Book Review: One Will Too Many by PJ Peterson @partnersincr1me

One Will Too Many

by PJ Peterson

March 1-31, 2022 Virtual Book Tour


One Will Too Many
A Julia Fairchild Mystery #4
PJ Peterson
Finngirl, LLC, December 2021
ISBN 978-1-7335675-8-9
Trade Paperback

From the author—

                  A wealthy banker with a long list of secrets dies.

The bizarre crime scene stumps the local police…

… but a young doctor could be the key to solving the case.

Internist Julia Fairchild encounters banker Jay moments too late – the poor man is near death in his own dining room. At first no one can figure out what killed him, but the coroner soon confirms that it was homicide: Jay died of methanol poisoning, and now a murderer is on the loose. Julia knows how to catch a killer and she can cut through the noise like a scalpel through skin. She agrees to help the understaffed police force solve the case, but each clue only complicates her investigation further.

Can Julia dissect the deadly riddle and nail the perp, or will this be the first time a monster succeeds in giving her the slip?

If you love Louise Penny, Kelly Oliver, and PC James, you need this medical mystery! Find out why fans say, “I love the character Julia Fairchild!”

To my way of thinking, it’s not easy to write a medical-focused mystery without a sense of it being a thriller or suspense and I don’t really agree with the “cozy” label on One Will Too Many. It’s also not especially thriller-ish but I think it fits nicely into the “traditional” category; the amateur sleuth is not just accidentally part of the plot and has some validity to her investigating as well as being welcomed by law enforcement.

Having said that, labels don’t really matter all that much when the difference is so thin and the whodunit here is nicely offered with characters who are particularly well-fleshed out. Julia is, of course, quite good at sussing out potential clues as you might expect in a doctor and she works well with her nephew on the police force. Learning that the wealthy victim, Jay, had a lot of secrets and that his will is likely to be a hefty motive, Julia soon leads the reader down a variety of paths and I admit to being diverted more than once. In a side storyarc, Julia has a new-ish romantic interest, maybe even more than one, but that doesn’t intrude too much on the core investigation.

Ms. Peterson does a fine job of creating tension and her pacing is quite good, always leaving me wanting to keep going to the next page and the next. This was my introduction to the Julia Fairchild series and, while I didn’t feel a lack in not having read the first three books, I’m eager to catch up now.

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, March 2022.

Purchase Links:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble


Read an excerpt:

Julia arrived at the Hotel Montpelier just as Drake drove up. She took advantage of his simultaneous presence to make a proper entrance to the celebration in the Hotel’s Grand Ballroom. It had recently been refurbished to its original grandeur from the early 1920’s. She admired the beauty of the ceilings with their Art Deco design, recently uncovered by the removal of a false ceiling from a previous “upgrade.” The beautiful wood floor with exquisite inlaid mosaics shone from a recent floor polishing. The cherry and mahogany woodwork glistened in the light from the elegant crystal chandeliers which had also been hidden until now.

Julia and Drake were greeted by some of the other members of the restoration committee. Drake was the designated master of ceremonies while Julia’s primary duty was to personally welcome as many of the potential donors as possible and say a few words in support of the project. He certainly looked the part tonight in a well-cut black velvet tuxedo. His dark hair was touched with silver—just enough to give him a classy look. He stood tall and proud as he walked through the crowd, nodding to some and saying a word or two to other attendees.

Julia searched the assembled festival attendees for familiar faces as Drake gently guided her to an older man and woman. He placed his hand at the small of her back as he addressed the wealthy couple. “Julia, I’d like to introduce Mr. And Mrs. George Oglethorpe. They have been long-time supporters of the theatre.”

