Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, Guest Post, mystery on September 14, 2017

Passport to Murder (Professor Prather Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Camel Press (September 15, 2017)
Paperback: 272 pages


Start with an unlucky number. Throw in a romantic location. Include a dashing Frenchman and an uncompromising professor. And you have all the ingredients for a passport to murder.

This semester, it seems that Professor Prather’s dreams are about to come true. Ever since she was a young girl, she’s imagined going to France, and her French colleague, André Duman, has finally made that trip possible. Over spring break, she and André are to lead a group of students and faculty to Paris to explore the City of Light. But before she can utter her first bonjour, a professor dies, and they are stuck in Minneapolis. She returns to Copper Bluff with an unstamped passport and a mystery to solve.

When André becomes the prime suspect, Emmeline puts her research skills to good use, determined to find out who really killed the professor and spoiled their spring break plans. With thirteen travelers assembled, the possibilities are varied and villainous. Luckily, her dear friend and sidekick, Lenny Jenkins, is close by. Together, they will sort through the conflicting clues even if it costs them time, trouble, or tenure.

Guest Post

A few thoughts (and a recipe!) from Mrs. Gunderson

As Emmeline’s neighbor and a general authority on Copper Bluff, South Dakota, I’m happy to introduce myself. My name is Mrs. Gunderson, and I’m a stalwart of the community. Four generations of my family once farmed near Copper Bluff. However, I’m content living next to Emmeline. Her cat, Dickinson, makes it extremely difficult at times, and my dear dog, Darling, hardly knows what to do when it hisses at him. But he is such a servile animal. He endures, and so do I, despite the particular comings and goings next door. On more than one occasion Emmeline’s had the police visit, and last year, she even had a break in! Can you imagine? On our street? Such things never happened before she came, not that I’m the type of person to make assumptions. But it’s coincidental to be certain.

There are good things about living next to Emmeline, too. She’s very quiet. She doesn’t blare rap music like the young people down the street, who live closer to the college campus. I’ve seen her spend an entire day on the porch, quietly reading a book. Of course she says it’s for class, but I don’t believe all those books could be read in sixteen weeks. Sometimes it’s best to let her believe certain things, though, especially when it comes to her books. When it comes to her cooking, however, I feel brutal honesty is the best policy.

Emmeline doesn’t cook very well. I’m not being cruel; she’ll admit as much herself. I’m fairly certain they banned her meatballs from the faculty potluck. Well, they “encouraged” her to bring a dessert this year. I’ll let you decide for yourself what that means. So I’m sharing an easy recipe to one of her fall favorites: pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting.

Emmeline has a terrible sweet tooth. Candies, cookies, cakes. Did you know she visits St. Agnes just for the sweets? She says the Catholic Daughters bake the best seven-layer bars, though I was told by a reliable source that the Lutherans made more money on theirs at the bake sale. I said, “There’s nothing hard about baking, Emmeline! All you have to do is follow the recipe.” But I fear, like her love life, she neglects the rules. Of course, there’s that Lenny fellow, who seems patient enough, and I do hold out hope for him.

Truth be known, I’ve grown fond of Emmeline, despite her eccentricities. She’s always happy to help me, though I rarely require assistance, and I do love baking for her. She thinks everything with frosting is delicious! So I leave on lots of lights for her at night because I know she can’t sleep. I think she’s frightened in that house all alone. If she just had a dog, I know she’d feel more secure. But lights are the very best next thing, lights and the company of a nice neighbor, like me.

Mrs. Gunderson’s Pumpkin Bars

Beat together:

4 eggs

1 c. oil

1 2/3 c. sugar

1 16 oz. can of pumpkin


2 c. flour

1 tsp. of baking soda

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. of salt

2 tsp. cinnamon

Pour into an ungreased 13×9 cake pan, and bake for 25-30 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

To make frosting, beat 3 oz. of cream cheese, ½ c. of butter (softened), 1 tsp. of vanilla, and 2 c. of powdered sugar. Spread over cooled cake.


About the Author

Like her protagonist in the Professor Prather mystery series, Mary Angela lives on the Great Plains and teaches college writing and literature. When she’s not grading papers (when is she not grading papers?), she enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with her family. She and her husband have two amazing daughters, one adorable dog, and a cat who would rather not be limited by an adjective.


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September 14 – StoreyBook Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST

September 15 – The Self-Rescue Princess – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

September 16 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT

September 17 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

September 18 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – GUEST POST

September 19 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW *

September 20 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW  *

September 20 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT

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