Posted in Reviews

Review of Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus

*****5 stars

I enjoyed this book. I felt it was charming and featured both funny and sad parts. The characters were well depicted, especially Elizabeth Zott, the chemist turned TV cooking star, and her dog Six-Thirty. I thought it was a nice touch to show the feelings and thoughts of the dog.

This bestselling novel takes place in the 1960’s when it was believed that a woman’s place was in the home and most women didn’t work. If they did, it was as teachers or secretaries. Elizabeth Zott followed a different path. She went into science and met her lover, Calvin, a fellow scientist, on the job. Their first meeting was when she stole some beakers from his office. Their second was even less complimentary as he threw up on her. But when they finally get together, they realize how much they have in common, including unhappy childhoods. Calvin had been an orphan, but his adoptive parents were killed in an accident and then he lost the aunt who took him in, so he ended up at an orphanage.

Without revealing the rest of the story, which has several twists, Calvin and Elizabeth don’t marry because she prefers to be an independent woman and wants her work considered on its own merits and not on Calvin’s. A turn of fate leaves her alone with a daughter, Mad (short for Madeline), and a dog, Six-Thirty. Both are quick learners and quite precocious. They end up helping Elizabeth after she’s fired from her job and is offered one as a cooking show hostess. While the producers have something else in mind, she steers the show toward the chemistry of which food is composed. Housewives love her, but men are not so happy because the advice she doles out along with her scientific recipes encourages their wives to go back to school, stand up to them, and live their own lives.

The ending is happy and features a twist that made sense but that I didn’t expect. This is a different type of book but one I certainly recommend to readers.



Posted in retirement

Debbie’s Retirement Life Week 12: Day 120, 4/21/23 (Podcast and New Book)

This is my April blog post about my post-retirement adventures. It’s been four months since I retired from the library, but I’ve been working there part-time as a sub since February. I’m hoping to continue that until my move in the fall.

On St. Patrick’s Day in March, I went on an adventure with my daughter and a friend. We visited Jones Beach to look for seals. It was a chilly day but not extremely cold. I wore a seal hat I purchased for the occasion. During our walk over the sand, I tripped. I wasn’t badly hurt, but I was achy for a while afterwards. My daughter got to see the seals from a distance and took a few photos.

In march, I also viewed the Beyond Van Gogh exhibit with two friends. It featured an immersive viewing of the artist’s work.

At the end of March, I attended my co-worker’s retirement party, and in early April, I had my nails painted a pretty pink for Easter and spring.

We celebrated Easter at home. I helped my daughter cook a delicious ham meal and created an Easter graphic featuring our cats.

I’ve also entered the Cat Writers’Association’s annual contest with three entries for my cozy mystery, The Case of the Cat Crazy Lady and my two short stories, “Sneaky’s Supernatural Mystery” from my book, Sneaky’s Supernatural Mystery and Other Cobble Cove Stories and “First Christmas with Kittens” from the anthology, The Cat in the Christmas Tree and Other and True Stories of Feline Joy and Merry Mischief.

I finished writing my third Buttercup Bend cozy mystery, THE CASE OF THE LLAMA RAISING LIBRARIAN and hope to submit it to my publisher in May.

I also had a podcast interview by Donnie Lansdale about me, my books, and the wonderful Facebook group, The Writers Forum. You can listen to it here:

My cozy mystery, The Case of the Cat Crazy Lady, has been included in the new release, Sleuths and Surprises, a collection of cozies by two other authors, Janie Owens and Jessica Brimer.

In May, over Mother’s Day weekend, I’ll be having the first of possibly three garage sales at my home in Hicksville. If any of you are local, there will be many great items, some brand new, at very low prices.

Thanks for reading about my retirement adventures.  I’ll post another update in May.

Posted in Reviews

Review of The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles

***3 stars

I read this book for a book club. I enjoyed the beginning and felt it had a lot of promise. The story takes place in 1954. I liked the premise featuring the main character, Emmett, a young man who is released from serving a sentence at a juvenile prison for accidentally killing a youth. He’s released after his father dies and goes home to his house in Nebraska where he is reunited with his younger brother, Billy. Not known to Emmett, two of his fellow prisoners have escaped and hidden in the sheriff’s trunk. When the sheriff brings him home, they get out of the car and hide, later announcing themselves to Emmett.

