Thursday, January 10, 2019

Book Review and Giveaway - A Literal Mess (An Allie Cobb Mystery) by J.C. Kenney

Book Synopsis
The first book in a new series featuring Allie Cobb brings the New York literary agent back to her Hoosier home town where a mysterious death keeps everyone on spoiler alert . . .

Allie Cobb left home for the literary circles of Manhattan to make her name out from under the shadow of her legendary father. Now his death brings her and her rescue cat Ursula back to the southern Indiana town of Rushing Creek, population: 3,216. But a tragic new chapter hits the presses when the body of her father’s hard-drinking, #1 bestselling client is found under the historic town bridge. The local police suspect foul play and their prime candidate for murder is the author’s daughter—Allie’s longtime friend.

Determined to clear her bestie, Allie goes into fact-checking amateur detective mode while trying to ignore the usual rumormongers. Those with means, motive, and opportunity include the vic’s ex-wife, his rejected girlfriend, the mayor, and a rival agent trying to mooch clients. With a rugged genealogist distracting her and the imminent Fall Festival about to send tourists descending on their once-peaceful hamlet, Allie needs to stay alive long enough to get a read on a killer ready to close the book on a new victim: Allie . . .

My Review
A Literal Mess  tells the story of Allie Cobb, an editor in New York City who returns to her hometown in Indiana after her father dies following a long illness.  She is reunited with her family and her best friend Sloane.  When Sloane's father, a famous author who worked with Allie's editor father, suddenly is murdered, Allie becomes involved in the mystery.

I wanted to read this book because I like cozy mysteries with small town settings, and I also was interested in Allie's work as an editor.  It is a short, light read, and would be good for a weekend or vacation.

I liked the character of Allie, especially seeing her assimilate back into the small town where she grew up after years away.  There were a number of characters to meet in this book, and the author did a good job of developing them.  He writes dialogue especially well, and I liked the conversations that moved the story forward.  

The mystery was well plotted with just enough clues for readers.  I thought the mystery pacing was also well done.

This is a short read (under 200 pages) and I enjoyed it but would have liked even more about the characters.  I especially would have liked more of a sense of place with the town -- more descriptions.

A Literal Mess is a good start to a new cozy series.  I look forward to reading more of Allie's adventures in the next book!

Author Bio
J.C. Kenney grew up in a household filled with books by legends Agatha Christie and Lilian Jackson Braun, among many others, so it was no surprise when he found himself writing mystery stories. When he’s not writing, you can find him following IndyCar racing or listening to music. He lives in Indianapolis with his wife, two sons, and a cat who is the inspiration for Ursula in the Allie Cobb Mysteries.

Author Links
Website –;
Twitter –;
Facebook –;
Goodreads –;
Instagram –

Purchase links
Amazon –  Apple  Google   Kobo  Nook

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Spotlight and Giveaway - Gown with the Wind (A Wedding Planner Mystery) by Stephanie Blackmoore

Book Review
Professional wedding planner Mallory Shepard knows her job is challenging under any circumstances. But when the groom is your ex and someone invites murder, there may never be another tomorrow . . .
Mallory’s fine—really—handling the wedding arrangements for her ex, Keith. But his fiancĂ©e, Becca, has at the last minute decided to switch from a Japanese-cherry-blossom theme to a Gone with the Wind theme. She wants to honor her ailing grandmother, who owns an impressive collection of GWTW memorabilia—and who is fiercely at odds with the groom’s mother over the nuptial plans.

But among other complications, Becca gets into a fight with an old childhood rival over a replica Scarlett O’Hara wedding gown. She wins the dress—but soon becomes a murder suspect when the other woman is found dead in Becca’s swimming pool. And it’s up to Mallory to solve the mystery behind this unhappy occasion, before a different kind of civil war breaks out . . .

Author Bio
A native Pittsburgher, Stephanie Blackmoore now lives in Missouri, with her husband, son and two-spirited cats. She was an attorney in Pittsburgh and a librarian in Florida before becoming a writer. Stephanie is a fan of everything black-and-yellow. She is hard at work on her next Wedding Planner mystery. Connect with Stephanie at the links below.

Social Media Links:  Website    Facebook    Twitter

Purchase Links – Amazon    B&N    Kobo    Google Play


a Rafflecopter giveaway