Friday, January 20, 2023

Book Review and Giveaway - Murder, She Wrote: Death on the Emerald Isle by Jessica Fletcher & Terrie Farley Moran

My Review

Jessica Fletcher goes to Ireland to speak at a writers' conference. While she is there, she has agreed to do a favor for her friend and neighbor, Maeve. She will deliver some paintings to her family in a small Irish village.

Jessica enjoys the conference and travels to the village. When she is out riding a bicycle, she discovers that Maeve's cousin Michael has been murdered, and she works to solve the mystery.

I wanted to read this novel because I love Murder She Wrote - both the TV series and the book series.  I have enjoyed previous books in this cozy mystery series, and also love Ireland as a locale.

This was a charming read! The Irish setting was lovely and the place descriptions made me want to travel to see them.  I loved the little details too, like Jessica's friend wearing shamrock cufflinks, and the food descriptions (which made me hungry!).  I have never had a scone with clotted cream, but now I think I must.

Jessica is the consummate amateur sleuth and it is fun to solve the mystery along with her. There were several likely suspects, and I enjoyed seeing her deductive process.  The cast of characters (both Cabot Cove early in the book, and Ireland later) added a lot to my reading enjoyment too.

I highly recommend Murder She Wrote: Death on the Emerald Isle for fans of Jessica Fletcher and for anyone who enjoys an Irish book setting.  This was a delightful read from start to finish!

Book Synopsis

A trip to Northern Ireland becomes unexpectedly grim for Jessica Fletcher in this new entry in the USA Today bestselling Murder, She Wrote series. Jessica Fletcher is quick to accept an invitation to replace a speaker who couldn’t attend a Book Festival in Belfast, Ireland. When her Cabot Cove neighbor Maeve O’Bannon hears about the trip, she asks Jessica to deliver some paintings to her family in the village of Bushmills. Happy to extend her travels and see more of the Irish countryside, Jessica agrees. The festival goes off without a hitch, and it seems like Jessica is in for a relaxing vacation. But then Maeve’s cousin Michael is discovered dead under suspicious circumstances. Jessica finds herself once again in the midst of a murder investigation, and she’ll have to dig into the O’Bannon family’s secrets to unmask the killer.

Author Bio

Along with Jessica Fletcher, Terrie Farley Moran co-writes the Murder She Wrote mystery series including  Murder, She Wrote: Killer on the Court. She is the author of the Read ‘Em and Eat cozy mystery series and also co-writes the Scrapbooking Mysteries with Laura Childs. Recipient of both the Agatha and the Derringer Awards, Moran has published numerous mystery short stories. The only thing Terrie enjoys more than wrangling mystery plots into submission is hanging out with any or all of her seven grandchildren.

Author Links – Webpage   Facebook 

Purchase Links – Amazon – B&N – Kobo – IndieBound – – PenguinRandomHouse –


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Friday, January 13, 2023

Daisy's Gotcha Day!

Hi friends!

It's been a year since Daisy came to live with me. Daisy is a two year old (could be a smidge younger) Corgi mix who was found as a stray and taken to the county shelter.  When I met her she immediately leaned up against me and sighed. It was a done deal - at that point I knew she was coming home with me!  The photo above is from Daisy's first night here.

Things were a bit overwhelming at first as Daisy learned to walk on a leash, potty outdoors, and to try to remember that the world is not her chew toy (she still needs occasional reminders about chewing!).  It was a difficult year for me personally, as my Mom passed away and there were many changes in my life.  But at the year went on, Daisy and I bonded more and more.

Daisy taught me the joy of long walks, the pleasure that can be found in stopping to explore nature, the happiness of making friends with animals and people as we are out exploring.   She is a loving little girl who loves to sit on my lap or right beside me, and who cuddles up in bed at night.

I am beyond grateful for her and hope we have many more happy years together!


(with much love to Daisy!)

Book Review and Giveaway - Dial M for Meow (Bookshop Kitties Mysteries) by Ruth J. Hartman

My Review

Children's book author Christy Bailey moves to a small town in Indiana to live with her aunt, who owns a bookstore. She is accompanied by her cats Milton and Pearl, who are the stars of her book series. When Christy arrives at the bookstore, she finds her aunt disoriented and upset, and a woman her aunt disliked dead. Christy is determined to solve the mystery and clear her aunt's name.

I wanted to read this book because I love cozy mysteries. I liked the idea of a bookstore setting, and love books that prominently feature pets.

I have to start by saying Milton and Pearl are stars not just of Christy's children's books, but also this mystery! They are an adorable bonded pair of sibling cats and they helped with the detecting, as well as providing lots of cuteness.

This is a charming mystery and a great start to a new series. I look forward to reading more books in the Bookshop Kitties Mysteries series.  Christy is a likable protagonist - a writer and book lover with a calm nature and a knack for detecting.  She is helped by her childhood friend Janie and a certain handsome ER doctor named Micah. (I hope this relationship develops more with future books!)