As the story progresses, a turn of events causes Emmett, his brother, and the two inmates, Duchess and Woolly, to take to the road for different reasons. Emmett wants to head to California to start a house flipping business. Billy also wants to go to California because he believes their mother lives there after leaving them years ago and sending postcards from spots on the Lincoln Highway. Duchess wants to locate people from his past to even scores, and Woolly, who has a condition that is never explained in the book but makes him appear dimwitted and in need of medication, just tags along for the ride. Another person who later joins them is Sally, a neighbor of Emmett and Billy, who has a crush on Emmett.

I liked the way that each chapter is told by a different person, but I found that this lengthy novel meandered in the middle. Toward the end, there was a twist that brought my interest back, but the ending itself was a disappointment. Unless the author is planning a sequel, I don’t feel that enough was revealed to tie up many of the loose ends. Although this hasn’t been the best book I’ve read, others may have a different opinion.





Posted in Blog Tour, Spotlight

Spotlight and Blog Tour for Bowled Over Americano by Carolyn Arnold

Bowled Over Americano (Sara and Sean Cozy Mystery Series)
by Carolyn Arnold

About Bowled Over Americano

Bowled Over Americano (Sara and Sean Cozy Mystery Series)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – New York
Hibbert & Stiles Publishing Inc. (April 11, 2023)
Print length ‏ : ‎ 263 pages
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0BKQC62FH

Sara Cain isn’t your typical thirty-two-year-old woman. Murder detective by day, writer and… sleuth by night? Just as long as there’s enough coffee to keep her going…

When her first novel gives her trouble, Sara goes for a walk to clear her writer’s block and ends up stumbling right into a real-life murder mystery. Magnum, an adventurous beagle, comes running off leash toward her in the local park, and she returns him home only to find his master dead on the entry floor.

Cliff Cunningham was a championship bowler with a mean streak and a temper, and police are pegging his Golden Pin bowling trophy as the murder weapon. While any number of people could have clocked a strike by knocking him on the noggin, the prime suspect is a friend of Sara’s mother—and she expects Sara to prove the woman’s innocence. A tall order, as the case isn’t officially hers and belongs to a rival detective.

But a promise is a promise, and Sara soon finds herself sleuthing undercover—and off the clock—in a world of polyester shirts and rental shoes. It’s not all bad, though, as she’s taking her friend and partner Sean McKinley along for the ride. They are better together than they’ve ever been split, and they’re not amateurs at finding killers.

Despite being up against small-town hijinks and colorful characters who threaten to roll their efforts into the gutter, they are having fun. That is, until they get close to the killer and a dangerous twist puts their lives at risk.

A completely addictive caper full of twists that offers up a serving of murder, a dollop of romance, and a dash of humor. This perfect blend of robust and sweet is bound to hit the spot with readers who are fans of Verity Bright, Tonya Kappes, and Agatha Frost.

About Carolyn Arnold

CAROLYN ARNOLD is an internationally bestselling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has several continuing fiction series and has many published books. Her genre diversity offers readers police procedurals, hard-boiled and cozy mysteries, thrillers, and action adventures. Her crime fiction series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining. This led to her adopting the trademark: POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™.

Carolyn was born in a small town and enjoys spending time outdoors, but she also loves the lights of a big city. Grounded by her roots and lifted by her dreams, her overactive imagination insists that she tell her stories. Her intention is to touch the hearts of millions with her books, to entertain, inspire, and empower.

She currently lives near London, Ontario, Canada with her husband and two beagles.

Author Links







Purchase Links – AmazoniTunesB&NKoboGoogleSmashwords


April 11 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT WITH EXCERPT

April 11 – Baroness Book Trove – REVIEW

April 12 – I’m Into Books – SPOTLIGHT

April 12 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – SPOTLIGHT WITH EXCERPT

April 13 – fundinmental – REVIEW

April 13 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee – SPOTLIGHT

April 14 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW



April 15 – Guatemala Paula Loves to Read – REVIEW

April 16 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT

April 17 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

April 18 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

April 18 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

April 19 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW

April 19 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT

April 20 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT WITH EXCERPT

April 20 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

April 21 – Novels Alive – REVIEW

April 21 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

April 22 – Nadaness In Motion – REVIEW WITH EXCERPT

April 22 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT

April 23 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT

April 24 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

April 24 – Ebook addicts – REVIEW

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?
Click Here to Find Details and Sign Up Today!


