Sunday, August 28, 2016

Book Review/Giveaway: In the land of Milk and Honey by Jane Jensen

 Title: In The Land Of Milk And Honey
 Author: Jane Jensen
 Series: Book 2 An Elizabeth Harris Mystery
  Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
  Format: Paperback
 Source: Received for Review from publisher
 Star Rating: 4 out 5 stars
 Reviewed by: Marlene

 It's nearly been a year since Elizabeth has solved the murders of an Amish girl and an English girl, she has finally settled and made a life for herself in rural Pennsylvania. But with her new case her new found life will be questioned and so will her ties to the Amish community that surrounds her. When an Amish family dies of an extreme flu virus Elizabeth is asked as a favour to look into it.

What she reveals in the weeks ahead will lead into a murder investigation that will include the Centre for Diseases and a media war regarding the consumption of raw milk. Although Elizabeth has strengthen her ties to this community she still cannot breach their walls of pride. Soon one family death leads to more deaths and then begins the hunt for a plant that is not native to these surroundings but Elizabeth believes it is more sinister than that.

With more and more deaths the investigation turns into a manhunt. The question is how many more families will die before the person or persons are captured. All the while Elizabeth becomes torn between a life she started to build with Ezra and the possibility of a new man. As Ezra seemingly starts pulling away Elizabeth starts to question if they are right for each other. In the end Elizabeth will face down a killer and confront her true feelings with Ezra. I enjoyed the complexity of this story, the murders, the plan and the conflict it insued.

 I enjoyed seeing Elizabeth grow and falter as well. It gave a realistic quality of how today's workforce can take over your life and question your personal choices and how it affects others. It was truly a good read.

 FTC Disclosure: Thank you to the publisher and/or author or Net Galley for providing us with a copy of this book for review.This did not influence our thoughts in any way. All the opinions of the book are our own.

 Click the link to purchase on amazon:

PLEASE READ CAREFULLY:

 Comment with your email below to win a copy of In the land of Milk and honey by Jane Jensen in the comments. If you do not leave your email here on the blog or email acozygirlreads@gmail.com you will be disqualified from winning.

 If you don't want to leave your email here or not able to enter on this blog, please send an email to acozygirlreads@gmail.com and add Milk and Honey Giveaway" in the Subject line.

 Giveaway is open to US Residents only



 The giveaway closes at 12:00 am EST August 29th . Entries will not be counted after 12:00 am EST August 29th. The winner will be announced on the blog and Facebook Page and notified by email (don't forget to check your SPAM FOLDER)

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Book Review/Giveaway:Murder in the Secret Garden by Ellery Adams

Title: Murder in the Secret Garden
Author: Ellery Adams
Series: Book 3  A Book Retreat Mysteries
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Format: Paperback
Source: Received for review from Publisher
Star Rating: Five Stars
Reviewed by: Tina

I couldn't help but being swept away by Murder In the Secret Garden. Enchanting and magical with romance with a multi-layered plot that was beautifully written. The Medieval Herbalists are staying at Storyton Hall, a book-themed retreat where patrons go to read and relax with no distractions of modern day life and Jane Steward is responsible for guarding the hidden library with secret books and manuscripts inside.

There's an upcoming wedding, and will be something for the nature lovers, gardeners, and foodies and studying and growing herbs and there will be a inaugural bookish duck race.
Among the Herbalists are some interesting characters like, Constance Meredith aka "Poison Princess" and expert on poisonous plants with a toxic personality.

Kira Grace is a photographer who's subjects that she photographs weren't just plants.Jane finds Kira Grace floating dead in the river. In Kira Grace's possessions are compromising photos. When it's proven that Kira Grace was poisoned not drowned, and the theft of a rare herbal book on display Jane will do anything to protect Storyton hall and all the books the hidden library hold.

The Secret Library is a place that fascinates me I would love to venture in there to read the books it beholds.  The elements of fantasy and a page turning story that makes you feel for the characters, and a captivating romance between Jane and "Book Theif" Edwin Alcott. An unforgettable read that I couldn't put down I can't wait to read and review the next book in the series.

FTC Disclosure: Thank you to the publisher and/or author or Net Galley for providing us with a copy of this book for review.This did not influence our thoughts in any way. All the opinions of the book are our own.