Julia stepped forward a half-step and extended her hand. “I’m Julia Fairchild. I’m honored to meet you. I love our theatre, too.” The woman’s face brightened as she recognized the name. “Of course! Dr. Fairchild. Call me Anna. I’ve heard a lot of good things about you.” She took Julia’s hand in both of hers. “You’re so young and pretty for a doctor.” Julia reddened. She actually felt a little mousey most days, but conceded to herself that she did ‘clean up’ nicely for such events. “Thank you. I was blessed with good genes. How long have you and your husband lived in Parkview?” “My goodness. Forever. Right out of college anyway. George heard about the paper mill here looking for mechanical engineers and applied right away.” She smiled proudly at him. “We love the town and were never inclined to leave once we settled in. Isn’t that right, dear?” Her husband nodded between sips of his drink. “Are you from here?” “Not from Parkview. I grew up down the highway on a small farm. My grandma persuaded me to come home and here I am.” Julia felt her eyes well up as she recalled warm memories of time spent with her grandparents. “Thank you for your support of our lovely theatre. The restoration committee will be sharing the plans for the renovation during the program.” Julia felt Drake’s arm around her waist as he interceded. “Thank you for coming this evening. Please excuse us. I see someone who is clamoring to talk with Dr. Fairchild before the dinner starts.” Drake took Julia’s arm and as they turned around, they found Gregory Lantz and his wife Sandy who had been standing right behind them. “Greg! So good to see you here tonight. Thanks for coming.” They exchanged nods and handshakes. “Julia is standing in for Karen tonight. She’s also supporting the project.” Julia smiled and nodded. Aside from the perfunctory smiles, Julia sensed a tension between the men, and she moved a step away from Drake to better observe them both. Greg stirred his gin and tonic vigorously. “I’ve talked with some of the members of the board at the bank, but I don’t have a definite commitment yet for a donation. I think we can come through for $50,000. But nothing close to the million dollars that everyone seems to think the bank can donate.” “Greg, any amount would be great. I understand it’s been a little tough with the new bank still getting started.” Drake Ashford was the president of the older, long-established Parkview National Bank. He was aware that despite heavy advertising and promotions, the new River City Community Bank was not yet meeting expectations. He was also acutely sensitive to the loss of some of his own banking clients to the new bank, where Greg was Vice President. Greg bristled. “Actually, we’re meeting our numbers and seeing new business every day. I would think you would have noticed already.” He smirked. “We’ve noticed a little change, but we’re prepared to handle it.” Drake took a large swallow of his scotch. “Please excuse us. I have some other people to greet. Talk to you later, Greg.” Drake and Julia moved away. “That man really annoys me,” Drake said under his breath. “He’s so naive. He doesn’t see how Jay is using him. He’s just a ‘yes’ man. But I guess it makes him feel important.” “What do you mean?” Julia asked, nodding and smiling at some of the faces she recognized. She knew he referred to Jay Morrison, recently divorced and head of the new bank. She felt Drake’s hand shaking as he maneuvered her through the crowd. “I’ll tell you later. Too many ears here.” He surveyed the guests nearby. “Let’s see…there’s Warren Pontell and his lovely wife Sarah. He’s talked about making a major contribution. His wife was a theatre actress in her younger days. And they have money to burn.” He turned to Julia and wiggled his eyebrows, à la Groucho Marx. Drake and Julia chatted with the Pontells for a few minutes, using the time to emphasize the benefits of the smaller venue of the “little theatre.” It was designed to be an intimate stage setting with seating for about one hundred fifty people. Until recently, the area had been used for storage and was marginally functional for stage events in its current state. Julia had found herself daydreaming but tuned back in when she heard Mr. Pontell say, “We’d like to donate $50,000 for the little theatre. Perhaps you can find a way to let us have something to say about naming it.” He grinned broadly as his wife beamed. “Warren, that’s wonderful!” said Drake. “I’ll talk with the board of directors about naming opportunities. Let me get back to you on details for your donation. Thank you.” Now grinning, Drake gently guided Julia toward Adam Johns, an influential man in the local union hierarchy, and his wife. He had started working at ESCO Paper Company right out of high school and had worked his way up from the labor pool to an electrician apprenticeship and then to a journeyman electrician. His constituents considered him to be fair and honest. He had an unofficial status in the union as a leader, although he didn’t have an elected or paid position as such. Adam tugged at the neck of his dress shirt and pulled at the bottom of his dark blue waistcoat. The jacket gaped over his generous girth. He looked uncomfortable in his tuxedo. Julia was sure her mother would have said something like “putting perfume on a goat,” but most likely his wife had insisted he dress up for this occasion. He certainly looked impressive at his height of six foot three inches. “Mr. and Mrs. Johns, good evening,” said Drake as he offered his hand. “Do you know Dr. Julia Fairchild? She’s helping to support the Theatre Restoration project as we all are.” “We sure do,” said Adam, returning the handshake. “Dr. Fairchild, you took care of my mom several years back. She was real sick but you got her well and she’s fine now. Thanks to you. In fact, she’s going on a cruise through the Panama Canal with her church group this coming week. She’s always wanted to go on that trip.” “You’re welcome, Mr. Johns. I do remember your mom—Violette, I believe? She’s a lovely lady with a lot of spunk.” Julia shook his hand before turning to his wife. “Pleased to meet you, Mrs. Johns.” Mr. Johns turned back to Drake. “Mr. Ashford, some of the guys at the mill want to know if you had talked with our union officials yet about the stock trading going on with our pension funds. And if you know anything, they hope you can tell them. And call me Adam. My wife is Linda.” “Yes, Adam. I talked with a Scott Sowders in Portland. He’s looking into whether those trading fees can be traced back to any individuals. May I call you when I know something more?” “Sure. You can call me at ESCO. The operator knows how to reach me. Thanks a lot, Mr. Ashford.” “You can call me Drake, please. I’ll call you soon and we’ll go from there. Thanks again for being here tonight.” “Hey. It’s an alright party. My wife is always trying to get me to gussy up. It’s more fun than I thought it would be.” He grinned and saluted with his cocktail. Julia saw the auctioneer heading their way and alerted Drake. “I’ll check my lipstick while you talk with him. Where are we sitting?” “Main table,” he said, pointing to the center of the long side of the room. He scowled. “Unfortunately, it appears we’re seated next to Jay Morrison, of all people.” *** Excerpt from One Will Too Many by PJ Peterson. Copyright 2022 by PJ Peterson. Reproduced with permission from PJ Peterson. All rights reserved.