Posted in Blog Tour, Guest Post

Guest Post and Blog Tour for A Wealth of Deception, A Scandal Mountain Antiques Mystery by Trish Esden

A Wealth of Deception (A Scandal Mountain Antiques Mystery)
by Trish Esden

About A Wealth of Deception

A Wealth of Deception (A Scandal Mountain Antiques Mystery)
Traditional Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Vermont
Crooked Lane Books (April 18, 2023)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 336 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 163910254X
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1639102549
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0B6Z76QTK

Danger, art, and a touch of romance collide in Trish Esden’s second exquisitely crafted Scandal Mountain Antiques mystery, perfect for fans of Jane K. Cleland and Connie Berry.

Some people are willing to die for their art. Others are willing to kill for it.

When Vermont antique and art dealer Edie Brown discovers an unsettlingly dark collage by the famed reclusive “outsider” artist known only as Vespa, she opens a Pandora’s Box of deception and danger.

Edie teams up with Uncle Tuck and Kala to investigate the background of the collage but only uncover secrets that are more disturbing than the artwork itself. As Edie tracks down the validity of the piece, she stumbles into an art underground where some people are willing to kill to keep their schemes a secret.

Esden expertly crafts a complex cast of characters, a breathtakingly gorgeous setting, and a twisty plot that often poses more questions than answers.


A Wealth of Deception: Inspired by Memory Boxes, Collages, and the Healing Power of Art

At the very beginning of A WEALTH OF DECEPTON antique and art dealer, Edie Brown, tells the reader about reluctantly creating a memory box after the death of her beloved grandparents.

“When I was seventeen, my grandparents died in a plane crash. A single-engine plane. Within sight of our house. The therapist suggested I create a memory box dedicated to them. I didn’t tell her I’d already declared the field where they went down a living memorial, at least in my mind. Instead of opening my heart, I bristled and did as she asked, gluing photographs, newspaper articles, and other odds and ends into the craft store box she provided. Then I closed the box’s lid and scrawled orange and red flames on the outside, crayons snapping under the ferocity of my grip.”

Despite Edie’s general dislike for the therapist and aversion to the project, creating the memory box has a profound influence on her life, not only helping her through the traumatic loss but instilling in her a sense of empathy toward others suffering from horrific and life-altering experiences.

Later in the novel, when Edie discovers a disturbing collage with a questionable provenance, her art therapy experience is a large part of what drives her to untangle the mystery of who really created it.

For me as the author, this interplay between Edie’s traumatic backstory, art, and healing made the perfect springboard for A WEALTH OF DECEPTION. I asked myself, given Edie’s past, what type of art or antique related crime would challenge her the most? From there, I developed the emotionally raw collage she discovers. Next I created a cast of troubled characters each with their own difficult story to tell.

Most importantly, I wanted A WEALTH OF DECEPTION TO end with an uplifting sense of redemption and that right had triumphed over hardship. In other words, like the process of healing through art therapy, I wanted the story to help Edie and other characters she comes to care about to find their way past trauma and to a place where they can rebuild their lives.

About Trish Esden

Trish Esden loves museums, gardens, wilderness, dogs and birds, in various orders depending on the day. She lives in northern Vermont where she deals antiques with her husband, a profession she’s been involved with since her teens. Don’t ask what her favorite type of antique is. She loves hunting for old bottles and rusty barn junk as much as she enjoys fine art and furnishings. Trish is the author of the Scandal Mountain Antiques Mystery series which explores the secretive and adrenaline-charged underbelly of the antique and art world.

Author Links


April 12 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

April 12 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT


April 13 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

April 13 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR GUEST POST

April 13 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT

April 14 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – SPOTLIGHT

April 14 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – CHARACTER GUEST POST

April 14 – Valerie’s Musings – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

April 15 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

April 15 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee – SPOTLIGHT

April 16 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

April 16 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

April 17 – StoreyBook Reviews – AUTHOR GUEST POST

April 17 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW

April 17 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – REVIEW

April 18 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

April 18 – Guatemala Paula Loves to Read – REVIEW

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?
Click Here to Find Details and Sign Up Today!

