Wednesday, September 21, 2016


Lisa Ks Book Reviews blog is proud to bring to you
THE COZY TIMES

This is a weekly online publication focused on connecting cozy mystery readers to favorite cozy characters by way of their town's newspapers. 

The Cozy Times will be available Wednesdays right here on Lisa Ks blog. 
There will also be weekend editions, and special editions from time to time. So keep watch. 

Today The Cozy Times is featuring the 
Dixie Weekly Ledger

According to the Ledger, there's been murder in Dixie! On the bright side of the news, Halloween sounds like it's going to be a blast!  

Check it out!


Dixie Bank Exec Found Dead

Morgan Robison, 30, a vice-president at Dixie Savings and Loan, died last Friday evening. Her body was discovered on the grounds of St. Julian’s Retreat Center by members of the Professional Women’s Alliance of Dixie (PWAD), who were holding their annual retreat there.

The cause of Robison’s death is unknown at this time. Sheriff Eulyse “Dave” Davidson said he is waiting for an official ruling from the medical examiner, but is treating the case as a suspicious death, pending an autopsy.

Celebrity Lucinda Grable, host of the P.S. Ghost Encounters television show and Morgan Robison’s childhood friend and college roommate, was the special guest at the PWAD retreat. She and her crew had just finished leading retreat attendees on a ghost-hunting expedition in a small, nineteenth-century family cemetery on the grounds when the body was discovered.

Robison, daughter of Randall and Rose Robison  of Dixie, was a lifelong resident, graduate of Dixie High School and an Ole Miss alumni. Robison was president of the businesswomen’s group. She was heavily involved with local civic and charitable organizations.

Funeral arrangements are incomplete at this time.

**Morgan was well-known for running around with other women’s husbands and boyfriends, and any number of jealous wives or spurned lovers would have had motive to kill her.

**That last paragraph wasn’t actually included the newspaper story, but it was an unwritten truth that was running through most readers’ minds when they heard of Morgan’s sudden demise.

~*~*~


~*~*~

Halloween is a Moveable Feast

The Dixie Town Council voted on Tuesday night to move trick-or-treating in Dixie this year from Saturday, Oct. 31 to Friday, Oct. 30.

Many local residents had lobbied the mayor for the change due to the multi-venue charity fundraising events scheduled on Oct. 31, including a children’s festival that would compete with trick-or-treating. Several parents and business owners turned out for the council meeting to voice the support for the change of dates.

“A number of citizens called city hall to express their support for changing trick-or-treating to October 30. Since the activities on Oct. 31 will be raising funds for Residential Rehab, a charity that provides repairs and renovations to the homes of the elderly and disabled in our community, the council fully supported the change of date. We want our children to safely enjoy trick-or-treating, but we don’t want competing activities which might reduce participation in the fundraisers for this worthy charity that helps so many folks in our town,” said Mayor Virgil Haynes.

Fundraising activities on Oct. 31 include a bonfire and haunted hayride for teens, a children’s festival and a murder mystery dinner and dance at the country club.

The planning committee for the RR fundraising events on Halloween is chaired by Liv McKay, owner and operator of Liv 4 Fun Party Planning.

“Our committee and legion of volunteers have put together an evening of events that will truly offer something for everyone,” McKay said. “There will be fun and games and candy for the little ones, thrilling frights for the youth and a murder mystery, costume contest and dance for the grown-ups. We hope to have a lot of fun and raise a lot of money for Residential Rehab.”

*PHOTO: Local kids trick-or-treating on Dixie’s Town Square last year. The town council has moved trick-or-treating to Oct. 30 this year to avoid conflicts with fundraiser.

########

Dixie sounds like a great place to visit! 
Well, you know, if you stay out of the cemeteries.

