Friday, September 9, 2022

ROCCO's September Cozy Reviews!

 Merow, welcome to the spooky Fall season with this bunch of cozies from Berkley!



 

A GOOD DOG’S GUIDE TO MURDER by Krista Davis (Berkley Mass Market Original; on sale September 6, 2022) |

The great Gingerbread Dog & Cat House competition has come to Wagtail, along with another murder to solve for Holly and her supersmart Jack Russell terrier Trixie in the New York Times bestselling Paws & Claws series by Krista Davis!

Visitors are arriving in droves to spend Thanksgiving in the mountains of pet-friendly Wagtail, Virginia. Many of them are bringing dog and cat gingerbread houses to enter in the contest that will be held in the new convention center. Wagtail resident Orly Biffle bequeathed the land to the town in his will, provided that they not cut down the grand old oak tree on the property.

 

When a bulldozer churns up some roots, the tree falls over on its own accord revealing a body inside the trunk! Initially, the townsfolk suspect the murderer was Orly himself, but it soon becomes clear that someone is trying to keep the truth under wraps. Trixie and Twinkletoes now have to help Holly sniff out some suspects and leash a conniving killer.


Really, anything wth Krista Davis' name on it is sure to be a hit. We love the Domestic Diva series (thank God Kensington had the good sense to pick it up) and we love this one. Who doens't enjoy solving a mystery in Wagtail?  Plus Trixie and Twinkletoes make excellent sleuths!!!!   Five Paws.

 

 

 

WHISKERS AND LIES by Sofie Kelly (Berkley Hardcover; on sale September 13, 2022) | 

Librarian Kathleen Paulson is always willing to help a friend, but to save one from a wrongful arrest, she’ll need magical backup from her affectionate cats in the newest installment of this New York Times bestselling series.

Baker Georgia Tepper has been hired to provide delicious and spooky cupcakes for the Reading Buddies Halloween Party at the library, and she and Kathleen are meeting to finalize the menu of festive confections. Unfortunately, once Georgia’s former mother-in-law ambushes her at the library and threatens Georgia with legal action, the afternoon of fun is soured.
 
When Georgia’s litigious in-law is later found dead and the friendly baker is implicated, Kathleen is eager to help prove her innocence. Luckily, Kathleen and her intrepid magical cats, Hercules and Owen, have solved their fair share of mysteries. As a result, she knows that in life as well as crime solving, it is all relative, but with hard work, she can make sure the right criminal is booked.


We love this series, we love Kathleen but most of all we love the cats! Always a treat to see how Hercules and Owen help their human solve a perplexing mystery. Another series we never tire of.  Five Paws.

 

 

 

THE GHOST AND THE STOLEN TEARS by Cleo Coyle (Berkley Mass Market Original; on sale October 4, 2022) | 

With the help of her gumshoe ghost, bookshop owner Penelope Thornton-McClure sets out to clear an innocent woman of a shocking crime in this all-new entry in the “utterly charming” (Mystery Scene) Haunted Bookshop Mysteries from New York Times bestselling author Cleo Coyle.

Living out of her van and teardrop trailer, Norma is a modern-day nomad.  Jovial, wise, and scrupulously honest, she’s become an uplifting presence in the little town of Quindicott, Rhode Island, where bookseller Pen is thankful to have her part-time help. But it’s Norma’s other job, working as a housekeeper at the Finch Inn, that gets her into terrible trouble. Norma is accused of stealing jewels from a guest’s room: the legendary Valentino Teardrops, an antique necklace and earring set, inherited by a young socialite. Pen doesn’t believe Norma is guilty of the crime—though the evidence is distressingly strong. And when the spirited Norma vanishes before her arrest, Pen turns to another spirit…


Cleo Coyle and company have anohter winner with this companion series to their coffee shop sereis.  Four and a half paws!



Berkley Trade Paperback/9/20/22/Four stars

Emily Dickinson and her housemaid, Willa Noble, realize there is nothing poetic about murder in this first book in an all-new series from USA Today bestselling and Agatha Award–winning author Amanda Flower.

January 1855 Willa Noble knew it was bad luck when it was pouring rain on the day of her ever-important job interview at the Dickinson home in Amherst, Massachusetts. When she arrived late, disheveled with her skirts sodden and filthy, she'd lost all hope of being hired for the position. As the housekeeper politely told her they'd be in touch, Willa started toward the door of the stately home only to be called back by the soft but strong voice of Emily Dickinson. What begins as tenuous employment turns to friendship as the reclusive poet takes Willa under her wing. 

