Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Krista Davis, Not A Creature Was Purring

I loved Not a Creature Was Purring, this was a great holiday read from a much loved and treasured series I read by Krista Davis. This mystery had all the things you love about the holidays and everything you love and hate about family gatherings. It was warm, felt genuine and still over the top enough to keep you engaged and entertained. I would love to spend time in Wagtail year round, but Christmas time seems just that much more special, and cozy even with the recent mysterious deaths. From the author descriptions of the Sugar Maple in, to the decorated golf carts, Christkindl Market in the square and holiday pet clothes, it is easy to fall in love with and feel like you belong in Wagtail. I love this series and I loved this book. If ever Hallmark should make a cozy mystery into a holiday special it is this book and this series! I read it in one sitting not wanting it to end. A Great Read and a Great series to gift someone this holiday season. 
You can find it with free shipping worldwide from The Book Depository by clicking here. 
Santa Claws is coming to town and checking his list for a murderer—as the New York Times bestselling Paws & Claws Mysteries continue…Inn owner Holly Miller finds it ruff staying cheerful over the holidays when the dead body of a beloved businessman turns up in the pet-friendly town of Wagtail, Virginia. Inspired by her German heritage, Holly’s grandmother has arranged for Wagtail to have a Christkindl Market packed with goodies and decorations for the howliday tourists. But Holly’s mood takes an unseasonable turn when she learns that her old flame and childhood friend Holmes Richardson has brought his fiancĂ©e home—and she’ll be staying at the Sugar Maple Inn… A love triangle becomes the last thing on Holly’s mind when her Jack Russell Trixie’s nose for trouble leads her to the corpse of a pet clothing tycoon. Now Holly and her dedicated detectives—Trixie and Twinkletoes the cat—must sniff out the killer to keep Christmas from going to the dogs…

Thank you for joining me for a cup of tea and a cozy mystery review I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Monday, November 20, 2017

Death of a Toy Soldier by Barbara Early

I finished Death of a Toy Soldier by Barbara Early at 9:30 pm last night.  I have my friend Doward to thank for the wonderful gift of this book through our Halloween Book Exchange, he  kindly ordered it for me and I delighted in devouring it. The cover I would like to start with first and tell you it is one of my favorites for its simplicity and perfectly cozy and yet mysterious look. Its whimsical and fun and still spooky, quite like the book. I do love it when the book cover works so well with the story. Then there is the story, and it is a good one. I love the relationship and complicated history of a Police Chief who has had to retire after being injured in the line of duty, and he opens a store filled with vintage toys. I myself am a huge fan of dolls and toys vintage or just well loved and I have been known to rescue dolls, ponies and so much more from yard sales, and thrift stores alike, only in my world the My Little Ponies I loved don't seem to multiply as they do in this series (okay that line is from book two which I read earlier this year and loved!) There are some great lines in this book. I laughed out loud more than once and I did not want to put the book down. I was thinking about it when I was not reading it and anxious to get back to it, more to learn about Liz and her Dad, and just more about the store as well. The mysteries I also enjoyed and yet had not figured out before the reveal. As much as I wanted to find out who did it, I was enjoying the book so much that I did not want to know, because then it would end. But when I got to that part I was thrilled the book had a few more chapters to go and I finished the book feeling like I had been part of the community and maybe even a minor staff member at the store. 
This was a great read and I am so thankful to Doward for ordering this one for me. Put this on your holiday to be read list for sure! 

Liz McCall grew up in a playful winter wonderland but it was never her dream to manage her father's vintage toyshop. However, after he sank his entire police pension into the business, someone needed to help him turn his dreams into reality―and keep him from sneaking off to patrol the not-so-mean streets of East Aurora, NY.The mood goes from nice to naughty when a nervous man, who was trying to have his antique toys appraised, is found in the shop with a lawn dart through his chest. Suddenly, Liz's business plan is plunged into deep freeze, while she and her father find themselves toying with a cold-blooded killer who's playing for keeps.Now, it looks like Christmas might be cancelled for the neighborhood kids if Liz can't wrap up the case in Barbara Early's delightful debut Death of a Toy Soldier.

