Twelve Angry Librarians – REVIEW

4 out of 5 stars.

Twelve Angry Librarians is the latest installment in the Cat in the Stacks mystery series by Miranda James. I enjoyed it and I enjoyed visiting characters I love again, but this one didn’t hold my attention as well as some of the others in the series.

Book Cover: A Cat in the Stacks Mystery: Twelve Angry Librarians by Miranda James - auditorium background, Maine coon cat sitting on counter with a pile of books and a sign saying "Librarian Convention"

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Brief Synopsis

Light-hearted librarian Charlie Harris is known around his hometown of Athena, Mississippi, for walking his cat, a rescued Maine Coon named Diesel. But he may soon be taken for a walk himself—in handcuffs…
 
Charlie is stressed out. The Southern Academic Libraries Association is holding this year’s annual meeting at Athena College. Since Charlie is the interim library director, he must deliver the welcome speech to all the visiting librarians. And as if that weren’t bad enough, the keynote address will be delivered by Charlie’s old nemesis from library school.

It’s been thirty years since Charlie has seen Gavin Fong, and he’s still an insufferable know-it-all capable of getting under everyone’s skin. In his keynote, Gavin puts forth a most unpopular opinion: that degreed librarians will be obsolete in the academic libraries of the future. So when Gavin drops dead, no one seems too upset…

But Charlie, who was seen having a heated argument with Gavin the day before, has jumped to the top of the suspect list. Now Charlie and Diesel must check out every clue to refine their search for the real killer among them before the next book Charlie reads comes from a prison library…

Review

As I stated above, while I enjoyed this latest installment to a point, it didn’t hold my attention as well as previous books in the series. I’ve always been eager to read the new book and devoured it quickly. This one, I actually set aside for a few weeks after starting it (because I had other books to read for blog tours) and then went back to it. I don’t know why it wasn’t holding my attention as well, it just didn’t.

It was still a lovely visit with favorite characters – Charlie, Diesel, Helen Louise, Stewart & Haskell, etc. I’ve enjoyed these characters throughout the series and it’s always fun to visit them in a new book. These are complex characters and many are at a crossroads in their lives in this book (I’m not saying anything more because I don’t want to spoil the book for you!).

I suppose it’s possible that this one wasn’t as riveting for me because while we were still in Athena, the plot centered around a library convention being held so there were more “strangers” and less of our favorite characters.

I did thoroughly enjoy the plot twist that occurred. I certainly did not see that coming! Karma really is a bitch. Again, I don’t want to spoil anything so that’s all I’m going to say about that!

I do recommend this book, especially if you’re already a fan of the series. If you haven’t read the series before, I highly suggest you start at the beginning with Murder Past Due. While the mysteries themselves stand alone, Charlie’s life does change quite a bit during the course of the series and you’ll understand it all better if you start at the beginning!

About the Author – Miranda James

I am a native of Mississippi and recently returned to live in Jackson after spending thirty-three years in Houston, Texas. I have loved mysteries since I discovered Nancy Drew at the age of ten. At twelve or thirteen I wrote a mystery and even submitted it to a publisher — and promptly received a form rejection letter. That dashed my hopes for a writing career for a while, but I went back to writing mysteries while I was in graduate school in Rice. My first published adult mystery was actually the second one I wrote: CRUEL AS THE GRAVE was published in 2000.

Since then I have published twenty additional mysteries, the latest of which is TWELVE ANGRY LIBRARIANS, the eighth in the Cat in the Stacks series. In my day-to-day life I am a librarian like Charlie (except my specialty is medical libraries) and I have two cats, neither of whom is a Maine Coon. I love reading and writing mysteries and taking care of two spoiled cats (that’s probably redundant–all cats are spoiled because they generally accept no less). I write mysteries to entertain readers and help them relax and get away from the pressures of daily life. That’s why I read them myself.

 

 

 

 

Blog Tour – Death By Chocolate Lab

Banner: Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours Presents Death by Chocolate Lab by Bethany Blake - March 6-March 17, 2017 - Banner includes photo of the author and the book cover

4 out of 5 stars.

Today, I’m hosting a stop on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for Death by Chocolate Lab which is the first book in the Lucky Paws Petsitting Mystery series by Bethany Blake. The book was a great read and a good start to a new series.