Tragedy soon strikes and Willa's beloved brother, Henry, is killed in a tragic accident at the town stables. With no other family and nowhere else to turn, Willa tells Emily about her brother’s death and why she believes it was no accident. Willa is convinced it was murder. Henry had been very secretive of late, only hinting to Willa that he'd found a way to earn money to take care of them both. Viewing it first as a puzzle to piece together, Emily offers to help, only to realize that she and Willa are caught in a deadly game of cat and mouse that reveals corruption in Amherst that is generations deep. Some very high-powered people will stop at nothing to keep their profitable secrets even if that means forever silencing Willa and her new mistress....

Amanda Flower takes us on a whirlwind of a mystery!  Enjoyed it even tho period mysteries aren't really my thing. four paws



GIVEAWAY!

We have a copy of Krista Davis' THE GOOD DOG'S GUIDE TO MURDER for one lucky commenter!  Just leave your name and email address in our comments section.  US entries only, please.  One winner will be selected at Random by ROCCO's brother Maxx!  Contest closes midnight, September 16!

Friday, August 12, 2022

ROCCO's August Cozy Reviews!

 Ma-Row!  Here are the cozies I reviewed for August!



 

MURDER OF A MAIL-ORDER BRIDE by Mimi Granger (Berkley Mass Market; on sale August 2, 2022) | 

 

Lizzie Hale is getting down to brass tacks in order to catch a killer, in this next Love is Murder mystery.

Lizzie Hale thought mail-order brides existed only between the pages of the historical romances she stocks in her bookstore, Love Under the Covers. But when not one, but two local men introduce her to their respective new wives, she's forced to reevaluate that notion. Lizzie is surprised when Al Little, the owner of the local hardware store, asks Lizzie and her aunt Charmaine to help Svetlana, his new bride straight from Russia, to settle into Tinker's Creek, but they agree. 
 
Everything is going swimmingly—until a wrench gets thrown into their plans when Svetlana is found drowned in the creek. 
 
With Al's suspicious best friend—who has his own mysterious mail-order bride—and the secretive matchmaker who put them together, Lizzie's got more suspects than she knows what to do with. But she'll have to nail down who the killer is fast, before someone else winds up dead. 


Definitely an interesting book! Four paws!

 

THE SECRET OF BOW LANE by Jennifer Ashley (Berkley Trade Paperback; on sale August 2, 2022) | 

 

In Victorian-era London, amateur sleuth and cook Kat Holloway must solve a murder to claim an inheritance she didn’t know she had in a riveting new historical mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of Death at the Crystal Palace.

A stranger who appears on Kat's doorstep turns out to be one Charlotte Bristow, legal wife of Joe Bristow, the man Kat once believed herself married to—who she thought died at sea twelve years ago. Kat is jolted by Charlotte’s claims that not only was Joe murdered, but he had amassed a small fortune before he died. Charlotte makes the cook an offer she cannot refuse—if Kat can discover the identity of Joe's murderer, Charlotte will give her a share of the fortune Joe left behind. 

With the help of Daniel McAdam, her attractive and charismatic confidante, Kat plunges into her own past to investigate. When it becomes apparent that the case of Joe’s death goes far deeper than simple, opportunistic theft, Kat and Daniel's relationship is put to the test, and Kat herself comes under scrutiny as her connection to Joe is uncovered. She must race to catch the real killer before she loses her job and possibly her life.


A very suspensful entry! Four Paws!

 

 

A DARK AND STORMY TEA by Laura Childs (Berkley Hardcover; on sale August 9, 2022) | 

 

A possible serial killer on the loose sends tea maven Theodosia Browning into a whirlwind of investigation in this latest installment of the New York Times bestselling series.

It was a dark and stormy night, but that was the least of Theodosia Browning's troubles. As she approaches St. Philips Graveyard, Theodosia witnesses a brutal murder and sees a dark-hooded figure slip away into the fog. In the throes of alerting police, Theodosia recognizes the victim—it is the daughter of her friend, Lois, who owns the Antiquarian Bookshop next door to her own Indigo Tea Shop.
 
Against the advice of her boyfriend, Detective Pete Riley, and the sage words of Drayton, her tea sommelier, amateur-sleuth Theodosia launches her own shadow investigation. And quickly discovers that suspects abound with the dead girl’s boyfriend, nefarious real estate developer, private-security man, bumbling reporter, and her own neighbor who is writing a true-crime book and searching for a big ending.  


