Book Review: Murder in Postscript

*I did this review for the May edition of Historical Novels Review, the Magazine of the Historical Novel Society.


When one of her readers asks for advice following a suspected murder, Victorian countess Amelia Amesbury, who secretly pens the popular Lady Agony column, has no choice but to investigate in this first book in a charming new historical mystery series.

Amelia Amesbury—widow, mother, and countess—has a secret. Amelia writes for a London penny paper, doling out advice on fashion, relationships, and manners under the pen name Lady Agony. But when a lady’s maid writes Amelia to ask for advice when she believes her mistress has been murdered—and then ends up a victim herself—Amelia is determined to solve the case.

With the help of her best friend and a handsome marquis, Amelia begins to piece together the puzzle, but as each new thread of inquiry ends with a different suspect, the investigation grows ever more daunting. From London’s docks and ballrooms to grand country houses, Amelia tracks a killer, putting her reputation—and her life—on the line.


This Victorian mystery is the first book in the A Lady of Letters mystery series. In London in 1860, Amelia Amesbury is a countess and widow, having lost her husband to illness after a short marriage. She also has a secret. She writes an advice column for a London paper under the name Lady Agony, doling out clever answers to readers’ questions about romance, family, fashion, and more. When she receives a note from a lady’s maid who believes her mistress has been murdered, it does not end there. Amelia soon finds out the maid has been killed as well. With the help of her best friend, and assisted by a handsome marquis with secrets of his own, Amelia begins to investigate both murders. All the while, she is still trying to keep her scandalous alter ego of Lady Agony a secret.

This is a fascinating, well-thought-out mystery that will keep you guessing. The fact that a countess is writing an advice column, which would open her up to scandal if it became public knowledge, is intriguing. Each chapter heading starts with a question to and answer from Lady Agony, which is a great touch and adds a bit of humor. The main characters are engaging and well written, especially the fun-loving favorite of high society, Kitty Hamsted, who is Amelia’s best friend and sometimes partner in investigating crime. During Amelia’s investigation, we get to see both sides of London society, from Kitty’s popular parties to a peek inside the life of a servant. This is a fun take on the cozy mystery genre, and it provides a unique premise that will delight readers. Highly recommended.

I received a free copy of this from Berkley via The Historical Novel Society. My review is voluntary and the opinions expressed are my own.


Mary Winters is the author of A Lady of Letters Historical Mystery series, coming from Berkley in 2023. A longtime reader of Victorian fiction and an author of two other mystery series, Mary decided to write a new book set in Victorian London after taking a trip to England. Since then, she’s been busily planning her next mystery—and another trip! Please visit her website here.

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Blog Tour and Book Review: The Late Mrs. Willoughby @austenprosepr @claudiagray #historicalcozies #JaneAusten #historicalmystery

Thank you to Austenprose PR for the opportunity to read and review The Late Mrs. Willoughby by Claudia Gray.

Book Description

The suspenseful sequel to The Murder of Mr. Wickham, which sees Jonathan Darcy and Juliet Tilney reunited, and with another mystery to solve: the dreadful poisoning of the scoundrel Willoughby’s new wife.

Catherine and Henry Tilney of Northanger Abbey are not entirely pleased to be sending their eligible young daughter Juliet out into the world again: the last house party she attended, at the home of the Knightleys, involved a murder—which Juliet helped solve. Particularly concerning is that she intends to visit her new friend Marianne Brandon, who’s returned home to Devonshire shrouded in fresh scandal—made more potent by the news that her former suitor, the rakish Mr. Willoughby, intends to take up residence at his local estate with his new bride.

Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam Darcy of Pemberley are thrilled that their eldest son, Jonathan—who, like his father, has not always been the most socially adept—has been invited to stay with his former schoolmate, John Willoughby. Jonathan himself is decidedly less taken with the notion of having to spend extended time under the roof of his old bully, but that all changes when he finds himself reunited with his fellow amateur sleuth, the radiant Miss Tilney. And when shortly thereafter, Willoughby’s new wife—whom he married for her fortune—dies horribly at the party meant to welcome her to town.

