Posted in 3 1/2 paws, contest, Cozy, Giveaway, mystery on December 10, 2013

Whips, Cuffs, and Little Brown Boxes – A Lilly M. Mystery #1 (Lilly M. Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
File Size: 428 KB
Print Length: 341 pages

whips 2


Turning forty, menopausal and single mystery writer, Lilly M. needs a little excitement in her life now and then. So, when her aunt Fran turns up missing, Lilly decides playing amateur detective might do the trick. Of course, she would have to keep her snooping from Irene, her adopted mom. She thinks Lilly will snoop herself right into trouble. It doesn’t take a crystal ball or Irene to predict Lilly’s fate; most of the time, her life just turns out that way.


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“Some days I hated my life. Turning forty, pre-menopausal migraines, single, gaining ten pounds in six months, not to mention having three, sometimes overbearing mothers,  and an editor with no compassion.
On the other hand, I had Kline, sort of, and there was my career, or what was left of it. I had a dog that idolized me, even if no one else did, and a house of my own. Those pluses should sustain me through my crises. So now, I would go home and write. It’s what I do. — Lilly Millenovanovich”

The windows were huge, covering the entire front wall of the building. Once we turned the lights on, anyone from the street could see us. Not a good idea.

“Mona, wait. Maybe we should …” My words ended in muted garble as I tripped. A large object like a rolled up rug came into contact with my foot. Before I knew it, feet, legs, and then the rest of me fell to the floor, along with the large vase I grabbed hold of in a desperate attempt to remain standing. Mona heard my grunt, a thud, and the crash of shattered pottery as I landed.

“You okay?” She whispered, despite all the clamor I had just made.

“I’m fine! Can you reach that light so I can see my way up off this floor?”

I heard the flip of the switch and blinked when light filled the store. As soon as my eyes adjusted, I looked down at the object causing my fall. My hand, sticky, wet, and red, lifted off the so-called rug. I stared at it for a second until the message registered in my brain, then I screamed. I scrambled backwards on all fours in crablike motion to distance myself.

“Oh, God. I think I’m going to be sick all over again.”

Mona turned and took in the scene. “Is that …?” she started.

I forced myself to look at the body with a bullet hole in the middle of the forehead and nodded.


I think this is a series that has a lot of potential but I felt like there wasn’t a good introduction to the characters for the first book in a series. It seemed like many things were revealed about Lilly throughout the book that maybe could have been done in the beginning when introducing her as the main character. The storyline was fun and the characters engaging (and quirky!) and I will read the 2nd book to see if the writing style improves.

I would give this 3 1/2 paws


About The Author

Kathryn LongKathryn Long is a recently retired school teacher who has enjoyed writing mysteries for several years. Credits include mystery shorts, “Betrayal in an Envelope” and “A Good Man”, both published by The Piker Press. Long has ventured into self-publishing the cozy Lilly M. mystery series with titles Whips, Cuffs, and Little Brown Boxes and Gangs, Illegals, and a Rose Tattoo, as well as a series of YA novels, Cinderella Geek, Not So Snow White and Alice in Realityland under the pen name Jennkrist. Dying to Dream is her latest mystery gone to print with indie publisher, Mainly Murder Press. Future publications include a romantic suspense novel titled A Deadly Deed Grows, which will be coming out next year with The Wild Rose Press.

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I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review