Thursday, June 24, 2021

Kat Martin's The Perfect Murder Blog Tour with a Spotlight, Excerpt and Giveaway


I am so excited to have Kat Martin at Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews with a Spotlight, Excerpt and Giveaway.

Thanks Kat and iRead Book Tours for allowing me to join The Perfect Murder Blog Tour!

Please take it away, Kat!


Book Details

Book Title: The Perfect Murder (a Maximum Security Novel) by Kat Martin
Category: Adult Fiction (18 yrs +), 344 pages
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: HQN
Release date: June 22, 2021
Tour dates: June 22 to July 12, 2021
Content Rating: R. Some explicit sexual scenes.

Book Description

The eldest of the three wealthy Garrett brothers, Reese Garrett is in the middle of a major purchase for his multimillion-dollar oil and gas company, Garrett Resources. The Poseidon offshore drilling platform venture will greatly enhance the company’s value.

But when Reese is on a trip out to see the rig, his helicopter crashes, leaving him hospitalized and two men dead. It’s discovered the chopper was sabotaged, and Reese is determined to find out who’s behind the crash — and whether he was the intended target. Then, when his lover, Kenzie, is accused of her ex-husband’s murder — a man with a vested interest in the Poseidon deal — clues start pointing to a connection that puts Reese, Kenzie and her young son in the sights of a killer.

From the Texas heat to the Louisiana bayous, Reese and his brothers must track down the truth before the body count gets any higher.

Enjoy This Exclusive Excerpt from Kat Martin's THE PERFECT MURDER!

Chapter One
Galveston, Texas
Last Day of July

Seconds after the chopper lifted off the pad, Reese felt the odd vibration. Along with the pilot and co-pilot and five members of the crew, the Eurocopter EC135 was headed for the Poseidon offshore drilling platform.

For a moment, the ride leveled out and Reese relaxed against his seat. As CEO of Garrett Resources, the billion-dollar oil and gas company he owned with his brothers, he was always searching for the right investment to expand company holdings, the reason he was flying out to the platform.

For months he’d been working with Sea Titan Drilling, the owner of the offshore rig, to complete the five-hundred-million-dollar purchase, an extremely good value when the average price of a similar rig was around six-fifty.

The vibration returned and with it came a grinding noise that put Reese on alert. The men in the cabin began to glance back and forth and shift nervously in their seats. A sharp jolt, then the chopper seemed to fall out of the sky. It climbed again, began to dip and sway, dropped then climbed as the pilot fought for control.

The pilot’s deep voice rumbled through the headset. “We’ve got a problem. I don’t want you to panic, but we need to find a place to set down.”

There was definitely a problem, Reese thought, as the vibration continued to worsen. The chopper was out of control and the whole cabin was shaking as if it would break apart any minute. His pulse was hammering, his adrenalin pumping.

Along with the men in the crew who rode back and forth from the rig every few weeks, he stared out the window toward the ground. They were no longer above the heliport. Clearly the pilot was looking for an open space big enough to handle the thirty-six-foot blade span. All Reese could see were the rooftops of warehouses and metal commercial buildings. The chopper kept shaking. The crew was grim-faced but resigned. The pilot did something to take the pitch out of the rotors and the chopper started falling.

“No need to worry,” the pilot said. “We’ll auto-rotate down. I’ve done it a dozen times.”

Auto rotate down. Reese knew the concept, the technique helicopter pilots used to land when the engine failed. The trick was to find a safe place to hit the ground.

Both engines went silent. The blades were flat now, the wind whistling through them, tying his stomach into a knot.

“Brace for impact,” the pilot said.

Below them, Reese spotted an open flat slab of asphalt in the yard of a small trucking firm -- the only possible landing site anywhere around. Trouble was it didn’t look wide enough to handle the blades.

At the last second, the pilot flared the helicopter in an effort to slow the descent, then the ground rushed up and the chopper hit with a jolt that wracked Reese’s whole body.

For an instant, he thought they were going to make it. Then one of the spinning rotor blades hit the corner of a building and tore free. The Plexiglas bubble shattered as the long metal blades exploded into a hundred deadly pieces, careening like knives through the air, slicing into buildings and the cabin of the helicopter.

Reese didn’t feel the impact. One moment he was conscious, then the world suddenly went black. 

Chapter Two
Four weeks later
Dallas, Texas

For McKenzie Haines, her day as Executive Assistant to Reese Garrett, CEO of Garrett Resources, started as usual. After a few minutes spent with her assistant, Kenzie began her early morning briefing with Reese to go over his daily schedule and discuss what he needed her to do.

Seated across the desk from him in his spacious office, she waited as he finished an unexpected phone call. With his wavy jet black hair and amazing blue eyes, Reese was one of the best-looking men Kenzie had ever seen. Keenly intelligent and highly successful, he was a combination of virile masculinity and brooding reserve that attracted women of every age, shape, and size.

She could still see the faint scar on the side of his head near his temple from the helicopter crash that had killed two men and put Reese in the hospital.

At the time of the accident, Kenzie had worked for the company only five months, but in that time, she had come to admire and respect her employer. She could still recall her sharp stab of fear when his brother, Chase, had phoned to inform her of the accident.

Three days later, Reese was back at his desk, running the company with the iron control he was known for. Unfortunately, even now, four weeks after the incident, NTSB investigators remained unable to pinpoint the cause of the crash. Reese’s phone call ended and his dark head came up, his intense blue eyes swinging toward her, locking on her face. No matter how she worked to ignore it, Kenzie always felt the impact.

“Where were we?” he asked.

“You wanted me to reschedule your visit to the offshore platform.”

“Yes. I’ve put it off too long already.”

“I probably shouldn’t say this, but after what happened, I don’t blame you.”

The corner of his mouth kicked up. “Maybe not, but I want this deal done. We’ve been working on it for months. We need to finish our due-diligence and make it end.”

“Yes, sir. Would you like me to go with you?” Traveling with Reese when he needed her assistance was part of her job, though he hadn’t asked her to go with him the day of the crash, thank God.

One of his rare smiles appeared. “You want to hold my hand in case I get scared in the chopper?”

Kenzie laughed, a little embarrassed he had hit so close to the truth. She liked him, admired him. He could have died that day. “I just thought you might need me.”

“Not this time,” Reese said.

But Kenzie had watched him these past few weeks. The helicopter crash still weighed heavily on his mind. The authorities were investigating and so was Reese.

Kenzie was certain Reese wouldn’t stop until he knew exactly what had happened that day -- and why two good men were dead. 

Buy the Book

Amazon ~B and N ~ Indiebound

kobo ~ Google ~ Apple



Meet the Author

New York Times bestselling author Kat Martin, a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara, currently resides in Missoula, Montana with Western-author husband, L. J. Martin. More than seventeen million copies of Kat’s books are in print, and she has been published in twenty foreign countries. Fifteen of her recent novels have taken top-ten spots on the New York Times Bestseller List, and her novel, BEYOND REASON, was recently optioned for a feature film. Kat’s latest novel, THE ULTIMATE BETRAYAL, a Romantic Thriller, was released in paperback December 29th. The final 2 books in her Maximum Security series will be release in June, COME MIDNIGHT, a novella was released on June 1st, and THE PERFECT MURDER, a novel in hardcover on June 22nd.

connect with the author: website ~ twitter ~ facebook ~ instagram ~ goodreads 


Enter to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card and an ebook copy of Kat Martin's AGAINST THE WIND (1 winner)(July 19) 

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Friday, March 26, 2021

Katherine H. Brown's Rest, Relax, Run for Your Life Blog Tour with a Spotlight and Giveaway


I am so excited to have Katherine H. Brown here at Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews with a Spotlight and Giveaway.

Thanks Katherine and Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours for allowing me to join your Rest, Relax, Run for Your Life Blog Tour!

Please take it away, Katherine! 



Rest, Relax, Run for Your Life (Ooey Gooey Bakery Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Independently Published (March 1, 2019)
Paperback: 280 pages
ISBN-10: 1733725806
ISBN-13: 978-1733725804
Digital ASIN: B07P1P5N2K

Piper and Samantha are in heaven. Well, close. After winning a contest to raise the most money for human trafficking awareness and prevention, Piper and Sam are rewarded with a long weekend at the O Heavenly Day Spa. When mysterious notes start appearing everywhere, things get uncomfortable. When spa treatments go awry it is starting to get dangerous. A threatening message in Piper’s closet convinces Piper and Sam that they have to find out who is behind all of these disasters before someone gets hurt. Is it Broussard the stuffy concierge? Gladys, the sweet old lady who decided to join them for the weekend? When the smoke alarms go off and the spa erupts into panic, the chaos separates the friends and Piper stumbles into trouble. Will her friends be able to help her in time? 




About the Author

Katherine Brown is a Texas girl, a lover of books, and a weaver of words. Her first official publication was of two children’s books in 2017, which has now grown into five books of the School is Scary series; however, she likes to think her career as a writer started when she sold her parents newsletters of articles about school and poetry for fifty cents per copy as a pre-teen. Married to a wonderful husband and mom of a smart, spunky stepdaughter, Katherine enjoys spending time with family and reading as many new books as she can get her hands on. Her YA series, the Ooey Gooey Bakery Mystery series, is ramping up in 2019 with book 1 released in March and book 2 was released June 1, 2019.




About the Author

Amazon Author Page
Facebook Author Page

Purchase Link – Amazon








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Avery Daniels's Arrowed Blog Tour with a Spotlight, Recipe and Giveaway


I am so excited to have Avery Daniels here at Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews with a Spotlight, Recipe and Giveaway.

Thanks Avery and Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours for allowing me to join your Arrowed Blog Tour!

Please take it away, Avery!

Arrowed: Resort to Murder IV Recipe

Each book in the Resort to Murder mystery series takes place at a luxury resort. Arrowed takes place in Santa Fe, New Mexico (the 47th state in the union, and Santa Fe is the oldest capitol city in US). I wanted to feature the fabulous food and drink in the story. I highlight the city’s Mexico heritage by featuring a wildly popular drink in Mexico, the Paloma, in the book and included my own take on the grapefruit and tequila drink.

But for this feature I wanted to share my own twist on the Margarita. Santa Fe loves the lime and tequila cocktail so much that they even have a “Margarita Trail” with its own app complete with a map to find the forty-five different variations concocted just for the trail. The app also includes the recipes of the forty-five different Margaritas. Since Margaritas are a big deal in Santa Fe, I am sharing my own Margarita recipe that is easy to make, light and refreshing while easy on the liquor.

The Grand Margarita 


1.5 ounces Grand Marnier

1.5 ounces Tequilla (Margaritaville Gold or Reposado)

1 can Frozen Limeade

1 can Beer (Corona or Dos Equis are good)

Lime juice and Tajin for rim

Directions by the glass:

· In a pitcher mix the frozen limeade with two containers of water, set aside. This becomes your mix.

· Use lime juice to wet rim of glass, then dip or roll in Tajin.

· In a margarita glass add 1 shot of Grand Marnier, 1 shot of Tequila, and three shots of limeade mix. Top off the glass with beer and swirl. Garnish with a lime wedge on rim if desired.



Arrowed: Resort to Murder 4
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Publisher: Blazing Sword Publishing Ltd. (March 1, 2021)
Paperback: 266 pages
ISBN-10: 1735566314
ISBN-13: 978-1735566313
Digital ASIN: B08T8GBDBP

It all began when a dying man with an arrow in his chest grabs her ankle.

During a heatwave at a Santa Fe resort, Julienne has the resort owner pressuring her to solve the murder. The victim is a high profile businessman who made enemies rather than friends, leaving Julienne with a roster of suspects. She was supposed to be training the staff and spending quality time with Mason rather than investigating a murder. The heat turns up when an old girlfriend of Mason’s checks in and is determined to get back together. 



About Avery Daniels

Avery Daniels was born and raised in Colorado, graduated from college with a degree in business administration and has worked in fortune 500 companies and Department of Defense her entire life. Her most eventful job was apartment management for 352 units. She still resides in Colorado with two brother black cats as her spirited companions. She volunteers for a cat shelter, enjoys scrapbooking and card making, photography, and painting in watercolor and acrylic. She inherited a love for reading from her mother and grandmother and grew up talking about books at the dinner table.

Author Links

Webpage Facebook Twitter Goodreads BookBub Newsletter

Purchase Links Amazon





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Monday, March 22, 2021

Debbie De Louise's KittyKai's Easter Mystery Blog Tour with a Spotlight and Giveaway


I am so excited to have Debbie De Louise here at Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews with a Spotlight and Giveaway.

Thanks Debbie and Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours for allowing me to join your KittyKai's Easter Mystery Blog Tour!

Please take it away, Debbie! 






KittyKai’s Easter Mystery: A Cobble Cove Story
Cozy Mystery Story
4th in Story Series
Publisher: Solstice Publishing
Number of Pages ~55

During an Easter egg hunt at the Cobble Inn, a ring is found on the grounds by Alicia’s daughter, Carol. When the sheriff has it examined, he discovers it belonged to him and Gilly’s neighbor, Gretchen Miller, who disappeared the month before. An investigation leads to the discovery of Mrs. Miller’s body buried on the site of the inn’s new construction.

As Alicia and Gilly set out to solve this new mystery despite their husbands’ discouragement, Sneaky and Kittykai, the library and inn cats, secretly lend them a paw.  




About Debbie De Louise

Debbie De Louise is an award-winning author and a reference librarian at a public library on Long Island. She is a member of Sisters-in-Crime, International Thriller Writers, the Long Island Authors Group, and the Cat Writers’ Association. Her novels include the five books and four stories of the Cobble Cove cozy mystery series, a comedy novella, When Jack Trumps Ace, a paranormal romance, Cloudy Rainbow, and the standalone mysteries; Reason to Die, Sea

 Scope, and Memory Makers. Her latest book, Pet Posts: The Cat Chats is a non-fiction pet book. She lives on Long Island with her husband, daughter, and three cats.

Debbie’s stories and poetry also appear in the Red Penguin Collection anthologies, What Lies Beyond, ‘Tis the Season, Stand Out: The Best of the Red Penguin Collection, Volume 1, and A Heart Full of Love. Her poems are also featured in the Nassau County Voices In Verse 2020 anthology and the 2020 Bards Annual.

Author Links




Amazon Author Page:





Debbie’s Character’s Chat Group:

Website/Blog/Newsletter Sign-Up:

Sneaky the Library Cat’s blog:

All Author:

Purchase LinkAmazon





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Saturday, March 6, 2021

Maria DiRico's Long Island Iced Tina Blog Tour with a Spotlight, Excerpt and Giveaway


I am so excited to have Maria DiRico here at Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews with a Spotlight, Excerpt and Giveaway.

Thanks Maria and Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours for allowing me to join your Long Island Iced Tina Blog Tour!

Please take it away, Maria!


Mia had a good reason for the delay in de-plastic-ing her furniture. Business at Belle View Banquet Manor, the catering hall she ran with her father, was brisk. The May and June calendar had boasted weddings every weekend, as well as smaller events, July was going well, and August looked to be a repeat of the previous successful months. Two murders at the manor in early spring hadn’t hurt business and may have helped. It’s like they say, Mia thought to herself while showering, the only bad publicity is no publicity. She toweled off, then headed to her bedroom, stepping over the prostrate Doorstop. Mia pulled on a pair of black linen capri pants and a snug purple tank top. She sniffed the air, suddenly redolent with the scent of butter and Italian sausage. “Mia, vieni,” her grandmother yelled from the apartment below in the two-family home the women shared. “Come. I made breakfast.”

“Sto arrivando,” Mia yelled back. “I’ll be there in a minute.” There was no animus in either woman’s voice.

Yelling to each other was simply the way the Carina family had always communicated. Mia scurried down the stairs and made her way through a small foyer into her grandmother’s modest first floor digs. Elisabetta Carina, dressed in her uniform of tracksuit and sneakers, stuck a fork into a sausage sizzling on top of her forty-plus-year-old oven and deposited it on a bed of fried onions and peppers already gracing a plate next to a pile of buttery scrambled eggs. Mia took a seat at the room’s decades-old dinette set. Elisabetta tore a hunk off a loaf of fresh Italian bread and added it to the plate, which she placed in front of Mia. “Mangia. Eat.”

“Si. Grazie, Nonna.” Mia dug into the heavy breakfast, vowing to follow it up with a lunch of carrot and celery sticks. At least one meal in her day needed to be low-cal and less artery clogging.

Elisabetta fixed herself a plate and took a seat across from Mia. “Did Minnie call you?”

“Yes. She and Linda are gonna host a baby shower for Nicole at Belle View.” Mia sawed off a chunk of sausage and speared it, along with some peppers and eggs. “I’ll finally get to meet the infamous Tina.”

“Tina. Puh.” Elisabetta made a stink face, then spit, as Minniguccia had done earlier. “Puttana. She stole Ron from right under poor Linda’s nebbia. Linda’s an angel. Never says a bad word about her. But we know what she is, a—”

“Puttana,” Mia chorused with her grandmother. “I’ve heard that word more in the last hour than in my entire life. I almost feel sorry for this Tina.”

A look of horror crossed Elisabetta’s face. She threw her hands in the air. “Marone, no! Never even think that. We are, what, how do you kids say it? We’re Team Linda.”

“Linda’s insisting Tina be invited to the shower, so I think she’s made her peace with the situation. So, it’s more like we’re Team Minniguccia.”

“This is why I don’t like sports,” Elisabetta grumbled.

“Too many teams.”
Long Island Iced Tina (A Catering Hall Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Publisher: Kensington (February 23, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 1496725352
ISBN-13: 978-1496725356
Digital ASIN: B089NCJ9NS

Mia Carina is back in the borough of Queens — in charge of the family catering hall, Belle View Banquet Manor, and keeping her nonna company. But some events — like murder — are not the kind you can schedule.

Mia’s newly pregnant friend Nicole plans to hold a shower at Belle View — but Nicole also has to attend one that her competitive (and mysteriously rich) stepmother, Tina, is throwing at the fanciest place in Queens. It’s a good chance for Mia to snoop on a competitor, especially since doing a search for “how to run a catering hall” can get you only so far.

Mia tags along at the lavish party, but the ambience suffers at Nicole’s Belle View shower when a fight breaks out—and then, oddly, a long-missing and valuable stolen painting is unwrapped by the mom-to-be. Tina is clearly shocked to see it. But not as shocked as Mia is when, soon afterward, she spots the lifeless body of a party guest floating in the marina.

Italian recipes included! 

About Maria DiRico

Maria DiRico is the pseudonym for Ellen Byron, author of the award winning, USA Today bestselling Cajun Country Mysteries. Born in Queens, New York, she is first-generation Italian-American on her mother’s side and the granddaughter of a low-level Jewish mobster on her father’s side. She grew up visiting the Astoria Manor and Grand Bay Marina catering halls, which were run by her Italian mother’s family in Queens and have become the inspiration for her Catering Hall Mystery Series. DiRico has been a writer-producer for hit television series like Wings and Just Shoot Me, and her first play, Graceland, appears in the Best Short Plays collection. She’s a freelance journalist, with over 200 articles published in national magazines, and previously worked as a cater-waiter for Martha Stewart, a credit she never tires of sharing. A native New Yorker who attended Tulane University, Ellen lives in Los Angeles with her husband, daughter, and two rescue dogs.

Website –

Chicks on the Case –

Facebook –

Twitter –

Purchase Links – AmazonB and NKoboGoogle PlayIndieBound

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Abby Collette's A Game Of Cones Blog Tour with a Spotlight and Giveaway


I am so excited to have Abby Collette here at Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews with a Spotlight and Giveaway.

Thanks Abby and Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours for allowing me to join your A Game Of Cones Blog Tour!

Please take it away, Abby! 



A Game of Cones (An Ice Cream Parlor Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Publisher: Berkley (March 2, 2021)
Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-10: 0593099680
ISBN-13: 978-0593099681
Digital ASIN: B089S6SPKB

In this charming mystery series set in an ice cream shop, no case is too cold to crack!

Bronwyn Crewse is delighted that Crewse Creamery, the ice cream shop her family has owned for decades, is restored to its former glory and serving sweet frozen treats to happy customers in the picturesque small town of Chagrin Falls, Ohio. But when a big city developer comes to town intent on building a mall, a killer with a frozen heart takes him out.

After literally stumbling across the body, one of Win’s closest friends becomes the prime suspect, and to make things worse, Win’s aunt has come to town with the intention of taking command of Crewse Creamery. Even though Win has a rocky road ahead to help her friend and keep her ice cream shop, it’ll take more than a sprinkle of murder to stop her from solving the crime and saving the day.



About Abby Collette

Abby L. Vandiver, also writing as Abby Collette, is a hybrid author who has penned more than twenty-five books and short stories. She has hit both the Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestseller list. Books one and two, A Deadly Inside Scoop and A Game of Cones, from her latest cozy series, An Ice Cream Parlor Mystery, published by Penguin Berkley, is out now.

Author Links





Purchase Links

AmazonB and NKoboGoogle PlayIndieBound



Thursday, March 4, 2021

Victoria Hamilton's Double or Muffin Blog Tour with a Spotlight and Giveaway


I am so excited to have Victoria Hamilton here at Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews with a Spotlight and Giveaway.

Thanks Victoria and Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours for allowing me to join your Double or Muffin Blog Tour!

Please take it away, Victoria!



Double or Muffin (A Merry Muffin Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
7th in Series
Publisher: Beyond the Page (February 23, 2021)
Paperback: 234 pages
ISBN-10: 1950461971
ISBN-13: 978-1950461974
Digital ASIN: B08TF432RL

In the new Merry Muffin Mystery, baker Merry Wynter must solve a disturbing crime among opera singers before the culprit decides it’s curtains for her .

When a reality TV show for aspiring opera singers descends on Wynter Castle, Merry’s got her hands full catering to the endless demands of the distinguished judges and ambitious contestants. Then mysterious rumors about the cast and crew begin to surface, suggesting that some of their performances may be filled with false notes. When a dogged reporter with an eye for scandal who’s been covering the competition is attacked and left for dead, Merry’s determined to discover who orchestrated the heinous deed.

Her long list of suspects is filled with eccentric personalities, including a promiscuous tenor known for making unwanted overtures, a pampered young prodigy and her meddlesome mother, and a quiet up-and-comer whose shadowy uncle may have ties to the underworld. As the musical contest and Merry’s investigation near their finale, she’ll have to act fast to keep a conniving contestant from plotting out her final act.



About Victoria Hamilton

Victoria Hamilton is the bestselling author of several mystery series including the national bestselling Vintage Kitchen Mysteries and Merry Muffin Mysteries. She does, indeed, collect vintage kitchenware and bake muffins. She drinks tea and coffee on writing days, and wine other times. It doesn’t do to confuse days. She crochets (a little), paints (a little) and reads (a lot). A solitary being, she can be coaxed out of her writing cave for brownies and cat videos.

She started her writing life as Donna Lea Simpson, bestselling author of Regency Romances, paranormal historicals and historical mysteries, and still has a soft spot for the Regency period.

