Saturday, November 1, 2014

November Mysteries from Killer Character Authors

November is a great time to read a wonderful new mystery. Check out what our authors have been up to!

Book 4 in the Vintage Kitchen Mysteries

No Mallets Intended
Victoria Hamilton
Berkley Prime Crime
Vintage Kitchen Mysteries

ISBN-13: 978-0425271391

The Queensville Heritage Society is restoring the once-grand Dumpe Manor. While Dumpe relatives and society members use the occasion to dust off old grudges, Jaymie Leighton prefers to adorn the kitchen with authentic Depression Era furnishings. A collection of vintage wooden mallets found in the house is a perfect addition to her display, but one also offers a late-night intruder the perfect weapon to knock Jaymie unconscious before escaping.

Though the attack has everyone on edge, nothing is missing from the house. Perhaps it was merely a vagrant who thought the place was still abandoned. But when Dumpe Manor’s resident historian is murdered with a mallet from the same collection, it’s time for Jaymie to turn up the heat on the investigation before someone else becomes history.

Book  6 in the Missing Pieces Mysteries

Dae’s Christmas Past
Joyce and Jim Lavene
Amazon Books
Book 6 in the National Bestselling Missing Pieces Mysteries

Mayor Dae O'Donnell of Duck, North Carolina, is a finder of lost things. She has a psychic gift for finding lost things and people that has been passed down to her from her grandmother. She runs the Missing Pieces Thrift Store to have a place to keep some of the things she finds, and to give back things that are missing to their rightful owners.

When wild horse rescue director Tom Watts is found dead on Duck Road, Dae is determined to find out who killed him. Her friend, Jake Burleson, is accused of killing Tom, but Dae realizes something more - something wicked - is behind Tom’s death. She’s afraid a terrifying part from the past has already returned to her small town, and there may be more deaths to come.

Christmas is coming, but how much of Duck will be left to enjoy it?

Featuring Pet Psychic Mary Catherine Roberts!

Other books in the Missing Pieces Mysteries: A Timely Vision (Book 1), A Touch of Gold,  (Book 2), A Spirited Gift (Book 3), A Haunting Dream (Book 4), A Finder’s Fee (Book 5)

Book 4 in the Haunted Yarn shop Mysteries

Molly MacRae
Plagued by Quilt
Obsidian (NAL/Penguin Random House)
Haunted Yarn Shop Mysteries
ISBN: 045147130X

In this latest novel in the national bestselling series, yarn shop owner Kath Rutledge is at a historic farm in Blue Plum, Tennessee, volunteering for the high school program Hands on History. But when a long-buried murder is uncovered on the property, Kath needs help from Geneva the ghost to solve a crime that time forgot....

Kath and her needlework group TGIF (Thank Goodness It’s Fiber) are preparing to teach a workshop at the Holston Homeplace Living History Farm, but their lesson in crazy quilts is no match for the crazy antics of the assistant director, Phillip Bell. Hamming it up with equal parts history and histrionics, Phillip leads an archaeological dig of the farm’s original dump site—until one student stops the show by uncovering some human bones.

When a full skeleton is later excavated, Kath can’t help but wonder if it’s somehow connected to Geneva, the ghost who haunts her shop, and whom she met at this very site. After Phillip is found dead, it’s up to Kath to thread the clues together before someone else becomes history.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Help! I need a good disguise

Fearfully submitted by Walter the Pug from Victoria Abbott's book collector mysteries.

Shhh. It’s Walter here.

 I am coming to you from a secret location, not Van Alst House, a place I formerly loved to visit with Jordan, where she works for the famously grumpy book collector, Vera Van Alst.   Used to be that the biggest problem there was those Siamese cats.  Aside from that it was heaven: all kinds of great treats cooked especially for visiting doggies.  But that was before … I can hardly say it.

Since that woman arrived, everyone’s scared to death!  It’s not just a Halloween prank either, although I hear that is today.  No, this Muriel Delgado arrived with swirling black clothing and a heart full of ice. She has taken over.  I am worried about everyone.  She hates pets.  I've been wearing a hat so she doesn't know I'm a dog.

What can we do? We all need to be protected.  Even if Jordan’s been fired and so has Uncle Kev, what’s to stop this woman from finding us at Uncle Mick’s place and breaking down the doors and— Don’t laugh. She knows what I look like and she hates everyone and everything that I love, not that I love the cats, but she does hate them too.

