Friday, April 17, 2020

Dear Abby - Videos Abby Likes: Dancing Dachshunds on Britain's Got Talent

Dear Friends,

I have a short but fun video to share with you this week.  I found this by chance and loved it. I think you will enjoy it too!

There is a show (that I have never seen) called Britain's Got Talent. A woman named Diana Vedyashinka appeared on the show with her troupe of dancing dachshunds. They are very impressive - they dance together, synchronized, and even roll over at the same time.

Without further ado, here is the short video:

I smiled just seeing it again! I hope you did too.

Abby xoxoxo

Book Review and Giveaway - To Fetch a Scoundrel, Four Fun “Tails” of Scandal and Murder (Mutt Mysteries) by Heather Weidner, Jayne Ormerod, Rosemary Shomaker, Teresa Inge

My Review
To Fetch a Scoundrel is a collection of four short novellas. All the stories are mysteries, and all features dogs in some way. The collection includes:
The Fast and the Furriest - a mystery set at a small race track
Pawsitively Scandalous - a surprising mystery in a quiet suburban neighborhood
Ruff Goodbye - a mystery at a bar and wake involving some shady characters
A Doggone Scandal - a dogwalker becomes involved in solving a murder mystery

I wanted to read this book because the four novella format appealed to me, and of course, I love dogs and cozy mysteries featuring dogs!

I enjoyed reading four short novellas in this book. The authors all did a good job of telling a complete, well plotted mystery story in this short format.

Pawsitively Scandalous and A Doggone Scandal both had strong dog theme storylines, so those were particularly enjoyable reads. I thought Pawsitively Scandalous, with the drama of a little suburban neighborhood, was a particularly fun read and could have been expanded to a full length novel or even the start of a series.

I have not read the earlier book in this series, but this is a fun idea, and the short reads are appealing. I think other dog lovers will enjoy this book.

Book Synopsis
The mystery-solving mutts are back! To Fetch a Scoundrel, the second in the Mutt Mysteries collection, features four tail-wagging novellas. Each story puts pups’ noses to the ground, as scandals are unleashed and killers are collared. Once you’ve finished reading these tall “tails,” you’ll no longer wonder, “Who let the dogs out?” You’ll just be glad somebody did!

Author Bios
Heather Weidner

Originally from Virginia Beach, HEATHER WEIDNER has been a mystery fan since Scooby-Doo and Nancy Drew. She lives in Central Virginia with her husband and a pair of Jack Russell terriers. Her short stories appear in the Virginia is for Mysteries series, 50 Shades of Cabernet, and Deadly Southern Charm. Secret Lives and Private Eyes, The Tulip Shirt Murders, and Glitter, Glam, and Contraband are her novels in the Delanie Fitzgerald Mysteries, and her novellas appear in the Mutt Mysteries. She is a member of Sisters in Crime – Central Virginia, Guppies, James River Writers, and International Thriller Writers. Through the years, she has been a cop’s kid, technical writer, editor, college professor, software tester, and IT manager.
Jayne Ormerod
JAYNE ORMEROD grew up in a small Ohio town then went on to a small-town Ohio college. Upon earning her degree in accountancy, she became a CIA (that’s not a sexy spy thing, but a Certified Internal Auditor). She married a naval officer and off they sailed to see the world. After nineteen moves, they, along with their two rescue dogs Tiller and Scout, have settled into a cozy cottage by the sea. Jayne is the author of over a dozen published stories, from novel length to short-short.
Rosemary Shomaker
ROSEMARY SHOMAKER writes about the unexpected in everyday life. She’s the woman you don’t notice in the grocery store or at church but whom you do notice at estate sales and wandering vacant lots. In all these places she’s collecting story ideas. Rosemary writes mystery, women’s fiction, and paranormal short stories. Stay tuned as she takes her first steps toward longer fiction.
Teresa Inge
TERESA INGE grew up reading Nancy Drew mysteries. Combining her love of reading mysteries and writing professional articles led to writing short fiction and novellas. Today, she juggles assisting two busy executives and is the president of the Sisters in Crime, Mystery by the Sea chapter. Teresa is the author of the Virginia is Mysteries series, 50 Shades of Cabernet, and the Mutt Mysteries series.
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Book Review and Giveaway - Murder in the Secret Maze (A Tory Benning Mystery) by Judith Gonda

My Review

Murder in the Secret Maze is the start of a new cozy mystery series featuring landscape architect Tory Benning. When we first meet Tory, she is marrying Milo, the man of her dreams -- but he vanishes right after the ceremony. His disappearance comes right after her father's sudden passing and Tory channels her grief into solving the mystery of what happened to her husband. The mystery involves a maze at a luxurious hotel, and Tory is helped in her detecting by her lifelong best friend.

I wanted to read this mystery because I was intrigued about the secret maze. I know very little about landscape architecture, but find it interesting, so that was appealing too.

This is a solid start to a new series. Tory is established as a character, and readers get to know her friends and relatives too. She even has a lovable Pomeranian dog named Iris! 

The mystery aspect of the story was well done and it kept me guessing right up to the resolution. There were several plausible suspects, and Tory did a good job pursuing clues.

Tory actually was so obsessed with the mystery that I was taken a bit aback a few times, like when a gypsy fortuneteller entertainer is dying in front of her and she pulls out her phone to take pictures of some clues. She also seems more focused on the mystery at times than with dealing with her feelings about her father and newly disappeared husband. 

The pacing is particularly strong;  the book moves quickly and the various mystery storylines flowed together well.

I think Murder in the Secret Maze is a strong start to a new mystery series, and I look forward to reading the next book in the series.

Book Synopsis

First in a new series featuring California landscape architect Tory Benning!

Landscape architect Tory Benning knows the lay of the land, but she’ll have to dig through the clues to unearth a killer . . .

After a whirlwind romance and a glorious wedding at the luxurious Hotel Santa Sofia, Tory Benning is ready to let down her hair, slip into her dancing shoes, and celebrate—until she discovers that her newly minted husband has vanished. The police suspect cold feet and second thoughts are behind Milo’s disappearance, but Tory’s certain he’s met with foul play. And since she designed the plush resort, she knows every nook and cranny of the grounds and adjoining secret maze, and wastes no time delving into her search.

As clues begin to emerge that Milo may have taken his last breath in the maze, Tory steps up her sleuthing, even as she learns she’s the prime suspect of a cop with a chip on his shoulder and is squarely in the sights of a menacing stalker. And when a second body is found on the grounds, Tory fears she’s up against a killer determined to silence any and all who get in the way. .

Not to be deterred, Tory forges ahead, navigating a case with more twists and turns than the maze itself, until the labyrinth of clues leads her to shocking revelations about her husband, her family, and the identity of a killer who’s dead set on making her the next victim . . . .

Author Bio

Judith Gonda is a mystery writer and Ph.D. psychologist with a penchant for Pomeranians and puns, so it’s not surprising that psychology, Poms, and puns pop up in her amateur sleuth mysteries featuring California landscape architect Tory Benning.

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