Cozy Mystery

All posts tagged Cozy Mystery

#Challenges 2018 Reading Challenges

Published January 5, 2018 by Ashley Montgomery

2017 has come and gone and us readers are gearing up for another year in books. I hope that your year went better than mine did. Several hospital visits and working a lot seriously cut down on my reading time. I’m hoping this year brings me better health and more time for reading among other things.

Some of us opt to participate in challenges to help us meet our goals, try something new, or even just for the fun of it. Whatever the reason may be, it’s time to decide what challenges we’re up for.

Due to my lack of time due to working two jobs and my major health concerns, 2017 was not a good year for me, reading or otherwise. I was hoping last year would be my comeback year to fulfill my love of reading and I even tried my hand at hosting a challenge. Unfortunately that was not the case. I failed miserably at both.

With that said, these are the challenges I’ve chosen for this year. Clicking on the challenge logo will take you to view host’s post where you can read more information and sign up for yourself.

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This challenge is being hosted by Literary Escapism. My goal is 15 new authors.

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This challenge is being hosted by Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf. My goal is Initiate: Read 1 – 5 Witchy Books.

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This challenge is being hosted by Ginger Mom & the Kindle Quest.

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This challenge is being hosted by Escape with Dollycas Into A Good Book. My goal is Yearning – 31 – 50 Cozy Mysteries.

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This challenge is being hosted by Socrates’s Book Reviews. My goal is Level one (Snoop) – B) Read one book in each of the cozy sub-genres (total of 10 books)

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This challenge is being hosted by Socrates’s Book Reviews. My goal is Level 1 – Read 6 books.

Purrfect Reading Challenge

This challenge is being hosted by Socrates’s Book Reviews. My goal is Purring – Read 1-10 cat mysteries.

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This challenge is being hosted by Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book. My goal is each state plus D.C.

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This challenge is being hosted by Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book.

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This challenge is being hosted by Becky’s Book Reviews. My goal is 1-10 cat books.

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This challenge is being hosted by Book Dragon’s Lair. My goal is Chapter Books: 52.

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This challenge is being hosted by Andi’s ABCs. My goal is 1st Base: read 1 – 5 books.

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This challenge is being hosted by Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My!. My goal is 5-15 books – Amateur sleuth.

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This challenge is being hosted by (un)Conventional Bookviews. My goal is 1-30 books per year – New Release Newbie.

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This challenge is being hosted by Reading Challenge Addict. My goal is In Flight: 11-15 Challenges (Entered & Completed).

 

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#Review Southern Fried (Kenni Lowry #2) by Tonya Kappes

Published September 24, 2017 by Ashley Montgomery

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Southern Fried (Kenni Lowry #2) by Tonya Kappes
Publication date: April 4th 2017
Genres: Cozy Mystery
Review Copy from: Amazon
Edition: B01N212SJ8
My Rating: ★★★★★

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In the South, it’s better when the food is fried and the secrets kept buried…

After the dead body of a beloved Cottonwood resident is found tangled up in an electric fence, Sheriff Kenni Lowry has a hunch that somethin’ ain’t right. Her investigation heats up with a fierce cook-off competition, a euchre game where the intel is sweeter than the brownies, and a decades old family recipe that may just be the proof in the pudding.

The icing on the cake: Kenni is fighting an attraction to her recently sworn-in deputy sheriff, and election season is hot on her tail. When the killer comes after who she holds most dear, even her poppa’s ghostly guidance might not be enough to keep her and her own out of the frying pan.

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For years, USA Today bestselling author Tonya Kappes has been publishing numerous mystery with unprecedented success. She is famous not only for her hilarious plot lines and quirky characters, but her tremendous marketing efforts that have earned her thousands of followers and a devoted street team of fans.

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My second visit to Cottonwood, Kentucky proved that although this town might be small, the characters are not. I last left Sheriff Kenni Lowry tying up loose ends to a connected murder and robbery, while things were heating up between her and a certain handsome city boy. Just when everyone thinks things are back to normal, one of the citizens is found dead in the greenhouse of another. Although the evidence is all laid out for her, Kenni feels it’s too big of a coincidence to be that cut and dry. As the investigation heats up, so do the citizens as they start to blame Kenni for the spike in crime.

Can I just say how much I love these characters? Poppa is such fun character and I love how he helps Kenni on the cases, just like she did as a little girl when he was Sheriff. Poppa has a different approach to things than Kenni and it proves to be very helpful during the investigation. And did I mention he’s a ghost? I still feel like Kenni has some growing to do, especially when it comes to her own personal life. I’m hoping this big time city boy is just what this small town girl needs. The romance seems to be heating up between Deputy Finn and Kenni and I can’t wait to read the next book to see if they finally get some alone time.