You can find Death of a Toy Soldier by Barbara Early on Amazon by clicking here. 
Thank you so much for joining me for a cup of tea and a cozy mystery I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Linda Reilly's Escape Claws...

Friday night I finished Escape Claws, Linda Reilly's first in the new A Cat Lady Mystery Series and it was so good! I very much enjoyed this start to what I hope will be a series with lots of books to come. I found that I was not only able to relate as a cat lover but as a cozy mystery lover as well.  The mysteries are good in this the minor mystery pulls at your heartstrings for sure, the major mystery and murderer I did not figure out until the reveal and the teaser about the Aunt and niece relationship history makes you want to read further! I am very excited for other cozy lovers and cat lovers to pick this book up December 26th and see what I am talking about.
Here, killer, killer, killer . . .

Escape Claws is available for pre order from Amazon by clicking here.
Thank you for joining me here for a cup of tea and a cozy mystery review. I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Saturday, November 18, 2017

On My Table and In My Cup November 11-18th

A week of surprises for sure and a wonderful assortment of reading on my table this week. My partner from the Halloween Swap kindly sent me Barbara Early's Death of A Toy Soldier which I have had on my wish list for quite sometime I am so looking forward to reading and reviewing this one!
On that same day I also received an order from Berkeley with three December titles I am very excited to add to my TBR list.
I have just finished Escape Claws and am thrilled and excited to share my review of this first in series that is coming out on December 26th! I am also very excited that I am hosting the release day party on my Beyond The Bookmarks Page during our Booked For The Holidays Event.
Find the Booked for the Holidays Event Page by clicking here.
The month long event I have planned is going to be one I hope is a highlight of your holiday plans. Spend some time each day with us, more than 35+ authors, recipes, games, tips, crafts and so much more. Come make new friends, find exciting reads and be able to honestly tell people you are "booked for the holidays" Click here to RSVP to the event,  also I have already started to post daily teasers, I hope you will check in and join us.
This week I read and very much enjoyed A Late Frost, its plot twist and characters make it easy to understand why this is such a much loved series. It is out now and a very good read.
Rhys Bowen, wowed me with The Ghost of Christmas Past, this is the first I have read in the series and book 17. I loved it could not put it down and read well past my bedtime. Perfect holiday mystery!
I publish daily as you know and it weighs heavy on me somedays when I think I am going to be very behind, however somehow I managed to publish twice on Thursday! I only released this last night. I also reviewed Potions and Pastries, the same day as The Ghost of Christmas Past, here I was worried I would have nothing for Thursday and I ended up double posting. Sorry if this caused any confusion and no one let me know!
I bought and loved and still love flipping through this book from the Irish Countrywomen's association Book Of Christmas. Great recipes, stories and more.
Sunday I reviewed A Murder for the Books. All and all a very busy week of reading and writing. 
I hope you have had a wonderful week. Thank you for joining me for this weeks look back at what was on my table and in my cup!
I would love hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com 

Friday, November 17, 2017

Fancy Friday Finds...

This weeks Fancy Friday Finds are all mystery and doll themed...
What do you buy for the mystery lover who has everything? How about a Handmade doll of their favorite author....
UneekDollDeisgns Etsy shop has an unbelievable selection of handmade dolls of authors and I thought I just have to share it with you and some of my favorites, such as this P.D. James Doll! Click here for shop and listing, you have to see this! 
There are a couple of different Agatha Christie dolls, I loved this one! Click here for the listing. 
Any Dorothy Sayers fans? Click here...
One of my personal favorite authors, Erma Bomeck, though not a mystery author as far as I know but loved her so much. 
Fifth and final for my Fancy Friday Finds is the Margaret Atwood doll, click here to see if for yourself. 
In this shop there are more than 800 dolls, of that there are more than 200 male authors and 81 female authors in shop! If you would like to find a truly unique gift idea for someone in your life check out UneekDollDesigns by clicking here.

