Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, Guest Post, Historical, mystery on April 15, 2017

Called to Justice (A Quaker Midwife Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Midnight Ink (April 8, 2017)
Paperback: 312 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0738750323
Kindle ASIN: B01FOR0YRW

Synopsis

Quaker midwife Rose Carroll is enjoying the 1888 Independence Day evening fireworks with her beau when a teenaged Quaker mill girl is found shot dead. After a former slave and fellow Quaker is accused of the murder, Rose delves into the crime, convinced of the man’s innocence. An ill-mannered mill manager, an Irish immigrant, and the victim’s young boyfriend come under suspicion even as Rose’s future with her handsome doctor suitor becomes unsure. Rose continues to deliver babies and listen to secrets, finally figuring out one criminal – only to be threatened by the murderer, with three lives at stake. Can she rescue herself, a baby, and her elderly midwifery teacher in time?

Guest Post

Re-creating Everyday Life

My Quaker Midwife Mysteries take place in a bustling New England mill and carriage factory town in the late 1880s – which happens to be the town I live in. The family my midwife Rose Carroll lives with resides in my house, or the way my house was when it was brand-new and built for workers who toiled in the textile mill a block down the hill. By now it has had two additions to the back, but the heart of the home remains.

We bought this house five years ago, and my boyfriend has renovated the entire structure, right down to the studs. We now have new plumbing, new wiring, insulation, smooth walls and ceilings, but we kept the original wide pine floors and the window and door trim. We’ve tried to keep the additions reminiscent of the period when the house was built, so the kitchen has old-timey looking subway tiles for backsplash, as does the bathroom.

We opened up the kitchen to the sitting room, and I love to perch on the couch and gaze into the kitchen, imagining Rose and her teenage niece Faith cooking and cleaning for the family. But what would it have looked like back then? This is a modest three-bedroom house, not a big fancy Victorian with maid’s quarters and a deluxe dining room.

I have visited several museum homes of the period. One was Orchard House, where the Alcott family lived. It’s only an hour from my home. I also stayed at living history farmhouse in Maine where the public is invited for 24-hour live-in experiences, from the wood cookstove to the chamberpot under the bed! And I often peruse Miss Parloa’s New Cook Book and Marketing Guide, where she speaks extensively of what a hygenic kitchen needs.

Rose’s kitchen would have had a wide soapstone sink and running water from a pump. The wide wooden table would have been used for food preparation as well as eating meals, and the cabinet space would have been limited. They might have had gas lighting on the walls, but not yet a gas stove. Certain places in town were starting to be electrified, but definitely not Rose’s home. Refrigeration would have been an icebox. The door to the outside was fitted with a screen door beyond, a new invention that did wonders for keeping the bugs out but letting a breeze circulate in a hot July when Called to Justice takes place.

The family did hire out the washing, and by Book Three in the series (Turning the Tide, 2018) Rose has convinced her widower brother-in-law to hire a kitchen girl, too. Rose has a busy midwifery practice, and Faith works full time in the Hamilton Mills, and Rose argued that it wasn’t fair to either of them to have to do all the housework, too.

I also often think of the Laura Ingalls Wilder series, which I read several times over as a child. Those stories take place primarily on the prairie and the frontier, certainly, but many of the everyday household tasks would have been the same.

Readers: Do you have any fabulous late Victorian research sources? Knowledge of everyday life from back then? Please share!

About the Author

edith maxwellAgatha-nominated and Amazon best-selling author Edith Maxwell writes the Quaker Midwife series, the Local Foods Mysteries, the Country Store Mysteries (as Maddie Day), and the Lauren Rousseau Mysteries (as Tace Baker), as well as award-winning short crime fiction. Maxwell lives north of Boston with her beau and three cats, and blogs with the other Wicked Cozy Authors.

Website * Wicked Cozy Authors * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads * Amazon * Pinterest

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check out the other blogs on this tour

April 5 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW

April 5 – My Journey Back – REVIEW

April 6 – Bibliophile Reviews –  REVIEW, INTERVIEW

April 6 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW, GUEST POST

April 7 – Shelley’s Book Case – REVIEW

April 7 – Books,Dreams,Life – INTERVIEW

April 8 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW

April 8 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

April 9 – The Power of Words – REVIEW

April 9 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, GUEST POST

April 10 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

April 10 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT

April 11 – Rainy Day Reviews – REVIEW

April 11 – Island Confidential – GUEST POST

April 12 – Book Babble – REVIEW

April 12 – Queen of All She Reads – REVIEW

April 13 – Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting – REVIEW

April 13 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW

April 14 – Leigh Anderson Romance – REVIEW

April 14 – Author Annette Drake’s blog – SPOTLIGHT

April 15 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

April 15 – deal sharing aunt – INTERVIEW

April 16 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW, GUEST POST

April 16 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT

Posted in Book Release, excerpt, mystery on April 13, 2017

Book Title: REMNANTS

Author: Carolyn Arnold

Series: Brandon Fisher FBI series, Book 6

Published by: Hibbert & Stiles Publishing Inc.

Synopsis

All that remains are whispers of the past…

When multiple body parts are recovered from the Little Ogeechee River in Savannah, Georgia, local law enforcement calls in FBI agent and profiler Brandon Fisher and his team to investigate. But with the remains pointing to three separate victims, this isn’t proving to be an open-and-shut case.

