Book Blog Tour & #Giveaway

Banner for Magnolia Bluff Crime Chronicles Full Series Book Blog Tour November 27-December 8,2023.
Book Reviews & Giveaways. Wordage is superimposed over a graveyard with granite crosses along the bottom. On the right Is a larger cross with the logo Welcome to Magnolia Bluff on it.

Seasons 1 & 2
The Underground Authors

Scroll down for a giveaway!

Each stand-alone book in this multi-author crime novel series is set in the fictitious, beautiful little Texas Hill Country town of Magnolia Bluff. Each author writes in their preferred sub-genre to allow readers to experience humor, dark dilemmas, suspense, romance, thrills, and spills — told through good storytelling that will keep readers awake past their bedtime, trying to find out whodunit.

Season three of The Magnolia Bluff Crime Chronicles begins in January 2024. Stay tuned!


Today, I’m featuring one of the books in this series. What a fun way to let folks know about this delightful set of stories all set in Magnolia Bluff and written by a talented group of writers.

When Bad Things Happen to Good Mice
Cindy Davis

Cozy Mystery / Paranormal
March 18, 2023
290 pages

Small banner with wordage: Synopsis
Book cover. Welcome to Magnolia Bluff logo on top. Title: When Bad Things Happen to Good Mice by Cindy Davis. On the right is a mouse peeking out of a mousehole,

Bliss is hauled back to Magnolia Bluff, Texas in a police car. Her boyfriend, with whom she broke up three months ago, has been found dead in the ashes of the Annual Celtic Faire bonfire. She was miles away when he died, but a witness, someone she considered a friend, said she was in town. And no one can prove otherwise.

Chief Jager is being pressured from all sides to not only solve the murder, but also the rash of petty thefts that have hit the small town. Could they somehow be related? Bliss thinks so, but the chief can’t let go of the idea she’s the killer.

When the body is identified as one of the contestants in the competition, and not Bliss’ ex, things take on an entirely new perspective.

Small banner with wordage: Review

Who wouldn’t want to read a story with a young woman protagonist who rides across part of the country on a motorcycle with a toucan on her shoulder.

Right away I liked Bliss. For her spirit, her self-confidence, and her carefree attitude about life. She’s happiest living in a tent on the outskirts of some town or deep in a wilderness with just her and her feathered friend, Diablo. Minus the bird and the bike, she reminded me of Jack Reacher. Like him, she’s a character with a strong sense of right and justice, going from place to place, without setting down roots, and finding herself in deep trouble every where she lands.

But that’s where the similarity ends. Bliss would need to bulk up a whole lot more to reach his stature, and Reacher would have to get a whole lot more amusing.

Seriously, I’m a great fan of the Reacher novels, and I couldn’t help but see that little bit of similarity between him and Bliss in parts of this story. They both have a good heart and the tenacity to stick with a mystery until it’s solved. They don’t walk away from the hard stuff.

When the book opens, we discover right away that Bliss isn’t a stranger to Magnolia Bluff, but when she rode out after her last time there, she thought she’d left it for good. But not so fast. When her ex boyfriend is found dead in the small Texas town, Bliss is hauled back by the chief of police, Tommy Jager, who is convinced Bliss killed the ex.

What ensues is a rollicking, at times funny, tale of murder and mayhem, with Bliss playing the starring role. One that she’d rather not when it comes to the distinct prospect of being in jail for a murder she didn’t commit. Her only hope is to help the police find the real killer, and she doesn’t hesitate to jump into the fray.

Cindy Davis has created a delightful protagonist in Bliss, who’s real name is Sambethe Ursula Watkins. Bliss walked away from that name, as well as her wealthy parents, in a desire to simplify her life, and her moniker. Eschewing any dependence on money is an important facet of her characterization, and part of what made me draw the comparison to Reacher, but the comparison ends there.

He doesn’t have song lyrics pop into his head at random times.

He doesn’t have a trusty sidekick named Diablo helping him.

He doesn’t talk to ghosts.

And ghosts don’t talk back to him.

Bliss does have all those elements in her life, and they work together perfectly to help her figure out the culprit of this mystery.

Merrick, a ghost left from a previous murder case she solved, is hanging around the inn where Bliss is staying once the Chief has decided not to put her in jail during the course of the murder investigation. Bliss and Merrick have several conversations that are helpful to her in sorting the clues while adding bits of humor, and there’s a scene with Tommy attempting to talk to the ghost that is absolutely laugh out loud funny.

The light touch of paranormal is just right, satisfying those readers who like that element in a story, as well as this reader who usually doesn’t. But Merrick, while thin in substance, is a fully-developed character, and one I liked almost as much as Bliss, and he provided much of the comedic moments that made me chuckle. The author did a fantastic job with the dialogue, knowing just when to slip in a funny line to help us believe in Merrick.

