Another Book Blast Tuesday: Tail of the Dragon

Tail of the Dragon (A Zodiac Mystery)
by Connie di Marco

I guess it was all in the stars I would post this one late! Little mixup on my end, so my apologies to Connie. Forgive me, I guess I had a Libra moment.  Be sure to enter for your chance at a print or digital copy of this book.

About the Book

Tail of the Dragon (A Zodiac Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Midnight Ink (August 8, 2018)
Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0738751061
Digital ASIN: B075W42GWP

San Francisco astrologer Julia Bonatti never thought murder would be part of her practice, but when her former boss and current client asks for help she agrees to go undercover at his law firm. Three people have received death threats and the only common denominator between them is a case long settled–the infamous Bank of San Francisco fire. Julia’s astrological expertise provides clues but no one wants to listen. Before she can solve the mystery, two people are dead and her own life is in danger. Julia must unmask the killer before he, or she, takes another life.

About the Author

Connie di Marco is the author of the Zodiac Mysteries from Midnight Ink, featuring San Francisco astrologer, Julia Bonatti. Tail of the Dragon, third in the series, will be released on August 8, 2018.

Writing as Connie Archer, she is also the national bestselling author of the Soup Lover’s Mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime. Some of her favorite recipes can be found in The Cozy Cookbook and The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook. Connie is a member of International Thriller Writers, Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime.

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Twitter: @askzodia


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Purchase Links: Amazon B&N Indie Bound Goodreads Mysterious Galaxy BookBub

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Book Blast Tuesday: Doggone Dead

Give me land lots of land….and a puppy on the loose. When Betsy Livingston’s puppy runs away, she has no idea it will lead her to a murder on a movie cowboy star’s estate. Not only has there been a murder, but the town reports sightings of the dead cowboy himself. He’s out to seek revenge on all who wronged his daughter who became the victim of her own money-loving butler. Enjoy a little time on the Fourth of July in the tiny town of Pecan Bayou Texas where old cowboys never die…

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Did you know that I have a Fourth of July mystery? Doggone Dead takes my heroine Betsy through the trials of a hot July in Texas, a beauty pageant and the ghost of dead cowboy star Charlie Loper who seems to still have an intact six-shooter. I also introduce the character of Libby Loper, Charlie’s daughter, who is not in a good place at the beginning of this book.  Be sure to look for the Prize Guy for your chance at a free digital copy of Doggone Dead!

Doggone Dead is my third novel in the Pecan Bayou series.  It continues the mystery-solving adventures of Betsy Livingston, the local helpful hints writer.  As you can see on the cover, there is a dog running loose in Pecan Bayou.  As I wrote the book I had two dogs, Martin, a dachshund mix and Hank, a blue heeler who looked like a tall, lanky beagle. Hank was an internet special. My husband found him listed at a shelter and fell in love with him.

Hank ended up being a wonderful dog.  He was loyal and obedient and stayed next to my son with Down Syndrome.  One time when my son decided to go sit in the car and wait for someone to drive him somewhere,  Hank never let him out of his sight.  He also did some not-so-noble things like chew the arm off my couch and I still have some funny looking teeth marks in a few pairs of my shoes.

Sadly, Hank died at the age of two because of an inoperable tumor in his stomach.  Losing Hank broke my heart, and as I wrote my book, I found a little bit of Hank seeping into the pages.  So, when you read about Butch, Betsy’s mischievous Weimaraner, you just might see a little bit of our dear Hank.

Doggone Dead 2018

10d 3h 6m 22s

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Cozy Prizes Friday: Confound It

Confound It (A Dreamwalker Mystery)
by Maggie Toussaint

Maggie’s back with her latest Dreamwalker Mystery, Confound It!  I read this one and enjoyed not only the mystery but romance.  Hububba 🙂 I left my review below and don’t forget to look for the Prize Guy. He’s giving you the chance at a print copy of Confound It!

About the Book

Confound It (A Dreamwalker Mystery)

Paranormal Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Camel Press (June 1, 2018)
You can find Confound It at these fine retailers


Read the whole series!