With no quick means of identifying the victims, building a profile of this serial killer is proving more challenging than usual. How is the killer picking these victims? Why are their limbs being severed and bodies mutilated? And what is it about them that is triggering this killer to murder?

The questions compound as the body count continues to rise, and when a torso painted blue and missing its heart is found, the case takes an even darker turn. But this is only the beginning, and these new leads draw the FBI into a creepy psychological nightmare. One thing is clear, though: the killing isn’t going to stop until they figure it all out. And they are running out of time…

Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Apple iBooks * Kobo * Google

Excerpt

KILLING WAS THE BEST SEDATIVE. Just knowing that the time was coming had allowed him to fall asleep the second his head had hit the pillow last night, and now the clock on his nightstand told him it was almost noon.

He got out of bed and opened the curtains, letting the sun spill in and blanket him in its warm glow. Closing his eyes, he bathed in its splendor. His breath was calm and deep as he got down onto his knees and spread his arms heavenward, giving thanks for not just another day but for the blessing of life. Not his, but what would be the beginning of another offering.

He remained there in a meditative state, letting his consciousness drift to the other realm, a place far too few visited or were even aware of. But it was in this stillness that he found his true self, his identity, and his purpose, where he became centered and focused on the seriousness of his mission.

He wrapped himself in a black robe and shuffled downstairs and out the back door. He stood on the patio facing the riverbank with his eyes closed.

As the sun warmed his eyelids, he imagined himself being carried up toward the sky, merging with the flames, the source of life, and shedding his human form. He knew that he belonged somewhere else—a different plane of existence—but the physical required roots. So for now, he was grounded.

He remained standing there until the sun ducked behind a cloud, the shadows casting over him. He opened his eyes and knew. It was time.

His stride was full of purpose as he returned inside to where he kept the man in a dimly lit room. He closed the door behind him and headed for the preparation room.

The man was standing, restrained at the wrists and ankles, and held up by a clasp around his neck. His arms and legs were stretched out like rays of sunshine. The offering was free to talk, but his spirit had become broken with the passage of time and he rarely whispered a word.

About the Author

carolyn-arnold-authorCAROLYN ARNOLD is an international best-selling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has four continuing fiction series—Detective Madison Knight, Brandon Fisher FBI, McKinley Mysteries, and Matthew Connor Adventures—and has written nearly thirty books. Her genre diversity offers her readers everything from cozy to hard-boiled mysteries, and thrillers to action adventures.

Both her female detective and FBI profiler series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining, leading her to adopt the trademark: POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™.

Carolyn was born in a small town and enjoys spending time outdoors, but she also loves the lights of a big city. Grounded by her roots and lifted by her dreams, her overactive imagination insists that she tell her stories. Her intention is to touch the hearts of millions with her books, to entertain, inspire, and empower.

She currently lives just west of Toronto with her husband and beagle and is a member of Crime Writers of Canada and Sisters in Crime.

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Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, Guest Post, mystery on April 11, 2017

Give the Devil His Due (A Tarot Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Midnight Ink (April 8, 2017)
Paperback: 360 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0738742243
Kindle ASIN: B01FOR0Z9Y

Synopsis

Reformed con artist-turned-tarot reader Alanis McLachlan gets paid for predicting the future—too bad she didn’t see all the trouble in hers. First a figure from her past tries to drag her back into the life of crime she thought she’d left behind. Then a new suitor tries to sweep Alanis off her feet, forcing her on-again, off-again romance with hunky teacher Victor Castellanos to hit the skids. And then there’s the little matter of the client who gets an ominous reading from Alanis . . . and is promptly murdered. Danger is in the cards for Alanis, and she’ll need all her skill at reading people and reading tarot if she’s going to survive.

Guest Post

Novel Advice
By Steve Hockensmith

There are downsides to being a published author. One: the groupies. It’s almost impossible to sustain a healthy marriage when legions of lovestruck fans are throwing themselves at you every day. I try to keep their numbers down by avoiding the bestseller lists, but I still can’t walk past a bookstore without someone throwing their panties at me. Or, occasionally, their tighty whities. A never-ending supply of free underwear could be a perk, I suppose, but I’d be happier if people kept their pants on and contented themselves with autographs.

Another downside: Authors are supposed to be smart. Publish a book and all of a sudden we’re expected to know how it’s done — and, worse, to tell everyone about it. Is there a writer alive who hasn’t been forced to churn out a “How to – “ column about “their craft”? Even James Patterson still does it from time to time, and his “craft” consists of dictating titles to other writers while soaking in a diamond-studded bathtub. (“I’m thinking we’ll go with the ol’ adjective-noun for this one, Rogers. Fatal Bond, Lethal Intent, Perspicacious Equanimity, Whatever Whatever…you know the drill. Give me 75,000 words by Wednesday. And hand me the Mr. Bubble.”)

Even I’ve done it when I was hard-up enough for something to write about. The most popular post on my blog is “50 Dos and Don’ts for Wannabe Writers,” which is basically 500-ish words of tap dancing around the fact that I’m NOT all that smart when it comes to writing and publishing. Boil the whole thing down and it’s just me shouting “Oh, for god’s sake…if you wanna write just go do it already!”

