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Saturday, August 22, 2020

Blog Tour, Guest Post, Review, & Giveaway for Three Treats Too Many by Debra H. Goldstein

by Debra H. Goldstein

For years, cozy mysteries were described as featuring a female amateur sleuth solving crimes in a small town or confined environment in a manner that didn’t show blood, sex, bad words or guts on the page. Written in a light style, even if serious topics were mentioned, the protagonist usually cooked, baked, crafted, or owned a business where at least one of these things was done. The other commonly addressed elements were protecting immediate family members, creating an extended family from the at-large community; and taking actions because they seemed the right thing to do.
Recently, although mysteries in the genre continue to provide a sense of fun and distraction for readers, the formula has widened resulting in non-traditional protagonists and edgier novels. For example, when I set out to write a cozy mystery, I had no problem using a small Alabama town characterized by a white-steepled church and the fact that everyone pretty much knows everyone else. The difficulty was creating a credible protagonist. 

When I read any Goldy Schulz book by Diane Mott Davidson book or Hannah Swensen mystery by Joanne Fluke, I believe these characters can make each of the delectable recipes mentioned. Similarly, I don’t doubt the skill of the late Lea Wait’s Angie Curtis and the Mainely Needlepointers. Unfortunately, I don’t cook or bake. I’m also lousy at crafts. This was a dilemma for someone who wanted to write a cozy mystery until I realized there had to be readers out there who, like me, find cooking from scratch more frightening than murder. 

Consequently, I created Sarah Blair, a woman whose idea of good china is floral paper plates. Although the recipes in One Taste Too Many, including Jell-O in a Can, rely on pre-made ingredients, the other cozy elements, like protecting RahRah, her Siamese cat, from the woman who broke up her marriage, and finding the true killer when her twin sister, Emily, is accused of murdering Sarah’s ex-husband with a taste of Emily’s award winning rhubarb pie, are there. Similarly, in Two Bites Too Many, when the president of the town bank is murdered after icing Emily’s business plans and all eyes are on the one person who left the scene with blood on her hands – the twins’ sharp-tongued mother, Sarah collects the ingredients, while avoiding the kitchen, to bring the true culprit to justice.

Three Treats Too Many, the newest entry in the Sarah Blair series, opens with Sarah and the other owners of Southwind restaurant, tangled in red tape waiting for the Wheaton building inspector to come sign off on their new restaurant. He keeps delaying his final inspection, but he managed, two weeks earlier, to approve the establishment directly across the street from them that is run by none other than Sarah’s late ex-husband’s mistress, Jane. Jane’s Place also is farm to table, but it features delicious vegan dishes made by its sous chef, Riley. When Riley is found dead outside Jane’s Place with Sarah’s friend, Jacob, kneeling over her, Sarah must turn up the heat to discover the real culprit, who has no reservations about committing cold-blooded murder.

Since the Sarah Blair series debuted in January 2019, reviewers have said it is slightly edgier while still, as noted on Alabama Public Radio, demonstrating the humorous style of Anne George. Again, this was deliberate. I wanted to give the reader a fun read, but not to be bubble gum light. Rather, I wanted to emulate the more nuanced writing I’ve enjoyed in Carolyn Hart’s Death on Demand series, Libby Klein’s Poppy McAllister books, and Ellery Adams’ Secret, Book and Scone Society novels.
Writers like these are demonstrating an edgier stylistic evolution while continuing to incorporate character growth and whodunit plots that make readers salivate for their next book release. Why? Because from Agatha Christie to now, the cozy foundation remains solid – the reader becomes a welcome member of the extended family. That’s why cozies are the perfect beach, airplane, bathtub, or bedtime read.

About Three Treats Too Many

Cozy Mystery 3rd in Series  
Publisher: Kensington (August 25, 2020)  
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages 
 ISBN-10: 1496719492 
 ISBN-13: 978-1496719492  
Digital ASIN: B082WRV78G 
When a romantic rival opens a competing restaurant in small-town Wheaton, Alabama, Sarah Blair discovers murder is the specialty of the house . . .
For someone whose greatest culinary skill is ordering takeout, Sarah never expected to be co-owner of a restaurant. Even her Siamese cat, RahRah, seems to be looking at her differently. But while Sarah and her twin sister, Chef Emily, are tangled up in red tape waiting for the building inspector to get around to them, an attention-stealing new establishment—run by none other than Sarah's late ex-husband's mistress, Jane—is having its grand opening across the street.
Jane's new sous chef, Riley Miller, is the talk of Wheaton with her delicious vegan specialties. When Riley is found dead outside the restaurant with Sarah's friend, Jacob, kneeling over her, the former line cook—whose infatuation with Riley was no secret—becomes the prime suspect. Now Sarah must turn up the heat on the real culprit, who has no reservations about committing cold-blooded murder . . .
Includes quick and easy recipes!
*I received a free copy of this book which I voluntarily chose to write an honest review for.

I !just say this one starts with a bang. Sarah and her sister are waiting for the final inspection which would allow them to finally open their upscale restaurant in the big house. The inspector is dragging things out though which lets her rival Jane open her own fancy place across the street with a very talented sous chef. After several successful soft openings the big day has arrived with a buffet full of the new menu options for free. Tensions are high as pretty much everyone comes to try it. Then the new sous chef is found murdered out back leaving a whole slew of suspects. Sarah's friend is the main suspect though she doesn't believe he did it so she starts poking into things. This leads us on a merry adventure as she tries to figure things out. Add in the adorable pets and you get a cozy mystery you will not want to put down. A great read for fans of the genre. I really liked it so I give it 4/5 stars.

About Debra H. Goldstein

Judge Debra H. Goldstein writes Kensington’s Sarah Blair mystery series (One Taste Too Many, Two Bites Too Many, Three Treats Too Many). She also wrote Should Have Played Poker and IPPY winning Maze in Blue. Her short stories, including Anthony and Agatha nominated The Night They Burned Ms. Dixie’s Place and Derringer Finalist Pig Lickin’ Good, have appeared in numerous publications. Debra serves on the national boards of SinC and MWA and is president of SEMWA.
Author Links
Purchase Links - 

August 18 – I'm All About Books – SPOTLIGHT  
August 18 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf - GUEST POST  
August 19 – Maureen's Musings – SPOTLIGHT  
August 19 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT  
August 20 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE  
August 21 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – SPOTLIGHT  
August 22 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT  
August 22 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST  
August 23 – Christy's Cozy Corners – CHARACTER GUEST POST  
August 23 – Baroness' Book Trove – REVIEW  
August 24 – Gimme The Scoop Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE  
August 25 – Cozy Up With Kathy - REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST  
August 25 – Sneaky The Library Cat's Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW  
August 26 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT  
August 26 – My Journey Back – CHARACTER GUEST POST  
August 27 – Mysteries with Character – REVIEW  
August 27 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT  
August 28 – Elizabeth McKenna - Author – SPOTLIGHT  
August 29 – Jane Reads - GUEST POST  
August 29 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW  
August 30 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW  
August 31 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
 August 31 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW    


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1 comment:

  1. Funny you say that... the second book, Two Bites Too Many if featured on Bookbub today for $.99. Kensington has lower the price of Two Bites Too Many from August 21-24th... with Three Bites launching on August 25. Thanks for your suggestion and for enjoying the book.