Book Cover: A Lucky Paws Petsitting Mystery: Death by Chocolate Lab by Bethany Blake - sidewalk outside a bookstore - books flying out the window and a brown labrador sniffing at them - basset hound looking on

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Brief Synopsis

Pet sitter Daphne Templeton has a soft spot for every stray and misfit who wanders into the quaint, lakeside village of Sylvan Creek. But even Daphne doesn’t like arrogant, womanizing Steve Beamus, the controversial owner of Blue Ribbon K-9 Academy. When Steve turns up dead during a dog agility trial, Daphne can think of a long list of people with motives for homicide, and so can the police. Unfortunately, at the top of the list is Daphne’s sister, Piper—Steve’s latest wronged girlfriend.

Certain that Piper is innocent, in spite of mounting evidence to the contrary, Daphne sets out to clear her sister’s name—and find Axis, Steve’s prize-winning chocolate Labrador, who went missing the night of Steve’s death. Aided by Socrates, her taciturn basset hound, and a hyperactive one-eared Chihuahua named Artie, Daphne quickly runs afoul of Detective Jonathan Black, a handsome and enigmatic newcomer to town, who has no appreciation for Daphne’s unorthodox sleuthing.

Can a free-spirited pet sitter, armed only with a Ph.D. in Philosophy and her two incompatible dogs, find the real killer before she becomes the next victim?

Review

For the most part, I really enjoyed this book. It’s the first in a new series and a solid, delightful start to the series. I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 because a) it didn’t have that extra pizzazz that I look for in a 5-star book and b) the heroine annoyed me at times with her tendency to just go full steam ahead into something without thinking about it first (which is something that *REALLY* tends to bother me in cozies).

Outside of that, this is a great book. The characters are solid, developed and complex. We know there are things about the various characters that we don’t know yet, but that makes them interesting and not boring.

The setting descriptions were okay. I could imagine the farm and each individual location but I couldn’t really see in my head where they were in relation to each other. Part of that could be my own spatial relations deficiency, but I think the descriptions of the places could have been a little more detailed.

The story moved along at a good pace. It wasn’t slow but it wasn’t so fast that you couldn’t keep up with what was happening. The villain was a complete surprise to me, which I like. I totally did not see that plot twist coming!

All in all, this is a great start to the series and I do recommend it. I’ve already pre-ordered the second one myself!

About the Author

Bethany Blake lives in a small, quaint town in Pennsylvania with her husband and three daughters. When she’s not writing or riding horses, she’s wrangling a menagerie of furry family members that includes a nervous pit bull, a fearsome feline, a blind goldfish, and an attack cardinal named Robert. Like Daphne Templeton, the heroine of her Lucky Paws Mysteries, Bethany holds a Ph.D. and operates a pet sitting business called Barkley’s Premium Pet Care.

Author Links

Bethany Blake’s Website

Bethany Blake on Facebook

Bethany Blake on Twitter

Tour Participants

March 6 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

March 6 – A Holland Reads – GUEST POST

March 7 – Babs Book Bistro – REVIEW

March 7 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT

March 7 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW

March 8 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

March 8 – Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting – REVIEW

March 9 – Shelley’s Book Case – REVIEW

March 9 – Texas Book-aholic – SPOTLIGHT

March 9 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW

March 10 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

March 10 – The Book’s the Thing – SPOTLIGHT

March 10 – Bookworm Mom – REVIEW

March 11 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

March 11 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

March 11 – Sleuth Cafe – SPOTLIGHT

March 12 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

March 13 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW  

March 13 – Cozy Up WIth Kathy – INTERVIEW

March 13 – The Power of Words – SPOTLIGHT – Review coming soon. 

March 14 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – REVIEW

March 14 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT

March 15 – Queen of All She Reads – REVIEW

March 15 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT 

March 16 – A Cozy Experience – REVIEW

March 16 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST

March 17 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW

March 17 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

Banner: Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours Presents: Death by Chocolate Lab by Bethany Blake - March 6-March 17, 2017 - includes book cover

Blog Tour – Elementary, She Read

Banner: Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours Presents "Elementary, She Read" by Vicki Delaney; March 13-March 26, 2017 - Includes Author photo and Book cover

Today I’m very excited to be the host of a stop on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for Elementary, She Read by Vicki Delany. This is a wonderful book in a brand-new series!

Elementary, She Read: A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery by Vicki Delany book cover - bookstore setting, red easy chair with a black cat on the back of it and a copy of Adventure of Sherlock Holmes on the seat.