But guess what, friends. I’m in the middle of a blog tour. I’m supposed to write 187 blog posts in three days (or something like that). So….

Hockensmith’s Four Little Rules for Big-Time Publishing Success

(1) Write stuff people want to read

Want to move units? Give the people what they want. They’re not reading for their health, you know. In fact, most of them aren’t reading at all. Who’s got time for book-books when there’s Facebook? The one in a million who will pick up a novel from time to time don’t want to read your tender coming of age tale or heartfelt romance or gimmicky tarot-themed mystery or whatever. If the Amazon rankings are to be believed, they want Loch Ness monster erotica and lots of it. So fire up an In Search Of…, get in touch with your wild side and start typing something that moves your unit.

(2) Read stuff people (especially you) want to write
James Patterson was an ad man before he started writing (or dictating titles, anyway). Lee Child was a TV producer. J.K. Rowling was unemployed. Gillian Flynn drove an ice cream truck. Jonathan Franzen was a Chippendales dancer. Very different backgrounds — yet all of these bestselling authors have two things in common. First, before they were writers, they were readers, preparing themselves for literary superstardom by discovering what they themselves love about books. Second, they’re all members of the Illuminati, the shadowy cabal that secretly controls the world. Which gives them a bit of an edge, competition-wise. Still…read, people! It’s good for you!

(3) Land a powerful agent, get a huge book deal and become a bestseller
Preferably in that order.

(4) Honor your commitments
Let’s say, for example, that you’ve agreed to write 187 blog posts in three days. Well, by cracky, you’d better do it, even if it means churning out a lot of ridiculous bunk. If you’re lucky, no one will notice….

 

About the Author

Steve Hockensmith’s first novel, Holmes on the Range, was a finalist for the Edgar, Shamus, Anthony and Dilys awards. He went on to write four sequels as well as a pair of bestselling follow-ups to the international publishing sensation Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. More recently, he wrote (with collaborator “Science Bob” Pflugfelder) the middle-grade mysteries Nick and Tesla’s High-Voltage Danger Lab and Nick and Tesla’s Robot Army Rampage.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads

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April 5 – Babs Book Bistro – REVIEW

April 5 – Island Confidential – GUEST POST

April 6 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

April 7 – Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf – REVIEW

April 7 – Sleuth Cafe – GUEST POST

April 8 – A Holland Reads – GUEST POST

April 9 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

April 10 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW

April 11 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

April 12 – Queen of All She Reads – REVIEW

April 13 – Varietats – REVIEW

April 14 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – INTERVIEW

April 15 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

April 15 – A Blue Million Books – GUEST POST

April 16 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW

Posted in 5 paws, Cozy, Giveaway, mystery, Review on April 8, 2017

Silence of the Jams (A Down South Café Mystery) 
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Berkley (April 4, 2017)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1101990803
E-Book ASIN: B01IAUG44C

Synopsis

In the latest Southern cozy from the author of The Calamity Café, small-town chef Amy Flowers can’t take her freedom for granted when she’s served up as a murder suspect… 

It’s Independence Day in Winter Garden, Virginia, and the residents are gearing up for their annual celebration. The Down South Café is open and flourishing, and Amy Flowers is busy making pies and cakes for the holiday. The only thorn in her side is Chamber of Commerce director George Lincoln, who is trying to buy the café so he can tear it down and build a B&B on the site.

When George collapses while eating at the Down South, everybody assumes it’s a heart attack—until the autopsy declares it to be poisoning. Now, it’s up to Amy to prove her innocence before her liberty is lost.

Includes delicious Southern recipes!

Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Books-A-Million * Indiebound * Kobo

Review

This small town is intriguing and the townsfolk are people I would want as my neighbors! Well except the killers!

This second book is very delightful and of course I love that it is centered around a cafe…which means food! Thankfully the author gives us some recipes at the end and I will be trying out a few of them.

The mystery was well written and while I figured out the killer it wasn’t really from any clues, but just a gut instinct. This character just seemed to be up to something shady, and I was right!

There is also another character that turned out to be a surprise and one of the good ones. You wouldn’t think that from how this character is portrayed. I can’t say too much, don’t want to give away any secrets or plot twists.

I even like that the romance continues between Ryan and Amy. It seems rather sweet. And her cousin Jackie even has something going with a long time friend. I also like that the author throws in a drug addicted mother and the agony a family probably goes through dealing with that addiction.

Overall a delightful book and series, definitely check it out if you haven’t yet.  We give it 5 paws up

About the Author

Gayle&Cooper

Gayle Leeson is a pseudonym for Gayle Trent. I also write as Amanda Lee. As Gayle Trent, I write the Daphne Martin Cake Mystery series and the Myrtle Crumb Mystery series. As Amanda Lee, I write the Embroidery Mystery series. I live in Virginia with my family, which includes her own “Angus” who is not an Irish wolfhound but a Great Pyrenees who provides plenty of inspiration for the character of Mr. O’Ruff. I’m having a blast writing this new series!

