Posted in Guest Post, mystery, Spotlight on November 8, 2015

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Murder in a Two-Seater

Murder in a Two-Seater: A Chloe Carstairs Mystery (Chloe Carstairs Mysteries Book 2)
2nd in Series
Cozy Mystery
Print Length: 305 pages
Publisher: Annie Acorn Publishing LLC (September 7, 2015)


A cheating wife in a classic car drives someone to murder.

Interior decorators turned amateur investigators, Chloe and Amanda Carstairs have spent the summer transforming their client’s creepy old castle into a luxury hotel. But before the first guest checks in, the owner’s wife checks out – with the help of a bullet to the head.

When Chloe’s dad is accused of the crime, there’s no time for the ladies to drown their sorrows in the hotel’s mini bar. Instead, they have to contend with a sneaky blackmailer, an unsolved murder from the past, and a cunning killer with nothing to lose.

The second Chloe Carstairs Mystery is filled with the same clever twists and hilarious mother-daughter relationship that made Murder on the First Day of Christmas such a fun, fast-paced read for an appreciative readership. The mystery will keep you guessing, but as any good decorator will tell you, even a beautiful setting can’t hide the ugly truth.


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Guest Post

Cherchez La Femme

Voted ‘Most Likely to Meddle’, these girl detectives are my kind of troublemakers.

I have my mom to thank– and blame – for my love of mysteries. Thank, because she introduced me to some wonderful mystery books as a child. Blame, because I’ve lost whole weekends to books I can’t put down or cases I can’t crack.

As a kid, girl detectives in books and on TV inspired me to be resourceful, inquisitive, self-sufficient and persistent. So I want to celebrate these smart young ladies for the hours of fictional adventures they let me tag along for.

Sure, Nancy Drew is the one that springs to mind first. Though kind of a goody-goody, Nancy still managed to lead her friends Bess and George into a fair amount of trouble. I liked her roadster and her titian hair (though I pronounced it tie-tee-an, well into my teens.) I liked that she had a close relationship with her father, who seemed to respect and value her opinion. I’m also glad I read these books at a time when I was too innocent to wonder if her dad was secretly carrying on with housekeeper, Hannah Gruen or if Ned Nickerson was gay. Ah, such a simple, and less cynical time.

Other girl detectives I enjoyed around that age were Trixie Belden, the Dana Girls and Donna Rockford. Trixie, who lived on Crabapple Farm, was a more realistic depiction of a teenager – moody, impetuous, a hater of chores and bender of rules. My kind of girl. Louise and Jean Dana reminded me a lot of my sister and me, older Louise being the more serious one and younger Jean being more incorrigible. (I always took incorrigible as a compliment, though I don’t know that my teachers meant it that way.) Donna Rockford wasn’t nearly as popular as the other girls I’ve mentioned – and alas, she doesn’t even have her own Wikipedia page – but she was a more modern Nancy Drew and her books were fun and fast paced. Worth picking up if you see one at a garage sale.

Among my favorite television detectives, Velma Dinkley was the early standout.

Super smart and super cute in her glasses and Mary Janes, Velma was usually the one to figure out the mystery while the others chased down red herrings. Even as a kid, I wanted to be more like Velma than Daphne, reasoning that Daphne would always be ditzy, but Velma, with a better haircut and a well-defined waist, would have been unstoppable.

Don’t believe me? Then how do you explain the live-action version of Velma known as Veronica Mars? My all-time favorite girl detective. Smart and smart-alecky, the right blend of noir and nice, Veronica has a well-deserved cult following of fans among girls and boys. There’s never been a suspect she can’t crack or a rule she won’t break, usually tossing in the perfect pop culture quip along the way. Her father, Keith Mars respects and protects his daughter – and she doesn’t make that last part easy. Good thing she can take care of herself. (Most of the time.)

But these are just the young ladies I loved growing up. Rest assured, a new crop of girl detectives are ready to inspire today’s teens. (And even some nostalgic adults.)

Ingrid Levin-Hill in Peter Abrahams’s Down the Rabbit Hole is one notable standout. Her Agatha-Award winning debut caught even Stephen King’s eye “One walloping good suspense yarn,” he gushed. (Just kidding. Stephen King never gushes.) In her hometown of Eden Falls, Ingrid gets pulled into a murder investigation that would baffle even her idol Sherlock Holmes. A definite must-read.

And if you know a girl who’s a die-hard Kardashian fan (my condolences), slip her the hilariously breezy Lulu Dark Can See Through Walls by Bennett Madison. It’s proof positive that Kate Spade and Sam Spade aren’t as worlds apart as one might think.

See? Life is full of mysteries, the best of which you can enjoy from the comfort of your window seat. So who were your favorite girl detectives and why? Is there anyone out now I should check out?

About the Author

BILLIEBillie Thomas is the pseudonym of a Birmingham-based author. After the real Billie passed away unexpectedly at the end of 2011, getting MURDER ON THE FIRST DAY OF CHRISTMAS,  the first of in the Chloe Carstairs mystery series, revised and published was her daughter’s top priority as a way to honor the mom who had given her a lifelong love of books. In her real life, Ms. Thomas works at an advertising agency, which might explain why she’s constantly thinking up ways to kill people without getting caught. She has a really cute boyfriend and an even cuter dog. Like MURDER ON THE FIRST DAY OF CHRISTMAS, its follow up, MURDER IN A TWO-SEATER are both filled with mystery, romance, humor and decorating – because these are a few of her favorite things.

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