Author Bio:


PJ is a retired internist who enjoyed the diagnostic part of practicing medicine as well as creating long-lasting relationships with her patients. As a child she wanted to be a doctor so she could “help people.” She now volunteers at the local Free Medical Clinic to satisfy that need to help. She loved to read from a young age and read all the Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew books she could find. It wasn’t until she was an adult that she wrote anything longer than short stories for English classes and term papers in others. Writing mysteries only makes sense given her early exposure to that genre. Sprinkling in a little medical mystique makes it all the more fun.

Catch Up With PJ Peterson: Goodreads BookBub – @mizdrpj1 Facebook – PJ Peterson


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Book Review: Caramel Pecan Roll Murder by Joanne Fluke @JoanneFluke @KensingtonBooks

Caramel Pecan Roll Murder
A Hannah Swensen Mystery #28
Joanne Fluke
Kensington Books, February 2022
ISBN 978-1-4967-3608-6

Caramel Pecan Roll Murder is the latest book in Joanne Fluke’s series featuring baker Hannah Swensen, owner of The Cookie Jar bakery.  It begins when Hannah is asked to help out Sally Laughlin owner, together with her husband Dick, of the Lake Eden Inn.  Sally is desperate for help because a fishing tournament is about to be held at the Inn with the fishermen staying there and having all their meals there.  Unfortunately, Sally’s dessert chef isn’t available for the week of the tournament due to a family emergency and Sally wants Hannah to stay at the Inn for the week of the tournament and take over the baking which Hannah agrees to do with the help of her sister Andrea.

The tournament is in full swing and is going well except for the behavior of the fishing pro, Sonny Bowman, the star of the tournament sponsor’s televised fishing show.  Sonny it seems drinks far too much and has a habit of hitting on the women present, most of whom are wives of the fishermen, which does not go over well with their husbands.

Sonny’s behavior aside, the tournament is going well until a dead body turns up.  Of course, Mike and Lonnie, the police department’s detectives are investigating but, no surprise to regular readers of this series, Hannah, an amateur sleuth, also begins her investigation.  One thing readers can always count on is that Hannah will get involved in murder investigations, aided and abetted by her family and friends!  In fact, one of the things I find amusing about this series is how she gets involved in the investigations on the thinnest possible pretext!

I liked this book.  It’s filled with several of the usual characters and while the solution to the murder makes sense, it isn’t glaringly obvious.  I also liked the recipes which, as usual, I am sure I will make someday – but probably won’t.  I recommend this book.  It is a fun read and a worthy addition to the series.

Reviewed by Melinda Drew, February 2022.

Book Review: Deadly Summer Nights by Vicki Delany @vickidelany @BerkleyMystery

Deadly Summer Nights
A Catskill Summer Resort Mystery #1
Vicky Delany
Berkley Prime Crime, September 2021
ISBN: 978-0-593-33437-9
Mass Market Paperback

Shades of Dirty Dancing! Almost from the first description I was transported to the Catskill Mountains where opulent resorts held sway in the 50s. The 1950s, that is. The incessant smoking, the ritzy cocktails—does anyone drink Grasshoppers anymore?—the full skirts, girdles and stockings required even in the middle of a hot, humid summer are part of what strikes me as an entire other age. The cast includes college boys earning money for the next semester’s tuition, and in some cases, grifters and con artists. Mainly, we meet an extremely hard-working staff trying to please women with children whose husbands make enough money to allow an escape from the city heat.

But there’s nowhere, evidently, you can escape murder, McCarthyism, and small-town cops with an ax to grind.

A convoluted revenge story, sometimes it appears everyone–yet no one–has the motive to kill a simple college professor who is in want of privacy to write a novel. Yet he turns up dead. Wild tales spread through the resort population, with hotelier Elizabeth Grady at her wits end trying to keep nasty rumors from ruining the summer season. Determined to discover the murderer herself when the police prove inadequate, Elizabeth is helped not only by her friends, but the dead man’s nephew.

The story has a fine plot, excellent characters, and a wonderful setting. A lot to like in this one, sure to put you in the mood for soft summer days and hot nights.

Reviewed by Carol Crigger, February 2022.
Author of The Woman Who Built A Bridge (Spur Award Winner), Ault’s Heir,
The Woman Who Wore a Badge, and Six Dancing Damsels: A China Bohannon Mystery

Book Review: Playing Possum by Lois Schmitt—and 2 Giveaways! @schmittmystery @encirclepub @partnersincr1me

Playing Possum

by Lois Schmitt

February 1-28, 2022 Virtual Book Tour

Purchase Links:
Barnes & Noble // Indiebound // Amazon



Playing Possum
A Kristy Farrell Animal Lovers Mystery, #3
Lois Schmitt
Encircle Publications, December 2021
ISBN‎ 978-1-64599-305-6

From the publisher—

Murder, Mayhem, and Missing Animals.

