Tag Archives: Krista Davis

The Diva Wraps It Up by Krista Davis

The Diva Wraps it UpThe Diva Wraps It Up by Krista Davis is the eighth book in the “Domestic Diva” mystery series. Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime, June 2014

The holidays are domestic diva Sophie Winston’s favorite time of year. But this season, there seem to be more mishaps than mistletoe. First, Horace Scroggins tumbles from a balcony during his office Christmas party. Then, Sophie’s neighbor takes a fall from his ladder while decorating his roof with lights. But it’s the cookie swap that really starts her wondering who’s naughty or nice.

Sophie arrives at the annual event with high spirits and thirteen dozen chocolate-drizzled gingersnaps. But when an argument erupts and a murder ensues, it becomes clear that the recent string of events is anything but accidental. Now Sophie has to make a list of suspects…and check it twice!

I truly love this series and I’m so happy at the adventures the author takes me on with Sophie, Nina, Natasha and Mars. In this light fare secret lies causes havoc on neighbors when, once again, Sophie finds a dead body. . . in Natasha’s garage. With a list long of suspects, the author presents some twists and turns with the biggest surprise coming with the method of demise. Bravo and a job well done by the author. Krista keeps this series fresh and it’s always a pleasure to visit Old Town, Virginia. This is a well written whodunit that was both engaging and entertaining and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for Sophie and her friends in this delightfully charming series.

A Winter Day in the Life of Sophie Winston by Krista Davis

The Diva Wraps it UpThe colonial charm of Old Town Alexandria, Virginia is always special. The stately, historic homes are lovely in every season, but when snow begins to fall, Christmas wreaths appear on doors, and candles light the windows at night, it’s almost magical.

I rose to a lazy snowfall this morning. Not enough to accumulate, just enough to put me in the holiday spirit. No sooner did I pour hot water into my French coffee press, than Nina Reid Norwood, my best friend and across the street neighbor, appeared at the kitchen door. I lit a small fire in the kitchen fireplace. My Ocicat, Mochie, curled up on a chair by the fire while Nina and I lingered over French toast spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg, and topped with hot apples sautéed in butter and dark brown sugar.

Although I longed to dive into decorating my house for Christmas, that project had to take a backseat to Horace Scroggins’s Christmas party, which always kicked off the holiday season in Old Town. Horace reminded me of Santa Claus, with pink cheeks, white hair, a little round belly, and a smile for everyone. He had talked me into organizing the party for him. The employees of his real estate company delighted in decorating a huge tree in their two-story foyer. Ruby red poinsettias and Scottish tartan ribbons brought holiday spirit to his elegant office building. Horace spared no expense in entertaining his clients and neighbors. The menu included delicacies like oysters on the half shell and caramelized pears with foie gras. Most of my neighbors would be in attendance. It was always a special event.

I spent the morning and early afternoon taking care of details. The carolers were coming and the caterer was on schedule. I made a quick trip to Horace’s office to be sure the buffet tables and extra chairs were in place. Everything looked perfect.

I hurried the few blocks home, showered and changed into a sleeveless red velvet dress with a V-neck, musing about the fact that velvet made me feel like the Christmas season had finally arrived. I pinned my hair up and added dangling earrings. Black sling-back shoes seemed appropriate. They had short heels in case I needed to dash through the halls.

For the next couple of hours, I tended to the party. The food smelled heavenly. The clove-studded oranges in the English Bishop punch made it look as delicious as it tasted. Nina arrived. Mars, my ex-husband, made it, and droves of our neighbors poured through the doors. Everyone appeared to be having a great time.

Checking my watch, I strode to the front door and peeked outside for the carolers. The snow had picked up just enough to be festive. In their traditional Victorian outfits, the carolers looked right at home on the colonial street. I swung open the door and stepped onto the sidewalk. The carolers burst into “Deck the Halls.”

Guests gathered at the door and the windows. Upstairs, Horace led a group out onto a small decorative balcony.

He didn’t look well. His rosy cheeks had gone white. Something wasn’t right. Horace leaned forward. The railing split with an enormous snap, and Horace plunged headlong onto the sidewalk, landing at the feet of the carolers.

You can read more about Sophie in The Diva Wraps It Up, the 8th book in the “Domestic Diva” mystery series, published by Berkley Prime Crime. The first book in the series is The Diva Runs Out of Thyme. Books are available at retail and online booksellers.

