Publisher: Minotaur Books

A #cloakanddaggerchristmas Book Review | “Naughty On Ice” (Book Four of The Discreet Retrieval Agency) by Maia Chance

Posted Monday, 24 December, 2018 by jorielov , , , , , , 0 Comments

Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

Acquired Book By: I was approached by Minotaur Books this Winter about reading a selection of their upcoming Mysteries and Suspense novels. I was hoping to read them in the weeks leading into Christmas until I came down with a serious Winter virus which disrupted my plans. Therefore, it became a proper #cloakanddaggerchristmas celebration for me as I settled into these Cosies as the holiday was arriving giving me a comfortable joy of reading the kind of stories I love to discover during this time of the year. Cosies are wonderful all year round but there is something special about the ones that take-on a holiday vibe!

I received a complimentary copy of “Naughty On Ice” direct from the publisher Minotaur Books (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.

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The reason reading ‘Naughty On Ice’ appealled to me:

This one felt like a smashing good fit as I personally was seriously attached to the tv series “Miss Fisher” – I love the whole era this is set behind and of course, I can imagine the kind of folly which might follow suit as well. I saw the first in the series is at my local library so I wouldn’t feel guilty this is a series already in-progress!

I have been aching to find a new Cosy series which was representative of what I *adore!* in the Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries but which could exist separate from #MissFisher all the same! I haven’t ever read one of those mysteries due to how attached I became to the television adaptations – something didn’t seem quite right to me to back-read a series I knew would ultimately disappoint me as the series on air and the series in print are two birds of different feathers! It would have been different of course, if I had found the book series prior to the tv series but since I hadn’t, I was ready to find another Cosy Historical Mystery series which had the essence of Miss Fisher but was a wholly new adventure all the same!

I had a feeling I’d adore reading this series – I had it in mind to fetch the first of the series as I spied it at my local library but as I struggled with my health this Autumn & Winter, I elected to read it out of sequence, keeping true to how sometimes you can read a festive Cosy and gather a good notion about a series already in-progress. It didn’t take long for me to recognise I would love these stories and I happily added the first three to my #BeatTheBacklist reading challenge to see what I’ve been missing out from not having found this series sooner!

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Naughty On Ice badge created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit jorielovesastory.com

Naughty On Ice
by Maia Chance
Source: Direct from Publisher

Marvelously charming Lola Woodby and her stoic Swedish cook Berta return for a dazzingly fun holiday adventure in Naught On Ice, Maia Chance's latest addition to the Discreet Retrieval Agency series.

When an anonymous Christmas card from Maple Hill, Vermont beckons the Discreet Retrieval Agency to recover an antique ring at a family gathering, of course Lola and Berta jump at the chance - after all, holiday business hasn't been such exhilarating work, and their sweethearts Ralph and Jimmy have been on the back burner.

But no sooner do they find the ring on Great-Aunt Daphne Goddard's arthritic finger than Mrs Goddard drops dead from a poisoned glass of Negroni on ice - and the police show up to find Lola and Berta red-handed with the ring. It's an obvious set-up, and now the duo must uncover the secrets of Maple Hill in order to clear their name... or be thrown in the slammer.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781250109071

Genres: Cosy Historical Mystery, Crime Fiction, Historical Fiction


Published by Minotaur Books

on 13th November, 2018

Format: Hardcover Edition

Pages: 288

 Published By: Minotaur Books (@MinotaurBooks)
{imprint of} St. Martin’s Press (@StMartinsPress)

The Discreet Retrieval Agency series:

Come Hell or High Ball (book one)

Teetotaled (book two)

Gin and Panic (book three)

→ Naughty on Ice (book four) *where I begin the series!

Converse via: #DiscreetRetrievalAgency, #LolaAndBerta, #MaiaChance

and #CosyHistoricalMystery, #CosyMystery or #HistMys

Available Formats: Hardcover and Ebook

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About Maia Chance

Maia Chance was a finalist for the 2004 Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award and is a Ph.D candidate at the University of Washington. She is writing her dissertation on nineteenth-century American literature. She is also the author of the Fairy Tale Fatal Mystery series.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Monday, 24 December, 2018 by jorielov in 20th Century, Amateur Detective, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), British Literature, Cosy Historical Mystery, Cosy Mystery, Crime Fiction, Detective Fiction, Historical Fiction, Lady Detective Fiction, Modern British Author, the Roaring Twenties

A #cloakanddaggerchristmas Book Review | “Deck the Hounds” (Book Eighteen of the Andy Carpenter Mysteries) by David Rosenfelt

Posted Sunday, 23 December, 2018 by jorielov , , , , , , 2 Comments

Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

Acquired Book By: I was approached by Minotaur Books this Winter about reading a selection of their upcoming Mysteries and Suspense novels. I was hoping to read them in the weeks leading into Christmas until I came down with a serious Winter virus which disrupted my plans. Therefore, it became a proper #cloakanddaggerchristmas celebration for me as I settled into these Cosies as the holiday was arriving giving me a comfortable joy of reading the kind of stories I love to discover during this time of the year. Cosies are wonderful all year round but there is something special about the ones that take-on a holiday vibe!

