Category: Cosy Mystery

Book Review | “See Also Deception” (A Marjorie Trumaine #Mystery, No.2) by Larry D. Sweazy

Posted Friday, 13 May, 2016 by jorielov , , , , , 2 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin.

Acquired Book By: I am a reviewer for Prometheus Books and their imprints starting in [2016] as I contacted them through their Edelweiss catalogues and Twitter. I appreciated the diversity of titles across genre and literary explorations – especially focusing on Historical Fiction, Mystery, Science Fiction and Scientific Topics in Non-Fiction. I received a complimentary ARC copy of “See Also Deception” direct from the publisher Seventh Street Books (an imprint of Prometheus Books) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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On why I love reading the Marjorie Trumaine Mysteries:

Sweazy has a lovely tone of delivery inside his stories – especially in regards to See Also Murder, as he takes his time introducing his characters whilst giving you the strength of their lives up front. His gentle manner of allowing his characters to warm to you is what granted me the most joy in curling inside the novel – I could tell I was on the fringe of rallying behind Marjorie Trumaine straight out of the gate! His poetic glimpses of farm life in the Dakotas, of singling out moments of paused reflection were a delight to entreat inside because they earnestly told living truths about the lifestyle the Trumaine’s lived. I appreciated the way the novel started to become such an enjoyable feast of words, expressions and observational nuggets of the author’s impressions on behalf of his world.

Mr Sweazy injected such heartache inside his character’s heart, but he etched out the hard lines with feather kisses of hope and an underscored will to survive in the face of so much uncertainty. In the character Marjorie Trumaine he created the strength of a woman who was an equal to the natural environ of her home – the Dakotas have such fierce weather patterns, they alone can strengthen your resolve (or break it if your unable to deal with the influx of change on such a high frequency); but it’s how he’s given her something to focus on with an orderly task within the publishing industry that fused her will to her lifeline of hope that I felt was most fitting of all. It spoke to her true nature and to the spirit of the young girl she once was who found solace in stories.

To read the rest of my thoughts and what inspired me to read the #MarjorieTrumaineMysteries kindly read my review on behalf of the first novel in the series ‘See Also Murder’!

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Book Review | “See Also Deception” (A Marjorie Trumaine #Mystery, No.2) by Larry D. SweazySee Also Deception
Subtitle: A Marjorie Trumaine Mystery
by Larry D. Sweazy
Source: Direct from Publisher

October 1964—just months after freelance indexer Marjorie Trumaine helped solve a series of murders in Dickinson, North Dakota, she is faced with another death that pulls her into an unwanted investigation. Calla Eltmore, the local librarian, is found dead at work and everyone considers it suicide. But Marjorie can’t believe that Calla would be capable of doing such a thing.

At Calla’s wake, Marjorie’s suspicions are further aroused when she notices something amiss in the open casket. But neither the sheriff nor the coroner are interested in her observation.

Despite pressing job commitments and the burden of caring for a husband in declining health, Marjorie recruits Deputy Guy Reinhardt to help her uncover the truth. What she finds is a labyrinth of secrets that she had no knowledge of— and threats from someone who will kill to keep these secrets hidden.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781633881266

Also by this author: See Also Murder

Also in this series: See Also Murder


Genres: Amateur Detective, Book Indexing, Crime Fiction, Publishing Industry


Published by Seventh Street Books

on 10th May, 2016

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 244

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Marjorie Trumaine Mystery series:

Story Locale: A small town in North Dakota in 1964

Series Overview: Marjorie Trumaine, a freelance book indexer, uses her research skills and attention to detail to help the police solve crimes in rural North Dakota during the early 1960s.

See Also Murder | No.1 | review

See Also Deception | No.2 | Happy #PubDay! 10 May, 2016

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Published By: Seventh Street Books (@SeventhStBooks)

Available Formats: Trade Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #MarjorieTrumaineMysteries

About Larry D. Sweazy

Larry D. Sweazy Photo Credit: Rose M. Sweazy

Larry D. Sweazy is the author of See Also Murder, A Thousand Falling Crows, Escape from Hangtown, Vengeance at Sundown, The Gila Wars, The Coyote Tracker, The Devil’s Bones, The Cougar’s Prey, The Badger’s Revenge, The Scorpion Trail, and The Rattlesnake Season.

He won the WWA Spur award for Best Short Fiction in 2005 and for Best Paperback Original in 2013, and the 2011 and 2012 Will Rogers Medallion Award for Western Fiction for the Josiah Wolfe series.

He was nominated for a Derringer award in 2007, and was a finalist in the Best Books of Indiana literary competition in 2010, and won in 2011 for The Scorpion Trail. He has published over sixty nonfiction articles and short stories, which have appeared in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine; The Adventure of the Missing Detective: And 25 of the Year’s Finest Crime and Mystery Stories!; Boys’ Life; Hardboiled; Amazon Shorts, and several other publications and anthologies. He is member of ITW (International Thriller Writers), WWA (Western Writers of America), and WF (Western Fictioneers).

Photo Credit: Rose M. Sweazy
FYI: think Patrick Swayze when saying the author's name!

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Marjorie Trumaine: a survivor and a small towne heroine:

When it comes to fondly remembering what centred me most inside the footsteps of Marjorie Trumaine, I had to think directly on what makes her a survivor and a small towne heroine – Marjorie doesn’t shy away from difficulty, she walks straight through the eye of a tornado instead! She bolsters herself with courage she never knew she had such a well of depth to pull from as she navigates the changing tides of her small Dakota towne whilst attempting to find a footpath to settle herself upon which might bring her financial security for herself and her disabled husband Hank. She’s a character whose rooted to her farm, her community and the people who make her life well-lived and full of meaning. She cares about her fellow neighbours and has a long history of pride of her ancestral roots wherein her fortitude of strength can be readily foreshadowed out of the annals of her family’s living history.

Marjorie takes stock of things most might dismiss out of hand – she has a quick perception to recognise a visual clue waving itself in front of her eyes to alert her that something is not quite as it seems; thus giving her a bit of an edge on others who might not understand the truth they have yet to see for themselves. She’s not just a survivor of fate’s cruelty and the hardships of a farmer’s wife without the full use of the acres they have to spare but of life’s unexpected curves, which can test you well outside your point of return if you let them. She’s the type of heroine any small towne would rally behind because she seeks the truth in every situation and attempts to thwart her own prejudgements in exchange for re-assessing what is known by what she knows to be true herself. It’s a credit to what makes her uniquely genuine and a constant well of strength for the residents of Dickinson. Read More

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Posted Friday, 13 May, 2016 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 20th Century, Animals in Fiction & Non-Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Indexing, Cosy Mystery, Crime Fiction, Detective Fiction, Equality In Literature, Homestead Life, Indie Author, Lady Detective Fiction, LGBTTQPlus Fiction | Non-Fiction, Librarians & Library Staff, Library Catalogues & Databases, Prometheus Books, Publishing Industry & Trade, Small Towne USA, The Sixties, Upper Mid-West America, Vulgarity in Literature

Book Review | “See Also Murder” (A Marjorie Trumaine #Mystery, No.1) by Larry D. Sweazy

Posted Tuesday, 3 May, 2016 by jorielov , , , , , 0 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin.

Acquired Book By: I am a reviewer for Prometheus Books and their imprints starting in [2016] as I contacted them through their Edelweiss catalogues and Twitter. I appreciated the diversity of titles across genre and literary explorations – especially focusing on Historical Fiction, Mystery, Science Fiction and Scientific Topics in Non-Fiction. I received a complimentary copy of “See Also Murder” direct from the publisher Seventh Street Books (an imprint of Prometheus Books) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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On what inspired me to read the Marjorie Trumaine Mysteries:

I had discovered See Also Deception was a Spring 2016 release on behalf of Seventh Street Books – mindful of the fact I have a preference for reading books in series straight from the beginning and/or in case of successive sequels, if I could soak inside the first novel, I could at least ascertain the direction of the series by first becoming acquainted with the lead character’s introduction. This is why I asked Seventh Street Books about receiving See Also Murder as a way to entreat inside See Also Deception. I wanted to understand the make-up of the series from a first-time reader’s perspective as well as become anchoured to the series straight from the gate of it’s origins.

I have a keen eye on for Mysteries – especially those which are told with a sophisticated edging rounding out their characters and where the conception of their settings are an equal match to the wit of the dialogue and/or the arc of the lead character’s life. I love finding mysteries so wickedly told by their creators, as to level out a joy in the discovery of a ‘new’ series to ache to read next.

I had a bit of luck finding a few serials prior to being a book blogger (*see my Short List below this review*, wherein those which are not linked through my blog were the pre-blog discoveries), but these past three years have yielded more joy in finding writers who are creating the Mysteries I love to champion to other readers! The ones where you feel so connected to the heart of their narratives, it’s hard to put them down – you forsake sleep and try to noodle out the hidden truths behind the crimes in step with the sleuths themselves – all the while caught up inside the joy of your first reading of a new Mystery series which stole your readerly heart.

This is why when I first discovered Seventh Street Books, I was so excited! And, I am finding I truly love the stories they are publishing and curating a list of new lovelies I am going to be continuously reading as each new release drops into sight! What wonderful joy for me!

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Notation on Cover Art Design: I love the simplicity of the cover – it eludes directly to Marjorie Trumaine’s personality, as she is focused on her duties as an indexer but she likes to find ways to use her keen skills of observation and deduction on the side. The clever bit is how the small droplets of blood carry over to the back jacket where just a small mattering of drops are around the ISBN code! I liked how the index card was used to ‘title’ the novel, as that is such a Marjorie thing to do! Also, the lined paper background to the back jacket felt quite fitting and the typewriter typography was brilliant!

Book Review | “See Also Murder” (A Marjorie Trumaine #Mystery, No.1) by Larry D. SweazySee Also Murder
Subtitle: A Marjorie Trumaine Mystery
by Larry D. Sweazy
Source: Direct from Publisher

1964—Life on the North Dakota farm hasn’t always been easy for Marjorie Trumaine. She has begun working as a professional indexer to help with the bills—which have only gotten worse since the accident that left her husband, Hank, blind and paralyzed. When her nearest neighbors are murdered in their beds, though, Marjorie suddenly has to deal with new and terrifying problems.

Sheriff Hilo Jenkins brings her a strange amulet, found clutched in the hand of her murdered neighbor, and asks her to quietly find out what it is. Marjorie uses all the skills she has developed as an indexer to research the amulet and look into the murders, but as she closes in on the killer, and people around her continue to die, she realizes that the murderer is also closing in on her.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781633880061

Also by this author: See Also Deception

Also in this series: See Also Deception


Genres: Amateur Detective, Book Indexing, Crime Fiction, Publishing Industry


Published by Seventh Street Books

on 5th May, 2015

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 253

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Marjorie Trumaine Mystery series:

Story Locale: A small town in North Dakota in 1964

Series Overview: Marjorie Trumaine, a freelance book indexer, uses her research skills and attention to detail to help the police solve crimes in rural North Dakota during the early 1960s.

See Also Murder | No.1

See Also Deception | No.2 | Book Synopsis on Riffle | Pub Date: 10 May, 2016

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Published By: Seventh Street Books (@SeventhStBooks)

Available Formats: Trade Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #MarjorieTrumaineMysteries

About Larry D. Sweazy

Larry D. Sweazy Photo Credit: Rose M. Sweazy

Larry D. Sweazy is the author of See Also Murder, A Thousand Falling Crows, Escape from Hangtown, Vengeance at Sundown, The Gila Wars, The Coyote Tracker, The Devil’s Bones, The Cougar’s Prey, The Badger’s Revenge, The Scorpion Trail, and The Rattlesnake Season.

He won the WWA Spur award for Best Short Fiction in 2005 and for Best Paperback Original in 2013, and the 2011 and 2012 Will Rogers Medallion Award for Western Fiction for the Josiah Wolfe series.

He was nominated for a Derringer award in 2007, and was a finalist in the Best Books of Indiana literary competition in 2010, and won in 2011 for The Scorpion Trail. He has published over sixty nonfiction articles and short stories, which have appeared in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine; The Adventure of the Missing Detective: And 25 of the Year’s Finest Crime and Mystery Stories!; Boys’ Life; Hardboiled; Amazon Shorts, and several other publications and anthologies. He is member of ITW (International Thriller Writers), WWA (Western Writers of America), and WF (Western Fictioneers).

Photo Credit: Rose M. Sweazy
FYI: think Patrick Swayze when saying the author's name!

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Posted Tuesday, 3 May, 2016 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 20th Century, Animals in Fiction & Non-Fiction, Antique Jewelry, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Indexing, Cosy Mystery, Crime Fiction, Detective Fiction, Folklore and Mythology, Greek Mythology, Homestead Life, Indie Author, Lady Detective Fiction, Librarians & Library Staff, Library Catalogues & Databases, Life Shift, Prometheus Books, Publishing Industry & Trade, Small Towne USA, The Sixties, Upper Mid-West America, Vulgarity in Literature

Book Review | “Should Have Played Poker” by Debra H. Goldstein with an interview about writing #CosyMysteries

Posted Thursday, 21 April, 2016 by jorielov , , , 2 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin.

Acquired Book By: I was selected to review “Should Have Played Poker” by JKS Communications: A Literary Publicity Firm. JKS is the first publicity firm I started working with when I launched Jorie Loves A Story in August, 2013. I am honoured to continue to work with them now as a 3rd Year Book Blogger. I received my complimentary ARC copy of Should Have Played Poker from the publicist at JKS in exchange for an honest review.  I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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This is a double-showcase for Cosy Mystery author, Debra H. Goldstein: wherein I am first revealling my impressions on behalf of her novel whilst immediately sharing the questions which came to mind to enquiry on her behalf about writing Cosies and where she’d like to take her stories hereafter. Her novel ‘Should Have Played Poker’ celebrated it’s #bookbirthday & #PubDay on the 20th of April, 2016.

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Book Review | “Should Have Played Poker” by Debra H. Goldstein with an interview about writing #CosyMysteriesShould Have Played Poker
Subtitle: A Carrie Martin and the Mah Jongg players mystery
by Debra H. Goldstein
Source: Publicist via JKS Communications

“Should Have Played Poker” introduces Carrie Martin and her fellow sleuths, the Sunshine Village retirement home Mah Jongg players, as they work to uncover the mystery behind her mother’s murder.

Carrie’s life as a young corporate lawyer who is balancing her job and visiting her father at the retirement home is upset when her mother unexpectedly returns 26 years after abandoning her family. Her mother leaves her with a sealed envelope and the confession that she once considered killing Carrie’s father. Before Carrie opens the envelope, she finds her mother murdered and the woman who helped raise her seriously injured.

Instructed to leave the detective work to the police, Carrie and the ladies in the retirement home’s Mah Jongg circle attempt to unravel Wahoo, Alabama’s past secrets, putting Carrie in danger and at odds with a former lover – the detective assigned to her mother’s case.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781432831592

Series: Carrie Martin and the Mah Jongg players


Genres: Cosy Mystery, Crime Fiction


Published by Five Star Publishing

on 20th April, 2016

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 244

Published By: Five Star Publishing, (Facebook) an imprint of Gale Group
Available Formats: Hardback and E-Book

Order of connection (story and/or characters): the setting of the University of Michigan was originally introduced in Goldstein’s debut novel “Maze in Blue” where some of the characters also made their first appearance. The Mah Jongg players at the retirement home originally were highlighted in the short story “Legal Magic”. Therefore this is the third installment of connective threads of either setting, story or characters by Goldstein.

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My Review of Should Have Played Poker:

Curiously, Carrie’s mother re-enters her life after twenty-six years apart from her (which is quite colossal if you consider Carrie’s only nine and twenty years!) giving her daughter a thin veil of a hint towards why she exited her life and chose this particular moment to make amends with the explanation she was always due to receive. You can feel the emotional shift in the room whilst Carrie and her mother are having this short conversation, one that doesn’t lend well to length as how do you knit together a connection with someone who is still withholding information? I was surprised Carrie kept quiet and did not explode outright as her mother walked out the door, leaving behind a letter and silence.

Her feelings abate whilst she absorbs the void of disclosure, Carrie moves forward with her day settling into a rhythm of work and personal time off the clock where she visits her father at a retirement home. It’s here where she’s put together a new kind of family, wherein she has garnished the familiarity of the residents and have found a welcoming nod of acceptance amongst them. One in particular is a old favourite of her childhood – a librarian and her father has taken his residency here as a blessing, as he has Alzheimer’s which slowly erodes his memory and faculties. Whilst she makes her way to her father’s room, you could say she’s jolted for a loop twice in one day with circumstances surrounding her mother! So much so, I’m quite sure Carrie will feel quite undone by the time the hours dissolve off the clock and the shock wears off where the only thing that remains are her thoughts and her unresolved anguish. Read More

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Posted Thursday, 21 April, 2016 by jorielov in 21st Century, Amateur Detective, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), Cosy Mystery, Crime Fiction, Father-Daughter Relationships, Fly in the Ointment, Indie Author, JKS Communications: Literary Publicity Firm, Mahjong, Modern Day, Mother-Daughter Relationships

Blog Book Tour | “Inspector Dewey” by Kristen Heimerl and illustrated by Irene Bofill A cosy #mystery for #catlovers!

Posted Friday, 2 October, 2015 by jorielov , , , 4 Comments

Illustrated Stories Banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I was selected to be a part of the blog tour for “Inspector Dewey” hosted by iRead Book Tours. I received a complimentary ARC copy of the book direct from the author Kristen Heimerl in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Beautiful extras arrived with my ARC:

I wish I had thought to take a photograph of the extras which were included with this lovely ARC copy of Inspector Dewey! The author truly made it a special treat to become a part of her publicity campaign via this lovely blog tour! The other bloggers I noticed have mentioned the lovely surprises on their posts, too, and even one tweeted about them! I wanted to simply give an extra note of gratitude to Ms Heimerl for coming up with not only clever little ‘extras’ to tuck inside a review copy’s envelope, but to put a lot of thought into what a book blogger and reader might enjoy as a surprise gift!

Even the attention to detail in gift wrapping the ARC in yellow tissue, sealed inside a plastic bag with a delicate silvery white bow and placed in a non-bendable mailing envelope was top notch! Placing the Inspector Dewey promotional sticker and artwork on the mailer was something that winked out a smile when I caught sight of it in my postbox yet it was the amount of time she took to make this a special memory for each of us that touched me the most. Well done!

Blog Book Tour | “Inspector Dewey” by Kristen Heimerl and illustrated by Irene Bofill A cosy #mystery for #catlovers!Inspector Dewey
by Kristen Heimerl
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Irene Bofill
Source: Author via iRead Book Tours

My name is Dewey--Inspector Dewey.

I live in the big green house on Hampshire Avenue with my family: Thumper, Lily, and Anna. I am the Big Cat—responsible for keeping everyone safe and in order. I do this quite well, in spite of the fact that managing my family is like, well, herding cats!

Mostly our life is peaceful. But one night it wasn’t. That was the night the bad guy showed up on our block. Of course, I knew exactly how to outsmart the outlaw, but—miserable mullet!—would Anna and the police understand my instructions?

To find out how the adventure ended, you’ll have to read my book. But I’ll give you a hint: there’s a reason I’m called Inspector Dewey.

Fifty percent of the profits from the sale of this book will fund veterinary care for pets whose families are in financial need, so that the animals can remain in their homes and out of the shelter system.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Find on Book Browse

ISBN: 9781939710277

Genres: Artistic Adaptations &/or Picture Books, Children's Literature, Cosy Mystery, Illustrated Stories


Published by Orange Frazer Press

on 1st September 2015

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 32

Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards Badge created by Jorie in Canva. Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

Available Formats: Hardback

Converse via: #InspectorDewey

About Kristen Heimerl

Kristen Heimerl

Marketing Officer, Strategy Expert, Innovator and Brand Builder, Kristen’s business career spans 20+ years serving the biggest brands in industry and the biggest hearts of start-ups and entrepreneurs. Kristen revels in bringing compelling products and services to life and helping leaders and individuals with big dreams realize their big goals.

Kristen’s life joys include her 2+ year obsession creating the most beautiful self-published picture book possible, the breathtaking forests and lakes of her Minnesota birthplace, the family that really does love her no matter what, and her three magnificent Norwegian Forest Cats who together, with Kristen, helped catch the bad guy on their block that inspired her upcoming book (stake out and high speed chase included!)

She holds a master of science in eCommerce from Carnegie Mellon University, an MBA from the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management, and a BA from the University of St. Thomas. As the great transformer in her life, Kristen supports others’ education and literacy as an adjunct professor of business and strategy and, more recently, through her children’s book, Inspector Dewey (Available September 2015).

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Posted Friday, 2 October, 2015 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 21st Century, Animals in Fiction & Non-Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bookish Discussions, Cats and Kittens, Children's Literature, Cosy Mystery, Debut Author, Illustrations for Stories, Indie Author, iRead Book Tours, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Modern Day, Picture Book