Monday, February 20, 2017

Hey there, from Abe McNeil

By Abe McNeil, Robbie Jordan's boyfriend in the Country Store Mysteries by Maddie Day (aka Edith Maxwell)

Hey, there. Taking a little break from my job as a lineman with the electric company here in Brown County, Indiana to greet all you folks. Robbie's too busy over at Pans 'N Pancakes right now to write. Since I got a real warm spot in my heart for that woman, I told her I'd fill in.

We've been a number for a few months now, ever since that, uh, jerk of a Jim dropped her like she was a burnt-up sausage. A man shouldn't treat his woman like that, don't you agree? I 'm much too enamored of her can-do spirit, her gorgeous smile, and her super-smart brain to ever want to leave her, frankly. Not that I've popped the question or anything. We're taking it slow, enjoying each other's company, getting to know one another.

I'm not all that comfortable with her trying to solve crimes, though, mostly because it's darn dangerous. But hey, if she's involved, I'm involved and that's all there is to it. And this winter, who-ee, did we get entangled in one. I ain't revealing any secrets about the story when I tell you that ice storms are serious business, and you sure as heck don't want to get caught in one with a cold-blooded killer.

Ms. Day, the author, is over there waving her hand, reminding me to tell you the book comes out March 28. It won't be long now until you can read all about it yourself. And just for the fun of it, she's giving away an advance review copy of the book to one commenter before dawn tomorrow in Indiana! So make sure she can find you by email, allrighty? Okay, then, catch ya later.


Edith Maxwell writes the Quaker Midwife Mysteries (with Delivering the Truth nominated for an Agatha Award for Best Historical Mystery) and the Local Foods Mysteries; the Country Store Mysteries and the Cozy Capers Bookd Group Mysteries (as Maddie Day); and award-winning, Agatha-nominated short crime fiction.

Maxwell is President of Sisters in Crime New England. She lives north of Boston with her beau and three cats, and blogs here, with the other Wicked Cozy Authors, and with the Midnight Ink Writers. You can find her on Facebook, twitter, Pinterest, and at her web site, edithmaxwell.com.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

The Fort Myers Beach Library--and a Giveaway

By Sassy Cabot from the Read ’Em and Eat Mysteries by Terrie Farley Moran



I have such exciting news. A few days ago our author Terrie Farley Moran spent a morning at the Fort Myers Beach Library talking about US. Can you imagine? People who live on Estero Island and San Carlos Island and even a couple of folks from surrounding communities came to learn about the Read ’Em and Eat Café and Bookstore. They had questions about me, Bridgy, Aunt Ophie, Skully, our book club members, our favorite news reporter Cady Stanton, and our two Sheriff buddies, Ryan Mantoni and Frank Anthony. Well, I’ll admit Frank is not always a buddy, but he does have great shoulders and his smile crosses my mind a bit more than it should.

The idea of having a library on Estero Island in Fort Myers Beach was originated by a woman named Ruth Healy in 1954 and she asked that the Beach Women’s Club come up with the money to get it started. In 1955 the Fort Myers Beach Library opened in this cottage that was so small, according to the library website, if more than five patrons entered at any one time, the librarian had to step outside.



You can read about the history of the Fort Myers Beach Library here



Today the library is a three story wonder. The new construction is finally finished and the building looks like this. Anyone getting off the elevator on the third floor, which holds the meeting rooms, is greeted by a beachy decorated area where these three live.




If by chance you come to visit Fort Myers Beach, after you’ve stopped in in the Read ’Em and Eat for sweet tea and Miss Marple Orange Iced Scones, I am sure you’ll want to spend hours exploring the Fort Myers Beach library for both its collection and the fabulous décor.




And to celebrate this fabulous visit, we have a giveaway!! For a chance to win a READ TO DEATH tote and postcard, comment below and tell us anything at all about your favorite library. Please include your email in this format: your name (at) your server (dot) com--so the spambots can't pick it up.



Comments close at midnight on Wednesday February 22nd. 

And now a word from our author:

Hi, it's Terrie here. The e-book of Agatha Award winner WELL READ, THEN DEAD is on sale at Amazon and B&N for $2.99. The next in the series, CAUGHT READ-HANDED, is reduced to $5.99 in e-format. The third title, READ TO DEATH, REMAINS AT $7.99 for kindle but is reduced to $5.84 for paperback only on Amazon. Hooray! All three books at reduced prices.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Rory and Belated Valentine's Day


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



Hello yet again.  I'm Rory Chasen.  I blogged here last month and couldn't resist returning this month, even though I'm a little late to talk about Valentine's Day, which occurred a few days ago.  But as you can imagine, it was a fun and crazy day here in Destiny, California, the home of superstitions.  Lots of hearts and roses and Valentine's cards and more.

I'd imagine that you recall I am a superstition agnostic, but I even though I don't necessarily believe in what brings good or bad luck, I do enjoy living in Destiny--most of the time--and learning more about what people think.

