods with their vivid descriptions.  The author managed to strike a balance between too little and too much detail.  

Lady Padget--orchestrated introductions to titled bachelors for American Heiresses 

The faith elements are prominent and beautifully incorporated into the story.  We see the importance of faith and relying on God.  When the Day Comes is a fascinating and emotional split time novel.  I loved the ending and appreciated the epilogue that gives us a hint of who will be featured in the next Timeless Book.  When the Day Comes is a captivating tale with patriot printers, a bevy of balls, a merciless mother, a raging war, a sympathetic mum, an approaching revolution, and a critical choice.

Raspberry Velvet Hobble Skirt Gown
When the Day Comes is available from Amazon*.  You can find Gabrielle Meyer's other novels here.  I appreciate you stopping by today and reading my review.  I will return on Monday with Threads of Hope by Leslie Gould.  It is the third novel in the Plain Patterns series. I hope that you have a fun weekend.  Take care and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader 

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

Friday, May 13, 2022

Six Graves by Angela Marsons

 Six Graves

Book Summary

It’s a typical teenage bedroom with posters covering the walls and clothes littering the floor. But the girl lying on her bed, wearing a delicate chain around her neck, is lifeless. A circle of red stains her white vest top. How had the girl’s mother looked down at her sleeping child and pulled the trigger?

When Detective Kim Stone rushes to the scene of a house fire, she’s shocked to discover it’s claimed the lives of two teenage children and their parents. But this tragedy is not quite as it seems. Each body is marked by a gunshot wound and the mother, Helen Daynes, is holding the gun.

The case sparks painful childhood memories for Kim who suffered at th
e hands of her own abusive mother, but it just makes her more determined to uncover the truth. As Kim untangles Helen’s past, she finds a history of clinical depression. But did it drive Helen to murder her loved ones?
Then Kim uncovers a tiny, vital clue in Helen’s bedroom that throws the investigation wide open. Could someone else have killed the Daynes family?

Just as Kim feels she’s making progress, a deadly threat is made to her own life by a dangerous psychopath from her past. Biting back her fear, she keeps digging. And when Kim hits upon a shocking secret that changes everything she thought she knew about Helen, she realizes that the remaining family members are in grave danger.

Kim is under pressure like never before, and the monster circling her is getting ever closer. Four bodies already. Four graves fresh in the ground. Who will be next? Can Kim find the killer and save herself before it’s too late?
My Thoughts

Six Graves by Angela Marsons is the sixteenth book in the D.I. Kim Stone series.  While you can read Six Graves as a standalone, I believe it is best to read this series in order.  It will allow you to get to know the characters, their backstories, and their relationships.  This series contains realistic, complex characters.  Detective Inspector Kim Stone has had a rough life.  She does not let people get close to her.  Her best friend is her dog, Barney.  Kim may be rough around the edges, but she cares for her team.  She is also dedicated to her job.  Of course, this dedication has led to an escaped killer (Symes) trying to get ahold of her and end her.  Six Graves is well-written with fast pacing.  I like that the chapters are short.  There are chapters from the killer’s point-of-view.  He is a nasty piece of work.  While trying to avoid the killer, Kim and her team are busy with a new case.  In order to keep working, Kim’s boss insists that she have a bodyguard and it is the last person Kim would like to follow her every move.  I had to laugh at some of the lines between Kim and Leanne.  Those two are so much alike (probably why they do not get along).  The mystery is well-plotted and complex.  I was surprised that I was able to solve this one (I loved the challenge).  Angela Marsons gives us multifaceted mysteries that are challenging, dark, and twisty.  Be prepared to stay up late to finish this suspenseful tale.  I do want to warn readers that there is detailed violence and foul language.  Six Graves is full of twists that will have you quickly turning the pages to discover how it ends.  I cannot wait for the next book in this gripping series.  Six Graves is a twisty tale with an escaped slayer, unsolicited shadow, a troublesome team dynamic, a curious crime, and one determined detective.

Six Graves is available from Amazon*.  You can find the other fifteen A Detective Kim Stone Crime Thriller novels here.  If you follow Angela Marsons on Amazon, you will receive an email when she publishes a new book.  Thank you for joining me today.  Tomorrow I am featuring When the Day Comes by Gabrielle Meyer.  It is the first Timeless Book.  It is a timeslip historical romance.  I am off to take my mother to the eye doctor.  She managed to break another pair of glasses (I have lost track of how many she has broken in the last year and a half).  She needs a new prescription (she is having trouble discerning colors).  I am going to see if they have stainless steel frames (titanium might be better).  She falls asleep in them.  You never know where they will end up by morning (the floor, under her, or in another room).  I wonder if a location beacon could be put on them.  I hope that you have a relaxing day.  We all need time away from stress.  Take care and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader 

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

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Bear Witness by Lark O. Jensen: Book Review & Giveaway!

 Bear Witness


About Bear Witness


Bear Witness (An Alaska Untamed Mystery) 

Cozy Mystery 

1st in Series 

Setting - Alaska 

Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 320 pages 

Crooked Lane Books

Alaska tour boat guide Stacie Calder faces the deep freeze in this scenic cozy series debut perfect for fans of Paige Shelton.

