By J. H. Bogran
Weddings always make Marla Shore shed a tear of joy, especially when she attends her friend Jill’s affair as a member of the bridal party. Marla’s own nuptials are weeks away, and she’s been busy juggling bickering relatives, building a new house with her fiancé, and expanding her hair salon.
The South Florida stylist is following her To Do list just fine until an unexpected event unravels her carefully laid plans. At Jill’s wedding reception, Marla discovers the matron of honor—Jill’s sister Torrie—dead under the cake table, a knife embedded in her chest.
Orlando Coppersmith returns from WWI having lost all he holds dear. A commission to look into an officer’s disappearance holds out the chance of new direction, but without Jonty beside him, Orlando feels lost.
The trail takes Orlando into the world of the shell-shocked and broken; he despairs at ever finding a solution to the mystery or indeed any meaning to the rest of his life. A chance encounter on the seafront at Cabourg brings new hope and unexpected joy, but will the echoes and aftereffects of the war let Orlando enjoy his second chance?
By Rick Reed
Mississippian Peggy Webb is the bestselling author of almost 70 novels in three genres. She is the recipient of many awards, including the Romantic Times Pioneer Award. Peggy writes the comedic Southern Cousins Mystery Series under her own name and literary fiction as Anna Michaels. Pat Conroy hails THE TENDER MERCY OF ROSES as “astonishing.”
Her newest book, ELVIS IN A TROPICAL DOUBLE TROUBLE, released October 1st, is destined to be a hit with any audience, as “the Valentine gang goes south of the border, and it’s double trouble for mayhem magnet Callie, her 190-pound bombshell cousin Lovie, and Elvis, the King reincarnated as nothin’ but a hound dog. Elvis digs up a bone too fresh to spell anything except murder. Suspicious minds blame gods and ghosts, but Jack, Callie’s hunk’a burnin’ love almost-ex, knows the guilty party is all too human. For once, Callie is determined not to get involved. But when Lovie and Elvis go missing, it’s now or never if she wants to save her cousin and her canine and catch a killer with murder always on his mind.”
By L.J. Sellers
Her interest in the occult started around the same early age as her love of mysteries so it seems only natural that Rochelle Staab would eventually write a paranormal whodunit. Taking it a step further, Staab’s debut is titled WHO DO, VOODOO? and comes with high praise from reviewers and authors alike.
RT REVIEWS says: “The first in the Mind for Murder mystery series set in Los Angeles grabs your attention from the start with creepy tarot cards, voodoo priestesses, and cursed spell books. A fresh and entertaining premise for a new series that is cleverly plotted and executed.”
Joelle Charbonneau introduces readers to the roller derby team EstroGenocide in her cozy mystery SKATING OVER THE LINE.
In Charbonneau’s second book of her series, the protagonist, Rebecca, is desperate to sell her inherited roller skating rink in small-town Indian Falls, and—finally—she has a buyer. She can’t wait to head back to Chicago, especially now that her long delinquent father has blown back into town. But Lionel, her large-animal vet boyfriend, thinks she should stay put. And the gang at the Senior Center wants her to track down the thief who’s been hot-wiring rusted-out classic cars. Unable to resist, Rebecca soon has the Sheriff’s Deputy threatening to arrest her for obstruction and strange, scary men threatening her life. Then cars start exploding, with people in them, and Rebecca’s father goes missing. With the help of her Elvis-impersonating grandfather, Rebecca must find the pyromaniac car thief and put a stop to him—before he stops her first.
By Don Helin
In her first Pet Rescue Mystery, Beaglemania, author Linda O. Johnston writes a cozy mystery so compelling that New York Times best-selling author Rebecca Hale says, “Gutsy Lauren Vancouver easily wins over the hearts of animals in need as well as readers. Vancouver is an ardent advocate for homeless pets.” Now the second book in the series, The More the Terrier, is available.
Shelter manager Lauren Vancouver, an ardent advocate for homeless pets, has taught herself a new trick – sleuthing. Now she has a chance to hone her skills as animal hoarding leads to one less human life. When Lauren finds out that her old mentor, Mamie Spelling, is an animal hoarder, no one is more shocked and Lauren jumps to help re-home the cramped critters.
by L.J. Sellers
When the protagonist is eighty-four, cranky, and has short-term memory loss, telling the story with a sense of humor is a necessity. Author Mike Befeler also throws in some thrills with Senior Moments Are Murder, the third novel in his series featuring Paul Jacobson. Publisher’s Weekly calls Paul a “formidable sleuth” and says, “Mystery fans of all ages will welcome Befeler’s third humorous cozy.” The series has also earned high praise from Mystery Scene magazine and Kirkus Reviews and was a finalist for the Lefty Award for the best humorous mystery of 2009.