Comment on this post by 6 p.m. EST on June 30, and you will be entered for a chance to win a copy of THE DIVA WRAPS IT UP. One winner will be chosen at random. Unless specified, U.S. entries only.

Meet the author
Like her characters, Krista Davis has a soft spot for cats, dogs, and cupcakes. She lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with three dogs and two cats. The Diva Wraps It Up is the eighth book in her Domestic Diva Mystery series. Three of those books have been nominated for Agatha awards and three have made the New York Times Bestseller list. In December, The Ghost and Mrs Mewer, the second book in her Paws and Claws Mysteries will be published.

Visit Krista at Website | Facebook | Pinterest | Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen | Twitter | Killer Characters

Follow dru’s book musing on Facebook for posting about discounted books, giveaways and some of my reading musings.

Murder, She Barked by Krista Davis

Murder She BarkedMurder, She Barked by Krista Davis is the first book in the new “Paws & Claws” mystery series. Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime, December 2013

The Sugar Maple Inn in Wagtail, Virginia, is the country’s premiere vacation hot spot for pet owners who can’t bear to leave their furry friends behind. But this tourist town smells trouble when a killer goes on the prowl.

Holly Miller’s life has gone to the dogs. She has no job, her boyfriend’s former flame is sniffing around, and a scruffy but loveable Jack Russell Terrier is scattering crumbs all over her borrowed car. Just when she thought things couldn’t get worse, a troubling phone call about her grandmother sends her rushing home to the family inn on Wagtail Mountain.

The staff—and a frisky Calico kitten named Twinkletoes—adopts Holly and her new dog on arrival. But someone in this friendly town is bad to the bone. One of the employees at the inn has been killed in a hit-and-run accident—which is looking anything but accidental. Now Holly and her furry companions will have to nose out the murderer before someone else gets muzzled.

I love this book. It’s a great read that will have you quickly turning the pages to see what happens next. This action-filled book will have you rooting for Holly and her friends as they dig deep to find a killer within their reach. The mystery was well done as it kept me in suspense with the many twists and suspects that could have done it. It was fun trying to narrow the list of suspects down. The author did a good job in keeping this light and airy whodunit fresh, entertaining and engaging with banter between the characters that I enjoyed. Holly is a great heroine supported by a lovable and somewhat eccentric cast of character that includes Holmes, Zelda, Trixie and especially Oma. I love the concept of a town catering to pets and it’s a joy to see how wonderfully they all interact. I can’t wait to see more exciting adventures in Wagtail with Holly and her friends in this delightfully entertaining series.

Bonus recipes are included for both humans and our furry friends.

FTC Disclosure – The author sent me a copy of this book, in hopes I would review it.

previously posted on the Cozy Chicks blog

A Day in the Life of Holly Miller by Krista Davis

Murder She BarkedHave you ever gone through a bad patch? One of those times in your life when everything, just every single thing seems to spiral out of control?

It started with my job. I’m a fund-raiser, which is a great way to make a living. I won’t go into details, but I happened to discover that my boss was up to his ears in a breach of ethics. When I brought it to his attention, (nicely, I assure you!), he made it perfectly clear that he had no plans to do anything about it and the subject was closed.

Now, I’m really a very grounded person. I’m not prone to being dramatic or flighty, but I couldn’t continue working for a company that condoned something that was so wrong. I quit. Right then and there.

My boyfriend Ben is a lawyer. Cute, but definitely leans to nerdy. He’s driving me crazy by reminding me over and over that the smart thing to do is find a new job, then quit the old one. It’s too late for that, so does he have to keep telling me?

Today we drove down to his boss’s vineyard for a fancy dinner. On the way, Ben asked me not to talk about my employment issues. Okay, I understood, it was his night, and he wanted to impress his boss. But then he had to go and tell me that everyone would realize soon enough that I was persona non grata in the fundraising community. I guess I realized it on some level, but it’s depressing to contemplate going into another field.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, his boss’s daughter, Kim, latched onto Ben the moment we arrived. Honestly, I don’t think she was more than ten feet away from him the whole time. Her mother even examined my hand for an engagement ring and told me Ben had dated Kim. Huh? Like he couldn’t have warned me about that before he took me into enemy territory?

Just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse, I received a call from my grandmother’s best friend, telling me I’d better come right away. Ben loaned me his car (Kim is going to drive him home ¬– oh no!), and I drove for hours to the mountains in the pouring rain, nearly running out of gas.