While hosting out-of-town guests at her Georgia home, Dreamwalker Baxley Powell is called upon to help investigate a suspicious fire. One of her guests, close friend and fellow dreamwalker Deputy Sam Mayes, accompanies her to the scene.

A meth cook is dead, and when Baxley visits her beyond the Veil of Life, she determines that the woman was murdered. Baxley pities Mandy Patterson, a single mother with aspirations for her teenage son Doodle. Unconcerned about the death of a criminal, the authorities pursue the drug-supply chain angle. Baxley worries about Doodle and vows to find out who killed his mother.

As the case grows more baffling, Baxley struggles against her attraction to Sam. Although her husband is missing and declared dead, she does not feel free to love again until she is sure of his fate.

Two suspects have the strongest motive, but Baxley has reason to believe they are pawns in a deeper game. And unless she can stop them, the world will never be the same.

My Review-5 Stars

This is Maggie Toussaint’s best book yet! I’ve enjoyed seeing the character of Baxley Powell grow in each book and now she has to decide how long she will wait for her husband to return. Her motivation is a handsome Native American named Sam who bonds with her in the paranormal world like no one else. The mystery is well-plotted and the obstacles the characters face will really grab you.  I really enjoyed Confound It!

About the Author

Southern author Maggie Toussaint writes mystery, suspense, and dystopian fiction. Her work won the Silver Falchion Award for best mystery, the Readers’ Choice Award, and the EPIC Award. She’s published seventeen novels as well as several short stories and novellas. The next book in her paranormal mystery series, Dadgummit, releases August 2017. Maggie serves on the national board for Mystery Writers of America, is President of Southeast Mystery Writers of America, and is Co-VP of Low Country Sisters In Crime. Visit her at

You can find Maggie in all these places!

Facebook | Twitter | Blog | Goodreads | LinkedIn | Pinterest | Booklover’s Bench | Amazon Author Central | Bookbub | Website


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Cozy Prizes Friday: Confessions of a Red Herring

It’s  Friday!  Have you finished this week’s to-do list? Lately, mine seems to be never-ending.  Today’s mystery, Confessions of a Red Herring,  features a reporter with things to do and plenty of family members to interfere with it. (Something else we have in common!)  Don’t forget to look for the Prize Guy for your chance at a print copy of Dana Dratch’s latest mystery!

About the Book

Confessions of a Red Herring (A Red Herring Mystery)
1st in Series

Available At These Fine Retailers

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As a reporter, she’s used to covering the news.
Now she’s the headline.

Alex Vlodnachek has been a reporter for 12 years, a P.R. rep for three months, and a murder suspect for all of 24 hours. When her agency’s double-dealing CEO is stabbed, scheming co-workers cast the new redhead as a compelling red herring. The story is media catnip—especially her salacious nickname: Vlod the Impaler.

Even Alex has to admit she looks guilty.

Out of a job and under suspicion, Alex is running low on cash, when she’s visited by a second disaster: her family. Soon her tiny bungalow is bursting with her nearest and not-so-dearest. To keep herself out of jail—and save what’s left of her sanity—Alex returns to her reporting roots. She goes undercover to reclaim her life, break the story, and unmask a murderer. Pretty much in that order.

What she doesn’t know: The killer also has a to-do list.
And Alex is on it.

About the Author

Dana Dratch is a former newspaper reporter and current personal finance writer. When she’s not finishing Seeing Red—the next Alex Vlodnachek mystery—you’ll spot her byline on a host of top news sites. You can learn more about her mysteries at

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Good books have a rhythm and this one never lost a beat. Books really do have a rhythm. There are those which seem to stop and start and those which flow as smoothly as a waltz. There is nothing more enjoyable than to read a book with no “hiccups” in the rhythm. Well, this first book in the Piney Woods Mystery Series was a waltz. I enjoyed every moment of it and the author truly never missed a step.
~Long and Short Reviews

This story has a great vibe to it and fits the cozy mystery category perfectly. [….] I thoroughly enjoyed all of the twists, some I did not even see coming. All of the characters were well-developed and each added their own touch.”
~Coffeetime Romance and More

