Tuesday, September 2, 2014

A Plain Malice is Coming!



by Grandfather Zook from the Appleseed Creek Mystery Series by Amanda Flower  

I know we left you on a cliffhanger at the end of A Plain Disappearance, but now you will finally get to read the rest of Chloe Humphrey’s and my family’s story in A Plain Malice to be releases on September 16, 2014 in Kindle. In will release shortly after in Nook and then in paperback. Truly, I don’t know what this Kindle and Nook nonsense is, but Chloe’s biographer, Amanda Flower, told me to say it. Just between you and me, she’s an odd one.

In this final story, you will learn about how Chloe solves the murder on a tour bus traveling through Amish country. It’s a hoot! And you will finally learn if Chloe and Timothy will live happily ever after. My lips are sealed on that one. You will have to read it to find out.

Like you, I’m sad the series is coming to an end. It’s been a great joy to share our lives and culture with you despite those pesky murders.

I hope you enjoy the last book!

*****

Forthcoming September 2014!
A Plain Malice by Amanda Flower (Appleseed Creek #4)
 
Now Available


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Monday, September 1, 2014

September Mysteries - Pick of the Crop!

Beginning the season of the harvest – here is the pick of the cozy mystery crop for September!


Book Collector Mysteries Book # 3


Author: Victoria Abbott (aka Victoria and Mary Jane Maffini)
Title:  The Wolfe Widow
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Series: Book Collector Mystery
ISBN  978-0425255308

As Thanksgiving approaches, Jordan Bingham is grateful for her job researching rare books for Vera Van Alst, the most hated woman in Harrison Falls, New York. But when an uninvited guest makes a threatening appearance, much more than dinner is disrupted.  Vera's collection of Nero Wolfe mysteries seems to be at the center of a mystery that costs Jordan her job and may cost Vera her life.  Worse, all her usual allies are unavailable: she's on her own. Lucky she still has some unusual, if less than legal, skills, a cool head and a couple of pooches.


Candy Coated Mysteries Book #2


Author: Nancy Coco
Title: To Fudge or Not To Fudge
Publisher: Kensington
Series: Candy Coated Mystery
ISBN-13: 978-0758287120

With summer in bloom and tourists afoot, Allie is out walking her pup, Mal, when the curious canine digs up a bone from under a flowering lilac bush. The bone leads to a toe that's missing a body. For the successful confectionaire it's only the first in a series of sour events in the middle of the island's Lilac Fest. When her stint on a cooking reality show swirls up a trail of foul play, Allie will have to outwit a cunning killer if she wants to continue living la dolce vida.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Guest- Liz Mugavero

Meet Jessie Pasquale, resident state trooper in Frog Ledge, Connecticut, home of the Pawsitively Organic Mysteries. 
My town used to be quiet. I mean, you kind of expect quiet when you think small, country town in New England, right? That’s what Frog Ledge was - cows, Christmas tree lightings, concerts on the green, friendly neighbors. As the resident state trooper, my job was basically pleasant. I mean, we had our share of crime. Stolen bikes, trespassing skateboarders, vandalized tractors. All reasonable, manageable problems. Until that woman moved in, and dead bodies started turning up on my police reports way too often.
Yes, that woman has a name - an odd one, if you ask me. Stan. Kristan, I’m told, and she gave herself that nickname. Not sure why she did that, but I guess that should be the least of my worries. Frankly, her job’s a little iffy too - baking dog treats? It’s quaint and all, but I’m not sure how that’s a career path. Although Char Mackey told me that she’s some whiz with investments and made herself a lot of money. I’m suspicious of people like that.  
Technically, she hasn’t done anything wrong. I mean, it’s not like she killed any of these people - that I know of. Still, it’s a big coincidence that she shows up and people start dropping like flies. First, the town vet, and now Hal, our dairy farmer. And if that’s not bad enough, she’s always in the middle of the mayhem. Emmalee Hoffman, Hal’s wife, told me that she’s working on the farm since Hal died. Really? She’s about as qualified to work on a farm as I am to write a screenplay. Which is not very.
Here’s the worst of it - my little brother Jake is sweet on her. I can’t figure it out. He usually has such good taste. I mean, she’s pretty and all, but she’s a little too uptight for him. One of those city girls, you know the kind I mean? The ones with fancy jobs? Meanwhile, Jake is so laid back. He does NOT have a fancy job, and he’s not a city boy. He loves Frog Ledge. He came back here after being away for a while because he missed it and he wanted to run his pub here. I can’t see him up and leaving on her whim - and I’m sure after a while, she’ll decide she doesn’t like the stench of cow manure anymore and want to leave. So either she’ll break his heart or he’ll compromise what he really wants for her.
Our youngest sister Brenna thinks I’m just being cranky. I’m not cranky, but maybe I’m overprotective. I really hope Jake’s not making a mistake. He’s a good guy, even if we don’t always see eye to eye. 
But I’m still going to keep my guard up. After all, this is my town and he is my brother. And I’d do anything for either of them. 

Liz Mugavero is the author of the Pawsitively Organic Mysteries. The first book in the series, Kneading to Die, is an Agatha Award nominee for Best First Novel. A Biscuit, A Casket, is available now. As you can imagine, her canine and feline rescues demand the best organic food and treats around. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Salem State College and a Master of Arts in writing and publishing from Emerson College. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, Sisters in Crime New England, Mystery Writers of America, and the Cat Writers’ Association.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

They never should have answered the door







 For your edification from Muriel Delago, who just rang the doorbell at Van Alst House in Victoria Abbott's third book collector mystery The Wolfe Widow.












You would not believe the state I found things in when I came to visit my oldest “friend”, Vera Van Alst. Not only was Vera herself looking like a drowned gerbil in a tattered old beige sweater, but the once beautiful home she lives in is falling to pieces. I can only hope she is taking better care of her valuable collection of first editions. Her "staff", and I do use that term loosely, consists of the Signora, a crazy old Italian chef, Kevin, the not-so-handy-man and a young woman who, in my opinion, is nothing more than a grifter for hire. She goes by the name of Jordan Bingham and she always has that ridiculous pug with her.

Not to worry though, I have decided to stay for a spell. Vera has been convinced that it’s the right thing, perhaps because I know her darkest secrets.  And I would enjoy spending some time with her Rex Stouts. It would be a "shame" if something happened to those Nero Wolfe first editions or to Vera.  No need to worry though, I'm here now and there are going to be some big changes coming to Van Alst house.

I’ve managed to have Jordan fired. Gone with her dog.  So easy when you know how. I don’t want her meddling in my plans.  Next those ridiculous Siamese cats will disappear. Then Kevin and the Signora. I can’t stand Italian food and the nosy handyman. 

By Thanksgiving, it will all be mine. That's just a few days away.

Don’t you think it will be better that way?



Victoria Abbott is a collaboration between Victoria Maffini and her mother, Mary Jane.  The Wolfe Widow is the third in their book collector mystery series.  They are very excited about its release on September 2nd.

Stay in touch with them through their website  and why not sign up for their FREE e-newsletter HERE

Friday, August 29, 2014

Wild About Harry!



By Harry McGraw, private eye

(Harry McGraw is featured in Domestic Malice, number 38 in the "Murder, She Wrote" mystery book series. 2014 is the 25th anniversary of "Murder, She Wrote" in print.)


I met Jessica Fletcher some time ago when my partner in our Boston private investigation agency, Archie Miles, was killed while on his way to Maine to question a witness. My name’s Harlan McGraw, only I tend to get testy whenever anybody calls me that. I’ve been going by the name Harry for as long as I can remember, and that’s the way I like it. 

Anyway, Miles had been hired by Mrs. Fletcher to help research one of her murder mystery books, and this witness to a murder in Maine figured into her story. I ended up doing some digging for her, and got paid, a good thing since my gambling debts had been piling up. 

We worked together a few more times, and afterward I figured I'd never see her again. But then some hot-shot lawyer in Cabot Cove, a smug young guy named Cy O’Connor, was defending a woman accused of shooting her husband who used to beat her up. So this mouthpiece hires me to work the case, I end up in Cabot Cove again—a nice enough town except I’m a big city guy—and guess who I run into? My old pal, Jessica Fletcher. We join forces again trying to prove that the woman didn’t off her hubby. 

We were sort of like the Odd Couple. I’m not one for protocol. I enjoy bars where the bartenders know how to make a decent drink, don’t care if I get up in the morning and put on two different colored socks, and sometimes I tend to shoot off my mouth, usually at the wrong time. Mrs. Fletcher, she’s a real lady, nice as can be, sort of refined. I caught her wincing every once in a while at something I did or said, but she was always nice to me. She’s nice to everybody—until somebody doesn’t deserve it, like a murderer, and then her claws come out, not physically, but mentally. She’s as sharp as a tack, got a mind like a mosquito trap, and can tell that somebody’s a liar within minutes. 

Let me tell you this. If Jessica Fletcher ever decided to quit writing her novels and get her private eye license, I’d partner up with her in a minute, and even suggested that awhile back, but she turned me down.

Anyhow, Jessica and I solve the case, thanks to my temporary partner's insights with a little help from yours truly. Turns out that this sleazebag lawyer, O’Connor, was getting ready to sell his client down the river. I might have taken a poke at him, but I knew that Jessica wouldn’t approve, only I suspect she might have liked to do it herself.

I'm back in Boston now and haven’t seen Mrs. F, like Cabot Cove’s sheriff, Mort Metzger, calls her.  recently. I hope we get to work together again sometime soon. She’s one classy lady. Although I gotta tell you, if you ever decide to murder someone, don’t do it in Cabot Cove, not with Jessica Fletcher around to nail you. 

Uncouth gumshoe Harry McGraw was played by the great character actor Jerry Orbach in six episodes of the TV series. His own spin-off series, "The Law and Harry McGraw," while well received, never matched the longevity of "Murder, She Wrote." It lasted a year and a half.

Do you have a favorite private detective from TV or mystery novels?   

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Back-to-School Blahs


By: Annie Chamovitz

From: The Cumberland Creek Mystery Series
Author: Mollie Cox Bryan
Book 3 Title: Death of an Irish Diva


I suppose I should feel happy when the boys go back to school after a very long and somewhat difficult summer.  I feel like I should want a party. But instead, I drift around in the house for days and wonder what to do with myself

Of course, I always have my writing.
Even if it "beckons" or not, I still have to make those deadlines.

And there’s so much to be done around my small house that it’s amazing. I’m never caught up on laundry—definitely NOT on the house works. I tell myself every year when they boys go back to school, I should be able to use the time wisely and clean the house, really well, and it should only take a few days, right?

But then I get distracted. For example, the other day  I start cleaning out Sam’s closet and found so many things that just took me back to when he was a toddler. (Yes, I should really get rid of those things, I know, and I’m working on it.) Then I ran into an art folder of his when he was in the second grade. Wow. I stopped and looked at each page. What bunch of paper sweetness jammed into a blue folder.

And well.. the next thing I knew, the boys were home and there was homework, snacks, music, and soccer practice. Sigh.

No matter what I do, it seems as if my boys permeate my life—whether they're home with me or not. I guess I don’t mind that—not one little bit.

Check out Mollie Cox Bryan online:
Twitter: @MollieCoxBryan
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/molliecoxbryan/boards/

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Dragonfly Days

by Candy Divine, from the Food Lovers' Village Mysteries by Leslie Budewitz

 You know, it’s really hot in Texas? In the summer? So when I broke loose and headed north, I swore I would never complain about the heat again. And I meant it.

But dang, when even the marshmallows melt, you know that ol’ mercury’s just gone plumb-crazy.

Not easy when you make your living making divinity and nougat and all kinds o’ candy. ‘Cept chocolate. People can’t imagine a candymaker who doesn’t like chocolate, but I don’t. Really, truly. It’s all slippery and it gets on your fingers and you have to lick it off. Plus it reminds me of that day when Billy Tom Miller and his cousin found me and Heather Lynn chasing dragonflies down by the swimming hole and they chased us and I fell in the mud and Billy Tom pushed me down in it and the mud got in my mouth and up my nose and ruined my pink seersucker top my Granny Kellogg made for me. Then he pushed Heather Lynn in the water and it was too deep for her and he wouldn’t help me get her out, but his cousin did.

That was a hot day, too.

I gotta tell you, though, Jewel Bay isn’t like that at all. I thought I’d never go back to a small town. Through with all that. Told everyone so. And then I ended up here, in Northwest Montana—we’ll save THAT story for another day—and I couldn’t believe it. Especially when Erin, who runs the Merc? The perfect place for my candy? Well, she doesn’t like nougats and taffy. She thinks if it isn’t chocolate, why bother? But she gave me a chance anyway. And then she asked for marshmallows, and I admit, I blew the first batch, but she liked the second. Even the flavored ones.

Everybody said it never gets real hot here? Ha. So I think I won’t believe them when they say winter’s not too bad. ’Cause the place really has grown me.

And it’s kinda nice to belong somewhere. Plus, this morning, down by the river, I saw a dragonfly.

Leslie Budewitz is the national best-selling author of Crime Rib (July 2014) and Death al Dente, winner of the 2013 Agatha Award for Best First Novel. The third, Butter Off Dead, will be published in July 2015.  Her Seattle Spice Shop Mysteries will debut in March 2015, with Assault and 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. www.LeslieBudewitz.com  Find her on Facebook: LeslieBudewitzAuthor