No nine-to-five cubicle career will suit Stacie Calder—the naturalist much prefers working in the great outdoors. Specifically, the spacious and spectacular Alaskan wilderness, whose rugged charms she shares with sightseers on the top deck of the tour boat where she works. But one May afternoon, Stacie’s passengers see more than glittering glaciers, frolicking harbor seals, climbing bears and soaring seabirds…they also witness a man lying dead in the frigid Alaskan waters. And it seems likely that someone gave him a fatal push.

Stacie didn’t know the unfortunate victim, but he sure wanted to know a lot about her. He spent most of his final afternoon bombarding her with questions quite awkward to answer. And when he wasn’t in her hair, he was arguing incessantly with the boat’s beleaguered crew. Which makes for a suspect list about as long as the passenger manifest. Furthermore, as police helicopters relentlessly circle her boat in search of any clues, Stacie is shaken to find herself on that suspect list.

Before the tour boat reaches shore Stacie—accompanied by her beautiful blue-eyed husky, Sasha—must deduce just who sent the testy tourist tumbling into the turgid waters and have the authorities take custody. Because if she can’t, then the killer might aim a fatal ice-cold stare at Stacie.

About Lark O. Jensen

Lark O. Jensen is the pseudonym of Linda O. Johnston, a former lawyer who is now a full-time writer. Lark has written Bear Witness, the first Alaska Untamed mystery for Crooked Lane. Linda has written A Barkery & Biscuits Mystery series and A Superstition Mysteries for Midnight Ink and the Pet Rescue Mysteries and Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime. Linda also writes for Harlequin Romantic Suspense, and her stories often involve dogs.

Author Links

Author Links Website: 

My Thoughts

Stacie Calder is a tour guide in Alaska for ClemTours out of Juneau, Alaska.  It is Stacie’s job to point out the wildlife to the tourists as they travel along the route.  Stacie, a wildlife expert, loves her job, but this beautiful May day there is a problematic passenger.  Sheldon Truit, a former deckhand, has decided to open a competing tour business.  He is not on the cruise to look at the local wildlife.  Truit has altercation with Captain Palmer.  At the end of the cruise, Truit cannot be found.  The Initial Response Section of the Alaska State Troopers arrives at the scene with Trooper Liam Amaruq in charge.  The boat is searched, but they only thing they find is Truit’s cap.  The next day, Stacie is pointing at some local wildlife to guests when her dog, Sasha begins barking.  Stacie looks at the shore and sees a man partially in the water.  It appears that they have found Truit.  With Captain Palmer at the top of the suspect list, Stacie is compelled to search for the truth.
Bear Witness by Lark O. Jensen is the debut of An Alaska Untamed Mystery series.  I like the premise of Bear Witness.  I thought it was unique to have the main character in Alaska on day cruises explaining the local flora and fauna to passengers.  The author’s detailed descriptions allowed me to visualize traveling on the boat.  I could envision the beautiful Alaskan countryside along with the wildlife and flora.  I thought Stacie’s dog, Sasha was a sweetie.  Huskies are intelligent and loving dogs.  I enjoyed learning about the various Alaskan wildlife.  I can tell the author did her research for this book.  The mystery has Stacie asking questions and searching for clues.  She feels the need to help because she loves her job and cares about her employers.  The whodunit has several suspects.  There are a limited number of clues to help readers solve the crime before the suspenseful reveal.  I like how Sasha helps Stacie with her investigation.  A romance springs up between Liam and Stacie.  I did feel it was a little rushed for a cozy mystery.  There is mild foul language in this story.  I wonder what adventure Stacie will have in the next An Alaska Untamed MysteryBear Witness is a wild tale with scenic cruises, a dead deckhand, a helpful Husky, a striking trooper, a careful killer, and wandering wildlife.  
Bear Witness is available from Amazon* and Barnes & Noble.  You can find the author's other novels here on Amazon.  Now it is time for the giveaway!!!  One lucky person can win a kindle copy of Bear Witness. You can click here to enter or use the Rafflecopter form below.  Leave a comment on my blog for an extra entry.  Good Luck!  Thank you for stopping by today.  Next time I am sharing my thoughts on Six Graves by Angela Marsons.  It is the 16th A Detective Kim Stone Crime Thriller.  I hope that your day is filled with joy.  We need more happiness and positivity in our days.  Take care and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader 

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Tour Participants

May 9 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT 

May 9 – Sapphyria's Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT 

May 9 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT 

May 10 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW, GUEST POST 
May 10 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW


May 10 – Christa Reads and Writes - REVIEW 

May 11 – Ruff Drafts – GUEST POST 

May 11 – Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – CHARACTER GUEST POST 

May 11 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW 

May 11 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT 
May 12 – Mysteries with Character – GUEST POST 

May 12The Avid Reader - REVIEW 

May 12 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT 

May 12 – Christy's Cozy Corners – REVIEW 
May 13 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW 

May 13 – Novels Alive – REVIEW 

May 13 – Novels Alive – SPOTLIGHT 

May 13 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW 
May 14 – Maureen's Musings – SPOTLIGHT 

May 14 – Carla Loves To Read – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST 

May 14 – Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers – SPOTLIGHT 

May 14 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW 
May 15 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT 

May 15 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT 

May 15 – Cassidy's Bookshelves – SPOTLIGHT

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