Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sunday Salon: Highlighting Books

It’s time again for Sunday Salon where we reach for that smoothing cup of coffee (tea or other favorite beverage), get comfortable and discuss the books we’ve read recently.

I must confess I haven’t read as much as I should have or wanted to. I’m trying to finish a baby blanket I’m crocheting. Because of this I find myself settling in with a bundle of yarn at night rather than a good book.

There are so many wonderful books that have been released this month. Since I don’t have reviews to share today, I thought I’d highlight several books that are in my TBR stack. In addition, I have a book giveaway to share.


This is the third installment in the Talk Radio Mystery set in Florida. A phony psychic comes to town and makes life difficult for Psychologist Maggie Walsh.

Madame Chantel claims to be able to talk to the dead. One of her ghostly chats results in two beloved old ladies being murdered. Meanwhile, Cypress Grove is gearing up for a celebration where the mayor is planning to unearth a time capsule dating back fifty years and WYME is promoting the event.

Maggie wonders if the contents of the time capsule could somehow be connected with the mysterious murders? People are dying to know what’s inside the capsule. Yes, literally dying! Stay tuned...

Stay Tuned for Murder by Mary Kennedy, A Talk Radio Mystery, Obsidian, @2011, ISBN: 978-0-451-23235-9, Paperback, 320 pages


This is the fourth installment in the White House Chef Mystery. Who ever thought cooking is boring has never meet White House executive chef Olivia Paras.

There’s a new First Family in the White House and executive chef can’t afford to make any mistakes. A box of take-out chicken mysteriously shows up for the First Family’s two young children. Refusing to serve the chicken to the children, Olivia gets the cold shoulder from the First Lady. When the chicken turns out to be poisoned, Olivia realizes the youngsters are targets. But are Olivia’s days numbered as executive chef when the First Lady brings the family’s personal chef to the White House to cook for them?

An added bonus is a selection of recipes for a complete presidential menu, as well as a number of kid-friendly recipes.

Buffalo West Wing by Julie Hyzy, A White House Chef Mystery, Berkley Prime Crime, @2011, ISBN: 978-0-425-23923-0, Paperback, 320 pages


This is the second installment in the Cupcake Bakery Mystery series and just in time for Valentine’s Day.

Melanie Cooper and Angie DeLaura’s Fairy Tale Cupcakes Bakery is gearing up for Valentine’s Day. However, Baxter Malloy has been murdered on his first date with Mel’s mother and now she’s a suspect. Mel and Angie need to find time around frosting to dig into the man’s shady past and discover who served him his just desserts.

An added bonus is a selection of cupcake recipes and a preview of the next Cupcake Bakery Mystery, DEATH BY THE DOZEN.

Buttercream Bump Off by Jenn McKinlay, A Cupcake Bakery Mystery, Berkley Prime Crime, @2011, ISBN: 978-0-425-23924-7, Paperback, 24o pages

GHOULS, GHOULS, GHOULS by Victoria Laurie

This is the fifth installment in the Ghost Hunter Mystery series.

When M.J. Holliday and the crew of her cable TV show, Ghoul Getters, venture to the haunted ruins of Dunlow Castle in Ireland, drawn by the legend of hidden treasure, they hope the road will rise up to meet them, that the wind will always be at their backs—and that the resident phantom won’t push them off a cliff.

Dunlow Castle has more spooks than turrets, including the long-dead lord in all his ghostly greediness, but they pale in comparison to the phantom. If they treasure their lives, M.J. and her ghost busters need to get the drop on the menacing phantom before they plunge headfirst into one cliff-hanger of an ending.

Readers also get a sneak peek at the next Ghost Hunter Mystery, GHOUL INTERRUPTED.

Ghouls, Ghouls, Ghouls by Victoria Laurie, A Ghost Hunter Mystery, Obsidian, @2011, ISBN: 978-0-451-23197-0, Paperback, 352 pages

FTC Full Disclosure - These four books were sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review them. However, receiving the complimentary copies did not influence this posting about them.

These are just a few of the many wonderful books released this month. There’s sure to be something that will peak your interest.

With talk of these recent releases, I have a giveaway of a 256-page
hardcover book that won’t be released until Feb. 25. Thanks to Brianne and the folks at Hachette Book Group, I have 3 copies of DEATH OF A CHIMNEY SWEEP (ISBN: 9780446547390) by M.C. Beaton to giveaway.

In the south of Scotland, residents get their chimneys vacuum-cleaned. But in the isolated villages in the very north of Scotland, the villagers rely on the services of the itinerant sweep, Pete Ray, and his old-fashioned brushes. Pete is always able to find work in the Scottish highlands, until one day when Police Constable Hamish Macbeth notices blood dripping onto the floor of a villager's fireplace, and a dead body stuffed inside the chimney. The entire town of Lochdubh is certain Pete is the culprit, but Hamish doesn't believe that the affable chimney sweep is capable of committing murder. Then Pete's body is found on the Scottish moors, and the mystery deepens. Once again, it's up to Hamish to discover who's responsible for the dirty deed--and this time, the murderer may be closer than he realizes.