Tonya Kappes sure does know how to keep you on your toes. With one mystery intertwined into another, she keeps you guessing while twisting and turning until you’re dizzy. She also knows how to create a colorful cast that will have your sides hurting from laughter. These southern characters are sure to keep you in stitches.

I’d recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of cozy mysteries. I’d also recommend it to anyone who loves southern humor and likes a little paranormal in their books.

#Promo #Giveaway A Fatal Twist (A Downward Dog Mystery #4) by Tracy Weber

Published January 7, 2017 by Ashley Montgomery

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A Fatal Twist (A Downward Dog Mystery #4) by Tracy Weber
Publication date: January 8th 2017
Genres: Cozy Mystery

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Do bad things really happen in threes? For yoga instructor Kate Davidson, it seems they do—and it also seems that no good deed goes unpunished. Kate’s life takes a chaotic turn when she agrees to be the doula for her pregnant best friend—and to play foster mother to two puppies. As if the terrible two puppies aren’t destructive (and disruptive) enough, things get exponentially worse when Kate finds the dead body of a philandering fertility doctor and sees Rachel, one of her yoga students, fleeing the scene.
Convinced of Rachel’s innocence, Kate sets out to find the real killer before her testimony condemns Rachel to a life behind bars. But who else would have wanted the doctor dead? Kate quickly realizes that there is no shortage of suspects: Could the killer have been Rachel’s troubled teenage daughter? A jilted ex-mistress? The doctor’s latest squeeze? An angry former patient? A fed-up business partner? And what’s the story about those lawsuits against the deceased doctor? Seems this not-so-good doctor had his fair share of enemies.
Finding more questions than answers, Kate launches a race against time to find the truth. But how much sleuthing can Kate really do when her hands are full with caring for three dogs, teaching yoga classes, and gaining an unexpected crime-solving partner? If Kate isn’t careful, her next yoga pose may be a fatal one.

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Also, join us for the virtual launch party TODAY where we will have games, prizes, so much fun and …. a live Q&A with the author!!!
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Tracy Weber is the author of the award-winning Downward Dog Mysteries series featuring yoga teacher Kate Davidson and her feisty German shepherd, Bella. Her first book, Murder Strikes a Pose won the Maxwell Award for Fiction and was 2015 Agatha award nominee for Best First Novel. The third book in her series, Karma’s a Killer, will released January, 2016 by Midnight Ink.

Tracy and her husband live in Seattle with their challenging yet amazing German shepherd Tasha. When she’s not writing, Tracy spends her time teaching yoga, walking Tasha, and sipping Blackthorn cider at her favorite ale house.

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#Promo #Giveaway Dying for Data (Adina Donati, Accidental Sleuth #2) by Cassidy Salem

Published September 20, 2016 by Ashley Montgomery

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Dying for Data (Adina Donati, Accidental Sleuth #2) by Cassidy Salem
Publication date: August 21, 2016
Genres: Cozy Mystery

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Bad karma, a rival suitor, and a deadly attack are enough to put a damper on any date.

Just when Adina’s social life is looking up, her night out is interrupted by the scream of police sirens. Afraid her bartender boyfriend might be accused of murder, Adina’s neighbor enlists her assistance, and in the process exposes her to the seamier side of illegal immigration and crime in the city. Hard as she tries to limit her involvement, the more Adina learns, the more she needs to know – until a case of mistaken identity lands her in hot water. Will she uncover the truth before it’s too late?

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Cassidy Salem has always been an avid reader. She is especially fond of mysteries (both cozy and traditional) and police procedurals. Cassidy also enjoys reading historical fiction focused on American and world history, as well as the classics. When she’s not reading, she enjoys music and spending time with family and friends, and travels with her husband and son whenever possible. Her travels have taken her to destinations throughout the United States, Europe, and Scandinavia.

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#Promo The Cat, The Collector and the Killer (A Cats in Trouble Mystery #8) by Leann Sweeney

Published August 2, 2016 by Ashley Montgomery

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The Cat, The Collector and the Killer (A Cats in Trouble Mystery #8)
by Leann Sweeney
Publication date: August 2nd 2016
Genres: Cozy Mystery

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In the latest mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of The Cat, the Sneak and the Secret, a cat collector is suspected of murder.

