Posted in Cozy, excerpt, Giveaway, Monday, mystery on November 6, 2017

Scrapbook of Murder (An Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Self Published (October 2, 2017)
Print Length: 171 pages

Synopsis

Crafts and murder don’t normally go hand-in-hand, but “normal” deserted craft editor Anastasia Pollack’s world nearly a year ago. Now, tripping over dead bodies seems to be the “new normal” for this reluctant amateur sleuth.

When the daughter of a murdered neighbor asks Anastasia to create a family scrapbook from old photographs and memorabilia discovered in a battered suitcase, she agrees—not only out of friendship but also from a sense of guilt over the older woman’s death. However, as Anastasia begins sorting through the contents of the suitcase, she discovers a letter revealing a fifty-year-old secret, one that unearths a long-buried scandal and unleashes a killer. Suddenly Anastasia is back in sleuthing mode as she races to prevent a suitcase full of trouble from leading to more deaths.

Excerpt

“Lupe called me at work this afternoon,” I told Zack. We had escaped after dinner to his apartment. Situated above my detached garage, it afforded us a spot out of earshot of my mother-in-law Lucille, whose contempt for Zack grew exponentially with each passing day. Being permanently saddled with the woman was hard enough on a good day. Today was not a good day.

Zack finished pouring two glasses of chardonnay and handed one to me. I wandered over to the sofa and curled up in the corner. He followed, taking a seat next to me. The seconds ticked by. He shifted his body to face me. I suppose he was waiting for me to say something further, but my brain had stopped sending signals to my mouth.

Zack continued to wait. And wait. And wait some more. Finally he asked, “Should I run an errand during this extremely long, pregnant pause, or are you planning to elaborate sometime soon?”

I heaved a sigh, then polished off half my wine before answering him. “She asked if she could come over this evening to talk.”

“About?”

I speared him with my best duh! look. “Isn’t it obvious?”

“You have to stop blaming yourself, Anastasia. You’re not responsible for what happened.”

Right. And the captain of the Titanic wasn’t responsible for steering his ship into a giant iceberg. “Carmen is dead because of me. How can Lupe not blame me?”

Lupe Betancourt is Carmen Cordova’s daughter. She grew up down the street from me. Years ago she occasionally babysat my boys. Now they often babysit her kids. Or they did. I doubt Lupe will want any of us Pollacks in her home ever again.

Two-and-a-half weeks ago Lawrence Tuttnauer, my mother’s sixth and latest husband, was arrested for orchestrating the cold-blooded murders of two of my neighbors, Lupe’s mother Carmen and Betty Bentworth. He’d never met either of them. His hit man had chosen them at random because Lawrence wanted my attention diverted from the suspicious death of his daughter Cynthia. I didn’t know it at the time, but I’d poked my nose into the wrong person’s business.

As it turned out, so had Cynthia, but she’d gone a step further and threatened her old man. So Lawrence did what any connected guy in New Jersey would do—he took out a contract on her. No Father of the Year Award for him.

Although I had no regrets over the role I’d played in bringing Lawrence Tuttnauer to justice, guilt consumed me regarding the deaths of Betty and Carmen—especially Carmen. Not that nasty Betty Bentworth deserved a bullet to the skull, but no one had shed any tears over her demise, unlike the neighborhood’s reaction to Carmen’s gruesome death days before Halloween.

It doesn’t help that every time I look at Lupe, I see a younger, thinner version of her mother. She’s a living reminder of my culpability in her mother’s death.

Mama and Lawrence married a month ago after a whirlwind courtship. She said he owned a commercial laundry. Turns out his enterprise laundered greenbacks, not linens, and he serviced only one client—the mob.

My name is Anastasia Pollack, and less than a year ago I led the life of a typical suburban, middle-class working mom. That all changed the day my husband dropped dead in a Las Vegas casino. I thought he was at a sales meeting in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. I also thought we were debt-free with a comfortable nest egg squirreled away.

Instead, I discovered Karl Marx Pollack, now dubbed Dead Louse of a Spouse, had carried on a long-standing affair with Lady Not-So-Lucky. Karl not only gambled away our savings and our teenage sons’ college funds, he’d taken out a second mortgage on the house, failed to pay our taxes for the last few years, maxed out our credit cards, and allowed his life insurance policy to lapse.

Strapping me with debt equal to the gross national product of Uzbekistan wasn’t the worst of his sins, though. Nor was the homicidal loan shark he’d stiffed for fifty thousand dollars who demanded I pay up—or else. No, Karl’s worst sin was sticking me with a communist mother-in-law from Hades.

I stared into my half-empty wineglass, avoiding eye contact with Zack, and forced my brain out of stall-mode. “I asked Lupe to meet me here.”

“In my apartment?”

“I hope you don’t mind.”

The apartment used to be my home office. Zack is an award-winning photojournalist. Possibly a spy. Probably both. Anyway, prior to moving above my garage, he lived in Manhattan. However, he’d suffered through one too many police raids due to suspicious neighbors claiming he was operating a meth lab in his darkroom. He was on the hunt for a quiet suburban location without shared walls; I was desperate for rent money. The apartment over my garage fulfilled both of our needs.

Less than a year ago we were complete strangers. Now we’re much more—the one and only good thing to come out of Dead Louse of a Spouse’s betrayal.

“Do you want me to stay, or should I go run that errand?” asked Zack.

“You really have an errand to run?”

“No, but I’m sure I can find something to do.”

“Are you kidding? Don’t you dare leave me alone. I need all the moral support I can get.”