I think I need a disguise in case she does find us.  I can’t count on Jordan because she is busy trying to save Vera’s life.  She even takes me with her when she’s trying to trick the police. Does that sound like she has my best interests at heart?  Luckily there are lots of costumes to choose from here at Uncle Mick's, I mean the secret location.  Which one do you think will fool her?  

 I could be a 'Playboy bunny', I have the good looks but maybe that lifestyle wouldn't be for me. 

  Or should I go to Van Alst House and  fight back as a pirate?

Maybe I could scare her into leaving? 

I am counting on thoughtful and wise answers from you humans.  All suggestions gratefully received. Treats too.  By the way,  I like chicken livers the way Signora Panetone makes them.

Don’t be slow.   I think I may need to read  The Wolfe Widow to see if everything turns out all right for me (and the others, of course, although the cats are somewhat less important).  Oh right, I can’t read. Still I’m so cute, does that really matter?

If you want to know about what happens to Walter and everyone else, you probably should check out The Wolfe Widow., the third book collector mystery.

Want it now? 


Victoria Abbott is a mysterious collaboration between Victoria Maffini and her mother, Mary Jane.  They'd like you to know that 'Walter' loves costumes, as well as treats,  but doesn't like cameras much. 

Why not friend them on Facebook?

Tell them you love the pug!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Come on in to the Bar None

by Anna Larson from Fat Cat at Large, first in the Fat Cat mystery series by Janet Cantrell

My name is Anna Larson and I’m the co-owner of the Bar None. Come on in and I’ll let you sample some of our dessert bars. We’re always working on new recipes, so you can visit often.  You can see how conveniently we’re located, in charming Dinkytown, right off the campus of the University of Minnesota.

If you should see a butterscotch tabby wandering around, let me know. Quincy is supposed to stay in the office during business hours. Since Charity Oliver, his owner, put him on that awful diet with that horrible diet cat food, he’s ravenous all the time. Poor baby. I do what I can to slip him something to eat, but I have to be careful Charity doesn’t see me. That upsets her.

Have a seat on the kitchen stool and I’ll pour you a glass of lemonade. That will go well with the Hula Bar you selected. Not that stool. It’s the squeaky one. Let me take it.

Yes, it does smell good in here. I baked all morning. It should smell like cherries and chocolate. I did the Hula Bars last night.

Do you have a minute? Can I tell you my problem? I’m worried lately about Charity, my beloved business partner. A lot of people call her Chase, but I much prefer her real name. She’s like a second granddaughter to me, almost a daughter, since I helped raise her. But we’re having a bit of difficulty establishing our new relationship. I want her to be an equal partner, and I think she wants that, too. But our old ties are well established. I’m her surrogate combination mother and grandmother, after all.

Oh, there’s Quincy! How did he get out? It’s almost closing time. I’ll flip the sign in front and tell the counter workers they can leave. Then I can leave him here. He likes to go on crumb patrol when we close up. Yes, he is adorable. And very smart. You know, Charity brought him back with her from Chicago.

She hasn’t told me everything that happened to her in Chicago, I know. She went there to work for a while, but came back in very bad spirits. I’m sure there’s a lot more to the story than just losing her job. I’m being patient and do hope she opens up to me soon.

Do you need another Hula Bar? Some more lemonade? No, you sit still. I’ll get it. I’m not old yet. I’m barely over seventy, but I heard that awful Gabe Naughtly call me an old woman the other day. The nerve of that man. He’s nearly my age, too. I wouldn’t call seventy-one old, would you?

There’s one more thing on my mind. Money has been missing from our till at night when I tally up the day’s income. The way Charity has been acting so strange, I almost think…no, I will not think that. I should enlist my actual granddaughter, Julie, who is her best friend. But would that be a bad thing for me to do? Asking Julie to spy for me?

Yes, you’re right. I shouldn’t enlist her. I’ll just keep my ear to the ground.

It looks like Quincy likes you. Are you a cat person? That’s good. Have some more lemonade, then I should start cleaning up. Charity will be back from the grocery store soon and we’ll do some baking for tomorrow. I love having a dessert bar shop!

Janet Cantrell is the National Bestselling Author of FAT CAT AT LARGE, the first book in the Fat Cat Mysteries. Check out her blog.

