Thursday, February 20, 2020

Everythings Coming Up Roses

by Lilly Jayne
of the Garden Squad Mysteries by Julia Henry

You know, one of the hardest times to be a widow is Valentine's Day. But this year, the day was actually lovely.
Tamara and Warwick invited me to join them for dinner. I declined, of course. Time together is so precious, especially for the O'Connors. Too much going on these days.
Delia and Stan had to postpone their date, since he was working at the Star. So she cooked dinner for us, and invited Ernie and Roddy to join. Roddy brought several bottles of sparkling wine, and Ernie must have cleaned out the Italian bakery in the next town. Delia made my favorite lasagna: seafood. I put together a quite lovely cheeseboard if I do say so.
I also brought roses.
I've taken to growing all sorts of flowers in the greenhouse, forcing flowers out of season. I used to not do that. To just be ready for the spring. But winters are long here in New England, and flowers help. A few months ago I planted some tea roses in pots, hoping to time the blooms. Success! All five plants flourished. My friends were delighted.
My gardening friends, do you attempt to rush spring indoors over the winter?

Wednesday, February 19, 2020


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

I hope you had a Happy Valentine’s Day! Our fabulous local veterinarian, Dr. Cynthia Mays, held a “Find Your Sweetheart” adoption party at the clinic. Bridgy and I chipped in some refreshments and I am proud to tell you that five dogs and seven cats found their fur-ever homes at the event. Not bad for a tiny gulf-side town like Fort Myers Beach.

What a happy day!

Aunt Ophie and Augusta Maddox had a surprise for each of the new fur families. They made tote bags with the name of our new mystery readers club on the front so the families could use them to carry the food and toys their newest family member would enjoy.

And, of course they made an extra one for one lucky reader. For a chance to win please comment below. You might want to tell us the name of one of your pets, past or present. Don't forget to leave your email addy using this format NAME (AT) SERVER (DOT) COM to avoid the spambots. Giveaway ends at midnight your time on Saturday, February 22nd.

And if you want to spend more time with me, Bridgy and the gang at the cafĂ©, you can always visit us in the Read ’Em and Eat books: Well Read, Then Dead, Caught Read-Handed and Read to Death.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Another Year Continues

by Dr. Reed Storme, veterinarian at the Knobcone Heights Veterinary Clinic, featured in the Barkery & Biscuits Mysteries by Linda O. Johnston

Hi, everyone.  This is Dr. Reed Storme.  Just checking in here to say hi, which I do now and then.  It's my first visit here in 2020.

As always, I've been in touch with my dear buddy and more, Carrie Kennersly.  She's the owner of two adjoining bakeries in Knobcone Heights, California--Barkery & Biscuits which sells the wonderful, healthy dog treats she developed, and Icing on the Cake which sells people baked goods. 

I always worry about her, ever since she also turned into an amateur sleuth.  For a while, she seemed to be solving murders in our town a lot.  Fortunately, I'm not aware of any recent ones.  But I remain concerned, considering all she's done in the past.  

Last year, she solved a murder that was described in a book called For A Good Paws.   And a year before that she helped to clear me from being a murder suspect, and that tale was told in the book Pick and Chews.

She certainly does a wonderful job when she does get involved in such things, but I always worry because of her all-in attitude.  That can be dangerous.

Now, in 2020?  Well, I gather she's not currently involved in solving a mystery. 

But will that change?  We'll see.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Buono Giorno From a (hopefully) Former Mobster, and # flashdrive giveaway!

From: Here Comes the Body
By: Mia Carina
Author: Maria DiRico (Ellen Byron)
Series: Catering Hall Mysteries
Publication Date: February 25, 2020
Publisher: Kensington

Buon giorno, tutti! For those of you who don't speak Italian, that's hello, everyone. I'm Ravello Carina. To the world, I'm a "businessman." But I'll tell you the truth. I'm a lieutenant for the Boldano crime family. Up until not too long ago, I ran their gambling operations. A guy showed up at one of clandestine - that's a nice way of saying "illegal" - poker games, bet the ranch - the ranch being a rundown catering hall in NYC borough of Queens - and lost. So my boss, Donny Boldano, tasked me with fixing up and running the place. While I don't wish my daughter Mia loser of a missing husband on anyone - especially my gorgeous, precious bambina - I'm glad that adulterous idiot going missing motivated Mia to move back to Astoria and help me run Belle View.

I hear CEOs of all those big companies set these things called long-term goals. I'm gonna make one for myself: turn Belle View Banquet Manor into the best party place in all of New York City. I'm also gonna set myself a short-term goal... stai fuori dai guai.  
That means stay out of trouble. 
Readers, comment below on some challenges Ravello might face to be entered in a contest to win this fantastic flash drive from USB Memory Direct! The winner will be announced in this column within 24-48 hours. BE SURE TO INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS with an (at) com extension for protection. 

HERE COMES THE BODY debuts February 25, but pre-order now through the links on this page!


Sunday, February 16, 2020

A True Southern Home

Auntie KiKi here from the Consignment Shop Mysteries set in Savannah.
One of my dearest friends is redecorating her house, top to bottom and that’s always a scary thing to be doing in my opinion especially if you go and turn it over to one of those snooty decorators who think they know it all. I mean a house...especially a Savannah house has got to have certain things to make it right like a few ghosts here and there to keep things interesting. But here in Savannah we truly believe the more the merrier.
First off there better be a big old table in the kitchen. Not one of those bar things with stools. I mean a fullout table that sits all the family at once. A family that eats together stays together especially if there’s fried chicken on that table.
And while we’re talking kitchen’s there better be a big one. This is cooking country and we need room to move around. Everyone has a job to do like stirring the gravy, and setting the table proper.

And there better be room enough in that house for grandma’s pie safe and auntie’s sewing chest and that there rocker your mamma rocked the babies in. A house can be new but we take our past with us for sure.
When picking out new furniture be thinking something that a swaying. Don’t be forgetting that swing on the porch and the rocker by the hearth. Things that stay put get downright boring if you ask me.
These are some of the must-haves in a Southern home. What’s a must have in your home? A big porch to sit a spell? A fireplace to gather round? A garden for growing tomatoes and okra?   

Saturday, February 15, 2020

What kind of trouble is she in now?

by Paolo Ianello from the Zodiac Mysteries by Connie di Marco

Look, I think I’m one of the good guys.  I am.  I’m a real decent guy – for a cop that is.  Let’s put it this way.  Some of my . . . uh . . . colleagues are definitely lower on the food chain in terms of their ethics and industriousness.  But I’m a busy homicide detective in a crazy city.  You wouldn’t believe some of the cases that land in my lap. 

That’s why when Julia Bonatti, my favorite astrologer, actually the only astrologer I know, calls me or wants to ‘Just stop by for a minute,’ I know I’m going to get dragged into some mess I don’t have time for. 

What I can’t figure out is how she manages to get herself into some of those situations.  What is she?  A trouble magnet?  There was the time she was kidnapped and almost dumped in the Bay . . . as the tide was going out.  I don’t need to remind you that would be certain death in San Francisco.  We’d never find the body. 

Then there was the time she was convinced some woman in Chinatown wasn’t who she claimed to be and the real woman had been kidnapped.  Okay, that sounds bad, but nobody, not the woman’s family or her friends and neighbors had reported her missing.

Oh, yeah, and let’s not forget the time she trespassed on private property and was held against her will and almost shot.  At least that fiasco was out of my territory and I wasn’t the cop that had to deal with her.  Every time I hear her name, I cringe.  I know it’s gonna be a real pain in the zorch for me. 

What do you think?  Don’t you think an astrologer should stick to her natal charts and her clients and stay the hell away from crime?  Am I being unreasonable??? 
I don’t think so.

If you’d like to suffer through some of Julia’s adventures (I’m there too), check out our author’s website and have a look around.  There’s Facebook of course and Twitter @askzodia.  I just hope you won’t regret it. 

Friday, February 14, 2020


BY:   Luke Griffin

OF:   The Bad Luck Cat Mysteries

BY:   Kay Finch

I know a very special woman who got herself into some trouble one night when she decided to investigate a murder on her own at The Wild Pony, the local beer joint in Lavender, Texas. Her predicament began when one of the locals started flirting and got way too aggressive with her.  I couldn't stand by and watch the jerk put his slimy hands on that woman, who clearly didn’t want anything to do with him. And that’s the night Sabrina Tate won my heart …I’m hoping she’ll agree to be my special Valentine from here on out. Here’s how she tells the story of what happened on our first night.

            “I felt an arm snake around my waist and turned to see Mr. Belt Buckle had returned.
            "Hiya, sweetheart." He brought his face close to mine. "Whaddya say we leave Chester in his misery and have us a little dance. I wiped the table with those bozos." He glanced over his shoulder at the cleared pool table and the other players clustered at one end.
            The band was playing a slow song now, and there was no way I was getting any closer to this guy than I already was.
            "You're Ernie Baxter's twin brother," I said, realizing why he looked familiar.
            "Guilty," he said. "I'm Eddie, and you must be Sabrina, the not-so-teenage witch I heard about from Mom. She told me I'd be runnin' into you sometime soon, and here you are." He gave me another appraising glance.
            I twisted out of his grasp, uncomfortable with him and the eerie suggestion that Twila Baxter knew I'd show up at The Wild Pony before I had any intention of doing so. "I came to speak with Chester."
            "Best wait 'til he dries out." Eddie took my arm and started toward the dance floor. "He gets delirious when he's drunk. We have plenty of time to get to know each other better."
            I tried dodging him, but Eddie moved closer and soon his arm was around my waist again, fingers twisted around one of my belt loops. I grabbed those fingers and said, "Let me go."
            "Aw, sweetheart," he said, "I'm cool. Give me a chance."
            I writhed and twisted as I tried to disconnect myself from him, but he stuck like glue.
            "Why don't you show me some of your witchy moves," he said. "Bet you got some-"
            Before he finished the thought, Eddie's knees buckled and his legs were swept out from under him. Someone ripped his hand away from my waistline and took my arm. Then I was hurtled along through the crowd and found myself outside where light rain was falling.
            "C'mon," the man next to me said. "Let's take cover."
            I was grateful he'd separated me from Eddie Baxter, but did I want to go anywhere with this guy?
            I turned to him and saw in the glare of the lights along the porch that Luke Griffin held my arm.
            He pointed across the street to what looked like an abandoned service station with a roof over what used to be the pumping area.
            We ran across the street together."   - Excerpt from Black Cat Crossing

The rest - as they say - is history.  Maybe a bar isn't the best place to meet a significant other, but it's where I met mine.  Where did you and your significant other meet?

Kay Finch is the National Best-Selling author of the Bad Luck Cat Mysteries, including the June 2019 release – The Black Cat Steps On A Crack. Watch for The Black Cat Breaks A Mirror, coming this summer. Though Kay's 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 resides in a Houston suburb with her husband and pets. Visit her at