When animals mysteriously disappear from the Pendwell Wildlife Refuge, former English teacher turned magazine reporter Kristy Farrell is on the case. Days later, the body of the refuge’s director is found in a grassy clearing.

Kristy, assisted by her veterinarian daughter, investigates and discovers strong motives among the suspects, including greed, infidelity, betrayal, and blackmail.

As Kristy delves further, she finds herself up against the powerful Pendwell family, especially matriarch Victoria Buckley Pendwell, chair of the refuge board of trustees, and Victoria’s son, Austin Pendwell, who is slated to run for the state senate.

But ferreting out the murderer and finding the missing animals aren’t Kristy only challenges. While researching a story on puppy mills, she uncovers criminal activity that reaches far beyond the neighborhood pet store.

Meanwhile, strange things are happening back at the refuge, and soon a second murder occurs. Kristy is thwarted in her attempts to discover the murderer by her old nemesis, the blustery Detective Wolfe.

Kristy perseveres and as she unearths shady deals and dark secrets, Kristy slowly draws the killer out of the shadows.

After having enjoyed Something Fishy, the second book in this series, I was looking forward to Kristy’s next adventure and Ms. Schmitt did not disappoint me at all. Playing Possum (I really get a smile out of her titles) is just as focused on the animal world, a big plus for me, and is built on an equally intriguing puzzle.

Being an investigative reporter, Kristy easily juggles the multiple issues that come up in addition to the initial murder and the interplay between mother and daughter (Abby), what you might call a dynamic duo, is spot on, sort of a well-oiled machine, and I really enjoy Kristy’s antagonistic relationship with the crabby detective. Yes, he’s obnoxious and certainly unappreciative of her nosing around but I find him to be a pleasant change from the usual romantic entanglement. After all, not every sleuthing woman needs to fall for the investigating cop , right?

As a proponent of animal rescue, I’m so glad the author chose to address the needs of distressed wildlife and domestic animals and the efforts made by many to make the world a safer place for all creatures. If even one reader is moved to participate in some way, we all will be the better for it. Meanwhile, any mystery fan is sure to like Playing Possum.

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, February 2022.


Praise for Playing Possum:

Lois Schmitt’s Playing Possum does cozies proud. Fresh
and traditional all at once.” -Reed Farrel Coleman,
New York Times bestselling author of Sleepless City

“In her third book of the series, writer Lois Schmitt has crafted an
intricately-plotted mystery full of twists and humor, with a cast of
colorful characters, set in a wildlife refuge rehab center. Cozy fans,
and especially followers of Schmitt’s animal lovers’ mysteries, will
find great entertainment in Playing Possum.” -Phyllis Gobbell,
award-winning author of the Jordan Mayfair Mysteries


An Excerpt from Playing Possum

I waited until a man and a woman emerged from the county medical examiner’s van. I followed them into the wildlife preserve, maintaining a discreet distance while wondering what happened. Did a jogger succumb to a heart attack? Did a child fall into a pond and drown? I inhaled deeply, hoping to steady my nerves. I passed the clearing on the right where the administration building was located. I continued trailing the two members of the medical examiner’s staff until another clearing came into view—this one bordered by yellow crime scene tape. I gasped. Not far from where I stood, spread out in full view was a female body with blood covering much of the head. The body was face down, but I recognized the small build, sandy colored hair, and jade green shirt. I tasted bile. I wanted to scream, but I slapped my hand in front of my mouth. After regaining my composure, I surveyed my surroundings. Three people wearing jackets emblazoned in the back with the words Crime Scene Investigator were near the front of the clearing. One was bent over the body and the other two appeared to be examining the nearby ground. When the medical examiner’s team approached, the investigator next to the body rose up and started talking. I couldn’t make it all out, but I did hear him say “Blow to the head.” “Oh, no,” I mumbled when I spied two homicide detectives I knew. Detective Adrian Fox, a thirty something African American, stood on the side of the clearing, near a small pond. He was talking to a woman who yesterday had been arguing with the preserve’s director. The director had called this woman Elena, so I assumed this was Elena Salazar, the education coordinator. I couldn’t hear what she was saying to the detective, but she was gesturing wildly with her arms. The other detective, Steve Wolfe, had marched over to the body and was now barking orders to the medical examiner’s staff, who didn’t seem pleased. As Wolfe turned around, the woman in the medical examiner’s jacket shook her head. I sighed. Wolfe and I had a history. He was a bully who had gone to school with my younger brother Tim, constantly picking on him. Granted Tim was the classic nerd who might as well have worn the sign “Kick Me” on his back. I had recently solved two of Wolfe’s murder cases, which only irritated him more. Wolfe spied me and headed in my direction, his face turning the color of a beet. His gray pants hung below his pot belly, his glacier blue eyes as cold as ever, and he wore the same annoying grin as when he was a kid that made me want to slap his face. “What happened?” I asked. “I’m here about a dead squirrel,” he said. “I’m a homicide detective. What do you think happened?” “I know the victim,” I said. He narrowed his eyes. “How do you know her?” “I’m doing a story on the wildlife refuge and—” “How come whenever you do a story people die?” Not really a nice way to put it. “Who found the body?” I asked. “Three hikers.” “What caused—” “This is none of your business. This is a crime scene.” He pointed a fat finger at me. “You need to leave.” “I’m behind the yellow tape,” I argued. I didn’t think his face could get any redder, but it did. “Stay out of my way.” He spun around and stomped off toward the side where Detective Fox appeared to be jotting something in a notepad. Elena Salazar was no longer there. I had no idea where she went. I had lots of questions, but I wasn’t getting answers from Wolfe. The crime scene investigators were packing up. Maybe I’d have better luck with them. “When was she killed” I asked the one investigator, who looked young enough to appear on an acne remedy commercial. “We need to wait for the autopsy.” “Do you have an approximate time of death?” “Sorry. We can’t talk to the public.” I sighed. I’d have to get the answers somewhere else. I wondered why the victim had been at the clearing. I glanced at the pond, guessing this was where the rehabilitated turtle would be released. Did she come here early to check things out before the release? But what would she be checking? My thoughts were interrupted as the medical examiner’s team passed by me carrying a stretcher with the covered body. I figured I might learn something if I listened to their conversation. Eavesdropping was one of my talents. I scratched my theory about arriving early to check on conditions for the turtle release when one of the attendants said, “I can’t imagine why anyone would be in these woods at midnight.” *** Excerpt from Playing Possum by Lois Schmitt. Copyright 2021 by Lois Schmitt. Reproduced with permission from Lois Schmitt. All rights reserved.