Thank you for joining me for this weeks Fancy Friday Finds. I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Ghost of Christmas Past by Rhys Bowen

I was very delighted to receive a copy to review on Netgalley yesterday. Rhys Bowen is as many of you know a very good author. This is the first for me in the Molly Murphy Mystery series and book 17 of 18. It was very easy to see why this is such a long running and popular series. This book was full of timeless emotion and all the pulls the holiday can bring. This book felt very real and Molly very relatable even though this is a period based cozy, it felt very relevant. The theme of family resonates throughout this book and I simply could not put it down. I read it November 14th, on the most perfect of reading evenings, a most dark and stormy night. I could not put this book down and was delighted and enchanted by it. A very good holiday read!

Semi-retired private detective Molly Murphy Sullivan is suffering from depression after a miscarriage following her adventure in San Francisco during the earthquake of 1906. She and her husband, Daniel, are invited for Christmas at a mansion on the Hudson, and they gratefully accept, expecting a peaceful and relaxing holiday season. Not long after they arrive, however, they start to feel the tension in the house’s atmosphere. Then they learn that the host couple's young daughter wandered out into the snow ten years ago and was never seen again. Molly can identify with the mother's pain at never knowing what happened to her child and wants to help, but there is so little to go on. No ransom note. No body ever found. But Molly slowly begins to suspect that the occupants of the house know more than they are letting on. Then, on Christmas Eve, there is a knock at the door and a young girl stands there. "I'm Charlotte," she says. "I've come home."

This lovely holiday read is available now and one I highly recommend. Click here to find it listed on Amazon.
Thank you for joining me for a cup of tea and a cozy mystery review I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Bailey Cates, Potions and Pastries

I have been a longtime fan of the Magical Bakery Series by Bailey Cates and Potions and Pastries was one of the best in the series. I enjoy the supporting characters as much as main character Katie, and at times more. The Spell Book Club members have come to feel like old friends so for me it was hard to believe that it was only the second anniversary in the book of the bakery's opening. It felt like more connections were made in this book than ever before and the story came together magnetically if not magically. I loved the story line. The mystery and romance that Potions and Pastries was all about. Great read! 
It’s been exactly two years since Katie and her aunt and uncle opened the Honeybee Bakery, where they serve delicious—and bespelled—treats to the good people of Savannah. After a dinner celebrating the bakery’s anniversary, they all take a stroll along the waterfront and meet Aunt Lucy’s friend Orla, a colorful character who has been telling the fortunes of locals and tourists alike for years.
 The next day, Orla meets with what seems like a terrible accident, but Katie’s witchy intuition tells her it was something more sinister. Together with her trustworthy coven and her firefighter boyfriend, she’ll race to find out what happened to the unfortunate fortune-teller before the piping hot trail goes cold....

This one is out now and you can find it on Amazon by clicking here. 
Thank you for joining me here for a cup of tea and a cozy review. I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Sheila Connolly A Late Frost

I was sent A Late Frost  by Sheila Connolly to review, and I had agreed to review it later this month but I enjoyed it so much I have decided to move it up. I have not read every book in this series actually I think I may have only read two but I loved this book. It piqued my interest from the start and it kept surprising me at every turn. It was not overly predictable as cozies can be and it had a truly fresh feel. I liked how this book had unlikely turns and twists. I loved the introductions of the new characters and how comfortable I felt in the book, as if I too were a member of the community. This books was sad in parts, exciting in parts and anything but predictable. I very much enjoyed it. 

The usually quiet town of Granford, Massachusetts, is even drowsier during the colder months. But this year it’s in for a jolt when Monica Whitman moves into town. She’s a dynamo who wants to make friends fast in her new home, and she throws herself into community activities. Meg Corey, now Chapin after her marriage to Seth Chapin, is intrigued by the new arrival, who has already sold the town board on a new, fun way to bring in visitors during the off-season: WinterFare, which will feature local foods (such as Meg’s apples) and crafts, as well as entertainment. Tragically, Monica falls ill and dies after the event in what looks like a case of food poisoning. When all the food served at WinterFare has been tested, including Meg’s apples, it becomes clear that there’s a more sinister explanation to the older woman’s sudden demise. Meg’s investigation uncovers a bushel of potential suspects, one of whom is rotten to the core.  