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                  Clip art of Sherlock Holmes hat, pipe & magnifying glass  Clip art of Sherlock Holmes hat, pipe & magnifying glass  Clip art of Sherlock Holmes hat, pipe & magnifying glass  Clip art of Sherlock Holmes hat, pipe & magnifying glass  Clip art of Sherlock Holmes hat, pipe & magnifying glass

Brief Synopsis

Gemma Doyle, a transplanted Englishwoman, has returned to the quaint town of West London on Cape Cod to manage her Great Uncle Arthur’s Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium. The shop–located at 222 Baker Street–specializes in the Holmes canon and pastiche, and is also the home of Moriarty the cat. When Gemma finds a rare and potentially valuable magazine containing the first Sherlock Homes story hidden in the bookshop, she and her friend Jayne (who runs the adjoining Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room) set off to find the owner, only to stumble upon a dead body.

The highly perceptive Gemma is the police’s first suspect, so she puts her consummate powers of deduction to work to clear her name, investigating a handsome rare books expert, the dead woman’s suspiciously unmoved son, and a whole family of greedy characters desperate to cash in on their inheritance. But when Gemma and Jayne accidentally place themselves at a second murder scene, it’s a race to uncover the truth before the detectives lock them up for good.

  Clip art of Sherlock Holmes hat, pipe & magnifying glass  Clip art of Sherlock Holmes hat, pipe & magnifying glass  Clip art of Sherlock Holmes hat, pipe & magnifying glass  Clip art of Sherlock Holmes hat, pipe & magnifying glass  Clip art of Sherlock Holmes hat, pipe & magnifying glass

Review

5 out of 5 stars.

I loved this book and am thrilled that I had the opportunity to read it and host a spot for this blog tour!

I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve read by Vicki Delany (including the Lighthouse Library series she wrote under the pen name, Eva Gates), so I was excited when I heard there was a new series coming out. This book did not disappoint in the least!

I’ve already fallen in love with the town of West London and its inhabitants. Gemma, Jayne, Ryan, Louise, and the rest are all well-developed, complex characters and while we don’t know everything about them, they come across as realistic and still leave a little mystery to be discovered in other books in this series. I love the way Gemma’s mind works. I’m not quite as good at my powers of observation as Gemma is, but a lot of her logic I totally understood. It’s always great when I can identify with a heroine in the story.

The plot line moved along at a decent pace. It wasn’t slow, but yet not so fast that you didn’t understand what was going on. I had absolutely NO idea who the villain was until it was revealed. I can see now in hindsight how someone with astute powers of observation of details could put the clues together, but I didn’t do that, so it was a complete surprise to me.

Some of the interpersonal relationships in the story were strained and it’ll be interesting to see how those relationships develop and play out throughout the series. I don’t want to give away any details of the story though, so if you want to know more, read the book!

The setting sounds absolutely beautiful and I could easily imagine myself there in West London. I love when I can imagine the scene and yet the author hasn’t provided too many details. If there’s too many details, I feel over saturated and it becomes harder to imagine the setting. Ms. Delany is a master at balancing that mixture of detail and imagination.

A wonderful start to a new series and if you like cozy mysteries or even mysteries in general, I highly recommend it!

** Many thanks to Netgalley for providing me with an ARC of this title. I was not compensated for this review. All opinions and conclusions expressed are my own. **

                 Clip art of Sherlock Holmes hat, pipe & magnifying glass  Clip art of Sherlock Holmes hat, pipe & magnifying glass  Clip art of Sherlock Holmes hat, pipe & magnifying glass  Clip art of Sherlock Holmes hat, pipe & magnifying glass  Clip art of Sherlock Holmes hat, pipe & magnifying glass

About the Author

vicki-delany

Vicki Delany is one of Canada’s most prolific and varied crime writers. She is the author of twenty-three published crime novels, including standalone Gothic thrillers, the Constable Molly Smith series, and the Year Round Christmas Mysteries.  Under the pen name of Eva Gates she is the national bestselling author of the Lighthouse Library cozy series.

The first in Vicki’s Sherlock Holmes bookshop series, Elementary She Read, will be released in March 2017 from Crooked Lane Books.

Vicki lives and writes in Prince Edward County, Ontario. She is the past president of the Crime Writers of Canada.