About the Author


A mystery fan since she read her first Nancy Drew, Lois Schmitt combined a love of mysteries with a love of animals in her series featuring animal magazine reporter Kristy Farrell. Lois is member of several wildlife conservation and humane organizations, as well as Mystery Writers of America. She received 2nd runner-up for the Killer Nashville Claymore award for her second book in the series entitled Something Fishy, She previously served as media spokesperson for a local consumer affairs agency and currently teaches at a community college. Lois lives in Massapequa, Long Island with her family, which includes a 120 pound Bernese Mountain dog. This dog bears a striking resemblance to Archie, a dog of many breeds featured in her Kristy Farrell Mystery Series.

Catch Up With Lois Schmitt:
Instagram: @loisschmittmysteries

Twitter: @schmittmystery

Facebook: @LoisSchmittAuthor


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Book Review: Jane Darrowfield and the Madwoman Next Door by Barbara Ross @barbross @KensingtonBooks

Jane Darrowfield and the Madwoman Next Door
A Jane Darrowfield Mystery #2
Barbara Ross
Kensington Books, November 2020
ISBN 978-1-4967-3419-8
Mass Market Paperback

Jane Darrowfield is a recently retired woman who advertises herself as a Professional Busybody.  She takes on problems that are annoying and difficult but not appropriate for the police.  That is, they don’t rise to the level of crimes – well, at least, they don’t appear to be crimes.  Living in a neighborhood in west Cambridge, Jane has a good life but not necessarily an exciting one until her next door neighbor, Megan, comes to see her with an unusual request.  Megan is a high powered lawyer, an associate in a big downtown Boston firm, who is being considered for a partnership and she moved into the neighborhood about 6 months ago.  Megan is seeking Jane’s help to determine if she (Megan) is crazy because she has been having symptoms such as blackouts and hearing voices.  Since she seems completely normal Jane agrees to try and figure out what might be causing her symptoms.

Finding out that Megan has a sophisticated security system, Jane’s first thought is that there may be toxic mold in the home causing the symptoms; her second is a former boyfriend is gaslighting Megan.  But why?  Shortly after Jane begins to investigate, Megan disappears.  Megan’s fellow lawyer at the firm, Andy, reports Megan missing, and the police get involved.  While the police, the fellow lawyer, and Jane are in Megan’s house, Jane notices that Megan’s cat is also missing.  Eventually they discover a “panic” or safe room in the basement.  When they are able to get its door open, the cat emerges but there is no sign of Megan except for one of her slippers (the other was in Megan’s bedroom),

As you might expect it is hard to get the police to see this as a missing person case; after all, but for the slippers there is no sign of a struggle but fortunately Jane has a police officer friend in the Cambridge PD who is willing to try and help.  The rest of the book is about the search for Megan or her body.  Along the way Megan’s father appears but is oddly unconcerned about her disappearance, Megan’s ex-boyfriend seems too good to be true, and her fellow lawyer is up for the same promotion to partner as Megan (and there is only one slot).  Sorting through these options Jane finds herself totally confused and worried sick.

When I first read the blurb about this series (this book is the second in a series), my first thought was of the classic neighborhood elderly ladies in Agatha Christie’s books (think Miss Marple for example).  But Jane is different, and I think this series is going to be a lot of fun.  I certainly enjoyed this entry.

Reviewed by Melinda Drew, January 2022.

