Saturday, October 24, 2020

Cozy Mystery Review: The Killer Outdoors, by Jodi Linton


The Killer Outdoors (A Southwest Exposure Mystery) by Jodi Linton

About The Killer Outdoors

The Killer Outdoors (A Southwest Exposure Mystery) 

Cozy Mystery 1st in Series  

Independently Published (October 5, 2020)  

Digital ASIN : B08C72CMSV 


Welcome to Bushwhack, New Mexico: home to tourists, the great outdoors, and murder...

Tourist season has hit Bushwhack and Andie Sullivan--owner of Sullivan's Adventure Company--is ready for her town to fill up with city slickers, snotty teens, and the dollars she needs to keep her business afloat after her messy divorce from Bucky Gunn--local celebrity rafting guide and Sullivan's main competition. With all her guided tours booked, it finally seems lady luck is on her side. 

But then Bucky is found dead. Not great.

And she's the prime murder suspect. Double not great.

Being framed for murder sucks worse than a rabid chipmunk bite. Andie's determined to clear her name, and this time her survival training skills won't be used to fetch an ice pack. But how long can she stay one step ahead of a killer before she becomes the final victim?

My Review:

Jodi Linton's new series opens with a plausible murder and an engaging heroine. Andie is reasonably strong and independent, without being perfect. I found her book a quick and pleasant read, with a decently-plotted mystery (though I admit I pegged the killer well before the end). At only 115 pages (according to my Kindle), it's definitely on the short-and-quick side, and doesn't have a lot of room t develop complexity.

Nonetheless, the story was enjoyable, and the setting was interesting, a bit out of the usual run of mysteries! The denouement had plenty of drama, if perhaps still leaving a bit too much to be explained after the dust (or whitewater) had settled. 

I thought the romance-to-mystery balance was good, with room left for a love story to develop in future books but a heroine who is focused first on her own life and her business, not on swooning over men. In the end, my main criticism was not with the story, which was enjoyable, but with a need for a little more careful editing, as there were word-choices that grated some on this word-nerd. Doubt most readers will be bothered!

My Recommendation:

A good vacation read, for times when you want a bit of distraction and not too much tension.

About Jodi Linton


 Hey Y’all, I’m just a girl from Texas, minus the big hair…and oh, yeah, a horse. My crew consists of two kiddos, one which inherited my makeup addiction, and a husband still living out his garage band dreams, but in our closet next to my shoe collection. I love to hang out with my readers, discussing books, recipes and just everyday shenanigans. I got started in the romance community, which you might know a few of my books from there. Now, I’m all about the cozies…and the coffee. Yeah, can’t forget that. I’d love for you to come join my reader group, Jodi’s Book Corner, or come like me on Facebook to discover my books. And chat. Naturally.  

Author Links  

Jodi's Book Corner:

Purchase Links - Amazon

 a Rafflecopter giveaway 


October 12 – I'm All About Books - SPOTLIGHT
October 12 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

October 13 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

October 14 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
October 15 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW

October 16 – I Read What You Write – SPOTLIGHT

October 17 – Baroness' Book Trove - CHARACTER INTERVIEW

October 18 – StoreyBook Reviews - REVIEW

October 18 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

October 19 – Socrates Book Reviews- SPOTLIGHT

October 20 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
October 21 - The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
October 21 - Elizabeth McKenna - Author – SPOTLIGHT

October 22 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

October 22 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

October 23 – Thoughts in Progress – SPOTLIGHT

October 23 – Christy's Cozy Corners – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

October 24 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
October 24 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW

October 25 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

October 25 – The Ninja Librarian – REVIEW

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FTC Disclosure: I received an ARC of Killer Outdoors from Great Escapes Free Book Tours, and received nothing further from the writer or publisher in exchange for my honest review.  The opinions expressed are my own and those of no one else.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."  

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

WEP: Grave Mistake

 It's time for the October WEP challenge, and after missing several this year, I'm back with a tentative offering. I couldn't do any of the horror-type stories that the prompt and badge suggest. It's humor, and I hope you all enjoy it as a sort of palate-cleanser after all the spooky stories out there this month. But be sure to pop on over to the WEP and check out the other stories in the hop!

As for me--I'm back on the road again, and will be reading the stories when and as I  can, probably continuing into next month. If you leave a comment I *will* get back to you. Just don't hold your breath, okay? I don't want to be responsible for anyone turning blue in the face.

686 words.


Grave Mistake

“It’s a lovely piece, don’t you think, dear?”

“Mmm, yes. Is that the one you want, then?”

“I’m not sure. This has a lovely color, and the fine grain would look well, I think.”