About The Author

USA Today bestselling and award-winning author Lois Winston writes mystery, romance, romantic suspense, chick lit, women’s fiction, children’s chapter books, and nonfiction under her own name and her Emma Carlyle pen name. Kirkus Reviews dubbed her critically acclaimed Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series, “North Jersey’s more mature answer to Stephanie Plum.” In addition, Lois is an award-winning craft and needlework designer who often draws much of her source material for both her characters and plots from her experiences in the crafts industry. newsletter at

Website * Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers blog * Twitter * Pinterest * Goodreads * Newsletter

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November 1 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

November 2 –  My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

November 3 – Cozy Up With Kathy – SPOTLIGHT

November 4 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT

November 5 – A Blue Million Books – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

November 6 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 7 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – SPOTLIGHT

November 8 – Varietats – REVIEW

November 9 – Island Confidential – INTERVIEW

November 10 – Jane Reads – REVIEW

November 11 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT

November 12 – deal sharing aunt – INTERVIEW

November 13 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT

November 14 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

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Posted in 5 paws, Cozy, Guest Post, Monday, mystery, Review on November 6, 2017

A Deadly Éclair: A French Bistro Mystery
Cozy Mystery
New Series
Crooked Lane Books (November 7, 2017)
Hardcover: 320 pages

Synopsis

It’s always been Mimi Rousseau’s dream to open her own bistro, but it seems beyond her grasp since she’s been chased back home to Nouvelle Vie in Napa Valley by her late husband’s tremendous debt. Until her best friend Jorianne James introduces her to entrepreneur Bryan Baker who invests in promising prospects. Now, working the bistro and inn until she’s able to pay it off and call it her own, Mimi is throwing the inn’s first wedding ever.

The wedding will be the talk of the town, as famous talk show host Angelica Edmonton, daughter of Bryan’s half-brother, Edison, has chosen the inn as her perfect venue. Anxious, Mimi is sure things are going to turn south, especially when Edison gets drunk and rowdy at the out-of-towners’ dinner, but by the evening, things begin to look up again. That is until six AM rolls around, and Bryan is found dead at the bistro with an éclair stuffed in his mouth. And the fingers point at Mimi, whose entire loan is forgiven in Bryan’s will.

Now it’s up to Mimi to clear her name and get to the bottom of things before the killer turns up the heat again in A Deadly Éclair, the scrumptious series debut by Agatha Award-winning author Daryl Wood Gerber.

Review

If it is possible to gain weight by reading a book then this might be the book that could make it happen! The restaurant is a French bistro and the food is inspired by the French so you know it has to be good. The descriptions had my mouth watering and imaging the dishes being served.

The story flows along quite well and the cast of characters seems to be well fleshed out and adds depth and dimension to the mystery plot. I think my favorite character might be Jo, she is a force to be reckoned with as Mimi’s manager and all around go to woman. She is a woman with a plan and doesn’t stop to question what might go wrong.

The mystery itself has multiple layers and many moving parts. There were many people to suspect for various reasons and the how and why that was revealed at the end was a surprise (to me at least).

I think this is going to be a great new series and especially since there are many recipes at the end of the book for us to try.

We give it 5 paws up.

Recipe

Traveling Meal

Madeleine cookies

For A Deadly Éclair, I wanted to include a cookie recipe that was simple to make yet pretty. I think cookies are always a bestseller at any party, don’t you?

I was reading up on French classics, and Madeleine cookies came to mind. They are cakelike cookies that are baked in special molds. I found my mold at William Sonoma—12 to a tin. The mold gives the cookie a delicate shell shape.

Now, according to one “account” (we know not all accounts are true), Louis XV named the cookie Madeleine to honor his father-in-law’s cook Madeleine Paulmier. He first tasted them in Lorraine in 1755 and introduced them to court, and they became the rage. True or not true? Do you care?

They are a perfect ending to a perfectly French meal.

FYI, this is our last stop on the traveling meal. Indulge yourselves! I’ve provided a regular and a gluten-free recipe. It’s also in the book! You have an exclusive first-look.

Last but not least, what is cardamom? I discovered that is a spice made from the seed pods of various plants in the ginger family. It has a strong, pungent flavor.  A substitute for cardamom is equal parts cinnamon and nutmeg.

Orange Cardamom Madeleines

(Makes 12)

For the cookies:

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon good-quality honey
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs

For the glaze:

  • ¾ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest

Directions

Brush molds of a madeleine pan with butter; set aside.

Make the batter:

  • Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat, and stir in honey and vanilla. Let cool 10 minutes.
  • In a small bowl whisk flour, baking powder, cardamom, and salt; set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees, setting the rack in the center.
  • In a medium bowl, stir together sugar and eggs. Gently fold in the flour mixture until combined. Add the butter mixture and fold until combined. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes.
  • Spoon the batter into the prepared madeleine pan, filling each mold halfway. Tap pan on work surface to eliminate air bubbles. If necessary, use moistened fingers to press the batter into the mold.
  • Bake until cookies have puffed and the edges are golden, 7 to 8 minutes.
  • Transfer the madeleine pan to a wire rack; let the cookies cool slightly. Unmold the cookies onto a rack, and let cool completely.

Make the orange glaze:

In a small bowl, stir together sugar and orange zest and juice until the glaze is smooth and thick. Using a small pastry brush, paint the ridged side of each cookie with the glaze. Let set 15 minutes.

Cookies can be stored in a single layer in an airtight container up to 3 days.

 

Orange Cardamom Madeleines

Gluten-free Version

(Makes 12)

For the cookies:

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon good-quality honey
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup sweet rice flour (or a gluten-free blend you enjoy)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon xanthan gum

For the glaze:

  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest

Directions

Brush molds of a madeleine pan with butter; set aside.