Book Review: The Three Shades of Justice by Carolyn J. Rose @CarolynJRose

The Three Shades of Justice:
Never Give Up the Ghost
Carolyn J. Rose
Carolyn J. Rose, October 2021
ISBN 978-1-7342412-6-6
Trade Paperback

Four older ladies, all residents of the same retirement home, are involved in a horrific car crash. When one regains consciousness, she discovers her three friends sitting on the couch waiting for her to awaken. They speak to her and she speaks back. It takes some time for the sorely injured Emma to realize she’s either suffered brain damage or she sees ghosts, because she was the only survivor.

A long recovery follows and, with time to spare, along with the help of her friends—those both dead and alive—Emma discovers hanky-panky pervades the Reckless River Retirement Community. The assistant administrator, a woman named Sadye Connor, is most disagreeable. Her concern with finances seems overblown considering the prices people pay to live there, and Emma and her friends suspect Sadye is skimming money off the top. Given her lifestyle, maybe even committing outright theft. The adventurous ladies decide to find out.

As her ghostly friends learn to cope with their special abilities and Emma heals, a man also comes into her life. Definitely something she never expected. So are the three pets, whose care she has taken on—for which the retirement home charges exorbitant money for damage deposits.

Who knew our group would find Sadye a more serious criminal than they ever expected? Or what a great time they’d all have with their investigation. Consequently, the reader will too. As the final denouement in this installment comes to a thrilling end, one can be sure more adventures will follow.

Fun story, great characters, each with her or his own complete personality, and fine writing. What  more can you ask?

Reviewed by Carol Crigger, February 2022.
Author of The Woman Who Built A Bridge (Spur Award Winner), Ault’s Heir,
The Woman Who Wore a Badge, and Six Dancing Damsels: A China Bohannon Mystery

Book Review: Girl with a Gun by Kari Bovee @KariBovee @iReadBookTours

Join us for this tour from Jan 10 to Feb 4, 2022!


Girl with a Gun
An Annie Oakley Mystery #1
Kari Bovee
Narrated by Susanna Burney

Bosque Publishing, April 2020Downloaded Unabridged Audiobook

From the author—

She’s on the rise to fame and fortune, but her sudden notoriety comes with some deadly consequences.

Annie Oakley thrives as a sharpshooter in the Wild West Show. Finally, she has a chance to save her family’s farm—and make her dreams come true.

But her act misfires when she discovers her Indian assistant dead in her tent. Uncovering a shocking secret from her assistant’s past, the girl with the gun believes it’s murder. Determined to find the truth, she ruffles some horse feathers, making enemies along the trail.

But, when her prized gelding is stolen, Annie realizes she might have been the target all along.

Can Little Miss Sure Shot save her equine friend and find the killer before everything she’s worked for is destroyed?

If you like a cunning mystery, a feisty heroine, and a fast-paced plot that keeps the pages turning, you’ll love this wild ride with the iconic Annie Oakley in the saddle.

Kari Bovee’s first in the series is a charming introduction to the life and loves of Annie Oakley’s story, of course fictionalized but in such a way as to make the star of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show very real and accessible. Set in 1885, Annie is presented as just now meeting her eventual husband, Frank Butler, while the two were actually already married when they joined the show but this is, after all, a fictional account and the author has taken reasonable liberties with Annie’s history which is somewhat entangled with the tales she made up for her career.

At any rate, I enjoyed the author’s interpretation and spending time with such real people as Sitting Bull and Lillie Smith. There are several storyarcs, including Annie’s horse, Buck, being sick and the animosity of a few other show members towards the crowdpleasing Annie. Lillie is her primary rival in the shooting exhibitions and it’s fun to watch these two and Frank work out new exciting events.

Then there is the booklong mystery, the death of Annie’s friend and assistant, Kimi. Was her death natural, despite her young age, or was she murdered? If the latter, did someone hate her that much because she was an Indian or could there be some other reason? Annie suspects not all is as it seems and is determined to learn the truth. There are a variety of twists and turns but, on the whole, I felt as though the mystery took a back seat to everything else and could have been left out entirely. The other thing I want to mention is that I’ve seen reviews that pan the book for its non-PC elements such as the words used (squaw, for instance) and the apparent lack of caring for animals used in the shooting exhibitions but Ms. Bovee strikes a decent balance and I recommend that any reader remember that attitudes were very different in 1885.

The narrator, Susanna Burney, was new to me and I found her to be quite easy to listen to. Her evocation of various characters is stronger with the women than the men but that’s certainly not surprising and, when all is said and done, I think she brought the tale to life. Between her narration and the author’s imaginative story, I quite enjoyed Girl with a Gun.

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, February 2022.

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Book Details:

Book Title: Shoot Like a Girl (A PreQuel Novella to Girl With A Gun) by Kari Bovee
Category:  Adult Fiction (18 + yrs), 84 pages
Length: 2 hrs, 14 minutes
Genre:  Historical Fiction, Cozy Mystery
Publisher:  Bosque Publishing
Release date:   November 2019
Formats available for review: audiobook (audible download), MOBI (for kindle), EPUB, PDF)
Tour dates: Jan 10 to Feb 4, 2022
Content Rating:  PG + M for mature themes and some swearing (damn, bitch)

Book Description:

She would do anything for her loved ones, even if it meant she’d be lost to them forever.

Young Annie Oakley never expected to be saddled with responsibility so soon. Following her father’s sudden death, the spirited girl finds herself shipped to a nearby county working for a couple promising a good wage. But when she discovers they are not what they seem, Annie suddenly fears her life may be in peril.

Determined to help her mother and siblings, she endures the hardships and mistreatment from the couple. But when that cruelty is targeted at the beautiful Buckskin horse who is her only friend, Annie decides to take matters into her own hands.

Will the spunky teen return to her loved ones, or will her decision land her in jail?

Shoot like a Girl is the prequel novella to the Annie Oakley mystery series. If you like a fiercely loyal heroine who won’t be anyone’s victim, then you’ll love Kari Bovée’s thrilling story of America’s best-loved sharpshooting sensation.

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Book Details:

Book Title: Peccadillo at the Palace (An Annie Oakley Mystery) by Kari Bovee
Category:  Adult Fiction (18 + yrs), 332 pages
Length: 9 hours, 52 minutes
Genre:  Historical Mystery, Cozy Mystery
Publisher:  Bosque Publishing
Release date:   April 2020
Formats available for review: audiobook (audible download), MOBI (for kindle), EPUB, PDF)
Tour dates: Jan 10 to Feb 4, 2022
Content Rating:  PG +M for mature themes, mild swearing

Book Description:

She’s outgunned her opponents at every turn, but will it be enough to solve a royal case of murder? Annie Oakley can’t believe her good fortune at an imperial invitation.

Queen Victoria wants Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show to perform for her Golden Jubilee. But during the voyage to England, a royal escort is murdered and the gun-slinging star finds herself at the center of an assassination plot against the crown.

Determined to catch the killer, Annie tracks down the clues. And by the time they reach London, she thinks she’s right on course. But when her husband falls mysteriously ill, and an assassination attempt is made on the queen, the sharpshooting amateur sleuth may find herself out to sea before her ship comes in.

Can the clever markswoman solve the double-barreled mystery before it’s too late?

Peccadillo at the Palace is the second novel in the Annie Oakley Mystery Series. If you like a fast-paced mystery with unexpected plot twists that will keep you guessing until the very end, you’ll love this riveting historical mystery featuring America’s favorite sure-shot.

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Book Details:

Book Title: Folly at the Fair (An Annie Oakley Mystery) by Kari Bovee
Category:  Adult Fiction (18 + yrs), 322 pages
Length: 9 hours, 48 minutes
Genre:  Historical Mystery, Cozy Mystery
Publisher:  Bosque Publishing
Release date:   June 2020
Formats available for review: audiobook (audible download), MOBI (for kindle), EPUB, PDF)
Tour dates: Jan 10 to Feb 4, 2022
Content Rating:  PG +M for mature themes, mild swearing

Book Description:

She never misses a target. But unless she can solve this murder, she’ll become one…

Chicago World’s Fair, 1893. “Little Sure Shot” Annie Oakley is exhausted from her work with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. But when a fellow performer scuffles with a man who threatens her harm, she has to keep
her eyes peeled. And when the heckler is found dead under the Ferris Wheel, Annie won’t rest until she proves her defender is innocent.

Before she can rustle up any clues, an old friend asks Annie to protect her young daughter. And as more bodies turn up around the grounds, she’s going to need all her sharpshooting skills just to stay alive.

Can Annie live up to her reputation and put a bullseye on the killer?

Folly at the Fair is the third book in the Annie Oakley mystery series. If you like strong heroines, Wild West adventures, and suspenseful twists and turns, then you’ll love Kari Bovée’s fast-paced

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About the Author

When she’s not on a horse, or walking along the beautiful cottonwood-laden acequias of Corrales, New Mexico; or basking on white sand beaches under the Big Island Hawaiian sun, Kari Bovee is escaping into the past—scheming murder and mayhem for her characters both real and imagined, and helping them to find order in the chaos of her
action-packed novels. Bovee writes the award-winning Annie Oakley Mystery Series and the Grace Michelle Mystery Series, and has more ideas than time for many, many more.

Connect with the author: 

Website ~ Goodreads ~ Facebook ~
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Tour Schedule:

Jan 10 – Mystery Review Crew – books spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Jan 10 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – audiobook review of GIRL WITH A GUN / giveaway
Jan 10 – StoreyBook Reviews – book review of GIRL WITH A GUN / giveaway
Jan 11 – Cover Lover Book Review – audiobook review of GIRL WITH A GUN / giveaway
Jan 11 – I’m All About Books – book series tour / giveaway
Jan 11 – Splashes of Joy – audiobook review of GIRL WITH A GUN / author interview / giveaway
Jan 11 – Lamon Reviews – book review of GIRL WITH A GUN / author interview / giveaway
Jan 12 – Kam’s Place – book series spotlight
Jan 12 – Celticlady’s Reviews – book series spotlight / giveaway
Jan 12 – History from a Woman’s Perspective – audiobook review of GIRL WITH A GUN
Jan 12 – 411 ON BOOKS, AUTHORS, AND PUBLISHING NEWS – book series spotlight / giveaway
Jan 13 – My Bookish Bliss – audiobook review of GIRL WITH A GUN / giveaway
Jan 13 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – audiobook review of SHOOT LIKE A GIRL / giveaway
Jan 13 – History from a Woman’s Perspective – audiobook review of SHOOT LIKE A GIRL

Jan 14 – Sefina Hawke’s Books – audiobook review of GIRL WITH A GUN
Jan 18 – Splashes of Joy – audiobook review of SHOOT LIKE A GIRL / giveaway
Jan 18 – She Just Loves Books – audiobook review of GIRL WITH A GUN
Jan 18 – History from a Woman’s Perspective – audiobook review of PECCADILLO AT THE PALACE
Jan 18 – Sefina Hawke’s Books – audiobook review of SHOOT LIKE A GIRL
Jan 18 – Literary Flits – book review of GIRL WITH A GUN / giveaway
Jan 18 – 
PuzzlePaws Blog – audiobook review of GIRL WITH A GUN / giveaway
Jan 19 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – audiobook review of PECCADILLO AT THE PALACE / giveaway
Jan 19 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review of GIRL WITH A GUN / giveaway
Jan 19 – History from a Woman’s Perspective – audiobook review of FOLLY AT THE FAIR
Jan 20 – My Bookish Bliss – audiobook review of FOLLY AT THE FAIR / giveaway
Jan 20 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review of SHOOT LIKE A GIRL / giveaway
Jan 21 – StoreyBook Reviews – book review of SHOOT LIKE A GIRL / giveaway
Jan 21 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – audiobook review of FOLLY AT THE FAIR / giveaway
Jan 21 – Faith And Books – audiobook review of GIRL WITH A GUN / giveaway
Jan 21 – Sefina Hawke’s Books – audiobook review of PECCADILLO AT THE PALACE
Jan 24 – Book Corner News and Reviews – book review of GIRL WITH A GUN / giveaway
Jan 24 – Sefina Hawke’s Books – audiobook review of FOLLY AT THE FAIR
Jan 25 – Book Corner News and Reviews – book review of SHOOT LIKE A GIRL / giveaway
Jan 25 – Splashes of Joy – audiobook review of PECCADILLO AT THE PALACE / giveaway
Jan 25 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review of PECCADILLOW AT THE PALACE / giveaway
Jan 26 – Dab of Darkness Audiobook Reviews – audiobook review of GIRL WITH A GUN / author interview / giveaway
Jan 26 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review of FOLLY AT THE FAIR / giveaway
Jan 26 – Chit Chat with Charity – audiobook review of GIRL WITH A GUN / author interview / giveaway
Jan 26 – Gina Rae Mitchell – book series spotlight / giveaway
Jan 27 – Deborah-Zenha Adams – book series spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Jan 27 – Dab of Darkness Audiobook Reviews – audiobook review of SHOOT LIKE A GIRL /  giveaway
Jan 27 – Literary Flits – book review of SHOOT LIKE A GIRL / giveaway
Jan 28 – Faith And Books – audiobook review of SHOOT LIKE A GIRL / giveaway
Jan 28 – Dab of Darkness Audiobook Reviews – audiobook review of PECCADILLO AT THE PALACE /  giveaway
Jan 28 – Books for Books – audiobook review of GIRL WITH A GUN
Jan 31 – Dab of Darkness Audiobook Reviews – audiobook review of FOLLY AT THE FAIR /  giveaway
Jan 31 – Books for Books – audiobook review of SHOOT LIKE A GIRL
Feb 1 – Buried Under Books – audiobook review of GIRL WITH A GUN / giveaway
Feb 1 – @twilight_reader – audiobook review of GIRL WITH A GUN
Feb 1 – Books for Books – audiobook review of PECCADILLO AT THE PALACE
Feb 2 – Chit Chat with Charity – audiobook review of SHOOT LIKE A GIRL / giveaway
Feb 2 – Adventurous Jessy -book review of GIRL WITH A GUN / giveaway
Feb 2 – @twilight_reader – audiobook review of SHOOT LIKE A GIRL
Feb 2 – Books for Books – audiobook review of FOLLY AT THE FAIR
Feb 2 – PuzzlePaws Blog – audiobook review of PECCADILLO AT THE PALACE / giveaway
Feb 3 – Westveil Publishing – audiobook review of GIRL WITH A GUN / giveaway
Feb 3 – Adventurous Jessy -book review of SHOOT LIKE A GIRL / giveaway
Feb 3 – @twilight_reader – audiobook review of PECCADILLO AT THE PALACE
Feb 4 – Splashes of Joy – audiobook review of FOLLY AT THE FAIR / giveaway
Feb 4 – Adventurous Jessy -book review of PECCADILLO AT THE PALACE / giveaway
Feb 4 – @twilight_reader – audiobook review of FOLLY AT THE FAIR


Enter the Giveaway:

 GIRL WITH A GUN (Annie Oakley Mystery) Audiobook Tour Giveaway