Luckily, I found a gas station, but now I’m soaked. Wet wool – need I say more? When I opened the door, a little stray dog jumped into Ben’s car. She’s very sweet with darling eyes like a baby seal, but she’s been homeless for quite a while. Her fur is dirty and wet, and she, well, she stinks!

Ben’s perfect, pristine car now smells like a dirty dog, has drenched seats, and nacho cheese Doritos mashed into the coffee-stained carpet. It’s the middle of the night, and I’m driving up a twisting mountain road to see my beloved grandmother at the Sugar Maple Inn on Wagtail Mountain, scared to pieces about what might be wrong with her, and wondering how I’m going to sneak a dirty little dog into the inn. It can’t get worse – can it?

You can read more about Holly in Murder, She Barked, the first book in the new “Paws & Claws” mystery series, published by Berkley Prime Crime. Books are available at retail and online booksellers.

GIVEAWAY: Comment on this post by noon EST on December 4, and you will be entered to win a copy of Murder, She Barked. One winner will be chosen at random. bandana

As a bonus for our furry friends, Krista is giving away a Murder, She Barked bandana for one lucky dog or cat who leave a comment as well. If you send Krista a picture of your pet with the bandana on, she’ll post the picture on her website or on Pinterest and they will be part of the Murder She Barked street Crew. Unless specified, U.S. entries only.

Meet the author
Krista Davis’s new series for animal lovers debuts on December 3rd, with Murder, She Barked. Like her characters, Krista has a soft spot for cats, dogs, and cupcakes. She lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with three dogs, and two cats. The Diva Frosts a Cupcake is the seventh book in her Domestic Diva Mystery series. Three of those books have been nominated for Agatha awards and three have made the New York Times Bestseller list.

Visit Krista at Website | Facebook | Pinterest | Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen | Twitter | Killer Characters

Follow dru’s book musing on Facebook for book giveaways, contests, posting about discounted books and some of my reading musings.

The Diva Frosts a Cupcake by Krista Davis

Dvia Frost CupcakeThe Diva Frosts a Cupcake by Krista Davis is the 7th book in the “Domestic Diva” mystery series. Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime, June 2013

Revenge is sweet.

Sophie Winston and her BFF, Nina Reid Norwood, share a sweet spot for animals. So Sophie is delighted to help when Nina cooks up Cupcakes and Pupcakes—a fundraising event for animal shelters. All the local bakeries will be selling treats, with the profits going to pups and kitties in need. But Old Town is in for a whole batch of trouble when a cupcake war erupts between two bakeries.

Tongues wag and tempers rise when a partner leaves Sugar Baby Bakery and unveils her competing cupcakery, Sugar Mama, precisely as the fundraiser gets under way. Just as it seems nothing else can go wrong, Sugar Baby’s sole remaining employee is found dead. Suspicion falls on the feuding owners, but the scrumptious new guy in town is also raising some eyebrows. Now Sophie and Nina have to sift through the clues and discover who isn’t as sweet as they seem.

I always have a good time when I travel to Old Town, Virginia. This time Sophie is involved in cupcakes and murder and the prime suspect is a good friend of hers. This is one of those books that once I started, I could not put it down until I was finished and what a great read that I enjoyed. The author did a good job in delivery a mystery full of suspects that each time I thought I knew who was behind the murder; she changed direction that kept me guessing further. Sophie and the gang are back with the introduction of a new cast member who I hope we get to see more of. A solid entry into the Domestic Diva series, this well-written whodunit is charmingly entertaining.

A Day in the Life of Sophie Winston by Krista Davis

Dvia Frost CupcakeYou solve a few murders and everyone thinks you live a very exotic life. Seriously, I have a job like everyone else. I have a huge mortgage on the house from buying out my husband, so I can’t slack off. Of course, some people think being an event planner means I just sit around and party. If only that were true! Most of the time, my life is pretty quiet. Really!

My best friend and across-the-street neighbor, Nina Reid Norwood (she’s a southerner and you know how they like to use all three names), is a pushover for rescuing dogs and cats. Not that I blame her. I have a soft spot for them myself. Nina is also a huge fan of cupcakes. She came up with the notion of combining cupcakes with homeless animals and talked me into helping her with a special weekend-long fund-raising event called Cupcakes and Pupcakes. That weekend was anything but quiet or relaxing.

