Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, Guest Post, mystery, Spotlight on September 10, 2016

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Mud Bog Murder (An Eve Appel Mystery)
4th in Series
Cozy Mystery
Camel Press (September 1, 2016)
Paperback: 268 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1603813150


When Jenny McCleary leases her property to be ravaged by the annual mud bog races, the small rural town of Sabal Bay, Florida, is divided into warring camps: environmental activists versus monster truck fans. Jenny, who frequents the consignment store owned by Eve Appel and her friend Madeleine, doesn’t seem to mind when Eve and Madeleine join the protesters the day of the races.

During the race, Eve catches Jenny’s airborne head after it is tossed into the air by the wheels of a truck. Now every protester is a suspect in Jenny’s murder. What’s left of her alligator-gnawed body is found near the airboat business of Eve’s Miccosukee Indian friends, Sammy Egret and his grandfather. When more evidence turns up nearby, Grandfather is arrested.

Even without the disembodied head, Eve has her hands full. The town resents her role in the protests and is boycotting the consignment shop on wheels. She is torn between two men–GQ-handsome, devoted PI Alex and tall, dark, and exotic Sammy. Jenny’s sweet and needy teenage daughter is dating a petty criminal. Will Eve and Madeleine ever be able to move into their new digs? Not unless the town forgives them. And not if whoever decapitated Jenny gets to Eve before she and her sleuthing buddies solve the mystery.


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Guest Post

Today I extend a special welcome to a great author, with a great name (even if it is spelled differently!) – Lesley Diehl!  She shares some of her thoughts about her book and her protagnoist Eve.  Great words!

Flaws and Vulnerabilities and Courage

By Lesley A. Diehl, Author of Mud Bog Murder

Someone recently questioned me about an event in Mud Bog Murder. She said it shocked her that I would insert a scene where someone sexually assaulted Eve Appel, my protagonist. Like most women today, Eve is independent and competent, and, perhaps more than most women, Eve sometimes acts as if she can do anything, win any battles she chooses to take on. But this is a world in which sexual assault is all too common and difficult to defend against because it often comes at the hands of someone we know and may think we love.  This is a reality check for our Eve.

When I created Eve Appel I created a character who is courageous, impulsive, smart and makes her own future when she starts up a business with her best friend. Her impulsive nature is both a trait we admire and one that can lead her into situations she has difficulty getting out of. We’ve seen this happen to her again and again. It is probably Eve’s biggest flaw and an overriding vulnerability that scheming criminals can take advantage of. Eve is not naïve, but she can be conned into putting herself into tricky situations if she believes finding a killer is at stake.

The sexual assault scene is perhaps the most indicative that violence can invade her life regardless of how careful, or in Eve’s case, how self-assured.  Eve’s story is every woman’s story.

I think character flaws can be used to help develop the character. I don’t want to make Eve other than an in-your-face-gal, but events such as that scene are there not merely to deepen characterization, but also to give the protagonist the opportunity to grow and change because of what she has experienced. Eve’s impulsive nature is one of Eve’s signature traits, and I don’t intend to remove it from her. She doesn’t  believe her private detective friend, Alex, and Frida Martinez, the detective on the local police force are incapable of solving the case. Eve is simply the kind of person who trusts her own instincts. Both Alex and Frida admit she has a great nose for murder. But her friends worry about her and constantly berate her for going off alone on her sleuthing journeys. It’s an admonition Eve now gives more consideration to given her assault. In fact, fear has been pinging her radar for some time given attempts on her life by the bad guys (and gals). Will this warning cripple our feisty Eve?

Our Eve moves forward, but she is a smarter person. The assault gives her information she did not previously have about her assaulter: he likes rough sex, and although he shares concerns about environmental issues with Eve, she has always felt a sense that something is not right about him. His attack on her is confirmation she is correct and gives her behavioral evidence that he disrespects women. But Eve knows there are better ways other than becoming a crime victim to reveal a suspect’s character ad motives.

Because of the assault  Eve has become a bit more cautious. She tries to solicit help in some tough spots later in the book. She’s not immune to danger. What Eve does not do is simply give up her quest. Courageous behavior is what we expect from Eve. She is loyal to those she loves and would put herself in harm’s way for them. It’s what Eve is all about. She’s the best friend you can have when an alligator or a bad guy threatens you. When Eve loves someone it is without regard to her own safety. We’ve seen Eve engage in these generous acts from the first book (A Secondhand Murder) through books two (Dead in the Water) and three (A Sporting Murder) and into this one. Eve is true to herself. She’s just a little wiser now and more likely to consider a plan when she goes headfirst into danger. And if the plan doesn’t come together? Then it’s still Eve Appel charging into the swamps armed with—what else—a posse of friends and family and, if all else fails, her stiletto heels.

About the Author

lesley diehl

Lesley retired from her life as a professor of psychology and reclaimed her country roots by moving to a small cottage in the Butternut River Valley in upstate New York.  In the winter she migrates to old Florida—cowboys, scrub palmetto, and open fields of grazing cattle, a place where spurs still jingle in the post office, and gators make golf a contact sport.  Back north, the shy ghost inhabiting the cottage serves as her literary muse.  When not writing, she gardens, cooks and renovates the 1874 cottage with the help of her husband, two cats and, of course, Fred the ghost, who gives artistic direction to their work.

She is the author of a number of mystery series (Microbrewing Series, Big Lake Mystery Series, Eve Appel Mystery Series and the Laura Murphy Mysteries), a standalone mystery (Angel Sleuth) and numerous short stories.   

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Check out the other blogs on this tour

September 1 – Brooke Blogs – CHARACTER GUEST POST

September 2 – Bibliophile Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

September 3 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW

September 4 – Cozy Up With Kathy – INTERVIEW

September 5 – Shelley’s Book Case – REVIEW, GUEST POST

September 6 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT

September 7 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW

September 8 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT

September 9 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

September 10 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

September 11 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT

September 12 – Island Confidential – INTERVIEW

September 13 – fuonlyknew – REVIEW

September 14 – Author Annette Drake’s blog – SPOTLIGHT