 

Webpage * Gayle Trent Webpage * Facebook * Twitter * GoodReads

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April 3 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

April 3 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – REVIEW

April 3 – Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting – REVIEW

April 4 – Book Babble – REVIEW

April 4 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

April 5 – Bookworm Mom – REVIEW

April 6 – The Power of Words – REVIEW

April 6 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW

April 6 – Shelley’s Book Case – REVIEW

April 7 – A Blue Million Books – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

April 7 – Books,Dreams,Life – INTERVIEW

April 8 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

April 8 – Author Annette Drake’s blog – INTERVIEW

April 9 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

April 9 – Brooke Blogs – CHARACTER GUEST POST

April 10 – Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder – REVIEW

April 10 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW

April 10 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – REVIEW

April 11 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

April 11 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW

April 12 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

April 12 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – REVIEW

April 12 – Maureen’s Musings – REVIEW

April 13 – Books, Movies, Reviews. Oh my! – REVIEW

April 13 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

April 14 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW

April 14 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW

April 15 – Queen of All She Reads – REVIEW

April 15 – deal sharing aunt – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

April 16 – Varietats – REVIEW

April 16 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW

Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, Guest Post, mystery on April 6, 2017

Occult and Battery (A Bay Island Psychic Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Berkley (April 4, 2017)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425282762
E-Book ASIN: B01J2STXD0

Synopsis

A murder mystery weekend becomes a little too real in the latest Bay Island Psychic Mystery from the author of Death at First Sight

Cass Donovan uses her skills as a former psychiatrist to get away with pretending to be psychic, but she’s not about to let anyone get away with murder…

The outlook is not so good for Cass’s psychic shop, Mystical Musings. With winter winds discouraging tourists from riding the ferry from Long Island to Bay Island, Cass hopes to draw in more customers by hosting a murder mystery weekend, complete with a séance, in a supposedly haunted mansion.

But Cass begins to lose her spirit when her ex-husband shows up, along with his fiancée—Cass’s ex-best friend. Then, after one of the guests is found dead, a blizzard blows in, trapping everyone inside with a murderer. Now Cass must divine who did the deed before her reputation and her livelihood fade away.

Amazon * B&N * Penguin/ Random House * Kobo * Books-a-Million * Target

Guest Post

Things You Didn’t Know About Lena Gregory

I always enjoy getting to know my readers, so I figure what better way to start than to share a little about myself. I’d love for you to leave a comment below sharing some things people don’t know about you and telling me if you share any of my interests!

  1. My husband and I live on the south shore of eastern Long Island. We have three amazing kids, ages twenty-six, eighteen and six. Yes, my little guy came as quite a very happy surprise! And I am extremely family oriented. I enjoy nothing more than spending time with my husband and kids.
  2. I absolutely love big dogs. At the moment, we have a Golden Retriever, a Weimaraner, and an Australian Shepherd. I lost my Bernese Mountain Dog/ Golden Retriever mix two years ago, and my heart is still broken. When my daughter and son-in-law finish building their house and move out, they’ll take two of the dogs with them, and then I’ll get a couple more. Of course, we’ll check out the animal shelter first when the time comes, but I would love another Bernese Mountain Dog, a Leonberger, or a Rhodesian Ridgeback. What do you think?
  3. I am a master at procrastination. I don’t have a lot of writing time, but sometimes, when I do sit down to write, I just can’t seem to get going. So I tell myself there are important things I have to do before I can start writing. The first of those is usually facebook, because there might be something interesting I “need” to know. I love to chat with readers, my agent, and other authors, so I often hang out there for a bit. Then I check all of my emails, because, you know, something really important that wasn’t there five minutes ago, might be there now. And then I head for twitter. By the time I finish all of that, I’m usually hungry so, I grab a snack, then finally sit down to get started.
  4. I am addicted to Diet Pepsi and chocolate!
  5. I have worked many jobs, some I loved, others not as much. I was a dance teacher and choreographer for more than twenty years. When my daughter was in high school I choreographed and co-directed several high school musicals. I also worked in a deli, which will feature in a mystery I’m currently outlining. And I cleaned houses in the Hamptons, which gave me more material than you could imagine for a future cozy mystery series.
  6. I am painfully shy. As much as I love socializing and even meeting new people, I do much better one on one than I do in a group.
  7. I believe in ghosts, and they do feature in my first series, as well as a second series I am currently outlining.
  8. I am very high strung and rarely relax. I go from the time I get up around 6:30 am until the time I go to bed, anywhere between 12:30 and 2:00 am. I talk fast, I move fast, and I always have a list a mile long of things I have to get finished in a day. Of course, I usually forget or misplace the list, so it doesn’t always help much.

Don’t forget to leave a comment and let me know if you share any of those same traits.

About the Author

Lena lives in a small town on the south shore of eastern Long Island with her husband and three children.

When she was growing up, she spent many lazy afternoons on the beach, in the yard, anywhere she could find to curl up with a good book. She loves reading as much now as she did then, but she now enjoys the added pleasure of creating her own stories.