Five paws (See Rocco's review on his Tuesday blog for more details) 



Soul of a Killer by Abby Collette (Berkley MMPB on sale August 2, 2022)


In this mouthwatering cozy mystery series, fraternal twins Keaton and Koby are trying to run their combined soul food café and bookstore, but they find themselves searching for a cold-hearted killer.


Keaton and Koby are fraternal twins who were separated as children, but now they’ve found each other and opened Books & Biscuits in the pleasant Pacific Northwest town of Timber Lake. Business is booming, but even so, trouble always seems to find them. 

Mama Zola, Koby’s devoted foster mom, has taken up residence in Timber Lake. She and Pete, one of the bookstore’s quirky employees, bring a peach cobbler over to her church’s potluck, and then someone who


sampled the cobbler is found dead. Mama Zola and Pete find themselves suspects in the murder, but luckily Koby and Keaton are ready to sling out a side of justice. 


A good entry in an engaging series.  Keaton and Koby are certainly up and coming sleuths! Four paws.



 

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

ROCCO reviews Laura Childs' A DARK AND STORMY TEA!

 

ROCCO reviews the latest in one of our favorite cozy series.

 


 

A DARK AND STORMY TEA by Laura Childs (Berkley Hardcover; on sale August 9, 2022) |

 

A possible serial killer on the loose sends tea maven Theodosia Browning into a whirlwind of investigation in this latest installment of the New York Times bestselling series.

It was a dark and stormy night, but that was the least of Theodosia Browning's troubles. As she approaches St. Philips Graveyard, Theodosia witnesses a brutal murder and sees a dark-hooded figure slip away into the fog. In the throes of alerting police, Theodosia recognizes the victim—it is the daughter of her friend, Lois, who owns the Antiquarian Bookshop next door to her own Indigo Tea Shop.
 
Against the advice of her boyfriend, Detective Pete Riley, and the sage words of Drayton, her tea sommelier, amateur-sleuth Theodosia launches her own shadow investigation. And quickly discovers that suspects abound with the dead girl’s boyfriend, nefarious real estate developer, private-security man, bumbling reporter, and her own neighbor who is writing a true-crime book and searching for a big ending.


We have been a fan of this series forever, and it just keeps getting better and better!  It is really more of a 'thrillzie than a cozy, as Laura Childs herself says!


Theodosia is in expert detective mode in this one, and we just have to wonder where this romance with Pete Riley is going!  Drayton is, as always, the Watson to Theo's Sherlock!  An extremely enjoyable read, five paws up!!!!!!!!  Can be read as a standalone but we defintely recommend reading others in the series (You'll understand Theo's love life a lot better LOL)  We also have to compliment Theo on not ruining any outfits lately (You'll have to read earlier volumes to understand. :)  )


GIVEAWAY


Laura Childs will be giving away a signed copy of A DARK AND STORMY TEA to one lucky commenter!


To enter, leave your name and email address in our comments section below!  Maxx will select one winner at random. Contest ends August 18th.  US entries only, please.  :)

 

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Instant Replay - ROCCO inteviews Debbie DeLouise and Sneaky!

 Merow!   Today I am interviewing book blogger and author Debbie De Louise and Sneaky the Library Cat!

We’ll start with Debbie!

R:  Hello Debbie!  How did you get started on your book blog?



I started my book blog back in 2015 when I published A Stone’s Throw, the first book of my Cobble Cove cozy mystery series. I thought it would be a good way to promote my writing. Since then, I’ve also been hosting blog tours for Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours. Most of these tours are for new cozy mystery releases. I also have a blog for the cat character in my cozy mystery series, Sneaky the Library Cat’s blog. This blog features interviews of cats and other pet characters and also hosts blog tours.

R: Is there one genre you prefer over another?

If you mean if I prefer to write one genre over another, I think I equally enjoy writing cozies and regular mysteries. I also like to write books that feature time travel and psychological themes.

R: What has been your best experience on the blog so far?

I met an author I really enjoy reading, Elizabeth Pantley, and her wonderful Destiny Falls Mystery and Magic Books. She also just started a new series, The Magic Mystery Book Club Series.

R: if you weren't a book blogger, what would you be doing?

I’m an author as well as a librarian, so book blogging isn’t my main job, but I think it complements my other work.

R: Any advice for anyone looking to start a book blog?

Wordpress offers the opportunity to have a website and other blogs. There’s a free version and pay options for additional features. You should start with the free version and then decide how you plan to use it. You can also take classes to learn it, and there’s help available on the website.