Jillian Hart and police chief Tom Stewart are enjoying peaceful, newly wedded bliss in Mercy, South Carolina, until a woman is found wandering the streets one night. She’s in her night clothes, disoriented, and carrying a kitten in a tote bag. A search of the woman’s house reveals many more cats, a maze of cardboard boxes—and a dead man.

Although the evidence suggests the frail woman is the killer, Jillian doesn’t believe she’s capable of such a crime. The dead man had many enemies in town, which means finding the real murderer may prove to be its own cat and mouse game…

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Leann Sweeney was born and raised in Niagara Falls and educated at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Lemoyne College in Syracuse, NY. She also has a degree from the University of Houston in behavioral science and worked for many years in psychiatry. Currently a school nurse, she began writing about fifteen years ago, fulfilling her lifelong dream. After perfecting her writing skills with classes and a small fortune in writing books, she joined MWA and Sisters in Crime. Her short fiction won many awards and several mysteries were published in small market mystery magazines. One novel and another mystery novella went straight to audio. Leann is married with two fabulous grown children, a wonderful son-in-law and a beautiful daughter-in-law. She has lived in Texas for almost thirty years and resides in Friendswood, Texas with husband Mike and her three cats.

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#Review Engaged in Death (Wedding Planner Mystery #1) by Stephanie Blackmoore

Published July 11, 2016 by Ashley Montgomery

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Engaged in Death (Wedding Planner Mystery #1) by Stephanie Blackmoore
Publication date: June 28th 2016
Genres: Cozy Mystery
Review Copy from: Netgalley
Edition: ISBN13: 9781496704788
My Rating: ★★★

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All appears peaceful in sleepy Port Quincy, Pennsylvania–but in this small town, old grudges die hard. . .

After dumping her cheating fiancé and cancelling the wedding, Mallory Shepard can’t bear another disaster. So when the former bride-to-be unexpectedly inherits Thistle Park, a ramshackle mansion in her ex’s hometown of Port Quincy, it’s a problem she can’t afford–literally. Abound with stray cats, peeling wallpaper, and nosy neighbors, Mallory is dying to sell it off–once she finally fixes up both the place and her messy life. . .

Turns out, Thistle Park has its charms. But the honeymoon phase is abruptly cut short when an unwanted visitor is found dead on the front lawn. Enlisting the help of her sister Rachel, Mallory vows to unveil the killer before she herself becomes married to the suspect list. . .

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A native Pittsburgher, Stephanie now lives in Missouri with her husband, son and two spirited cats. She was an attorney and a librarian before becoming a writer. Stephanie is a fan of snow, strawberry-rhubarb pie, and the color yellow. She is hard at work on her next novel.

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I’ve been on a cozy kick lately and this one sounded too good to turn down.

Mallory’s life is right on track. She’s set to make partner at her law firm and she’s planning her dream wedding. Well, her monster…er…mother-in-law’s dream wedding I should say. That is until she receives a mysterious package in the mail that shows proof of her fiance’s infidelity. As if her life wasn’t in enough turmoil, she inherits a rundown mansion belonging to her ex’s grandmother, where an undesired visitor turns up dead in the front yard. Volunteering Rachel, her sister, to help her, Mallory must expose the killer before she becomes a suspect, or worse yet, a victim.

I wasn’t drawn in by any of the characters until Rachel entered the scene. I actually think Rachel was my favorite because she showed the most depth and growth. There’s a lot more to her than the rebellious brat Mallory thinks she is. Mallory was just a bit too uptight for me. She did loosen up more as the story progressed though. What to say about Keith, Mallory’s ex, other than he’s a cheating douchebag. Although his mother is a overbearing, conniving devil herself so I guess the apple didn’t fall far from the tree. The one character that I wish we’d gotten to know more was Keith’s grandmother, Sylvia. I think she would’ve added a lot of zest to the story. We’re introduced to the other great characters and I look forward to getting to know more about them as the series goes on. Especially a handsome lawyer who seems just the person to take Mallory’s mind off everything that has took place.

The story was a bit slow going for me at first but when it did take off, it ran. I was so sure of who the killer was and was very surprised to be wrong. The author did a good job of adding lots of twists and other little mysteries in there throwing you off track. It actually didn’t click with me until the killer was revealed. It did make sense though after I went back and thought about everything. I also liked how the romance between Mallory and Garrett(remember that handsome lawyer I mentioned) is downplayed and I look forward to it (hopefully) developing over the rest of the series.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of cozy mysteries.

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I received a copy of this book, at no charge to me, in exchange for my honest review.