I said this last month, too, but in case you don't remember I've now been featured in three Superstition Mysteries: Lost Under A Ladder, Knock on Wood and Unlucky Charms.  With the help of my lucky black and white dog Pluckie I run the Lucky Dog Boutique in DestinyI've had to figure out who committed murders in each of them, and in the most recent one, Unlucky Charms, I was the main suspect.  Ugh.

Are you interested belatedly in a few Valentines superstitions?  In case you are, well... are you an unmarried woman, and did you happen to find a glove on the road on Valentine's Day?  If so, that means you're about to meet your future husband.

If that didn't work for you and you're still an unmarried woman, go visit a graveyard next year on Valentine's Day at midnight and you'll conjure up a vision of your husband-to-be.  Somehow that doesn't sound very romantic, though.

Also, the type of person you'll eventually fall for can be predicted by the type of bird you see on Valentine's Day.  For example, it's good to see a goldfinch, since you'll marry a millionaire.  But it's probably better to see a flock of doves, since that presages a happy, peaceful marriage.

So... remember these for next year.  And meantime, I hope you continue to enjoy 2017.  I will!  Valentine's Day or not, I'll continue to see Police Chief Justin Halbertson when I can...




UNLUCKY CHARMS, the third Superstition Mystery by Linda O. Johnston, was an October 2016 release from Midnight Ink

Friday, February 17, 2017

My New Job At the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop

By Ruby, sales clerk at Sherlock Holmes Bookshop from Elementary She Read by Vicki Delany

I suppose, if I have to work for a living there are worse places. West London is a pleasant little town on Cape Cod, lively enough in the summer, but I hate to think what a backwater it must be in winter.

Still, I hope to be on my way come winter.



The Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium is sorta interesting. I learned a lot about The Great Detective from my dad, who was an absolute fanatic, so I could pretend to be interested at my job interview.

Who would have thought you could stock an entire store with nothing but All Sherlock, All the Time.  

Not only the original books by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, but non-fiction about his life and times, new pastiche novels and short story collections, and all the stuff that goes with it. Playing cards, tea-sets, action figures, games, puzzles, cardboard cut-outs, DVDs. The list is endless.  There’s even a fake-marble bust of some old time actor playing Holmes. Plus a whole shelf of what the store calls Gaslight, meaning books set in the late Victorian and early Edwardian eras.

The job’s okay. Not too difficult, pleasant enough customers by and large. And I get a staff discount at Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room next door.

So, not too difficult. Except for her. The boss, Gemma Doyle. Not that she’s mean or anything. She’s nice enough. She just seems to have this way of knowing things. I mean, she keeps track of the entire inventory of the shop in her mind. 

Like this:

“I’m going to have to reorder The Beekeeper’s Apprentice,” I said to Ruby. “I see you had a rush on it. As well as four of the boxed sets of the complete canon. And that hideous Robert Downey Jr. puzzle moved at long last. Nice to see the Jeremy Brett poster was sold, and three sets of playing cards and two of that Scotland Yard game.” The game didn’t actually have anything to do with Sherlock, but we pretended it did.

“The puzzle didn’t sell,” Ruby said. “I put the mugs on top of it.”

I was horrified. “How many times have I told you, don’t do that. How am I supposed to keep inventory if things are always moving around?”

“Most people these days keep their inventory on the computer,” Ruby said.

“The computer is a functioning backup,” I admitted.

                                                                    Elementary, She Read, by Vicki Delany

I swear, sometimes I think she’s reading my mind.

And that will never do.

Meet Gemma Doyle, Jayne Wilson, and all the gang in the new Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series by Vicki Delany. The first book in the series, Elementary She Read, will be released on March 14 by Crooked Lane Books. 

To get you in the mood for a visit to Cape Cod, Vicki is offering a prize pack consisting of a New England cookbook, a magnet showing Moriarty, the shop cat, at the beach, and an Elementary She Read Fridge Magnet. Leave a comment to enter! US and Canada entries. Contest closes, February 20.






Thursday, February 16, 2017

Is it Summer yet?

Hi, Evie Bloomfield from the Cycle Path series. I’m here shivering my buns off in the frozen North. Actually it’s Mackinac Island and this year we are only sort of frozen for a change and I’m starting to think about summer.



Last summer we sure had out hands full around here with a murder up at the Grand Hotel. To keep the guests from freaking out and leaving and throwing the whole island into panic, we passed the affair off as murder weekend. And you know what, it worked!

We had guests at the Grand Hotel running around the island looking for clues that weren’t there and dredging up suspects who were totally innocent. The good thing was everyone thought this was all fun, the bad part was everyone kept getting in the way of finding the real killer.

I wonder what will happen this summer? Our fantastic police chief,
the hunky Nate Sutter, is on the run from a bunch of bad duds back in Detroit. He’s here on the island for a little R&R but we are all afraid the bad guys will track him down. Not only is he a good cop but he was undercover as a wedding planner and we’d sure hate to lose his expertise. No one sets up a wedding better than Nate.

People come to Mackinac Island for peace and quiet. With no cars that’s usually not a problem...except lately. Why are we suddenly having all these murders here? The locals say I’m to blame, that I’m a dead-body magnet. I don’t want to believe it but I have to admit this dead person thing did start when I moved to Mackinac from Chicago.

Are you some kind of magnet where things just seem to happen to you? Let me know what you do about it and I’ll give it a whirl.

Hugs, Reagan Summerside




Wednesday, February 15, 2017

My friend is missing . . .



I know he is and I can’t seem to get anyone to listen.  It started a few days ago.  Hank and I always meet and head down to the By the Spoonful Soup Shop for our morning coffee.  It’s our daily ritual and we’ve been doing that since we both retired and moved to Snowflake.

So . . . back to my story.  I hope you’ll hear me out.  I knocked on Hank’s door when I didn’t hear from him.  He was there.  He was home, but he didn’t open the door.  Said he wasn’t feeling well. 

“Okay,” I said, “that’s too bad.  Hope you’re feeling better soon."  And I headed on my way.  I didn’t hear from Hank all day, but I figured he had the flu, maybe he was resting.  The next day I called him before I left my house and got his answering machine.  That’s when I started to worry. 
 
I went to his house and knocked on the door.  Didn’t hear anything.  I stuck a note through the mail slot to tell him to call me if he needed anything.  But I never heard.  The third day, still no Hank.  By now, I was really worried.  You can imagine.  So that evening I went to his  house, took a flashlight, walked all around and peeked into the windows.  Everything was as neat as a pin, not even a cup in the sink, but no Hank.  His lights were all off and I know he likes to keep his lamp on in the living room when he’s reading.

I was getting so worried and desperate.  I couldn’t think what to do, but I finally got Lucky to help me.  I have a key to Hank’s house, but I didn’t want to do it alone.  I wanted someone else there.  The last thing I wanted to do was upset Hank or intrude on his privacy, but he coulda’ been hurt or really sick and needed a doctor.  I imagined the worst.  I guess that’s what happens when we’re worried about someone.  Believe me, I half expected to find blood on the floor and Hank collapsed, or unconscious, or . . . even dead. 

Thanks to Lucky, we started to put the clues together to find Hank and figure out just what was going on with him.  You’re not gonna believe it!  You think you know someone and then you find out all the things they’ve kept secret.  
You can read all about Hank’s story and more in A Clue in the Stew, the fifth adventure in Snowflake, Vermont.  
And you can visit Connie Archer at her website, at Facebook and Twitter@SnowflakeVT.
 



Tuesday, February 14, 2017

A VALENTINE'S DAY PLOT by Glenda of the Bad Luck Cat Mysteries


HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY from all of us here at Around-the-World Cottages in Lavender, Texas!  I don't know about you, but my hubby and I like to celebrate Valentine's Day on the weekend before the big day to avoid crowded restaurants, so our personal celebration has come and gone. But I've hatched a plot, with the help of Sabrina and her black cat Hitchcock, to bring two potential lovebirds together tonight. 


You see, my friend and employer Rowena Flowers has had a "thing" for our widower sheriff, the very handsome Jebediah Crawford, for a long time. But do you think she would ever admit as much? Ha! Rowe's niece, Sabrina, has learned through talks with the sheriff that he cares for Rowe, too, but he's convinced she won't give him the time of day. Really? How will the man know if he never asks?


Rowe intends to stay home tonight and watch that old movie, An Affair to Remember. By herself. (That's what she thinks.) See, I'm the chief cook and bottle washer here at Around-the-World Cottages, and I'm cooking a nice romantic dinner for Rowe & Jeb even though they don't know about it yet.


Sabrina tells me she's cooked up a plot to get the sheriff over here just in time for me to serve the appetizers. Sabrina's a writer, so I trust her to make up a good enough story to bring the sheriff our way.  I've told Rowe that I'm making her a special dinner so she ought to get dressed up for the occasion. 


We'll have a beautiful Valentine's gift ready and waiting for Jeb to give to Rowe. We hope the man has enough sense to go with the flow.


What are your plans for tonight?


Kay Finch is the National Best-Selling author of the Bad Luck Cat Mysteries by Berkley Prime Crime. Though her character, Sabrina Tate, has left the paralegal profession behind to move to the Texas Hill Country, Kay still works as a paralegal at a Houston, Texas law firm. She and her husband and pets reside in a Houston suburb.

Black Cat Crossing - Bad Luck Cat #1
The Black Cat Knocks on Wood - Bad Luck Cat #2
The Black Cat Sees His Shadow - Bad Luck Cat #3 (Available for Pre-order Now)