Vicki Delany’s Links

Website: www.vickidelany.com  

Facebook:  Vicki Delany & Eva Gates 

Twitter: @vickidelany and @evagatesauthor

                  Clip art of Sherlock Holmes hat, pipe & magnifying glass   Clip art of Sherlock Holmes hat, pipe & magnifying glass  Clip art of Sherlock Holmes hat, pipe & magnifying glass  Clip art of Sherlock Holmes hat, pipe & magnifying glass  Clip art of Sherlock Holmes hat, pipe & magnifying glass

Tour Participants

March 13 – The Bookwyrm’s Hoard – REVIEW

March 13 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT

March 13 – Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf – SPOTLIGHT

March 14 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

March 14 – Reviews by Martha’s Bookshelf – REVIEW

March 15 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW

March 15 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW

March 16 – Rainy Day Reviews – REVIEW

March 16 – A Holland Reads – GUEST POST

March 17 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

March 17 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT

March 18 – Shelley’s Book Case – REVIEW

March 18 – Girl with Book Lungs – GUEST POST  

March 19 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW

March 20 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW  

March 20 – Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

March 21 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

March 21 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT

March 22 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – REVIEW

March 22 – Carole’s Book Corner – REVIEW

March 22 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW

March 23 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

March 23 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT

March 23 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

March 24 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

March 24 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

March 25 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW

March 25 – Island Confidential – spotlight

March 26 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW

March 26 – Girl Lost In a Book – REVIEW

Blog Tour – Pekoe Most Poison

Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours Presents: Pekoe Most Poison by Laura Childs; March 6-March 19, 2017 - banner includes author photo and book cover photo

Today, I’m super excited to bring to you the latest stop for Pekoe Most Poison by Laura Childs! I love the Tea Shop mysteries and look forward to the newest one every spring. This one didn’t disappoint, either!

Pekoe Most Poison by Laura Childs book cover - A Tea Shop Mystery - border of daffodils - picture of a table set for tea with tarts, tea pots, flowers, fresh oranges, and quiche.

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Brief Synopsis

When Indigo Tea Shop owner Theodosia Browning is invited by Doreen Briggs, one of Charleston’s most prominent hostesses, to a “Rat Tea,” she is understandably intrigued.  As servers dressed in rodent costumes and wearing white gloves offer elegant finger sandwiches and fine teas, Theo learns these parties date back to early twentieth-century Charleston, where the cream of society would sponsor so-called rat teas to promote city rodent control and better public health.

But this party goes from odd to chaotic when a fire starts at one of the tables and Doreen’s entrepreneur husband suddenly goes into convulsions and drops dead. Has his favorite orange pekoe tea been poisoned? Theo smells a rat.

The distraught Doreen soon engages Theo to pursue a discreet inquiry into who might have murdered her husband. As Theo and her tea sommelier review the guest list for suspects, they soon find themselves drawn into a dangerous game of cat and mouse…

Review

5 out of 5 stars.

I think this is one of my favorites of the Tea Shop series so far! I really enjoyed this one. The mystery itself was great. I didn’t figure out who the killer was until very close to the end where it was revealed. Plus, this time around we had a new method and a new way of delivering that method. Sometimes having the victim shot or stabbed gets a little old, so this one was a refreshing change.

I absolutely love the characters in this series. Reading about Theodosia, Drayton, and Haley is like visiting with old friends. Their characters are so well-rounded, developed, and complex. It’s a pleasure visiting them in each book and getting to know them just that little bit more. It’s a pleasure to see how their relationships with each other and with others in the community grow and develop.

I love all the descriptions of Charleston. I’ve never been there but with as many of these books I’ve read, I feel like I have. I can easily visualize all the alleys and cemeteries and old mansions that are there. I feel like if I ever make it down there to visit, I’m going to feel right at home! It takes a skilled author to do that without boring the reader with the descriptions. Ms. Childs’ does this excellently.

The pace of these books has always been good and this one is no exception. It was never boring and kept moving along at a good clip, but yet not too fast that you couldn’t keep up.

This is a great installment in the Tea Shop Mystery series and I highly recommend it! Pick it up and enjoy! If you’ve never read the series, you don’t have to know the back story to enjoy this one, but I highly recommend the rest of the series as well!

** I received an ARC from the publisher through NetGalley. I was not compensated for my review. All opinions and conclusions expressed are my own. **

About the Author

Photo of Laura Childs - Middle-aged woman with blond hair, no glasses, wearing a black sweater or coat

Laura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Tea Shop Mysteries, Scrapbook Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. In her previous life she was CEO/Creative Director of her own marketing firm and authored several screenplays. She is married to a professor of Chinese art history, loves to travel, rides horses, enjoys fund-raising for various non-profits, and has two Chinese Shar-Pei dogs.

