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Cozy Prizes Friday: Bookmarked for Murder

Let’s get on the bus with Nana Jo and the residents of Shady Acres and go do some gambling! V.M. Burns is back with another great Mystery Bookshop Mystery! Don’t forget to scroll down and enter Valerie’s giveaway and to read my review!

 

About Bookmarked for Murder

Bookmarked for Murder (Mystery Bookshop)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series

Amateur sleuth Samantha Washington’s shopping trip to Chicago takes a deadly detour when a man is murdered on her bus . . .

After some post-Christmas retail therapy in the Windy City, mystery bookshop owner and historical whodunit novelist Sam Washington is returning home to North Harbor, Michigan, on a chartered bus. With Nana Jo and her gal pals Irma, Dorothy, and Ruby Mae from Shady Acres Retirement Village along for the ride, it’s a lively trip. But one passenger is not so lively—a gentleman Irma befriended is found dead in his seat after an unscheduled stop. The ladies immediately shift gears to find out who punched his ticket, while Sam slips into the driver’s seat to make sure Nana Jo and her crew steer clear of fatal conclusions . . .

 

My Review:

Bookmarked for Murder is the second book I’ve read in the Mystery Bookshop Series, and it was like visiting family. I love Nana Jo and the crowd from Shady Acres. I loved Irma with her hooker heels and way of finding a man to flirt with and another resident who seems to be knitting all the time. The main character, Samantha, is not only escorting the group to go gambling, but she also runs a mystery book store and is busily writing a regency mystery novel. During the bus trip, a gentleman who was writing about the death of Robert Kennedy is found dead. Sam, along with her detective boyfriend, set us on a journey to find his killer. There were several times I laughed out loud while reading this book.

About V.M. Burns

V.M. Burns was born in Northwestern Indiana and spent many years in Southwestern Michigan on the Lake Michigan shoreline. She is a lover of dogs, British historic cozies, and scones with clotted cream. After many years in the Midwest, she went in search of milder winters and currently lives in Eastern Tennessee with her poodles. Her debut novel, The Plot is Murder was nominated for a 2017 Agatha Award for Best First Novel. Valerie is a member of Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, and a lifetime member of Sisters in Crime. Readers can learn more by visiting her website at vmburns.com

Author Links:

Website: http://www.vmburns.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vmburnsbooks/

Twitter: @vmburns

Purchase Links – AmazonBarnes & NobleIndieBoundBooks-A-MillionHudson BooksellersKobo
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Review of Murder She Wrote: A Time for Murder

You know how much I love Jessica Fletcher! There is a new Murder She Wrote out in this beloved series and you’re going to love it. Let’s go back in time to when Jessica was an English teacher.

Description:

n the fiftieth entry in this USA Today bestselling series, two timelines converge as Jessica Fletcher returns to high school to investigate the murder of an old colleague, while we meet Jessica as a young teacher solving her very first murder…

Young Jessica Fletcher’s life couldn’t be more ordinary. She teaches at the local high school while she and her loving husband, Frank, are raising their nephew Grady together. But when the beloved principal dies under mysterious circumstances, Jessica knows something is off and, for the very first time, investigates a death.

Present-day Jessica returns to high school for a colleague’s retirement party and has fun seeing familiar faces. That is, until the colleague winds up dead–and his death has mysterious links to Jessica’s very first murder case. 

With nothing but her own instincts to guide her, Jessica embarks on a quest to find out what really happened all those years ago and who’s behind these murders. Because time is running out to catch this killer….

Click Here to Buy This Book on Amazon

My Review:

This is the second Jessica Fletcher novel by Jon land, and I liked it even more than the first. First of all, the “Tup” is back. Amos Tupper shows up in this one in modern-day and as a detective in a mystery that goes way back into Jessica’s past when Frank was still alive. It was wonderful hearing some of the backstories on Jessica, Amos, Frank, and Grady and finding out about the very first murder she ever solved as a substitute teacher. I enjoyed this book from beginning to end. The body count in this one was a little high, but I was riveted to the unfolding of the mystery and getting to visit with some of my favorite characters.

Cozy Prizes Friday: Favorite Recipes From Cozy Writers

As we all begin to think about delicious holiday dishes right around the corner, this week’s visiting cozy is a cookbook! Not only that they sent along a couple of recipes! One for Fido and one for you!