Make the batter:

  • Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat, and stir in honey and vanilla. Let cool 10 minutes.
  • In a small bowl whisk gluten-free flour, baking powder, cardamom, salt, and xanthan gum; set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees, setting the rack in the center.
  • In a medium bowl, stir together sugar and eggs. Gently fold in the gluten-free flour mixture until combined. Add the butter mixture and fold until combined. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes.
  • Spoon the batter into the prepared madeleine pan, filling each mold halfway. Tap pan on work surface to eliminate air bubbles. If necessary, use moistened fingers to press the batter into the mold.
  • Bake until cookies have puffed and the edges are golden, 7 to 8 minutes.
  • Transfer the madeleine pan to a wire rack; let the cookies cool slightly. Unmold the cookies onto a rack, and let cool completely.

Make the orange glaze:

In a small bowl, stir together sugar and orange zest and juice until the glaze is smooth and thick. Using a small pastry brush, paint the ridged side of each cookie with the glaze. Let set 15 minutes.

Cookies can be stored in a single layer in an airtight container up to 3 days.

Facebook Giveaway

From Daryl:

I’m offering a book giveaway (winner’s choice of 1 from my published paperbacks) every day of this traveling feast. To enter today, tell me what is your favorite cookie?

BY THE WAY, don’t miss out on the French Bistro-themed BOX I’m giving away on my Facebook Author page.

About the Author

DARYL WOOD GERBER writes the nationally bestselling Cookbook Nook Mystery series featuring a cookbook store owner who is an avid reader and admitted foodie, set on the coast of California. As AVERY AAMES, she pens the Agatha Award-winning, nationally bestselling Cheese Shop Mystery series featuring a cheese shop owner amateur sleuth, set in the fictional town of Providence, Ohio. Daryl’s short stories have been nominated for the Agatha, Anthony, and other awards. Daryl also writes stand-alone suspense: Days of Secrets and Girl On the Run. Fun tidbit: as an actress, Daryl has appeared in “Murder, She Wrote” and more.

Find Daryl here: Website * Blog * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads

Find Avery here: Website * Blog * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads

 

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November 1 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews

November 2 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book

November 3 – Brooke Blogs

November 4 – A Holland Reads

November 5 – Jane Reads

November 6 – StoreyBook Reviews

November 7 – Back Porchervations

Posted in 5 paws, Cozy, Giveaway, mystery, Review on November 4, 2017

Seashells, Spells & Caramels by Erin Johnson
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Self Published
Release Date – October 29, 2017
286 Pages

Synopsis

Imogen’s spent her twenties in Seattle, saving every penny and missing every party, to follow her dream of opening her own bakery.

When that dream goes up in flames, she accepts a spot in a mysterious baking contest—one she doesn’t remember entering. She travels to a bustling, medieval village off the coast of France and discovers an enchanting world of magic and mystery, and learns that she, too, possesses powers.

Unable to so much as cast a spell, Imogen struggles to keep up with the other witches and wizards who have come from all over the magical world to the Water Kingdom’s big competition. She juggles relationships with a sweet new friend, a snarky baking fire, and a brooding, handsome baker. As Imogen falls for this bewitching world, she fears she won’t master her magic in time to win the job of Royal Head Baker, and will be forced to return to the shambles of her non magical life.

It only gets worse, when a competitor drops dead in the middle of the big white baking tent, and Imogen’s the prime suspect. Now, she’ll not only have to survive the vampire and psychic judges, but also clear her name by finding the real murderer, before they strike again.

With a killer on the loose, a missing prince, and the Summer Solstice Festival fast approaching, Imogen will have to bake like her life depends on it- because it just might.

Review

I really enjoyed this first book in a new series. It is whimsical and intriguing at the same time. Plus it didn’t hurt that it was a easy and fast read. I didn’t want to put it down at night!

I can’t imagine going through life being adopted but not feeling really connected to anyone. That is the position Imogen is in…and then she meets some interesting people that convince her to enter a baking contest. Doesn’t matter that she has never heard of the country, she creates a delectable dessert and manages to win a spot. Of course it is one issue after another before she actually reaches where she needs to be for the contest. I don’t want to spoil anything so am not sharing too many details there. In a way it is like Imogen’s life is a mess but this could be a fresh start.

Imogen is definitely going through a discovery place in her life and ending up at the Water Kingdom is just a small part of it. There are mythical creatures and people that add character, so if you like paranormal you will probably enjoy this book. Imogen learns a lot about herself but not too much…I am hoping that perhaps her parents are from this Kingdom/world and she will find out more in upcoming books.

We give it 5 paws up!

Recipe

Erin was kind enough to share one of the recipes from the book with me to share with you!  These look delicious and I need to try them soon.

About the Author

A native of Tempe, Arizona, Erin spends her time crafting mysterious, magical, romance-filled stories that’ll hopefully make you laugh.

In between, she’s traveling, napping with her dogs, eating with her friends and family, and teaching Pilates (to allow her to eat more).

Website * Facebook * Twitter

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October 29 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

October 29 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW

October 29 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

October 30 – Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf – INTERVIEW

October 30 – Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers – SPOTLIGHT

October 30 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW

October 31 – Readsalot – RECIPE, SPOTLIGHT

October 31 – A Blue Million Books – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

October 31 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

November 1 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 1 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW

November 1 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW

November 1 – Celebrating Authors – SPOTLIGHT

November 2 –  The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW

November 2 –  Varietats – REVIEW

November 2 –  Queen of All She Reads – REVIEW

November 3 – Sapphyria’s Books – REVIEW

November 3 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – RECIPE

November 3 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 4 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW, RECIPE

November 4 – A Holland Reads – RECIPE, SPOTLIGHT

November 4 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT

Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, mystery, paranormal, Spotlight on November 2, 2017

DEATH IN D MINOR

by

ALEXIA GORDON

  Genre: Paranormal Mystery / African American Sleuth

Publisher: Henery Press

Date of Publication: July 11, 2017

Number of Pages: 236

Scroll down for giveaway!