There are several plausible suspects, and I enjoyed solving the mystery right along with Christy. I was somewhat surprised by the murderer, but that is what makes mysteries fun.

I recommend Dial M for Meow for fans of cozy mysteries, for anyone who enjoys bookstores or small town settings, and especially for cat lovers.

Book Synopsis

When children’s book author, Christy Bailey, receives a call from her aunt Betty to help out at her bookshop, she drops everything to go. Christy packs up her two cats—Milton and Pearl, the stars of her children’s mystery books—and leaves busy Philadelphia for tiny Green Meadow, Indiana. The timing of the call is perfect, as Christy’s letch of an ex-boyfriend has just cleaned out her savings, leaving Christy with a pile of unpaid bills and a desire to start over. And what better place to do that than a charming small town in Middle America?

But when Christy reaches her aunt’s bookshop, instead of small town hospitality she finds a dead body! Even worse, her aunt is passed out in the corner, hands covered in blood. The dead woman is an old frenemy of her Aunt Betty, and while Christy knows her aunt is innocent, the local detective isn’t so sure. With Milton and Pearl prowling for clues, Christy is determined to find the real killer and clear her aunt’s name… before her story ends in tragedy!

Author Bio

Ruth J. Hartman spends her days herding cats and her nights spinning mysterious tales. She, her husband, and their cats love to spend time curled up in their recliners watching old Cary Grant movies. Well, the cats sit in the people’s recliners. Not that the cats couldn’t get their own furniture. They just choose to shed on someone else’s.

Ruth, a left-handed, cat-herding, farmhouse-dwelling writer uses her sense of humor as she writes tales of lovable, klutzy women who seem to find trouble without even trying.

Ruth’s husband and best friend, Garry, reads her manuscripts, rolls his eyes at her weird story ideas, and loves her despite her insistence all of her books have at least one cat in them. See updates about her cozy mysteries at


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Friday, December 16, 2022

Merry Christmas - and a Blogging Break

Hi all,

Thanks for being with me this year!  My sweet pup Daisy and I are going to take a break for a few weeks. I'll be back mid-January to blog again. In the meantime, wishing you a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and good things ahead in 2023!


(and Daisy too, of course!)

Book Review - All the Lost Places by Amanda Dykes

My Review

In 1907 Daniel Goodman is living in an abandoned rail car in California, trying to save his mother's home, when he has an opportunity to travel to Venice to translate a mysterious book. This novel, told in dual storylines, flashes back to the story of Sebastien Trovato in 1807 Venice.

I wanted to read this novel because the storyline involving a rare book and Italy in two time periods was appealing.  I also love historical fiction.

This is a beautiful novel with the quality of a fairy tale. The author has a real gift with descriptions that set the scene, like this description of Daniel's makeshift neighborhood:

When the city began to switch from railcars to cable cars, it became a graveyard of railcars too. It seemed fitting that I take up residence in this land of the obsolete. Not to mention, the rent was low— or free, rather. As good as a palace, and I wasn’t the only one to think so. Others had moved in too. An odd grid of makeshift streets formed; paint and curtains went up as windows glowed, vanquishing the air of abandonment. “The Sunset,” they started to call the neighborhood, and even in that there was truth. For we, the ragtag band of outcasts that had landed here, were gripping the tailcoats of fast-fleeing life" (eBook position 187).

This is an intricate, complex story, dense with characters and settings - not a fast read but a richly rewarding one. Daniel was an especially sympathetic character as he worked so hard to overcome his past.

I recommend All the Lost Places for fans of historical fiction, and especially for anyone interested in Venice.

Book Synopsis

When all of Venice is unmasked, one man’s identity remains a mystery . . .

When a baby is discovered floating in a basket along the quiet canals of Venice, a guild of artisans takes him in and raises him as a son, skilled in each of their trades. Although the boy, Sebastien Trovato, has wrestled with questions of his origins, it isn’t until a woman washes ashore on his lagoon island that answers begin to emerge. In hunting down his story, Sebastien must make a choice that could alter not just his own future, but also that of the beloved floating city.

Daniel Goodman is given a fresh start in life as the century turns. Hoping to redeem a past laden with regrets, he is sent on an assignment from California to Venice to procure and translate a rare book. There, he discovers a city of colliding hope and decay, much like his own life, and a mystery wrapped in the pages of that filigree-covered volume. With the help of Vittoria, a bookshop keeper, Daniel finds himself in a web of shadows, secrets, and discoveries carefully kept within the stones and canals of the ancient city . . . and in the mystery of the man whose story the book does not finish: Sebastien Trovato.




Author Bio

Amanda Dykes’s debut novel, Whose Waves These Are, is the winner of the prestigious 2020 Christy Award Book of the Year, a Booklist 2019 Top Ten Romance debut, and the winner of an INSPY Award. She’s also the author of Yours Is the Night and Set the Stars Alight, a 2021 Christy Award finalist.