This is the first in Trent’s series set in Piney Woods, and it bodes well for the series. As cozies go, this is not only a fun read, but it moves along quite well. [….] This is a keeper
~New York Journal of Books

“Small town Texas charm and a fabulous eye for detail.
~Joanna Campbell Slan, author of the Kiki Lowenstein Mystery Series


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Cozy Prizes Friday: Southern Charm

Time for that great detective team Mayson and Dickson!  We have an excerpt from Jocie McKade’s latest in the Mayson-Dickson series as well as a highly informative guest post about the history of the Mason Dixon Line. I always thought it had to do with cornbread getting sweeter the further south you go? There is a giveaway for this one and someone who visits this site will win an ebook copy of Southern Charm. Keep an eye out for the prize guy!

The REAL Mason – Dixon Line

A Guest Post by Jocie McKade

When people hear Mason – Dixon and they immediately think of it as a line between the Northern states and the Southern states.  While that has become an accepted fact, it is not historically true.

Way back in 1632 when land grants were being given to the American colonies by Britain, that line moved a bit here and there. Of course, it wasn’t yet known as the Mason-Dixon line. When things got testy between the colonies of Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, and Pennsylvania, Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon, were charged with surveying the area and ending the catfight between those states.

There was a political dispute (political disputes go WAY back) and Charles Calvert, 5th Baron Baltimore in an agreement with the heirs of William Penn, said he renounced his claim to land in Delaware. A short time later, he said he didn’t say that. (Sound familiar?)

This lead to a little-known war – Cresap’s War erupted between settlers in the contested areas, complete with property disputes, law enforcement issues, and I’m sure, who paid taxes to what colony. The militia was called in. Things got so bad King George II had to get involved and order a cease-fire to end the bloodshed, because who wants to be in Delaware when you could be living in Maryland. This was when Mason-Dixon were enlisted to survey the line. They surveyed the entire area between 1763 and 1767. There was a lot of area to be surveyed.

However, it wasn’t until 1779 that Pennsylvania and Virginia finally agreed to the line. “To extend Mason’s and Dixon’s line, due west, five degrees of longitude, to be computed from the river Delaware, for the southern boundary of Pennsylvania, and that a meridian, drawn from the western extremity thereof to the northern limit of the said state, be the western boundary of Pennsylvania forever.” And we thought legalese was a new thing!

During the Civil War, the line approximated the separation of slave states and free states, which lead to its popular usage as the most recognizable term for North versus South.

Which leads me to segway into my mystery series, Mayson-Dickson, and the latest book SOUTHERN CHARM.

Mayson & Dickson are back, and they’ve uncovered a dead body. Well, as usual, the dead body found them.

The annual Neptune Festival is in full swing in Virginia Beach, and so is the Sand Art Contest. This year, the beautiful art is covering up a very dead body. Leave it to Emme and Jackie to uncover it. Finding the killer, however, will lead them to places they never imagined, and to a completely unexpected killer.
And, their mysterious past is catching up to them, complicating their lives even more.

Mayson-Dickson – Northern logic, Southern charm, and murder!

About the Book

Southern Charm (Mayson-Dickson Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series

In their latest adventure, in SOUTHERN CHARM, Emme and Jackie are enjoying, well Emme is enjoying a stroll along the Virginia Beach boardwalk when they attend the Neptune Festival and a sand art exhibit. Jackie tags along reluctantly, then a series of events, sends Emme sprawling into a sand sculpture. But it’s no ordinary sand sculpture; it’s hiding a dead body with lots of secrets.

Complicating their lives are cryptic GPS coordinates that lead them to their parent’s mysterious safe house, where they encounter protective drones. I’ll let you find out what happens next.

Mayson & Dickson, when they crossed the line, it was murder.

