Sunday, April 16, 2017

Review (+ Tour GIVEAWAY: Cat Got Your Cash

Cat Got Your Cash
By Julie Chase
Kitty Couture #2
Crooked Lane Books, 2017


Lacy Marie Crocker’s whimsical pet couture has gained a following in New Orleans’s cozy Garden District, and word of mouth has traveled all the way to her favorite fashion designer, Annie Lane. Lacy’s thrilled when Annie schedules a private session at her home to discuss a companion line for her evening wear, but when Lacy arrives for the appointment, she enters the kitchen to two mewling Siamese cats–and one very dead Annie.

Lacy takes the kittens home to care for them until they can be properly claimed by Annie’s family or friends, but after a busy day of work, she returns home to find them missing. And when Lacy learns the cats are set to inherit Annie’s fortune, she begins to wonder if the killer was after the kittens all along. Now Lacy will stop at nothing to save the Siamese and find justice for Annie–if the killer doesn’t sink his claws into her first.

Luckily, Lacy has the help of handsome NOLA PD homicide detective Jack Oliver to help her catch the cat-napper before its too late in Cat Got Your Cash, the endearing second Kitty Couture mystery from Julie Chase.

My thoughts

I adore Julie Chase’s Kitty Couture series and it has quickly become one of my favorites. Lacy, as well as the other characters and pets in her world, have good depth and the New Orleans setting sparkles. Lacy’s cat, Penelope, is so funny! The idea of a pet boutique and organic bakery is a totally foreign concept to me, but I love Lacy’s Furry Godmother shop (and I suspect my kitties would also).

Cat Got Your Cash is an appropriate title, with the victim’s cats supposedly inheriting their owner’s fortune. This is a perfect cozy, with a good blend of crazy mystery plotting and romance. Lacy has two romantic interests, a plot vehicle I’m not particularly fond of, especially since I’m very much on “Team Jack”! Hopefully this will be resolved soon.

This story stands alone, but I recommend reading the stories in order for the best understanding. Cat Got Your Cash is a fun mystery with a nice twist at the end. I look forward to the next adventure in this series.


I was provided a free copy of this book through Great Escapes Tours. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.


Julie Chase is a mystery-loving pet enthusiast who hopes to make readers smile. She lives in rural Ohio with her husband and three spunky children.

Julie is a member of the International Thriller Writers (ITW) and Sisters in Crime (SinC). She is represented by Jill Marsal of Marsal Lyons Literary Agency.

Julie also writes as Julie Anne Lindsey. Learn more about Julie at


Purchase Links:


Sunday, April 9, 2017

Review (+ Tour GIVEAWAY): Called to Justice

Called to Justice
By Edith Maxwell
A Quaker Midwife Mystery #2
Midnight Ink, 2017


Quaker midwife Rose Carroll is enjoying the 1888 Independence Day evening fireworks with her beau when a teenaged Quaker mill girl is found shot dead. After a former slave and fellow Quaker is accused of the murder, Rose delves into the crime, convinced of the man’s innocence.

An ill-mannered mill manager, an Irish immigrant, and the victim’s young boyfriend come under suspicion even as Rose’s future with her handsome doctor suitor becomes unsure. Rose continues to deliver babies and listen to secrets, finally figuring out one criminal – only to be threatened by the murderer, with three lives at stake. Can she rescue herself, a baby, and her elderly midwifery teacher in time?

My thoughts

Called to Justice by Edith Maxwell is an impressive and enjoyable story. It is steeped in historical detail that is not only interesting, but fascinating, and I felt transported to the small factory town of Amesbury, Massachusetts of 1888. A beautiful setting, the Quaker faith, and the birthing of babies all combine to give a feeling of authenticity, and I loved the historical references to people like John Greenleaf Whittier. Characters and plot are delightfully complex, but easily readable. I became immersed in the narrative from the very beginning.

The story unfolds through the voice of Rose, a Quaker midwife. It was easy to connect with Rose, a woman devout in her faith, independent and loyal. In murder mysteries, the protagonist’s rationale for sleuthing doesn’t always seem logical, but that’s not the case here – for a fellow Quaker and former slave is falsely accused of the crime. A romantic relationship between Rose and David adds interest, as it’s not without some trouble spots. And the mystery has a surprising twist that readers will enjoy.

I loved Called to Justice and hope for many more stories to come.


I was provided a free copy of this book through Great Escapes Tours. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.


Agatha-nominated and Amazon best-selling author Edith Maxwell writes the Quaker Midwife Mysteries  and the Local Foods Mysteries , the Country Store Mysteries  (as Maddie Day ), and the Lauren Rousseau Mysteries  (as Tace Baker ), as well as award-winning short crime fiction.

Maxwell lives north of Boston with her beau and three cats, and blogs with the other Wicked Cozy Authors.

WebsiteWicked Cozy AuthorsFacebook


Purchase Links:
Amazon  B&N


Thursday, April 6, 2017

Review (+ Tour #GIVEAWAY): Silence of the Jams

Silence of the Jams
By Gayle Leeson
A Down South Café Mystery #2
Berkley, 2017


In the latest Southern cozy from the author of The Calamity Café, small-town chef Amy Flowers can’t take her freedom for granted when she’s served up as a murder suspect…

It’s Independence Day in Winter Garden, Virginia, and the residents are gearing up for their annual celebration. The Down South Café is open and flourishing, and Amy Flowers is busy making pies and cakes for the holiday. The only thorn in her side is Chamber of Commerce director George Lincoln, who is trying to buy the café so he can tear it down and build a B&B on the site.

