By Gary Kriss
Spring fever, coupled with a full moon, arrives in tiny Park County, Tennessee. It induces the well-named madness in its residents and visitors alike. At a festival to honor ramps, a pungent member of the onion/garlic family, the party is disrupted when a potato launched by a cannon strikes, and apparently kills, the unpopular game warden, known as Hairy Rags.
The fourth in the “Quilted Mystery” series featuring Tennessee Sheriff Tony Abernathy and his wife Theo, a dedicated quilter.
THE REST AREA MURDER is the second book in L.D. Knorr’s ‘RV Mystery Series’ featuring recently retired robbery/homicide detective Hank Moran and his wife Helen. The book becomes available this month.
Please give the readers an elevator synopsis of THE REST AREA MURDER.
Recently retired robbery/homicide detective Hank Moran and his wife Helen are once again back on the road in their new Bounder motorhome. Hank’s decision to stop for a road map at an Indiana rest area starts a series of events that greatly endangers the lives of both Hank and Helen.
By Brian Knight
When Lucky Jamieson inherits her parents’ soup shop, By the Spoonful, she realizes it’s time to take stock of her life. Does she really want to run a restaurant? But her life decisions are moved to the back burner when an icy blonde tourist is found frozen to death behind the soup shop and her chef is arrested. The only way she can save her employee and her business is to find out herself who iced the tourist.
Connie Archer’s new novel, A SPOONFUL OF MURDER, from Berkley Prime Crime, has just been released and is now a national bestseller. She was kind enough to answer some questions about her cozy mystery story.
By J. H. Bográn
In Jean Harrington’s new book THE MONET MURDERS, interior decorator Deva Dunne never dreamed she’d see a Monet hanging on someone’s dining room wall. Then she snags a client with two Monet seascapes. Her thrill lasts until she finds one of the paintings missing, cut from its frame, and the cook shot dead.
Rough-around-the edges, but gorgeous all-around Lieutenant Victor Rossi insists Deva leave the sleuthing to the police. But what could it hurt to come up with a list of suspects? Like the owner of the Monets, his trophy wife, and their frequent guests. Even the cook’s husband is suspect. Then Deva finds another victim, clutching a very strange set of clues.
Desperate to save her business amid all the negative publicity, Deva helps Rossi investigate. And when he needs advice decorating his bedroom, she just might have found a client for life. Unless the killer gets to her first.
By Dawn Ius
When the woman who ruined your life gets murdered, you’re going to need an alibi.
Dotsy Lamb should know. In her fourth adventure, DEATH OF A SECOND WIFE, author Maria Hudgin’s series character must move beyond her personal pain and do what’s best for her family – her children, her grandchildren, and even her ex-husband.
“Dotsy has grown more in this book than in all of the first three put together,” says Hudgins. “At age sixty, she had to start a new career as a college professor, and her ego was shattered. How could she trust anyone again?”
She’s forced to learn quickly, though, because DEATH OF A SECOND WIFE is set in the Swiss Alps, a great place for a murder mystery.
Saving animals and solving murders seem to go paw-in-paw for shelter manager and amateur sleuth Lauren Vancouver. But this time, mixed up in a murder that may close a much-needed new shelter, Lauren will have to keep herself and her critters safe from an unleashed killer.
Much of Linda O. Johnston’s fiction involves animals. The third in the Pet Rescue Mystery series, which is a spinoff from her Kendra Ballantyne Pet-Sitter mystery series continues in April 2012 with the release of HOUNDS ABOUND from Berkley Prime Crime.
By George Ebey
Mitzi Kelly is the author of The Silver Sleuths Mystery Series which features the adventures of Millie, Trish, and Edna, three friends who find themselves drawn into the world of crime and intrigue as they work to solve baffling mysteries in their hometown. The first book in the series, CLASSIC REVENGE, was described by SUSPENSE MAGAZINE as “Crime investigation meets the Golden Girls! This book has it all.”
Now Mitzi is back with book two, DEADLY POLICY.
When a sudden rash of stolen cars brings Millie’s daughter under suspicion for conspiracy to commit insurance fraud, Millie convinces her two best friends, Trish and Edna, to help her find out who is trying to frame Michelle. Knowing the odds are zero that they will be able to discover who the thugs are, Trish and Edna nevertheless go through the motion of investigating, hoping Millie will feel productive in helping her daughter while the police do the real detective work.
By L.J. Sellers
In THE SCARLET PEPPER, White House gardener Casey Calhoun solves a double mystery: Who is tampering with the garden? And who killed the investigative reporter? Author Dorothy St. James draws on years of government work, as well several visits to the White House, to create this richly detailed and engaging series.
“One of the most important lessons I’ve learned from my work as an urban planner is to develop the setting of a story the same way I’d develop the main character,” says St. James. “A community is as alive as a person. Cities, towns, and villages have quirks, unique personalities, and as rich of a back story as any character in a book.”
St. James writes in both the mystery and romance genres and has been nominated for wards such as Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, National Reader’s Choice Award, and The Romance Reviews Today Perfect 10! Award.
Interior designer Deva Dunne’s latest project comes to a screeching halt when blood on the carpet leads her to the body of her client, an exotic dancer with a mysterious past. But the murdered woman is not the only resident of the posh beachfront condominium with secrets, and investigating officer Lieutenant Victor Rossi considers them all suspects.
Though wary of working in the killer’s midst, Deva continues decorating the unit for the new owner. When she stumbles upon clues that might help crack the case, she can’t resist doing a little digging of her own, despite Rossi’s orders to quit meddling. Now, she’s juggling the investigation, her career and sexy neighbor Simon Yaeger, who seems interested in more than her etchings.
The fifth Dulcie Schwartz feline mystery: Could a missing book be haunted? Dulcie Schwartz doesn’t want to think so, but ever since it disappeared from the university, things have gone from bad to worse – one of her colleagues accused of homicide, and another revealed as an impostor. To top it all off, both the ghost cat Mr Grey and the kitten Esmé seem to have switched their allegiance to her boyfriend. Deprived of feline assistance, Dulcie must uncover the truth by herself, or else find herself on the hook for the theft – and murder.
By Karen Harper
FBI Special Agent Taylor Jones has made it his mission to save those in harm’s way by any means necessary—including employing psychic agents like Desiree “Dez” Lincoln, who can communicate with the disembodied spirits of the dead. Taylor is haunted by his own ghost, his kid sister, gone missing at age six. For a quarter of a century he has been tortured by her loss and the mystery of her disappearance.
When Dez is seriously wounded, Taylor can no longer hide his feelings for her. Getting involved could spell disaster for both of them—not to mention those who rely on them for help—but once Dez lays her hands on him, he can’t resist the fierce attraction. But after giving in to his desires, Taylor pulls back, and Dez strikes out on her own.
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 …