Cozy Food: 128 Cozy Mystery Writers Share Their Favorite Recipes

What happens when 128 cozy mystery writers get together to do a cookbook? You get more than 220 recipes that are as varied and interesting as an amateur sleuth’s day job.

Regional recipes come from every part of the United States and England — a couple find their way from Australia and Italy, too — and from diverse times. There are recipes from people looking to keep gluten out of their lives, eat vegetarian, or make a treat or two for their furry four-legged friends. And yes, there are recipes that appeal to the sweet tooth, lots of them, in fact.
There’s no mystery about what happens when cozy writers get together. They bring the wit, inventiveness, and adventure found in their books right along with their recipes.
The recipes are introduced by their authors and linked to the writer bios in the back of the book.
You can look up your favorite cozy writer and see which recipes are their favorites; they’ll tell you what the recipe means to them. Or you can enjoy a dish and then link to the recipe’s author’s biography and books.
Either way you enjoy the cookbook, you’re sure to find great new recipes to make and terrific new cozy authors to read.

What would a cozy mystery be without pets? And what would Cozy Food: 128 Cozy Mystery Writers Share Their Favorite Recipes be with something for those pets? Fortunately Sparkle Abbey and Laurie Cass (Bookmobile Cat Mysteries) shared some of their favorites for the book. Here’s a dog treat.

My Review:

This is a giant cookbook! With 128 cozy writers contributing there are plenty of recipes to whip up. What I liked about this recipe collection was that you get a little insight into each cozy writer’s fictional world. Great recipes like Artery-Clogging Clam Chowder and even treats for your pets. This is a big effort and a great addition to any recipe collection.

Caro’s Good Dog Treats

From the Pampered Pets mystery series by Sparkle Abbey

Carolina Lamont, animal lover and former Texas beauty queen, moved to California after a very nasty and public divorce. With eleven-thousand dogs – more dogs than kids – Laguna Beach seemed like the perfect spot to open a pet therapy business. And it had been, up until she had to catch a killer by the tail. Whether dealing with misbehaving canines or murder suspects, Caro always keeps a few of her homemade dog treats on hand. Here’s Caro’s recipe:

First, preheat your oven to 350° F.

In a big bowl, combine all the ingredients with just enough water to make it the consistency of cookie dough.

1/2 cup of creamy unsalted peanut butter

1 cup oat flour

1 cup brown rice flour (Caro uses organic)

1 egg

1 tablespoon of honey

1/2 cup finely grated carrot (Dogbert , Caro’s dog, loves carrots)

Optional: You can also add cooked bacon, a bit of grated cheese, or other ingredients for flavor, but don’t add too much or it will mess with the consistency of the dough, and cause your treats to fall apart.

Once you’ve got your treat dough all stirred up, put it between pieces of parchment paper and roll it out to about ¼ inch thickness. Then cut the dough with a cookie cutter. You can use whatever shape strikes your fancy. Caro often uses dog bone shapes of different sizes. Next, put them on a regular cookie sheet and bake them between fifteen and twenty minutes or until they’re golden retriever brown.

Let them cool and then put them in an airtight container. You can store your Caro’s Good Dog treats for about a week (or you can freeze them for later use) but keep an eye on them. There are no preservatives, so watch out for spoilage.

This makes a couple of dozen treats so there’s plenty to go around. Please share them with your dog.

Laurie Cass contributed a recipe cozy cats will love.

Catnip Burgers

From the Bookmobile Cat Mysteries by Laurie Cass

Although Minnie’s favorite recipe is a take-out menu, she does occasionally make a foray into the kitchen to cook up treats for Eddie. Catnip burgers are his favorite, not that he would ever say so to Minnie…

4 oz. sausage or ground beef

3 tablespoons oatmeal

2 tablespoons catnip, finely chopped

1 egg

Knead ingredients together thoroughly and shape into 4 flat patties.

Broil on high heat until the outside is crisp, 8-12 minutes. Turn often to make sure they crisp up evenly. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Cut cooled patties into cat bite-sized pieces and serve.

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Cozy Prizes Friday: The Body on the Train

How about a weekend trip to London by train in 1929! This week we’re going historical with a little intrigue and an overabundance of rhubarb. That’s right. Rhubarb. I’ve included the book description and my review of this British mystery and don’t forget to scroll to the bottom of this blog and enter my giveaway. You could use that $20 gift card from Amazon!

Book Description:

Frances Brody’s eleventh Kate Shackleton mystery is sure to delight readers of Rhys Bowen and Jacqueline Winspear.