Read an Excerpt



“You’re heading south.”
“Yes, ma’am.” Emme smiled keeping the window half-way down.
“No. I am not going any farther into Dixieland. Bang-a-u-eey, now.” Jackie snapped her fingers, getting a grunt from her sister. “I mean it. I cannot take more ain’t and y’alls.”
“Look, North Carolina is right down the road,” sliding her sunglasses down her nose she gave Jackie a sarcastic smile. “I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to take a chance on Sydney, Meechum, Zack, or those Eights tracing us. Across state lines might make it harder. You want to know what’s on the flash drives, don’t you?”
“Fine, but we do this quick. No reason to linger, no suh.” Glaring at the half rolled down window and the hot breeze it brought inside the car, she turned two AC vents toward her face. “If I have to go deeper into Bubba-land, you have to roll up that window.”
Emme sighed and relented. Then she began guiding the car with her knee against the steering wheel while putting her hair in a ponytail. It was like riding with a stunt driver in the circus; only there weren’t any safety nets.
Two hours later they were sitting in the restaurant at a stock car race track. What had she done to piss off the universe? Jackie’s mind wandered to Boston, to brick streets, ice cream with Jimmies, walking in the cold air along the harbor, five-star restaurants. Now, she sat in a town whose name wasn’t even pronounced the way it was spelled on their welcome sign. A good old boy announcer was calling a car race, and there was a plate of ribs, biscuits, and something called ‘sopping sauce’ in front of her. One lone ceiling fan was turning slowly in the ceiling doing nothing more than moving the hot air around.
“Why do you look like there is a dead possum on your plate?” Wow, Emme had a way with words.
“I’m afraid it might be.” Jackie took a sip of cold tea…..dear gawd, her taste buds did the hula, her eyes began to water, and the syrupy stuff went down her throat in a slow crawl unleashing a coughing spasm.
“Are you alright?” Emme smacked her hard across the back, making the thick liquid stick in her throat. “Take a breath.”
“C…aaaannnn’t……..stuck……” the coughing continued.
“Here,” a handsome man, maybe, she couldn’t really tell through her watering eyes, handed her a can of soda. “Drink you some Coke; it’ll cut through anything.”
Jackie wasn’t a fan of Coke, but if it washed that crap down her throat, she’d guzzle it. Whatever was in that can wasn’t Coke, but it did cut the sugar clog, although it did nothing for her dancing taste buds.
“That’s,” she coughed, “not Coca-Cola.” Oh gawd, she sounded like a wounded parrot.
“It’s RC Cola.” He laughed. “Do you feel better?”
Jackie nodded, wishing for all the world she had water with lemon.
“I’m Rex, Rex Hollopeter. I drive number seventeen.” He nodded out the window toward the dust storm they called a race track.

Purchase Links


Smashwords – multiple formats

Southern Charm E-book Giveaway

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About the Author

Jocie McKade has worked at several jobs before landing her perfect one as a librarian. With a soft spot for U.S. Veterans, she chaired the Veteran’s Oral History Project and her work with the program lead to her speaking before the Project committee and the U.S. Library of Congress. She has won several awards for her non-fiction writing on a multitude of subjects.

Her fiction writing has received the Author / Ambassador at Library Journal Self-e Authors,
Winner Queen of the West Reader Favorite Award, Amazon Bestseller – Historical,
Double finalist in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards in the Mystery and Humorous Categories, and her novel Baer Truth received 4.5 stars from RT Book Reviews.

Writing mostly romantic comedy and humorous cozy fiction, Jocie can humor in most everything. She lives in the Midwest on Dust Bunny Farm with her family and Diesel the Wonder Dog. When not writing, she grows ArnoldSwartzaWeeds in her garden and camps whenever the opportunity presents itself.

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Book Blast Tuesday: The Marmalade Murders

Now that we’ve all survived the predicted end of the world on Monday, let’s get cozy and talk about The Marmalade Murders. Penny Brannigan is on the case again and her kind author, Elizabeth J. Duncan has offered a giveaway just for the readers of this blog. Pssst-Your odds of winning have greatly increased. Keep an eye out for the Prize Guy. 

About the Book

The Marmalade Murders: A Penny Brannigan Mystery
Cozy Mystery
9th in Series

The latest book in an award-winning mystery series, celebrated for its small-town charm and picturesque Welsh setting and starring amateur sleuth Penny Brannigan.

The competition is friendly and just a little fierce at the annual Llanelen agricultural show as town and country folk gather for the outdoor judging of farm animals and indoor judging of cakes, pies, pastries, chutneys, jams and jellies, along with vegetables, fruit and flowers. But this year, there’s a new show category: murder.