Posted in Reviews

Review of The Golden Spoon by Jessa Maxwell

Note: I read this book on NetGalley before it was published. It’s now available for purchase at

*****5 stars.

I loved this book. Part of the appeal to me is that I’ve watched The Great British Bake Off and recognized many of the similarities. Each chapter is told by a different character who is a contestant on the Bake Week show. Besides getting to know each of these people, we also meet the hostess, Betsy Martin, whose home, a Vermont mansion, is where the contestants stay when they’re not baking in the tent. The novel opens with the murder, but it’s not revealed who has been killed.

As contestants are eliminated, it seems someone is tampering with the kitchen, switching the sugar with the salt, lowering the oven’s temperature, etc. Is this the killer? The reader doesn’t find out until other mysteries are solved. One of the subplots involve Lottie, a contestant who grew up with Betsy and is at the contest for the hidden reason of finding out what happened to her mother who worked as a cook at the mansion and disappeared when she was a young girl.

This reads like an Agatha Christie mystery, and I would consider it a cozy culinary mystery, although there aren’t recipes. This is the author’s first book, and it’s a winner. Don’t miss it. Lots of fun and several twists round out this charming tale.


Posted in Blog Tour, Spotlight

Spotlight and Blog Tour for The Little Shop of Murders (Collected Cozy Mysteries)

The Little Shop of Murders (Collected Cozy Mysteries) By Millie Ravensworth, ACF Bookens, Geraldine Byrne, Rachel McLean, Diane Kelly, Nikki Knight, London Lovett, Lise McClendon, Flora McGowan, Kathryn Mykel, J. New, Eryn Scott, Debbie Young, Victoria Tait, Carlene O’Connor

By Millie Ravensworth, ACF Bookens, Geraldine Byrne, Rachel McLean, Diane Kelly, Nikki Knight, London Lovett, Lise McClendon, Flora McGowan, Kathryn Mykel, J. New, Eryn Scott, Debbie Young, Victoria Tait, Carlene O’Connor

About The Little Shop of Murders

The Little Shop of Murders (Collected Cozy Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery Anthology
Pigeon Park Press (April 1, 2023)
Number of Pages – 260
GoodReads is down – Link Coming Soon

Book shops, boutiques and small businesses are the lifeblood of small towns but what secrets lie behind those pretty display windows and in the alleyways behind these charming streets?

Step inside for a personal retail experience like no other!

‘The Little Shop of Murders’ collects together fifteen superb cozy mysteries written by some of the finest authors in the genre.

All author and publisher profits from the sale of this book go to children’s charities, helping those most in need.

Stories include:

Don’t Toy with Me by Diane Kelly
A Man With No Imagination by Millie Ravensworth
The Forget-Me-Not Antiques Mystery by Victoria Tait
It Was Our Song by Nikki Knight
Always and Furever by Eryn Scott
Wild Irish Dreams by Lise McClendon
Architect of a Murder by Carlene O’Connor
Blooms and Blackmail by London Lovett
Secondhand Murder by J. New
The Lady of the House by Flora McGowan
Requiem for a Violin by Geraldine Byrne
Nightly Nuisance by Kathryn Mykel
The Gift of Dragons by ACF Bookens
Nowhere to Hide by Debbie Young
Murder in the Bookshop by Rachel McLean

About the Authors

Victoria Tait

Victoria Tait was born and raised in Yorkshire, UK, and never expected to travel the world. She’s drawn on her experiences following her military husband to write cozy murder mystery books with vivid and evocative settings. Her determined female sleuths are joined by colourful but realistic teams of helpers, and you’ll experience surprises, humour and sometimes, a tug on your heartstrings.

Link to My Dotty Sayers series:

Carlene O’Connor

Carlene O’Connor is the USA Today bestselling author of The Irish Village Mysteries, Home to Ireland Mysteries, and the new County Kerry Mystery series. Her mysteries have been translated into German, Estonia, and UK markets thus far and the Irish Village Mysteries have been optioned for television. Readers are encouraged to get in touch via Facebook, Goodreads, Book Bub, or through the contact form on An admitted wanderer, Carlene spends as much time in Ireland as possible while currently residing in California and Chicago. She is always up for joining events via Zoom or in person.

Eryn Scott

Eryn Scott is the author of heartwarming cozy mysteries. Her Whiskers and Words cozy mystery series features deep friendships, strong families, a tight-knit small town, twisty mysteries, and a whole lot of adorable cats. She and her husband live in the Pacific Northwest with a handful of beloved animals. She enjoys knitting, hiking, skiing, horseback riding, and reading.

Link to my series:

Flora McGowan

Flora McGowan is the author of the Carrie and Keith Mysteries, novels and short stories. Her stories combine a mix of mystery with the mystical and supernatural, often with an historical element as well as a touch of humour and a dash of romance. Flora was born in Dorset and has spent most, but not all, of her life there, and many of her stories are based in this locale. Flora enjoys travelling, taking inspiration from the places she visits. You can catch up with Flora via Goodreads, her blog, Facebook, Instagram or BookBub.

Flora McGowan on Amazon

Nikki Knight

Nikki Knight describes herself as an Author/Anchor/Mom…not in that order. An award-winning weekend anchor at New York City’s top all-news radio station, 1010 WINS, she writes mysteries including LIVE, LOCAL, AND DEAD, a Vermont Radio Mystery from Crooked Lane, and as Kathleen Marple Kalb, the Ella Shane and Old Stuff series. Her short stories appear online and in anthologies, and have been short-listed for Black Orchid Novella and Derringer Awards. She, her husband and son live in a Connecticut house owned by their cat.

Book link: Live, Local, and Dead (A Vermont Radio Mystery): Knight, Nikki: 9781643859453: Books

Diane Kelly

Diane Kelly writes funny stories that feature feisty female lead characters and their furry, four-footed friends. Diane is the author of over three dozen novels and novellas, including the Death & Taxes white-collar crime series, the Paw Enforcement K-9 series, the House Flipper cozy mystery series, the Busted female motorcycle cop series, the Southern Homebrew moonshine series, and the Mountain Lodge Mysteries series. Find Diane online at, on Twitter and Instagram @DianeKellyBooks, and on Facebook at her Author Diane Kelly page.

Link to the first book in my House Flipper series – Dead as a Door Knocker:

J New

J. New is the author of The Yellow Cottage Vintage Mysteries. Immerse yourself in country house murders, dastardly deeds at English Church fetes, daring escapades in the French Riviera and the secret tunnels under London, in the award-winning series readers call, ‘Miss Marple’ meets ‘The Ghost Whisperer.’ She also writes two contemporary mystery series: Tea & Sympathy featuring Lilly Tweed, former Agony Aunt now purveyor of fine teas and Finch & Fischer with mobile librarian Penny Finch and her rescue dog Fischer at the helm. Jacquie lives in the North of England with her partner and an assortment of rescue animals.

London Lovett

London Lovett is a cozy mystery author and connoisseur of delicious baked goods.

Many readers have called her Port Danby Cozy Mystery series a ‘new favorite’. Port Danby features a small town florist with a powerful sense of smell. Lacey ‘Pink’ Pinkerton uses her impressive nose to help solve crimes as an amateur sleuth alongside her detective boyfriend, James Briggs. Blooms and Blackmail is a Port Danby short story.

You can keep up with London’s books and access some delicious recipes on her website:

Link to Marigolds and Murder:

Debbie Young

Debbie Young writes two popular cozy mystery series featuring Sophie Sayers, set in a Cotswold village, and Gemma Lamb, set at a girls’ boarding school. One book in each series was shortlisted for the Bookbrunch Selfies Awards for the best independently-published fiction in the UK. She is founder of the Hawkesbury Upton Literature Festival, UK Ambassador for the Alliance of Independent Authors, and a course tutor for Jericho Writers. She writes in the Plotting Shed at the bottom of her cottage garden. Her novels are now published by Boldwood Books and she is represented by the Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency.

Here’s the Amazon UK link for the whole series (the 8th book is up for preorder and will be published on 15th March):

Here are the links for my website and social media:

Facebook: @AuthorDebbieYoung

Twitter: @DebbieYoungBN

Instagram: @debbieyoungauthor

ACF Bookens

ACF Bookens lives in Virginia’s Southwestern Mountains with two hound dogs and a very energetic preschooler. When she’s not writing, she enjoys watching shows with teenagers who are way cooler than she ever was and cross-stitch. You can find her books at

Link to my first book on Amazon –

Kathryn Mykel

Kathryn Mykel is the author of the Award-Winning Sewing Suspicion – A Quilting Cozy Mystery. Kathryn is inspired by the laugh-out-loud and fanciful aspects of cozies. Kathryn Mykel aims to write lighthearted, humorous cozies surrounding her passion for the craft of quilting. Born and raised in a small New England town—Kathryn is an avid quilter.

Sewing Suspicion –

Lise McCLendon

Lise McClendon is the author of numerous novels of crime and suspense. Her bestselling Bennett Sisters Mysteries continue to charm readers worldwide. Her first mystery series was set in Jackson, Wyoming, featuring art dealer, Alix Thorssen. When not writing about foreign lands and dastardly criminals, Lise lives in Montana with her husband and has recently become a fan of sunny winters in the desert. She enjoys fly fishing, hiking, picking raspberries in the summer, and cross-country skiing in the winter. She has served on the national boards of directors of Mystery Writers of America and the International Association of Crime Writers/North America, as well as the faculty of the Jackson Hole Writers Conference.

Books: Bennett Sisters Mysteries: Alix Thorssen series:

Geraldine Byrne

Geraldine Moorkens Byrne is an Irish mystery writer, poet and educator. She lives with her family in Dublin where many of her stories are set, especially The Caroline Jordan series. When not dreaming up modern murder mysteries, she knits, crochets and teaches classes on Irish folk traditions. Until 2021 she owned Ireland’s oldest family owned music shop, the basis for “Requiem for a Violin.” Mrs. O’Brien and friends will return in their own series in 2023, The Music Shop Mysteries.

She also writes a magical cosy mystery series, The Old Bat Chronicles under the pen name Nina Hayes.

Geraldine Moorkens Byrne

Millie Ravensworth

Millie Ravensworth has been writing (and sewing!) for years, and it seemed like a natural step to combine the two things in a series of cozy mysteries. She lives in England and has an adorable dog who likes to be at her side when she is sewing / writing, but he’d much rather she played fetch with his favourite toy!

Izzy King and Penny Slipper who appear in the story in this collection can also be found in the Cozy Craft Mystery books that are available to read now.

Rachel McLean

Rachel McLean is an award-winning crime author who writes UK-based police procedurals. She is best known for the Dorset Crime series and the DI Zoe Finch series set in her home city of Birmingham. Book 1 in the Dorset Crime series, The Corfe Castle Murders, won the Kindle Storyteller Award 2021. Her new McBride and Tanner series is set around Loch Lomond in Scotland. Link to Zoe books:

A full bibliography and reading order can be found at

Purchase Link – Amazon – The Little Shop of Murder


April 3 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

April 3 – Reading Is My SuperPower – AUTHOR GUEST POST

April 4 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, AUTHOR GUEST POST

April 4 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT

April 5 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

April 5 – Nadaness In Motion – AUTHOR GUEST POST

April 6 – I’m Into Books – SPOTLIGHT

April 6 – Socrates Book Reviews – AUTHOR GUEST POST

April 7 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR GUEST POST

April 7 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW

April 8 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

April 8 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – AUTHOR GUEST POST

April 9 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee – SPOTLIGHT

April 9 – Guatemala Paula Loves to Read – REVIEW

April 10 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT

April 10 – Carla Loves To Read – REVIEW, AUTHOR GUEST POST

April 11 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – AUTHOR GUEST POST

April 11 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

April 12 – Baroness Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT

April 12 – Novels Alive – REVIEW


April 13 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT

April 14 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

April 15 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT

April 15 – Rebecca Douglass, Author – REVIEW, AUTHOR GUEST POST

April 16 – The Mystery Section – SPOTLIGHT

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here to Find Details and Sign Up Today!

Posted in Blog Tour, Recipe, Spotlight

Spotlight, Recipe, and Blog Tour for Four Parties and a Funeral

Four Parties and a Funeral (A Catering Hall Mystery)
by Maria DiRico

About Four Parties and a Funeral

Four Parties and a Funeral (A Catering Hall Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – New York
Kensington Cozies (March 28, 2023)
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496739701
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496739704
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0B6DBV3WV

In this fresh and witty cozy mystery series set amid an extended Italian-American family in Astoria, Queens, catering hall owner and amateur sleuth Mia Carina must solve a murder on the set of a reality show.

The June events schedule at Belle View is busting out all over—proms, graduations, and of course, weddings. There are unexpected bookings too, including a casting call for the pilot of Dons of Ditmars Boulevard. But soon, Mia’s fears about the cheesy reality show are confirmed . . .

Belle View quickly becomes the site of a sea of wanna-be goombahs and phony girlfriends, and some of Mia’s friends insist on getting in on the action. The production company owner and his executive producer ex-wife—who’s also very minor British royalty—have assembled a motley crew that does as much infighting and backstabbing as the on-screen “talent.” Even so, it’s a shock when a dead body is found in the pool house of a local mansion rented by the show . . .

Murder might boost the ratings. But Mia intends to make sure the killer gets jail time, not airtime . . .

Italian recipes included!


Italian Wedding Cookies

You don’t have to wait for a wedding to make these delicious, crumbly cookies.


  • 11⁄2 stick unsalted butter
  • 3⁄4 to 1 cup powdered sugar*
  • 3⁄4 tsp. salt
  • 11⁄2 cup finely ground nuts (I use slivered unsalted
  • almonds and grind them with a
  • Magic Bullet. But you can use a food
  • processor or blender.)
  • 11⁄2 tsp. vanilla extract**
  • 3 tsp. almond extract***
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1⁄3 + cup powdered sugar for rolling the cookies


Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Cream the butter in a large bowl. Slowly cream in the powdered sugar and salt until well combined. Cream in the ground almonds (or your choice of nuts), then the vanilla and almond extracts.

Add the flour slowly—1⁄2 cup at a time. The dough will be extremely crumbly. I sometimes use my hands—very clean hands!—to combine it.

Using your hands, take about a tablespoon of dough and form it into a ball or crescent. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 15–20 minutes. You don’t want the cookies to get too


Place the 1⁄3 cup of powdered sugar in a small bowl. Let the cookies cool a little—you want them to harden so they don’t fall apart, but to retain a little heat so the sugar will stick to them—and roll them in the sugar.

Servings: about 30 cookies. For more cookies, you can make the balls or crescents smaller. But adjust the cooking time so you don’t burn them.

*I use 1 cup of powdered sugar because I like the cookies a little sweeter. But ¾ cup is fine to use and may make the dough a little bit less dry.

**If you’re like me and can’t get enough almond flavor, substitute additional almond extract for the vanilla, so you’re adding 41⁄2 teaspoons of almond extract to the dough. If you don’t want almond flavor, use 41⁄2 teaspoons of vanilla.

***You can also substitute anise or do a mix of anise and vanilla for another traditional Italian flavor.

About Maria DiRico

Maria DiRico is the pseudonym for Ellen Byron, author of the award-winning, USA Today bestselling Cajun Country Mysteries. Born in Queens, New York, she is first-generation Italian-American on her mother’s side and the granddaughter of a low-level Jewish mobster on her father’s side. She grew up visiting the Astoria Manor and Grand Bay Marina catering halls, which were run by her Italian mother’s family in Queens and have become the inspiration for her Catering Hall Mystery Series. DiRico has been a writer-producer for hit television series like Wings and Just Shoot Me, and her first play, Graceland, appears in the Best Short Plays collection. She’s a freelance journalist, with over 200 articles published in national magazines, and previously worked as a cater-waiter for Martha Stewart, a credit she never tires of sharing. A native New Yorker who attended Tulane University, Ellen lives in Los Angeles with her husband, daughter, and two rescue dogs.

Author Links – Website Chicks on the CaseFacebook Twitter

Purchase Links – AmazonB&NKobo IndieBoundKensington


March 29 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT

March 29 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – SPOTLIGHT WITH RECIPE

March 30 – I’m Into Books – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

March 30 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT WITH RECIPE

March 31 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

March 31 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW

April 1 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT WITH EXCERPT

April 1 – Mythical Books – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT

April 2 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee – SPOTLIGHT

April 2 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT


April 3 – My Reading Journeys – SPOTLIGHT

April 4 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

April 4 – Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder – REVIEW, RECIPE

April 5 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

April 5 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

April 6 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

April 6 – The Mystery of Writing – SPOTLIGHT

April 7 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW


April 9 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW

April 10 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT

April 10 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

April 11 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here to Find Details and Sign Up Today!

Posted in Reviews

Review of Zero Days by Ruth Ware

*Note: This book was an advanced reader’s copy from Net Galley. It will be published on June 20 2023, and is available for pre-order on Amazon at

****4 stars

As a fan of Ruth Ware, I was eager to read this advanced copy of her new book. I initially found it interesting because of the main character, Jack’s, short for Jacintha’s, profession. She’s a pen tester (penetration tester) for companies, which means she breaks into them to find weak spots in their security. She’s assisted by her husband, Gabe, a computer software coder. After a tricky night in which she’s caught entering a building and can’t reach anyone including Gabe to vouch for her, Jack is released by the police and goes home to find her husband dead with his neck slashed.

Reading the rest of the book, in which Jack searches for her husband’s killer, I was hoping for Ware’s usual twist. I felt that there was a scarcity of characters. Jack first suspects her ex-boyfriend who is a police officer. She confides in her sister and her husband’s best friend but then finds herself on the run as her alibi is seen as sketchy, and the police believe she murdered Gabe.

I didn’t find the revelation of the person responsible for Gabe’s death to be a surprise. The twist that does finally arrive at the book’s end is one I considered earlier but didn’t involve the killing and had only a minor impact on my overall impression of the story.

I would still recommend this book to Ruth Ware fans, even though I don’t feel it’s her best.

Posted in Blog Tour, Spotlight

Spotlight and Blog Tour for A Flicker of a Doubt, A Fairy Garden Mystery by Daryl Wood Gerber

A Flicker of a Doubt (A Fairy Garden Mystery)
by Daryl Wood Gerber

About A Flicker of a Doubt

A Flicker of a Doubt (A Fairy Garden Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – California
Kensington Cozies (March 28, 2023)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 320 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496741277
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496741271
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0B6DBQ5CM

Fairies are trending hard, especially when it comes to fairy garden décor in Walmart and Target and on Amazon. The latest installment in the nationally bestselling Daryl Wood Gerber’s Fairy Garden mysteries is a perfect read for Laura Childs readers and all fans of whimsy and charm.

With a theater foundation tea and an art show planned at Violet Vickers’s estate, Courtney is hired to create charming fairy gardens for the event. It’s not so charming, however, when her best friend Meaghan’s ex-boyfriend turns out to be Violet’s latest artistic protégé. Even worse, not long after Meaghan locks horns with him, his body is found in her yard, bludgeoned with an objet d’murder.

There’s a gallery of suspects, from an unstable former flame to an arts and crafts teacher with a sketchy past. But when the cops focus on Meaghan’s business partner, who’s like a protective older brother to her, and discover he also has a secret financial motive, Courtney decides to draw her own conclusions. Fearing they’re missing the forest for the trees, and with some help from Fiona the sleuthing fairy, she hopes to make them see the light . . .

About Daryl Wood Gerber

Agatha Award-winning author Daryl Wood Gerber is best known for her nationally bestselling Fairy Garden Mysteries, Cookbook Nook Mysteries, and French Bistro Mysteries. As Avery Aames, she penned the popular Cheese Shop Mysteries. In addition, Daryl writes the Aspen Adams Novels of Suspense as well as stand-alone suspense. Daryl loves to cook, fairy garden, and read. She has a frisky Goldendoodle who keeps her in line. And she has been known to jump out of a perfectly good airplane and hitch-hike around Ireland alone. You can learn more on her website: httsp://

Author Links


Purchase Links – AmazonB&NKoboBookshop


March 21 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

March 21 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT

March 21 – The Plain-Spoken Pen – REVIEW, AUTHOR GUEST POST

March 22 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW

March 22 – Angel’s Guilty Pleasures – SPOTLIGHT

March 22 – I’m Into Books – SPOTLIGHT

March 22 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – REVIEW

March 23 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

March 23 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW, RECIPE

March 23 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW

March 24 – Books to the Ceiling – SPOTLIGHT & PODCAST

March 24 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT

March 24 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW

March 24 – Baroness Book Trove – REVIEW

March 24 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT


March 25 – StoreyBook Reviews – AUTHOR GUEST POST

March 25 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT

March 25 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT

March 26 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW

March 26 – Jane Reads – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

March 26 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

March 27 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

March 27 – Literary Gold – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

March 27 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee – SPOTLIGHT

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here to Find Details and Sign Up Today!