If you Google ‘Victoria Hamilton’, you will find listed first a famous actress who starred as the Queen Mother in the series The Crown and as Charlotte Brontë in ‘In Search of the Brontës’. That’s not the Victoria who writes mysteries.

No, really, it’s not!

You can find her buried in a good book, (entombed in a good tome?) or online at:

Website: (Sign up for her annoyingly infrequent newsletter for all the latest!)

On Facebook:

On Twitter:


Amazon Author Page:

Goodreads Author Profile:
Victoria Hamilton

Purchase Links –
AmazonB and NKoboGoogle Play










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Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Amy Pershing's A Side Of Murder Blog Tour with a Spotlight, Excerpt and Giveaway


I am so excited to have Amy Pershing here at Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews with a Spotlight, Excerpt and Giveaway.

Thanks Amy and Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours for allowing me to join A Side Of Murder Blog Tour!

Please take it away, Amy!


“Okay, so here’s how it’s gonna go down.”

I looked sternly at my dining companions, who were eyeing me warily over the rims of their wine glasses. They were not used to me looking at them sternly.

“We order one meat, one vegetarian, one seafood and one pasta entree.”

“Pasta doesn’t count as vegetarian?”

That was Jenny, a mother of three with the body of a sixteen-year-old that she proudly claims is the result of her dedicated meat-and-potatoes-only diet. She was probably worried that I was going to make her order eggplant.

“No. Pasta doesn’t count as vegetarian,” I explained. “Some restaurants like to think it counts as vegetarian, but that’s how vegetarians get fat. That and too much cheese. No, a real vegetarian entrée is about vegetables. Maybe with grains or legumes, but the focus is on vegetables, like a ratatouille.”

“Sorry I asked,” Jenny muttered to Miles, who was sitting next to her and had been quietly entertaining himself by checking out the other patrons at the Bayview Grille. “What’s a legume anyway?” she asked him.

Miles looked at her like she’d just arrived from Mars. Miles is a farmer. What he doesn’t know about legumes isn’t worth knowing. “Beans, lentils, chickpeas, that kind of thing,” he said. “How do you not know that?”

Jenny shuddered. “I don’t eat ‘that kind of thing.’ ”

I tried to continue with their instructions. “Appetizers can be anything you like…”

“Well, hallelujah,” Miles said. He poked Jenny in the side with one massive elbow, almost knocking her off her chair. “I’d like that cutie pie over there at the bar.”

I ignored him.

“Anything you like,” I repeated, “but it needs to make sense with your entrée.”

“I’m lost,” said Helene, running a ring-bejeweled hand through her mane of silver curls. Helene was Fair Haven’s new librarian. I’d known her exactly 24 hours and couldn’t imagine anyone less like a librarian.

“I’ve been eating out for 40 years,” she said, “and I never once worried if my appetizer made sense with my entrée. I don’t even know what that means.”

I sighed. Well, no one had ever said writing restaurant reviews for the Cape Cod Clarion was going to be easy. Actually, I reflected, that wasn’t true. I was the one who had said it would be easy.

I tried to clarify. “It means that if you’re having the hanger steak for your entrée…”

“That’s mine!” Jenny said, suddenly all in. “I call I claim the hanger steak.”

I call I claim? What is she, six?

“And a half dozen Wellfleet oysters to start,” she added.

Jenny always had oysters to start. And, as these were Wellfleet oysters, which are universally acknowledged to be the best on the Cape (and all Cape Cod oysters are awesome), I was surprised she wasn’t starting with a dozen.

“That’s fine,” I said. “A classic pairing.”

I turned back to Helene. “If, like Jenny, you’re having the hanger steak,” I explained, “you don’t want to order the barbeque sliders as a starter.”

She nodded thoughtfully. At least Helene was taking this seriously. But then she ruined it by saying, “Actually, barbeque followed by steak sounds yummy.”

I gave up.

“I’ll order for all of you,” I announced. “And once we get our food and you’ve had a chance to taste and consider your choices, I will discretely exchange plates with each of you, one by one, and sample each dish. Then we’ll discretely switch back again. We’ll go clockwise around the table, starting with Helene.”

“I’m lost again,” Helene fake-whispered to Miles.

“Don’t you worry, honey,” he said. “Wait until she gets a glass or two of wine into her. Then we can do whatever we want.”

He grinned at me, looking exactly like the overgrown five-year-old he was. If five year olds had big, hairy lumberjack beards.

I began to worry for real. My dining companions were definitely not taking my first foray into restaurant reviewing seriously enough. And Miles was right about the two glasses of wine. I was a notoriously cheap date. But I was also the night’s designated driver, so no worries there.

“No wine for me,” I said firmly, more to myself than to Miles. “Even if it kills me.”

A poor choice of words, as it turned out.


A Side of Murder (A Cape Cod Foodie Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher: Berkley (February 23, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 0593199146
ISBN-13: 978-0593199145
Digital ASIN: B087PL9HHF

Beautiful Cape Cod, Massachusetts, is known for seafood, sand, surf and now … murder.

Samantha Barnes was always a foodie. And when the CIA (that’s the Culinary Institute of America) came calling, she happily traded in Cape Cod for the Big Apple. But then the rising young chef’s clash with another chef (her ex!) boils over and goes viral. So when Sam inherits a house on the Cape and lands a job writing restaurant reviews, it seems like the perfect pairing. What could go wrong? Well, as it turns out, a lot.

The dilapidated house comes with an enormous puppy. Her new boss is, well, bossy. And the town’s harbor master is none other than her first love. Nonetheless, Sam’s looking forward to reviewing the Bayview Grill — and indeed the seafood chowder is divine. But the body in the pond outside the eatery was not on the menu. Sam is certain this is murder. But as she begins to stir the pot, is she creating a recipe for her own untimely demise?

“Cape Cod provides a stunning background for a debut that offers the ideal combination of mystery, romance, and recipes.” Kirkus Reviews

“An exquisite Cape Cod setting, a shamed but resilient chef, murderous secrets, and a long-buried but still steaming romance… Amy Pershing’s debut mystery will leave you longing for a seaside vacation, complete with fried clams and the next book in her charming series.” Lucy Burdette, national bestselling author of THE KEY LIME CRIME

“This is one of the freshest, funniest murder mysteries I’ve ever read. I fell absolutely in love with Samantha Barnes — the brave, sarcastic, crime-solving, relatable heroine we’ve all been waiting for. A Side of Murder is a rich, satisfying meal that delights from beginning to end, and Amy Pershing is a wonderful and clever author.” Elizabeth Gilbert, #1 New York Times bestselling author of EAT PRAY LOVE and CITY OF GIRLS

“A delicious mystery lovingly set in Cape Cod featuring a cast of charming characters. Amy Pershing writes with a fresh fun voice that will delight cozy fans. Chef turned restaurant critic Samantha Barnes proves a clever sleuth whose helpful cooking tips will be a big hit with culinary readers.” Krista Davis, New York Times bestselling author of the DOMESTIC DIVA mysteries

About Amy Pershing

Amy Pershing is a lifelong mystery lover and wordsmith who spent every summer of her childhood on Cape Cod. In her previous incarnations she was an assistant editor at Viking Penguin, a restaurant reviewer for Playbill magazine’s Restaurant Reporter, and a journalist at the Rome (Italy) Daily American before eventually going on to lead employee communications at a global bank. A few years ago (with the final college tuition bill paid), she waved goodbye to Wall Street in order to write full time (and spend more time sailing on Cape Cod!). A Side of Murder is the first book in the Cape Cod Foodie mystery series featuring Samantha Barnes, a disgraced but resilient ex-chef and the world’s most reluctant YouTube star. While Sam tries to balance her new job as the local paper’s “Cape Cod Foodie” with her complicated love life, a posse of just-slightly-odd friends, a falling-down house and a ginormous puppy, she also discovers a new talent – a propensity for falling over dead bodies … and for solving crime.





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