Friday, July 12, 2019

Review: Out of Options: A Century Cottage Cozy Mysteries by Dianne Ascroft (Blog Tour/Tour-Wide Giveaway)

Out of Options:
A Century Cottage Cozy Mysteries
by Dianne Ascroft

About the Book

Out of Options: A Century Cottage Cozy Mysteries
Cozy Mystery
Prequel Novella
Independently Published (April 28, 2019)
Paperback: 126 pages
ISBN-10: 1096163373
ISBN-13: 978-1096163374
Digital ASIN: B07R4GQWQN

Out of Options is a prequel novella to the Century Cottage Cozy Mysteries series, and introduces Lois Stone and her companions, Raggs and Ribbons, a pair of perceptive calico cats.
A dry district, a shocking secret, a missing person. When Lois Stone’s friend, Beth Darrow, arranges to meet her to reveal an astonishing discovery, Lois’s curiosity is piqued. Then Beth doesn’t keep their lunch date and Lois becomes worried. What has happened to her friend?
Middle-aged widow Lois is settling into life on her own in her neighbourhood and in the library where she works, and she is just about coping with her fear of strangers after her husband was mugged and died in the park at the end of their street. But her quiet existence is rocked when her friend and fellow local historical society researcher, Beth, arranges to meet her to reveal an exciting and shocking discovery she has made about the history of prohibition in West Toronto Junction, the last dry area in Toronto, and then goes missing before she can share her secret with Lois. There isn’t any proof that Beth is missing so the police won’t actively search for her. Only Lois and Beth’s niece Amy are convinced that Beth’s disappearance is very out of character, and they are worried about her. Where has Beth gone? Is she in danger? And, if she is, who might want to harm her and why? Lois knows she must find the answers to these questions fast if she wants to help and protect her friend.
And so begins a weekend of skulking in the park, apple and cinnamon pancakes, familiar faces staring out of old newspapers, calico cats, shadows on the windowpane, and more than one person who might want Beth to disappear from the quiet, leafy streets of the historic and staunchly dry West Toronto Junction neighbourhood.

My Review

Lois Stone is very concerned when her friend Beth goes missing. Beth had planned to tell Lois all about a shocking historical discovery she made. It’s so unlike her to go missing without a word to anyone.

With the help of Beth’s niece, Amy, Lois is determined to find out what happened to her friend. The police aren’t taking them seriously so the women are on their own. They won’t stop until Beth is found safe and sound.

This is a quick, prequel to the Century Cottage Cozy Mystery Series. I loved Lois right away. She’s a middle-aged widow who lost her husband in an untimely fashion. She’s strong and she doesn’t back down.

I have to admit, I did suspect the culprit early on, but I enjoyed reading the hows and whys of the mystery. I’m looking forward to reading more in this series.

For reading challenges:
Craving for Cozies Reading Challenge 2019

Disclosure: I purchased a free copy of this book for my Kindle. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.

About the Author

Dianne Ascroft is a Torontonian who has settled in rural Northern Ireland. She and her husband live on a small farm with an assortment of strong-willed animals.

She is currently writing the Century Cottage Cozy Mysteries series. Out of Options is a prequel to the series.

Her previous fiction works include The Yankee Years series of novels and short reads, set in Northern Ireland during the Second World War; An Unbidden Visitor (a tale inspired by Fermanagh’s famous Coonian ghost); Dancing Shadows, Tramping Hooves: A Collection of Short Stories (contemporary tales), and an historical novel, Hitler and Mars Bars, which explores Operation Shamrock, a little known Irish Red Cross humanitarian endeavour.

Dianne writes both fiction and non-fiction. Her articles and short stories have been printed in Canadian and Irish magazines and newspapers. When she’s not writing, she enjoys walks in the countryside, evenings in front of her open fireplace and folk and traditional music.

Author Links 

Website: http://

Facebook page:

Twitter: @DianneAscroft


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  1. Thanks for your review, Yvonne. I appreciate you taking the time to read and review my novella.

  2. Thank you for your review on "Out of Options" by Dianne Ascroft and for being part of the book tour.

    Cute cover and great sounding book. I'd love the opportunity to read this book which is on my TBR list.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  3. Thanks so much for the chance to win your book. Love reading books about people my age!!,
    faithdcreech at gmail dot com

  4. I haven't read enough cozies lately. Glad you enjoyed!


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