Janet also writes a Kaye George.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

It's the Time of Year for Trick or Treachery

The Legend of Cabot Cove

By Tim Purdy
President of the Cabot Cove Historical Society

(Every year, at Halloween, I tell the tale of Cabot Cove's most famous ghost. It's part of a tour I give at the local cemetery and other haunted hot spots, talking about murder, which for Cabot Cove is not as rare an occurrence as a small town in Maine might be expected to experience. Nevertheless, it's a popular event and I thought you might like to hear my speech.)

Her name was Hepzibah Cabot. Hepzibah was a proud, staunch woman. Her husband Winfred was a sea-going man, as most men from here were in those days. He was away at sea for long stretches of time, although the relationship between them was of such a volatile nature that Hepzibah was never especially unhappy during his absences. She was a big woman, tall and raw-boned, who, it's claimed, could cut wood and lay bricks better than any man in town. People didn't divorce in those days and I suppose they would have lived out their lives together if Winfred hadn't taken up with another woman during one of his trips. I'm not sure how Hepzibah found out about it--some accounts claim he told his wife to make her jealous--but the result was violent and bloody. 

I usually leave out the graphic aspects if children are on the tour, but since we don't have any little ones with us today, I'll say that Hepzibah took an ax to her husband, severing his head and throwing it into the sea from a large rock along the shore. Then she threw herself into the ocean and drowned.

Some people likened Hepzibah to Lizzie Borden, except that no one ever disputed the facts in this case. Hepzibah killed her husband and killed herself. Now people often ask me why Hepzibah came to be known as "The Legend of Cabot Cove," when philandering husbands and murderous wives are as common as barnacles on the pilings of the piers jutting out in the ocean. And I tell them it's because in most cases, once the principals were dead, they stayed that way. But not so with Hepzibah Cabot. She's drifted around for centuries moaning about her adulterous mate, both missing and cursing him in one breath.

Even today, people claim to see her in various places, wandering on the beach with seaweed streaming from her hair, or in the cemetery, staring down at her husband's grave, even though his resting place is on the opposite side of the graveyard from hers. Townsfolk buried Hepzibah and Winfred as far away from each other as they possibly could because of the bad blood that existed between them.

So if you see the Legend of Cabot Cove this All Hallow's Eve, spare a moment of silence or a quiet prayer for this poor lady who can never rest in peace. 

And whether or not any ghosts come to your door to say "trick or treat," I wish you Happy Halloween!

If you'd like to learn more about the Legend and my good friend Jessica Fletcher's encounters with a medium, a witch, and yet another murderer, she tells the story in Trick or Treachery.

And while I've never seen the Legend myself, lots of people have, Jessica among them. Have YOU ever seen a ghost?

Trick or Treachery is number 15 in the "Murder, She Wrote" series. 2014 is the 25th anniversary of "Murder, She Wrote" in print. All 42 of the original mysteries in the series are still in print with one at the publisher and three more percolating in our imagination.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Cruises: Floating Disasters or Great Fun?

By: Beatrice Matthews

From: The Cumberland Creek Mystery Series
Author: Mollie Cox Bryan
Book 4 Title: A Crafty Christmas

Look, I’m not one of the people who like to say I told you so. In fact, most of the time, I don’t need to because I just give Vera the look. (Because, let’s face it, most of the time it IS my daughter Vera and her life that I’m taking about.)
But this time I wish I had protested a little more about this scrapbooking cruise she went on with Sheila and Paige. And I wish that I was wrong about the dangers of a cruise. But it turns out, of course, that I was right.
Not only was there a murder on the ship (they are keeping a tight lid on that fact, calling it an “untimely death”) but now they are heading for a storm. I wish I had the confidence in the crew to say I feel like they will be able to navigate their way around this storm and they will bring my only daughter back home to me safely.
But I don’t.
And believe me, you don’t want to know why.
The storm is one of those freaky ones that just popped up out of nowhere and is heading for the same spot in Mexico that the ship is routing to. And what makes it worse is that I can’t get a hold of her or and others on the ship. New-fangled computers and smart phones don’t help. They just make things worse.
Annie has calmed me down a bit, telling me that this is the exact thing these sailors train for. They know how to navigate, to turn the ship around, and get the passengers to safety. I know Annie has a good head on her shoulders. But I wonder how calm she would be if that was one of her sons on the cruise.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I hate cruises. They are floating disasters waiting to happen.
When I tell Jon that he just rolls his eyes. “I’ve been on several and they were lovely. You have no idea what you’re talking about. “
Does he really believe that? I think he’s just trying to make me feel better. Afterall, he’s been following the path of the Jezebel even more closely than me.

 ***Enter Mollie's contest: review A CRAFTY CHRISTMAS on Amazon, B & N, or Goodreads and enter to win a chance to have a Cumberland Creek character named after you.
Check out Mollie Cox Bryan online:
Twitter: @MollieCoxBryan

Monday, October 27, 2014

The Ghosts of Pike Place Market

By Pepper Reece, Seattle Spice Shop Mysteries (Assault & Pepper, coming in March 2015, from Berkley Prime Crime)

I’d been coming to Seattle’s Pike Place Market all my life, but I NEVER imagined working down here. Owning my own shop. But when my life exploded two years ago, well, let’s just say it wasn’t pretty at the time, but I am SO glad to be living downtown and owning the Seattle Spice Shop.

Much as I loved the Market, though, I knew nothing about its ghosts. You come down in the daytime to pick up produce, cheese, fish, hear a little music, grab a bite, what do you know about ghosts? But they are here, believe me. And as a Market merchant, I’ve gotten to hear the stories.

One of my favorites is about Jacob, the name the owners of a bead shop Down Under gave to a youthful specter who regularly jumbled beads or dropped just the right necklace in front of a customer. When the owners unsealed the wall to a small room behind their shop, they discovered piles of beads, notes in their handwriting, and coins. Perhaps Jacob was one of the young stable boys, orphans who worked in the Market in its early days in exchange for blankets and a place to sleep.

The ghosts of Butterworth Mortuary get the blame for a series of failed restaurants in the space—after a while, flying bottles and shot glasses that jump off the shelves by themselves cross over the line between “atmosphere” and “creepy.” They seem to have declared a truce with the owners of the Irish pub that’s thrives there now, on the Post Alley side. Even a ghost enjoys a draft of Guinness or a sip of Scotch now and then.

Far as I know, my building—still called the Garden Center Building, after its original tenant in the 1930s—has no ghosts. But Halloween is coming soon, and I won’t be working late—just in case.

 Assault & Pepper, first in the  Seattle Spice Shop Mysteries by Leslie Budewitz, will debut in March 2015 from Berkley Prime Crime. Leslie  is the national best-selling author of Death al Dente, first in the Food Lovers' Village Mysteries set in northwest Montana, and winner of the 2013 Agatha Award for Best First Novel. Crime Rib, second in the series, was published in July 2014.
Assault & Pepper

Also a lawyer, Leslie won the 2011 Agatha Award for Best Nonfiction for Books, Crooks & Counselors: How to Write Accurately About Criminal Law & Courtroom Procedure (Quill Driver Books), making her the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction.

For more tales of life in the wilds of northwest Montana, and bonus recipes, visit her website and subscribe to her newsletter, or join her on Facebook.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Canine Capers

by Reg, the Westhighland White Terrier from
Peg Cochran's Gourmet De-Lite Series

Woof woof!  It’s Reg here.  Officially, Reginald, but you can call me Reg or Reggie or Reg-Man or Regimundo.  Don’t believe anyone who tells you Gigi is the star of the Gourmet De-Lite series—I am.  I go with her everywhere, and I’ve always got her back.

I used to belong to a woman named Martha but she died and Gigi adopted me.  I’m so glad because she’s younger and way more fun.  She cooks great meals that may be lower in calories than their gourmet counterparts, but still taste delicious.  I get to have a taste now and then.  She also lets me sleep on the bed.  I make sure to keep her feet warm. 

Whenever we go out together, I ride shotgun and keep an eye out for anything out of the ordinary.  She’s a good driver, but sometimes she needs a co-pilot, know what I mean?

I’ve also saved her bacon a couple of times (maybe that isn’t the best phrase to use because let’s face it, where bacon is involved, dogs are all over it.  No way there’d be any left when I got done with it.)   We’ve had our share of adventures, that’s for sure—being shot at, locked in a basement, had our car tampered with, you name it, we’ve done it! And we’re still here—in no small part thanks to moi!

I’d love to meet you so pick up a Gourmet De-Lite book and let’s get to know each other!

Pick up the latest copy of the Gourmet De-Lite series, ICED TO DEATH.  Or, check out Peg Cochran's The Lucille Series with UNHOLY MATRIMONY.  I think you will enjoy both!