Two murders. A one-way ticket to trouble.

And it’s up to Kate to derail the killer.

London, 1929. In the darkness before dawn, a railway porter, unloading a special train from Yorkshire, discovers a man’s body, shot and placed in a sack. There are no means of identification to be found and as Scotland Yard hits a dead end, they call on the inimitable Kate Shackleton, a local sleuth, confident her local knowledge and investigative skills will produce results. But it’s no easy task.

Suspicion of political intrigue and fears of unrest in the Yorkshire coalfields, impose secrecy on her already difficult task. The murder of a shopkeeper, around the same time, seems too much of a coincidence. The convicted felon was found with blood on his hands, but it’s too tidy and Kate becomes convinced the police have the wrong man.

By then it’s too late. Kate finds herself in a den of vipers. The real killer is still at large, and having tinkered with Kate’s car, nearly causes her to crash. Not only that, but Scotland Yard has turned their back on her. As Kate edges toward the shocking truth, she’s going to need all the strength and resourcefulness she can muster to uncover this sinister web of deceit.

My Review

This is the first book I’ve read in this series. It is 1929 and a body has been found on the rhubarb train. There are so many factors that figure into the mystery including a  children’s home, a mine, the Ryder Cup, rhubarb farmers and an interesting cast of detective helpers. I enjoyed the pace of the story. I was never quite sure just who to trust. Nicely done!

Giveaway!!!!

Autumn 2019 Cozy Giveaway

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Cozy Prizes Friday: Murder Can Mess Up Your Masterpiece

As a creative person, I thought of getting a little trailer and going from book show to book show. In Murder Can Mess Up Your Masterpiece, Rose Pressey shows how it can be done!

Where would you go if you had a little pink trailer and were pursuing your dream career?

Be sure to scroll down and read my review and there are only a few days left on my giveaway! ENTER NOW

Book Description: Artist Celeste Cabot welcomes the chance to show her paintings at a craft fair in her hometown of Gatlinburg, Tennessee, where she and her Chihuahua, Van Gogh, can park her vintage Shasta trailer and sell her creations, too.
 
Unfortunately, her sales take a hit when a customer returns a painting, claiming it’s haunted. When a fellow vendor discovers images hidden in Celeste’s artwork—and a ghost pays her a late-night visit—she’s shocked to realize she has psychic abilities. After the grumpy manager of the craft fair is found with a knife in his neck, Celeste’s brushes with the paranormal may help fill in the picture—and make sure the wrong person doesn’t get framed . . .

My Review:

I really enjoyed this quirky little cozy mystery about an artist who travels around in a trailer exhibiting her art at craft fairs. She is at her first craft fair in a cute little pink trailer that her family has helped her fix up and so the reader gets to meet her parents and brothers and aunts and it is a delightful escape . As she meets other exhibitors while living near them in their trailers a murder occurs and there are so many suspects and reasons why they could have committed homicide. She had me guessing to the end and I especially liked the paranormal element that comes through in her paintings . This is a fun mystery and easy to read. 

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Autumn 2019 Cozy Giveaway

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Cozy Prizes Friday: A Cup of Holiday Fear

Halloween is officially over so let’s talk Christmas. I feel like Hallmark where it seems to be Christmas all year long. We are starting out the season with a new Bakeshop Mystery from Ellie Alexander. Its Christmas time in Oregon and Torte Bakery is running at top efficiency thanks to the leadership of Jules Capshaw and her mother. The entire town is putting on an incredible Christmas celebration. When Jules treats her staff to a Dicken’s themed dinner at the Winchester Hotel, they discover everything is not so perfect in this land of holiday enchantment. Get ready for plenty of Christmas description to get in the mood for the holiday season. My favorite character was definitely Lance, the theater owner.

Here is the book description:

Ashland, Oregon, looks as pretty as a postcard this holiday season. The halls are decked, stockings hung, and eyes are all aglow—mostly thanks to the buttered rum. Jules Capshaw and her staff at Torte are busier than ever. . . still, even the town’s most in-demand bakers need to take a break. So Jules invites everyone to celebrate at the local Winchester Inn’s Dickens Feast, a six-course extravaganza with Yorkshire Pudding, Christmas goose, and all the trimmings. But as the weather outside becomes frightful, things inside turn less delightful when one of the guests ends up as dead as Scrooge’s doornail. Now it’s up to Jules and her helpers to make a list of suspects—and check it twice—to try to find out who’s naughty, who’s nice, and who’s guilty of murder…

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Autumn 2019 Cozy Giveaway

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My Review:

What better way to prepare for the holidays than in a busy bakeshop? I enjoyed the magical pre-Christmas atmosphere the author created as well as a murder mystery puzzle to solve. The plot moved along at a good rate but at times was slowed by the act of cooking, but there were mouthwatering recipes that were added to the book. I did have an idea who the murderer was early on, but the placement of clues and red herrings was excellent. I would highly recommend this book if you’re in the mood for a Christmas cozy.

