Friday, May 12, 2023

Book Spotlight - The Twenty-One-Year Contract: Sequel to Secrets, Shame, and a Shoebox by L. B. Griffin

Book Synopsis

Kathleen Gray—talented, a little wild, at times rebellious, but always popular—has a fun, easy life in rural Somerset, with a doting family.  

Suddenly, they are gone, everything is changed, and she has only Uncle Jack.  Try as he might, he cannot be father and mother to her—he has a business to run and his own life to manage.

Kathleen takes a chance and becomes Kate Westfield, fending for herself in London, with a new life built on her hopes and dreams and new friends. She could hardly have imagined that one of those friends has a shoebox full of answers.

Author Bio

L.B. Griffin was born and raised in the UK. She is married and came out of retirement when she received a contract for her debut novel. Griffin loves to write stories to touch people’s hearts, She draws upon social issues that are often hidden in deep drawers but readers can identify with. Her women don’t see themselves as courageous, strong, or survivors, but they certainly are. 

Her debut, Secrets, Shame, and a Shoebox has received superb 5 star reviews, amongst them Whispering stories and VINE VOICE reader/blogger Michelle Ryles, singing high praise: ‘Incredibly well-written, Secrets, Shame, and a Shoebox is a magnificent debut. It’s a poignant, disturbing and a heart-warming page-turner that has left me chomping at the bit to continue Harriet’s story.’ 

The sequel, and also standalone – The Twenty-One-Year Contract, is already receiving fantastic five star reviews such as: VINE VOICE “This book will have you laughing, crying and cheering.” 

L.B. Griffin continues to turn silent stories into courage, hope, and survival. Be warned, she is a self-confessed chocolate-raisin and strawberry addict!

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Friday, May 5, 2023

Book Review and Giveaway - The Ghost Goes to the Dogs (Haunted Bookshop Mystery) by Cleo Coyle

My Review

The Ghost Goes to the Dogs is a unique cozy mystery. "Pen" (Penelope) McClure is a single mother running a mystery bookstore in small town Rhode Island.  When a dog shows up out of the blue, Pen's son follows the dog - only to find the dog's owner unconscious on the sidewalk. Pen works to find what happened to the woman who was injured, with the help of a ghostly 1940's gumshoe detective, Jack Shepard.

I wanted to read this novel because I love cozy mysteries and I enjoyed reading this series early on.  I haven't read the more recent books, but had no problem jumping in and enjoying this book.  (And I do want to catch up with the books I missed!)

As someone who loves 1940's mysteries (both books and movies) I absolutely love the character of Jack Shepard and the 1940's setting for his flashback scenes.  I also enjoy his interaction with Pen, which works amazingly well and adds an interesting layer to the mystery.

I loved the idea of a week of pet mysteries at a bookstore (with a pet festival as well) and appreciated how well the pet owner mystery in this book fit in with that theme.  Lovable Sparky the dog and Bookmark the cat were great additions to the story! 

The Ghost Goes to the Dogs is fast paced and well plotted. I enjoyed the way Pen and Jack worked together to solve the mystery.

I recommend this mystery to fans of cozy mysteries, and especially for anyone who loves 1940's detectives or pet theme cozies.

Book Synopsis

A stray dog leads bookseller Penelope McClure and her gumshoe ghost on a chase for a cunning criminal in this brand-new entry in the “UTTERLY CHARMING” (Mystery Scene) Haunted Bookshop Mysteries from New York Times bestselling author Cleo Coyle. Pet Mystery Week brings brisk business to Penelope’s Rhode Island bookshop, but a real mystery comes barking at her door when a lost dog turns up in a panic. Pen and her son Spencer follow the furry fugitive to a wooded area where the dog’s owner lies unconscious. Mrs. Cunningham is a warm-hearted widow who volunteers at the animal shelter and runs Buy the Book’s pet lovers book club. Why would anyone shoot such a sweet soul? The police believe it’s an accident, a shot by a careless deer hunter, but Pen remains skeptical. To straighten out this doggone mess, she whistles for the ghost of PI Jack Shepard, an expert in hounding as well as haunting. Jack has a dog story of his own, a case from the 1940s that may help Pen sniff out clues to her present predicament. Yet even with Jack’s hard-boiled help, Pen may not be able to stop the killer from striking again or letting this whole case go to the dogs…

Author Bio

CLEO COYLE is a pseudonym for Alice Alfonsi, writing in collaboration with her husband, Marc Cerasini. Both are New York Times-bestselling authors of the long-running Coffeehouse Mysteries and Haunted Bookshop Mysteries, now celebrating nearly 20 years in print. With more than one million books sold, their work has been honored with starred reviews and multiple best-of-year list selections by reviewers. Alice and Marc are also bestselling media tie-in writers who have penned properties for Lucasfilm, NBC, Fox, Disney, Imagine, Toho, and MGM. They live and work in New York City, where they write independently and together.

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