Friday, May 19, 2023

Great Escapes Blog Tour, Review, and Giveaway: Earl Grey and Shallow Graves by Victoria Tait

Today I'm participating in the Earl Grey and Shallow Graves Blog Tour. In this post you'll find book and author information along with my review.  And be sure to enter the giveaway below. 


About the book . . .

Earl Grey and Shallow Graves: A British…

Earl Grey and Shallow Graves (A Waterwheel Cafe Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – England
Kanga Press (May 19, 2023)
Number of Pages: 240
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0BXQL5YS5 

GoodReads Page 


Synopsis . . . A 30-year-old skeleton. A missing girl. Can a community police officer read the tea leaves or will a deadly secret remain buried for ever?

Sergeant Keya Varma is delighted with her new part-time role as the Cotswolds’ Rural Engagement Officer. She’s also fulfilling her dream of opening a small neighbourhood café. But she gets herself into a stew with renovation works when builders unearth a young girl’s remains.

While Keya and her police colleagues gain ground reviewing the unsolved disappearance of a local girl, her brief taste of success turns to dust when a friend is found dead at her tea shop. Confusion over identities threatens to bury the investigation and our junior police officer is worried that justice won’t be served.

Can Keya dig into the mystery and uncover the real culprit?

Earl Grey and Shallow Graves is the first book in The Waterwheel Café series. If you’ve enjoyed the Dotty Sayers Antique Mystery series, then you’ll love meeting some of your favourite characters and making new friends in Victoria Tait’s intriguing British cozy mystery.


My review . . .Sergeant Keya Varma of the Gloucester Police is used to dealing with minor incidents while maintaining a reassuring police presence in her placid Cotswold village. All that changes, however, with the discovery of a skeleton on the site of the old flour mill that Keya is renovating into the long-awaited cafe of her dreams . . . 

It seems fairly obvious to residents that the remains are those of a young girl who disappeared without a trace some thirty-odd years ago. But how did she die? Not long after an investigation is opened, the body of a woman who recently returned to the village after years away is found--also at the cafe construction site. Both victims--once childhood friends--were murdered. Are their deaths related? Why were they killed and who is responsible for these shocking acts?

Earl Grey and Shallow Graves is an appealing start to the Waterwheel Cafe cozy mystery series. The story features a complexly interesting plot that weaves together two murders set three decades apart and a dynamic, methodical protagonist who is up to the task of handling the investigation's many twists and turns in stride--all whilst gracefully managing the complicated demands of a major restoration project and an upcoming family wedding.

Spending time in Victoria Tait's quaint English setting with its likeable heroine, eccentric supporting characters, local social landmarks, and endless cups of tea is a delightful reading experience. And, best of all, Keya's life situation creates a keen interest in her future exploits and many directions for series growth. I look forward to what lies ahead in the next installment and beyond.

Giveaway . . . Enter the "Fabulous at 50" giveaway by clicking on this link.  It's your chance to win Earl Grey and Shallow Graves and The Ghost of Glengullion Castle plus a $20 Amazon Gift Card.

Bonus: Download free books and earn extra entries!


About the author . . .   Victoria Tait was born and raised in Yorkshire, UK, and never expected to travel the world. She's drawn on her experiences following her military husband to write cozy murder mystery books with vivid and evocative settings. Her determined female sleuths are joined by colourful but realistic teams of helpers, and you’ll experience surprises, humour, and sometimes, a tug on your heartstrings.

After reading Keya’s first book, why not join her and her friends as they solve more mysteries in Tait's  Dotty Sayers Antique Mystery series, also based in the Cotswolds?  Visit

And if you like tea, cakes, and books, you are invited to join the author's TeaCozy Club for regular news and updates. You'll also receive a free book gift by visiting

Who doesn’t like tea, cake, and a slice of murder?


Author links . . .


Book Bub:





Purchase link . . .  Amazon


Blog Tours 


Tour participants . . .