Befeler says his best moments as a writer are “when readers send me emails saying that my novel has entertained them, made them laugh, and given them a more positive outlook on aging.” He says his writing influences come from John Steinbeck’s Cannery Row and Sweet Thursday. Befeler adds, “His humor and quirky characters before and after World War II in Monterrey have truly inspired me.” Here, the author tells us more about the series and his writing career in his own words.
Roxie Turner is back in the hot seat when the body of the groom from her latest wedding is pulled from the bay, apparently drowned under questionable circumstances. She’s on the scent to find his killer, but has other things to worry about, like the femme fatale who opened the naughty lingerie shop—and the witch’s former connection to boyfriend, Greg. Things heat up as more people die in Briny Bay, and all from the same wedding party. Is Roxie’s career headed for demise at the same time as her love life?
by John Darrin
Food seems to be the common theme in Julie Hyzy’s writing, and in her life. In fact, Hyzy is Polish for Beef Wellington. (I made that up. It’s really Polish for those disgusting little yellow candy corn things you throw away at Halloween, but Beef Wellington sounds so much more tasteful.)
And, Julie’s books are, if anything, tasteful. In fact, her entire first series of mysteries was food-themed. How else do you account for titles like Eggsecutive Orders and State of the Onion and Hail to the Chef? The series is built around the first female White House chef and the apparent rash of crime that follows breaking the all-male tradition. Fortunately, she can solve a mystery in an entertaining way because Eggsecutive Orders is nominated for the prestigious Barry Award this year, and Julie won it in 2009 for State of the Onion.
After a successful career spent on the cutting edge of technology in the banking industry, Naigle and her husband of 15 years moved inland to the quiet of Southampton County. They now live in a log-sided home on a working goat farm with their two labs and more “kids” than they can count, where Naigle spends her time writing the kind of stories she likes to read.
The White House is more than a hot bed of politics – seems its flowerbeds are full of intrigue. Just ask Dorothy St. James, author of Flowerbed of State.
The premier book in the White House Gardener Mysteries, Flowerbed of State introduces Casey Calhoun, a South Carolina native, who is employed as an assistant gardener with the task of developing an organic gardening program for the White House grounds at the request of the First Lady.
By Cathy Clamp
Say Cheese! Not only cheddar, roquefort and swiss but . . . bodies? Not at all expected and that’s what makes it so fun. Avery Aames’ CHEESE SHOP MYSTERY novels are quickly becoming a favorite of cozy mystery readers. With cute, quirky titles like THE LONG QUICHE GOODBYE, LOST AND FONDUE and the upcoming TO BRIE OR NOT TO BRIE, terrific recipes, and interesting information about the cheese industry, the books are quickly going to attract loyal readers.
When Jonty Stewart and Orlando Coppersmith witness the suspicious death of a young man at the White City exhibition, they’re keen to investigate—especially after the cause of death proves to be murder. But police Inspector Redknapp refuses to let them help, even after they stumble onto clues to the dead man’s identity.
Pet Rescue Mysteries: A Journey
My new Pet Rescue Mystery series debuts this month from Berkley Prime Crime. It’s a spinoff from my Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mystery series.
Both of my protagonists told me they wanted to tell their stories in first person. But don’t think you’re likely to confuse them.
Yes, Lauren Vancouver’s pet rescue stories are cozy mysteries, like Kendra’s pet-sitting murder adventures. That means there’s not a lot of sex or violence, at least not on the page. But despite the fact they both love animals, Lauren is quite different from Kendra.
I had the pleasure of chatting with muti-published author, Bobbye Terry, about her latest release, a cozy mystery. BURIED IN BRINY BAY introduces readers to Roxy, a heroine, who is suspected of murder, thanks to her sassy personality. Her penchant for pulling pranks has turned serious and deadly. Will Roxy end up in prison because of her jokes, and her well known dislike for her life long nemesis, Georgia?
Mary Kennedy is a national bestselling author of more than 40 novels as well as a psychologist in private practice. Her knowledge of forensic psychology makes her a popular speaker at mystery conferences and workshops, helping writers develop convincing villains and other characters. Her Talk Radio Mysteries, described as Frasier meets Murder, She Wrote, feature a psychologist named Maggie Walsh who leaves her Manhattan practice and moves to Florida to be a talk radio host.
One could generate an argument that Philadelphia proved to be the catalyst for the Cat Sitter thriller series.
Philadelphia is where Blaize Clement spent a semester studying with David Bradley, author of The Chaneysville Incident, who was teaching a seminar at Temple University. Bradley just happens to be the author Blaize says “taught me everything I know about the actual craft of writing…I use something David taught every day, and I’m very grateful.
Kate Carlisle, New York Times bestselling author of the Bibliophile Mysteries, had a fascination with books from an early age. As young as six, she created books from paper, cardboard, and string, and has since taken numerous book binding classes. Prior to writing the Bibliophile Mysteries—Homicide in Hardcover, If Books Could Kill, and The Lies That Bind—Carlisle worked for many years on a variety of game and other television shows. It was her life-long love of books that inspired the Bibliophile Mysteries and the creation of her protagonist, bookbinder Brooklyn Wainwright. In addition to the Bibliophile Mysteries, Carlisle also writes romance novels for Harlequin.
by Sandra Balzo
“A mime is a terrible thing to waste. But damned if we shouldn’t take a machine gun to this one.” –Sarah Kingston in A Cup of Jo
Okay, I admit it. It’s a line I’ve been dying to use for years and my newest book, A CUP OF JO, finally gave me the chance. And as the opening, no less.
Not that I have anything against mimes. In fact . . . oh, hell –f course I hate mimes. Who doesn’t? And clowns …
by Lori Andrews
Armed with a JD and PhD in political science, Wendy Watson might have chosen to give Scott Turow and John Grisham a run for their money. Instead, Wendy chose to follow a different one of her passions: ice cream. September 7 marks the release of the second in her series of mysteries involving Tally Jones, proprietor of Dalliance, Texas’s ice cream parlor, Remember the A-la-mode. In the first Tally book, I SCREAM, YOU SCREAM (Signet, 2009), Tally swallows her pride and agrees to provide ice cream for her ex-husband’s company luau. Her ex’s arm-candy girlfriend is murdered and Tally becomes the prime suspect.
By Paula Tutman
A-litter-ation best defines the latest book by Carole Nelson Douglas,Cat in an Ultramarine Scheme.
Midnight Louie makes a triumphant return in the 22nd book in the series about a Private Investigator of the feline-domesticus variety who shows us that cats are far more clever than people, especially when it comes to ratting out crime and wrong-doing.
If you’re new to the series and you’re wondering how on earth a cat can nip crime as a super sleuth, Carole has always been ahead of her time.
In Annelise Ryan’s second book in the Mattie Winston series, Scared Stiff, Mattie and her boss/best friend, Izzy, are called out on Halloween night to the home of waitress and part-time model Shannon Tolliver, They find the ghoulish decorations just a bit too authentic. For among the fake blood and skeletons is the corpse of Shannon herself – and the evidence screams murder.
In Linda O. Johnston’s Feline Fatale, Kendra Ballantyne’s dearest friend Darryl Nestler, owner of the Doggy Indulgence Day Resort, has fallen hard for Kendra’s fellow pet-sitter Wanda Villareal. Wanda lives in a large condominium development that allows pets, and she has become the main sitter for them all.
When a nasty member of the condo’s board of directors attempts to rid the development of pets and turns up dead, Wanda’s accused of the killing… and Kendra must once more find the real murderer.
By Mary Kennedy
Recently, I sat down with Melanie Jackson, author of The Ghost and Miss Demure to talk about her new release, where she finds her inspiration and her lifelong love of history.
On your website, you invite readers to take a walk on the Wildside, visit the past and explore new worlds. Are you drawn to any particular genre as your “first love” or do all genres attract you?
I’m a voracious reader of most genres and also non-fiction, but the first adult books I read were Gone With The Wind and Conan The Barbarian.They kind of wedged themselves in the subconscious and an awful lot of the stuff I’ve written is some weird hybrid of the two.
Suspense-thriller writer Avery Aames has not sold one of her novels yet she has a book coming out in early July. How did that happen?
According to Avery, an agent who liked her work knew about this work-for-hire series. “A Cheese Shop Mystery,” she said. “Think you can write it?”
Seems like Avery could.
She auditioned and got the job. “I’m truly lucky. I couldn’t be more passionate about a topic. Life is great; cheese makes it better!”