Saturday, September 20, 2014

Eva Chevalier, The Ghost Debunker

Eva Chevalier blogs

for the Paws and Claws Mysteries

by Krista Davis

Thank you so very much for inviting me to blog with you today. I'll be heading for Wagtail Mountain soon, and Krista tells me that you'd like to know more about what I'll be doing there.

While I am a university professor by day, at night I change into a ghost debunker. Naturally, we all know there are no such things as ghosts. Oh, I know you may think you have felt a hand on your shoulder or believe you have seen a mysterious wisp or fog that resembled a human being. You're not alone. Many people claim they have encountered something supernatural. The unexciting truth is that there are perfectly rational explanations for these things and as a debunker, it's my job to figure out what it really was.

The Apparition Apprehenders are going to Wagtail Mountain to investigate the legend of Rebecca Wraith. I have been invited to make sure the Apprehenders keep everything on the level. They're shooting a TV pilot, and it will be my job to find the rational explanations behind the spirits they find.

Just between us, I'm a little bit nervous because my former fiancĂ© is in charge of this expedition. After no communication for a very long time, we've been exchanging email. My heart beats a little faster just thinking about seeing him again. Could it be that we were meant for each other after all?

Friday, September 19, 2014

There's a Chill in the Air

SHENANIGANS IN THE SHADOWS A Fortune Teller Mystery by Kari Lee Townsend
Granny Gert speaks

Oh my word, it's getting cold outside.

My name is Granny Gert. I'm Sunny's grandmother and I live with her now in the charming small town of Divinity in central New York.

We've had the darndest weather lately. One day it's hot enough to get a sunburn and the next day we had a frost. A frost, mind you! My poor flowers will never survive.

Speaking of things that might not survive...

Detective Mitch Stone and my darling Morty the cat. They are causing so much mischief lately, poor Sunny is at her wit's end. With her best friend Jo getting married and her parents impending arrival, life is stressful enough for the poor thing. If those naughty boys don't find those missing wedding rings soon, I just might have to pull out my wooden spoon, and I don't mean to make a batch of my famous cookies.

Stay tuned for what happens next in Perish in the Palm....

To find out more about Kari and all of her books check out her website at

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Superstition Mysteries are Nearly Here!

by Rory Chasen, superstition agnostic and pet store manager, whose adventures are memorialized in the Superstition Mysteries by Linda O. Johnston

Hello.  I'm Rory Chasen.  This is my second visit to Killer Characters.  The last time I was here, I mentioned that I was going to be featured in the new Superstition Mystery Series.  That series starts next month, in October, with Lost Under A Ladder, so I thought I would return and say hi again.  Once more, I suspect I'll be showing up here often--but I still have some concerns about discussing superstitions and whether that can turn out to be bad luck.

I remain a skeptic, of course, even though I now live in Destiny, California.  The town is all about superstitions.  That's clear from the townsfolk, the local stores and the souvenirs they sell, as well as the many interested tourists who come here to learn and--hopefully for shopkeepers like me--to buy stuff related to superstitions.  In fact, my fingers are crossed about that. 

I'm managing the Lucky Dog Boutique for its owner, Martha Jallopia.  Yes, she's the woman my black and white dog Pluckie wound up saving on our first day in Destiny.  Black and white dogs are considered to be lucky, especially if you see one on your way to a business meeting.  I've no doubt that Pluckie provides good luck to those around her, not just Martha... or me. 

Even having lived here for a little while now, I'm still seeking closure.  As I mentioned previously, my beloved fiancĂ© Warren died not long after walking under a ladder.  The two things might have had nothing to do with one another, yet I'm still attempting to figure that out. 

I've been researching a lot of superstitions since I arrived here.  It's necessary for survival in this town.  One of my primary resources remains The Destiny of Superstitions, a book written by Kenneth Tarzal and sold at The Broken Mirror Bookstore, the shop next door to the Lucky Dog Boutique.  

I'm getting to know Martha well, and other Destiny residents, too, including Chief of Police Justin Halbertson and Carolyn Innes, owner of the Buttons of Fortune shop.  There are other nice people in town, too--and most believe in superstitions, or at least profess to. 

But I don't get to know Tarzal well.  He unfortunately gets murdered in Lost Under a Ladder, and since Martha is a major suspect Pluckie and I have to dig in and try to figure out who really did it. 

That's largely what Lost Under A Ladder is about: solving that murder.  But it also describes the beginning of my journey researching and attempting to understand superstitions.  There certainly are a lot of them.  I'll never be done learning about them.  And believing in them?  I may never be sure about that. 

But I certainly hope I figure out what happened to Tarzal so I can clear Martha. 