 Click the link to purchase on Amazon:

PLEASE READ CAREFULLY:

 Comment with your email below to win a copy of Murder in the Secret Garden by Ellery Adams in the comments. If you do not leave your email here on the blog or email acozygirlreads@gmail.com you will be disqualified from winning.

 If you don't want to leave your email here or not able to enter on this blog, please send an email to acozygirlreads@gmail.com and enter Murder in the Secret Garden Giveaway" in the Subject line.

 Giveaway is open to US Residents only

 The giveaway closes at 12:00 am EST August 28 th


  Entries will not be counted after 12:00 am EST August 28th. The winner will be announced on the blog and Facebook Page and notified by email (don't forget to check your SPAM FOLDER)

Friday, August 26, 2016

Book Review: Kingdom Come by Jane Jensen

 Title: Kingdom Come
 Author: Jane Jensen
 Series: Book 1 An Elizabeth Harris Novel
 Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
 Format: Paperback
 Source: Purchased on Amazon
 Star Rating: 5 out 5 stars
 Reviewed by: Marlene

 Detective Elizabeth Harris finds herself in the middle of not only a murder investigation but in a silent cultural rift between the Amish and the English. After returning to Pennsylvania from New York following the murder of her beloved husband, Terry she is looking for the simple life she once came from. What she ends up finding is far from simple and reminding her of the crimes she once investigated in New York.

 When the body of a young girl is found on an Amish farm, one that was not Amish it sparks something in Elizabeth that she will not let go of but when a second victim is found in connection she becomes obsessed with finding justice for these two girls. Two girls from separate worlds found dead in their opposite worlds. Along with her superior, Detective Grady and her fellow officers, Smith and Hernandez they will walk the fine line of investigating a murder while respecting the laws of a very sealed off community.

This becomes increasingly difficult when certain allegations arise on both sides of the fence, allegations with the Amish and the police. Elizabeth in particular who has befriended a young Amish man in a turbulent time in his life. Soon, however they conceive a bond no one would allow or understand.

 I sincerely enjoyed the story. Just like most I picture the Amish to be sort of a dream world where it is picturesque and ideal. I was given some insight into their ideals through this story. Unfortunately, there is no such place as utopia and even the most righteous like people have their dark secrets and flaws. I also found that this story was very emotional, not dramatic but it brings you on a ride of Elizabeth's emotional state past and present.

 As for Elizabeth I loved her, her devotion, determination and the boundaries she gave herself to stay in check with her emotions, although sometimes they peeked through. I felt frustrated with the women of the Amish, not how they were written but because that is their lives and I just don't know how they do it. I could never live in a patriarchal society.

Looking forward to reading the next chapter in Elizabeth's life, the newest in the series, In The Land Of Milk And Honey. Look for my review/giveaway on August 28.

 FTC Disclosure: Thank you to the publisher and/or author or Net Galley and Windsor Public Library in Windsor, Ontario Canada for providing us with a copy of this book for review.This did not influence our thoughts in any way. All opinions on the books are our own.


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Sunday, August 21, 2016

Book Review: Die, Die Birdie by J.R. Ripley

 Title: Die, Die Birdie
 Author: J.R. Ripley
 Series: Book 1 A Bird Lovers Mystery
 Publisher: Lyrical Underground
 Format: ebook
 Source: Received for review from Netgalley
 Star Rating: 5 stars
 Reviewed by: Tina

 What a different and interesting concept for a cozy mystery series for Bird and nature fans alike. The cover caught my eye with the cute little blue I love birds and the birdhouse and being a bird fan and watcher I wanted to read Die, Die Birdie.

 Amy Simms loves nature and all things birds, she is gearing up for the grand opening of her store, Birds and Bees in her new home/business she purchased from Gertie Hammer. Matt Kowalski is found by Amy and her best friend and assistant, Kim in storeroom dead, Matt is someone who went to school with them.

Roommate nicknamed, Esther the Pester then accuses Amy of committing the murder when Matt's blood is on her hands. Soon it's shopkeeper, Amy Simm's under suspicion of murder when it is found that he was killed with a birdfeeder hook. Amy and her best friend, Kim wonder about the future of Birds and Bees.

Kim is carrying secrets about her past with Matt that make Amy wonder and Gertie Hammer wants to purchase the house back from Amy when it is suspected the holds something of value and could be a reason why Matt and another murder was committed.