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April 4 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – REVIEW

April 5 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

April 5 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT

April 6 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – REVIEW

April 6 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST, SPOTLIGHT

April 7 – Bookworm Mom – REVIEW, GUEST POST

April 7 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

April 8 – I Wish I Lived in a Library – REVIEW

April 9 – Island Confidential – INTERVIEW, SPOTLIGHT

April 10 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW

April 10 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW

April 11 – A Holland Reads –  REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

April 12 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW

April 13 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

April 14 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, GUEST POST

April 15 – Readeropolis – REVIEW

April 15 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST, SPOTLIGHT

April 16 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

April 16 – Author Annette Drake’s blog – INTERVIEW

April 17 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – REVIEW

Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, mystery, Spotlight on March 29, 2017

Single Malt Murder: A Whisky Business Mystery

Ballantine Group; Alibi | On Sale: March 21st, 2017 | ISBN: 9780399179051| 300 Pages | Price: $4.99

Synopsis

When Abi inherits her uncle’s quaint and storied single malt distillery, she finds herself immersed in a competitive high-stakes business that elicits deep passions and prejudices. An award-winning photojournalist, Abi has no trouble capturing the perfect shot—but making the perfect shot is another matter. When she starts to receive disturbing, anonymous threats, it’s clear that someone wants her out of the picture. But Abi’s never been one to back down from a fight.

Arriving on the scene with her whisky-loving best friend, Patrick, and an oversized wheaten terrier named Liam, Abi seems to put everyone in the bucolic village on edge—especially her dour but disturbingly attractive head distiller. Acts of sabotage and increasingly personal threats against Abi make it clear that she is not welcome. When one of Abi’s new employees is found floating facedown in a vat of whisky, Abi is determined to use her skills as an investigative journalist to identify the cold-blooded killer and dispense a dram of justice before he strikes again. But distilling truth from lies is tricky, especially when everyone seems to have something to hide.

About the Author

Melinda Mullet was born in Dallas and attended school in Texas, Washington D.C., England, and Austria. She spent many years as a practicing attorney before pursuing a career as a writer. Author of the Whisky Business Mystery series, Mullet is a passionate supporter of childhood literacy. She works with numerous domestic and international charities striving to promote functional literacy for all children. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her family.

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March 20 – MysteriesEtc – REVIEW

March 20 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST

March 21 – Community Bookstop – SPOTLIGHT   Will review at a later date.

March 21 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT

March 22 – Babs Book Bistro – REVIEW

March 23 – Rainy Day Reviews – REVIEW

March 23 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

March 24 – Shelley’s Book Case – SPOTLIGHT

March 24 – A Holland Reads – GUEST POST

March 25 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW

March 26 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW

March 27 – My Journey Back – REVIEW

March 27 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

March 28 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW

March 28 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW

March 29 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

March 29 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

March 30 – Dee-Scoveries – SPOTLIGHT

March 30 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

March 31 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW

April 1 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST

April 1 – Sleuth Cafe – SPOTLIGHT

April 2 – Varietas – REVIEW

April 2 – Author Annette Drake’s blog – INTERVIEW

Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, Guest Post, mystery on March 23, 2017

Elementary, She Read: A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery
by Vicki Delany
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (March 14, 2017)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683310969

Synopsis

Gemma Doyle, a transplanted Englishwoman, has returned to the quaint town of West London on Cape Cod to manage her Great Uncle Arthur’s Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium. The shop–located at 222 Baker Street–specializes in the Holmes canon and pastiche, and is also the home of Moriarty the cat. When Gemma finds a rare and potentially valuable magazine containing the first Sherlock Homes story hidden in the bookshop, she and her friend Jayne (who runs the adjoining Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room) set off to find the owner, only to stumble upon a dead body.

The highly perceptive Gemma is the police’s first suspect, so she puts her consummate powers of deduction to work to clear her name, investigating a handsome rare books expert, the dead woman’s suspiciously unmoved son, and a whole family of greedy characters desperate to cash in on their inheritance. But when Gemma and Jayne accidentally place themselves at a second murder scene, it’s a race to uncover the truth before the detectives lock them up for good.

Guest Post

Creating a Character: Gemma Doyle and the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Series

By Vicki Delany

When I first came up with the idea for the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series, I planned on creating a standard cozy in which the main character owns a book store that specializes in anything to do with Sherlock Holmes.

But by around page two, she began to morph from a pleasant young woman into a modern Sherlock Holmes. I guess you could say that Gemma Doyle took over control of her character from me, the supposed writer.

I’m glad she did, as I’ve had a lot of fun trying to imagine Sherlock as a modern young woman. She’s as intelligent, as quick-witted, and as perspective as The Great Detective, but I have made her (found her to be?) softer and not quite as abrasive, although she can still be lacking some of the, shall we say, finer points of social skills.

The book store is located at 220 Baker Street, in West London, Massachusetts, on Cape Cod. I’ve stocked it with all the novels and short story collections of the Holmes pastiche, the original Sir Arthur Conan Doyle books, modern essays and interpretations, as well as a shelf full of gaslight mysteries and tons of Sherlock memorabilia. It’s been rather surprising to me to discover just how much of that stuff there is. It really would be possible to have an entire store with nothing but Sherlock Holmes.

Gemma Doyle has, unlike Sherlock Holmes, actual friends. One of whom is Jayne Wilson, who owns Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room located next door at 222 Baker Street.

She also has romantic interests. She was on the verge of getting engaged some years ago, but the proposal never happened.

In this scene, she remembers why their engagement never came to pass:

  “You’re wearing your best suit and a brand new tie, if I’m not
mistaken. You’ve gone to the trouble of shaving after work
which you normally don’t do. You’ve even polished your
shoes. You have a touch of sweat on your brow but this room
isn’t hot. Somewhat to the contrary, I think. They’ve turned the
air conditioning on too early. The bulge in your jacket pocket is
the size and shape of a ring box. You gave the waiter an
unobtrusive nod that had him grinning like a fool, and if I’m not
mistaken, he’s bringing the champagne now, Veuve Clicquot,
excellent choice.”