“WIll it do the job?”

“Well, any of them will be cold enough. And I presume we can get whatever size we want, so I think I mostly need the right look.”

“Right, Dear.”

The salesman spotted the well-dressed couple studying the marble samples, rubbed his hands together, and approached the shoppers with anticipation in his eye.

“Is Madam looking for a slab or a stone?”

“Oh, not a slab. We could never afford to do the whole thing in marble. But for an accent—yes, I think this would do nicely.” She laid her hand on a piece of fine-textured pink-tinted marble. “Can it be cut?”

“Of course. Madam has particular dimensions in mind?”

“Well, naturally.”

“And is this for yourselves, or...” The salesman let the question drift off into a vague query.

“Oh, it’s for me,” the woman laughed. “I’m really the only one who needs it, you know.”

“I see.” The salesman assumed a solemn expression, and murmured something about regrets. The woman, distracted by another marble slab, didn’t hear. Her companion did, and a faint hint of interest, the first he’d shown since entering the showroom, crossed his face. He opened his mouth to say something, then shut it.

“Allow me to get your specifics, then, Madam,” the salesman said in a hushed and respectful tone. “Would you be having it engraved now, or, ah, after?”

“Engraved?” The woman appeared startled. Her companion pulled out a large handkerchief and blew his nose noisily. She gave him a dirty look.

“It is customary, my dear,” the man said, when he had his sinuses under control. He appeared to suffer from a curious tic that kept his mouth twitching.

“Oh, of course,” she said, not looking at all as thought it was “of course.” “What do you think would be best, dear? Dates? Some kind of wise or witty saying?”

“The dates, of course,” the salesman put in. He pulled a notebook from one pocket, a gold pen from another. “I’ll just note it down. Date of birth?”

“Oh!” The woman looked confused. “I don’t think that’s relevant. I was thinking more like, ‘Blessed be all that springs from this slab.”

Her husband considered that. “How about, ‘What is laid out on this stone will rise in the flames?’”

“Oh, that’s perfect,” his wife exclaimed. “It captures the spirit exactly!”

The salesman appeared ill. He had turned pale, and beads of sweat glistened on his face. “Are you quite certain?” He asked faintly.

“Of course we are,” the woman said.

Her husband said, “Engraved on the unpolished side, of course.”

“Oh, of course.” The salesman really didn’t seem to know what he was saying. His head was spinning. He collected the relevant billing information from the couple, and saw them to the door.

“Oh,” the woman added before they left. “How soon can you have that ready?”

“Um, we work quickly. Is Madam expecting to need it soon?”

“Oh, yes,” she said happily. “By the end of next week, if everything goes well, don’t you think, dear?”

“Rather. I’ll arrange to have the contractor pick it up.”

The salesman, thinking that rather a strange way to to speak of the usual sort who picked up his stones, headed to his office. He needed a drink.

Outside, the sleek black Audi pulled out of the parking lot. The wife, driving, was absorbed by the need to find a gap in traffic, and her thoughts about finally winning the prize for the best pie crust once she had her marble slab in place in the kitchen they were remodeling. Only her husband could spare the attention to the elegant sign for Simmon’s Granite and Marble, and to see the part of the sign they hadn’t noticed on the way in, perhaps because someone had bumped it with a truck and knocked it askew.

The part that read, “Headstones and Monuments.”    


All images and text ©Rebecca M. Douglass, unless otherwise indicated.
As always, please ask permission to use any photos or text. Link-backs appreciated!

Check out the other entries in the hop!

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Photo Friday: Playing the Slots... in Utah??

 What's that you say? You're pretty sure slots are illegal in Utah? Well, not the kind I like! In fact, they thrive there, and in September I had some fun playing them. Well, okay, playing *in* them. Here's a bit of a photo essay from the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, some of the most amazing landscape on earth (which, not to get too political, is under grave threat from the people currently in charge in DC).

The expansive Navajo Sandstone of the Calf Creek wilderness

Approach to Coyote Wash

Now for some fun with slots!

On the approach to Zebra Gulch

The author in Zebra Gulch. Photo thanks to Zebra Guy, the nice hiker who coached me through and shared the photos!

Zebra Gulch turned very wet and challenging. This final photo is about the point where I turned around and stowed my camera on dry ground!

My hiking companion chest-deep. The water got more like neck-deep on us before we got through!

So there you have it--My idea of slots worth playing with--and protecting.

 Now, back to enjoying the wilds of Maine :)


All images and text ©Rebecca M. Douglass, unless otherwise indicated.
As always, please ask permission to use any photos or text. Link-backs appreciated!