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Saturday, April 20, 2019

Blog Tour, Review, & Giveaway for Connect the Dots by Barbara Barrett

Connect the Dots (Mah Jongg Mysteries)  

by Barbara Barrett

About the Book

Cozy Mystery 3rd in Series 
Bowker (February 2, 2019)  
Paperback: 278 pages 
ISBN-10: 194853214X 
ISBN-13: 978-1948532143  
Digital ASIN: B07NCB5199
How could a thirty-something man fall to his death from a fourth-floor balcony he knows is defective? That’s the question freelance writer Micki Demetrius is asked to answer by the man’s grieving mother, Clarissa White, who refuses to believe his death was an unfortunate accident. But when the authorities determine it was homicide, Micki is shut out of her investigative efforts.
Giving up is easier said than done for Micki. She can’t resist a mystery, and suspicious characters won’t leave Clarissa alone, from the woman claiming a stake in the victim’s life to a cagey character who wants his business. As the threat to Clarissa grows, Micki feels compelled to help her in spite of the danger.
Micki’s three mah jongg pals—Sydney Bonner, Marianne Putnam and Katrina, Kat, Faulkner—are drawn into the mystery, but the retirees have their own challenges. Syd and husband Trip do grandparent duty while their daughter deals with marital issues. Marianne “finds herself” by writing a one-act play. And Kat must decide how public to go with her growing friendship with the sheriff. Together, they must connect the dots in a nefarious web of greed, neglect, secrecy and murder.
*I received a free copy of this book which I voluntarily chose to write an honest review for.
Welcome back to the world of Mah Jongg with Micki and her fabulous group of friends. We start with a thrilling game with the rare hand of Jokers which sets off a slew of events to follow. Clarissa bought a brand new condo which some how came with a whole list of flaws that her son ends up helping her get corrected. She asks Micki to look into it using her journalist eye as well. Just as they get started her son ends up dead after apparently falling from her defective balcony. What follows is a  creative blend of character perspectives which provides insight from all angles as they find small clues (or dots) which they later have to piece all together to create one big picture. I have to say that Barrett does a remarkable job of keeping the reader guessing as the story unfolds. The use of an older set of characters is quite nice as well for change. Perfect for fans of cozies. I really liked it so I give it 4/5 stars.

About the Author

Barbara Barrett started reading mysteries when she was pregnant with her first child to keep her mind off things like her changing body and food cravings. When she’d devoured as many Agatha Christies as she could find, she branched out to English village cozies and Ellery Queen.
Later, to avoid a midlife crisis, she began writing fiction at night when she wasn’t at her day job as a human resources analyst for Iowa State Government. After releasing eleven full-length romance novels and one novella, she returned to the cozy mystery genre, using one of her retirement pastimes, the game of mah jongg, as her inspiration. Not only has it been a great social outlet, it has also helped keep her mind active when not writing.
Bamboozled, the second book in her “Mah Jongg Mystery” series, features four friends who play mah jongg together and share otherwise in each other’s lives. None of the four is based on an actual person. Each is an amalgamation of several mah jongg friends with a lot of Barbara’s imagination thrown in for good measure. The four will continue to appear in future books in the series.
Anticipating the day when she would write her first mystery, she has been a member of the Mystery/Romantic Suspense chapter of Romance Writers of America for over a decade. She credits them with helping her hone her craft.
Barbara is married to the man she met her senior year of college. They have two grown children and eight grandchildren.

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