I’d also like to mention my new releases. Both are cozies with different publishers. The Case of the Cat Crazy Lady is the first of my new Buttercup Bend cozy mystery series featuring Cathy Carter, a twenty-seven-year-old co-owner of a pet rescue center and pet cemetery. She lives with her grandmother and next door to her brother and his wife. Her best friend, Nancy, is a reporter for the town’s newspaper, The Buttercup Bugle that Cathy also takes photos for.


 

In the first book, Maggie Broom, known as the “Cat Crazy Lady” because of all the cats she owns and the ones she cares for outside, is found murdered by her neighbor, Pauline, who is also the editor of the newspaper. When Maggie’s will is read, Cathy is surprised to learn that her pet business is the recipient of a large share of Maggie’s assets including her home, a fact that doesn’t please Maggie’s siblings who come to town for the reading of the will and who the sheriff considers prime suspects in her murder.

Cathy and Nancy decide to pursue their own investigation and learn the truth of what happened to the “Cat Crazy Lady.”



    My other new release which is on blog tour with Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours from July 18 to 25 is Sneaky’s Supernatural Mystery and Other Cobble Cove Stories. This book is a collection of five short stories, four of which were previously published as eBooks only. At the request of readers who wanted to read the stories in a print version, I asked my publisher to publish the collection. I also added a fifth, unpublished story, that is the title story to the book. Readers who haven’t read any of the books of my Cobble Cove series or any of the stories as eBooks can still enjoy the collection because some backstory about the characters is included in each story. Of course, my hope is that this collection will attract readers to the five Cobble Cove novels.

And now Debbie plays ROCCO’s Fast Five

  • What’s something that’s always in your fridge?

Non-Fat Milk. I use it in my coffee every day and also in cereal and oatmeal when I eat them.

  • What did you do when you found out your first book was published?

I got very excited and told everyone about it.

  • If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?

I’m a librarian so that’s what I would be.

  • What’s your favorite part of the day?

 

I’m a morning person. I get up early, write, check email and social media, and then go to work.

 

  • What book was your favorite growing up?

The Wizard of Oz. I read all the books and watched the movies.

Thank you for the interview, Debbie!

Folks, Debbie will give away an e-copy of The Case of the Cat Crazy Lady to one lucky commenter!  Just leave your name and e-mail address in our comments section to enter. Maxx will select one winner at random. Contest ends midnight, July 18.

And now Sneaky’s interview!



How did you and your human hook up?

I appeared in Debbie’s first Cobble Cove Book, A Stone’s Throw and have been featured in all the books and stories of the seriesI was based on her Siamese cat, Oliver, who passed away in 2017.

How did you get your name, Sneaky?

I was named by the librarian who found me at the Cobble Cove Library and took me in as their library cat. She considered all cats Sneaky and thought that would be a good name for me. My author agreed.

How did you become involved in Debbie’s blog?

After Debbie started her author’s blog, I requested one of my own. I felt it was only fair.

What’s the best part of book blogging for you? What do you enjoy most?

I love meeting all the pet characters from cozies. I enjoy interviewing them and learning about their books and authors.

Your human writes as well – have you ever been featured in or been the inspiration for one of her books?

I’m the main pet character in her Cobble Cove cozy mystery series.

Would you ever write a book?

That’s an interesting question. Debbie had an idea of publishing my interviews in a reference book for cozy mystery fans. It would index the mysteries, authors, and pet characters. The problem is she’s so busy writing our fiction books that she has to put that project on hold, but I may give her a push one day.

Is there any advice you’d give other cats or animals who want to partner with their human on a blog, book or otherwise?

Make your wants known, so your author is aware of your interests. Authors are always open to suggestions and anything or anyone who will help promote their books and who better than one of their pet characters to do that.

Thanks for the interview, ROCCO!  May I just add that my new book, Sneaky’s Supernatural Mystery and Other Cobble Stories will be on blog tour with the nice lady, Lori Caswell, from Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours. The tour runs from July 18 to 25 and includes lots of great excerpts, guest posts, spotlights, and even a giveaway.



Sneaky is also giving our readers an opportunity to win an e-copy of Sneaky’s Supernatural Mystery and Other Cobble Cove Stories. Leave your name and e-mail address in our comments section to enter!

 

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Award Winning Author Leslie Budewitz in ROCCO's hotseat!

 

Merow!

My guest today is Award-winning author Leslie Budewitz!