Local artist, Spa owner, and amateur sleuth Penny Brannigan agrees to help with the intake of the domestic arts entries and to judge the children’s pet competition on show day. When the president of the Welsh Women’s Guild isn’t on hand to see her granddaughter and pet pug win a prize, the family becomes concerned. When a carrot cake entered in the competition goes missing, something is clearly amiss.

A black Labrador Retriever belonging to the agricultural show’s president discovers the body of the missing woman under the baked goods table. A newcomer to town, a transgender woman, is suspected, but amateur sleuth Penny Brannigan believes her to be innocent. She sets out to find the real killer, but when a second body is discovered days later, the case is thrown into confusion, and Penny knows it’s up to her to figure out what happened—and why.

Purchase Links

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About the Author

Elizabeth J Duncan is the author of two mystery series – Shakespeare in the Catskills and the Penny Brannigan mystery series set in North Wales. She is a two-time winner of the Bloody Words Award for Canada’s best light mystery and lives in Toronto.

The Marmalade Murders Print Copy

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Cozy Prizes Friday: Murder at the Mushroom Festival

Time for Spring festivals and this week let’s get into fungi at Murder at the Mushroom Festival. The author, Janet Finsilver was kind enough to answer a few questions about her writing process and how she loves to write about dogs with special abilities.  My dogs Martin and Max have special talents. All I have to do is open the refrigerator and they appear like magic from anywhere in the house!

Be sure to look for the prize guy! Today he gives you the chance to enter her giveaway for a digital copy of Murder at the Mushroom Festival.

About the Book

Murder at the Mushroom Festival (A Kelly Jackson Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series

There’s a corpse among the chanterelles!

Redwood Cove Bed and Breakfast manager Kelly Jackson is hosting a cooking class during the Week of the Mushroom festival to attract guests, not drama. But soon after she finishes foraging for an edible mushroom species on sacred Native American land, a local newspaper reporter gets shot dead at the same site. With suspicions spreading like fungi in the quaint Northern Californian community over the culprit’s identity, Kelly and a savvy gang of sleuthing seniors known as the “Silver Sentinels” must uncover the truth about the secluded property before a tricky killer prepares another lethal surprise . . .

A Visit With the Author


How did you come up with an idea for your book?

I have a series of books that I call safe whodunits. This means there is no graphic violence and the main characters will return in each one. In the mystery world they are called cozy mysteries. My books all have dogs with special abilities.

Where did the ideas come from? Traditional mystery writers like Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle influenced me. Murder She Wrote was a favorite show I watched. This is where the type of books I write came from.

As for the dogs, years ago I read about a standard poodle trained to detect cancer. That’s where the original idea came from for the dogs with special abilities in my books. I was fascinated and started collecting information about the different ways dogs contribute to our lives. Each of my mysteries highlights a certain skill. Murder at Redwood Cove has a basset hound trained to detect cancer. In Murder at the Mansion two beagles are bedbug and termite finders. Murder at the Fortune Teller’s Table has dogs trained in hearing-assistance for people who are deaf or hard of hearing as well as one trained to help people with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. My most recent book, Murder at the Mushroom Festival, has a diabetic alert dog that also finds mushrooms! These aren’t dog books, but the dogs all have a function in the stories.

What scene do you hope your readers enjoy the most?

There are many scenes I hope the readers enjoy. I’ve put an excerpt from Murder at the Fortune Teller’s Table below.

Mary gave me directions, and I headed out to discover my future. Auntie’s table was off by itself a ways away from the crowd. Summer and a pale man sat across from a woman in black, voluminous clothes, a cloth scarf on her head. She was staring into a small cup, and I could see her lips move.

Suddenly Summer stood up, and even at a distance I could here her loud “No!” She turned to the man now standing next to her and grabbed his arm. She pulled him away from the table, and they headed in my direction.

The man put his arm around her shoulders as they walked by me. “Mom, it doesn’t mean anything. It’s coffee grounds and Auntie’s active imagination.”

