Monday, November 30, 2015

Review: The Silence of The Chihuahuas by: Waverly Curtis

Title: The Silence of the Chihuahuas
Author: Waverly Curtis
Publisher: Kensington
Series: A Barking Detective Mystery #5
Pages: 288
Format: e-book ARC
Source: NetGalley & Great Escapes Book Tours


“Savvy sleuths come in small packages…”

Pepe, aspiring P.I. Geri Sullivan’s muy clever Chihuahua, has stopped talking. But why now, with Geri’s best friend Brad missing and her ditzy sister in grave danger? Geri’s lost without Pepe’s dogged detective work, especially when a client of Brad’s expires under very murky circumstances.

Luckily, Pepe turns out to be an excelente blogger, and his nose for clues soon has the detective duo chasing down leads. But they’ll have to put a bite on crime quickly, because danger’s afoot – and it’s making tracks in their direction . . .

My Thoughts:

Pepe and Geri have a private detective work they do but right now Pepe isn't talking and Geri doesn't know why and takes him to the vet to try to figure it out but when that doesn't work she finds herself looking into a mystery involving Geri's sister who calls asking for help.  It's up to Geri and Pepe to figure out what is going on that and find out what happened to best friend Brad who is missing.

This book was a fun adventure finding out how the mystery would get solved and would Pepe ever talk to Geri again or would she find out why he went silent?  Definitely a great book for mystery lovers who love animals in their mysteries!  Can't wait to see what is next for this dog raising duo!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Interview: Empty Nest Author Mary Wingate

Recently I had the chance to sit down and interview Mary Wingate author of the book Empty Nest here's the interview:

What genre do you write?

I write traditional (also called cozy) mysteries. In traditional mysteries, the main character is usually an amateur sleuth, not a police officer or detective. In traditional/cozy mysteries, setting and characters play an enormous role and violence is downplayed. I love writing characters and their stories, and making the setting – whether it be a grand house or a village pub – a place the reader would like to visit.

How did you come to write cozy mysteries?

I suppose it’s true with many authors – we write what we love to read. And what cozy mystery writer doesn’t like to read Miss Marple? And I’m a big of series (such as Dorothy L. Sayers’ Harriet Vane) where each book has a story arc, but there’s also a story arc (the growth of the main character) that spans the series.

Who is your favorite character to write about?

Quite possibly whichever character is in the scene of the moment. In Empty Nest, apart from Julia Lanchester, the protagonist, I’ve got to say that Thorne, the butler at Hoggin Hall, is near and dear to my heart. Oh wait – and Gavin Lecky, leather-clad birdwatcher who wear one earring in the shape of a hovering kestrel.

Who inspires your books?

Inspiration comes from all quarters – friends, family, places, real-life events. Everything gets tossed into the hopper (my brain) and mixed up until it comes out as a story.

What do you do when you’re not writing?

My husband and I travel – usually to England, Scotland or Ireland (surprise) where I do loads of research. I also lead garden tours to those countries; it gives me the opportunity to spend time outdoors and talk with people. And I read, of course.

If you were stuck on a deserted island what three things would you take?

I’d take my iPad filled with books and a solar charger. And a toothbrush.

Thank you,

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Review: Smart, But Dead by: Nancy G. West

Title: Smart, But Dead
Author: Nancy G. West
Publisher: Henery Press
Series: Aggie Mundeen Mystery #3
Pages: 246
Format: e-book ARC
Source: NetGalley & Great Escapes Book Tours


Skirting forty and appalled by the prospect of descending into middle-age decrepitude, Aggie Mundeen blasts off to the local university to study the genetics of aging. In addition to providing youthful hints for readers of her column, “Stay Young with Aggie,” Aggie is doggedly determined to stay young.
Despite conflicts with her professor, she learns about the Human Genome Project and DNA. When she discovers a dead body, Detective Sam reminds her not to “help” with the investigation. But dangerously curious and programmed to prod, she races to solve the crime, winds up the prime suspect and is on target to become next campus corpse.

