Saturday, February 29, 2020

Sitting on a Fortune ~ Lone Star Book Blog Tours Review & Giveaway!

The Sisters, Texas Book 9 
Genre: Cozy Mystery / Romance / Women Sleuths
Publisher: Clear Creek Publishing
Date of Publication: February 11, 2020
Number of Pages: 228

Scroll down for giveaway!

Hidden fortune. Hidden danger.

Madison Reynolds deCordova is about to uncover a dangerous secret…literally.

During In a Pinch Professional Services’s latest gig at an upholstery shop, Madison finds a chair that’s perfect for her husband’s birthday gift. At least it will be, once she removes the worn velvet. Hiding the chair at Granny Bert’s, Madison tackles her first solo upholstery project but soon discovers more than she bargained for! A hidden treasure beneath the cushion puts her in the middle of a new mystery and new danger.

The treasure isn’t her only problem. While helping a young boy find his lost dog, Madison lands on the wrong side of surly businessman Lamont Andrews. Meanwhile, best friend Genny is worried about one of her café patrons. Mr. Pruett’s wild stories are getting wilder each day, and now he’s missing. Plus, there’s the matter of a troublesome new habit Maddy seems to have acquired: breaking and entering. It’s a harsh term for simply trying to rescue a dog and save an old man.

Somehow, she knows it all fits together. But what does a lost dog, a cluttered old barn, Mr. Pruett’s disappearance, and a hidden treasure have to do with her chair? Now someone is stalking her and her grandmother, and Madison knows that danger is on its way.

As always, The Sisters are full of fun, excitement, family antics, and more danger than the law allows!

HALL WAYS REVIEW: Texas author Becki Willis writes the most predictable, unpredictable cozy mysteries I have ever read. Sitting on a Fortune is book nine of the fabulous The Sisters, Texas Series, and readers who’ve read even one of the other books know this: we will always learn some new historical factoid(s); we can count on laughs and political rants from Granny Bert; something – be it by man or beast – will seriously tug at our heartstrings; and we’ll be feeling all sassy-pants that we have the mysteries solved right up until Willis throws a curveball (or five) and puts us in our place.

I started the series with book seven, then read one of the first five, then jumped to book eight before reading Sitting on a Fortune. I am quite proud of myself because as a reader who is typically a bit obsessive about reading series in order, this lack of sequencing is outside my comfort zone. However, I’ve become comfortable with skipping about in this series because Willis makes sure readers feel right at home in her books, no matter where you begin. It’s a real talent to tell just enough about the characters, their backgrounds, and their defining moments that a reader feels welcome; Willis has that talent in spades. Every book is welcoming with the perfect balance of enough information to make each story work for all readers and to pique their interest to go back and read or re-read prior installments.

The main premise of Sitting on a Fortune is a junker’s dream come true – well, other than the threats and danger that ensue after main character Maddy discovers treasure that’s been sewn into an old chair. Let the investigation begin! One of my favorite elements of the story is that, by design, the town’s graceful old library sits across the street from Maddy’s house, and Maddy regularly takes advantage of what it has to offer. I bring my own love of research and libraries to the scenes that Willis so deftly describes: the smell of the books, the look of the old furnishings, the order and organization of it all. These scenes remind readers that while the internet can be a great resource for research, sometimes real books, whose pages you feel and must flip through, have the best answers. At the same time, I got a chuckle out of Maddy’s ulterior motive for going to the library for another research trip because she had concerns about who might be tracking her own computer:

“Madison decided to walk over to the public library and contaminate their browsers instead of her own.”

While the plots and sub-plots and multiple stories are weaving their way around, what makes Sitting on a Fortune (and all the books in the series) shine is the characterization. These people feel real and familiar. Whether it’s that annoying nosy Nellie or that spunky senior citizen, readers know these small-town folks. At the same time, Becki Willis adds quirks that make the people endearing – or at least memorable – so that even in a wide cast of characters, there is no confusion between individuals. I got more than one giggle out of how Maddy talks out loud to herself and frequently gets caught doing it. And how every time her husband Brash appears, even in their own bedroom, it startles Maddy. I get you, Maddy.

Sitting on a Fortune satisfies on many levels, but it’s in the relationships between people and within a community that readers will be most gratified. That’s not to say everything is peachy in the relationships; true, the love is flowing at the deCordova house, but they are also surrounded by doses of envy, greed, and age-old grudges to keep things interesting. One of my favorite relationships is the friendship between Maddy and her best friend, Genny. The two of them manage to get themselves into all kinds of pickles, and at times they remind me of Lucy and Ethel with their antics. Yet, aside from the shenanigans, there is a real depth to their love and an unspoken understanding of each other that only comes between people who’ve weathered many storms together.

I highly recommend this series for cozy mystery lovers and for those who enjoy small-town settings and situations (no Uber?). Sitting on a Fortune has a neatly and quickly wrapped-up resolution, but careful readers will notice one loose thread that leaves a lingering question and just a hint of remaining danger. Happily, readers don’t have to wait long for book ten in the series to come out; Rose by Any Other Name is set for an August 2020 release. In the meantime, I’m going back to the first four books, which are now available on audio (YAYYYYYY), so I can get fully up-to-speed on the characters and their backstories. (For an excellent full series review, visit Reading by Moonlight blog.)

Thank you to Lone Star Book Blog Tours and to the author, who most generously supplied me an eBook ARC in exchange for my honest opinion – the only kind I give. 

Becki Willis, best known for her popular The Sisters, Texas Mystery Series and Forgotten Boxes, always dreamed of being an author. In November of '13, that dream became a reality. Since that time, she has published numerous books, won first place honors for Best Mystery Series, Best Suspense Fiction, Best Women’s Detective Fiction and Best Audio Book, won the 2018 RONE Award for Paranormal Fiction, and has introduced her imaginary friends to readers around the world.

An avid history buff, Becki likes to poke around in old places and learn about the past. Other addictions include reading, writing, junking, unraveling a good mystery, and coffee. She loves to travel, but believes coming home to her family and her Texas ranch is the best part of any trip. Becki is a member of the Association of Texas Authors, Writer’s League of Texas, Sisters in Crime, the National Association of Professional Women, and the Brazos Writers organization. She attended Texas A&M University and majored in Journalism.

Connect with Becki below. She loves to hear from readers and encourages feedback!

GRAND PRIZE: Kendra Scott necklace + eBook of Sitting on a Fortune
2nd Prize: Audio Codes for the first four The Sisters, Texas books

3rd Prize: Autographed paperback copy of Sitting on a Fortune
February 20-March 1, 2020
(U.S. Only) 

Full Series Review

   blog tour services provided by


Click for Hall Ways Review of Book #7, The Lilac Code

No comments:

Post a Comment