Cozy Mystery’s Happy Hinter: Refrigerator Selfie

After writing eight Pecan Bayou mysteries that feature Betsy Livingston Fitzpatrick, AKA The Happy Hinter, I am happy to bring to you some of Betsy’s fictional columns from The Pecan Bayou Gazette. Her life-hacking columns are very popular in a little town like Pecan Bayou. She not only tells you how to do things like stop a leak, but she also makes mention of some of the goings-on in town.

Want more Pecan Bayou? Go to my book page here.

Autumn 2019 Cozy Giveaway

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Autumn Cozy Giveaway Logo A cup of hot chocolate, a good cozy mystery, and a warm fire. Enter for your chance at some cozy cash- a $20 Amazon Gift Card.

This contest is no longer accepting entries.

Cozy Prizes Friday: A Dash of Murder- A Halloween Ghost Hunting Book!

Happy October! I have been busy finalizing the start of the audio book process for my very first novel, A Dash of Murder.  It won’t be available until next year, but if you haven’t read this book yet, you can find it for 99 Cents in ebook form.

This is the beginning of Betsy, Leo, Zach, Aunt Maggie, Danny and Judd. Betsy is surviving as a single parent after her husband walked out on her seven years earlier. This is where she gets her start as a helpful hints writer and the book where she runs headlong into that handsome meteorologist, Leo Fitzpatrick.

READ THE FIRST TWO CHAPTERS OF A DASH OF MURDER HERE

Description:

A Mystery for Ghost Hunters!
When Betsy’s Aunt Maggie wants to drag her along on a ghost hunting excursion at the local abandoned tuberculosis hospital she isn’t sure if she quite believes in ghosts. When she comes upon a fresh spirit in the form of a body, she starts to rethink about what really is haunting the hospital.

I also have a list of discussion questions to be used with book clubs.  If your club does use the book-I would love to hear about it!

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway!

Autumn 2019 Cozy Giveaway

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Autumn Cozy Giveaway Logo A cup of hot chocolate, a good cozy mystery, and a warm fire. Enter for your chance at some cozy cash- a $20 Amazon Gift Card.

This contest is no longer accepting entries.

Cozy Prizes Friday: Fatal Cajun Festival

I love Fall! Time for festivals and in the case of the Fatal Cajun Festival plenty of Cajun food and pralines. Scroll down to read my review of Fatal Cajun Festival and be sure to scroll down and enter my giveaway for a $20 Amazon gift card.

Book Description:

USA Today bestselling and award-winning author Ellen Byron cranks it up to eleven in the fifth fast and funny Cajun Country mystery.

Louisiana B&B owner Maggie Crozat kicks up her heels at a country music festival–but she’ll have one foot in the grave if she can’t bring the killer of a diva’s hanger-on to heel.

Grab your tickets for Cajun Country Live!, the pickers’ and crooners’ answer to the legendary New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Maggie Crozat, proprietor of the Crozat Plantation B&B, plans to be in the cheering section when her friend Gaynell Bourgeois takes the stage with her band, Gaynell and the Gator Girls.

The festival’s headliner, native daughter Tammy Barker, rocketed to stardom on a TV singing competition. She has the voice of an angel…and the personality of a devilish diva. But Maggie learns that this tiny terror carries a grudge against Gaynell. She’s already sabotaged the Gator Girls’ JazzFest audition. When a member of Tammy’s entourage is murdered at the festival, Tammy makes sure Gaynell is number one on the suspect list.

Gaynell has plenty of company on that list–including every one of Tammy’s musicians. Posing as a groupie, Maggie infiltrates Tammy’s band and will have to hit all the right notes to clear her friend’s name.

You can find this book on Amazon!

My Review

4 Stars

Time to visit the big jazz festival in Ellen Byron’s latest installment of her Cajun Country Mystery Series. Not only are there delicious pralines but the winner of a television singing show and her entourage will be appearing. She’s a hometown girl who is feeling her stardom. This mystery is a delightful escape to all things Cajun with sexy cops, tipsy grandmothers and an interesting homicide investigation. I received this book through Net Galley and have left an honest review.

