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Mattie Hatter and the Gilded Gauge

Monday, February 24, 2014

Catching up on the Devereaux's Dime Store Mysteries
Plus a Giveaway for a signed copy of LITTLE SHOP OF HOMICIDE the book that started seires!


If you haven't heard by now, March 4th is "First Tuesday". New release day for some of my favorite cozy authors and I'm sure some of yours as well. 

One of the titles to be released is the long awaited for third installment in the Devereaux's Dime Store Mysteries, DEAD BETWEEN THE LINES by author Denise Swanson. 



In the first book in the series LITTLE SHOP OF HOMICIDE we meet Devereaux 'Dev' Sincliar, new owner of the old-fashioned dime store in her small town of Shadow Bend, Missouri. 

After working hard to move forward with her life after a scandal had her the talk of the town, she suddenly found herself as the person of interest in the murder of her ex's fiancĂ©e! 



In NICKELED-DIMED TO DEATH, the second book in the series, Dev found herself in the mix of another murder. 

She was thrilled to buy antique chocolate molds to use in her Easter baskets. Had she known the molds may have been stolen and the woman who sold them to her, Elise Whitmore would be found murdered, Dev never would have touched them. And to make matters worse, Dev's friend Boone was accused of the murder!



So, what does the third book in the series, DEAD BETWEEN THE LINES hold for Dev. Check out this blub...

Opening an old-fashioned five-and-dime shop in her small Missouri hometown has been a great change for Devereaux “Dev” Sinclair. But when she hosts a reading group there, she learns that bad writing can mean life or death.
 
To keep her new business in the black, Dev opens up her shop to local clubs. But in the first meeting of the Stepping Out Book Club, the speaker storms out after members attack his poetry’s sexism and scorn for small towns. Later that night, the poet’s body is found outside Dev’s store.
 
Dev can’t afford for the murder to close her down, so she does a little stepping out of her own to investigate, with help from her two sexy suitors, Dr. Noah Underwood and Deputy U.S. Marshal Jake Del Vecchio. But when the killer threatens Dev, they will have to use every trick in the book to solve the case before she becomes the final chapter in this murder mystery.…

Wow, poor Dev! 

Even more excited for DEAD BETWEEN THE LINES now aren't you?! 

Denise Swanson wants to celebrate the release by offering a Giveaway of a signed copy of LITTLE SHOP OF HOMICIDE, the first in the series! 

Check below for the many ways you can enter! Winner will be chosen March 4, 2014. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, February 20, 2014

A FATAL SLIP by Meg London
Book #3 in A Sweet Nothings Lingerie Mystery series

From selling camisoles to solving crimes, the ladies of the Sweet Nothings lingerie shop in Paris, Tennessee, will make this Valentine’s a day to remember…

For Valentine’s Day, Emma Taylor and her aunt Arabella have organized a special evening for men only to shop for their sweethearts in the Sweet Nothings lingerie shop, complete with champagne and hors d’oeuvres. But when a former valentine shows up, Aunt Arabella is not her usual bubbly self.

Art dealer Hugh Granger is still a charmer, though. He invites the women to a ball he’s having to celebrate his birthday and his return to Paris, Tennessee. But when Granger is pushed from the balcony, it paints a sinister picture for Aunt Arabella, who gets framed…for her old flame’s murder.


Brava to Meg London for out doing herself with A FATAL SLIP and making this series a must have for any mystery fan.

The Sweet Nothings Lingerie Mystery series captured my attention on page one of the first book 

MURDER UNMENTIONABLE. While reading the second book, LACED WITH POISON, I knew I was in love. Having said that, now that I have read book number three, A FATAL SLIP, put a ring on my finger and seal the deal because I am never leaving this series.

Ms. London has again provided us with characters that we care about. This installment of the series is filled with more mystery and intrigue than the first two books, something that I would have said was impossible. The main plot is focused on who killed Hugh Granger and Emma trying to clear Aunt Arabella's name. But there are several sub plots and discoveries that had my head spinning (in a good way) and wondering what would happen next.

Get to your local bookstore or online book seller and buy A FATAL SLIP now. If you haven't read the first two books in the series, that's okay. You wont have any problem following the story. But then again, while you're buying this book, get the first two and read them all! And pick up a set for friend. They'll love you for it!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Cozy Snubbing Snobs

What is it with all the cozy "snubs"? I was looking through some magazines today and was disappointed and yeah, a little angry to see that Publisher's Weekly and Bookmarks made no mention of cozies whatsoever! 

Cozy readers, please do everything you can to share your love of cozies. Leave reviews, pre-order, request your favorite cozy authors at your local bookstore. If you have an independent bookstore close by, speak to the ower/manager about doing a display featuring only cozy titles. Share with your friends any way you can. Talk to them, post on Facebook, Tweet on Twitter, mention cozies on your blog. If you see someone in the mystery section, suggest a cozy to them.

Our cozy authors are every bit as good as (better in my opinion) any author out there. Let's show them and the cozy snubbing snobs just how much they mean to us!




Thursday, February 13, 2014

DEATH OF A CHOCOHOLIC by Lee Hollis
Book #4 in A Hayley Powell Food and Cocktails Mystery series

Fed up with dating after a disastrous setup, the only thing Hayley wants to snuggle up to is a box of made-to-order chocolates from plus-sized, plus-mouthed chocolatier Bessie Winthrop. But when Bessie is found dead in her kitchen, only Hayley suspects that Bessie's "heart attack" might actually be a candy-coated murder.

Turns out Bessie had more enemies than a boxful of chocolates, each one a suspicious flavor. It's sticky business juggling a job, two teenagers and finding a killer, but it's better than letting a killer find Hayley first...


I always look forward to my next visit to Bar Harbor and a chance to catch up with Hayley and friends. This trip was one of my favorites by far. From the moment I first saw the cover of DEATH OF A CHOCOHOLIC I knew this was going to be a book to remember. And it was.

Lee Hollis never fails in getting me to laugh out loud over the situations Hayley finds herself in. During the first pages of this story I laughed so loud I honestly startled myself! And I challenge anyone to not laugh at a scene that has Mona in it!

Now, before I have you thinking this is a comedy, let me assure you there is a brilliant mystery to solve. While I thought I had figured it out, I found I was way wrong. I never guessed the “who” in the “done it” until I was right where the author wanted me to be. Brava/Bravo Lee Hollis.

And as always, there are great food and cocktail recipes to enjoy. I suggest having some fun with the book and trying out some of the recipes and enjoy them with the story.

We also get a sneak peek at book #5 in the series, DEATH OF A CHRISTMAS CATERER.

If you haven’t read the Hayley Powell series, please do something awesome for yourself and start reading them ASAP! If you have read the rest of series, you will not be disappointed in the latest installment.  

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

BLOOM AND DOOM by Beverly Allen. Book #1 in A Bridal Bouquet Shop Mystery

Release date: April 1, 2014

As the co-owner of The Rose in Bloom, Audrey Bloom creates magnificent flower arrangements for brides to be. Though helping to plan a wedding can be stressful, it’s nothing compared to the groom turning up dead.

A designer of eye-catching bridal bouquets—many of them based on the Victorian meanings behind each flower—Audrey Bloom is used to celebrations that end with happily ever after. In fact, every couple she’s worked with is still together, living in wedded bliss. But her perfect record is about to be broken.

Her childhood friend Jenny Whitney has reeled in the most eligible bachelor in Ramble, Virginia, and she’s hired Audrey to design the bouquet. But before Jenny can walk down the aisle clutching her blend of anemone, scabious, and pussy willow (a floral disaster in Audrey’s mind), the groom is found dead—sprinkled with bits of a bouquet. This is bad for business—not to mention for Jenny, who has become the prime suspect. So Audrey decides to do a little digging herself, hoping she won’t be the next Ramble resident pushing up daisies…


BLOOM AND DOOM is the first book in A Bridal Bouquet Shop Mystery series by author Beverly Allen. I was privileged enough to read this story before the April 1, 2014 publication date. This book had me at the first page!

In meeting Audrey Bloom and Olivia “Liv” Rose, her cousin and co-owner of the Rose In Bloom florist shop in Ramble, Virginia, I immediately felt I was in the presence of dear friends. In getting to meet the other characters, several of which worked or helped out at the shop, I found myself wanting to work there as well and get to spend my days among the flowers and good company.

The entire story was fast paced and never lacking action. Some situations had me honestly laughing out loud due to the author’s witty humor and fun writing flare. I also found it informative as Ms. Allen had Audrey telling the meaning of the flowers she would use in her different arrangements.

As for the mystery aspect of this cozy, it was handled superbly. I was guessing until the very end as to who the murderer was. There was a bit of a “sub mystery” in the storyline as well. Something I feel the author intentionally made us forget about after it was mentioned, just so she could catch us off guard when it finally came to light. Well played Ms. Allen!


If you’re anything like me, you’re always on the lookout for new series that will become one of your go to favorites. Beverly Allen’s Bridal Bouquet Shop Mystery series is that series for me and I have no doubt it will be for you too. This one is sure to be a long running series indeed! 

Monday, February 10, 2014

UNDEAD BY MORNING by Joyce & Jim Lavene. 
A Short Story in the Taxi for the Dead Paranormal Mysteries

NOTE: This tile is a Paranormal Mystery, not a Cozy. But it is written by two of my very favorite cozy authors.

When Nashville Police Officer Skye Mertz wakes up in the hospital after a wreck, the prognosis is bad. The doctors don’t expect her to live until morning. Her husband, Jacob, also in the wreck, was dead at the scene. Their five-year-old daughter, Kate, will be alone
.
Old magic, in the form of Abraham Lincoln Jones, comes out of the blue, offering another twenty years of life for twenty years of service to him. Skye can’t say no. Kate needs her, and her husband’s death was no accident. If it takes driving Abe’s Taxi for the Dead to protect Kate, and discover the truth, Skye is up for it.



I have to start by saying, the concept behind this story really blows me away. Who wouldn't want another 20 years with their loved ones?