Gethsemane Brown, African-American musician and expatriate to an Irish village, solved a string of murders and got used to living with a snarky ghost. She can rest easy now. Right? Wrong. The ghost has disappeared, her landlord’s about to sell to a developer, and her brother-in-law’s come to visit. She scrambles to call her spectral roomie back from beyond and find a way to save the cottage from destruction. But real estate takes a backseat when her brother-in-law is accused of stealing a valuable antique. Gethsemane strikes a deal with an investigator to go undercover at a charity ball and snoop for evidence of a forgery/theft ring in exchange for the woman’s help clearing him. At the party, she accidentally conjures the ghost of an eighteenth-century sea captain, then ends up the prime suspect in the party host’s murder. She races to untangle a web of phony art and stolen antiques to exonerate herself, then the killer targets her. Will she bring a murderer to justice, or will her encore investigation become her swan song?

 

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PRAISE FOR DEATH IN D MINOR

Gethsemane Brown is everything an amateur sleuth should be: smart, sassy, talented, and witty even when her back is against the wall. In her latest adventure, she’s surrounded by a delightful cast, some of whom readers will remember from Gordon’s award-winning debut and all of whom they won’t forget. Gordon writes characters we want resurrected. – Cate Holahan, author of The Widower’s Wife and Lies She Told

Erstwhile ghost conjurer and gifted concert violinist Gethsemane Brown returns in this thoroughly enjoyable follow-up to last year’s Murder in G Major. Facing eviction from the historic seaside cottage she calls home, Gethsemane must clear her brother-in-law’s name – as well as her own – when a priceless artifact goes missing and the wealthy dowager to whom it belonged is “helped” over a high balcony railing.  With the help of a spectral sea captain she accidentally summoned, Gethsemane tries to unravel the mystery as the murderer places her squarely in the crosshairs. – Daniel J. Hale, Agatha Award-winning author

A writer since childhood, I put literary endeavors on hold to finish medical school and Family Medicine residency training. Medical career established, I returned to writing fiction. I completed SMU’s Writer’s Path program in Dallas, Texas. Henery Press published my first novel, Murder in G Major, book one of the Gethsemane Brown mysteries, in September 2016. Book two, Death in D Minor, releases July 11, 2017.

Murder in G Major won the Lefty Award for Best Debut Novel, was nominated for an Agatha Award for Best New Novel, and was selected one of Suspense Magazine’s Best Debuts. I listen to classical music, drink whiskey, and blog at www.missdemeanors.com, voted one of Writers’ Digest magazine’s 101 best websites for writers, and featured on Femmes Fatales.

Website * Pinterest * Facebook * Twitter

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—————————————–

GRAND PRIZESigned Copy of Death in D Minor + Whisky Field Guide, Sea Salt & Bay Rum soy candle, Notepad, $20 Starbucks Gift Card

2ND PRIZE: Signed Copy of Death in D Minor, Ceramic Skull Coffee Mug, $20 Amazon Gift Card

 

October 25-November 3, 2017

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25-Oct Review Hall Ways Blog
25-Oct Notable Quotable Texan Girl Reads
26-Oct Top 5 List Books and Broomsticks
27-Oct Review Momma On The Rocks
27-Oct Playlist 1 Texas Book Lover
28-Oct Review Chapter Break Book Blog
29-Oct Excerpt A Page Before Bedtime
30-Oct Author Interview The Librarian Talks
30-Oct Review Forgotten Winds
31-Oct Playlist 2 Syd Savvy
1-Nov Review Tangled in Text
1-Nov Top 5 List Bibliotica
2-Nov Notable Quotable Missus Gonzo
2-Nov Notable Quotable StoreyBook Reviews
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Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, Guest Post, mystery on November 2, 2017

The Tarkington Treasure (The Charlotte Ross Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Self Published
Paperback: 338 pages

Synopsis

“In the world of logic, it’s always our assumptions that lead us astray.”

A spooky old house, rumors of a hidden Civil War treasure, a neighbor’s murder, and an ex-fiancé falling unconscious at her feet—Charlotte Ross has her hands full when she’s invited to stay at her friend, Jane Marshall’s home while her apartment is being renovated.

Jane and her new fiancé have sold everything to move to the large estate she’d just inherited near the small town in Illinois, where she grew up. She’s always loved the house, but the cost of living in, and fixing up, a deteriorating old mansion is more than both their incomes combined. If she can’t come up with the money for the next property tax payment, she’ll be forced to give it up.

Charlotte is intent on winning back her ex, but her efforts are stymied when he’s suspected of murder.

The two couples soon discover the rambling old house holds more than one secret when they join forces to find the real killer—and the elusive, Tarkington treasure.

Guest Post

Today we welcome Evelyn and she gives us her thoughts on if it is possible to get away with murder.  

How Do You Get Away With Murder?

I have to confess, as a mystery author I have no idea. When I write a mystery, I always have the solution in mind before I begin, and then I write the story around it, so that my villains never get away with murder. If they did, it wouldn’t be a very good end to the story… or would it? Characters in a novel sometimes do. In Agatha Christie’s, And Then There Were None, the murderer does get away.