                                                Elementary, She Read by Vicki Delany

 

Now, he’s back in town. And he’s the lead detective for the local police.

When Gemma finds a rare old copy of the world’s most expensive magazine, Beeton’s Christmas Annual of December 1887, hidden in the shop, she can’t help herself from investigating.

And the game, most definitely, is afoot.

About the Author

Vicki Delany is one of Canada’s most prolific and varied crime writers. She is the author of twenty-three published crime novels, including standalone Gothic thrillers, the Constable Molly Smith series, and the Year Round Christmas Mysteries.  Under the pen name of Eva Gates she is the national bestselling author of the Lighthouse Library cozy series.

The first in Vicki’s Sherlock Holmes bookshop series, Elementary She Read, will be released in March 2017 from Crooked Lane Books.

Vicki lives and writes in Prince Edward County, Ontario. She is the past president of the Crime Writers of Canada.

Website * Facebook * Twitter (Vicki) * Twitter (Eva)

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March 13 – The Bookwyrm’s Hoard – REVIEW

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

March 13 – Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf – SPOTLIGHT

March 14 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

March 14 – Reviews by Martha’s Bookshelf – REVIEW

March 15 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW

March 15 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW

March 16 – Rainy Day Reviews – REVIEW

March 16 – A Holland Reads – GUEST POST

March 17 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

March 17 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT

March 18 – Shelley’s Book Case – REVIEW

March 18 – Girl with Book Lungs – GUEST POST

March 19 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW

March 20 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW

March 20 – Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

March 21 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

March 21 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT

March 22 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – REVIEW

March 22 – Carole’s Book Corner – REVIEW

March 22 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW

March 23 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

March 23 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT

March 23 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

March 24 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

March 24 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

March 25 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW

March 25 – Island Confidential – spotlight

March 26 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW

March 26 – Girl Lost In a Book – REVIEW

Posted in Cozy, Craft, Giveaway, Guest Post, mystery on March 16, 2017

Off the Beadin’ Path (Glass Bead Mystery Series)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Vetrai Press (March 11, 2017)
230 Pages

Synopsis

Jax O’Connell and her friend Tessa have no idea what challenges await them when they head to the small town of Carthage to take a glass blowing class with Marco De Luca, a famous Italian glass artist. While Jax loves melting glass to make beads, she discovers that standing in front of the glass furnace’s inferno frightens her.

After the first night of class, Tessa sees a dead body through the water-streaked window of the studio. The next morning there’s no sign of Marco—dead or alive—and one of the studio owners is also missing. The local sheriff doesn’t take the disappearance seriously, so Jax and Tessa take matters into their own hands.

Jax must face her fears to find the body, track down the clues, and uncover the killer—and do it all before another life is shattered.

Off the Beadin’ Path is the third book in the Glass Bead Mystery series.

Guest Post

A Day in the Life of Jax O’Connell

The Main Character in Off the Beadin’ Path,
Book Three in the Glass Bead Mystery Series
by Janice Peacock

Hi there! My name is Jax O’Connell, and I live in Seattle, the Emerald City—not because of how lush the landscape is, but because of all the green Starbucks signs everywhere you look. I love it here, not just for the coffee, but because Seattle is a mecca for glass art. I make glass beads for a living by melting slender rods of colorful glass that I sculpt using a 2,000 degree torch. I use the beads I make to create handmade jewelry that I sell at local shops.

When I inherited a bungalow from my Great-Aunt Rita in this glass-loving city, I left Miami behind. I can say without a doubt that I don’t miss the hurricanes or the jumbo-sized bugs. Several years ago, my great-aunt split her house down the middle to create a duplex. I live in one side of the house and Val lives in the other. I’ve lived next door to her for nearly three years now, and they have been some of the best in my life. Val is enormous in every way—big red hair, big bones (I say with the utmost tact), and big jewelry—the glitzier, the better. Oh, and she’s a science-fiction fan girl, but that’s too complicated to explain right now.

On most usual days, I’d get up and pull the beads I’d made the day before from the kiln. It’s always fun to see how everything turns out and decide what I want to work on next. Then I’d head down the hall to the kitchen, where my cat Gumdrop would be impatiently pacing back and forth. I’d pull out a green ice cube from the cute pink plastic tray in the freezer and pop it into the cat’s empty food bowl. As soon as Gumdrop saw the frozen cube of catnip, he’d go wild, jumping on the bowl, and skidding across the hardwood floor into the hallway. While Gumdrop enjoyed his treat, I’d usually make a big pot of coffee, and enjoy the first of many cups of the day.

But today is not a usual day. My best friend, Tessa, spent the night, and what a night it was! She and I are taking a glassblowing class at Old Firehouse Studio in the little town of Carthage about a forty-five minute drive from here. I was excited at the prospect of taking a glassblowing class, but once I stood in front of the furnace’s inferno, I knew I would never be able to blow glass with any confidence, if I had the guts to do it at all.