A Late Frost is out now and you can find it on Amazon by clicking here. 
Thank you for joining me for a cup of tea and a cozy mystery review I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The Irish Countrywoman's Association Book Of Christmas

Whether we like it or not Christmas is running full speed ahead of us and I feel like at times if I don't start running I will miss the train to Christmas town. It sneaks up every year and I will be honest most years recently I have struggled to find that so called Christmas Spirit, that once I seemed to be obsessed with. I want to look upon Christmas with the same eyes of a child again, however that magic seems to elude me more often than not. These days I find that rather than the constant enthusiasm I once had for Christmas, is more subdued. Spirit that once shaped my childhood and captured my breath, is perhaps not as strong.  When I do feel it, that is when I am very lucky enough that the spirit of Christmas moves me, it does so more as a gentle breeze than the hurricane of yesteryear.  So I look for new things and ways to reclaim the holiday, and recapture the spirit. I found last spring a book put out by The Irish Countrywomen's Association and I enjoyed it so much, that I went online to see if they had any others. I found The Book of Christmas. When it arrived, I found, that between the pages magic could be found and that even though it was just past Easter, this was a book I would enjoy for years to come.  This book is a collection of stories, recipes, poetry, crafts, history and memories from women just like me and their secrets on how they celebrate Christmas. With lovely photos and a wonderful ribbon bookmark this is a great gift for yourself or someone you may know who may need an uplifting holiday gift.

My interest in this series stems from finding out in 2015 what my heritage is. Through DNA I was able to solve part of my own mystery of who I am and where my mother came from. She passed away in 2010 and never knew who she was or where she came from. She was adopted at age 5 and it all remains a mystery to this day. My mother however always identified with books, movies and stories about Ireland. She always wanted to go there. I know that she would have felt very emotional to have had it confirmed that she was Irish, had she lived long enough for that technology to become accessible. Finding my heritage was not just important to me it was a gift and a victory. So I find that I too am drawn to the Irish and their stories, because now I know they are my stories too.
Since my mother's passing, I have had to find a new normal, take back the holidays even when I did not want to celebrate anymore. I am getting there. It is still hard and it may always be, but I keep trying to reclaim that magic. This book has helped me do a little more of that!

Thank you for joining me for a cup of tea and a (preholiday) holiday book review. 
I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com 

Monday, November 13, 2017

Victoria Gilbert's A Murder For The Books

A Murder for the Books by VIctoria Gilbert is the first in a new series about a librarian who has had bad luck in love, moved in with her ailing aunt and stumbled upon a new neighbor and together they find the murdered body of a former Library volunteer.  With a crooked town leader, decades old mysteries to solve and some really good hunches Amy and her new neighbor discover town secrets, and cover ups all while getting to know each other a little better. This is a charming start to the series for sure. 
Fleeing a disastrous love affair, university librarian Amy Webber moves in with her aunt in a quiet, historic mountain town in Virginia. She quickly busies herself with managing a charming public library that requires all her attention with its severe lack of funds and overabundance of eccentric patrons. The last thing she needs is a new, available neighbor whose charm lures her into trouble.Dancer-turned-teacher and choreographer Richard Muir inherited the farmhouse next door from his great-uncle, Paul Dassin. But town folklore claims the house’s original owner was poisoned by his wife, who was an outsider. It quickly became water under the bridge, until she vanished after her sensational 1925 murder trial. Determined to clear the name of the woman his great-uncle loved, Richard implores Amy to help him investigate the case. Amy is skeptical until their research raises questions about the culpability of the town’s leading families... including her own.When inexplicable murders plunge the quiet town into chaos, Amy and Richard must crack open the books to reveal a cruel conspiracy and lay a turbulent past to rest in A Murder for the Books, the first installment of Victoria Gilbert’s Blue Ridge Library mysteries.

This book is out December 12 and published by Crooked Lane Books!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

The Frosty Taste of Scandal by CeeCee James

CeeCee James sent me her latest Angel Lake Mystery The Frosty Taste of Scandal and I loved it. Best first chapter I have read in the longest time, loved this book all the way through, mystery was fab and the murder weapon well very smart and tied in beautifully to the story. I could not put it down, reading well past my bedtime to finish. I said and thought "ooh!" so many times in this book. Loved the twist at the end and the cozy feelings this book left me with. Perfect holiday read with all the feels and so much more! From the title, to the cover and all the words beyond it, I was thrilled!  Read it! That's my advice!