Want to learn more about Dixie? 
Check out the 
Liv and Di in Dixie Mysteries
by author
Vickie Fee

BOOK TWO

“Down home and delightful.” —Carolyn Hart

Between a riverboat gambler-theme engagement party and a murder mystery dinner for charity, Dixie, Tennessee, party planner Liv McKay is far too frenzied to feel festive. Add to the mix her duties at the annual businesswomen’s retreat and the antics of a celebrity ghost-hunting diva, and Liv’s schedule is turning out to be the scariest thing about this Halloween—especially when the ladies stumble across a dead body in a cemetery…
 
Morgan Robison was a party girl with a penchant for married men and stirring up a cauldron of drama. Any number of scorned wives or frightened philanderers could be behind her death. As Liv and her best friend, Di, set out to dig up the truth, they’ll face the unexpected and find their efforts hampered by a killer with one seriously haunting vendetta…   

 
“Refreshing as a tall glass of sweet tea, Vickie Fee has crafted a series that celebrates the deadly traditions of Southern hospitality.” —Cheryl Hollon, author of Cracked to Death

Available September 27!
Pre-order today!

* * * * * * * *

BOOK ONE

In the quirky, close-knit town of Dixie, Tennessee, party planner Liv McKay has a knack for throwing Southern-style soirées, from diamonds-and-denim to black tie affairs, and her best friend Di Souther mixes a mean daiquiri. While planning a Moonshine and Magnolias bash for high maintenance clients, Liv inconveniently discovers a corpse in the freezer and turns her attention from fabulous fêtes to finding a murderer. Together, Liv and Di follow a trail of sinister secrets in their sweet little town that leads them from drug smugglers to a Civil War battlefield, and just when they think they’re whistling Dixie, Liv and Di will find themselves squarely in the crosshairs of the least likely killer of all…

Available Now!

* * * * * * * *
BOOK THREE

Party planner Liv McKay has outdone herself this time. She’s put together an unforgettable Fourth of July celebration for the town of Dixie, Tennessee—including breathtaking fireworks and an exciting Miss Dixie Beauty Pageant. Maybe a little too exciting.

As the party is winding down, Liv’s sense of triumph fizzles when the body of town councilman Bubba Rowland is discovered on the festival grounds. And now the prime suspect in his murder is Liv’s mother’s fiancé, Earl, who had a flare-up recently with Bubba. To clear Earl’s name, Liv and her best friend Di burst into action to smoke out the real killer before another life is extinguished . . .

“A small Southern town with charm as well as bodies provides a terrific backdrop for two appealing sleuths. Down home and delightful.” —Carolyn Hart

Available May 30, 2017!

Pre-order today!

* * * * * * * *
About Vickie


Vickie Fee, author of the Liv and Di in Dixie mystery series, grew up in the South on a steady diet of Nancy Drew, daydreams and sweet iced tea.  She has a journalism degree and spent many years as a reporter, covering small Southern towns populated with colorful characters, much like those in the fictional town of Dixie. Her second book, It’s Your Party, Die If you Want To, comes out Sept. 27, 2016. The third book in the series, One Fete in the Grave, will be released May 30, 2017.


MY REVIEW


A delightful second installment to this wonderful series!

Author Vickie Fee had me laughing out loud only a few pages into, IT’S YOUR PARTY, DIE IF YOU WANT TO. She must have an outstanding sense of humor in real life, because it certainly shines through in her characters!

This second book in the Liv and Di in Dixie Mystery series has everything book one had and oh so much more! This fantastic story flowed at a great pace. Author Fee added just the right amounts of humor and intrigue at the most perfect plot points.

The mystery element of the story was cleverly written, keeping my mind busy trying to piece together clues even as new twists were introduced. When I finally read whodunit, I couldn’t believe it! I was so sure I had it figured out, only to find Ms. Fee had way outwitted me.

If you were a fan of book one, DEATH CRASHES THE PARTY, you’re going to love, IT’S YOUR PARTY, DIE IF YOU WANT TO. If you haven’t read the first book, well, read it! You’ll love it too!

Make sure to check out the back of the book for tips on hosting a murder mystery dinner!

* * * * * * * *


You're going to love this series!


As always, please leave a comment and 
let me know what you think!

Follow my blog by 
clicking on the link in the 
upper right hand corner of this page.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016


Did you think September was 
done for new releases?

Think again! 

Take a look at these titles you can 
still look forward to!