Autumn 2019 Cozy Giveaway

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Autumn Cozy Giveaway Logo A cup of hot chocolate, a good cozy mystery, and a warm fire. Enter for your chance at some cozy cash- a $20 Amazon Gift Card.

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Cozy Prizes Friday: Buried in the Stacks

Two things I love–libraries and stories about hauntings! We’ve got a winner with this one. Evelyn the ghost has some new information coming out about her death in Buried in the Stacks and we have a character interview with the investigative librarian, Carrie Singleton.

Don’t forget to scroll down for the giveaway!


Buried in the Stacks: A Haunted Library Mystery
Crooked Lane Books (September 10, 2019)
Librarian Carrie Singleton is building a haven, but one of her neighbors is misbehavin’. Can resident spirit Evelyn help Carrie catch the culprit who made her a ghost?

In winter, the Haunted Library is a refuge for homeless townspeople. When a group purchases a vacant house to establish a daytime haven for the homeless, Carrie offers the library as a meeting place for the Haven House committee, but quickly learns that it may be used for illegal activities.

As the new Sunshine Delegate, Carrie heads to the hospital to visit her cantankerous colleague, Dorothy, who had fallen outside the local supermarket. She tells Carrie that her husband tried to kill her–and that he murdered her Aunt Evelyn, the library’s resident ghost, six years earlier.

And then Dorothy is murdered–run off the road as soon as she returns to work. Evelyn implores Carrie to find her niece’s killer, but that’s no easy task: Dorothy had made a hobby of blackmailing her neighbors and colleagues. Carrie, Evelyn, and Smoky Joe the cat are on the case, but are the library cards stacked against them?

You can find Buried in the Stacks at these retailers

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...And now a few words from our favorite fictional librarian…Carrie Singleton

Please tell us about your latest adventure.

I helped solve the murder of a fellow librarian and exposed a group that was planning to use a day center for the homeless as a front for their greedy exploits.

Do you have any friends/sidekicks helping you out?

Evelyn Havers, who haunts the library where I work, sometimes helps me, though she also holds back information when her relatives are involved. My best friend Angela, who also works in the library, is often a sounding board for my ideas. So is my boyfriend, Dylan.

Do you have any special skills to fight crime?

I’m persistent and don’t hesitate to ask questions—which occasionally gets me into trouble. As a librarian, my research techniques are quite good, and I’ve recently joined a local group to suss out some suspects .

Are you a full-time detective or do you do something else?

I am the head of programs and events of the Clover Ridge Library in Clover Ridge, CT.

What are you most frightened of in this story?

I am frightened when a car follows me home one night from a meeting that some of the suspects attended.

If I were to choose an actor or actress to play your part in a movie, who would that be? Do you see any other characters in your story as actors or actresses that our readers might know?

I think Natalie Portman would do a great job playing me in a movie.

Do you have other mysteries you would like to tell us about? Is this the first book in the series, or have you cracked a few other cases?

BURIED IN THE STACKS is the third book in the Haunted Library mystery series. In DEATH OVERDUE, the first book in the series, I solve a cold case after a retired homicide detective dies while giving a program about a woman who was murdered fifteen years earlier. In READ AND GONE, my father, a professional thief visits me for the first time in years and is soon accused of murdering the local jeweler. I clear my father and find the real murderer.

Do you have any final words you would like to leave with our readers?

My life is filled with work and people I love; taking care of Smoky Joe, the library cat, and spending time with Dylan. Whenever a mystery or a murder crops up in the beautiful village of Clover Ridge, CT, I find myself smack in the middle of the investigation.

Let’s give your author a chance to speak. Anything you would like to add?

I think Carrie has said it all. She’s doing a terrific job as Clover Ridge Library’s head of programs and events and she’s become quite an accomplished investigator.

 

About Allison Brook

Allison Brook is the pseudonym for Marilyn Levinson, who writes mysteries, romantic suspense, and novels for kids. She lives on Long Island and enjoys traveling, reading, watching foreign films, doing Sudoku and dining out. She especially loves to visit with her grandchildren on FaceTime.

Author Links

Website: http://www.marilynlevinson.com

My Amazon page: http://amzn.to/K6Md1O

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marilyn.levinson.10?ref=ts&fref=ts

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