Publisher: A Thomas Donne Book

Blog Book Tour | “Death Sits Down to Dinner” the 2nd novel of the Lady Montfort mysteries by Tessa Arlen

Posted Friday, 15 April, 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 regular tour hostess for blog tours via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours whereupon I am thankful to have been able to host such a diverse breadth of stories, authors and wonderful guest features since I became a hostess! I received a complimentary copy of “Death Sits Down to Dinner” direct from the publisher Minotaur (an imprint of St. Martin’s Press) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Edwardian delight and a note about ‘series in progress’:

Quite a well known fact, I’m mindful of dipping inside a series ‘in-progress’, as I much prefer at the very least read the ‘first story’ in sequence rather than miss the entrance of a lead character outright; however, as fate would have it – this time, my dear local library had a few too many eager readers who were all quite itching to read Death of a Dishonourable Gentleman at the *very same!* hour I was seeking it myself! Remember that ill-fated migraine of mine, from March? Oy. Yes, wells, a bit less than a fortnight before I succumbed to it, I double-checked to see if this title was available and/or if I would need to ILL (inter-library loan) a copy; finding there were no active holds on the title, I smiled and knew I had plenty of time to fetch it.

Never ever second guess when a good time to place a hold on a book – I learnt this lesson – as guess what happened after I recovered from said migraine?! A smidge shy of a dozen readers were all scrambling to read the book, and although I went down to placeholder No.1 it was already too late for me as I was 48 hours away from posting my review! *le sigh* Lesson being? If you find a wicked sweet copy of a book you know you will potentially need to read within the score of a month’s time, throw your name on it! Don’t wait! And, if case your curious – I cast my queue hold to the next in line!

Ergo, similar to how I’ve entered series previously either accidentally or without a time window to fetch the previous books by my library’s services, I shall entertain myself with the ‘second Lady Montfort mystery’ as if I were fashionably late and entering into her parlour with a smashing tale about missing my train and injuring my heel in a vain attempt to catch it before it left the station!

As far as the Edwardian era is concerned, I’ve become properly smitten by it, as you might have curiously peeked a glimpse over whilst reading my thoughts on behalf of Margaret Kaine’s Dangerous Decisions or noticed my outcry of displeasure at the turning of plots on behalf of Downton Abbey via my feeds on Twitter. I was so distraught by Matthew’s death and Anna’s violent attack (sorry if this spoilts it for you, but seriously, how else to explain?) I had to take a long sabbatical from viewing the latter two serials which conclude the saga. I’ve wandered inside the Edwardian years on a few occasions, finding my heart is aflutter for more of this unique era set at the start of the new century, where technology and society were each vying for independence and equal attention.

Technically, one of the Cosy Historical Mystery series I aim to snuggle back inside before year’s end (as I’m planning a bit of a wicked slice of cosy devourment this Summer) is the Lady Emily series by Tasha Alexander which happily resides on the verge of this era, as it’s set during the last bits of the 19th Century! (see this intriguing interview!) How this series has swelled to include novellas and eleven! novels, I know naught! A handful of years ago when I first set my eyes upon it, only four were published! And, the Lady Darby series I fancy quite equally to Lady Emily are set further ahead of the Edwardian era – which proves I’ve been dancing around the era for quite a long while! Further joy is realising there are going to be five Lady Darby mysteries awaiting my heart soon!

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Notation about Cover Art Design: The moxie it takes to self-assert such a title as ‘death sits down to dinner’ is what drew me into the hive of excitement to read this offering – in combination with the plot, as remember, titles & cover art aside if the plot holds not a wither of a curiosity it’s all art and words at that point! I love the how the designer used the typography to direct your attention the ‘action of the hour’ whilst giving you a fevering glimpse of the locale! This novel begs to be read!

Blog Book Tour | “Death Sits Down to Dinner” the 2nd novel of the Lady Montfort mysteries by Tessa ArlenDeath Sits Down to Dinner
by Tessa Arlen
Source: Publisher via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

Filled with deceptions both real and imagined, Death Sits Down to Dinner is a delightful Edwardian mystery set in London.

Lady Montfort is thrilled to receive an invitation to a dinner party hosted by her close friend Hermione Kingsley, the patroness of England’s largest charity. Hermione has pulled together a select gathering to celebrate Winston Churchill’s 39th birthday. Some of the oldest families in the country have gathered to toast the dangerously ambitious and utterly charming First Lord of the Admiralty. But when the dinner ends, one of the gentlemen remains seated at the table, head down among the walnut shells littering the cloth and a knife between his ribs.

Summoned from Iyntwood, Mrs. Jackson helps her mistress trace the steps of suspects both upstairs and downstairs as Hermione’s household prepares to host a highly anticipated charity event. Determined to get to the bottom of things, Lady Montfort and Mrs. Jackson unravel the web of secrecy surrounding the bright whirlwind of London society, investigating the rich, well-connected and seeming do-gooders in a race against time to stop the murderer from striking again.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

ISBN: 9781250052506

Series: Lady Montfort mysteries


Genres: Cosy Historical Mystery, Crime Fiction, Historical Fiction


Published by A Thomas Donne Book

on 29th March, 2016

Format: Hardcover Edition

Pages: 320

Published By: Minotaur Books (@MinotaurBooks), (a Thomas Donne book)
imprints of
St. Martin’s Publishing Group, which is now a part of MacMillian Publishers
Available Formats: Hardcover & Ebook

The first Lady Montfort Mystery | Death of a Dishonourable Gentleman (Synopsis)

Converse via: #DeathSitsDownToDinner, #HistoricalMystery & #LadyMontfortMysteries

About Tessa Arlen

Tessa Arlen

TESSA ARLEN, the daughter of a British diplomat, had lived in or visited her parents in Singapore, Cairo, Berlin, the Persian Gulf, Beijing, Delhi and Warsaw by the time she was sixteen.

She came to the U.S. in 1980 and worked as an H.R. recruiter for the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee for the 1984 Olympic Games, where she interviewed her future husband for a job.

DEATH OF A DISHONORABLE GENTLEMAN is Tessa’s first novel. She lives in Bainbridge Island, Washington.

Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2016 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Friday, 15 April, 2016 by jorielov in 20th Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Britian, Canadian Literature, Coming-Of Age, Equality In Literature, Family Life, France, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Historical Romance, History, Inheritance & Identity, LGBTTQPlus Fiction | Non-Fiction, Library Love, Life Shift, Local Libraries | Research Libraries, Passionate Researcher, Postal Mail | Letters & Correspondence, the Roaring Twenties, War Drama, Writing Style & Voice

Blog Book Tour | “Flask of the Drunken Master” No.3 of the #ShinobiMysteries by Susan Spann

Posted Monday, 10 August, 2015 by jorielov , , 1 Comment

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

Acquired Book By:

I was offered the chance to be a tour stop on the “Flask of the Drunken Master” virtual book tour through TLC Book Tours as I toured with them last year for the second release “Blade of the Samauri”, wherein I was able to receive “Claws of the Cat” in order to best understand the foundation of the Shinobi mystery series. I received a complimentary hardback copy of the “Flask of the Drunken Master” direct from the author Susan Spann, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

On my connection to Susan Spann:

I started visiting the chats hosted by @LitChat in the latter months of 2013, as it was around the time of the conference at The Betsy in which I started to cross paths with regular chatters, amongst whom were Natalia Sylvester (début novelist of “Chasing the Sun”) and Susan Spann. I am unsure which month I first started to notice Ms. Spann as a friendly presence who always reminded me of myself — someone who provided cheerful commentary, engaging questions for each visiting guest author, and a wicked knowledge base on a variety of topics. Generally speaking, I always click-over to read a person’s Twitter profile, but whilst engaged in those #LitChat(s) I felt like it was this magical rendezvous for the bookish and those who are attuned to bookish culture.

In this way, it wasn’t until I learnt of Blade of the Samurai was going on tour through TLC Book Tours that I had decided to discover a bit more about her! In so doing, I learnt who she was ‘behind the curtain’ so to speak! I always considered her one of my ‘friends in the twitterverse’ but I never disclosed this to her until I was on the (Blade of the Samurai) blog tour in September 2014! Such serendipity as the tour has brought us a bit closer and I am grateful that Twitter is a social-positive method of reaching past our distances in geography to connect to people who share a passion for the written word. We have continued to remain in touch although we do not get to ‘meet-up’ on Twitter as often as we once did due to our schedules.

I am disclosing this, to assure you that I can formulate an honest opinion, even though I have interacted with Spann through our respective love & passion of reading inside the twitterverse whilst attending #LitChat or in private convos. I treat each book as a ‘new experience’, whether I personally know the author OR whether I am reading a book by them for the first time.

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Blog Book Tour | “Flask of the Drunken Master” No.3 of the #ShinobiMysteries by Susan SpannFlask of the Drunken Master
by Susan Spann
Source: Author via TLC Book Tours

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Also by this author: Author Q&A : Susan Spann (on behalf of her Shinobi mysteries), Claws of the Cat, Blade of the Samurai, Interview with Susan Spann (FLASK), The Ninja's Daughter, Author Interview (Hiro Hattori Novels)

Series: Shinobi Mystery, Hiro Hattori


Also in this series: Claws of the Cat, Blade of the Samurai, The Ninja's Daughter


Genres: Cosy Historical Mystery, Crime Fiction


Published by A Thomas Donne Book

Format: Hardcover Edition

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.

Published By: Minotaur Books (@MinotaurBooks), (a Thomas Donne book)
imprints of St. Martin’s Publishing Group, which is now a part of MacMillian Publishers
Available Formats: Hardcover & Ebook

Converse via: #ShinobiMystery#ShinobiMysteries OR #FlaskOfTheDrunkenMaster

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Susan SpannSusan Spann is a transactional publishing attorney and the author of the Shinobi Mysteries, featuring ninja detective Hiro Hattori and his Portuguese Jesuit sidekick, Father Mateo. Her début novel, CLAWS OF THE CAT (Minotaur Books, 2013), was named a Library Journal Mystery Debut of the Month. Susan has a degree in Asian Studies from Tufts University, where she studied Chinese and Japanese language, history, and culture. Her hobbies include cooking, traditional archery, martial arts, and horseback riding. She lives in northern California with her husband, son, two cats, and an aquarium full of seahorses.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Returning to the Shinobi Mysteries:

It never fails to surprise me how easily I can dip back inside this world, Ms Spann has created for us to find because between my readings a full year has transitioned forward, and despite my yearnings to re-read through Claws of the Cat and Blade of the Samurai it speaks very highly of the author whose beautiful continuity in shifting us forward into her next installment of Shinobi mysteries can be done with such a deft of grace and honesty; time hasn’t passed at all! The beauty for me truly is seeing how the characters resonate with my mind’s memory of them, and how those transitions back onto the page are bridged so well, as if I truly hadn’t spent any hour apart from where their last adventure together left off! Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2015 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Monday, 10 August, 2015 by jorielov in 16th Century, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bookish Discussions, Cosy Historical Mystery, Crime Fiction, Historical Mystery, Japan, Japanese Fiction, Japanese History, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, TLC Book Tours

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