Monday, October 16, 2017

Book Review and Giveaway - Murder on the Toy Town Express: A Vintage Toyshop Mystery by Barbara Early

Book Synopsis
Liz McCall has come to love running her father’s vintage toyshop back home in East Aurora, NY, so when the Train and Toy Show comes to town, she’s all aboard for a fun toy-filled weekend. The only hitch is that her childhood bully Craig McFadden, now local business rival, has set up a booth next to hers. But the fun and games are over when Craig falls from the ceiling in a publicity stunt gone wrong.

What was initially thought to be a fatal accident proves much more sinister. Pulled into the case by her feelings for both Ken, the police chief, and Jack, her high school sweetheart whose brother is one the prime suspects, Liz dives headfirst into the investigation. But as she digs deeper, she’s shocked to learn her father may have been the intended target.

The trouble train is barreling down and Liz may have just bought herself a first class ticket in Murder on the Toy Town Express, Barbara Early’s delightful second installment in her Vintage Toyshop mysteries.

My Review
Murder on the Toy Town Express is a fun read for cozy mystery fans, and anyone who loves retro toys will especially enjoy it.  I love all things retro, including vintage toys, and sometimes sell a few vintage toys in my online shop, so I especially enjoyed this book.

Liz works with her father in his vintage toy store in East Aurora, New York.  When they work a vintage toy show, she is shocked when her high school bully, now a comic book dealer, dies suddenly.  With the help of her father, friends, and semi-boyfriend, Ken (who also is police chief) she becomes involved in working to solve the crime.

This was such a fun read!  I couldn't put it down.  The characters are quirky, interesting, and likable.  And there are twists and then more twists.  I am usually pretty good at solving mysteries but did not have this one figured out until I was about 75% in!

This is the second book in the Vintage Toyshop Mystery series.  I have not read the first (yet!), but this book worked fine as a standalone mystery.

I loved, loved, loved the vintage toy details in this book.  As well as great details about model trains, there are mentions of toys like The Addams Family Card Game, The  Beatles: Flip Your Wig Game, Candy Land, Life, Lite-Brite, and more.  At one point the characters have a 1970's games night featuring Yahtzee, Risk, Clue, Mousetrap, Rebound, Which Witch, Sub Search, and Manhunt.  The party was complete even with '70's candies:  Good & Plenty, Milk Duds, Necco Wafers, Chuckles, and Sky Bars.

I enthusiastically recommend Murder on the Toy Town Express to other cozy fans.  It makes a great weekend read, and it is really fun!

Author Bio
Barbara Early earned an engineering degree, but after four years of doing nothing but math, developed a sudden allergy to the subject and decided to choose another occupation. Before she settled on murdering fictional people, she was a secretary, a school teacher, a pastor’s wife, and an amateur puppeteer. After several years living elsewhere, she and her husband moved back to her native Western New York State, where she enjoys cooking, crafts, classic movies and campy seventies television, board games, and posting pictures of her four cats on Facebook. She writes the Vintage Toyshop series and the Bridal Bouquet Shop Mysteries (as Beverly Allen).

Author Links
Author Newsletter:
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Killer Characters: 

Purchase Links
Amazon     B&N   BAM    INDIEBOUND    Book Depository

There are two (!) giveaways on this book tour.

Giveaway #1
Book swag!  Prize is a brightly colored vintage toyshop tote bag, key ring, train whistle, bookmarks, and assorted fun Toyshop swag (color and selection will vary).   U.S. Only.   Ends 10/23.
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Giveaway #2
Prize includes signed copies of MURDER ON THE TOY TOWN EXPRESS (hardcover) and DEATH OF A TOY SOLDIER (paperback), a Vintage Toyshop tote bag, keyring, booksmarks, and assorted fun toyshop swag. U.S. Only.  Ends 10/19.
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I received a copy of this book from Great Escapes Book Tour and NetGalley.