Saturday, May 10, 2014

Blog Tour Stop: A Dollhouse to Die For by Cate Price (Guest Post, Review, and Giveaway)

Please join me in welcoming Cate Price to Debbie's Book Bag, today. Cate is here promoting the second book in her Deadly Notions Mystery series, A Dollhouse to Die For. Enjoy her guest post, along with my review of her book and a giveaway!

Queen Mary’s Dollhouse
by Cate Price

During the course of my research for A DOLLHOUSE TO DIE FOR, I discovered the amazing Queen Mary’s dollhouse. Many of the top artists, craftsmen, and manufacturers of the day contributed to the house, which is a perfect replica of a grand Edwardian residence, complete with saloon, library, dining room, private apartments, servants’ rooms, kitchen, wine cellar, and garage. It was designed by the renowned architect Sir Edwin Lutyens for Queen Mary, wife of King George V, and is one of the most splendid and beautiful dollhouses in the world.

Construction on the house began in the spring of 1921, and it took three years to build. It was made to a scale of one inch to one foot, is five feet tall, and has electricity, hot and cold running water, and two working elevators from the basement to the top floor. The attention to detail is astounding. Furniture drawers open, door handles close and clocks tick. Even the thickness of paint was reduced in proportion to the scale of the house.

In the library, each tiny book, bound in leather and embossed with gold leaf, is actually readable. Well-known writers such as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, J.M. Barrie, Rudyard Kipling, and W. Somerset Maugham contributed special books for the house's library.

There is an extensive art collection by leading painters of the day, including Sir William Nicholson, and in the Strong Room stands a safe with minute replicas of the Crown Jewels. The honeycomb walls of the wine cellar hold 100 dozen bottles containing thimblefuls of real wines and spirits. The linen cupboard has a full complement of sheets and tablecloths, and a fleet of elegant Rolls Royce limousines are housed in the miniature garage.

No expense was spared, from the marble topped sinks in the King’s bathroom, to copper pans and kettles in the kitchen, and rosewood paneling throughout. Even the piano has a real soundboard, cast steel frame, strings, hammers, and ivory and ebony keys.
Underneath the main building is a huge drawer that opens to reveal a hidden ornamental garden designed by Gertrude Jekyll. There’s even a functioning lawnmower and a resident snail!

If you’d like to take a look at this perfectly preserved piece of history, it’s on permanent display at Windsor Castle.

Book Information:

A Dollhouse to Die For (Deadly Notions Mystery - Book 2) by Cate Price

Publication Date: 05/06/2014
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley Prime Crime
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 320
ISBN-10: 0425258807
ISBN-13: 978-0425258804

(Received for an honest review from Berkley Prime Crime)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Indiebound

Cate Price on the WEB: website, blog, twitter, facebook, goodreads

Books in the series

Deadly Notions

1. Going Through the Notions
2. A Dollhouse to Die For

Coverart: Click the Image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.

Excerpt from, A Dollhouse to Die For, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature.


Daisy Buchanan thinks of her shop, Sometimes a Great Notion, as more than just a business. For her, it’s a haven of vintage sewing notions and other treasures, excellent coffee, and camaraderie. But when an antique dollhouse provokes some bizarre behavior on the part of a customer, Daisy makes it her business to find out what secrets are hidden behind its tiny doors…
At an estate auction, Daisy is delighted to find the perfect present for a young girl she knows—a charming dollhouse in need of restoration. But when local collector Harriet Kunes tries to strong-arm Daisy into selling it, she’s in for a shocking—and deadly—surprise.
After an intruder breaks in and tries to steal the dollhouse, Daisy wonders why everyone has developed such an obsession over it. As she builds her collection of clues, she suspects that the miniature Victorian holds the key to a second unsolved murder, and soon she stumbles across much more than she bid on…


If you are in the notion to read about notions, this is the book! A Dollhouse to Die For is the second book in the Deadly Notions series and readers are treated to story that keep them guessing all the way through. Cate Price gives readers not a only two murders to consider, but lots of fantastic details about collecting and working with dollhouses and what they can be worth. Price has created a series with great characters and lots of different mystery angles to work with. A great addition to an interesting series. 