As a former member of the Agatha Christie Society, I’ve dissected many of her novels. It was interesting to see how she thought about murderers. According to her, most murderers are thoroughly nice people. Just ordinary folks like you or me. Very often it turns out these nice, ordinary people were in a tight place, or they wanted something very badly and had to kill to get it because there seemed to be no other way.

What about hatred as a motive for murder, you might ask? She says: Highly unlikely. You wouldn’t go around murdering people just because you disliked them. You might feel like it, but you wouldn’t actually go through with the evil deed.

Would a jealous hatred be different? Yes: That arises out of passion and frustration. People more often kill those they love than those they hate. Possibly because only the people you love can make your life truly unbearable.

And then there are times when murder turns out to be purely accidental.

I’m sure you’ve read mysteries containing one of these motives for murder: people caught in a tight place, a jealous hatred, or a murder that was accidental. Each of my mysteries has at least one of these motives. The Tarkington Treasure, has two of them, but I’m not going to tell you which two they are. You’ll have to find that out for yourself.

About the Author

Evelyn Cullet has been an author since high school when she wrote short stories. She began her first novel while attending college later in life and while working in the offices of a major soft drink company. Now, with early retirement, she can finally write full time. As a life-long mystery buff, she was a former member of the Agatha Christie Society, and is a current member of the National Chapter of Sisters In Crime. She writes cozy mysteries with warm romance and a little humor. When she’s not writing mysteries, reading them or reviewing them, she hosts other authors and their work on her writer’s blog.  She also plays the piano, is an amateur lapidary, and an organic gardener.

BlogFacebook * Twitter * Goodreads * Pinterest * Google +

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Check out the other blogs on this tour

October 30 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

October 30 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT

October 31 – Books,Dreams, Life – SPOTLIGHT

November 1 – Connie’s History Classroom – REVIEW

November 2 –  StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

November 3 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 4 – Laura’s Interests – GUEST POST

November 5 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

November 6 – Varietats – REVIEW

November 7 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW

November 8 – A Holland Reads – GUEST POST

Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, Guest Post, mystery on October 30, 2017

16 Millimeters: A Maizie Albright Humorous Mystery
Cozy Mystery/Romance
2nd in Series
Past Perfect Press (October 17, 2017)
Print Length: 320 pages

Synopsis

#StillAWannabeDetective In continuing her career-makeover quest as a for-real detective, ex-teen and reality star Maizie Albright has a big learning curve to overcome. A sleuthing background starring in a TV show— Julia Pinkerton, Teen Detective—does not cut the real life mustard. It doesn’t even buy her lunch, let alone extra condiments. Her chosen mentor, Wyatt Nash of Nash Security Solutions, is not a willing teacher. He’d rather stick Maizie with a safe desk job and handle the security solution-ing himself. But Maizie’s got other plans to help Nash. First, win Nash’s trust. Second, his heart.

Wait, not his heart. His respect. His hearty respect.

So when a major movie producer needs a babysitter for his hot mess starlet, Maizie eagerly takes the job. But when her starlet appears dead, and then not dead, Maizie’s got more than an actress to watch and a missing corpse to find. Body doubles, dead bodies, and hot bodies abound when the big screen, small screen, and silent screams collide. Maizie’s on the job, on the skids, and on thin ice, hunting a killer who may be a celebrity stalker. And Maizie just might be the next celebrity who gets snuffed.

Guest Post

“Georgiawood” Georgia: the new Hollywood

This is a story of how Hollywood can sneak up on you and the little world you live in. And how you can take the following events and about twenty years later use them in a book series.

About four miles from my house is Senoia, Georgia. When I first moved to the area from Atlanta back in 1999, Senoia — an old whistlestop town — had a few antique shops, a mom and pop hardware, a mom and pop furniture store, and a coffee shop on the main boulevard. At the time, Senoia was famous for a handful of movies — Fried Green Tomatoes and Driving Miss Daisy, namely. There was a small film studio there, Raleigh Studios, but you wouldn’t live in Senoia to break into the movie business. Most couldn’t tell you what Raleigh Studios did. You lived there because you were born there, homes were affordable, and/or you wanted to live in a quaint small town that had kept its Southern roots.

More movie people came. They made Sweet Home Alabama and a few other films. More businesses came to Senoia. We were thrilled to have a few restaurants and more shops. Other folks might have known AMC had scouted the location. I had no idea.

My family moved to Japan for two years in 2009, and when we returned, Senoia had a new line of buildings on the main street, built to look old in keeping with the town’s flavor. I had my professional author pics taken there because I loved Senoia and hoped to get some of that Southern flavor in the background (we mainly used an old brick wall while I’d hoped for a veranda).

Around that time, I heard this show Drop Dead Diva was filmed in my town, Peachtree City. I had never heard of the show, but I saw their fake courthouse every time I ate at one of my favorite restaurants, Mimi’s. Mimi said TV folks came in to eat. Wasn’t that interesting? We nodded and agreed. Although we never did see the TV people. We didn’t think. But at a local Starbucks, we did meet two young actresses who wanted to pet our puppy, Biscuit. My husband asked them if they had future career goals other than acting (because why would you be in our little neck of the world if you were an actress?) They smiled, said no, and moved on.

About 2011, the zombie people had moved to Senoia. They’d been filming around Georgia the year before —mainly Atlanta  — but the filming around Senoia was still relatively unknown. The next year, Zac Brown of Zac Brown Band opened a bar with live music to bring in income for his Camp Southern Ground Foundation charity. Senoia had two Southern Living Homes in two years. We vied for tickets to take tours of the homes. One, a brick townhouse with an elevator (!), was rumored to have been used by a director. Or a producer. Or someone in some kind of film business. We didn’t know. But it was pretty cool.

The Walking Dead took off in a big way. Little Senoia was suddenly cool.

We would go to Senoia to eat or shop and see the signs asking people not to mow their grass, because you know, no time for mowing during a zombie apocalypse. The main street was used in the town of Woodbury for the show. There was an actual fake building between real buildings. New houses were built on the other side of the tracks. And about three years later, a wall of corrugated metal was built around those homes. For the show. The set had changed. And suddenly there were tourists. Not the regular tourists who like to visit old towns in Georgia. These were fans of the show. They descended on Senoia like…hoards of zombies.

It was just so bizarre.

The local paper said that Pinewood Studios (we all had to look up Pinewood Studios —except my husband who remembers such trivia and recognized the name from Star Wars filming) was building a few miles away in the other direction. Near Fayetteville. And they were going to make movies there. Big movies. Like Spiderman, the Avengers, maybe an Angelina Jolie movie (I’m a little unclear if that was postulating by a friend or real). They bought a HUGE tract of land and a school. The school was new but not needed because of a shift in population. So we were happy the school went to good use and went on with our lives.

I learned the renters across the street were movie people after they moved out. My friend who works for Porsche USA said they were using the new Porsche headquarters for an Avengers set. And he saw all the Avengers. From far away. But he still saw them. However, Porsche USA is in Atlanta. And Atlanta has all kinds of stars. We were still removed. But then there was talk that maybe Sony Pictures was going to move in down here, too.

What was going on here? It was a little unreal. Andrew Lincoln (Rick Grimes) and Chad Coleman (Tyreese) from TWD waved at my daughter’s bus as she passed by a temporary location set on her way to school. She didn’t know them, but other kids did. They’d built a temporary wall in front of our old subdivision. To keep out zombies.

About that time, I began to write 15 MINUTES. The first in my Maizie Albright Star Detective series, where the ex-celebrity returns to her hometown in rural Georgia. And learns she can’t escape Hollywood because Hollywood had moved to rural Georgia.

My family moved to Japan again for two years (something of a habit for us) and we returned this past May. Senoia has more new/old buildings and more shops and restaurants, including one owned by six of The Walking Dead folks. My BFF saw Thor (the actor who plays Thor) working out in her gym. When I shop in my Kroger, I spot hipsters and the organic section has grown four-fold. We heard AMC was buying little Raleigh Studio.

And in Senoia, there are more hoards. And tours. And the wall is still there, but now there are guards, keeping all these zombie tourists from getting into the walled area. Also, prices and traffic have increased. Everything looks a little more polished. There are moms at my children’s schools who look a little more flashy (but maybe that’s the old mom in me talking and that’s just how young moms look now).

And I find it all ripe for the picking in my Maizie Albright series. In my mind, money, power, and fame bring bigger crimes, although thankfully that hasn’t happened and hopefully it won’t, except in Maizie Albright’s Black Pine.

Thanks so much for having me on Storeybook Reviews. Has anything similar happened in your community?

SBR – Larissa so great to have you here today!  I’m in Texas and they do a lot of filming all across the state. Usually not too much of a problem, except when they block off streets in downtown Dallas or Fort Worth during a business day.  Makes it hard to get out and go home.  Thankfully that did not happen often.  And I loved that show, Drop Dead Diva!  I didn’t realize it had been filmed in Peachtree City.

larissa

About the Author

After seeing Paper Moon as a child, Larissa Reinhart fell in love with stories about confidence capers. QUICK SKETCH is the Cherry Tucker prequel to PORTRAIT in the mystery anthology THE HEARTACHE MOTEL. HIJACK IN ABSTRACT is the third in the Cherry Tucker Mystery Series from Henery Press, following STILL LIFE IN BRUNSWICK STEW (#2) and PORTRAIT OF A DEAD GUY (#1), a 2012 Daphne du Maurier finalist. She lives near Atlanta with her minions and Cairn Terrier, Biscuit.

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October 17 – Girl with Book Lungs – REVIEW

October 18 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – REVIEW

October 18 – Celebrating Authors – SPOTLIGHT

October 19 – My Reading Journey – REVIEW

October 20 – Valerie’s Musings – GUEST POST

October 21 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT

October 22 – Lori’s Reading Corner – GUEST POST

October 23 – A Holland Reads – CHARACTER GUEST POST

October 24 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – SPOTLIGHT

October 25 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – COZY WEDNESDAY – INTERVIEW

October 26 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT

October 26 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

October 27 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

October 27 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW

October 28 – Jane Reads – REVIEW, GUEST POST

October 29 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – REVIEW

October 30 – Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW

October 30 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

Posted in 5 paws, Anthology, Cozy, Giveaway, Review on October 28, 2017

Sleuthing Women II: 10 Mystery Novellas
Cozy Mysteries
Self Published
Publication Date: September 5, 2017
Print Length: 675 pages
ASIN: B074TVL3HG

Synopsis

Sleuthing Women II: 10 Mystery Novellas is a collection of ten mysteries featuring murder and assorted mayhem by ten critically acclaimed, award-winning, and bestselling authors. Each novella is a tie-in to an established multi-book series—a total of over 800 pages of reading pleasure for lovers of amateur sleuth, caper, cozy, and female P.I. mysteries.

Frosted, A Moreno & Hart Novella by Allison Brennan & Laura Griffin—Three years ago LAPD Detective Scarlet Moreno and rookie cop Krista Hart were nearly killed during a botched sting operation. Now, they’re best friends and partners in the Orange County private investigation firm of Moreno & Hart. But their routine assignments are anything but safe.