I saw tears in Summer’s eyes.

“You don’t know.” She shook her head from side to side and looked stunned.

“Mom, I have no dark secrets from the past that will be revealed,” he said, his voice beginning to trail off as they moved away. “And no one is going to die.”


Here are some hints for other favorite scenes. In Murder at Redwood Cove, Fred uses his hound abilities to find a missing person. An unusual room is discovered in Murder at the Mansion. An unexpected ride happens at a botanical garden in Murder at the Fortune Teller’s Table. My protagonist has to do some quick thinking to save herself in Murder at the Mushroom Festival.

What other things have you written or what projects might we see in the future?

Right now I’m focusing on my Kelly Jackson series. I have a contract for a fifth and sixth book. The tentative title for book five is Murder at the Marina. It goes to the publisher in June. The next “project” after that will be figuring out what happens in book six!

If you could write any other genre what would that be?

Growing up I enjoyed reading books that had dogs or horses in them. I think it would be fun to do a young adult series involving animals.

Where can readers leave reviews of your book?

The usual places like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Goodreads.

Janet Finsilver is the USA TODAY bestselling author of the Kelly Jackson mystery series. She worked in education for many years as a teacher, a program administrator, and a workshop presenter. Janet majored in English and earned a Master’s Degree in Education. She loves animals and has two dogs–Kylie and Ellie. Janet has ridden western style since she was a child and was a member of the National Ski Patrol. One of the highlights of her life was touching whales in the San Ignacio Lagoon. MURDER AT REDWOOD COVE, her debut mystery, was released on October 13, 2015. Her second book, MURDER AT THE MANSION, was released on June 7, 2016. Book 3, MURDER AT THE FORTUNE TELLER’S TABLE was released on March 14, 2017.

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Book Blast Tuesday: Chicken Culprit

Cockadoodle Dooooo! Rise and shine cozy mystery lovers because today we are featuring a mystery about chickens and high time we did!  Haven’t you always wanted to have your own little farm in your backyard? Who needs acreage? My friend Susan started like this and ended up on an a full-fledged farm complete with chickens, cows and really cute baby goats (four of which she delivered on her daughter’s wedding day!) Now that’s the country life.

I’ve reviewed Chicken Culprit and be sure to scroll down and find the Prize Guy for your chance at a signed copy of the book, a simple book bag, a $25 Amazon gift certificate, and some other goodies (tbd) for one winner. I will also allow the winner to provide a character for my next book (first and last name, description, etc.) They won’t get to pick if that character is the killer, victim, or innocent bystander. And they will receive a mention in the next book’s acknowledgment page.   SWEET!

About the Book

Chicken Culprit: Backyard Farming Mystery Series
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Colorado

Finally healing after her heart-breaking divorce, Anne Freemont is ready to put the painful past behind her.

Discovering an old Victorian for sale in the small mountain town of Carolan Springs may be just what she needs. The beauty of Colorado beckons, so Anne heads west to start her new life.

Yet, before Anne’scompletely settled in, her neighbor is found dead in his compost pile. What’s worse is that Anne’s quirky young neighbor, Kandi Jenkins, could be the killer. When Kandi begs for her help, Anne feels she has no choice but to help the young woman.

However, she finds herself quickly at odds with the local sheriff. And while she uncovers more of the community’s secrets, she’s also exploring her awakening feelings for Sam Powers, the town’s deputy coroner.

Once Anne starts looking at who could be the real killer, the suspect list keeps getting longer and longer. It seems that Carolan Springs is a place of many secrets. But who would want to murder Ralph and who’s willing to kill again to keep their secret?

My Review: 4 Stars

Anne has moved to a small town in Colorado where she is backyard farming featuring a life of chickens, freshly baked bread, and gardening. I liked the main character’s way of looking at things and the cozy town Viki Walton creates. Interesting ending!

About the Author

Vikki Walton is a suburban homesteader aka the Havensteader. She has chickens, gardens, and bees and is a certified permaculture designer. She’s also the author of nonfiction books. She loves to travel, is a global house and pet sitter and when not out in the garden or hiking in beautiful Colorado, is plotting her next mystery.

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