Coming September 20th

HARDCOVER

When Agatha Raisin left behind her PR business in London, she fulfilled her dream of settling in the cozy British Cotswolds where she began a successful private detective agency. Unfortunately, the village she lives in is about to get a little less cozy. Lord Bellington, a wealthy land developer, wants to turn the community garden into a housing estate. When Agatha and her friend Sir Charles Fraith attempt to convince Lord Bellington to abandon his plans he scoffs: “Do you think I give a damn about those pesky villagers?” So when Agatha finds his obituary in the newspaper two weeks later, it’s no surprise that some in town are feeling celebratory.
The villagers are relieved to learn that Bellington’s son and heir, Damian, has no interest in continuing his father’s development plans. But the police are definitely interested in him―as suspect number one. His father’s death, it seems, was no accident. But when Damian hires Agatha to find the real killer, she finds no shortage of suspects. The good news is that a handsome retired detective named Gerald has recently moved to town. Too bad he was seen kissing another newcomer. But when she is also found murdered, Gerald is eager to help Agatha with the case. Agatha, Gerald, and her team of detectives must untangle a web of contempt in order to uncover a killer’s identity.
Coming September 27


Between a riverboat gambler-theme engagement party and a murder mystery dinner for charity, Dixie, Tennessee, party planner Liv McKay is far too frenzied to feel festive. Add to the mix her duties at the annual businesswomen’s retreat and the antics of a celebrity ghost-hunting diva, and Liv’s schedule is turning out to be the scariest thing about this Halloween—especially when the ladies stumble across a dead body in a cemetery…
 
Morgan Robison was a party girl with a penchant for married men and stirring up a cauldron of drama. Any number of scorned wives or frightened philanderers could be behind her death. As Liv and her best friend, Di, set out to dig up the truth, they’ll face the unexpected and find their efforts hampered by a killer with one seriously haunting vendetta…
   
 

In the latest from the author of A Familiar Tail, a witch and her familiar find trouble brewing at a coffee house.
 
After discovering her mystical heritage—and being adopted by furry feline familiar Alistair—artist Annabelle Britton has decided to make picturesque Portsmouth, New Hampshire, her new home. Now, she can take the time to figure out her new abilities and welcome her grandmother, who is visiting Portsmouth, and her old coven, for the first time in thirty years.
 
But being a witch doesn’t magically put money in the bank. When she’s hired to paint the murals for a new coffee house, it seems like a wish come true. But then a series of spooky sounds and strange happenings convince the owners that their new shop is haunted. They want Anna and her coven to evict the restless spirit before the grand opening.
 
Annabelle is certain the haunted happenings at the shop are just hocus pocus. But when her search reveals hidden smugglers’ tunnels beneath the shop—and a dead body—Annabelle, Alastair, and the coven suddenly find themselves in a cat and mouse game with a killer...

HARDCOVER 


It’s a nippy spring in Tinker’s Cove, Maine, and so Lucy Stone can’t wait to join her friend Sue at the Earl of Wickham’s manor in England for the “Heads Up!” hat exhibition—even if she has to spend her entire holiday curtseying. But at Moreton Manor, privileged life isn’t always tea and crumpets . . .

Although Perry, the earl of the house, and his sister, Poppy, are surprisingly accommodating to their jetlagged guests, Lucy feels uneasy after a fallen portrait sparks talk of a deadly family omen. The bad vibes come in quickly—snobby Aunt Millicent and her handmaiden Harrison unexpectedly drop by for the exhibition, and meals with the family are consistently tense. But real trouble begins when a body, bludgeoned by the chapel’s gold-plated reliquary, is found in a hidden, sealed off room. Stranger still, the corpse is identified as Harrison’s son, Cyril.
 
Considering the weapon and the clandestine location, Lucy wouldn’t be shocked if the murder was an inside job. Cyril wasn’t exactly a gentleman, and it’s unclear what business he had on the property. Was the victim trying to make off with the family riches before meeting his end? Or was a scorned country squire looking to settle an ancient indiscretion for good? One thing’s for sure—the criminal is privy to Moreton Manor secrets . . .
To end the reign of terror, Lucy must keep her ear to the ground and mind time-honored traditions—no matter how unusual. Because Lucy has a hunch that the killer has been in her company all along, just waiting for a chance to make blueblood run red . . .


HARDCOVER

Christmas normally descends on Lake Eden, Minnesota, as gently as reindeer alighting on a rooftop—but this yuletide season the only thing coming down Hannah Swensen’s chimney is a case of murder . . .
 
The holidays have arrived, and Hannah and her good pal Lisa have agreed to provide all the goodies for the town’s annual production of A Christmas Carol. But before anyone can say “Bah, humbug!” a Santa-sized sackful of trouble ensues. Like the fact that Lisa’s husband will be playing Mr. Claus to his ex-girlfriend Phyllis Bates’ Mrs. Claus. Or that before the curtains even go up Phyllis is found dead in the snow—wearing a costume that the real Mrs. Claus would put on the naughty list. Soon after the suspects pile up faster than snowdrifts in a blizzard, while a merry murderer remains on the loose. With clues even harder to find, it might take a visit from ghosts of Christmas past to wrap up this mystery in time for the holidays . . . 

 
Includes a Dozen Holiday Recipes from The Cookie Jar!


In a cozy mystery filled with natural cures and edible plants that you will love, an organic winery becomes the backdrop for murder! Fortunately, solving crimes comes naturally to charmingly unconventional amateur sleuth and holistic doctor, Willow McQuade, as she looks for clues that will reveal a killer’s true vintage.

Business is blooming at Nature’s Way Market & Café, and shop owner, holistic doctor, and amateur sleuth, Willow McQuade has never been happier. Her new medicinal herb garden is a hit, so is her new book, she’s in love with ex-cop and animal rescuer Jackson Spade, and enjoying teaching seminars about edible plants and natural remedies. 

But everything changes when Willow’s old boyfriend and TV producer, Simon Lewis, winemaker David Farmer, and his wife Ivy, ask her to cater a party at Pure, their new organic vineyard, to kick off North Fork’s Uncorked! week and the competition for Wine Lovers magazine’s $200,000 prize. Pure’s entry, Falling Leaves, is the favorite to win, and the wine flows freely until after Simon’s toast when smiles give way to looks of horror. Ivy’s twin sister, Amy has been murdered! Turns out, the poison that killed her was actually meant for David. But who wants him dead? A rival vintner? Or someone closer to home? This time the truth may be a bitter vintage to swallow.


Bookstore café owner Krissy Hancock would rather spend Halloween serving pumpkin goodies than wearing costumes with Pine Hills’ wealthiest at Yarborough mansion, especially when the soiree shapes up to be more trick than treat . . .
 
As if a run-in with an old flame and a failed marriage proposal weren’t enough to horrify Krissy for one night, a woman is found strangled to death in a room filled with ominous jack-o’-lanterns. All signs suggest a crime of passion—but when the hostess’s jewelry disappears, malevolent intentions seem way more likely . . .
 
With the estate on lockdown and a killer roaming the halls, Krissy must help Officer Paul Dalton investigate each nook, cranny, and guest for answers—while also confronting a few demons of her own. Someone has lots of skeletons in the closet, and Krissy better tread lightly to expose them . . .


 Murder takes center stage . . .

It’s a Christmas miracle for the Happy Hoofers—Tina, Janice, Pat, Mary Louise, and Gini. They’ve scored a gig at New York City’s Radio City Music Hall with the legendary Rockettes, complete with sexy Santa suits and microphones on their shoes. But when a dazzling diva of a dancer is found dead under the stage, there’s quite a lineup of suspects. In between rehearsals and seasonal sightseeing—and the discovery of a multi-talented, multi-colored cat—the toe-tapping troupe has to sort out the intrigue before another victim kicks the bucket . . .
INCLUDES COOKING TIPS AND TASTY RECIPES
 


Hayden Mundy Moore is an expert on everything chocolate, helping clients develop new products and revamp recipes until they're irresistible. But sometimes, a dash of murder finds its way into the mix...

Chocolate whisperer Hayden Mundy Moore is in London to lend her expertise to high-street chocolaterie-pâtisserie Primrose. Nothing more. Really! But when a famous culinary bad boy is found dead under suspicious circumstances (in her lodgings!), Hayden's eagerness not to be involved (this time) makes her the prime suspect in the ensuing investigation.


There’s nothing lovelier than Christmas in Connecticut, but Melanie Travis can scarcely find a moment to enjoy the festivities. With her youngest son approaching toddlerhood, she’s decided to return to her old job at Howard Academy, a posh private school attended by the children of Greenwich’s well-heeled gentry. Balancing work, motherhood, and the hectic dog show circuit takes some fancy footwork, especially when the headmaster taps her to be the chairman of the school’s Christmas Bazaar.