When George collapses while eating at the Down South, everybody assumes it’s a heart attack—until the autopsy declares it to be poisoning. Now, it’s up to Amy to prove her innocence before her liberty is lost.

Includes delicious Southern recipes!

My thoughts

Silence of the Jams is the first of Gayle Leeson’s books that I’ve read – and it is excellent, a cozy mystery in the truest sense. Gayle’s writing flows easily across the page, there’s good character depth, the mystery is well plotted. And of utmost importance to me and most of my blog followers, the story is totally clean. Thank you, Gayle, for showing that excellence doesn’t have to be compromised by profanity and graphic scenes! This is #2 in the series, but stands alone.

The story’s setting is the small rural area of Winter Garden, Virginia – a charming and welcoming community where people are folksy and warm. Amy, owner of the Down South Café, is likeable and easy to relate to. Gayle successfully blends cozy mystery elements with a character-driven story, making a much richer reading experience than with most cozies. I’m eager to see where she takes Amy and her relatives in future books.

One of my favorites is a secondary character named Homer …

Homer’s mom had originally told him that his deceased father was a great baseball player … She’d finally recanted and told Homer that his father had basically been a bum but that Homer didn’t need a dad to inspire him. He could be inspired by someone different each day. He’d taken her advice to heart and had chosen a new hero every day since.

Homer, much more helpful to Amy than he realizes, is a character I’ve taken into my heart. He’s wise, insightful, and full of wisdom drawn from each day’s “hero.”

The mystery plot is easy to follow, has exactly the right number of suspects, and is fun to try and solve. There’s also a couple of developing romances for readers to enjoy. Silence of the Jams is thoroughly enjoyable and I’m eager to read more books by Gayle Leeson / Gayle Trent / Amanda Lee.


I was provided a free copy of this book through Great Escapes Tours. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.


Gayle Leeson is a pseudonym for Gayle Trent. I also write as Amanda Lee. As Gayle Trent, I write the Daphne Martin Cake Mystery series and the Myrtle Crumb Mystery series. As Amanda Lee, I write the Embroidery Mystery series.

I live in Virginia with my family, which includes her own “Angus” who is not an Irish wolfhound but a Great Pyrenees who provides plenty of inspiration for the character of Mr. O’Ruff. I’m having a blast writing this new series!

Gayle Leeson's websiteGayle Trent's website

Purchase Links:
Amazon     Barnes & Noble      Books-A-Million       Indiebound      Kobo


Prize package includes a signed paperback of Silence of the Jams, Down South Cafe t-shirt, and Flirty Apron Oven Mitt Set. Please click on this link and share my Facebook post, then leave a comment here.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Review (+ Tour GIVEAWAY): Dying on the Vine

Dying on the Vine
By Marla Cooper
Kelsey McKenna Destination Wedding #2
Minotaur Books, 2017


When wedding planner Kelsey McKenna goes to the Wine Country Wedding Faire, the last thing she expects to do is take on new clients. After all, she’s just there to help out her friend Brody and maybe score some free cupcakes. But when a young couple in a pinch asks for her help, she just can’t say no.

There’s only one problem: they’d been working with Babs Norton, the self-proclaimed Queen of Wine Country Weddings—and things did not end well. Kelsey wants to make sure there are no hard feelings, but unfortunately she never gets the chance. When she goes to Babs’ office, she finds the wedding planner dead on the floor.

Babs’ high-strung assistant Stefan knows exactly who killed Babs: Kelsey. At least, that’s what he very publicly accuses her of at Babs’ funeral. When Kelsey decides to do a little sleuthing to clear her name, she uncovers a myriad of secrets and lies. And when a second wedding planner is attacked, Kelsey begins to wonder if she might be next.

Set against the stunning backdrop of California wine country, Marla Cooper’s Dying on the Vine is a mystery brimming with gossip, wine, and, of course…murder.

My thoughts

I enjoy wedding themes and thought Marla Cooper did a good job with Kelsey McKenna’s character as a wedding planner, as well as her associates and friends. Dying on the Vine is a true cozy mystery, with plenty of humor. California’s wine country makes a great backdrop and is conveyed beautifully.

The wedding industry is fascinating and I wasn’t surprised to discover that it is a cutthroat business. The mystery is well plotted and quite complex; there’s no way I could have figured out the murderer’s identity.

Dying on the Vine is #2 in the Destination Wedding series, but can be read alone. I would have enjoyed this story more had it not been for some profanity – not frequent, but still present. All in all, this is a story that fans of the cozy mystery genre will enjoy.

I was provided a free copy of this book through Great Escapes Tours. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.


As a freelance writer, Marla Cooper has written all sorts of things, from advertising copy to travel guidebooks to the occasional haiku. But it was while ghostwriting a nonfiction guide to destination weddings that she found inspiration for her current series starring destination wedding planner Kelsey McKenna. Originally hailing from Texas, Marla lives in Oakland, California, with her husband and her polydactyl tuxedo cat.


Purchase Links:
Amazon  B&N