Category: Cosy Mystery

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

Author Guest Post | Can Reading Mysteries Help Children Build Grit? by Robin Newman author of the #earlyreader mystery series Wilcox & Griswold: policemice detectives!

Posted Thursday, 25 June, 2015 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

Author Guest Post Banner created by Jorie in Canva.

In conjunction with my review of The Case of the Missing Carrot Cake I wanted to give the author Robin Newman a chance to write a Guest Post on a topic of her choosing to help compliment my own thoughts on behalf of her series debut! This is a series for Early Readers in particular, but as I highlighted on my review, I think it would be an excellent addition to the selections adult readers in literacy programmes are given as a clever way to engage them in a story that keeps your eyes on the humour and the beautiful illustrations which compliment the story-line!
Ms Newman happily picked a topic that won me over as soon as I saw the question it proposed because I grew up reading cosy mysteries (a la Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys right alongside Dame Agatha Christie: see my review of the new Poirot for more insight) and can attest that mysteries went a long mile towards helping me expand my perception and view of the world. They are stimulating as they are cheekily humoured and the reason my preference is for cosy over hard-boils (except for when I read a hard-boiled *this!* side of cosy; yes, my own definitive difference!) is due to the nature of the tone, violence, and the inclusions therein.
I didn’t just read Cosies, I watched them on tv and inside motion pictures too! My favourites these days are police procedurals with a family knitted into the heart of the characters (i.e. Rizzoli & Isles, the Mentalist, NCIS (pick one, I love all 3!), Murdoch Mysteries, Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries, and Castle; to name a few!) or most of the mysteries put out by the BBC!
Finding stories writ for younger readers or readers just starting to get their feet wet into this wonderful world of imagination and story-craft with a clear bent of joy stitched inside them is a joy for me! I love showcasing authors and publishers who are getting it right and doing a lot of good with their published works. It is my pleasure to bring Ms Newman to my blog and to share with you her thoughts on the benefits of reading mysteries!

The Case of the Missing Carrot Cake by Robin NewmanCaptain Griswold and Detective Wilcox are two hardboiled police mice and MFIs—Missing Food Investigators. When Miss Rabbit’s carrot cake goes missing the day before her big party, Griswold and Wilcox must investigate a farm full of fun, colorful suspects—and it will take smarts (and a delicious dose of humor) to crack the case.

An easy-to-read mystery with plenty of clues to point readers in the right direction, the book includes the recipe for Miss Rabbit’s tasty carrot cake from bestselling cookbook author, Mollie Katzen, and comes with a downloadable curriculum guide available for classroom use which teaches problem solving, logic skills, and storytelling.

Children will love this funny, friendly twist on classic mystery and detective stories as they follow the clues through pages filled with engaging illustrations and an entertaining, interactive story.

Genre(s): Early Reader | Cosy Mystery | Foodie Fiction

Illustrated Stories | Imagination Friendly

Wilcox & Griswold No. 2 due out Autumn 2016: The Case of the Poached Egg

Published By: Creston Books, LLC (@CrestonBooks)

Converse via Twitter: #WilcoxAndGriswoldMysteries, #earlyreader, #KidsLit and #JKSLitPublicity

About Robin Newman

Robin Newman

Raised in New York and Paris, Robin Newman has been a practicing attorney and legal editor, but she prefers to write about witches, mice, pigs, and peacocks. She lives in New York with her husband, son, goldfish, and English Cocker Spaniel, who happens to have been born on the Fourth of July.

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Posted Thursday, 25 June, 2015 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, Animals in Fiction & Non-Fiction, Art, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Trailer, Bookish Discussions, Bookish Films, Children's Literature, Cosy Mystery, Early Reader | Chapter Books, Illustrations for Stories, Indie Author, JKS Communications: Literary Publicity Firm, Reader Submitted Guest Post (Topic) for Author