I received a complimentary copy of “Deck the Hounds” direct from the publisher Minotaur Books (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.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

The reason reading ‘Deck the Hounds’ appealled to me:

I used to read quite a lot of legal dramas and legal mysteries – it has been awhile since a plot inspired me and this one, as it is set at Christmastime felt rather charming!

As a rule, I do love to read series in-progress start to finish; however, there is one small luxury I haven’t had the pleasure of engaging in for a few years, which is to seek out new Mystery series to read by way of reading a ‘holiday’ release within a series and to gauge if I would enjoy reading the rest of the series after entering through the holiday story! I did this previously with “Holiday Grind” for the Coffeehouse Mysteries – which gave me a strong impression of the series at large and I am still working my way back through the series start to finish as a result.

This year, when I was offered the chance to select some books to review for Minotaur Books, I decided to take a chance to see if I could find new series to become engaged inside. One of the descriptions which stood out to me was this one “Deck the Hounds” – as I knew the cover art might be misleading a bit, as it looks like a cute Cosy but something told me to prepare for a hearty story-line inside the cute & fluffy cover!

From what I gathered via their current catalogues of new releases for Cosy Mysteries, Historical Mysteries & Thrillers or Suspense – I have found a new publisher to keep a ready eye out for #newtomeauthors & serials! I’ve selected quite a few I want to seek out in New Year, as a few of my libraries are carrying their authors! I’d love to get to know these new series and see which of the authors I’ve recently discovered by Minotaur Books will become my new beloved favourites of the coming year!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Deck the Hounds badge created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit jorielovesastory.com

Deck the Hounds
Subtitle: An Andy Carpenter Mystery
by David Rosenfelt
Source: Direct from Publisher

Reluctant lawyer Andy Carpenter and his faithful golden retriever are back again in David Rosenfelt's dog-centric Christmas mystery Deck the Hounds. A rare act of kindness on Andy's art leads him into a perplexing mystery requiring all of his sleuthing skills, and a little help from his loyal pet.

When Andy sees a dog next to a homeless man, he's inspired o give the pair some money to help. It's just Andy's luck that things don't end there. A little while later, the man and his dog are attacked on the street. The dog defends its new owner, and the erstwhile attacker is bitten but escapes. But the dog is quarantined and the man, Don Carrigan, is heartbroken.

Andy's wife Laurie can't resist helping the duo after learning Andy has met them before... it's the Christmas season after all. In a matter of days Don and his dog Zoey are living above Andy's garage and become two new additions to the family. It's not until Andy accidentally gives away his guest's name during an interview that things go awry; Don, as it turns out is wanted for a murder that happened two years ago. Don not only claim he's innocent, but that he has no idea that he was wanted for a crime he has no knowledge of in the first place. Andy has to exonerate his new friend, if he doesn't get pulled into the quagmire first.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781250198488

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Cosy Mystery, Crime Fiction, Legal Thriller


Published by Minotaur Books

on 16th October, 2018

Format: Hardcover Edition

Pages: 336

 Published By: Minotaur Books (@MinotaurBooks)
{imprint of} St. Martin’s Press (@StMartinsPress)

The Andy Carpenter Mysteries:

Open and Shut (book one) | First Degree (book two) | Bury the Lead (book three)

Sudden Death (book four) | Dead Center (book five) | Play Dead (book six)

New Tricks (book seven) | Dog Tags (book eight) | One Dog Night (book nine)

Leader of the Pack (book ten) | Unleashed (book eleven) | Hounded (book twelve)

Who Let the Dog Out? (book thirteen) | Outfoxed (book fourteen)

The Twelve Dogs of Christmas (book fifteen) | Collared (book sixteen)

Rescued (book seventeen)

→ Deck the Hounds (book eighteen) *where I begin the series!

Converse via: #AndyCarpenter, #CosyMystery, #LegalThriller & Holiday Humour
Available Formats: Hardcover, Audiobook & Ebook

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I sometimes enjoy listening to audiobook samplers whilst I’m about to read an author for the first time. Especially in this instance, as this is a series well into its rhythm of releases – wherein, I found the character’s voice & tone of delivery to be uniquely different than what I had pre-imagined Andy Carpenter might sound like as a narrated character! Which of course, proves that sometimes what we think a character might be about and who they really are could be two different impressions!

The narrator is Grover Gardner and his voice reminds me of Andy Rooney from “Sixty Minutes” which of course is dating myself but that is okay! If you know of Rooney’s voice, you can imagine how surprised I was that a similar tone of delivery is being used for Andy Carpenter! I guess I hadn’t quite envisioned him the same way but then again, I didn’t have a lot to go on and as this is the 18th book, clearly I am missing a few of his personality quirks! Laughs.

The sampler skips over a pivotal scene with a homeless man & his dog, inserting us directly after the encounter where Andy, his wife Laurie and their son Ricky are discussing the situation shortly after dinner. I could have listened to more of this to gather a bit more insight into Andy & his family but I was thankful to have the sampler available as a precursor to my readings!

One interesting thing to note is that it would appear most if not all of the stories are available via Scribd for those who subscribe to their audiobooks.

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About David Rosenfelt

Rosenfelt is the Edgar and Shamus Award-nominated author of eight stand-alone thrillers and seventeen previous Andy Carpenter novels. A New Jersey native, now living in Maine, he and his wife recently moved with the twenty-five golden retrievers that they've rescued.

After a long and successful career as the President of Marketing for Tri-Star Pictures, he began the Tara Foundation (the basis of Andy Carpenter's foundation) to help find a home for sick or injured dogs. The foundation has rescued over 4,000 dogs from shelters; experiences he relates in his non-fiction books Dogtripping and Lessons from Tara.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Sunday, 23 December, 2018 by jorielov in #cloakanddaggerchristmas, 21st Century, Animals in Fiction & Non-Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Book Review (non-blog tour), Cosy Mystery, Crime Fiction, Dogs and Puppies, Homeless Residents, Legal Drama, Legal Drama | Courtroom Drama, Legal Thriller, Men's Fiction, Modern Day, Realistic Fiction, Rescue & Adoption of Animals, Vulgarity in Literature

Blog Book Tour | “The Masque of a Murderer” (Book 3 in the Lucy Campion Mysteries) by Susanna Calkins Whilst Jorie borrows the first novel in the series to properly become acquainted with Lucy Campion!

Posted Friday, 17 April, 2015 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 was selected to be a tour stop on the “The Masque of a Murderer” virtual book tour through Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours. I received a complimentary copy of “The Masque of a Murderer” direct from the publisher Minotaur Books (an imprint of St. Martin’s Press via MacMillan), in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Whilst I drew closer to my tour stop date, I realised the best way to draw entrance into a three book series is to read the first and second novel of the Lucy Campion mysteries. Therefore, I requested by ILL (inter-library loan) the first novel: “A Murder at Rosamund’s Gate” whilst submitting a purchase request at my local library for the second novel “From the Charred Remains” as it was released a month before my tour stop and I’m only able to ILL items outside of six months from publication. The ILL request went through and the purchase request is still pending, therefore, my readings of “A Murder at Rosamund’s Gate” are without being obligated to post a review, as my ruminations on behalf of this novel are for my own edification only.

Intrigued to Read:

To my own recollective memory, I first discovered A Murder at Rosamund’s Gate and the Lucy Campion series as a whole via my local library — as the choice to sub-title my blog ‘a bookish library girl’ is far more apt to who I am than one might first believe possible! You see, it’s a direct reference to the fact I spend half an age scouring the stacks (both physical and virtual) of my local library, seeking out literature of not just the historical past but literature across genre and declaration of style to curate a ‘next reads’ (or as the masses refer to as a ‘TBR’) list that would be most gratifying to undertake reading! My TBR List on Riffle is a bit of a work-in-progress as it’s not yet released to the public, as I’m cross-conferring with handwritten notes, and the few short stack of papers which were my personal book diaries which pre-dated my blog: Jorie Loves A Story. I shared the prior project with my close personal friends, wherein this project is shared with the world as a whole.

Those lists were generated by visiting local Indie book shoppes, national chains in lieu of local book shoppes (as let’s face it, not every area has local Indies; so very sad!), local libraries in four separate counties, and numerous bookish sites and/or group author blogs online — to where I would have this immersion of fiction that not only crossed over the centuries but through every style currently being published by novelists today! As previously declared in a variety of posts and on my Review Policy specifically, (or even on the header of my Twitter acc!) I ‘dance through genres’ inasmuch as I am a hybrid reader of both mainstream and INSPY markets.

Settling inside the 17th Century felt like a keen idea, as the 18th and 19th Centuries are more widely known to me, as they hold within their chapters of time such happiness found whilst alighting during the Victorian and Regency eras. A close second for me would be the Edwardian era, of which I have Downton Abbey to thank, and Ms Kaine to bless for giving me such a heightened awareness of a new ‘era’ to fall madly in love as I read! I am genuinely drawn to leading female characters whose strength of wit, turn of intellect, and smashingly accurate observation give a grounding of perspective and heart to the evolution of the stories themselves. I love finding writers who can charm us with a setting and a timescape but intuitively know to write in a breadth of heart and soul, giving us a story whose appeal is more tethered to the character and the story of their lives than simply time hopping era to era.

In this way, Lucy Campion was on my short-list of ‘next reads’ of whom she was keeping company alongside Aunt Dimity (by Nancy Alterton), Mary Russell & Sherlock Holmes (by Laurie R. King), Ms Phryne Fisher (by Kerry Greenwood), Lady Emily (by Tasha Alexander), Lady Darby (by Anna Lee Huber), Eloise (of the Pink Carnation series by Lauren Willig), Molly Murphy and Lady Georgie (by Rhys Bowen), Hercules Poirot (by Dame Christie & Hannah Sophie), Maisie Dobbs (by Jacqueline Winspear) and all the lovelies who are populating this Riffle List entitled: Blissfully Finding Books which Enchant Me! Stay tuned to my Twitter feeds as I’m hoping to release this new list soon! It will be archived with the rest of my Bookish Lists in my top menu under “My Bookish Life”!

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Blog Book Tour | “The Masque of a Murderer” (Book 3 in the Lucy Campion Mysteries) by Susanna Calkins Whilst Jorie borrows the first novel in the series to properly become acquainted with Lucy Campion!The Masque of a Murderer
by Susanna Calkins
Source: Publisher via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

Book Synopsis of The Masque of a Murderer:

In Susanna Calkins’ next richly drawn mystery set in 17th century England, Lucy Campion, formerly a ladies’ maid in the local magistrate’s household, has now found gainful employment as a printer’s apprentice. On a freezing winter afternoon in 1667, she accompanies the magistrate’s daughter, Sarah, to the home of a severely injured Quaker man to record his dying words, a common practice of the time. The man, having been trampled by a horse and cart the night before, only has a few hours left to live. Lucy scribbles down the Quaker man’s last utterances, but she’s unprepared for what he reveals to her—that someone deliberately pushed him into the path of the horse, because of a secret he had recently uncovered.

Fearful that Sarah might be traveling in the company of a murderer, Lucy feels compelled to seek the truth, with the help of the magistrate’s son, Adam, and the local constable. But delving into the dead man’s background might prove more dangerous than any of them had imagined.

In The Masque of a Murderer, Susanna Calkins has once again combined finely wrought characters, a richly detailed historical atmosphere, and a tightly-plotted mystery into a compelling read.

Read an Excerpt of the Novel via Criminal Element

Read a hearty array of 'behind-the-book' features via Ms Calkins blog!

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Series: Lucy Campion Mysteries,


Genres: Cosy Historical Mystery, Crime Fiction, Historical Fiction


Published by Minotaur Books

on 14th April, 2015

Pages: 323

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. Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2015 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Friday, 17 April, 2015 by jorielov in 17th Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bookish Discussions, Catholicism, Christianity, Crime Fiction, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Detective Fiction, England, Geographically Specific, Good vs. Evil, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Historical Mystery, Historical Perspectives, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Passionate Researcher, Quakers, Religious History, Restoration England, Sociological Behavior, The Great Fire of London, The Great Plague of London, World Religions, Writing Style & Voice

Blog Book Tour | “The Iris Fan” by Laura Joh Rowland The conclusion of a twenty year Historical Mystery series wraps up inside the 18th Novel of the Sano Ichiro mysteries!

Posted Tuesday, 6 January, 2015 by jorielov , , , , , 3 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 be a tour stop on the “The Iris Fan” virtual book tour through Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours. I requested and borrowed the first novel (“Shinju”) as well as the 16th (“The Incense Game”) and the 17th (“The Shogun’s Daughter”) in the series to better understand the flow of continuity and the origins of the Sano Ichiro mysteries series of which I borrowed via my local library and their ILL services.

I read portions of these three novels back to back for the blog tour and was not obligated to post a review for them. I received a complimentary ARC copy of “The Iris Fan” direct from the publisher Minotaur Books, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Interested in reading:

Due to my intense love of the Shinobi mysteries by Susan Spann, of which I previously blogged about during the Blade of the Samurai blog tour via TLC Book Tours I was motivated to sign myself up for this tour! I was not entirely sure if the context of this series would be similar to the former, but I had hoped to become wholly enthused by a new author’s interpretation of a past era of Japan, whilst being able to soak inside a new version of samurai history and the variants of where an author could take the central theme of their narrative arc! Read More

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Posted Tuesday, 6 January, 2015 by jorielov in 17th Century, ARC | Galley Copy, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Content Note, Crime Fiction, Excessive Violence in Literature, Family Drama, Family Life, Fly in the Ointment, Ghost Story, Good vs. Evil, Hard-Boiled Mystery, Haunting & Ethereal, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Historical Mystery, Historical Thriller Suspense, Japan, Japanese Fiction, Japanese History, Library Love, Local Libraries | Research Libraries, Martial Art History, Uncategorized