Marco de Luca, our teacher, was hitting on one of the pretty young women in class and he’d had just a little too much to drink by the end of the evening. So, once we finished our lesson, Tessa and I both wanted to get out of town, and fast. While we were driving home, Tessa realized she’d left her cell phone at the studio. Since Tessa can’t live without her phone, I turned back, during a downpour, no less. I waited in the car while Tessa ran to the studio. She tried the door, but it was locked. She peered in the studio window, then turned and ran faster than I’ve ever seen her move.

She jumped in my car and told me the shocking news: She had seen a dead body in the studio through the rain-streaked window! Tessa was certain it was our instructor, and was sure he was dead. Not knowing what else to do, I sped away while Tessa called 911. I parked at the other end of town, and we waited until a sheriff arrived. And, I’ve got to say, the sheriff did not inspire confidence. He sent us home, promising he’d check out what Tessa saw at the studio, though I think it was equally likely he’d do nothing of the sort.

After our long drive home, we ate far too many oatmeal cookies, provided to us by my neighbor Val, who is becoming a better cook day by day.

This morning Tessa and I both felt like we had hangovers, but not from drinking—from those darn oatmeal cookies. I thought oatmeal and raisins were supposed to be healthy. I guess all the sugar that holds them together is what makes my stomach feel so awful. I poured myself a giant cup of coffee and one for Tessa. Once she was up we were going to need to call the studio and find out what happened last night.

Had Tessa really seen a dead body? And who was it?

 

About the Author

Janice Peacock decided to write her first mystery novel after working in a glass studio full of colorful artists who didn’t always get along. They reminded her of the odd, and often humorous, characters in the murder mystery books she loved to read. Inspired by that experience, she combined her two passions and wrote High Strung: A Glass Bead Mystery, launching a new cozy mystery series featuring glass beadmaker Jax O’Connell.

When Janice isn’t writing about glass artists-turned-amateur-detectives, she makes glass beads using a torch, designs one-of-a-kind jewelry, and makes sculptures using hot glass. An award-winning artist, her work has been exhibited internationally and is in the permanent collections of the Corning Museum of Glass, the Glass Museum of Tacoma, WA, and in private collections worldwide.

Janice lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, two cats, and twelve chickens. She has a studio full of beads…lots and lots of beads.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Pinterest * Amazon * Goodreads

 

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March 15 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

March 15 – My Journey Back – REVIEW

March 16 – StoreyBook Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY

March 16 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

March 17 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT

March 17 – Books,Dreams,Life – INTERVIEW, SPOTLIGHT

March 18 – Sleuth Cafe – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY

March 18 – My Reading Journeys – SPOTLIGHT

March 19 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

March 20 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

March 21 – Varietats – REVIEW

March 21 – Queen of All She Reads – GUEST POST

March 22 – Book Babble – REVIEW

March 22 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT

March 23 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW

March 23 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW

March 24 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY

Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, mystery, Spotlight on March 15, 2017

Pekoe Most Poison (A Tea Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
18th in Series
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (March 7, 2017)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425281680
Kindle – ASIN: B01KGZVXTK

Synopsis

In the latest Tea Shop Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Laura Childs, Theodosia Browning attends a “Rat Tea,” where the mice will play…at murder.

When Indigo Tea Shop owner Theodosia Browning is invited by Doreen Briggs, one of Charleston’s most prominent hostesses, to a “Rat Tea,” she is understandably intrigued. As servers dressed in rodent costumes and wearing white gloves offer elegant finger sandwiches and fine teas, Theo learns these parties date back to early twentieth-century Charleston, where the cream of society would sponsor so-called rat teas to promote city rodent control and better public health.

But this party goes from odd to chaotic when a fire starts at one of the tables and Doreen’s entrepreneur husband suddenly goes into convulsions and drops dead. Has his favorite orange pekoe tea been poisoned? Theo smells a rat.

The distraught Doreen soon engages Theo to pursue a discreet inquiry into who might have murdered her husband. As Theo and her tea sommelier review the guest list for suspects, they soon find themselves drawn into a dangerous game of cat and mouse…

INCLUDES RECIPES AND TEA TIME TIPS

About the Author

laura-childsLaura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Tea Shop Mysteries, Scrapbook Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. In her previous life she was CEO/Creative Director of her own marketing firm and authored several screenplays. She is married to a professor of Chinese art history, loves to travel, rides horses, enjoys fund raising for various non-profits, and has two Chinese Shar-Pei dogs.

Laura specializes in cozy mysteries that have the pace of a thriller (a thrillzy!) Her three series are:

The Tea Shop Mysteries – set in the historic district of Charleston and featuring Theodosia Browning, owner of the Indigo Tea Shop. Theodosia is a savvy entrepreneur, and pet mom to service dog Earl Grey. She’s also an intelligent, focused amateur sleuth who doesn’t rely on coincidences or inept police work to solve crimes. This charming series is highly atmospheric and rife with the history and mystery that is Charleston.

The Scrapbooking Mysteries – a slightly edgier series that take place in New Orleans. The main character, Carmela, owns Memory Mine scrapbooking shop in the French Quarter and is forever getting into trouble with her friend, Ava, who owns the Juju Voodoo shop. New Orleans’ spooky above-ground cemeteries, jazz clubs, bayous, and Mardi Gras madness make their presence known here!