And I also hope I achieve closure after my Warren's death.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Halloween is coming--will you be ready?

by Willow Vanderling from the Threadville Mysteries by Janet Bolin

It's that time of year again for people who love to create with textiles and thread. It's time to make Halloween costumes!

In Threadville, we have a craft fair aimed at helping people choose what costumes to make and the materials with which to make them.

We'll even have some zombies in town, attending what they're calling a "zombie retreat." They'll be at the craft fair selling--well, I'm not sure what, but it's sure to be interesting. And maybe lifelike. Or is that deathlike?

In case you're wondering, no, of course they're not real zombies. They'll just be having fun with costumes and makeup. At least, I hope that's all it is...

Edna, who owns Buttons and Bows, is getting married the Monday after the craft fair and zombie festivities are over. We're planning a hilarious (we hope) surprise for her. Edna loves everything that sparkles and shines, and we're creating a very dramatic overskirt that she can wear to the reception, if she wants to. We'll be displaying it in the gazebo in the park to help advertise the craft fair.

So come to Threadville! What ideas do you have for the best Halloween costumes ever?

You can read about how |Willow and her friends follow an undulating trail of glow-in-the-dark thread, unravel ancient Egyptian curses, and creep through a haunted graveyard to unearth a killer in NIGHT OF THE LIVING THREAD, available at these booksellers. Read the first chapter here.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

You live where?

Evie Bloomfield here and I’ve come to Mackinac Island from Chicago. Some of my friends say that one place is just like another but they are so wrong. So I gave them instructions. This is how you know you are on Mackinac Island and you are so not in Chicago.
... if you have ever gotten frostbitten and sunburned in the same week. (though truth be told this could be Chicago too)
... if you can identify an Ohio accent.
…if you don’t need car insurance
…if a fender bender is a two-bike crash
... if you learned to pilot a boat before the training wheels were off your bike.
... if you point at the palm of your right hand when telling people where you live
... if "Down South" means Toledo.
... if a Big Mac is something you can drive across.
... if you have no problem spelling Mackinac Island.
... if you have as many Canadian coins in your pockets as American ones.
... if the trees in your backyard have spigots.
... if you know that a place called "Kalamazoo" really exists.
... if you bake with "soda" and drink "pop".
... if you know what a pastie is.
... if you know how to play Euchre.
... if fudge and bicycles remind you of  home sweet home.
... if you can name all 5 of the Great Lakes, and point to their locations around your left and right hands.
... if you know that Pontiac and Cadillac are cities.
... if you can actually pronounce Ypsilanti.
... if you own only three spices - salt, pepper and ketchup.
... if you design your Halloween costumes to fit over a snowsuit.
... if you keep track of the miles you put on your snow blower.
... if you think everyone from the city has an accent.
... if you think sexy lingerie is tube socks and a flannel nightie.
... if your snow blower gets stuck on the roof.
…if you save your Christmas tree to help mark the path across a frozen lake for the snow mobiles
... if summer takes place the second week of July
... if you find -20F a little chilly.
... if the kids drive to school in a snow mobile.
... if you know the 4 seasons: Winter, Still Winter, Almost Winter, and Yesterday was summer.
... if you consider it a sport to gather your food by drilling through 18 inches of ice and sitting there all day hoping that the food will swim by.
... you know the day the horses get off the ferry and return to the island
... if you have worn shorts and a coat at the same time.
... if you often switch from "heat" to "A/C" in the same day.
... if you see people wearing camouflage at social events (including weddings.)
... if down South to you means Ohio.
... if you go out to a fish fry every Friday.
…if the whole town is 500 people strong
... if you know what a Yooper is.
... if you know that UP is a place, not a direction.
This is how you know you’re from Mackinac Island. So, what defines someone from your neck of the woods? A special word? Food? Custom? Let me know and I’ll give away two  Geared for the Grave totes.
Come visit me on Mackinac Island in December and we’ll discover the place together.
Hugs, Evie

Geard for the Grave                                                                                                                                              
first book in the Cycle Path Mysteries
December 2, 2014

Monday, September 15, 2014

Eight Bells and All's Well

Hello, everyone.  I’m Jack Jamieson.  You probably know me best as Lucky’s grandfather.  And you’ve probably seen me at the By the Spoonful Soup Shop.   Now, everybody knows Lucky.  She’s gotten herself involved in lots of murders over the past few years, and I worry about her a lot.  Funny thing is, she worries a lot more about me. Now that’s just not right.  I’m getting on in years.  Oh, I’m not old, don’t get me wrong, I just turned 86 and that’s hardly old, is it?  I’ve had some health problems and the worst of it is my spells, as I call them.

You see, I spent pretty much most of my life in the Navy and I served in World War II in the Pacific.  So when one of those spells comes on me, I’m in trouble.  I see the men drowning in the sea, I hear their screams and I’m tryin’ to save ‘em before the sharks get ‘em.  It’s pretty bad.  Lucky’s talked me through a few of them and I always come back to my senses, but I know it scares her a lot.  Scares me too, to tell you the truth.

I’m outa the Navy now.  Retired.  Well, I still work at the Spoonful every day.  Mostly you’ll find me at the cash register unless I’m taking a break.  I don’t want to leave my girl on her own.  She’s got Janie and Meg and Sage to help her in the restaurant, but I’m her only real family.   My wife’s been gone a long time and then Lucky’s parents, my son and his wife, died a few years ago.  So, Lucky and I, well, we’re the only family each other has.  

I know people get a chuckle out of the way I talk.  It’s 'cause of all those years at sea.  I can’t help myself, I'm just an old salt.  I still call the walls the bulkhead and the floor, the deck.  Oh, and of course, I tell time by the bells.  Lucky always knows what I mean.  Everybody else just shakes their heads like it’s the most difficult thing in the world.  It isn’t.  It’s real simple.   

You see, the day is broken up into six parts.  There’s mid – that’s middle of the night, the wee hours, then morning, forenoon, afternoon, dogs and first.  And the bells go from one bell to eight bells for each of those parts of the day.  So six-thirty in the morning is five bells and nine o’clock at night is two bells.  At the end of each part of the day, it’s always eight bells.  That’s where the expression, “Eight bells and all’s well,” comes from.  See?   It’s real easy.  

I used to yearn to go to sea and visit exotic ports ‘o call when I was a young kid, but no more.  I’m very happy to be home in Snowflake, Vermont, the only state in New England without a seacoast, helping my granddaughter at the Spoonful.  I hope you’ll stop in and visit some time and try some of our wonderful soups.  And you can read all about me and Lucky and everyone else in town in the Soup Lover's Mystery series.
Twitter:  @Snowflake VT

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Let Sleeping Alligators Die

by Eskil Percifield of Baie Rebelle
The Piece of Cake mystery series


Is it just me, or has anybody else noticed that common sense just ain't so common anymore? Seems like everywhere you turn, you run into somebody doing something that doesn't make a lick of sense. Like folks who complain about the kids these days. They complain about everybody havin' a cell phone and kids not playing outdoors the way they did when they were young. But the world's a different place than it was 50 years ago. 

Tell me when was the last time you saw a pay phone. Can you even remember? Why even here in Baie Rebelle, they're disappearing. The one outside the Gator Pit was yanked out a few years back and I don't know where you'd find one now. 

These days, who wants to send their teenage daughter out on a date with nothing but a dime in her shoe? Do you city folks really want to send your kids out to play and not check on 'em until suppertime? That doesn't make any sense a-tall. Listen, I'm not fond of many of the changes going on in the world today, but I hope I'm smart enough to know when to go with the tide and when to swim against it. 

And what about the advice to "follow your heart"? Seems like I'm always hearing somebody spout off that particular piece of advice, but if you ask me, that's just about the quickest way to meet up with disaster. Sometimes you gotta think a thing through. 

Take my current predicament for example. Silas Laroche was a worthless swamp rat. Everybody in Baie Rebelle knew it. His own mama knew it, and folks it don't get much worse than that. If a fella's mama can see his rotten core, there's no hope. Silas was like a crafty old alligator, just lying in wait to see what kind of hurt he could cause. 

My heart told me to put him out of his misery--or at least put myself out of the misery he caused me and mine. I could have done it, too. Wouldn't have taken much. But doing a thing like that maybe ain't so smart. Of course, it would be best for the town and everyone in it. So maybe removing old Silas from the planet could be considered a public service. 

Whatever you want to call it, somebody actually did it, And sure enough, the law is taking exception with the results and they seem to think I'm responsible. There ain't no common sense involved there, neither. Seems like the sheriff would be smart enough to let things along. Let sleeping alligators die, so to speak. But no, they gotta sniff around and poke into things that aren't any of their business -- and all because of old Silas Laroche.

Even dead, he's no use to anybody. Come set a spell with me in Baie Rebelle and you'll see what I mean.


Jacklyn Brady lives on the Gulf Coast and writes the Piece of Cake Mystery series which is set in New Orleans and features cake artist and trained pastry chef, Rita Lucero.

Rebel Without a Cake, book #5 in the Piece of Cake Mystery Series, is available at your favorite bookseller now! Jacklyn loves to hear from readers. Connect with her on the web: Website | Facebook | Twitter

photo credit pay phone: krystian_o via photopin cc 
photo credit alligator: FlyinPhotography via photopin cc