May 19 – Angel’s Guilty Pleasures – SPOTLIGHT

May 19 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

May 19 – Book Club Librarian – REVIEW

May 19 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT

May 20 – Reading Is My SuperPower – AUTHOR GUEST POST

May 20 – Indie Author Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT


May 21 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT

May 22 – Baroness Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT

May 22 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – CHARACTER GUEST POST

May 22 – Nadaness In Motion – REVIEW*

May 23 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

May 23 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW  

May 23 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT

May 24 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

May 24 – CelticLady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

May 24 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

May 25 – Novels Alive – REVIEW

May 25 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

May 25 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

May 26 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT

May 26 – Jane Reads – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

May 27 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT

May 27 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee – SPOTLIGHT

May 28 – Guatemala Paula Loves to Read – REVIEW

May 28 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT



Note . . . I received a complimentary copy of Earl Grey and Shallow Graves from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

This Blog Tour, Review, and Giveaway post was originally composed and/or compiled and published by Catherine for the Book Club Librarian blog. It cannot be republished without attribution.





Thursday, May 4, 2023

Friday Focus: Bookish Memes to Start the Weekend




It's Friday . . . time to share book excerpts with:

  • Book Beginnings on Fridays hosted by Rose City Reader, where bloggers share the first sentence or more of a current read, as well as initial thoughts about the sentence(s), impressions of the book, or anything else that the opening inspires.  
  • The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice, where you grab a book and turn to page 56 (or 56% of an eBook), find one or more interesting sentences (no spoilers), and post them.
  • First Line Friday hosted by Reading Is My SuperPower


Today I'm featuring a current read, Where Are The Children Now? by Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke. The excerpts shared are from a hardcover version borrowed from the library.




Book Beginning/First Line:  Prologue

She could feel the damp evening winds coming in through the cracks around the windowpanes.


Page 56:  "Or 'Helen'"--she made air quotes with her fingers--"made up the whole story and is a lying scoundrel hiding out with his mistress for a few weeks."


My thoughts:  If you've ever read a Mary Higgins Clark novel, you know that even the simplest opening sentence can send chills up one's spine. This book is the sequel to Where Are The Children?--a wildly popular read when it was first published decades ago--a book that established MHC as the queen of suspense. After all these years, it is nice to revisit with the characters from the original story, who once again find themselves in a perilous situation.


From GoodReads:  The legacy of the “Queen of Suspense” continues with the highly anticipated follow-up to Mary Higgins Clark’s iconic novel Where Are The Children?, featuring the children of Nancy Harmon, facing peril once again as adults.

Of the fifty-six bestsellers the “Queen of Suspense” Mary Higgins Clark published in her lifetime,
Where Are the Children? was her biggest, selling millions of copies and forever transforming the genre of suspense fiction. In that story, a young California mother named Nancy Harmon was convicted of murdering her two children. Though released on a technicality, she was abandoned by her husband and became such a pariah in the media that she was forced to move across the country to Cape Cod, change her identity and appearance, and start a new life. Years later her two children from a second marriage, Mike and Melissa, would go missing, and Nancy yet again became the prime suspect—but this time, Nancy was able to confront the secrets buried in her past and rescue her kids from a dangerous predator.

Now, more than four decades since readers first met Nancy and her children, comes the thrilling sequel to the groundbreaking book that set the stage for future generations of psychological suspense novels. A lawyer turned successful podcaster, Melissa has recently married a man whose first wife died tragically, leaving him and their young daughter, Riley, behind. While Melissa and her brother, Mike, help their mom, Nancy, relocate from Cape Cod to the equally idyllic Hamptons, Melissa’s new stepdaughter goes missing. Drawing on the experience of their own abduction, Melissa and Mike race to find Riley to save her from the trauma they still struggle with—or worse.

Just like the original,
Where Are The Children Now? keeps readers guessing and holding their breath until the very last page.





This Friday Focus: Bookish Memes to Start the Weekend post was originally composed and/or compiled and published by Catherine for the blog, It cannot be republished without attribution.