The Cackleberry Club Mysteries – set in Kindred, a fictional town in the Midwest. In a rehabbed Spur station, Suzanne, Toni, and Petra, three semi-desperate, forty-plus women have launched the Cackleberry Club. Eggs are the morning specialty here and this cozy cafe even offers a book nook and yarn shop. Business is good but murder could lead to the cafe’s undoing! This series offers recipes, knitting, cake decorating, and a dash of spirituality.

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March 6 – Michelle’s Romantic Tangle – REVIEW

March 6 – Sleuth Cafe – SPOTLIGHT

March 7 – MysteriesEtc – REVIEW

March 7 – A Blue Million Books – GUEST POST

March 8 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

March 8 – Readsalot – SPOTLIGHT

March 8 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

March 9 – Maureen’s Musings – REVIEW

March 9 – Babs Book Bistro – REVIEW

March 9 – My Journey Back – REVIEW

March 10 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW

March 11 – Rainy Day Reviews – REVIEW

March 11 – The Power of Words – REVIEW

March 12 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW

March 12 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

March 13 – Queen of All She Reads –  SPOTLIGHT

March 13 – Shelley’s Book Case – REVIEW

March 14 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW

March 15 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

March 15 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW

March 15 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

March 16 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW

March 16 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – INTERVIEW

March 17 – Bibliophile Reviews –  REVIEW, GUEST POST

March 17 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

March 18 – The Editing Pen – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

March 18 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW

March 19 – 3  Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – REVIEW

March 19 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT

Posted in 4 paws, Cozy, Giveaway, mystery, Review on March 14, 2017

The Art of Vanishing (A Lila Maclean Academic Mystery)
Publisher: Henery Press (February 28, 2017)
Paperback: 262 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1635111699
Kindle – ASIN: B01NBHR7Y6

Synopsis

When Professor Lila Maclean is sent to interview celebrated author and notorious cad Damon Von Tussel, he disappears before her very eyes. The English department is thrown into chaos by the news, as Damon is supposed to headline Stonedale University’s upcoming Arts Week.

The chancellor makes it clear that he expects Lila to locate the writer and set events back on track immediately. But someone appears to have a different plan: strange warnings are received, valuable items go missing, and a series of dangerous incidents threaten the lives of Stonedale’s guests. After her beloved mother, who happens to be Damon’s ex, rushes onto campus and into harm’s way, Lila has even more reason to bring the culprit to light before anything—or anyone—else vanishes.

Review

I think this is the first time in a long time that I have ready a mystery and no one has died! There is still a mystery to solve, but not why someone was killed. This time they are trying to figure out what the scoop is behind celebrated author Damon Von Tussel. Is he really just a recluse or is there more to his story?

Lila puts up with a lot where she works, mostly from the Chancellor, but also from a fellow professor, Simone, who has it out for her. I never knew the world of academia could be so competitive. The Chancellor is a bit of a jerk expecting Lila to do all these things with no care for her life or if she has a conflict and can’t jump and fill his demands. But at least she has her cousin, Calista, on her side.

The actual mystery was quite a shock when all was revealed. I never expected it to turn out the way it did and for some people to reveal their true intentions. There are a few clues to point you in the right direction, but not many.

There is also a potential love interest between Lila and Lex (the police detective). But there is also Nate, but even though Lila sees him as a friend, could he be interested in more?

I did find one inconsistency (and it may have been fixed by the final printing of the book, I had an ARC). At an event, Lex asks Lila if he can take her to dinner the next night. She said no because of an author reading that was happening. However, the following text seems to span a few days before the actual event. It is a minor thing that I noticed but it threw me off as I read that section.

I still enjoyed the book and am curious to see what the author has in store for the next installment.  We give it 4 paws up.

About the Author

cynthia kuhnCynthia Kuhn teaches and writes in Colorado. Her work has appeared in McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, Literary Mama, Copper Nickel, Prick of the Spindle, Mama PhD and other publications. She is the current president of Sisters in Crime-Colorado and blogs with Mysteristas. Visit her at cynthiakuhn.net or @cynthiakuhn.

Website * Blog * Facebook * Goodreads * Twitter

 

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March 1 – T’s Stuff – INTERVIEW, SPOTLIGHT

March 1 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW

March 2 – Queen of All She Reads – SPOTLIGHT

March 2 – Sleuth Cafe – SPOTLIGHT

March 3 – Books Direct – INTERVIEW

March 3 – Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers – SPOTLIGHT

March 4 – Mystery Playground – INTERVIEW

March 5 – The Editing Pen – INTERVIEW

March 6 – Maureen’s Musings – REVIEW

March 6 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT

March 7 – My Journey Back – REVIEW, INTERVIEWAdding interview

March 7 – Shelley’s Book Case – REVIEW

March 8 – Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW, SPOTLIGHT

March 9 – Girl with Book Lungs – CHARACTER INTERVIEW, SPOTLIGHT

March 9 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVIEW, SPOTLIGHT

March 10 – Rainy Day Reviews – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

March 11 – Connie’s History Classroom – REVIEW

March 11 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT

March 12 – Varietats – REVIEW

March 12 – Babs Book Bistro – CHARACTER INTERVIEW, SPOTLIGHT

March 13 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

March 14 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

March 14 – A Blue Million Books – CHARACTER INTERVIEW