With rumors flying and Marianne—known to be both unstable and previously jilted by the dead woman’s newly made widower—under increased suspicion, Jonathan and Juliet must team up once more to uncover the murderer. But as they collect clues and close in on suspects, eerie incidents suggest that the killer may strike again, and that the pair are in far graver danger than they or their families could imagine.


  • “An absolute page-turner full of well-plotted mystery and hints of simmering romance…. More of the Jane Austen characters we love (as well as those we love to hate).” —Mia P. Manansala, author of Arsenic and Adobo
  • ”Gray makes her endearing leads’ sleuthing both plausible and entertaining while evoking the wit and feel of Austen’s classic novels. Admirers of P.D. James’s Death Comes to Pemberley will be delighted.” Publisher’s Weekly (starred review)
  • ”Absolutely delightful! Fans of Jane Austen and historical mysteries will fall in love with this series. Gray remains true to Austen’s style and intent for her beloved characters while still adding her own spin on them and their progeny—one that is both refreshing and absorbing. I’m already looking forward to the next installment.” —Anna Lee Huber, USA Today bestselling author of the Lady Darby series

Book Review

The Late Mrs. Willoughby is another clever mystery set in the world of Jane Austen. The children of characters from two of Jane’s most popular novels, Jonathan Darcy and Juliet Tilney, unite once again to solve a mystery. Who killed Mrs. Willoughby?

I loved everything about this book. The descriptions of the homes, customs, and way of life immediately transported me to a Jane Austen-inspired world. Seeing her characters revived, and with children now, is so interesting and touching. The mystery was intriguing and had plenty of unexpected twists and turns. The book is expertly written, and it always stays true to the period. Endearing touches of humor were included that made it even more special. The complexity of the relationships between characters is really well done.

From start to finish, this is a captivating mystery and a great tribute to Jane Austen.

I received a free copy of this book from Vintage Anchor via Netgalley. I also received a copy via Austenprose book tours. My review is voluntary and the opinions expressed are my own.

About The Author

Claudia Gray is the pseudonym of Amy Vincent. She is the writer of multiple young adult novels, including the Evernight series, the Firebird trilogy, and the Constellation trilogy. In addition, she’s written several Star Wars novels, such as Lost Stars and Bloodline, and Jane Austen-inspired series,A Mr. Darcy & Miss Tilney Mysteries. She makes her home in New Orleans with her husband Paul and assorted small dogs. 


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Book Review: Blackjack by Gail Meath #Cozymystery #Cozyanimalmystery #Historicalmystery

It’s release day for Blackjack, the fifth book in the Jax Diamond series! I’m celebrating with a review and a Q&A with Author Gail Meath. Buy links below.

* As always, I must disclose that I edit this series.


A lifetime game of solitaire turns into a vicious family feud.

New York City 1923

Back in the city after a nightmare vacation, PI Jax Diamond and his courageous canine partner, Ace, just can’t catch a break when three quick and easy cases explode into a massive mess of unrelated major crimes with victims, dead and alive, piling up.

Laura Graystone’s career soars as she rehearses for her new Broadway musical. Yet, she senses something’s amiss when Jax spends more time with a new buddy aboard a steamboat than solving crimes. With the help of their friends and a mysterious stranger, Laura and Ace set out to get to the bottom of it.

It’s a whirlwind of twists and turns as Jax discovers there is far more to a family than just blood relatives. And who knows? They might help solve the biggest case of his life.


This is the fifth book in the Jax Diamond series, and it might be my favorite one yet. We learn a lot about Jax’s childhood in this one, and new characters arrive on the scene. Laura is performing on Broadway but still finds time to investigate, especially when she feels that Jax is in trouble. And my favorite bad guy, Orin Marino, makes an appearance, using his cash and connections to help Jax.

The characters, established and new, just shine in this book. I won’t mention the name of my favorite new character as it’s sort of a spoiler, but she is clever, accomplished, and fun. That being said, I can see right now you don’t want to cross her, either! I hope we see a lot more of her in the future. There are, as usual, a lot of “bad guys” on the scene, and some of them will surprise you. Ace, Jax’s canine sidekick, is as smart as ever and is always available to save the day. The book is set partly on a high-class, luxury 1920s steamship, and the description of that setting portrays the decadence well. The mystery is complex, nuanced, and true to the previous books. The surprises keep coming, and the reader will be captivated to the end.

This series is entertaining and addictive, but the author also always shares intriguing tidbits of history from the 1920s. It is historical mystery writing at its best.


Gail Meath is a wonderful author and friend who also lets me edit her books! I love working with her. She not only graciously agreed to do a Q&A, but didn’t complain when I sent it to her at the last minute! I appreciate her so much! See her responses below.

Bonnie: I loved the 1920s casino/steamship that was a major setting in the story.  Was it based on a real ship?

Gail: I based The Cabaret on the luxurious Hudson River steamboats that used to travel between New York City and Albany (1860s-1940s), carrying the wealthiest passengers.  They were truly amazing, but there wasn’t any drinking or gambling on board.  Since I wanted a casino in the story, I decided to put the two concepts together.  

Bonnie: Was the practice of going out into international waters so they could drink alcohol a common practice during Prohibition?

Gail: I didn’t run across any ships that took passengers into the ocean to drink and gamble legally, although I imagine someone thought about it back then.  The common practice was for nightclub owners to send their own boats three miles out into the ocean across the city lines to meet up with bootlegger ships and bring the illegal alcohol back to their establishments on shore.    

Bonnie: A lot of secrets are revealed in this book.  Are there more secrets to come?

Gail: Funny you should ask.  I’m starting on book six now, and it will be revealing a little unknown secret about each of the main characters and their friends. 

Bonnie: Besides Ace, Jax, and Laura, my favorite character is Orin Marino, the criminal with a heart of gold.  Do you have a favorite supporting character?

Gail: I love Orin Marino, too, and he certainly comes in handy with his ‘underground’ connections.  I’ve been concentrating on the main characters’ pasts, but going forward, their other friends and a few new ones will be stepping into the limelight.

Bonnie: This is the fifth book in the Jax Diamond series.  Do you have a planned number of books, and have you decided on a project after this series?

Gail: Honestly, I didn’t expect the series to continue this far, but the readers seem to enjoy them, and they’ve been so much fun to write!  As for another project, I’m not sure.  I have four other books started, and I may get back to one of them.  Then again, I may write another cozy mystery series either going back to the 1800s about a female Pinkerton agent or leaping forward to the 1940s when Jax and Laura’s children are all grown up.

Bonnie: You have independently published at least 14 books on Amazon and have received many awards for your work. Can you think of one or two lessons learned as an Indie author that you’d like to share with our readers?


Lesson #1 – Find a good editor.  I couldn’t resist mentioning you, Bonnie, but it’s true.  A book could have great characters and a great plot, but if it’s poorly edited, you’re going to lose a ton of readers.   Comment from Bonnie: Awww, thank you! I appreciate you letting me be part of a great series!

Lesson #2: Something else I’m still working on is boosting my social media presence.   Usually, Indie Authors’ marketing funds are limited, which limits our ability to reach a wider range of readers.  Developing a strong social media presence can help tremendously, and there are a lot of great author/reader groups on Facebook.

Bonnie: What is your process when you begin writing?  Do you have a favorite writing spot?  Do you create an outline or just wing it? As the editor of this book, I see later drafts, but what does your beginning process look like?

Gail: My first step is thinking of a basic idea for the story, then I start researching, and I never know where that’ll take me since it opens up all kinds of other possibilities.   I don’t use an outline of the story, but I do create a spreadsheet to keep track of all the characters, clues, notes for the next chapter, etc.  My favorite place to write is outside on my deck, weather permitting.

Bonnie: You create your own book covers, and they are fantastic.  Can you give our Indie authors some tips on creating a great cover?

Gail: Thank you for the compliment!  For covers, I subscribe to a stock photo site where I can download licensed images, then I use Adobe Photoshop to play around with it, make changes, add text, etc.  The best way to start is by looking at other books in your genre on Amazon to get an idea of the style – styles are ever-changing!  I’m also in an Indie Cover Project group on Facebook where both authors and designers give you valuable input.

Thanks, as always, Gail for answering my questions! I think readers are going to love this next installment in the Jax Diamond series.



Book Review: Mastering the Art of French Murder #JuliaChild #CozyMysteries

Tabitha, a former “Rosie the Riveter” in Detroit, moves to Paris to stay with her wealthy “Grandpere” after she loses her job to men returning from war. She is fortunate to be living next door to Paul and Julia Child. Paul is a diplomat at the U.S. Embassy and Julia is taking classes at the famous cooking school, Le Cordon Bleu. When a woman is murdered behind their building, the murder weapon is found to be Julia’s own chef’s knife. Knowing that someone at a party in Julia’s apartment during the night of the murder had to be the killer, Tabitha begins to investigate.

I just adored this through and through. The lively personality of Julia Child draws the reader in right away. Julia is not directly involved in the investigation, but she is behind the scenes, making suggestions about the investigation, teaching the culinary-challenged Tabitha how to cook, and trying to line up eligible men for the quite single Rosie the Riveter. We also meet Julia’s sister “Dort,” who is staying with her at the time and partying the night away after working at the Théâtre Monceau. When Tabitha realizes the murdered woman worked at the same theater, she slowly begins to put the pieces together. The mystery is captivating and has plenty of red herrings. Also woven into the story are trips to the market with Julia and “Tabs” for fresh herbs, eggs, poultry, and gossip, plus Tabitha’s quest to fix her Grandpere and her “Oncle” Rafe something tolerable to eat.

Julia is also trying to solve a smaller mystery which she lets the whole market in on. She suddenly cannot produce a successful mayonnaise. As I read this clever mystery, I also learned how to best make an omelet and roast a chicken. And I think I figured out why my homemade mayo never works.

I tried making the omelet using Julia’s instructions to Tabitha in the book, and it’s by far the best one I ever made. This is not a book with recipes, but Julia’s instructions to Tabitha can be followed as recipes.

I received a free copy of this book from Kensington Books. My review is voluntary and the opinions expressed are my own.

Mastering the Art of French Murder is Book 1 in the “An American in Paris Mystery” series. It will be released April 25, 2023.


Colleen Cambridge is the pen name for an award-winning, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. From a young age, Colleen has loved reading mysteries and now she couldn’t be happier that she is able to write them.



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Book Review: The Metropolitan Affair #NewYorkMysteries #CozyMysteries


For years her explorer father promised Dr. Lauren Westlake she’d accompany him on one of his Egyptian expeditions. But as the empty promises mounted, Lauren determined to earn her own way. Now the assistant curator of Egyptology for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Lauren receives two unexpected invitations.

The first is her repentant father’s offer to finally bring her to Egypt as his colleague on a new expedition. The second is a chance to enter the world of New York’s wealthiest patrons who have been victims of art fraud.

With Egyptomania sweeping the city after the discovery of King Tut’s tomb, Detective Joe Caravello is on the hunt for a notorious forger preying on the open wallets of New York’s high society. Dr. Westlake is just the expert he needs to help him track the criminal. Together they search for the truth, and the closer Lauren and Joe get to discovering the forger’s identity, the more entangled they become in a web of deception and crime.


This cozy mystery is set in 1920s New York. Lauren Westlake is an Egyptologist who works at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She is the daughter of acclaimed archaeologist Lawrence Westlake, who spent most of Lauren’s life working on his career and not his relationship with his daughter. But now he’s back and wants to get closer by having Lauren join him on a dig in Egypt. Then Lauren is approached by old friend/beau Joe Caravello, a police detective. He suspects a ring of forgers is selling fake Egyptian artifacts. Will Lauren help him?

What a great cozy read! This is the first book in the On Central Park series by Jocelyn Green. The descriptions of 1920s New York, especially of Central Park and the Museum, bring the city and that time period to life. The author’s research into Egyptology was extremely thorough, as the main character’s knowledge of the subject is extensive. The reader learns so much about Egyptian artifacts and how to tell a fake. Lauren’s struggles in her relationship with her father are heartbreaking and real. Her relationship with Joe is a refreshing break from the constant disappointment she suffers at the hands of her father. The mystery is complex and includes plenty of red herrings.

This is great historical fiction with engaging, interesting characters and a lesson in Egyptology. I highly recommend this novel to cozy mystery lovers and those interested in Egyptian artifacts. The Christian messages include faith and forgiveness.

My rating is 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5 on sites with no half-star option.

I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House. My review is voluntary and the opinions expressed are my own.


Jocelyn Green inspires faith and courage as the award-winning and bestselling author of numerous fiction and nonfiction books, including The Mark of the King; Wedded to War; and The 5 Love Languages Military Edition, which she coauthored with bestselling author Dr. Gary Chapman. Her books have garnered starred reviews from Booklist and Publishers Weekly, and have been honored with the Christy Award, the gold medal from the Military Writers Society of America, and the Golden Scroll Award from the Advanced Writers & Speakers Association. She graduated from Taylor University in Upland, Indiana, with a B.A. in English, concentration in writing. She loves Mexican food, Broadway musicals, pie, the color red, and reading with a cup of tea. Jocelyn lives with her husband Rob and two children in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

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Two mini reviews: And Justice for Mall and Twice in a Lifetime #minireviews #cozymysteries #timetravel

I’ve been out of pocket due to work and watching grandkids, but I’m back now and I wanted to share some mini reviews with you. They’re both four stars, or will be rounded to four stars on sites with no partial star option. I am going to occasionally do mini-reviews more in the future. My mini reviews will include overall impressions and do not have an author bio. Click on the covers to buy the books. My impressions are below.



When Riley Schoenberg strides into family lawyer Sandy Moss’s office without knocking and coolly sits down, Sandy’s more irritated than amused. She has a client meeting to prepare for, and being interrupted by an eleven-year-old girl is not on her to-do list.

But then Sandy hears Riley’s pitch, and it’s a killer one: Riley’s father’s been convicted of murdering her mother … and the oddly intimidating pre-teen will do anything to get him out of jail.

Sandy, in turn, will do anything to get Riley out of her office. Which includes agreeing to look into her dad’s case for free. A decision she regrets when it turns out Riley’s inheritance has made her a multi-millionaire.

Still, Sandy’s determined to get Riley the answers she needs. There’s just one tiny problem: Riley might be convinced her father’s innocent, but Jack Schoenberg is insisting he did it.


This is the fourth Jersey Girl mystery series and the first I’ve read. The characters were engaging, and there was a bit of humor running through the book, even in dangerous situations. The book had a great tone that kept me intrigued. The plot was interesting and the mystery had some twists and turns that were fun to figure out.

My rating is 3.5 stars, rounded up to 4 on sites with no partial star option.

I received a free copy of this book from the publishers via Netgalley. My review is voluntary and the opinions are my own.



Isla has fled the city for small-town Missouri in the wake of a painful and exhausting year. With her chronic anxiety at a fever pitch, the last thing she expects is to meet a genuine romantic prospect. And she doesn’t. But she does get a text from a man who seems to think he’s her husband. Obviously, a wrong number—except when she points this out, the mystery texter sends back a picture. Of them—on their wedding day.
Isla cautiously starts up a texting relationship with her maybe-hoax, maybe-husband Ewan, who claims to be reaching out from a few years into the future. Ewan knows Isla incredibly well, and seems to love her exactly as she is, which she can hardly fathom. But he’s also grieving because in the future, he and Isla are no longer together.
Ewan is texting back through time to save her from a fate he is unwilling to share—and all she can do to prevent that fate is to learn to be happy, now, in the body she has, with the mind she has. The only trouble is the steps she takes in that direction might be steps away from a future with Ewan.
Melissa Baron’s time-crossed romance features a quintessentially endearing and brave protagonist, and an engrossing plot that will keep you turning pages until its breathtaking finish.


This time slip story has a little bit of a vibe of the Sandra Bullock movie The Lake House, a bit of The Butterfly Effect, and situations that show that changing the future has consequences.

Twice in a Lifetime is not exactly a time travel story, but more of an exchange of messages from one time to the other, which is what reminds me of Sandra Bullock’s movie The Lake House. The rules set by the author give consequences for changing the future. I liked the whole premise. There are also serious themes of traumatic brain injury and depression that are well presented.

Megan Tusing does a good job with the narration, and I liked the conclusion. My rating is 4.2 stars, rounded down to 4 stars on sites with no partial star option.

I received a free copy of this audiobook from Dreamscape Media via Netgalley. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.

BUY LINKS: Remember to click the covers for the buy links.

Indie Weekend: Two of a Kind by Gail Meath #cozymystery #christmas #germanshepherds @gailmeathauthor

Indie Weekend is my effort to help Indie and Self-Published authors market their books. Indie authors have a lot on their plate, so if I can help with the daunting task of marketing, I’m happy to do it. You can help as well by sharing this post with all of your social media followers.

This week’s review is for a book close to my heart, and I must disclose I am also the editor. Actually, the author is gracious to let me help her with editing. That’s my sneaky way of getting to read it first! Gail Meath is putting out a Christmas Novella in her Jax Diamond series. It’s a prequel, and it will be available on Black Friday. I’m so excited about it! Read my review below.


How did Jax meet Ace? Find out in this Christmas novella.

The Christmas holiday hinges on a dicey game of chance.

Officer Jax Diamond doesn’t always play by the rules, and he’s in the hot seat again with the captain of his precinct. So, when a brazen little puppy alerts him of a crime, Jax is ordered to stand down or get canned.

On the city streets, broke and alone, Jax beats himself up for making the wrong decision. Even the little tramp who keeps trailing him everywhere can’t lift his spirits. But crime never stops in New York City and a string of deadly Christmas capers spirals out of control.

Hang on to your seat as Jax and his new pint-sized partner, Ace, team up to save the Christmas holidays during the Roaring Twenties, an era of fun and frolic, song and dance, speakeasies, gangsters, bootlegging, and bribes.


I love a good prequel, and this is a great one as we learn how Detective Jax Diamond met his sidekick, the wily German Shepherd, Ace.

The action starts right away, as Jax happens to meet an unforgettable puppy and then goes through a heartbreaking situation that will change his life. Christmas in New York City in the early 1920s is on full display, and I was completely transported there. The department stores at that time are well described and the Christmas decorations and events are just so fun to read about. I enjoyed all the characters, but Puppy Ace steals the show, and he strutted right into my heart. The plot is full of clever twists and surprises. We visit famous department stores, investigate missing toys, and even get some cooking lessons! New hints are dropped about Jax’s background, which will be explored further in Book 5, coming out in 2023.

I pretty much demand that historical Christmas books deliver big on the “Christmas” and this one went over and above. I highly recommend it as both a great cozy and a Christmas read. Even though this is Book 4, it can be read first because it’s a prequel. This little novella is so fun I’m ready to read it again. You won’t be disappointed with this novella, or any book in the amazing Jax Diamond cozy mystery series.

I received a free copy of this book, but also purchased a copy. My review is voluntary and the opinions expressed are my own.


Gail Meath is the author of the multi-award winning Jax Diamond Mysteries series, the story of a wise-cracking ex-cop turned PI, his sweet German Shepherd partner, and Broadway singing heartthrob as they solve crazy crimes during the Roaring Twenties. “Think Sam Spade meets Judy Garland.”

Gail has always been dreamer and lover of romance and history, and she finally picked up the pen to write plot-twisting mysteries, heart-wrenching westerns, and powerful biographies of fascinating yet unknown heroines of the past. She lives with her fabulous husband and beloved Boston Terrier on their own golden pond in a small village in Upstate New York. Connect with Gail at, on Facebook @GailMeathAuthor, or on Instagram @GailMeathAuthor. Get free books by Meath on her website.

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#BookTour and #BookReview: Daisy and the Dazzling #Dachshunds


The discovery of a murdered woman with a rescued dog and her puppies on Bodmin Moor, hurtles Daisy, a shy retired librarian and her oddball friends, into another dangerous, yet comical escapade.
Daisy is on a mission to find the murdered woman’s killer, linking events to the puppy farm, and is suddenly thrust into a world of explosions, shootings and kidnappings!

Furthermore, family secrets come to light and Daisy discovers an unexpected revelation that will change her life forever. This newfound knowledge is difficult for Daisy to cope with and somewhat hinders the situation that befalls herself and her friends. And if that isn’t enough, the return of her ex-husband poses even more problems.

Daisy enlists the help of Cleo her cat, and Flora her puppy, both rescue animals, in her search for the puppy farm. However, the question remains, even with all the help she has, can Daisy manage to outwit the villains and save herself and the puppies from harm?


I enjoyed the fact that the main character Daisy and her group of friends (The Priory Five) are in their 40s or older. That’s my age group, and it’s great to see characters that I can identify with. The mystery involves dogs, which is right up my alley, and I liked that the group was investigating a puppy mill as well as a murder. Daisy’s ex-husband shows up, which is a nice twist, but even bigger surprises are in store.

I wasn’t fully connected or drawn in right away, possibly because it’s the second in a series and I hadn’t met the characters before. It also could use another edit and didn’t really showcase all the great characteristics of dachshunds that I know as a dachshund owner. Since the title and the cover feature dachshunds, I expected to see more of that. But as the story moves along, the plot twists and turns did begin to captivate me, especially Daisy’s family secret. The main character Daisy is very likable and I love the premise of this series. The secrets revealed in this book will set the series up nicely for the future.

I received a free copy of this book via Zooloo’s Book Tours. I also purchased a copy. My review is voluntary and the opinions expressed are my own.


(In her own words)

Scottish born, I now live on the Jurassic coast of Dorset with my husband, and Monty our enormous Cavalier. Our two adult children live in Yorkshire and Germany. 

As a lifelong sufferer from E.D.S, I cope with my restricted mobility by reading and writing. I often scribbled stories from childhood, stemming from Scotland, Cornwall, Norfolk, Essex, and the Home Counties.

Now a teacher, tutor, and hotelier, I still scribble with each novel disappearing into a drawer!

Changing primary schools, five in total, meant that I was unable to read until given special lessons. This gave me a deep love of reading, and being an only child, I devoured books. Following this experience, when I became unable to teach because of mobility problems, I became a home tutor. After extra training, I specialised in children with reading difficulties.  Still an avid reader, I love cosy mysteries, where the murder doesn’t scare me to death!

The Open University helped with my exams, enabling me to continue studying. I had an amanuensis who wrote out my answers.  Of course, I did English and history, my great loves. Creative Writing was difficult as I love to write amusing and light pieces, and they preferred dark and dismal topics! I studied botanical art for many years and then got RSI. Determined to carry on with my art and writing, I now paint with my left hand and dictate all my novels. I still paint flowers trying to capture their beauty, it is hard work but so enjoyable.


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#BlogTour and #BookReview: Death at The Lychgate #AmyRowlingsMysteries #SpellboundBooks



It’s Sunday morning, and the body of Reverend Villiers has been found propped up on the vigil seat in the church’s lychgate. It appears that he has been poisoned.

When amateur sleuth and regular churchgoer Amy Rowlings arrives, she finds DI Bodkin already at the scene. Bodkin tells her about a cryptic scripture reference that has been scrawled in chalk on the stone slabs beneath the body. What the citation hints at, shocks everyone.


This is Book 2 in the Amy Rowlings Mysteries. It can be read as a standalone. The local vicar has been murdered and it is an apparent poisoning. Amy Rowlings and DI Bodkin are on the case, and they soon discover that there has been much more going on than it seems.

I love that Amy uses lessons learned from Agatha Christie’s character Hercule Poirot to help her in her investigation. The romance between Amy and DI Bodkin is sweet and is moving forward nicely. The townsfolk are endearing and delightful, but some of them are hiding secrets. The mystery has some clever twists and turns that will keep you guessing. There are other truths to be uncovered behind the vicar’s murder, and those truths add even more layers to this mystery. Fans of historical mysteries and Agatha Christie in particular should check this one out.

I received a free copy of this book from Spellbound Books via Zooloo’s Book Tours. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.


T A Belshaw is from Derbyshire in the United Kingdom where he shares a house with his chatty rescue cat, Mia. He writes for both children and adults. A former miner and computer technician, Trevor studied Advanced Creative Writing at the Open University. He is the author of Tracy’s Hot Mail, Tracy’s Celebrity Hot Mail and the noir, suspense novella, Out of Control. Following the sudden death of his wife in 2015 Trevor took a five-year break from writing, returning during lockdown in 2020, when an injury forced him to take time off work. The result of this new creative burst was the Dual Timeline, Family Saga, Unspoken and the Historical Cosy Crime Whodunnit, Murder at the Mill.

Trevor signed his first contract with Spellbound Books Ltd in April 2021. He signed a further mullti-book contract with them in the spring of 2022.

His short stories have been published in various anthologies including 100 Stories for Haiti, 50 Stories for Pakistan, Another Haircut, Shambelurkling and Other Stories, Deck the Halls, 100 Stories for Queensland and The Cafe Lit anthology 2011, 2012 and 2013. He also has two pieces in Shambelurklers Return. 2014

Trevor is also the author of 15 children’s adventure books written under the name of Trevor Forest.

His children’s poem, Clicking Gran, was long listed for the Plough prize (children’s section) in 2009 and his short poem, My Mistake, was rated Highly Commended and published in an anthology of the best entries in the Farringdon Poetry Competition.

Trevor’s articles have been published in magazines as diverse as Ireland’s Own, The Best of British and First Edition.


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Indie Weekend: Deuce by Gail Meath #cozymysteries #bookreviews #germanshepherds #indiebooks

Indie weekend is my effort to help Indie authors market their books. Indie authors have to do it all, including marketing, so if I can help even a little bit, I’m happy to do so. Below is my review of Deuce by Gail Meath, the third book in her wonderful Jax Diamond Mysteries series. Disclosure: I am also the editor.


One for sorrow, two for spice triggers a game of three blind mice.

While vacationing in New England, PI Jax Diamond and his courageous canine partner, Ace, bite off more than they can chew when two small town deaths reveal two big time killers, and the locals don’t take too kindly to strangers.

Laura Graystone, Broadway star, auto expert, and Jax’s heartthrob, is once again front and center digging for clues while trying to ditch an old boyfriend. That is, until her brother becomes Jax’s prime suspect. Then all hell breaks loose, and Ace is left in the lurch, tracking down leads with his new sidekick, Susie.

A crazy duet of crimes sends Jax, Laura and Ace into a tailspin in small-town USA during the Roaring Twenties. Where no one is above the law, everyone is a suspect, and time is running out before the clock strikes one.


Deuce is the third book in the Jax Diamond Mysteries series. In this series, private detective Jax, his wily German Shepherd partner, Ace, and Jax’s girlfriend, Broadway singer Laura Graystone, solve crimes in New York City. In Book three, Jax, Laura, and Ace head to Laura’s hometown of Millbury, MA in order to investigate the death of Laura’s father several years before. As soon as they arrive, Jax finds a body, but when he attempts to show it to the police, it is gone! Laura’s old “boyfriend” who was never a boyfriend, Pete, is also a deputy sheriff who tries to throw a wrench into Jax’s investigation.

I just adore these characters. Jax, Laura, and Ace are a wonderful team, and they are soon joined by a familiar face from New York. The small town setting in Millbury is a fun escape, and we learn a bit of history about the town. While the investigation involves the murder of Laura’s father and others, we also get a peek into Jax’s own history. The characters are just fantastic, as always. Jax is a sharp investigator and a great romantic partner for Laura. Laura’s expertise goes beyond singing because she knows everything about cars, as her late father was a racecar driver who worked on cars. Ace, of course, steals the show, and is always there to assist Jax and Laura.

The mystery is complex, and I could not figure out who the “culprit” was until the end. The story moves along well and I was entertained throughout. The book ends with a promise of a return to New York and Broadway, so I can’t wait! I highly recommend this mystery series to fans of cozy mysteries and dog lovers.

I received a free copy of this book but also purchased a copy. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.

Readers can look forward to books four and five: Book 4, Two of a Kind: The Beginning is a Christmas novella about how Jax and Ace met. It is coming out in December. Book 5, Blackjack, is set back in New York City as Jax looks for his own family. It will be out June of 2023.


Gail Meath is the author of the multi-award-winning Jax Diamond Mysteries series, the story of a wise-cracking ex-cop turned PI, his sweet German Shepherd partner, and Broadway singing heartthrob as they solve crazy crimes during the Roaring Twenties. “Think Sam Spade meets Judy Garland.”

Gail has always been a dreamer and lover of romance and history, and she finally picked up the pen to write plot-twisting mysteries, heart-wrenching westerns, and powerful biographies of fascinating yet unknown heroines of the past. She lives with her fabulous husband and beloved Boston Terrier on their own golden pond in a small village in Upstate New York. Connect with Gail on her website at, on her Facebook page, or on Instagram. .


Buy the whole series by clicking on the image above.


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