Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Back to the Burgh and Beyond (The Owl's Nest Mysteries) by C.S. McDonald (Review and Giveaway!)

C.S. McDonald’s first installment in her The Owl’s Nest Mysteries is a fun, intriguing, and delightful cozy mystery with fun characters—and a good mystery to boot.

Book Details:

Book Title: Back to the Burgh and Beyond (The Owl's Nest Mysteries)
Author: C.S. McDonald
​Category: Adult Fiction, 208 pages
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Publisher: McWriter Books
Release date: Sep 10, 2020
Tour dates: Nov 9 to Nov 20, 2020
Content Rating: G. C.S. McDonald's books are appropriate for YA readers as well as adults--no bad language or sexual content.

Book Description:

Meet Alexa Owl. She's returned home to Pittsburgh after a divorce to start a new life and a new business, The Owl’s Nest Couturier Shoppe. Much to her surprise, she's getting more than she ever bargained for: Detective Bobby Starr, and he's no ordinary sleuth. Bobby is an angel who's returned to Earth in hopes of earning his way into the Guardian Angel Squad. He's been sent by none other than Saint Pete to acquire Alexa’s help to solve three cold case murders he left behind. Except, here’s the catch: he’s only been allotted four days to solve the first case! How in heaven’s name is she supposed to do that? Alexa is a professional seamstress—not a detective. Bobby insists the only way to solve the first case is to return to 1953, and Alexa’s not in love with that idea at all!

Guest Review:
Reviewed by Lauren Carr

C.S. McDonald’s first installment in her The Owl’s Nest Mysteries is a fun, intriguing, and delightful cozy mystery with fun characters—and a good mystery to boot.

Usually, I have found that cozies have protagonists who are amateur detectives, who by their curious nature are drawn into solving mysteries which seem to fall into their lap. C.S. McDonald flips this premise. Her amateur detective, couturier Alexa Owl, is selected by none other than Saint Peter (that’s right! THE Saint Peter who mans the Pearly Gates) to help the ghost of Detective Bobby Starr solve his wife’s murder.

Alexa is not a detective. She’s not a mystery fan. As a matter of fact, she embarks on research to find out how do you go about solving a murder mystery. I found this concept quite refreshing.

There is also a bit of time travel back in the 1950’s, which is the time of the murder. I wasn’t quite sure what I would think about this. I’m not a big time travel fan. But C.S. McDonald pulled it off very well. A dressmaker, Alexa took great pleasure in commenting on Saint Pete (she called him Saint Pete instead of Peter) fashion sense. When making the time switch, she would appear fully dressed in the style of the period instead of naked, like most time travel books, or so I am told.

Also, C.S. McDonald did a good job of pointing out the differences and challenges of trying to solve a mystery set back in 1950. For example, the lack of cell phones. Angel Bobby Star darting about to keep from running into himself.

There are twists and turns and snappy dialogue that keep the story moving along at a brisk pace. I really enjoy that Alexa is likeable and the perfect balance of assertive and quick thinking without coming across as aggressive and obnoxious. Winnie, an elderly Irish-lady who helps Alexa in her shop will be a fan favorite for sure.

I truly loved this mystery and highly recommend that fans of cozy mysteries check it out. If you haven’t checked out C.S. McDonald yet, then do so. You won’t be sorry!

Disclosure: A special thanks to the author/publisher for a copy of this book. I was not required to write a positive review, the opinions here are mine alone. 

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Meet the Author: 

For twenty-six years C.S. McDonald’s life whirled around a song and a dance. Classically trained at Pittsburgh Ballet Theater School, The Pittsburgh Dance Alloy, and many others, she became a professional dancer and choreographer. During that time, she choreographed many musicals and an opera for the Pittsburgh Savoyards. In 2011 she retired from her dance career to write. Under her real name, Cindy McDonald, she writes murder-suspense and romantic suspense novels. In 2014 she added the pen name, C.S. McDonald, to write children’s books for her grandchildren. In 2016 she added the Fiona Quinn Mysteries to that expansion. She decided to write the cozy mystery series that everyone, including teens and tweens, can read and enjoy. 

Presently, the Fiona Quinn Mysteries nine books with a tenth slated for 2021. The books are also available on audio, narrated by Maren Swenson Waxenberg. Cindy’s newest venture is The Owl’s Nest Mysteries. Once again, she has set her cozy mystery in Pittsburgh. The female protagonist, Alexa Owl, is much different from Fiona Quinn. The Owl’s Next Mysteries has a little grit, a little time travel, a little romance, and a whole lot of cozy! Ms. McDonald resides on her Thoroughbred farm known as Fly by Night Stables near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with her husband, Bill, and her poorly behaved Cocker Spaniel, Allister.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

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Ends Nov 27, 2020

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