Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT SELF SERVE MURDER by @denaehaggerty cosy #Mystery #wwwblogs

Today’s team review is from Cathy, she blogs at http://betweenthelinesbookblog.com

#RBRT Review Team

Cathy has been reading Self Serve Murder by Dena Haggerty

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As well as being a grad student and working part time at the local youth centre, Kristie Larson helps out as a barista at Callie’s Cakes. When she finds herself in bed one morning with a man she doesn’t know, and soon realises is dead, dazed and shocked she calls her best friend Anna. Kristie has no memory of the previous night, the man or how he ended up at her house, much less in her bed. She and her two friends, Callie and Anna, and their police detective boyfriends, Logan and Ben, begin to unravel the mystery and find out more than they bargained for.

Kristie is cleared of involvement in the death; tests prove she had been drugged and hers wasn’t the first case of this happening. There has been a string of date rapes on the college campus, all with the same approach, and although Kristie comes across as quite diffident and unassuming she’s determined to root out the perpetrator. After accessing a forum dedicated to assault victims and connecting with an online member, she’s in for quite a shock when she finally meets ‘Alex’.

Kristie has depth, tact and is a coffee addict. She’s also keeping a secret from her friends. I enjoyed learning about her life and connection and commitment to the Youth Centre. The three women have a great relationship and are always there for each other. Kristie is easy to like and not as over the top as the other two – Anna, the pink haired pixie and know it all Callie, aka the troublesome twosome.

Reading the previous books would probably have given me a deeper understanding of, and the dynamics between, the characters but having said that I did get a good idea of the personalities. Self-Serve Murder can definitely be read as a standalone. The storyline is emotional given the subject matter, written well and sympathetically, the humour in the appropriate places, and with a suitably creepy and repellent villain.

Told in the first person from Kristie’s perspective, Self-Serve Murder is entertaining, with likeable, sometimes ditzy, female protagonists. I wasn’t too sure about the men. I found Tyler irritating with his continual use of ‘baby’ when talking to Kristie and the insta-love aspect was too much too soon. All three men were a bit too alpha for me….shades of quite assertive cavemen types.

Self-Serve Murder is a cozy mystery with a dark undercurrent which is shockingly all too true. The figure of over 11% of college students subjected to rape on college campuses is correct. And although this is a fun, lighthearted tale the subject of rape is treated very seriously.

Book Description
Book 3 in the Death by Cupcake series. Can be read as a standalone.

Kristie is kind with a capital K, so it’s quite the surprise when she wakes up next to a dead man with no recollection of the previous night. Even worse? She’s naked. Kristie may be a sweetheart out to save the world, but sticking her nose into an investigation of rapes across campus makes her the target of a murderer. Before she knows it, Callie is smack dab in the middle of a murder investigation with her colleagues Callie and Anna. If that’s not enough to drive a sane person up the wall, a friend has decided he’s going to keep her safe whether she wants him to or not. And, oh yeah, he’s her man and that’s that. 

Come join us at Callie’s Cakes, where murder investigations are on the menu. You are most welcome, but you may need to serve yourself as our barista Kristie is busy trying to save the world. 

Warning: Although there are plenty of moments that will make you shake your head and laugh at the antics of the ladies of Callie’s Cakes, the subject matter – rape on college campuses – is very real and somewhat darker than your usual cozy mystery.

