Guilty as Framed By Lois Winston: Review/Giveaway

Sep 10, 2022 | 2022 Articles, Kathleen Costa, Mysteryrat's Maze

by Kathleen Costa

Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of the book, and a link to purchase it from Amazon.

Crafty Cozy Creates Conundrums!
Anastasia Pollack’s life has some sweet and sour moments. She has two “sweet” teenage boys, Alex and Nick, a “sweet” fiancé Zackary Barnes, although his connection to some D.C. “alphabet agencies” is a curiosity, and a “sweet” job sharing her craft ideas as an editor at American Woman magazine. However, the “sour” comes as an awkward balance. Fifteen months ago her now late-husband, Karl Marx Pollack, left her in considerable debt to some bad dudes, and with his absence, forced to take in Lucille, her snarky mother-in-law with “Communist” tendencies, but her own Mama is no angel. The “sour” continues with her misfortune for finding numerous dead bodies putting her in conflict with Detective Samuel Spader, although that relationship has “sweetened” a bit as the detective has a respectful view of Anastasia’s sleuthing skills. Sweet and sour may be great as an appetizer, but as a way of life, it can be a mess.

Guilty as Framed Earns 5/5 Masterpiece Etchings…Engaging & Clever!
Updating her “1950s suburban rancher” is long overdue, but accepting the kindness of strangers, namely her fiancé and her neighbor, is a challenge. Although when a tattered man, jawing a cigar, and wearing a fedora demands to see Johnnie D ‘cause “he’s got something of mine,” accepting a forceful hand to block the man’s entrance is a no-brainer. She’d never known her late husband to use an alias during his time accruing debt, so…who is Johnnie D? and why is fedora man looking for him? Zack notified Detective Spader of the “odd” occurrence, just precautionary, since lately Anastasia’s “track record” of getting into trouble with dead bodies is well-established.

The pushy “fedora man” turns out to be recently released con Cormac Murphy, whose been incarcerated for decades, which makes the “Johnnie D” mistake understandable. Detective Sam reports him to have been a bigwig in the Boston mob known for counterfeiting and forgery, and despite a well-established alibi, he was in prison at the time, it was still a thought Murphy was involved in the 1990 robbery at Isabell Stewart Gardener Museum thought to be the greatest art heist ever. Murphy is not deterred by “Johnnie D. doesn’t live here,” but is it he who sends the SUV parked in Anastasia’s driveway with a dead body in it? The body’s identity answers one question, but it just might put everyone in danger.

Well-Framed Gem! Lois Winston has again crafted a fun, clever cozy as the eleventh book in her Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery with a famous cold case theft, aging mobsters, “disappeared” witnesses, a murder then, more now, and the recovery of a masterpiece. Of course, revenge is a strong motive for any criminal element, especially since the mob doesn’t take too kindly to “rats,” betrayals, or not getting their cut of an extremely lucrative caper. The tale gets engagingly complex with curious incidents, misunderstandings, and lots of perilous, nail-biting moments: an attack, a home invasion, a body in the closet, a kidnapping, another dead body, and some shocking discoveries. Is that a Rembrandt? Well done all the way to a surprise, climatic ending…and a bit of a “reward”!

Lois Winston’s writing style and creative “crafty” eye makes the Anastasia Pollack Mysteries a popular series…especially for me! Descriptive to create the setting and the mood, realistic banter to illustrate multi-generational personalities, and fun bonuses check off all the cozy boxes. I enjoy the dynamic between Anastasia and Zack as they work well together in sleuthing, as well as raising two teenage boys, and it’s endearing to see them remain a solid team when dealing with the very challenging senior citizens of the group. Mother-in-law Lucille would be out on the curb or at least given a big dose of the truth, if it were me, and Mama’s selfishly demanding manner would have me wishing to be an orphan. But, Zack’s calming, yet no-nonsense, attitude helps corral Anastasia’s emotions and defuse that which could explode. All around special experience…Don’t miss this!

“Anastasia’s Frame Art Crafts” With your own personal guide, use these detailed instructions, tips, and finishing techniques to create your own “literal” frames: Road Map Decoupage, Decorative Photo, Shabby Chic, and Shells, Buttons, Charms or Beads. For additional ideas check out Anastasia’s Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers blog, the blog of Anastasia Pollack, crafts editor, and reluctant amateur sleuth.

Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery—KRL Reviews
Drop Dead Ornaments (2018) Review HERE
Handmade Ho Ho Homicide (2019) Review HERE
A Sew Deadly Cruise (2020) Review HERE
Stitch, Bake, Die! (2021) Review HERE
Guilty as Framed (2022)

Be a Big Lois Winston Fan!
USA Today bestselling author Lois Winston is quite the accomplished writer. Along with her Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series, she pens Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mini-Mysteries and Empty Nest Mystery series. She also writes various romances under Emma Carlyle, but writing is not all. She is an award winning designer of needlework and craft projects for various publications and craft kit manufacturers. She’s channeled Anastasia Pollack for several years as a crafts editor and uses her art and design background as source material in her fiction.

Sign up for her newsletter!
Lois Winston’s website
Pinterest – Lois Winton
Twitter @Anasleuth

Lois also shared a fun guest post with us earlier this week about writing this book!

To enter to win a copy of Guilty as Framed (ebook or print winner’s choice), simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “framed,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen September 17, 2022. U.S. residents only, and you must be 18 or older to enter. If entering via email please include your mailing address in case you win–we will delete it after the contest. BE SURE TO STATE IF YOU WANT EBOOK OR PRINT. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

The first chapter of another book in this series by Lois Winston was featured in a past Mysteryrat’s Maze Podcast episode. You can listen by clicking here or on the player below:

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. Also listen to our new mystery podcast where mystery short stories and first chapters are read by actors! They are also available on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Spotify. A new episode goes up next week.

You can use this link to purchase the book. If you have ad blocker on you may not see the Amazon link. You can also click here to purchase the book.

Kathleen Costa is a long-time resident of the Central Valley, and although born in Idaho, she considers herself a “California Girl.” Graduating from CSU-Sacramento, she is 35+ year veteran teacher having taught in grades 1-8 in schools from Sacramento to Los Angeles to Stockton to Lodi. Currently Kathleen is enjoying year 2 of retirement revitalizing hobbies along with exploring writing, reading for pleasure, and spending 24/7 with her husband of 26+ years.

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. Another new author to me. Would really like to read. I prefer a print copy

  2. I do lots of crafts and enjoy books with crafting in
    them. thanks. txmlhl(at)yahoo(dot)com

  3. This is such a funny series! Been looking forward to this newest book. Would love to win a print copy.

  4. Count me in!

  5. I like cozies with a hint of romance and a good mystery. This sounds like a book I would really enjoy!

  6. We have a winner!


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