Hello, Leslie and welcome! Tell us a little about your background

Hello, Rocco and Toni! Such a treat to be here with you. I started writing at 4, on my father’s desk – literally. I did not yet understand the concept of paper. Fortunately, my parents were amused and kept me well-supplied in paper and books. I grew up in Montana and went to college in Seattle, where I practiced law for several years. I started writing seriously about 25 years ago, after I returned to Montana. Other writers asked me questions about using the law in their fiction, which led to my first published book, Books, Crooks and Counselors: How to Write Accurately About Criminal Law and Courtroom Procedure, winner of the 2011 Agatha Award for Best Nonfiction. Then I dove into the delicious world of the culinary cozy with the Food Lovers’ Village mysteries; the first, Death al Dente, won the 2013 Agatha Award for Best First Novel. That series includes five novels and a short story collection. My Spice Shop mysteries are set in Seattle’s Pike Place Market, a place I fell in love with as a college freshman, and still visit regularly for research. By research, of course, I mean eat.

I’m also writing stand-alone suspense as Alicia Beckman, a name that honors my mother and grandmother. Bitterroot Lake came out in 2021 and Blind Faith will be out October 11.

R:  Tell us a bit about your latest book

L:  Just a pinch of murder . . . When her life fell apart at age 40, Pepper Reece never expected to find solace in bay leaves. But her impulsive purchase of the Spice Shop in Seattle’s famed Pike Place Market turned out to be one of the best decisions she ever made. Between selling spice and juggling her personal life, she also discovers another unexpected talent – for solving murder.



In Peppermint Barked, the 6th Spice Shop mystery, out July 19, a Dickens of a Christmas turns deadly. Pepper investigates when a young woman working the Christmas rush in her friend’s Vinny’s wine shop is brutally attacked, on the busiest shopping day of the year.

It was great fun to write a Christmas book -- I also wrote one in the Village series, As the Christmas Cookie Crumbles – and celebrate the season so many of us love, a season where cozy communities, rural and urban, really shine.

 

R: Which do you consider more important, plot or character?

L: For me, plot, character, and setting can’t really be separated. The best stories grow from the relationship of the three – what will these characters in this place do, when faced with these goals and these conflicts and obstacles.

I’ve often said that my books, particularly the Spice Shop series, focus on a woman’s search for identity. Not that men don’t sometimes struggle with a sense of themselves and their purpose, but it has always seemed like the true heroine’s journey. In Peppermint Barked, I decided to flip that script and focus on the male search for identity, while writing a Christmas mystery set largely in the Market. That led directly to decisions and actions by three recurring characters, men closely connected to Pepper and her shop, as well as men we hadn’t met before. The combination, I think, is a fun story with a serious edge, and good food!

 

R: What are you working on now and what are your future writing plans?

L: I’m working on the 7th Spice Shop mystery, set for publication in July 2023. It’s the Lunar New Year, the year of the Rabbit, and Pepper investigates when a friend discovers a body in a boarded-up building in the Chinatown-International District and believes she’s being haunted by the ghost of Bruce Lee.

I plan to keep writing the Spice Shop mysteries as long as the readers and publishers will have me. Other books? Stay tuned!

R: What is a typical workday for you and how many hours a day (or week) do you devote to writing?

L: Pepper likes to say there is no typical day in the Market, and that’s true in writing world as well! I write full-time now, doing just a little bit of legal work. I keep business hours, meaning I try to be “on the page” by 8:30 and write until 12 or 12:30. My goals vary with the stage of the manuscript  – 8-10 pages a day for a first draft, time or other specific goals during revision. After lunch, I may go back to the ms. if I haven’t met my goals. Then it’s business and promotional work. That’s my life, 5-1/2 days a week!

R: What advice do you have to offer to an aspiring author?

L:  Read, read, read. Learn to read like a writer, analyzing recent books in the genre or subgenre you’re writing. Outline them, write yourself detailed reviews, think about what works and doesn’t, what you like and don’t, develop your internal feel for pace and structure and language. Find a good writers’ group, in person or online – I highly recommend the Guppies chapter of Sisters in Crime. Read craft books. Commit for the long haul. I wrote four books, two circulated by agents, before selling the Village series. Art is risky, and fulfilling in ways you will never have imagined, but it isn’t easy.  

R: Where can we learn more about you and your books?

L: So glad you asked! My website, www.LeslieBudewitz.com, includes excerpts, praise, and buy links (hint: all the usual sources, online and in person) for all the books, lists of the series books in order, and much more. I love communicating with readers through my monthly newsletter – link on the website; subscribers get a free short story, currently “The End of the Line” (originally published in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine), featuring an elderly Greek man who really hates change! And writers will appreciate my blog, with Writing Wednesday posts twice a month and Saturday Creativity Quotes.