Now for the giveaway guidelines. To enter, send me an e-mail ( Your subject line should read, “Win Death of a Chimney Sweep.” Your message should include your name and mailing address. The contest is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada only and no post office box addresses can be accepted. In addition, Hachette is advising winners that they will be subject to the one copy per household rule, which means that if they win the same title in two or more contests, they will receive only one copy of the title (or one set in the case of grouped giveaways) in the mail. (Winners here have always be great about letting me know if they have already won the book somewhere else so another winner can be selected. However, this announcement is something that has to be passed along from Hachette). And, just so you know, I don’t share the mailing information or use it for any other purpose. Remember, I have 3 copies of DEATH OF A CHIMNEY SWEEP to giveaway. The deadline to enter is 8 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 25.


  1. How the heck have I never heard of the Cupcake Bakery Mystery series. What with my cake fetish, I try to stay on top of these things but somehow this passed under my radar. Thanks for bringing it to my attention, Mason!


  2. Nice to know about these mystery series that I've not read, except for my favorite, M.C. Beaton.

    Yes, I will enter your giveaway contest for her book! Please stop by as I also have two book giveaways going!

    Book Surprises

  3. Oh no, contest not open to residents living in NZ!

    Oh well, I guess I'll just have to purchase it the old fashioned way :)

    I always enjoy your wrap-ups Mason.

  4. I see you love cozy mysteries, me too! Thanks for the recent posts about the Cozy's.

  5. These were all greats reads.

    I would love to see a picture of the baby blanket you're working on.

  6. I think that buttercream book seems the most interesting to me, or is it the most tasty? :)

  7. Mason - Thanks so much for highlighting these books :-). I am eager to read the Julie Hyzy book, and I think you will really like the M.C. Beaton. Have a great week!

  8. Think I will get into the Talk Radio books this Spring.
    I will definitely enter the Hamish giveaway.
    Great spending Sundays with you.

  9. Lots of good suggestions, I like the look of Buttercream Bump Off. Cute title, cute storyline :)

  10. Love Sunday Salon!
    I'm sitting here in my jammies with fluffy pillows at my back. A cup of coffee and Laura Lippman's newest - "The Girl in the Green Raincoat."
    Not surprising to see that we have a couple of the same books in our stack, Mason.
    And thank you for the heads up for the others!
    Enjoy your crocheting - winter is the most fun time to do a bit of crocheting and/or knitting, I think.

  11. Jai, glad I could help. The cupcake series is so cute and the book is filled with wonderful cupcake recipes.

    Harvee, that's one of the things I love about Sunday Salon. When I visit other blogs (like yours) I found such wonderful books I didn't know about. I'll drop by to check out your giveaway.

    Wendy, I keep hoping one of these days I'll find a giveaway that is open internationally.

    Anglers, nice to meet you. Yes, cozy mysteries are one of my favorite genres. They're my 'comfort' book to go to.

    Dru, I'll have to see what I can do about a photo of the blanket. My biggest problem with it now is I keep changing the border.

    Dez, Buttercream Bump Off does sound yummy and the cover looks delicious.

    Margot, I think you'll like Julie's book. Olivia is one of my favorite protagonist. This will be my first M.C. Beaton's book.

    Mary, enjoy spending Sunday with you too. You'll get a laugh out of Mary Kennedy's book.

    Joanne, the cupcake series is so cute. I had never associated cupcake and murder before, just never know. :)

    Kaye, I've heard interesting things about Laura Lippman's 'The Girl in the Green Raincoat.' Winter does seem to be the perfect time for crocheting and knitting.

    Alex, I always love the covers of books from the Berkley Prime Crime group.

  12. Victoria Laurie's already on the fifth book in the Ghost Hunger series? I haven't yet read the first one! I feel so behind. I'm no familiar with Mary Kennedy's series but it sure sounds like a good one. I'll have to look for it.

    Have a great week!

  13. These all sound really good! I've decided not to enter contests when books can't go to P.O. "street" mailbox is way too unreliable!

    Thanks for sharing about this books, and for stopping by my blog.

  14. Okay, I should have read my comment before posting...I meant to say "thanks for sharing about these books." LOL

  15. Hi Mason .. there's certainly a good mix there .. murder, White House, chefs and cupcakes - do they go together? Finally the Ghouls .. not at all sure about those & am glad I'm in England ..

    Enjoy your reading though .. Hilary

  16. I just finished reading "A Thousand Splendid Suns" - a fantastic book by the author of Kiting Flying.

    I love those cooking mysteries.

    Please enter my name in the contest.

    pboylecharley AT hotmail DOT com

  17. I just finished reading "A Thousand Splendid Suns" - a fantastic book by the author of Kiting Flying.

    I love those cooking mysteries.

    Please enter my name in the contest.

    pboylecharley AT hotmail DOT com

  18. Buffulo West Wing has promise. And a catchy title too. And smart adding the bonus menus to the book. Hope they;'re not poisonous.


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.