#Promo #Guest Post #Giveaway Caught Bread Handed (A Bakeshop Mystery #4) by Ellie Alexander

Published June 28, 2016 by Ashley Montgomery

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Caught Bread Handed (A Bakeshop Mystery #4) by Ellie Alexander
Publication date: June 28th 2016
Genres: Cozy Mystery

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Welcome to Torte—a friendly, small-town family bakeshop where the oven is heating up as high as the body count… Jules Capshaw is still chewing over her husband Carlos’s return to Ashland, Oregon. Could there be too many cooks in the kitchen? Whatever is stirring between those two will have to wait. Despite the Oregon Shakespeare Festival being dark for the winter, the bakeshop is bustling, the dough is rolling, and there’s no rest for the weary… especially when murder is thrown into the mix. When Mindy Nolan, the owner of a new restaurant in town, turns up dead, the batter at hand thickens. Jules knows that there was bad blood between Mindy and others in town, and tracking the killer could prove to be an unwelcome treat. And to top it all off, there’s Carlos, who is pleading—with those delicious dark eyes and sexy Spanish accent—for Jules to take him back. Is home where the heart is or will she make a fresh start… and risk getting burned?

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Baking Behind the Scenes
Welcome to Torte, where the bread is always served warm with a pat of hand-churned butter, and a side of love. Torte, the artisan family bakeshop in my culinary mystery series, is a gathering place for the community. Locals and tourists stop in for fresh raspberry scones, slices of decadent double chocolate cake, and to talk about all the gossip and news around town. I love getting to create a comforting and welcoming bakeshop and writing about food. However, I’m not a trained pastry chef which means that I spend a lot of time visiting real bakeries and interviewing professional chefs. It’s a rough job, I know.

I thought it would be fun to give you a taste (pun intended) of the research that goes into learning the inner workings of the culinary world.

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For starters I think about the actual space. Because Torte is located in Ashland, Oregon, home of the world famous Oregon Shakespeare Festival, it has to have a touch of Shakespeare and whimsy. It’s painted cheery red and teal blue with corrugated metal siding, bistro tables, and a chalkboard menu. One of my bakery inspirations is a place called Cake Happy in Camas, Washington. It’s a family run shop with gorgeous window displays, a rustic elegant vibe, and plenty of cozy couches to curl up with a red velvet cupcake and steaming hot latte.

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NW Culinary School

Another thing that I do when I’m working on a book is interview pastry chefs. I’ve learned so many tricks of the trade, quick tips for baking, and even gotten a few new ideas on how to bump someone off in a bakeshop from chatting with chefs. I’ve been so impressed to watch how they orchestrate a blur of staff, a frenzy of chopping knives, and plate after plate of styled food. One of the most amazing experiences that I’ve had behind the scenes in a professional kitchen was at the NW Culinary Institute where I spent an evening watching chefs-in-training at work as they prepared a six course meal that almost too pretty to eat and tasted even better.

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Cake buffet

Speaking of taste, I can’t even begin to count how many pastries and baked goods I’ve sampled in the last few years. Don’t get me wrong I’m not complaining, but my waistline might be in trouble. Whenever I travel I ask for recommendations on the best places to score a sweet eat in town. I’ve never been disappointed in my search and I try to find unusual flavor combinations and exotic delicacies when I’m exploring a new place, some of which have even found their way into the pages of the books. One standout tasting memory was at the dessert buffet in Lake Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. I still dream of the miles of cakes, macaroons, chocolate dipped strawberries, and petit fours. Yum!

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Lastly, one of the most rewarding and humbling things about writing the series has been connecting with local bakers. They have welcomed me into their kitchens, championed the books, and created stunning masterpieces like this cakescape from the book release party for the third book in the series, On Thin Icing. My local pastry muse is Kristina with Tier Catering who treated the audience to a hands-on icing demonstration and a tutorial on the best way to cut a cake. Seriously, I think I have the best job ever!

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Here’s to all the bakers—whether in your home kitchen or in a 5-star restaurant—I hope you enjoy my fictional bakeshop in Caught Bread Handed.

Happy Baking!

~Ellie

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Ellie Alexander is a Pacific Northwest native who spends ample time testing pastry recipes in her home kitchen or at one of the many famed coffeehouses nearby. When she’s not coated in flour, you’ll find her outside exploring hiking trails and trying to burn off calories consumed in the name of research. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter to learn more.

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bread giveaway
Signed copies of all 4 books in the Bakeshop Mysteries, Cupcake tea towel and pot holder, Love cake topper, Bakeshop page flags, Assortment of gourmet lemonade and Triple Chocolate Chunk cookie mix.

US only.

Ends July 20th

Must be 13 or older to enter and have parental permission if under 18. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary to win.

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