If you’re looking for a good mystery with a cast of unique characters, a touch of paranormal, some comedic moments to make you laugh, and a great thrill factor, then this is the book for you.

Small banner with wordage: About the Author
Author headshot: Smiling woman with blonde hair pulled back with sunglasses on top of her head.

Cindy Davis hails originally from the Northeast, but now calls Florida her permanent home. She is an avid reader, gardener, editor, author, psychic, and an awesome wife. 


Cindy Davis’s books on Goodreads (5 books) *** Website *** Amazon Author Page *** BookBub

Graphic: Giveaway Three Winners. Amazon Gift Card. Kindle ereader with: Welcome to Magnolia Bluff Logo and Magnolia Bluff Crime Chronicles. Beside it a stack of books with no titles.


1st: $25 Amazon gift card
2nd & 3rd: eBook bundles of first 18 books in the series
(US only; ends midnight, CST, 12/8/23)


or visit the blogs directly:

11/27/23Boys’ Mom Reads10 Million Ways to DieReview
11/27/23Reading by MoonlightDeath Wears a Crimson HatReview
11/27/23Hall WaysSeries Spotlight 
11/28/23The Plain-Spoken PenDeath in the Absence of RainReview
11/28/23StoreyBook ReviewsEulogy in Black and WhiteReview
11/28/23LSBBT BlogSeries Spotlight 
11/29/23Forgotten WindsThe Great Peanut Butter ConspiracyReview
11/29/23Carpe Diem ChroniclesOnly the Good Die YoungReview
11/29/23It’s Not All GravyWhen Bad Things Happen to Good MiceReview
11/30/23Rox Burkey BlogYou Won’t Know How. . .or WhenReview
12/01/23StoreyBook ReviewsThe Flower EnigmaReview
12/01/23Writing and MusicThe Killer EnigmaReview
12/02/23Reading by MoonlightMen Lying Dead in a FieldReview
12/02/23The Clueless GentThe Shine from a Girl in the LakeReview
12/03/23Jennie ReadsThe Dewey Decimal DilemmaReview
12/03/23Forgotten WindsThe Dog Gone Diamond DilemmaReview
12/04/23Chapter Break BlogJusticeReview
12/04/23The Plain-Spoken PenBye Baby ByeReview
12/05/23Shelf Life BlogTexas Summers are MurderSneak Peek
12/05/23The Book’s DelightBorn and Bred TexanReview
12/06/23It’s Not All GravyWho Killed Lilly Paine?Review
12/07/23Reading by MoonlightSecond ChancesReview
12/08/23The Page UnboundA Chance of a GhostSneak Peek
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15 thoughts on “Book Blog Tour & #Giveaway”

  1. Super review! Bliss and her toucan, Diablo, are wonderful characters. Cindy Davis provides us with a unique whodunnit with just enough of a paranormal element mixed in to give the reader a fun ride through Magnolia Bluff. When Bad Things Happen to Good Mice is an excellent lighthearted mystery that will keep you turning the pages. I really enjoyed this book!

    1. Thanks for visiting the blog, Joe. I was surprised at how much I liked the ghost element. Didn’t expect to, but Merrick was such a great character and the relationship with Bliss was at times so humorous, yet so poignant at times. It was a nice connection to Cindy Davis’s first book in the series.

  2. Hi, wow I love your review. The details will make #readers grab this book and others in the series. Thank you for sharing.

  3. The Magnolia Bluff of the Magnolia Bluff Crime Chronicles is populated by some very well defined characters. Bliss may be among the best defined, as pointed out in the review. She keeps her own counsel, and is a woman of distinct likes and dislikes. She is tenacious and brave. And then there’s the ghost thing…
    Highly recommended with pizza and something fun playing in the background.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Richard. You’re so right about the well-defined characters. That has been true for all the books I’ve read in the series. One of the neatest things is that while the setting is constant, the characters and mysteries in each story are unique. And Bliss is great!

  4. I mean what’s not to like about a crime solving dynamic duo of Bliss and her Toucan (a non-parrot kind of bird) Diablo? She is a trouble magnet and yet I always end up rooting for her. This is the kind of brassy gal that would boldly pull her motor scooter up along side a Harley dude and holler she can’t hear him over her pipes. 🙂

  5. While this book doesn’t have the intense drama and action of a Lee Child novel, the nomadic spirit of the two characters and the sense of justice for all really connected for me.

    1. Hi, CW, thanks for popping over to the blog and the affirmation for my review. I think the consensus is that Bliss is a great character.

  6. Pingback: Full Series Book Blog Tour & Giveaway: Magnolia Bluff Crime Chronicles featuring Ten Million Ways to Die by CW Hawes | Boys' Mom Reads!

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