What I liked:

In the first book of this series, readers are introduced to the idea of a 'notions store', a place where buyers can find unique and different kinds of items. I loved the idea from the beginning. It's also interesting to me the way shop owner, Daisy Buchanan goes about getting her items. The dollhouse which is a big part the latest book, comes from an estate sale. It's like antiquing, only a little different. Daisy sells everything from vintage linens to toys. And Cate Price has certainly done her homework on the kinds of things people might come looking for in a shop of this type. It comes across as authentic and very believable.

Do I think a dollhouse can be so valuable that people would kill for it? Absolutely! People have killed for a lot less to be sure. The idea was certainly plausible. There are lots of different reasons that something can be valuable and I liked the way that Price, explains some of that to the reader along with the back story for this book. The dollhouse angle was interesting and made me even go back and take a look at the dollhouse I had as a kid. One of my most prized possessions as a child. Loved all the collecting facts and tidbits of information about dollhouses in this one. An interesting and unique idea.

Daisy once again surprises me with her intuition and her ability to get down to the nitty gritty when it comes to figuring out what happened. Not only is a local dollhouse collector dead, but the lady who previously owned the dollhouse died under mysterious circumstances. Then someone tries to steal the dollhouse. There's definitely something up with this dollhouse! Daisy doesn't stand around twiddling her thumbs she gets her hands dirty and starts sorting through it all. I love the secondary characters in the book and how they helped her, including her husband Joe and the handsome police detective.

What I didn't like:

There was a little too much focus on Daisy's personal life to suit me. Figuring out where she was going to live should not have been on par with figuring out who committed two murders. But I did enjoy learning more about Daisy as a person, as opposed to Daisy the salesman and Daisy the amateur sleuth. 

Bottom Line:

This is an excellent story. I loved the dollhouse facts and Price certainly kept it interesting from first word to last. Not bad for a second book in the series. Lots of potential here.

A Dollhouse to Die For is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

About the Author:

Cate Price is the author of Going Through the Notions.  A Dollhouse to Die For is the second in her series of cozy mysteries featuring the proprietor of a small-town vintage notions shop.

Giveaway Details:

The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of A Dollhouse to Die For by Cate Price.

~ You must be an email subscriber to participate.
~ US addresses only.
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, May 24th.

1. Please leave a comment about whether or not you had a dollhouse growing up.

2. Please fill out the FORM.


Unknown said...

i did not have a doll house

Rita Wray said...

I didn't have one but my daughter did.

Linda Kish said...

I did not have a dollhouse.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Unknown said...

Thanks for hosting me today, and for the lovely review!

Unknown said...

I did have one growing up. I played with it all the time. I have also seen Queen Mary's dollhouse. It was gorgeous and the detail amazing. I so wanted to take it home with me.

Meg said...

My dollhouse was probably my favorite toy growing up. I actually still have it.

cyn209 said...

sadly, I never had a dollhouse as a child....I soooo wanted one!!!

skkorman said...

No, I did not have a dollhouse.

skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

Angela - Bookaunt said...

Yes my sister and I had a dollhouse we shared that we got for Christmas on year. Then I bought my daughter one when she was little

Barbara T. said...

No dollhouse, but I would have loved to have one. Paper dolls were my main playtime activity.

Unknown said...

When I was twelve, my sister got me a dollhouse to build. It never got built. :(

Alicia said...

One of the few things that I wanted but never got from Santa. Always wanted one.....

Charlotte said...

I never had a doll house.

Sue Farrell said...

Yes, I had a doll house---I remember it being metal with plastic furniture and people. Would that be possible?

Carol M said...

I didn't have one but my daughter did.

Kimberly Wyatt said...

I never had a one growing up but I always wanted one.

Anita Yancey said...

I did not have a doll house while growing up.


bn100 said...

No, I didn't

Natasha said...

Yes I had a big one and a little one.
Thanks for the chance to win!

lag123 said...

I did have a dollhouse and I loved it!

lag110 at mchsi dot com

Michelle F. said...

Yes, I had one, the Better Homes and Gardens dollhouse. The people were bendy so you could put them in chairs. I had a porcelain bathtub for the house and once we were at a store and I think we got some furniture for the dollhouse. I also had a Sesame Street house. The people and Cookie Monster, etc., were made out of plastic and had round bottoms so you could put them in a plastic car.