Crewel Intentions, An Anastasia Pollack Crafting Novella by Lois Winston—Craft editor Anastasia Pollack receives a desperate call for help from former fashion editor Erica Milano, now in Witness Protection. Erica is being stalked and is afraid to notify the authorities. She once saved Anastasia’s life. Will Anastasia be able to return the favor before the stalker strikes?

No Quarter, A Cleopatra Jones Novella by Maggie Toussaint—Amnesia, the doctor says when accountant Cleopatra Jones wakes in a distant hospital. Hours later most of her memory returns. Detective Jack Martinez visits Cleo’s nearby wealthy client, only she’s dead and broke. To Cleo’s horror, she’s a murder suspect. Will she totally recover her memory before the killer returns?

What the Widow Knew, A Kali-O’Brien Novella by Jonnie Jacobs—Attorney Kali O’Brien takes on the case of a young woman accused of murdering her much older, very rich husband. As evidence mounts and other possible suspects are eliminated, Kali’s doubts about her client’s innocence grow. Meanwhile, Kali is also grappling with her feelings for longtime boyfriend Detective Bryce Keating.

The Magnesium Murder, A Periodic Table Mystery by Camille Minichino—While freelance embalmer Anastasia Brent prepares the body of a young bride-to-be, she learns the girl’s mother suspects foul play. Once again Anastasia is pressed into service as a sleuth, following a trail of clues in search of a murderer and justice.

Honeymoons Can Be Murder, A Lee Alvarez Novella by Heather Haven— When PI Lee Alvarez goes on her honeymoon with bridegroom, Gurn Hanson, they find a dead woman practically on their doorstep. Kauai breezes may be soft, but there are gale force winds of accusation against Gurn. Will Lee find the real killer before her new hubby gets sent to a Hawaiian hoosegow?

Smoked Meat, A Carol Sabala Novella by Vinnie Hansen—Baker and wannabe sleuth Carol Sabala visits her mother for a family Christmas get-together. It’s murder, in more ways than one.

A Deadly Fundraiser, A Talk Radio Novella by Mary Kennedy—When radio talk show host Dr. Maggie Walsh and her pals start digging up clues in a scavenger hunt at a glitzy fundraiser, the game suddenly turns deadly. Will Maggie and her team be able to crack the case and solve the crime?

The Color of Fear. A Kelly O’Connell Novella by Judy Alter—Kelly receives a written kidnap threat targeting her infant daughter, Gracie. Kelly’s assistant Keisha narrates as Kelly and her family plot their precautions, but as time passes and the threat still looms, fear takes a toll on the family…and on Keisha.

Papa’s Ghost, A Gladdy Gold Mystery Novella by Rita Lakin—Gladdy and her girls accept an assignment iat a famous resort in Key West, thinking it will combine business with pleasure. Once they arrive, Gladdy suspects something is strange. Not only is their client an unexpected shock, but so is the case of murder they are expected to solve. Can they succeed when a whole city is against them?

Some explicit language in a few of the stories.

Review

I decided to read a few of the stories by authors that were new to me.  I think one of them I had read one of their short stories in the other Sleuthing Women, but not the full series.  I read Frosted, Honeymoons Can Be Murder, What the Widow Knew and Smoked Meat.

All were great shorter stories (some shorter than others!) and I was led around all the characters until the killer was revealed and it was usually someone I didn’t suspect!  All authors are ones that I plan to check out whenever I can whittle down my TBR pile.  I think they all have something great to offer and I can’t wait to read the other stories.

We give this 5 paws up.

 

About Lois Winston

USA Today bestselling and award-winning author Lois Winston writes mystery, romance, romantic suspense, chick lit, women’s fiction, children’s chapter books, and nonfiction under her own name and her Emma Carlyle pen name. Kirkus Reviews dubbed her critically acclaimed Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series, “North Jersey’s more mature answer to Stephanie Plum.” In addition, Lois is an award-winning craft and needlework designer who often draws much of her source material for both her characters and plots from her experiences in the crafts industry.

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Posted in Cozy, mystery, Spotlight on October 25, 2017

Best-Laid Plants: A Potting Shed Mystery
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Alibi (October 17, 2017)
Print Length: 294 pages

A trip to the English countryside turns into a brush with death for Pru Parke, the only gardener whose holiday wouldn’t be complete without a murder to solve.

Pru and her husband, former Detective Chief Inspector Christopher Pearse, are long overdue for a getaway. So when Pru is invited to redesign an Arts and Crafts garden in the picturesque Cotswolds, she and Christopher jump at the chance. Unfortunately, their B&B is more ramshackle than charming, and the once thriving garden, with its lovely Thyme Walk, has fallen into heartbreaking neglect. With the garden’s owner and designer, Batsford Bede, under the weather, Pru tackles the renovation alone. But just as she’s starting to make headway, she stumbles upon Batsford’s body in the garden—dead and pinned beneath one of his limestone statues.

With such a small police force in the area, Christopher is called upon to lead the investigation. Pru can’t imagine anyone murdering Batsford Bede, a gentle man who preferred to spend his time in quiet contemplation, surrounded by nature. But as her work on the garden turns up one ominous clue after another, Pru discovers that the scenery is more dangerous than she or Christopher could have anticipated.

Marty Wingate’s captivating mysteries can be enjoyed together or separately, in any order.