Entertaining plot twists made Die,Die Birdie a fun read.  I enjoyed the fast pace of the story. The concept of the mystery also made it enjoyable  and made for a thrilling adventure. I can't wait to read and review the next book in the Bird lovers mysteries.


FTC Disclosure: Thank you to the publisher and/or author or Net Galley for providing us with a copy of this book for review.This did not influence our thoughts in any way. All the opinions of the book are our own.

 Check out the link for more exciting stops in this blog tour : Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours




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Sunday, August 14, 2016

Book Review/Giveaway: No Pity For The Dead by Nancy Herriman

Title: No Pity For The Dead
Author: Nancy Herriman
Series: A Mystery Of Old San Francisco (Book 2)
Publisher: Obsidian
Format: Paperback
Source: Received for review from the author
Star Rating: 4 out 5
Reviewed by: Marlene

Celia Davies finds herself in an overflowing amount of conflict when she is once again caught up in a murder investigation and her cousin's disapproval. While she is trying to clear an innocent man's name she will be at odds with Detective Nick Greaves as he is set that he has found his killer. A man he knows all too well from his past. All the while struggling to keep her patient's tended too.

The victim, Virgil Nash is found in a shallow grave in the cellar of an architect's firm. While he has vast amounts of enemies, the main suspects all seem to be tied to the firm. There is no secret that Mr. Nash and the company had issues when it came to certain city plans but with some of the partners more then others. While Nick and Celia start out on separate investigations, Celia knows that her sleuthing can only go so far and needs Nick to officially bring the culprit to justice. She starts sharing her information with the police and the investigation leads into a whole new direction. 

Along with the murder Celia must deal with the crumbling relationship between herself and her cousin Barbara. Barbara who is sixteen and half Chinese is still coming to terms with the loss of her father, Celia's unorthodox version of guardianship and the ongoing hatred of the Chinese in San Francisco. Barbara is very emotional and frightened of all that surrounds her. All that she feels Celia has brought into her house. Celia has a hard time reconciling her issues and doubts. Despite the fact that Celia has her own reconciling to do when it comes to her husband and going forward with her heart.

The story centers around an actual even "The Second Street Cut" a plan to flatten some of the hills of San Francisco to help with transit. There were many conflicts regarding this issue and it eventually was completed in 1869. In 1873 the cable cars would be introduced and would discourage future plans.

The story was actively dramatic and since there was so much deceit and suspects it kept you guessing. I thoroughly enjoyed the story and the emotional battles that Celia, Barbara and Nick had to face which usually I just like action. Their emotional distress was very realistic to me and engaging. And as always Celia's strong female lead was perfect.

Looking forward to the next story in her life.

FTC Disclosure: Thank you to the publisher and/or author or Net Galley for providing us with a copy of this book for review.This did not influence our thoughts in any way. All the opinions of the book are our own.

Click the link to purchase on Amazon:

PLEASE READ CAREFULLY:

 Comment with your email below to win a copy of No Pity for the Dead by Nancy Herriman in the comments. If you do not leave your email here on the blog or email acozygirlreads@gmail.com you will be disqualified from winning.

 If you don't want to leave your email here or not able to enter on this blog, please send an email to acozygirlreads@gmail.com and enter No Pity for the Dead Giveaway" in the Subject line.

 Giveaway is open to US Residents only



 The giveaway closes at 12:00 am EST August 15th . Entries will not be counted after 12:00 am EST August 15th. The winner will be announced on the blog and Facebook Page and notified by email (don't forget to check your SPAM FOLDER)

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Book Review/Giveaway: Grilling the Subject by Daryl Wood Gerber

Title: Grilling the Subject
Author: Daryl Wood Gerber
Series: Book 5 Cookbook Nook Mysteries
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Format: Paperback
Source: Received for Review from Publisher
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Reviewed by: Tina

I must be honest and admit that the Wild West theme in Grilling the Subject did not excite me, but the Cookbook Book Nook Mysteries being one of my favorite series, I had to read it. All the barbecue and ranch style food that chef Katie was cooking up in the The Nook Cafe kitchen had my mouth watering not to mention the the Grilling themed cookbook titles mentioned that were on display in the Cookbook Nook Shop, had me salivating

Jenna Hart helps her aunt Vera run a culinary cookbook shop in Crystal Cove California, The Cookbook Nook. Everyone is excited for the Wild West Extravaganza complete with horse races, rope jumping and more.