Related subjects include: cozy mysteries, women sleuths, murder mystery series, whodunit mysteries (whodunnit), amateur sleuth books, book club recommendations, Southern humor, Southern living, and humorous murder mysteries.

My Thoughts:

Aggie has decided she is going to stay young and writes a column on tips on aging.  Aggie decides to go to the university and study about aging.  When the professor dies in the classroom Aggie is determined to prove the professor was murdered.  This book was full of mystery and fast paced and her curiosity at times lands her sticky situations.  This book would be great for anyone who loves mystery and adventure.  I can't wait to see what comes up next with Ms. West such a great adventure she takes you on trying to find out who killed the professor!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Review: Cover Shot by: LynDee Walker

Title: Cover Shot
Author: LynDee Walker
Publisher: Henery Press
Series: A Headline in High Heels Mystery #5
Pages: 312
Format: e-book ARC
Source: NetGalley & Great Escapes Book Tours


It’s been a slow news month in Richmond, and crime reporter Nichelle Clarke is enjoying the downtime when ominous messages and a dead body kick things into high gear. And that’s before the guy with the rifle takes a hospital full of people hostage.

Up to the top of her knee-high Prada boots in leads, Nichelle finds her favorite detectives under pressure to make an arrest, but it doesn’t add up—and ignoring the “why” of this story could cost Nichelle the most important person in her life.

With too much to lose, a shot at the story of a lifetime, and a missing bullet that might be the key, landing this headline could save the day, but can Nichelle dig up the truth before the killer buries her with it?

Related subjects include: cozy mysteries, women sleuths, murder mystery series, whodunit mysteries (whodunnit), book club recommendations.

My Thoughts:

In this book Nichelle Clark finds herself getting weird twitter messages which have her wondering why someone is singling her out with the texts add that a death of an older man.  This book was full of so much going on between a guy with a riffle takes creates a hostage situation at a hospital.  This book like previous books always has you on the go wanting to know what more is going to happen while Nicelle gets to the bottom of it.  I love reading this series to see where it going to go next and this one didn't fail.  A definite edge of your seat ride that I will take again and again!  Can't wait to see what is next for Nichelle Clarke!

Review: Pain in the Tuchis by: Mark Reutinger

Title: Pain in the Tuchis
Author: Mark Reutinger
Publisher: Alibi
Series: A Mrs. Kaplan Mystery #2
Pages: 215
Format: e-book ARC
Source: NetGalley & Great Escapes Book Tours


Combining the classic charms of Agatha Christie with the delightful humor of M. C. Beaton’s Agatha Raisin novels, Mark Reutlinger’s Mrs. Kaplan mystery series returns as a notorious crank meets an untimely fate.

Yom Kippur is a day of reflection and soul searching. But at the Julius and Rebecca Cohen Home for Jewish Seniors, Vera Gold misses this opportunity to atone for her many sins when she up and dies. Indeed, Vera was such a pain in the tuchis to all those around her that when her sister claims Vera was deliberately poisoned, the tough question isn’t who would want to kill her—but who wouldn’t? 

Having already solved one murder with her dear friend Ida, Rose Kaplan has a sleuthing reputation that precedes her. It’s only natural that Vera’s sister turns to Mrs. K for help. So do the police, but when her conclusions conflict with theirs, they tell her to butt out! This case has more twists than a loaf of challah. And with a homicidal scoundrel on the loose, Mrs. K has to act fast—or she might be the guest of honor at the Home’s next memorial service.

My Thoughts:

This is the second book in the Mrs. Kaplan Mystery series.  In this book one of residents of the Rebecca Cohen Home for Jewish Seniors Vera Gold winds up dead, mind you Vera was a tough nut to get along with, she fought with many people anyone from other seniors to the staff and everyone in between, luckily she didn't fight with Mrs. Kaplan or Ida.  Ida tells this story from her view point while Mrs. Kaplan plays Sherlock Holmes of sorts.  When Vera's sister comes to Mrs. Kaplan and Ira to inquire in their investigative services in finding out whether or not her sister was poisoned with a little nudging they quickly find out that Vera was poisoned and it's up to the senior duo to find out who poisoned Vera Gold.  With no shortage of suspects and the police apprehending Vera Gold's son will Mrs. Kaplan and Ira figure it out or will they meet their demise instead?

I love this series as it is heavily Jewish but with the jewish phrases you also learn what they mean.  I enjoy both Ira and Mrs. Kaplan and enjoy the story as with the other one I'm in the middle of they are written very well and descriptive and really hold your attention and want to know who the bad guy or gal is.  Can't wait to see what Mr. Reutinger comes up with next in this series!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Review: Haunt Couture and Ghosts Galore by: Rose Pressey

Title: Haunt Couture and Ghosts Galore
Author: Rose Pressey
Publisher: Kensington
Series: Haunted Vintage Mystery #2
Pages: 304
Format: e-book ARC
Source: NetGalley


This looks like a job for the fashion police!

A hot-ticket charity fashion show is the perfect chance for Cookie Chanel, proud owner of It's Vintage Y'All, to show off her stylistic savvy for a good cause. But when a famous fashionista is fatally flattened, and the ghost of a former private investigator asks for Cookie's help, she has to scurry to sew up a solution. With clever clues from Wind Song, her psychic cat, and sassy suggestions from Charlotte, her ghost-in-residence, Cookie must unravel the sinister stitches of a deadly design--before she becomes the next fashion victim...

My Thoughts: 

Cookie Chanel has her hands full with her ghosts and finding out who killed someone at a charity fashion show?  Was it the model or someone more sinister and why was a gumshoe's hat there?  Cookie is trying to get to the bottom of it hopefully get rid of her ghosts that keep her investigating at the same time.

This book had everything mystery, adventure, bad characters and ghosts added to the mix.  I really enjoyed reading this book it was loads of fun and great for vintage lovers and mystery lovers alike!

Interview: Wrong Crowd by; Richard Goodwin

Today we had the pleasure at Community Bookstop of stopping and chatting with Richard Godwin who is releasing his book Wrong Crowd.  We look forward to hearing how well his book is!

What genre do you write?

I am known for writing psychological thrillers. I also write Noir, literary satire, horror, straight crime, mystery, hybrid and slipstream.

How did you come to write (said) genre?

It was a natural evolution.

Who is your favorite character to write about?

I do not have one. I like finding new characters and ensuring they are all realistic and dramatically functional.

Who inspires your books?

No one. I am exploring the human condition.

What do you do when you’re not writing?

So many things, apart from the usual, reading, travelling.

If you were stuck on a deserted island what three things would you take?

A flare, enough food, a gun loaded with hollow points.

Thank you,

Friday, November 13, 2015

Review: A Dickens of A Murder by: Joyce and Jim Lavene

Title: A Dickens of A Murder
Author: Joyce and Jim Lavene
Publisher: J. Lavene
Series: Canterville Book Shop Mystery #1
Pages: 201
Format: e-book ARC
Source: Great Escapes Book Tours


Christmas at Canterville! 

Lisa Wellman and Simon Canterville are surprised to find a dead man on their roof in the midst of rushing to open the Canterville Book Shop in time for the holidays. And not just any dead man – Ebenezer Hart – the man who opposed the book shop opening in Olde Town, Portsmouth, Virginia. 
What might be more surprising is when Daniel Fairhaven – Lisa’s ex – turns up at the door of the three-story Victorian house to head the police investigation. She hasn’t seen him in years but the sparks start to fly as soon as they are in the same room together. 

Simon and Lisa are obviously the best suspects for the murder. Each of them had something to gain by Hart’s death. Then an attempt on Simon’s life throws that theory into a tailspin. 

But the biggest surprise yet comes when the ghost of Charles Dickens turns up to help Lisa with the murder investigation – and writing the mystery novel she has been working on for years. 

Without a doubt, Daniel and Dickens in Lisa’s life means trouble. And there’s still the matter of trying to get the book shop open with a killer on their heels. 

My Thoughts: 

First I want to take the time to offer our condolences to Jim Lavene for the loss of his wife Joyce recently.  She was a pleasure to work with in both of your various book series.  She will deeply missed.

This book follows Lisa Wellman whose working with Simon Canterville to open a book shop when they discover someone hanging from their roof not long into it Simon finds himself in trouble and Lisa finds herself wanting to find out who killed the victim and why they are framing Simon!  What she wasn't counting on is her ex-husband Daniel Fairhaven investigating the crime. 

I love the books Jim and Joyce write they never fail to deliver they always leave you wanting more or wishing the book was longer this one was full of all sorts of intrigue and mystery trying to figure out who the killer was and why they did what they did.  As always a gem of a book and one for cozy lovers old and young!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Spotlight: Death Before Decaf by:Caroline Fardig

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Death Before Decaf by Caroline Fardig

death before decafDeath Before Decaf: A Java Jive Mystery Publisher: Alibi (November 17, 2015) Random House LLC


Perfect for fans of Janet Evanovich and Diane Mott Davidson, Caroline Fardig’s captivating new mystery novel takes readers behind the counter of a seemingly run-of-the-mill coffeehouse . . . where murder is brewing.
After her music career crashes and burns spectacularly, Juliet Langley is forced to turn to the only other business she knows: food service. Unfortunately, bad luck strikes yet again when her two-timing fiancé robs her blind and runs off with her best waitress. Flushing what’s left of her beloved café down the toilet with her failed engagement, Juliet packs up and moves back to her college stomping grounds in Nashville to manage an old friend’s coffeehouse. At first glance, it seems as though nothing’s changed at Java Jive. What could possibly go wrong? Only that the place is hemorrhaging money, the staff is in open revolt, and Juliet finds one unlucky employee dead in the dumpster out back before her first day is even over.
The corpse just so happens to belong to the cook who’d locked horns with Juliet over the finer points of the health code. Unimpressed with her management style, the other disgruntled employees are only too eager to spill the beans about her fiery temper to the detective on the case. Add to the mix a hunky stranger who’s asking way too many questions, and suddenly Juliet finds herself in some very hot water. If she can’t simmer down and sleuth her way to the real killer, she’s going to get burned.

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About This Author:

Caroline Fardig is the author of Death Before Decaf and the Lizzie Hart series. She worked as a schoolteacher, church organist, insurance agent, funeral parlor associate, and stay-at-home mom before she realized that she wanted to be a writer when she grew up. Born and raised in a small town in Indiana, Fardig still lives in that same town with an understanding husband, two sweet kids, two energetic dogs, and one malevolent cat.

      Author Links
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Sunday, November 8, 2015

Review: Look Both Ways by: Carol J. Perry

Title: Look Both Ways
Author: Carol J. Perry
Publisher: Kensington
Series: Witch City Mystery #3
Pages: 352
Format: e-book ARC
Source: Great Escapes Book Tours & NetGalley


In Salem, Massachusetts, there are secret everywhere--even in the furniture. . .

When Lee Barrett spots the same style oak bureau she once had as a child on the WICH-TV show, Shopping Salem, she rushes to the antiques shop and buys the piece. Just like the beloved bureau she lost in a fire, this one has secret compartments. It also comes with an intriguing history--it was purchased in an estate sale from a home where a famous local murder took place.

The day after the bureau is delivered, Lee returns to the antiques shop and finds the owner dead. The police suspect the shop owner's unscrupulous business partner, but Lee wonders if the murder is connected to her new furniture. At least part of the answer may be revealed through a mirror in the bureau, tarnished and blackened, allowing Lee to tap into her psychic visions. Using this bureau of investigation, Lee may be able to furnish her policeman beau with the evidence needed to catch the killer--before the next one to be shut up is her. . .

My Thoughts:

This book follows Lee Barrett whose living with her aunt in Salem and working on decorating her apartment when she buys a dresser that matches one she had a child including hiding spots in it.  The dresser mirror is trying to tell Lee something but she's not sure what and when the antique store owner winds up dead it's up to Lee to figure out what is going on before she winds up the next victim.

I enjoyed this book reading about Salem and the people Lee interacts with from her aunt, her boss, Her boyfriend and her friend River North.  I love how this book also dealt with an old crime as well and a missing pink diamond. 