 

About the Author

marty wingateMarty Wingate is the author of two previous Potting Shed mysteries, The Garden Plot and The Red Book of Primrose House. Her new Birds of a Feather Mystery series debuted with The Rhyme of the Magpie. Wingate is a regular contributor to Country Gardens and other magazines. She also leads gardening tours throughout England, Scotland, Ireland, France, and North America. More Potting Shed and Birds of a Feather mysteries are planned.

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Check out the other blogs on this tour

October 16 – Carole’s Book Corner – REVIEW

October 16 –  Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

October 17 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT

October 18 – A Holland Reads – GUEST POST

October 19 – Reading Reality – REVIEW

October 20 – Christ Reads and Writes – REVIEW

October 21 – The Power of Words – REVIEW

October 22 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

October 23 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW

October 24 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

October 25 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

October 26 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST

October 27 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

October 28 – Island Confidential – INTERVIEW

October 29 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW

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Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, mystery, Spotlight on October 25, 2017

Cold As Ice (The Country Club Murders)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Henery Press (October 17, 2017)

Synopsis

Ellison Russell’s life resembles a rollercoaster ride. And rollercoasters make her ill. Her daughter Grace has a crush on a boy Ellison doesn’t trust and she’s taken to hosting wild parties when Ellison goes out for the evening. Worse, the bank which represents Grace’s inheritance from her father may be in trouble.

When a meeting with the chef at the country club leads to the discovery of a body, Ellison can’t afford cold feet. She must save the bank, find the killer, and convince Grace (and herself) that powerful women don’t need men to rescue them.

Related subjects include: cozy mysteries, women sleuths, murder mystery series, whodunit mysteries (whodunnit), amateur sleuth books, book club recommendations, humorous murder mysteries, historical mysteries.

Books in the Country Club Murders Humorous Mystery Series:

Deep End (#1)
GUARANTEED TO BLEED  (#2)
CLOUDS IN MY COFFEE (#3)
SEND IN THE CLOWNS (#4)
WATCHING THE DETECTIVES (#5)
COLD AS ICE (#6)

About the Author

Julie Mulhern is the USA Today bestselling author of The Country Club Murders. She is a Kansas City native who grew up on a steady diet of Agatha Christie. She spends her spare time whipping up gourmet meals for her family, working out at the gym and finding new ways to keep her house spotlessly clean–and she’s got an active imagination. Truth is–she’s an expert at calling for take-out, she grumbles about walking the dog and the dust bunnies under the bed have grown into dust lions.

 

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October 16 –  Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT

October 16 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST

October 17 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

October 17 – Blogger Nicole Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

October 18 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW

October 18 – Books Direct – GUEST POST

October 18 – Queen of All She Reads – REVIEW

October 19 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

October 19 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

October 19 – Maureen’s Musings – GUEST POST

October 20 – Girl with Book Lungs – REVIEW

October 20 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – SPOTLIGHT

October 21 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT

October 22 – Island Confidential – INTERVIEW

October 23 – Dee-Scoveries – INTERVIEW

October 23 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW

October 24 – A Cozy Experience – REVIEW

October 25 – Bibliophile Reviews –  REVIEW, INTERVIEW

October 25 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

October 26 – Laura’s Interests  – REVIEW

October 26 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

October 27 – Varietats – REVIEW

October 28 – My Funny View of Life – REVIEW

October 29 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST

Posted in 5 paws, Cozy, Monday, mystery, Review on October 23, 2017

Synopsis

When radio reporter Carol Childs is called to a crime scene in the Hollywood Hills at five thirty in the morning, she’s convinced it must be a publicity stunt to promote a new movie. That is, until she sees the body hanging from the center of the Hollywood sign. The police are quick to rule it a suicide, but something doesn’t add up for Carol. Particularly after a mysterious caller named Mustang Sally confesses to the murder on the air and threatens to kill again.

With the help of an incorrigible PI, her best friend, and a kooky psychic, Carol is drawn into the world of contract killers and women scorned. As she races to find the real killer, she finds herself faced with a decision that will challenge everything she thought she knew.

Related subjects include: women sleuths, murder mystery series, whodunit mysteries (whodunnit), amateur sleuth mysteries, book club recommendations, suspense, noir.

Books in the Carol Childs Mystery Series:

SHADOW OF DOUBT (#1)
BEYOND A DOUBT (#2)
WITHOUT A DOUBT (#3)
ROOM FOR DOUBT (#4)

Review

I have a few favorite series and this is one of them. I am not sure what it is about the characters or the setting, but I always find the books intriguing and they even leave me on the edge of my seat at times.

Carol always manages to find herself in the thick of events, probably because she is a radio journalist and I don’t see how she could avoid those news stories. I do feel like she puts herself in harms way too often and feels it is necessary to omit pertinent details to others that might be involved in the situation.

This book does deal with abuse and how a vigilante group chooses to handle those men found guilty (but not by a court) and dealing with them in their own way. I think many would say that by the time a court would step in help the abused woman it is too late. This group takes it out of the court’s hands and inflicts their own brand of justice.

There is a new character in this book, Chase. He is a local PI that Carol is working with on this case. There is definitely some chemistry between the two and I suspect he will be around a lot more and perhaps a romance will bud between the two.

We give this 5 paws up.

About This Author

nancy silvermanNancy Cole Silverman credits her twenty-five years in news and talk radio for helping her to develop an ear for storytelling. But it wasn’t until 2001 after she retired from news and copywriting that she was able to sit down and write fiction fulltime. Much of what Silverman writes about today she admits is pulled from events that were reported on from inside some of Los Angeles’ busiest newsrooms where she spent the bulk of her career. In the last ten years she has written numerous short stories and novelettes. Today Silverman lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Bruce and two standard poodles.

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