The Christmas Bazaar is Howard Academy’s biggest and most important fundraiser, so Melanie feels the pressure to make it a huge success. But everything goes awry when a prize show dog goes missing and Santa turns up dead. The dog’s owner is one of the school’s most perfectly pedigreed alums, and she enlists Melanie to help find the purloined pooch. But just as Melanie starts pawing at the truth, she digs up a sleighful of sinister secrets that leaves everyone feeling less than merry . . .

HARDCOVER

All abuzz about murder . . .
 
Former police officer Abigail Mackenzie has made a fresh start as a beekeeper and farmer in picturesque Las Flores, California—but she never suspected her new hometown would prove to be a hive of criminal activity.
 
When Abby invites her free-spirited friend, Fiona Mary Ryan, owner of Ancient Wisdom Botanicals, to her farmette for lunch, she never imagines that Fiona’s no-show will lead to a murder investigation.
 
Only hours after their lunch date, Fiona’s body is found in a burning car in what at first appears to be a tragic accident. But after the coroner’s report is issued, it’s clear she was dead before being placed in the vehicle. Someone has gone to great lengths to cover up a murder. But who—and why?
 
Driven by her loyalty to her friend, and her deeply ingrained skills as a trained investigator, Abby sorts through suspects—who seem to be sprouting up everywhere. Speculating that Fiona’s herbal business might hold the key to motive, Abby isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty to smoke out a killer . . .
 
Includes farming tips and delicious recipes!




Spring is just a few weeks away, but winter is still digging its claws into Moosetookalook, Maine. With business at the Scottish Emporium frozen up, Liss MacCrimmon is cautiously optimistic when a twist of fate lands her on a reality competition show—until the contest gets a little too cutthroat . . .

While driving on an icy road one night, Liss swerves her car when something darts out in front of it. The Scottish terrier she finds shivering in the snow turns out to be a reality TV star. But when the pooch’s owner is murdered, her daughter asks Liss to take her place on the reality show. Before Liss can tell her she’s barking up the wrong tree, she finds herself ensnarled in the strange world of reality competitions and hot on the trail of a deadly competitor. And just as she starts pawing at the truth, Liss realizes she could be next on the murderer’s list . . .

And you thought the first Tuesday of the month was the best time for new cozies. 

Which one(s) are you looking forward to?



As always, please leave a comment and 
let me know what you think!

Follow my blog by 
clicking on the link in the 
upper right hand corner of this page.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Armchair Travel Tuesday With Karen Mom of Three


It's that time again.
Blogger Karen M. Owen has taken over my blog.
Enjoy Karen's
 Armchair Travel Tuesday!

Karen here and this months Armchair Travel Series recommendation is Victoria Hamilton's Merry Muffin Series set in Autumn Vale in Upstate New York. I imagine that it would be very beautiful at this time of year. The yellow golds, crisp reds and orange brown veins of the leaves. This series is set in the fictional and yet picturesque area surrounding Wynter Castle, the castle that widower Merry inherited from  and Uncle she only barely remembers.
There are 4 books in this most wonderful series and you will be swept away to Autmn Vale, made to feel welcome and find your place in the community. Each book I found myself deeper engaged in the series, the characters and setting. Making this one of my most favorite series for sure!

Expert muffin baker Merry Wynter is finally ready to turn her passion into a career.  But when a dead body is found on her property, she’s more worried about cooking up an alibi…

Merry is making a fresh start in small-town Autumn Vale, New York, in the mansion she’s inherited from her late uncle, Melvin. The house is run-down and someone has been digging giant holes on the grounds, but with its restaurant-quality kitchen, the place has potential for her new baking business. She even has her first client—the local retirement home.

Unfortunately, Merry soon finds that quite a few townsfolk didn’t like Uncle Mel, and she has inherited their enmity as well as his home. Local baker Binny Turner and her crazy brother, Tom, blame Melvin for their father’s death, and Tom may be the one vandalizing her land. But when Tom turns up dead in one of the holes in her yard, Merry needs to prove she had nothing to do with his death—or her new muffin-making career may crumble before it starts...


With four books in this series to keep you busy this September  we hope you will enjoy your trip to Autumn Vale! I look forward to sharing next months Armchair Travel Series Selection. I hope you will join me again then. 
To learn more about Victoria Hamilton and this series please click here.