About the author
D.E. Haggerty
I grew up reading everything I could get my hands on from my mom’s Harlequin romances to Nancy Drew to Little Women. When I wasn’t flipping pages in a library book, I was penning horrendous poems, writing songs no one should ever sing, or drafting stories which have thankfully been destroyed. College and a stint in the U.S. Army came along, robbing me of free time to write and read, although I did manage, every once in a while, to sneak a book into my rucksack between rolled up socks, MRIs, t-shirts, and cold weather gear. After surviving the army experience, I went back to school and got my law degree. I jumped ship and joined the hubby in the Netherlands before the graduation ceremony could even begin. A few years into my legal career, I was exhausted, fed up, and just plain done. I quit my job and sat down to write a manuscript, which I promptly hid in the attic after returning to the law. But being a lawyer really wasn’t my thing, so I quit (again!) and went off to Germany to start a B&B. Turns out being a B&B owner wasn’t my thing either. I decided to follow the husband to Istanbul for a few years where I managed to churn out book after book. But ten years was too many to stay away from ‘home’. I packed up again and moved to The Hague where I’m currently working on my next book. I hope I’ll always be working on my next book. 
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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT SELF SERVE MURDER by @denaehaggerty #SundayBlogShare

Today’s team review is from Suzanne, she blogs at https://suzannerogersonfantasyauthor.wordpress.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Suzanne has been reading Self Serve Murder by Dena E Haggerty

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First of all I love the colour of the cover! I like the design as well.

I had no idea what to expect with this book as I’ve never read a cosy mystery before (watched plenty of TV shows though). It was clear from the start that this was not a serious mystery book, and once this is established it’s easy to sit back and enjoy the escape from reality.
I hadn’t read the previous two books in the series, but wasn’t worried as it stated this could be read as a standalone. The crime itself was resolved in this book, but because the characters are so settled in their world and relationships well established, I found myself wishing I had read the previous books first.
The constant reference to coffee was clever and inventive, but at times when the situations were more serious I found it distracting.
I thought I’d guessed the culprit early on, but a few red herrings along the way had me second guessing myself.
 
My only hang-up with this novel was the way the men treated ‘their’ women. The men were very bossy and macho all the time. I also found the way Kristie’s love interest literally forced his way into her life while she did little to stop it, very unrealistic.
Apart from that it was a fun, easy read and should appeal to people who enjoy cosy mysteries like Agatha Raisin, Murder She Wrote and Rosemary and Thyme (opinion based on tv viewing).
 
Note – I reviewed an ebook copy supplied by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Book Description

Book 3 in the Death by Cupcake series. Can be read as a standalone.

Kristie is kind with a capital K, so it’s quite the surprise when she wakes up next to a dead man with no recollection of the previous night. Even worse? She’s naked. Kristie may be a sweetheart out to save the world, but sticking her nose into an investigation of rapes across campus makes her the target of a murderer. Before she knows it, Callie is smack dab in the middle of a murder investigation with her colleagues Callie and Anna. If that’s not enough to drive a sane person up the wall, a friend has decided he’s going to keep her safe whether she wants him to or not. And, oh yeah, he’s her man and that’s that. 

Come join us at Callie’s Cakes, where murder investigations are on the menu. You are most welcome, but you may need to serve yourself as our barista Kristie is busy trying to save the world. 

Warning: Although there are plenty of moments that will make you shake your head and laugh at the antics of the ladies of Callie’s Cakes, the subject matter – rape on college campuses – is very real and somewhat darker than your usual cozy mystery.

About the author
D.E. Haggerty
I grew up reading everything I could get my hands on from my mom’s Harlequin romances to Nancy Drew to Little Women. When I wasn’t flipping pages in a library book, I was penning horrendous poems, writing songs no one should ever sing, or drafting stories which have thankfully been destroyed. College and a stint in the U.S. Army came along, robbing me of free time to write and read, although I did manage, every once in a while, to sneak a book into my rucksack between rolled up socks, MRIs, t-shirts, and cold weather gear. After surviving the army experience, I went back to school and got my law degree. I jumped ship and joined the hubby in the Netherlands before the graduation ceremony could even begin. A few years into my legal career, I was exhausted, fed up, and just plain done. I quit my job and sat down to write a manuscript, which I promptly hid in the attic after returning to the law. But being a lawyer really wasn’t my thing, so I quit (again!) and went off to Germany to start a B&B. Turns out being a B&B owner wasn’t my thing either. I decided to follow the husband to Istanbul for a few years where I managed to churn out book after book. But ten years was too many to stay away from ‘home’. I packed up again and moved to The Hague where I’m currently working on my next book. I hope I’ll always be working on my next book. 

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT NEVER TRUST A SKINNY CUP CAKE BAKER by @denaehaggerty

Today’s Team Review is from Olga, she blogs at http://www.authortranslatorolga.com

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Olga has been reading Never Trust A Cup Cake Baker by Dena Haggerty

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Never Trust a Skinny Cupcake Baker (Death by Cupcake Book 1) Cupcakes, pole dancing, murder and amusement

byD.E. Haggerty

I am reviewing this book as part of Rosie’s Book Review Team and I received a free copy of the novel in exchange for an unbiased review.

From the description I thought this book sounded like a fun and light read, and indeed it is. We have the adventures of Callie, a woman who had to work hard to get her doctorate and now teaches at university, although only on a part-time basis, whilst also running a bakery with her friend, Anna. She’s just come out of a disastrous relationship that hasn’t done her self-esteem any good. She’s being pursued by a police detective, who according to all women who meet him is a Mr Hottie, but she can’t believe he’s serious as she feels she not in his league because she’s overweight and does not feel sexy. In an attempt at changing her perspective, her friend enrols both of them in a pole dancing class. Unfortunately this ends up quite badly, not because of lack of skill (that too) but because their instructor is killed and Callie becomes the main suspect. Not only that, but her position teaching at university is put in jeopardy because of this and she decides (with Anna by her side) that if the police won’t do anything to investigate and clear her name, she will.

Each chapter in the novel starts with an amusing quote related to cupcakes and the book moves at a good pace, with twists, turns, new clues and threats at every turn.

As is to be expected in cozy mysteries, the protagonist is quirky (she describes herself as a nerd and when nervous she tends to quote facts as if she were Wikipedia), self-deprecating and with a sense of humour. The male in the story is gorgeous and insistently pursues the protagonist no matter what (he seems too good to be true, perhaps a bit on the overprotective side, but that’s usual when the genre involves big doses of romance). I liked Anna, with her pink hair and her no-nonsense attitude. She is all up and go and drags her friend into action, like it or not. I hope we’ll get to know more about her as the series progresses, as in this one we don’t know much about her personal life other than that she gets propositioned by Dolly, the pole-dancing instructor (who although attractive, isn’t at all nice. Not by a long shot).

Perhaps because I read more straight thrillers than cozy ones, the investigation part of the novel for me stretched the imagination and required more suspension of disbelief than I’m used to. There aren’t that many clues but the few ones available keep being dismissed by the police (than other than Ben, the hottie detective, seem utterly useless) and the ending is satisfying, although seems to be brought on more by the guilty party than by the investigative skills of the police and the main characters. But there are enough twists and turns to keep everybody guessing, and quite a few characters you’d love to hate.

Overall it’s an amusing and light read, and includes a delicious recipe, and it is a good start to a series that I hope will develop further the characters and the stories.

 

Links:

http://www.amazon.com/Never-Trust-Skinny-Cupcake-Baker-ebook/dp/B01CNZ75DE/

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Never-Trust-Skinny-Cupcake-Baker-ebook/dp/B01CNZ75DE/

 

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT LOVE IN THE TIME OF MURDER by @denaehaggerty #SundayBlogShare

Today’s team review comes from Karen, she blogs at, https://mytrainofthoughtson.wordpress.com/

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Karen chose to read and review Love in the Time of Murder by Dena Haggerty

Love in the time of murder

My Opinion

This book focuses on Dee, freshly separated. Her grandma being one of the gray-haired knitting detectives, it does not come as a surprise that Dee is ‘persuaded’ to file for a restraining order and the circle’s matchmaker tries to set her up with an adequate partner. When her estranged husband’s body is found, she is the number one suspect.

With Love in the Time of Murder, D. E. Haggerty has created another expertly worded and pretty funny suspense story with a romantic touch. The story comprises a broad variety of characters with sufficient depth, hilarious moments and interesting interactions to solve the murder case. I had a great time reading Love in the Time of Murder – it is a very fun read. I was drawn into the story right away, chuckling about the cute gray-haired knitting detectives and their ways, not always seconding Dee’s thoughts. On second thoughts, I came to realise that my reactions in case of others trying to meddle with my life are not than different from hers.

This is for you if you like female sleuths, hilarious situations as well as a great combination of (cozy) suspense, humour and romance.

A funny and suspenseful book and/or series to read again.

Recommended!

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

WINNER and Runner-Up of the Contemporary 2015 Book Award

Winner Contemporary

The 2015 Golden Rose Book Award for Contemporary

Went to Mark Barry and his book The Night Porter

Mark Barry Night Porter

Meet Mark

Mark Barry, author of Hollywood Shakedown, the highly acclaimed Carla and the top selling Ultra-Violence, is a writer and publisher based in Nottingham and Southwell. He writes extensively on a variety of topics including, horseracing, football, personality disorders and human relationships, but most recently, he writes about life in Nottingham and monitors closely its ever changing face.

Mark has been interviewed on several Radio chat shows where he has given readings of his work. His writing has been featured in the national press, and he has also been interviewed on television.

Mark resides in Southwell, Nottinghamshire and has one son, Matthew.

Catch up with Mark on Twitter @GreenWizard62

Book Description

Set in a hotel, in November, in the fictional town of Wheatley Fields, (based on Southwell, near Nottinghamshire, deep in Sherwood Forest).

Four writers, all nominated for an upcoming awards ceremony, come to stay.

One mega successful romance author, a top US thriller writer who sells in seven figures, a beautiful young YA tyro on the brink of world wide stardom…

…and a degenerate, nasty, bitter, jealous, trollish, drunken (but brilliant), self-published contemporary fiction author.

The Night Porter is instructed by a secretive and powerful awards committee to look after their EVERY need, to ensure they make it through the two weeks to attend the ceremony. At the same time as keeping an eye on their wishes, antics, fights, relationships and never-ending ego explosions. And trying desperately to avoid getting involved himself.

It’s a comedy drama about writers (and Night Porters!) with twists and turns, nooks and crannies, shadows and mirrors.

I don’t think you will see an Indie published book like this anywhere in Cyberspace.
Probably not a tradpubbed one either.

It casts a sometimes shadowy light on modern publishing, the writing business – and the people in it. Writers who like to read about writers and writing will enjoy the book as will readers who enjoy innovative, clever and multi-layered fiction.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

The Silver Award went to

Terry Tyler and her book Last Child

Terry and Last Child

Meet Terry

Terry Tyler is fascinated by the psychology behind personal relationships, which is why she writes character-driven contemporary dramas. From the rock star aspirations of the lighthearted ‘Dream On’ and ‘Full Circle’, to the dark and complex psychological web of her latest publication, ‘The House of York’, it’s all about the characters, though she loves manufacturing unguessable plot twists, too. Watch out for ‘Bestseller’, a novella about three writers, due out around March.

She has a blog on which she writes about anything from observations about social networking trends, to self-publishing hazards, to anything else that comes into her head, and is currently running a feature about writers and astrology. The link: http://www.terrytyler59.blogspot.co.uk/ . This year she started a new book review blog; on this you can find her own reading choices and those she reads as part of Rosie Amber’s Book Review Team. She loves Twitter (TerryTyler4) and can also be found on Goodreads and Facebook.

Terry lives in the north east of England with her husband; when she is not writing she escapes into Netflix and history books/documentaries, or floats around the house spraying Guerlain perfume, listening to old jazz and blues and pretending she’s in ‘Boardwalk Empire’.

Catch up with Terry on Twitter @TerryTyler4

Book Description

LAST CHILD is the sequel to Kings and Queens, Terry Tyler’s modern take on the story of Henry VIII and his six wives.

Harry Lanchester is gone, his legacy passed on to his children:

Thirteen year old JASPER, who views the directors of Lanchester Estates as Harry Potter characters, and finds out that teenage love affairs are no fairytale.

ISABELLA, the eldest daughter; lonely and looking for love, she returns from a holiday in Spain with more than just a suntan.

Impulsive, independent ERIN, the girl of Transport manager Rob Dudley’s dreams, whose priority is not a husband and family, but the continuation of her father’s work.

You will also meet the ambitious Jim Dudley, ex-nanny Hannah Cleveley, Rob’s long suffering wife Amy, and Raine Grey, whose nine days as PR manager for Lanchester Estates have a devastating effect on her life.

LAST CHILD takes the drama, passion and intrigue of Kings and Queens into the present day, with echoes from the past ~ and a glimpse or two into the future…

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Final congratulations to all the Contemporary nominees.

Sue Hewitt with THE CUNNING WOMAN’S CUP

Laura Wilkinson with PUBLIC BATTLES, PRIVATE WARS

Tonia Parronchi with THE SONG OF THE CYPRESS

Dena Haggerty with JACK GETS HIS MAN

 

 

The #MysteryNovember Book Tour Day 13 – Dena Haggerty @denaehaggerty

Hop on board the Mystery Tour bus and enjoy the ride.

Mystery Book Tour Bus copyright

Today our guest is Dena Haggerty and her book Love in the Time of Murder.

Love in the time of murder

Synopsis:

In Love in the Time of Murder, the Gray-Haired Knitting Detectives face their toughest case yet. Delilah, or Dee as she wishes everyone would just call her already, is the granddaughter of one of the knitting detectives and her life is in a bit of a shambles. She finally manages to pry herself away from her husband’s clutches, move out on her own, and start her own business. But then her estranged husband is murdered and she’s the number one suspect. The Gray-Haired Knitting Detectives aren’t about to let one of their own get sent to the slammer and jump at the chance to search for the true killer. As if Dee doesn’t have enough problems, the knitting detectives decide that Delilah being a widow is the perfect opportunity to find her a new man and decide to put their matchmaking skills to use. Will Dee end up in prison for a murder she didn’t commit or will she be taking another walk down the aisle?

Dena Haggerty

Where is your home town?

I was born and raised in Janesville, Wisconsin, but have been traveling the world and living in different countries since I was 17. I’m currently in Istanbul.

What do you like about writing in the mystery genre?

I love mysteries! I grew up reading the Nancy Drew and Hardy boys books. While I was in the U.S. Army, I worked as a military police woman and eventually an investigator. I love the challenge of writing a good mystery – dropping clues and red herrings while trying to ensure readers don’t figure out whodunit too soon.

What sub-genre of mystery does your book fit?

Love in the Time of Murder is a cozy mystery.

Where is your book set?

A small town in Oklahoma. Although I never name the town, I did pattern the town on an existing place.

Can you introduce us to the main characters?

The story is told from Dee’s point of view. She’s a thirty-something woman who just left her husband. Unfortunately, he husband ends up dead and she’s the main suspect. Dee’s love interest is Tommy. From the moment he met Dee, he’s been chasing her and wearing down her resistance to him. Then there are the Grey-Haired Knitting Detectives after whom the series is named. They’re a group of five elderly ladies that knit and go to church together but really just want to solve mysteries and cause trouble. Dee is the granddaughter of one of the knitting detectives.

Where can readers find out more about you and your writing?

Website: http://www.dehaggerty.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dehaggerty

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+DEHaggerty/posts

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7210211.D_E_Haggerty

Amazon author page:

http://www.amazon.com/D.E.-Haggerty/e/B00ECQBURU/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_5?qid=1438239628&sr=8-5

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/denahaggerty/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/denaehaggerty

Blog: http://www.dehaggerty.com/mymusings

Where can readers find your book?

Amazon.com:

Goodreads:

Kobo:

Smashwords:

Amazon UK: