Tag: 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
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!

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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 | “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 LibraryThing

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.

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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