Laura specializes in cozy mysteries that have the pace of a thriller (a thrillzy!) Her three series are:

The Tea Shop Mysteries – set in the historic district of Charleston and featuring Theodosia Browning, owner of the Indigo Tea Shop. Theodosia is a savvy entrepreneur, and pet mom to service dog Earl Grey. She’s also an intelligent, focused amateur sleuth who doesn’t rely on coincidences or inept police work to solve crimes. This charming series is highly atmospheric and rife with the history and mystery that is Charleston.

The Scrapbooking Mysteries – a slightly edgier series that take place in New Orleans. The main character, Carmela, owns Memory Mine scrapbooking shop in the French Quarter and is forever getting into trouble with her friend, Ava, who owns the Juju Voodoo shop. New Orleans’ spooky above-ground cemeteries, jazz clubs, bayous, and Mardi Gras madness make their presence known here!

The Cackleberry Club Mysteries – set in Kindred, a fictional town in the Midwest. In a rehabbed Spur station, Suzanne, Toni, and Petra, three semi-desperate, forty-plus women have launched the Cackleberry Club. Eggs are the morning specialty here and this cozy cafe even offers a book nook and yarn shop. Business is good but murder could lead to the cafe’s undoing! This series offers recipes, knitting, cake decorating, and a dash of spirituality.

Laura’s Links:

Webpage – http://www.laurachilds.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/laura.childs.31

If you would like to be a host for a Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour, click on the banner at the bottom of the page!

Tour Participants

March 6 – Michelle’s Romantic Tangle – REVIEW

March 6 – Sleuth Cafe – SPOTLIGHT

March 7 – MysteriesEtc – REVIEW

March 7 – A Blue Million Books – GUEST POST

March 8 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

March 8 – Readsalot – SPOTLIGHT

March 8 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

March 9 – Maureen’s Musings – REVIEW

March 9 – Babs Book Bistro – REVIEW

March 9 – My Journey Back – REVIEW  

March 10 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW

March 11 – Rainy Day Reviews – REVIEW  

March 11 – The Power of Words – REVIEW, GUEST POST

March 12 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW

March 12 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

March 13 – Queen of All She Reads –  SPOTLIGHT

March 13 – Shelley’s Book Case – REVIEW

March 14 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW

March 15 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

March 15 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW

March 15 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

March 16 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW

March 16 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – INTERVIEW

March 17 – Bibliophile Reviews –  REVIEW, GUEST POST

March 17 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

March 18 – The Editing Pen – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

March 18 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW  

March 19 – 3  Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – REVIEW

March 19 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT

Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours Presents: Pekoe Most Poison by Laura Childs - March 6-March 19, 2017 Banner with Book cover

Blog Tour – Kneaded To Death

Banner - Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours Presents: Kneaded to Death by Winnie Archer - February 27 - March 12, 2017 - Photo of author & Cover of book included

4.5 out of 5 stars.

Today I’m hosting the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for Kneaded to Death by Winnie Archer. This is the first in the brand-new series, Bread Shop Mystery series. It was a wonderful beginning to this new series!

Kneaded to Death: A Bread Shop Mystery by Winnie Archer book cover - Features the front of the bread shop, Yeast of Eden, which has a display window full of various types of bread, a cafe table with chairs on the front sidewalk, and a pug sitting on one of the chairs

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Brief Synopsis

Everyone swears by Yeast of Eden, the Mexican bread shop in town. But tonight, the only thing on the menu is la muerte . . .

Struggling photographer Ivy Culpepper has lots of soul-searching to do since returning to seaside Santa Linda, California. That is, until the thirty-one-year-old enters a bread making class at Yeast of Eden. Whether it’s the aroma of fresh conchas in the oven, or her instant connection with owner Olaya Dias and her sisters, Ivy just knows the missing ingredients in her life are hidden among the secrets of Olaya’s bakery . . .

But Ivy’s spirits crumble when a missing classmate is suddenly discovered dead in her car, riddled with stab wounds. Even more devastating, the prime suspects are the Dias sisters themselves. Doubting the women could commit such a crime, Ivy embarks on a murder investigation of her own to prove their innocence and seize the real killer. As she follows a deadly trail of crumbs around town, Ivy must trust her gut like never before—or someone else could be toast!