Monday, September 12, 2016


BURNED TO A CRISP
Book 3 in the Cookies & Chance Mysteries
by Catherine Bruns


Pre-order now
Available October 11!

Just when things appear to be going well for baker and sometime sleuth, Sally Muccio, life turns up the heat again. 

It’s summertime, and the living is easy for the Muccio clan. Sal’s wedding to her beloved fiancé is rapidly approaching, Mom’s won a beauty contest, and sister Gianna is now a licensed public defender. But when the bakery Sal’s worked so hard for goes up in smoke—along with her dreams!—she’s not sure how much more she can stand. Even worse, the man found dead in the bakery’s back room is none other than Gianna’s latest client, Bernardo Napoli. 
The dough really hits the fan for Sal and Josie when they’re forced to temporarily relocate their bakery to the crazy Muccio home. Trouble is quickly stirred up as the best friend team must now contend with Sal’s father and his new mortuary business “undertakings,” a middle aged mother parading around customers in bikinis, and an Italian family hell bent on revenge. For Sal, several questions demand answers. Where has Gianna disappeared to? What role did she play in Bernardo’s death? What secret is Sal’s fiancé hiding from her? Sal is determined to find answers...before she gets burned once again! 

**Recipes Included!** 

MY REVIEW


This tasty installment of the Cookies & Chance Mysteries had my stomach growing, and my inner sleuth working overtime!

Having read the first two books in this delightful series, I had no doubt I would enjoy BURNED TO A CRISP. Well, I liked it about as much as Sal’s costumers like her cookies. If you’ve read this series, you’ll know that means a liked it a lot! Haven’t read the series? You’ll see what I mean when you do. And you do need to read the Cookies & Chance Mysteries!

One thing is for certain, author Catherine Bruns knows how to write a story that draws emotions out of her readers. She burned down her lead character’s business! I was broken hearted for Sally when she came upon the scene of her bakery up in flames. Sally was devastated, and so was I! Then a man’s body is found in the backroom of the bakery, and Sally’s sister is missing. All in the first few chapters!

Everything I found enjoyable about the author’s writing in the first two books, and more, was present in BURNED TO A CRISP. Ms. Bruns has raised the bar in her story telling, and baked up a tale that is the best of the batch so far.

Don’t forget to check out the yummy cookie recipes in the back of the book!

About Catherine


Catherine is the USA Today best selling author of the Cookies & Chance mysteries. She is a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime. The first book in her new Carrie Jorgenson series, Death of the Big Kahuna, releases in January 2017.

BOOK ONE

Sally Muccio’s had her crosses to bear: a cheating ex-boyfriend, crazy Italian parents, and an unfaithful husband, just to name a few. After her divorce, she returns to her hometown to start a novelty cookie shop whose specialties include original fortune cookies, served with a sprinkle of foreshadowing. But there’s no warning when her ex-husband’s mistress drops dead on Sal's porch, and police confirm it’s a homicide. Determined to stop her life from becoming a recipe for disaster, Sal takes matters into her own hands. With two very different men vying for her affection, dead bodies piling up, and a reputation hanging by an apron string, Sal finds herself in a race against time to save both her business and life—before the last cookie crumbles. 

BOOK TWO

Baker turned reluctant amateur sleuth, Sally Muccio’s, finally found the happiness that’s eluded her for years. She’s in love with a great guy, her bakery is thriving, and now she and her best friend Josie Sullivan are gearing up to appear on the popular reality baking show, Cookie Crusades. But a visit from Sal’s greedy ex-husband Colin, who's looking to cash in on the bakery’s dough, changes everything. Within a few hours Sal’s world—like the shop’s original fortune cookies—is broken apart when Colin turns up dead, and her boyfriend’s arrested for the crime. Now Sal’s mixing it up with vengeful ex-inlaws, a suspicious new employee, slippery baking competitors, and a greasy mobster who’ll stop at nothing to collect on Colin’s unpaid debt. Can Sal prove her man is innocent in time? Or is she about to get baked herself? 
**Recipes Included!** 


Pre-order now
Available October 11!


As always, please leave a comment and 
let me know what you think!

Follow my blog by 
clicking on the link in the 
upper right hand corner of this page.