I’m on Facebook as Leslie Budewitz Author, and Instagram, @LeslieBudewitz

I’m also part of the Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen crew, www.MysteryLoversKitchen.com, twelve cozy mystery writers cooking up crime and recipes. I share recipes from the books and from my life on the 1st, 3d, and 5th Tuesdays.

 

And now....Leslie answers ROCCO’s Fast Five:

 What sound takes you back to your childhood?  

The song of the Western Meadowlark.

What skill have you always wanted to learn?

To play the piano.

If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?

A rock star, if I could sing.

What book was your favorite growing up?

Calico Bush by Rachel Field, first published in 1931 and till in print. Set in 1743, it’s the story of Maggie, a young French girl orphaned on board ship and “bound out” to a family homesteading on an island off the coast of Maine. I was probably 11 when I found it, and it took me to a place far away from my Montana home, to a time I knew nothing about. I still give it to young girls.

What authors have had the most influence on you?

Too many to name, but in mystery, standouts include Margaret Maron, Laura Lippman, Sue Grafton, Ellis Peters, and Tony Hillerman, whose mysteries set on Indian reservations in the Four Corners area showed me that my life in Montana, in a corner of the world not well known to most people, were filled with stories people would want to read. Sort of like Calico Bush did, now that I think about it. I also deeply admire books by Toni Morrison, Elizabeth Strout, and Ivan Doi

 Thanks so much for inviting me, Rocco, and Toni!

Thanks so much for participating, Leslie!  Peppermint Barked is out today! Take a moment and check it out!


GIVEAWAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Leslie will giveaway a copy of either PEPPERMINT BARKED  or ASSAULT AND PEPPER to one lucky commenter!

To enter, leave your email address and choice of book in our comments section!  Winner will be chosen at random by ROCCO's brother Maxx!  US entries only, please. Contest ends midnight, July 24th!

 

 

Thursday, July 14, 2022

Book Blogger and Author Debbie De Louise and Sneaky the Library Cat in ROCCO's hotseat!

 

 

Merow!   Today I am interviewing book blogger and author Debbie De Louise and Sneaky the Library Cat!

We’ll start with Debbie!

R:  Hello Debbie!  How did you get started on your book blog?



I started my book blog back in 2015 when I published A Stone’s Throw, the first book of my Cobble Cove cozy mystery series. I thought it would be a good way to promote my writing. Since then, I’ve also been hosting blog tours for Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours. Most of these tours are for new cozy mystery releases. I also have a blog for the cat character in my cozy mystery series, Sneaky the Library Cat’s blog. This blog features interviews of cats and other pet characters and also hosts blog tours.

R: Is there one genre you prefer over another?

If you mean if I prefer to write one genre over another, I think I equally enjoy writing cozies and regular mysteries. I also like to write books that feature time travel and psychological themes.

R: What has been your best experience on the blog so far?

I met an author I really enjoy reading, Elizabeth Pantley, and her wonderful Destiny Falls Mystery and Magic Books. She also just started a new series, The Magic Mystery Book Club Series.

R: if you weren't a book blogger, what would you be doing?

I’m an author as well as a librarian, so book blogging isn’t my main job, but I think it complements my other work.

R: Any advice for anyone looking to start a book blog?

Wordpress offers the opportunity to have a website and other blogs. There’s a free version and pay options for additional features. You should start with the free version and then decide how you plan to use it. You can also take classes to learn it, and there’s help available on the website.

I’d also like to mention my new releases. Both are cozies with different publishers. The Case of the Cat Crazy Lady is the first of my new Buttercup Bend cozy mystery series featuring Cathy Carter, a twenty-seven-year-old co-owner of a pet rescue center and pet cemetery. She lives with her grandmother and next door to her brother and his wife. Her best friend, Nancy, is a reporter for the town’s newspaper, The Buttercup Bugle that Cathy also takes photos for.


 

In the first book, Maggie Broom, known as the “Cat Crazy Lady” because of all the cats she owns and the ones she cares for outside, is found murdered by her neighbor, Pauline, who is also the editor of the newspaper. When Maggie’s will is read, Cathy is surprised to learn that her pet business is the recipient of a large share of Maggie’s assets including her home, a fact that doesn’t please Maggie’s siblings who come to town for the reading of the will and who the sheriff considers prime suspects in her murder.

Cathy and Nancy decide to pursue their own investigation and learn the truth of what happened to the “Cat Crazy Lady.”