Review

I really enjoyed this first installment of this brand-new Bread Shop Mystery series.

The characters in this series are unique, complex, and delightful. It’s always hard to come back to where you were raised and even harder after a tragedy has struck, but I thought Ivy handled seeing old friends/boyfriends and dealing with her grief very well. I like the fact that it’s Ivy’s friend who is part of the police force and not her romantic interest. It makes for a nice change.

The setting descriptions were okay, but not quite as detailed as I would have liked. Other than the bakery itself, I had a hard time imagining the various places in the book.

The story line was clever and interesting. It moved along at a decent pace. There were plenty of suspects to choose from and I didn’t figure out the culprit before it was revealed (yay!).

I didn’t give this 5 stars partially because while I enjoyed it, I doubt this will be a book I read more than once. The other reason was my thought that there should be more description if the settings. However, I did enjoy the book and would definitely recommend it! I look forward to the next book in the series.

** I was given an ARC of this book by the publisher through NetGalley. I was not compensated for my review. All opinions and conclusions are my own. **

About the Author

Winnie Archer, author, aka Melissa Bourbon-Ramirez - Middle-aged white woman with blond hair done in an up-twist, no glasses, wearing a grey shirt and dark grey blazerThe indefatigable Winnie Archer is a middle school teacher by day, and a writer by night. Born in a beach town in California, she now lives in an inspiring century old house in North Texas and loves being surrounded by real-life history. She fantasizes about spending summers writing in quaint, cozy locales, has a love/hate relationship with both yoga and chocolate, adores pumpkin spice lattes, is devoted to her five kids and husband, and can’t believe she’s lucky enough to be living the life of her dreams.

 

 

Author Links

Website: WinnieArcher.com

Winnie Archer is the pseudonym for national bestselling author Melissa Bourbon. Learn more at Melissa Bourbon-Ramirez.

Twitter: @MelissaBourbon

 

Tour Participants

February 27 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – REVIEW

February 27 – Books,Dreams,Life – REVIEW

February 28 – Sleuth Cafe – REVIEW

February 28 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW

March 1 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

March 1 – Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder – REVIEW

March 1 – Bookworm Mom – REVIEW

March 2 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

March 2 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – INTERVIEW

March 3 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

March 3 – Rainy Day Reviews – REVIEW

March 4 – Shelley’s Book Case – REVIEW, GUEST POST

March 4 – Island Confidential – INTERVIEW

March 5 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

March 5 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW  

March 6 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW

March 6 – Book Babble – REVIEW

March 7 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW  

March 8 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW, GUEST POST

March 8 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW

March 9 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

March 9 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW

March 10 – Becky’s Bookcase – REVIEW

March 10 – Readeropolis – REVIEW

March 11 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

March 11 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – GUEST POST

March 12 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW

Small Tour Banner - Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours Presents: Kneaded to Death by Winnie Archer: February 27-March 12, 2017 - Book cover included

Drawing Blood – REVIEW

4 out of 5 stars

Drawing Blood is the second book in the Sketch In Crime mystery series by Deirdre Verne. While I did not enjoy this one quite as much as I did the first one, it was still a very enjoyable book.

Drawing Blood: A Sketch in Crime Mystery by Deirdre Verne book cover - wooden table with laptop, plates and mugs, books, etc. on it - sketches hanging on wall including sketch of faceless person with short, choppy black hair.

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Purchase Links: AmazonB&NBAM Kobo

Brief Synopsis

CeCe Prentice and her Dumpster-diving pals are back on top . . . of a pile of trash

When Big Bob, manager of the town recycling center, goes missing, CeCe is worried about more than where she’ll score her next salvaged car. As one of the only people present when Bob’s body is recovered from under the weekly recycling haul, CeCe is able to identify witnesses and provide sketches of the scene. But when she’s startled by an unidentified woman at Bob’s empty house, CeCe’s artistic talents are challenged and her drawings come up short. With her observational skills on the fritz, CeCe joins Detective Frank DeRosa and her network of Freegan friends to re-create Big Bob’s life from the garbage up. The team is soon thrust into the underworld of recycling, where what appears to be junk could actually be the clue that saves a life.

(Source: Amazon book description)

Review

While this book is very important to the overall story arc of the series, I did not feel like the mystery portion of the book was that strong. I was far more interested in the personal drama that CeCe and Frank were going through as well as the growth of their relationship rather than who killed Big Bob.