In the case of Skye Mertz, she will have a chance to help her daughter grow up and find out what really happened to her husband. How could she say no? After all, making a deal with Abraham Lincoln Jones isn’t the same as making a deal with the devil. Is it?

In this short story, which is an introduction to the Taxi For The Dead Paranormal Mysteries series that will officially start off on March 4 with the full length title BROKEN HEARTED GHOUL, we get a quick introduction to Skye, her husband Jacob, their daughter Kate and Jacob’s mother Addie. We meet Abraham Lincoln Jones and learn about his “business”. There was so much information packed into this short story.

So, my thoughts on it? I loved it! It’s such a thought provoking story line. Like nothing I have ever read. Like with all their books, Joyce & Jim Lavene caught my attention with the first paragraph and held it until the very ending. Because of the length, it is a story that you will read in one sitting. And if you are anything like me, when you read the last sentence, you’ll be sad that it’s over. Fear not…you also get a short excerpt of BROKEN HEARTED GHOUL to wet your appetite and hold you over for the March 4 release.


If you were a fan of the TV shows DEAD LIKE ME and PUSHING DAISIES, do yourself a favor and read this book!

NOTE: As of the writing of this review, you can get UNDEAD BY MORNING for you Kindle or Kindle app for only .99! 

http://www.amazon.com/Undead-Morning-Taxi-Paranormal-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B00I7V9KVE/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1392067244&sr=1-1&keywords=undead+by+morning 

Friday, February 7, 2014

BEEWITCHED by Hannah Reed. Book #5 in A Queen Bee Mystery series.

Beekeeper Story Fischer has stocked the shelves of her market, The Wild Clover, in preparation for the influx of produce-crazy tourists about to invade Moraine, Wisconsin. In fact, with the apple cider and caramel apple stand on Main Street and the corn maze out at Country Delight Farm, the whole town is ready for the swarm.

But when a self-proclaimed witch moves into town, the neighbors are all abuzz with questions. Is the quirky newcomer a good witch or a bad one? Story thinks Dyanna Crane is perfectly nice, albeit a little eccentric. But after an entire coven shows up for a new moon ritual—and one of the witches ends up dead in the corn maze—Story must comb through both fact and fiction, before anyone else is murdered under the cover of magic…





"I'll admit, I'm brand new to the Queen Bee series. I was going to start when the first in the series came out, but always put it off for some reason. My mistake! I loved getting to meet Beekeeper Story Fischer and the cast of characters in this story. I have to go back and read all of the other titles now!

In BEEWITCHED Autumn has come to the town of Moraine, Wisconsin. And what goes better with Autumn than apple cider, caramel apples and corn mazes? Witches! A whole coven has moved to town and one ends up dead in the corn maze!

Ms. Reed is a wonderful story teller. This book was fast paced and entertaining, with a mystery that kept me on my toes and guessing until the reveal. I loved my time spent with Story and friends and can't wait for my next visit."


Don't wait as long as I did to start this series. Book #1 is BUZZ OFF.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

SHUNNED AND DANGEROUS by Laura Bradford  #3 in An Amish Mystery series.

Release date: March 4, 2014

Living in the small town of Heavenly, Pennsylvania, Claire Weatherly has come to admire the Amish for their wholesome, honest way of life. But she also knows that nothing is as simple as it seems—especially when murder disturbs the peace.

Claire has always been game for a good puzzle, so when she hears that Mose Fisher has made one of his famous corn mazes, she can’t wait to walk the paths and test her skill. But she’ll have a much more serious puzzle to solve when, deep inside the maze, she discovers the body of Amish dairy farmer Harley Zook.

It won’t be easy for Detective Jakob Fisher to investigate a murder on his own father’s farm —not after being shunned by the man for leaving the Amish community and becoming a cop. With Mose himself as a suspect, and old family secrets cropping up, it’s up to Claire to help catch the killer before she finds herself at a dead end.




What a joy it was to be back in Heavenly, Pennsylvania with Claire, Diane, Jakob, Benjamin, Esther and friends. Each time I’m blessed enough to visit, I am lulled into a sense of peace and contentment. I truly find myself wanting to stay apart of this idyllic community. Well, until there’s another body found. Oh, who am I kidding? I’d still take my chances!

In this third installment of Laura Bradford’s Amish Mystery series, murder once again comes to Heavenly. This time it claims the life of Amish dairy farmer Harley Zook. But who would want Harley dead? And why? Ms. Bradford crafts an intricate tale of anger, greed, prejudice and revenge that gives the reader much to think about before she leads us to the conclusion and the surprising answers to these questions
.
Along with the murder mystery, readers are also treated to an uplifting story of love, friendship, helpfulness and forgiveness between characters old and new to the series.

As with HEARSE AND BUGGY & ASSAULTED PRETZEL, we also get a glimpse into the world of the Amish and their traditions. It’s clear Ms. Bradford has done her research and that she has a true fondness for these people.

If you haven’t read this series yet, do yourself a favorite and start it now! If you have read the first two books in this series, SHUNNED AND DANGEROUS is exactly what you've been waiting for!