The Frosty Taste of Scandal is out now and you can find it on Amazon by clicking here.

Thank you for joining me for a cup of tea and a cozy mystery review. I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com 

Saturday, November 11, 2017

On My Table and In My Cup November 4-11th

First I wish to acknowledge that today is Remembrance Day here in Canada, and I am observing the holiday and recognizing the sacrifices of others,  that has afforded my freedom and the freedom of so many others.

 My support, gratitude and thanks to the military families of the past, present and future for all they do so we can do all we do.

This week has been crazier than most, helping my cat through her recovery which she is not the most grateful of patients...She is however on the mend and showing marked signs of improvement. Thank you for those who reached out.

I have had some lovely books on my table this week and got three lovely books in the mail this week! I had pre ordered The Magicakal Family by Monica Crosson and I was thrilled it finally arrived from The Book Depository!
Libby Klein kindly sent me her Class Reunions are Murder which I think is a new book for 2018 and I got sent the coolest book of haiku, Killer Ku' which is all crime themed haiku, yep as cool as can be and this would make an amazing stocking stuffer!
I read CeeCee James The Frosty Taste of Scandal. My review will be up tomorrow.
I shared my review of Kate Carlisle's Eves of Destruction this week too, it's a good one this book is fab!
Bridget M. Tighe's independently published cozy that I thoroughly enjoyed!
Sunday I shared my love for The Witch at Wayside Cross by Lisa Tuttle. This was a great cozy!
I also shared that our Amigos are taking a Holiday Hiatus and resting up for our tours in 2018.
I even attended a Tea Festival this week and I love the new teas I bought. I have had some fantastic Chia this week, smooth creamy Earl Greys and so many more!
I would like to end today's post by inviting you all to join myself and 34 authors this December on my Beyond The Bookmarks Event Page for Cozies, Crime, Community and Christmas. A great way to spend the holidays and when anyone asks you can tell them you are booked for the holidays! At least one author per day will share their recipes, chat about their books and series and do a giveaway. There will be crafts posts, music, videos and so much more! You can join us from the comfort of your home just by visiting Beyond The Bookmarks and Clicking on the Event Section, Discussion page. We invite you to comment as well, share with us and help us build a great cozy community and spend time with each other virtually this holiday season. Click here for the Event page and you can see the full list of who will be stopping by on our page. 

Thank you for joining me here for a look back at what has been on my table and in my cup this week. I wish you a safe, happy and peaceful weekend. I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Friday, November 10, 2017

Fancy Friday Finds For The Love of the Cat

Welcome to this weeks Fancy Friday Finds. My week has pretty much been about Cats, Books & Tea and so that is the theme of this Friday's post. OUr Cat Mia, who is two had surgery to save her life and her leg. Truth be told we thought it would be more humane to save her life, though she has made it quite clear she disagrees. While she is healing, she is very unhappy with life and if you don't believe cats get depressed well, she most certainly is, when she is not trying to get revenge on me for doing everything I can to ensure her healing process.  I really love this T-shirt and if like me you do too you can find it at The Plaid Deer Etsy site by clicking here.
This is a photo of Mia, plotting her revenge just after I put this new cone on her, inflatable, supposed to stay on and not be easy to get off, she has had it off 6 times, this is cone number 3, she is not amused...
I shared that photo of Mia so you would understand why I am sharing this pin, it is actually from an Etsy shop with some truly unique items! Click here to see the Disabilies Etsy Shop...I may have to get this one! 

Mia is mostly confined to a dog crate for her recovery but she is allowed out to use the litter box and do some walking around, she tries to escape by waiting by the door, just before I put her back in her confinement, we really hope her fur grows in soon! She will likely feel much happier...
I found this hand painted cat teacup and saucer which I love and wished I had found for the Release Party of Sarah Fox's new Pancake House Mystery, Of Spice and Men, it totally looks like the cat on the cover!
You can find this and other truly lovely sets  in the Dariacustomdesigns Etsy Shop by clicking here. 

Thank you for joining me for this weeks Fancy Friday Finds and a check up on Mia! Hope she will be back to being my reading partner again soon! 
I love having you join me for a cup of tea each day, and I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com