Cupcake bakers sold their yummy sweets, decorated with dog and cat themes, and pet boutiques sold rainbows of leashes and collars, beds, and toys. Most of the proceeds went to local rescue groups to save lives. It was really a great idea. There was even a black tie eight-course cupcake gala with an auction and voting on the best cupcake. Those tickets sold faster than salted caramel cupcakes!

On Friday morning that weekend, I did something I never do. I skipped breakfast. It seemed sort of silly to eat a bagel or a croissant when we were going to be surrounded by cupcakes. Isn’t a cupcake for breakfast the ultimate indulgence?

Nina was nervous. Not surprising since it was her first event. I seem to recall her saying to shoot her and put her out of her misery if she ever tried to do an event like that again. And that was before the trouble really started.

I went to pick up coffee for us and was accosted by a woman who was furious with me. Imagine. In public! And on an empty stomach, too. I had no idea why she was so upset with me, and to tell the truth, I couldn’t even place her at that moment. Don’t you hate those awkward situations?

Then the partners in a local cupcake bakery split up and started fighting like, well, like cats and dogs. And my friend, Humphrey, turned up with not one, but two women chasing him! That might not sound like much to you, but women usually run away from Humphrey, not after him! And then someone was murdered. I’m telling you, it just got worse by the minute.

I did meet a possible new flame, though. After what I went through with Wolf, I’m in no hurry to hook up with the wrong guy again. But let’s be honest ¬– move over George Clooney! This guy is so handsome that he makes my toes tingle. We didn’t meet under the best circumstances though.

You can read more about that crazy day in The Diva Frosts A Cupcake, which will be in stores June 4th!

Thanks to Penguin, I have one (1) copy of THE DIVA FROSTS A CUPCAKE to give away. Leave a comment to be included in the giveaway. The book will be shipped directly from the publisher. Contest ends June 9; US entries only per publisher’s request.diva

Bonus: I have two Domestic Diva T-shirts and one Domestic Diva tote bag up for grabs as well, courtesy of Krista.

Meet the author
Like her characters, Krista Davis has a soft spot for cats, dogs, and cupcakes. She lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with three dogs and two cats. The Diva Frosts a Cupcake is the seventh book in her Domestic Diva Mystery series. Three of those books have been nominated for Agatha awards and two have made the New York Times Bestseller list. In December, Krista’s new series, the Paws and Claws Mysteries, will debut with Murder, She Barked.

Krista blogs at Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen and Killer Characters.

Visit Krista at her website and keep up with her at Pinterest, Facebook and on Twitter.

A Day In The Life of Francie Vanderhoosen by Krista Davis

Thank you so much for inviting me, Dru. Iʼm quite stunned that anyone would be interested in a day in the life of Francie Vanderhoosen. Seems like senior citizens are invisible to most folks, so Iʼm thrilled to be here. My life is fairly quiet most days. I live in a historic townhouse in Old Town, Alexandria in Virginia. My dear, departed husband and I moved into this house when we were in our thirties, so that means Iʼve seen a lot in this neighborhood over the years. We were the original desperate housewives!

Iʼm Sophie Winstonʼs next door neighbor. What a stroke of luck it was when she moved in. That girl cooks and bakes like a dream and the best thing is that she shares! Once in a while, I get involved in her murder investigations. Dear heaven! They wear me out. People are certainly fascinating creatures.

Most days I have coffee and toast in the morning, then putter around out in the garden. Pretty boring stuff. But the scuttlebutt around town these days is all about Roscoe Greeneʼs wedding to his assistant. I met Roscoeʼs wife, Olive, ages ago at a plant exchange. My husband was an avid gardener, just like Olive. It wasnʼt long before we became fast friends.

Olive is the most unpretentious person in the world. She never bothered with makeup, except maybe a little slash of lipstick for a fancy occasion. Even though she and Roscoe were wealthy, they were never flashy about it. Well, you can imagine how shocked she was when Roscoe ditched her for his young assistant after forty plus years of marriage. Iʼm still disappointed in him. What was that old goat thinking?

Fortunately, Olive landed on her feet — mostly. Iʼm going house hunting with her today. The only thing she cares about is enough acreage to start a fabulous garden. Iʼm not sure which hurt her more, being dumped by Roscoe, or leaving the beautiful gardens she had tended so lovingly.