Shane Maverick used to work with Jenna in advertiseing before she came to Crystal Cove. He is now a promoter for the Wild West Extravaganza. He is in a property dispute with a local named Sylvia after Shane had moved across  the street from her from the local land owner.

Sylvia is murdered after her house caught on fire and she was stabbed with a implement sold at her shop. Sylvia was not well liked among the locals in the area including Jenna's father,Cary after he complained about loud noise from one of Sylvia's many parties. When Cary is accused of the murder Jenna stops at nothing to try to rope in the killer even with a chilling secret coming back to haunt her that could possibly jeprodize her relationship with her current boyfriend, Rhett.

I always antisipate the themes in every Cookbook Nook mystery although this one didn't thrill me the BBQ dishes and the murder never failed to keep me interested. The unbeliveable drama in Jenna's life along with the murder made Grilling the Subject a page turner, Shane was a new down right arogoant character that you love to hate. I look forward to reading and reviewing the next book in this series.

FTC Disclosure: Thank you to the publisher and/or author or Net Galley for providing us with a copy of this book for review.This did not influence our thoughts in any way. All the opinions of the book are our own.

 PLEASE READ CAREFULLY:

 Comment with your email below to win a copy of Grilling the Subject by Daryl Wood Gerber in the comments. If you do not leave your email here on the blog or email acozygirlreads@gmail.com you will be disqualified from winning. 

 If you don't want to leave your email here or not able to enter on this blog, please send an email to acozygirlreads@gmail.com with Grilling the Subject Giveaway" in the Subject line.

 Giveaway is open to US Residents only 

 The giveaway closes at 12:00 am EST August 14th . Entries will not be counted after 12:00 am EST August 14th. The winner will be announced on the blog and Facebook Page and notified by email (don't forget to check your SPAM FOLDER)

Friday, August 12, 2016

Book Review: No Comfort for the Lost by Nancy Herriman

 Title: No Comfort For The Lost
 Author: Nancy Herriman
 Series: A Mystery Of Old San Francisco (Book 1)
 Publisher: Obsidian
 Format: Paperback
 Source: Received for review from the library
 Star Rating: 5 out 5
 Reviewed by: Marlene

 Mrs. Celia Davies a trained nurse who served in the army had come to San Francisco with her husband Patrick to start a new life and prosper. Although life has brought her some tribulations she has persevered. She has taken residence in her late uncle's home where she has opened a free women's clinic and guardianship of her niece, Barbara and assisted by her hot mouthed maid, Addie. She has set her sights on helping fellow women that cannot help themselves such as the many Chinese girls that are brought into the city only to become enslaved in brothels.

 When a friend of Celia's is found dead by the wharf, a young Chinese girl that found her way out of the brothel and into a relationship with her brother in law, she will do anything to bring the murderer to justice. This includes injecting herself into Nick Greaves' investigation, the officer in charge, especially after someone linked to her is arrested for the crime. Soon Celia will find not everyone is as who they claim to be, even someone very close to her. Set in the 1860s when tempers and prejudices ran high against the Chinese for coming to California most people turned their backs on them or turned to violence against them brought forth an Anti-Coolie Association to organize the efforts.

 Throughout the story there are instances of violence, vandalism and harassment, it almost seems to mirror today's look at immigrants in North America. At least from the snippets of news and information that I have seen. It was a sad look back at that period of time. The story was so well written and proved to be enjoyable as well as a history lesson. The characters are incredibly engaging and honest. I truly enjoyed Celia's strong will and devotion towards her loved ones and fellow women. I had great empathy for the struggles of Li Sha and Barbara. And loved the wit and banter of Addie. The villains of the story were indeed just that evil insidious villains.

 I look forward to reading the next book in this series. The review will be posted Sunday, August 14, 2016

 FTC Disclosure: Thank you to the publisher and/or author or Net Galley or Windsor Public Library in Windsor, Ontario, Canada for providing us with a copy of this book for review.This did not influence our thoughts in any way. All the opinions of the book are our own.


 Click the link to purchase on Amazon: