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Saturday, March 10, 2018

Plum Tea Crazy (A Tea Shop Mystery)
by Laura Childs

When you think about a quaint and elegant tea shop you may picture delightful pottery and scents and delicious scones. I generally do not expect murder and weaponry. Only Laura Childs can combine such things and make me want to keep turning pages.
~Laura’s Interests
There are some funny moments and a well-paced plot.
~Teresa Trent, Author
Set in beautiful Charleston, South Carolina, Plum Tea Crazy jumps right into the action. . . Always a pleasure to return to Charleston with Theodosia, Drayton and all the gang.
The twists, turns, plots had me cheering Theo on the whole way as she met new people throughout the story who in turn, unknowingly, would set themselves up as a suspect and at the same time point the finger towards someone else who was just as guilty as they were.
~Ms. Cat’s Honest World
Some of my best times reading have been spent in the Indigo Tea Shop. I can vividly smell the smells, imagine the tastes of all the delicious offerings, hear the clink of spoons to fine bone china, as well as the voices of Theo and Drayton.
~Lisa Ks Book Reviews
Plum Tea Crazy has to be one of the prettiest books I’ve ever held in my hands. The cover is just so gorgeous. . . Like most of Ms. Child’s books, you’ll have a hard time deducing who the real suspect was.
~A Chick Who Reads
Plum Tea Crazy grabs you within the first few pages. . . Full of twists and turns. Full of suspects. A little comic relief.
And some great recipes at the end!
~My Reading Journeys 
I’ve always enjoyed Theodosia, Drayton, Haley, Detective Tidwell and the rest. It’s fun to come back each spring to another visit into their world! These are well-rounded, complex, developed characters and they’re delightful.
~Valerie’s Musings 
This book has everything I love.
~A. Holland Reads 
This story is filled with delightful charm and gentle humor – along with the sights, sounds and tastes of the city. Theodosia is a warm, caring lead character who solves some great murder mysteries.
~The Power of Words 

About the Book

Plum Tea Crazy (A Tea Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
19th in Series
Berkley (March 6, 2018)
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451489609
Digital ASIN: B071K4DPRH
Theodosia Browning investigates a Charleston steeped in tradition and treachery in the latest Tea Shop Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Laura Childs.
While viewing the harbor’s Gaslights and Galleons Parade from the widow’s walk of Timothy Neville’s Charleston mansion, local banker Carson Lanier seemingly tumbles over a narrow railing, then plunges three stories to his death. But a tragic accident becomes something much more sinister when it’s discovered that the victim was first shot with a bolt from a crossbow.
At the request of the mansion owner, Theodosia investigates the tragedy and is soon neck deep in suspects. An almost ex-wife, a coworker, a real estate partner–all had motives for killing the luckless banker, but one resorted to murder to settle accounts.

About the Author

Laura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Tea Shop MysteriesScrapbook Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. In her previous life she was CEO/Creative Director of her own marketing firm and authored several screenplays. She is married to a professor of Chinese art history, loves to travel, rides horses, enjoys fundraising for various non-profits, and has two Chinese Shar-Pei dogs.
Laura specializes in cozy mysteries that have the pace of a thriller (a thrillzy!) Her three series are:
The Tea Shop Mysteries – set in the historic district of Charleston and featuring Theodosia Browning, owner of the Indigo Tea Shop. Theodosia is a savvy entrepreneur, and pet mom to service dog Earl Grey. She’s also an intelligent, focused amateur sleuth who doesn’t rely on coincidences or inept police work to solve crimes. This charming series is highly atmospheric and rife with the history and mystery that is Charleston.
The Scrapbooking Mysteries – a slightly edgier series that take place in New Orleans. The main character, Carmela, owns Memory Mine scrapbooking shop in the French Quarter and is forever getting into trouble with her friend, Ava, who owns the Juju Voodoo shop. New Orleans’ spooky above-ground cemeteries, jazz clubs, bayous, and Mardi Gras madness make their presence known here!
The Cackleberry Club Mysteries – set in Kindred, a fictional town in the Midwest. In a rehabbed Spur station, Suzanne, Toni, and Petra, three semi-desperate, forty-plus women have launched the Cackleberry Club. Eggs are the morning specialty here and this cozy cafe even offers a book nook and yarn shop. Business is good but murder could lead to the cafe’s undoing! This series offers recipes, knitting, cake decorating, and a dash of spirituality.
Laura’s Links:
Purchase Links

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As always the author delivers a scrumptious story filled with murder, mystery and a  wonderful assortment of teas to try out.  The characters are classy and intriguing. It's not long into the story until a murder occurs which sets in motion an adventure that is like a cat and mouse game. I simply adore Theodosia. She is charming and has a knack for finding out information very cleverly. I would love to sit with her at her shop and sip tea and eat scones . I could visualize the beautiful and delicate tea cups and setting that is calming and inviting. 

The victim is a surprise to some in the town, but his enemies start to line up in this fast paced story.  The author captures the untimely death with a very unexpected fall and ends with a painful injury that was vividly described. Someone sure wanted to make sure our victim was dead. I really like the theme in cozy mysteries where there is a detective dating or married to the person who eventually figures out who the killer is. Riley is a very smart detective who happens to be dating none other than Theodosia. I liked how he at times seemed to be exasperated by Theodosia's interference in the investigation.I had to laugh when she continued to bombard him with questions that he knew he shouldn't answer. 

If you have ever witnessed a physical fight between two women, you know it can be funny at times. The scene that the author writes between the wife and mistress of the deceased is nothing short of hysterical and over the top entertaining. It is probably not a great idea to invite them both to an event unless you are prepared for fireworks to go off. The fight has tongues wagging as it becomes front page news. Theodosia can add two more suspects to her ever growing list after this escapade.

The more Theodosia delves into the mystery, the more her life is in danger along with her friends and associates. Someone is not happy that Theodosia is involved in the investigation and is pulling out all the stops to encourage her to not play detective. The story is very well written and had me on the edge of my chair till the end. I loved the twists and turns and suspense as the author leaves a trail of subtle hints to the killer's identity. I love the way the author is able to give such precise details of weapons and the history behind some of them. 

The more I read the book, I realized how talented the author is. She can weave a tale of mystery that captures your attention right away, while enticing you with witty sayings like, "Sweet Fanny Adams," or "You're like a danger magnet."  I love that she can make you laugh while still adding intense drama to the story. The ending is one you don't want to miss as it reaches a level of  high danger for Theodosia. Don't miss this wonderful addition to A Tea Shop Mystery Series that is Laura Childs at her best. 

I received a copy of this book from The Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour. The review is my own opinion.

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March 1 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
March 1 – Queen of All She Reads – SPOTLIGHT
March 2 – Teresa Trent Author Site – REVIEW
March 2 – La libreria di Beppe – SPOTLIGHT
March 3 – MysteriesEtc – REVIEW
March 3 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
March 4 – Ms. Cat’s Honest World – REVIEW
March 4 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, INTERVIEW
March 5 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW
March 5 – Readsalot – SPOTLIGHT
March 6 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
March 6 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW, GUEST POST
March 7 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW
March 7 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – SPOTLIGHT
March 8 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
March 8 – T’s Stuff – SPOTLIGHT
March 9 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW
March 9 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
March 10 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW
March 10 – Sapphyria’s Books – SPOTLIGHT
March 11 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 20 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 12 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT
March 13 – Mysteries with Character – REVIEW
March 13 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
March 14 – Varietats – REVIEW
March 14 – Island Confidential – INTERVIEW
March 15 – The Editing Pen – REVIEW, GUEST POST
March 15 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW
March 16 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – SPOTLIGHT
March 17 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST
March 17 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW
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March 19 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – REVIEW
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In 1772 England, Lady Keturah Banning Tomlinson and her sisters find themselves the heiresses of their father's estates and know they have one option: Go to the West Indies to save what is left of their heritage.
Although it flies against all the conventions, they're determined to make their own way in the world. But once they arrive in the Caribbean, conventions are the least of their concerns. On the infamous island of Nevis, the sisters discover the legacy of the legendary sugar barons has vastly declined-and that's just the start of what their eyes are opened to in this harsh and unfamiliar world.
Keturah never intends to put herself at the mercy of a man again, but every man on the island seems to be trying to win her hand and, with it, the ownership of her plantation. She could desperately use an ally, but even an unexpected reunion with a childhood friend leaves her questioning his motives.
To keep her family together and save the plantation that is her last chance at providing for them, can Keturah ever surrender her stubbornness and guarded heart to God and find the healing and love awaiting her?
About the Author:

Lisa T. Bergren has published more than 40 books with more than 3 million books sold combined. She's the author of the Christy Award-winning "Waterfall," RITA®-finalist "Firestorm," bestselling "God Gave Us You," and popular historical series like Homeward, Grand Tour, and more. She's also a recipient of the RT Lifetime Achievement Award. She lives in Colorado Springs with her husband and three teen-and-older


This was a very hard book to get through as I cried through most of it. The heart wrenching treatment of slaves during this time period was nothing short of inhumane. The author gets to the nitty gritty and leaves nothing to the imagination. As Ket  and her sisters set sail for the West Indies, they are exposed to treacherous seas, tight quarters and see first hand how slaves are treated. There is danger on the ship and the women are asked to be accompanied by a man when walking on deck. I would be shaking  in my boots about that time.

What an undertaking her and her sister’s take on trying to rebuild their plantation. They have so many obstacles to overcome with one being the prejudice of women being there running a plantation.  Ket is such a strong character I wanted to join her and fight for her land. It is hard to imagine that women who tried to run a plantation were looked down upon. No one wants them to succeed. I loved how the author emphasized how important it was for the sisters to do this on their own and to not depend on men to run the plantation. It is a very different place there in  the West Indies and the shock of how prejudice runs rampant is hard for the  sisters to accept. One of Ket’s biggest problems is having to stand up to a man. Her marriage was horrible and her husband treated her with little respect. That has impacted her need to succeed without the help of a man dictating what she should do. The hard work out in the fields was back breaking and at times I think I may have given up.

I think one of the smartest decisions Ket made was to team up with Gray so they both to achieve getting their crops planted by sharing their men. There are so many obstacles they endure and it seems at every turn , sabotage is happening. The mud slide was devastating and I gasped when they couldn’t find Ket. Gray is such a fair man and I admire his willingness to protect both his plantation , while trying to do the same for Ket and her sisters. The story is very intense and the horrors of living there were at times hard to read. I appreciate how the author clearly show readers what it was like in 1772 in the West Indies for women and slaves. It is important to have historical facts to remind us of the suffering and how difficult it was for people of color. There are some evil men out to destroy Ket and the plantation. Will she be able to fight them off?  Can she protect her slaves from harm? The book is mesmerizing and hard to take in at times, I appreciate the authors portrayal of a time when all people were not treated as equals. The story blends history and survival into an epic adventure. This is one story that I will remember for a long time.

I received a copy by of this book from LitFuse. The review is my own opinion.

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Friday, March 9, 2018

Hummus and Homicide (A Kebab Kitchen Mystery)
by Tina Kashian

What a charming debut for the Kebab Kitchen Mystery series. I immediately adored Lucy and her family.
~Socrates’ Book Reviews…
Hummus and Homicide is charming and well-written . . . The murder plot is nicely paced and full of twists and turns and red herrings, and the characters are layered and endearing.
~Reading is My SuperPower! 
HUMMUS AND HOMICIDE is a story about coming home and discovering yourself. It’s a story about finding happiness where you least expect it. And a story about accepting your family for who they are and not for who you’d like them to be.
~Cinnamon, Sugar and a Little Bit of Murder
Hummus and Homicide was a delightful mystery and I love culinary whodunits. This book was well-written, fun and definitely had a few laugh out loud moments for me.
~Moonlight Rendezvous
The mystery was great moving at a nice pace keeping me guessing until the killer finally revealed himself. This is a must-read for fans of cozy mysteries with a culinary flair to them.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews
Kashian uses an ethnic family restaurant as the backdrop for an engaging family and supporting cast that makes me want to read more.
~The Power of Words
This story flowed quite well and it was hard to put down. I enjoyed getting to know Lucy and her crazy family. . .
~Storeybook Reviews
The recipes and the story of Hummus and Homicide both had my mouth watering!
~Back Porchervations
Tina Kashian has does an outstanding job with this first novel.
Her characters are developed and the mystery is not overly simplified. It is not predictable or trite.
~Laura’s Interests
Lucy and her family felt like very real people, and I enjoyed following along in Lucy’s footsteps as she searched for a killer.
~The Book’s the Thing
A Kabob Kitchen Mystery Series promises to be a series that will delight and keep the reader guessing.
~My Reading Journeys
The fact that this series was inspired by the author’s own experiences shows in the details and makes the story that much more believable. Definitely, a must-read for cozy fans.
~Book Babble
Overall this book was just delicious and left my mouth watering for more of Lucy and the entire Berberian family.
~The Montana Bookaholic

About the Book 

Hummus and Homicide (A Kebab Kitchen Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Kensington (February 27, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496713476
Digital ASIN: B071FLH733
 When Lucy Berberian quits her Philadelphia law firm and heads home to Ocean Crest, she knows what she’s getting—the scent of funnel cake, the sight of the wooden roller coaster, and the tastes of her family’s Mediterranean restaurant. But murder wasn’t on the menu . . .
Things are slow in the off-season in this Jersey Shore town, but Lucy doesn’t mind. She doesn’t even mind waitressing at the Kebab Kitchen. Her parents have put in a new hummus bar, with every flavor from lemon to roasted red pepper. It’s fun to see their calico cat again, and to catch up with her old BFF, who’s married to a cop now.
She could do without Heather Banks, though. The Gucci-toting ex-cheerleader is still as nasty as she was back in high school . . . and unfortunately, she’s just taken over as the local health inspector. Just minutes after eating at the Kebab Kitchen—where she’s tallied up a whole list of bogus violations—she falls down dead in the street. Word on the grapevine is it’s homicide, and Lucy’s the number one suspect . . .
Recipes included!

About the Author

Tina Kashian spent her childhood summers at the New Jersey shore, building sand castles, boogie boarding, and riding the boardwalk Ferris wheel. She also grew up in the restaurant business where her Armenian parents owned a restaurant for thirty years. She worked almost every job—rolling silverware and wiping down tables as a tween, to hosting and waitressing as a teenager.
After college, Tina worked as a NJ Deputy Attorney General, a patent attorney, and a mechanical engineer. Her law cases inspired an inquiring mind of crime, and since then, Tina has been hooked on mysteries. The Kebab Kitchen Cozy Mystery series launches with Hummus and Homicide, followed by Stabbed in the Baklava and One Feta in the Grave by Kensington Books. Tina still lives in New Jersey with her supportive husband and two young daughters. Please visit and join her Newsletter to enter free contests to win books, get delicious recipes, and to learn when her books will be released.
Author Links

Purchase Links


There are so many wonderful things I liked about this book, I'm not sure I contain my excitement. This is my first book I've read by the author and oh my is it delectable, delicious and down right amazing. I want to move to Ocean Crest and hang out at the Jersey Shore. The description of the place was so realistic I had no problem visualizing it. I could hear the screams coming from people on the roller coaster and smell the delicious aroma of food as I dashed off to the  Kebab Kitchen. I am a huge fan of hummus and just reading about the different varieties made me want to run to the store. I confess I did have hummus and crackers while reading the book. The author has convinced me that I need to find a Mediterranean restaurant and take in the rich flavors and exception dishes they have to offer. 

Lucy is one great character. I loved that she came home to her parents when things didn't work out for her as a lawyer. It felt comfortable for her to be back home and be surrounded by an amazing family. Her parents were so sweet and gracious that I wanted them to adopt me. Rumors start to swirl that the family business is being put up for sale. I think that kind of shocked Lucy and made her start thinking of how important the restaurant is to the family. 

As in every cozy mystery there is always a murder and I try to figure out who the victim will be. The hints are there in the story but it sure does start an avalanche of trouble for Lucy and her family. I know if I had an inspection coming up, I would make sure everything was so clean you could eat off the floor. The inspection should be no worries for the Kebab Kitchen since they always pass with flying colors. What they  are not prepared for is someone dying after eating at the restaurant. Lucy is determined to get her name off the suspect list and keep the restaurant open.

I wont go into more details because you need to read the book to see how gifted the author is.I do want to mention one thing. The details of a poison in the story was like hearing it from an expert. The author's research is profound and I learned a lot about the subject. It was extremely fascinating and valuable to the story line. Her writing is outstanding as the murder investigation heats up. I really thought I knew who did it, but  was so surprised when the guilty person was revealed. It is an adventure that takes you behind the scenes of how a restaurant works to the different shops in town that made the town so quaint. Is someone trying to give Kebab Kitchen a bad name? Will Lucy escape harm as her life is put in danger? I did really enjoy the hint of several interested men that have taken a shine to Lucy. It is a bit of a cliffhanger for me which I will be anxiously awaiting to be answered in the next book. I leave you with a high recommendation to grab this book, settle down with some snacks and get ready for an exciting journey. Don't miss the recipes at the end of the story. 

I received a copy of this book from The Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour. The review is my own opinion.

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February 26 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – REVIEW
February 27 – The Self-Rescue Princess – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
February 27 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
February 28 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW
February 28 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW, INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY
February 28 – T’s Stuff – SPOTLIGHT
March 1 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
March 2 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW
March 2 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY
March 3 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
March 3 – La libreria di Beppe – SPOTLIGHT
March 4 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
March 5 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW
March 5 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
March 5 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – GUEST POST
March 6 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW
March 6 – The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW
March 6 – Mysteries with Character – INTERVIEW
March 7 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
March 7 – Book Babble – REVIEW
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March 8 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY
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March 9 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW
March 9 – Varietats – REVIEW
March 10 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
March 10 – Bibliophile Reviews –  REVIEW, INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY
March 11 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, INTERVIEW
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