The wicked interloper has arranged for an away wedding. I hear thatʼs all the rage. In my day, you bought a dress and walked down the aisle. But, no! The aisle in question had to be in Ireland. Iʼm treating Olive to a trip to the gardens at Winterthur on the day of the wedding to take her mind off of it. Itʼs one of those little old lady bus tours up to Delaware. Weʼll have a blast, and we donʼt have to do the driving.

Iʼm not sure how much it will help, though, since the slights continue. Olive wasnʼt even invited to the annual family picnic and open house — like sheʼs some kind of pariah! Now Olive is a very gracious woman. Sheʼs kind and giving, and loves her son more than anything else in the world, but sheʼs no pushover. Olive and I might have gone gray, and thereʼs no wrinkle cream that could make us look like that Jolie woman, but the challenges in life give a person backbone. We might not jog anymore, but weʼve got mettle and moxie. Never mess with little old ladies!

They say hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Hehehe! I believe that little golddigger is about to feel some fury.

** Thanks to the publisher, I have one (1) copy of THE DIVA DIGS UP THE DIRT to give away. Contest open to residents of the US only. Contest ends June 23. Leave a valid-email address with your comment. The book will be shipped directly from the publisher. **

I’m happy to announced that The Diva Digs Up The Dirt ranked Number 31 on The New York Times Bestseller’s list. Woo Hoo!

Meet the author
Krista Davis writes the Domestic Diva mystery series. THE DIVA DIGS UP THE DIRT will be released on June fifth. The Diva Runs Out of Thyme and The Diva Haunts the House were nominated for Agatha awards. Krista lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with three dogs and two cats and is currently sampling recipes for The Diva Frosts a Cupcake — someone has to do it. Krista’s website is divamysteries.com and she blogs at mysteryloverskitchen.com and killercharacters.com.

Books are available at retail and online booksellers.

The Diva Digs Up The Dirt by Krista Davis

The Diva Digs Up The Dirt by Krista Davis is the sixth book in the “Domestic Diva” mystery series. Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime, June 2012

Trouble in spades

Determined not to be a garden-variety diva, Sophie Winston’s neighbor, Natasha, cultivates a plan to shine on television—using Sophie’s backyard. As the cast and crew of the makeover show Tear It Up With Troy bulldoze through her backyard—and vacation—Sophie retreats to her perennial boyfriend Wolf’s to replace a dead rose bush. But her tender deed goes awry when she digs up a purse belonging to Wolf’s missing wife.

As speculations sprout, Wolf bolts, and then a body crops up in a garden. Is Wolf’s thorny past raising a dead head? This is one case the domestic diva can’t let wither on the vine.

Doing a good deed at her boyfriend’s house leads to a discovery that takes Sophie on a journey with surprising results. What an exciting read that I could not put down. The twists and turns in this frantic paced mystery kept me both intrigued and guessing as the story moved towards a conclusion befitting the title of this wonderfully crafted novel. This series keeps getting better and better and I look forward to the new adventure that awaits them in this delightfully entertaining series.

The Diva Haunts The House by Krista Davis

The Diva Haunts The House by Krista Davis is the fifth book in the “Domestic Diva” mystery series. Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime (Penguin), September 2011

Domestic diva Sophie Winston is getting into the holiday spirit, and her decorations for a community haunted house are so good, it’s scary. Not to be outdone, rival domestic diva Natasha is throwing a spooktacular Halloween party at her house. But when Sophie arrives, she discovers one of Natasha’s guest dead in a hair-raising Halloween display, and a pale, fanged partygoer feeling the scene.

The cause of death is not immediately apparent, but the victim does have two puncture wounds on his neck. While Sophie’s boyfriend, homicide detective Wolf, investigates, rumors start flying faster than witches on broomsticks. Could the killer be a real vampire—the same one rumored to have lived in Sophie’s haunted house back when it was a boarding house! Good thing a domestic diva never runs out of garlic.

What a fun read where everything that could happen during Halloween, does. All Sophie wanted to do was present a spooky Haunted House for the community and celebrate her niece’s birthday, but instead she gets a dead body, talks of vampire, ghosts and things that go bump in the night. Weeding through all of this, Sophie had to contend with two rambunctious teenagers who hoped to see a spirit or two. With preparation of scrumptious meals interspersed with crime solving, this tale will have you wishing you were there with Sophie as she and her friends unwrapped a killer’s identity. This wonderful story boasts a well-carved mystery, a lovable cast of characters and a feel-good atmosphere in this charming and entertaining series that includes mouth-watering recipes.