    My other new release which is on blog tour with Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours from July 18 to 25 is Sneaky’s Supernatural Mystery and Other Cobble Cove Stories. This book is a collection of five short stories, four of which were previously published as eBooks only. At the request of readers who wanted to read the stories in a print version, I asked my publisher to publish the collection. I also added a fifth, unpublished story, that is the title story to the book. Readers who haven’t read any of the books of my Cobble Cove series or any of the stories as eBooks can still enjoy the collection because some backstory about the characters is included in each story. Of course, my hope is that this collection will attract readers to the five Cobble Cove novels.

And now Debbie plays ROCCO’s Fast Five

  • What’s something that’s always in your fridge?

Non-Fat Milk. I use it in my coffee every day and also in cereal and oatmeal when I eat them.

  • What did you do when you found out your first book was published?

I got very excited and told everyone about it.

  • If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?

I’m a librarian so that’s what I would be.

  • What’s your favorite part of the day?

 

I’m a morning person. I get up early, write, check email and social media, and then go to work.

 

  • What book was your favorite growing up?

The Wizard of Oz. I read all the books and watched the movies.

Thank you for the interview, Debbie!

Folks, Debbie will give away an e-copy of The Case of the Cat Crazy Lady to one lucky commenter!  Just leave your name and e-mail address in our comments section to enter. Maxx will select one winner at random. Contest ends midnight, July 18.

And now Sneaky’s interview!



How did you and your human hook up?

I appeared in Debbie’s first Cobble Cove Book, A Stone’s Throw and have been featured in all the books and stories of the series. I was based on her Siamese cat, Oliver, who passed away in 2017.

How did you get your name, Sneaky?

I was named by the librarian who found me at the Cobble Cove Library and took me in as their library cat. She considered all cats Sneaky and thought that would be a good name for me. My author agreed.

How did you become involved in Debbie’s blog?

After Debbie started her author’s blog, I requested one of my own. I felt it was only fair.

What’s the best part of book blogging for you? What do you enjoy most?

I love meeting all the pet characters from cozies. I enjoy interviewing them and learning about their books and authors.

Your human writes as well – have you ever been featured in or been the inspiration for one of her books?

I’m the main pet character in her Cobble Cove cozy mystery series.

Would you ever write a book?

That’s an interesting question. Debbie had an idea of publishing my interviews in a reference book for cozy mystery fans. It would index the mysteries, authors, and pet characters. The problem is she’s so busy writing our fiction books that she has to put that project on hold, but I may give her a push one day.

Is there any advice you’d give other cats or animals who want to partner with their human on a blog, book or otherwise?

Make your wants known, so your author is aware of your interests. Authors are always open to suggestions and anything or anyone who will help promote their books and who better than one of their pet characters to do that.

Thanks for the interview, ROCCO!  May I just add that my new book, Sneaky’s Supernatural Mystery and Other Cobble Stories will be on blog tour with the nice lady, Lori Caswell, from Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours. The tour runs from July 18 to 25 and includes lots of great excerpts, guest posts, spotlights, and even a giveaway.



Sneaky is also giving our readers an opportunity to win an e-copy of Sneaky’s Supernatural Mystery and Other Cobble Cove Stories. Leave your name and e-mail address in our comments section to enter!

 

Friday, July 8, 2022

ROCCO'S July Cozy Reviews!

 Ma-Row!  Here are the cozies to watch for in July!



 

 

MURDER IS NO PICNIC by Amy Pershing | 

Berkley Mass Market; on sale June 7, 2022

 

The Fourth of July is coming, and for professional food lover Samantha Barnes, it’s all about the picnic. What could be better than a DIY clambake followed by the best blueberry buckle in the world? Sam has finally found the perfect recipe in the kitchen of Clara Foster, famed cookbook author and retired restaurateur, and she’s thrilled when Clara agrees to a buckle baking lesson. 
 
But when Clara dies in a house fire blamed on carelessness in the kitchen, Sam will have to find Clara's killer before the fireworks really start....


This is a four paw-er!  

 

 

 

 

 

CASTLE DEADLY, CASTLE DEEP by Veronica Bond | 

Berkley Mass Market; on sale July 5, 2022

 

Autumn has arrived at Castle Dark, and Nora Blake has settled into her role as an actor in Derek Corby’s castle murder-mystery troupe. She is troubled, however, by the setting of Derek’s fall mystery: the catacombs in the depths of the castle. Yes, these catacombs are part of a set, the skeletons and cobwebs mere props, but Nora feels uneasy in the shadowy passages beneath Castle Dark. When a man is killed during one of their first shows, the eerie catacombs become a place of terror.

Nora soon discovers that someone else is in danger and that she may also be in the sights of the killer. With the help of her handsome boyfriend, Detective John Dashiell, Nora will have to go off-script to prevent a murderous encore.


We enjoyed the first entry in this series and looked forward to this one, which did not disappoint.  Four and a half paws!

 

 

A COLD NOSE FOR MURDER by Jennifer Hawkins |

Berkley Mass Market; on sale July 5, 2022

 

When Emma Reed moved to the Cornish village of Trevena, she was looking forward to making new friends, opening up a small tea shop and taking plenty of brisk walks with her talking dog, Oliver. But her fresh start is threatened when the local pub run by Emma’s friends Liza and Sam is at risk of closing. Sam and Liza do everything they can to spark interest in the pub, including opening up old smuggling tunnels that run underneath the building. But instead of finding hidden treasure or antique bottles in the tunnel, they find a skeleton. Now the prime suspects, Sam and Liza will need to sniff out the killer to prove their innocence.


Liza is an enjoyable heroine and the plot captured our interest!  four paws up!
 

 

 

 

A PERILOUS PAL by Laura Bradford | 

Berkley Mass Market; on sale July 5, 2022

 

Emma Westlake, proprietor of A Friend for Hire, finds a heart-wrenching email from a prospective client in her inbox. The email is from Kim Felder, a woman struggling with empty-nest syndrome and an out of left field divorce. Emma does her best to get Kim out of her rut, but all fun ends when Kim’s ex winds up dead. Now, Kim is Deputy Jack Riordan’s lone suspect in a murder Emma knows she did not commit. Emma will have to put her budding relationship with the deputy on the line to corner a cunning killer.


We REALLY enjoyed the first outing in this series with an interesting premise.  Am anxious to see how far the author can take Emma and Scout!  Love the romantic tenstion between Emma and Riordan too!  Exceedingly enjoyable. Five Paws.

 

 

 

 

 

THE PAPER CAPER by Kate Carlisle | 

Berkley Hardcover; on sale July 26, 2022

 

San Francisco book-restoration expert Brooklyn Wainwright is excited to be included in the Covington Library’s first annual Mark Twain Festival. The festival is the passion project of wealthy media mogul, book lover, and newspaper owner Joseph Cabot, who considers himself Twain’s biggest fan. Brooklyn’s hunky husband, Derek, and his security team are charged with keeping Joseph and his beautiful young wife safe during the festivities taking place all over town. 
 
When someone is mysteriously poisoned right before Brooklyn’s eyes, she’s not convinced that the victim was the intended target. Now she and Derek must frantically chase clues and suspects through the streets of San Francisco before another murder becomes front-page news. 


What can I say about this series that hasn't already been said?  We adore Brooklyn and her hunky husband and never tire of Carlisle's plots.  Brooklyn always seems to get into one hot spot even hotter than the last!  An enduring series. Five Paws.. .

 

 

 

Death by Bubble Tea

Jennifer J. Chow

LA Night Market 

Berkley/MMPB/July 5, 2022



Two cousins who start a food stall at their local night market get a serving of murder in this first novel of a delicious new cozy mystery series by Jennifer J. Chow, author of Mimi Lee Gets a Clue.

When Yale Yee discovers her cousin Celine is visiting from Hong Kong, she is obliged to play tour guide to a relative she hasn’t seen in twenty years. Not only that, but her father thinks it’s a wonderful idea for them to bond by running a food stall together at the Eastwood Village Night Market. Yale hasn’t cooked in years, and she hardly considers Celine’s career as a social media influencer as adequate experience, but because she’s just lost her job at her local bookstore, she feels she has no choice.
 
Yale and Celine serve small dishes and refreshing drinks, and while business is slow, it eventually picks up thanks to Celine’s surprisingly useful marketing ideas. They’re quite shocked that their bubble tea, in particular, is a hit—literally—when one of their customers turns up dead. Yale and Celine are prime suspects due to the gold flakes that Celine added to the sweet drink as a garnish. Though the two cousins are polar opposites in every way, they must work together to find out what really happened to the victim or the only thing they’ll be serving is time.
Looks to be a promising series.  four paws

GIVEAWAY!!!!!!!!
At last, this month I have a giveaway of a copy of A PERILOUS PAL to one lucky commenter! Leave your name and email addy in our comments section and MAXX will select one name at random!  Contest ends midnight, July 15th.