While the two story lines converge towards the end of the story, I kind of wish they had converged earlier. It might have made me care about who killed Big Bob more. I didn’t know who the villain was before close to the end, which is a plus, but then again we didn’t even meet the villain until close to the end of the book, so that does limit being able to know who they are.

There are several things that we don’t know about until the end of the book and while some people like that type of plot, I’m not one of them. Yet, there were elements of the story that I really enjoyed, like watching CeCe and Frank’s relationship grow throughout the book. I enjoyed the part of the story line where CeCe and Frank were looking into whether or not CeCe had a daughter out there somewhere that she didn’t know about.

It was an enjoyable book overall and I do recommend it, but it was not as great as the first one in the series. Still, anyone interested in the series should not miss this book!

About the Author

Middle-aged woman with slightly longer than shoulder length blond hair, with glasses - wearing a blue turtleneck sweaterDeirdre Verne is the author of Drawing Conclusions (2015), Drawing Blood (Feb 2016) and The Drawing Game (Dec 2017). Deirdre’s interest in green living inspired her to create an off-the-grid character, CeCe Prentice, who Dumpster dives her way through the Sketch in Crime mystery series. “Verne’s mystery is a winner…” Kirkus Reviews.  A member of Sisters in Crime, Deirdre’s stories appear in all three NY chapter anthologies – Murder New York Style, Murder New York Style: Fresh Slices and Family Matters.

 

Drawing Conclusions – REVIEW

4.5 out of 5 stars.

Drawing Conclusions is the first book in the Sketch-in-Crime series by Deirdre Verne. I definitely would have enjoyed The Drawing Game more if I had read at least this one first and possibly the 2nd as well.

Drawing Conclusions: A Sketch in Crime Mystery by Deirdre Verne book cover - artist's studio with several canvases in the background with paintings, a table with artist supplies on it, a canvas on an easel with only a thick mop of brown hair painted on it, books & a piece of pie on a plate on another table

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Brief Synopsis

While she never saw eye to eye with her father—the ambitious director of a renowned genetics research center—CeCe Prentice always remained close to her brother, Teddy. When Teddy is found dead at the lab where he worked for their father, CeCe’s efforts to mourn the tragic loss are interrupted by several attempts on her own life.

CeCe is naturally drawn in to the investigation, teaming up with Detective Frank DeRosa, the officer assigned to protect her. Together, they begin looking into the circumstances surrounding Teddy’s death, only to discover the truth may be found closer to home than they think—in CeCe’s own paintings.

(Source: Goodreads Book Description)

Review

I was correct that I would like The Drawing Game more if I had read at least one of the two books before it. I understand so much more about the characters in The Drawing Game now than I did when I first read it!

This is the first book in the Sketch In Crime mystery series and it’s a really great book! There’s a lot of back story that happens in this book which seems essential for understanding the characters better during the rest of the series.

Many of the main characters in this series are Freegans, which are a group of people who work to live as green as possible. They grow much of their own food, create their own energy to feed back into the power grid, barter with people regarding getting things done, and recycle/reuse items as much as they can. The author does a good job of exposing us as the readers to the Freegan lifestyle and explaining what it entails.

Besides just their Freegan lifestyle, the characters are complex, well-rounded, and delightful.  I really enjoyed seeing the dynamics between CeCe and her friends, her family, and the police department.  I enjoyed watching the beginnings of CeCe’s romance with Frank unfold.

The plot line moves along at a decent pace. It’s not dragging but it’s not going by so fast that you can’t keep up either. I had a little bit of an inkling who the villain was, but I was not totally sure until just before it was discovered at the end of the book.

All-in-all, this is a great start to the series and important, so definitely read it before any other books in the series!

About the Author

Middle-aged woman with slightly longer than shoulder length blond hair, with glasses - wearing a blue turtleneck sweaterDeirdre Verne is the author of Drawing Conclusions (2015), Drawing Blood (Feb 2016) and The Drawing Game (Dec 2017). Deirdre’s interest in green living inspired her to create an off-the-grid character, CeCe Prentice, who Dumpster dives her way through the Sketch in Crime mystery series. “Verne’s mystery is a winner…” Kirkus Reviews.  A member of Sisters in Crime, Deirdre’s stories appear in all three NY chapter anthologies – Murder New York Style, Murder New York Style: Fresh Slices and Family Matters.