Monday, November 2, 2015

BOTM: Chasing Clarity by: Sylvia Stein

Title: Chasing Clarity
Author: Sylvia Stein
Pages: 257


What happens when you lose the person most important to you and are left to pick up the pieces?

Mia Gerard had always wanted to be a trained dancer yet she has just lost the love of her life in a tragic accident. Leo Dancy was her best friend and soul mate. As she tries to deal with losing him, she finds his absence unbearable and she feels lost without him.

But then a great opportunity arises for Mia that she just can’t turn down.
She is accepted into the New York Dance Academy of performing arts.
At first she is overwhelmed but once she gets there she begins to allow herself to heal.

This is when she comes across Henry Watson a painter with aspirations of acquiring his own exhibit one day. While she ponders her feelings for Henry, will she be too late? or will she find the clarity she needs and chase after him?

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Review: Flipped for Murder by: Maddie Day

Title: Flipped for Murder
Author: Maddie Day
Publisher: Kensington
Series: Country Store Mysteries
Pages: 304
Foarmt: e-book ARC
Source: Great Escapes Book Tour & NetGalley


In this freshly baked series, author Maddie Day lifts the lid on a small town in southern Indiana, where a newcomer is cooking up a new start--until a murderer muddles the recipe...

Nursing a broken heart, Robbie Jordan is trading in her life on the West Coast for the rolling hills of southern Indiana. After paying a visit to her Aunt Adele, she fell in love with the tiny town of South Lick. And when she spots a For Sale sign on a rundown country store, she decides to snap it up and put her skills as a cook and a carpenter to use. Everyone in town shows up for the grand re-opening of Pans ‘n Pancakes, but when the mayor's disagreeable assistant is found dead, Robbie realizes that not all press is good press. With all eyes on her, she'll have to summon her puzzle-solving skills to clear her name, unscramble the town's darkest secrets, and track down a cold-blooded killer--before she's the next to die...

My Thoughts:

This was a cute mystery that takes place in a small town where she runs a restaurant.  This book moves along and is great for all those food lovers of cozies.  Not long into the book Robbie finds herself on the hook for a murder and has to find a way out of this situation she has found herself in.

I really enjoyed reading it and recommend it to anyone who loves a good cozy murder mystery! 

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Spotlight: Dangerously Dark by: Colette London

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Dangerously Dark by Colette London

DANGEROUSLY DARKDangerously Dark (A Chocolate Whisperer Mystery)
Cozy Mystery 2nd in Series
Publisher: Kensington (September 29, 2015)
Mass Market Paperback: 
352 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1617733475 E-Book ASIN: B00RRT323O
“Chocoholics and food cozy fans rejoice! With prose as smooth and delicious as its theme, this quality debut cozy introduces a smart protagonist with an unusual and tasty profession.”—Library Journal (starred) on Criminal Confections

 Chocolate-whisperer Hayden Mundy Moore has just arrived in Portland, Oregon, where she's about to scarf soufflés and sip cacao-based cocktails at her friend's engagement party. Fresh from nabbing her first candy-covered killer, the last thing Hayden wants to do is mix her love of chocolate with criminal mischief again. But then the groom-to-be turns up dead before beginning his renowned Chocolate-After-Dark tour. . . Hayden's friends insist that Declan's death was a freak accident, but she knows there's no mistaking the bitter aftertaste of homicide. In the midst of habañero hot chocolate and mocha-chunk gelato, a choco-crazed killer waits to strike again. Hayden will need to use more than her extraordinarily gifted taste buds to bring this murderer to justice, but she just might have bitten off more than she can chew in the process. . .

About This Author

 Colette London is the pseudonym of a best-selling novelist who’s published more than three dozen books worldwide. Visit her on the web at, friend her on Facebook at, or follow her on Twitter @Colette__London Purchase 
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Saturday, October 24, 2015

Review - The Secret Life of Stories by: Michael Berube

Title: The Secret Life of Stories
Author: Michael Berube
Publisher: NYU Press
Pages: 240
Format: E-book
Source: NetGalley

Release Date: February 2, 2016


Narrative informs everything we think, do, plan, remember, and imagine. We tell stories and we listen to stories, gauging their well-formedness within a couple of years of learning to walk and talk. Some argue that the capacity to understand narrative is innate to our species; others claim that while that might be so, the invention of writing then re-wired our brains. In The Secret Life of Stories, Michael Berube tells a dramatically different tale, in a compelling account of how an understanding of intellectual disability can transform our understanding of narrative. Instead of focusing on characters with disabilities, he shows how ideas about intellectual disability inform an astonishingly wide array of narrative strategies, providing a new and startling way of thinking through questions of time, self-reflexivity, and motive in the experience of reading. Interweaving his own stories with readings of such texts as Faulkner s The Sound and the Fury, Haddon s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Kingston s The Woman Warrior, and Philip K. Dick s Martian Time-Slip, Berube puts his theory into practice, stretching the purview of the study of literatureand the role of disability studies within it. Armed only with the tools of close reading, Berube demonstrates the immensely generative possibilities in the ways disability is deployed within fiction, finding in them powerful meditations on what it means to be a social being, a sentient creature with an awareness of mortality and causality and sentience itself. Persuasive and witty, Michael Berube engages Harry Potter fans and scholars of literature alike. For all readers, The Secret Life of Stories will fundamentally change the way we think about the way we read. "

My thoughts:

Disabilities come in different types and sizes: physical, mental, emotional… In The Secret Life of Stories, Michael Berube explores how an understanding of intellectual disability can transform our understanding of narrative. In my experience, people are mostly ignorant, and they think those with intellectual disabilities cannot understand things most others do. They couldn’t be further from the truth, and Berube proves that drawing from his own experiences with his children as well as others’.

Having a child with Down Syndrome, Berube got to witness how a child with an intellectual disability reacts to different kinds of literature. Without somebody telling him, just through his experience of listening to his father read to him at night, his child is aware that a story has to have a beginning, a middle and an end and that “things have to happen in it.” Again, without someone telling him how it should be, he knows that just putting a bunch words next to one another doesn’t make a story.

I’m a big fan of discussing books I’ve read with other people. I like hearing their takes on the events and the storytelling, and I’m always fascinated by how the details we catch differ. I always learn more through others’ experiences of reading a book that I myself have read as well, which helps me dig deeper and gain new ways of looking at stories. The Secret Life of Stories has opened a new window for me, and reminded me once again that reading can make everyone feel better and just because one has a disability, they shouldn’t be denied the world of literature.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Review: Knock on Wood by: Linda O. Johnston

Title: Knock on Wood 
Author: Linda O. Johnston
Publisher: Midnight Ink
Series: Superstition Mystery #2
Pages: 312
Format: e-book ARC
Source: Great Escapes Book Tours & NetGalley

Rory Chasen, now the manager of the Lucky Dog Boutique in Destiny, California, is delighted when her closest friend Gemma Grayfield, a librarian, comes for a visit. But Gemma arrives early and seems upset. It turns out she has broken up with her boyfriend, Frank Shorester. Gemma is soon hired to manage the Broken Mirror Bookstore. Frank follows her to Destiny, where Gemma is also wooed by two local men. Rory may be a little jealous—until one of those men, Deputy Mayor Bevin Dermot, turns up dead. Bevin is known for knocking on wood for everything, but despite Destiny being all about superstitions that did not save his life.
Rory tries to help Gemma clear herself of being a murder suspect, even counting on her lucky black and white dog Pluckie to help. But is Gemma guilty of murder—or of just having a run of bad luck?

My Thoughts:

In this book we meet a friend of Rory's Gemma whose come to Destiny to hide from her boyfriend who she broke up with but that didn't stop him from coming to Destiny to win back his girlfriend.  Gemma seems to have no trouble flirting with the men of Destiny but when one of those men wind up dead it's up to Rory to find out what happened.

This book had everything you expect from Linda Johnston murder, adventure, great characters and so much more if you haven't read this series you are missing out on so much!!

Respect The Arc