Wednesday, August 12, 2015

A little over a 2 years ago, 
I was blessed enough to meet Canadian author  
Barbara Jean Coast

 who writes the Poppy Cover Mystery series 

As I got to know her, I found that she was a them. Equally talented authors
Andrea Taylor and Heather Shkuratoff

These amazing ladies are not only talented authors, they are absolute sweethearts to know.

To promote their third book in the
 Poppy Cove series, 

was released, the ladies came together with Okanagan Regional Libraries in British Columbia

and planned a book tour of all book tours!

Here's Barbara Jean to tell you about it....

Yours truly, Barbara Jean Coast, well Andrea and Heather on my behalf, were so pleased to have experienced a grand tour of their fine Okanagan Regional Libraries in British Columbia. It was part of the library’s “Year of the Wise” campaign and the girls were extremely honored to have taken part.

They had such a wonderful time, all decked out in their fifties finery...

... as they talked about cozy mysteries and read from STRANGLED BY SILK and DEATH OF A BEAUTY QUEEN in the various locations.

They met some wonderful people, saw some beautiful countryside from Keremeos to Revelstoke and places in between.

On the way to Lumby, passing through Lake Country

Three Valley Gap, outside of Revelstoke

The girls even caught up with a few old friends and made plenty of new ones, always staying longer and visiting well past their scheduled time talking and laughing, but also learning up a storm about the people they met, their places and their lives. 

Andrea, Naomi from the Peachland Library, and Heather

They are so grateful that there are now so many new visitors aka readers are coming to visit Santa Lucia. The more the merrier, everyone is always welcome to get to know Daphne, Margot and the rest of the gang.

Here's the list and dates from their wonderful tour:
May 27 – Peachland
June 3 – Okanagan Falls
June 9 – Lake Country
June 11 – Lumby
June 16 – Revelstoke
June 19 – Keremeos
June 23 – Oyama
June 25 – Westbank
July 11 – Mission
July 17 – Kaleden
July 25 – Vernon

It sounds to me like everyone had a swinging time! 
Thank you, Andrea, Heather. and of course Barbara Jean for sharing your tour with us! 

Darlings! Here’s the scoop on the latest Poppy Cove mystery--STRANGLED BY SILK. It’s all about Daphne and Margot––two independent young California women in 1957––who own their own dress shop called Poppy Cove. When one of their top clients, Constance Stearns-Montgomery, is strangled to death with her own silk scarf at the opening ceremonies for her new girls’ academy, Daphne and Margot are shocked. They can’t believe that such a horrid crime could take place in their sleepy little oceanside village of Santa Lucia. Worse, they’ve lost one of their best clients. The two women quickly become embroiled in solving the crime. After all, if anyone can track down the killer, it should be them. Margot’s long-time beau is the town’s top cop, and Daphne is a master at using her flirtatious wiles to extract information from unsuspecting men. Of course, neither girl will let their snooping get in the way of more urgent tasks such as choosing new textiles and accessories for Poppy Cove or planning their fall fashion show or––most important––selecting the appropriate ensemble to wear for each and every occasion. But these two fashion detectives are on the case, and the murderer––and the poorly attired––had better watch out!


This delightful premiere in the Poppy Cove Mystery series takes us back to the 50's! Readers are in for fashion and excitement as they try to solve the mystery along with independent dress shop owners Daphne and Margot.

I really enjoyed this story. The author captured the feel of the 50's while still making the story feel modern and fresh. I love the look of vintage 50's dresses, so I was beside myself with joy imagining all of the glorious apparel worn by the ladies in this wonderful tale.

The action started fast and just got better. I was anxious to turn each and every page and hated to put the book down. STRANGLED BY SILK captured me from the beginning and didn't let go until the thrilling end.

I see more Poppy Cove novels in the future for this awesome author! I for one can't wait!

This review is from 2013. I think my reviews have gotten a little bit better since then. This review does not do STRANGLED IN SILK justice. 


It’s the 1950’s in Santa Lucia, California, and the height of the social season. Time for the new Miss Santa Lucia, Nora Burbank, to display her loveliness at a high society fashion show produced by the city’s own fashionistas––Margot and Daphne, owners of Poppy Cove, the most elegant and “in” little dress shop in the county. Nora steals the show in her designer gown and custom-made necklace created by local jeweler Isaac Mendelson, and used on the sly by his apprentice son-in-law, Efrem Goldberg. At the conclusion of the show, the young queen is allowed to keep her dress and a replica of the necklace for her own. But Monday morning, Efrem arrives in a panic at Poppy Cove to beg Margot and Daphne’s assistance in tracking down the real necklace, which he believes was inadvertently switched for the replica backstage. The girls get involved in Efrem’s dilemma and try to help him before Isaac’s any the wiser. But before that can happen, Miss Santa Lucia is found dead in her bed and the necklace is missing. Who killed Nora Burbank? Is it someone jealous of her new royal position and all of its perks? Or did she just happen to be in the way when a thief attempted to steal her diamond-studded necklace? Did Nora have the real or the fake necklace, and how much did the thief and murderer know about it? But, of course, before the girls can find the killer, they’ll have to create several beautiful ensembles, calm numerous irate clients, and flirt with their ever-so-attentive boyfriends, before solving this mystery.

My Review

Author Barbara Jean Coast has penned a novel filled with intrigue, excitement, fun, drama, and fashion!

I was thrilled to go back to the 1950's to Santa Lucia, CA and hang out with Margot Williams and Daphne Hunting-Smythe at their “in” fashion dress shop. Although, I always feel under dressed when I spend time with those ladies. ;-)

Book one of the Poppy Cove Mystery series, STRANGLED BY SILK was unforgettable. In book two, DEATH OF A BEAUTY QUEEN, there was always something happening in this “happening” story. Packed cover to cover with everything that makes a mystery great, this book took my breath away!

It’s very clear that the author did her research into the 50's era. Everything from clothing, manner of speech, and chain smoking fathers pacing maternity ward waiting rooms, transported me to another time. And all of this lent the perfect background to an outstanding mystery of who killed the beauty queen.

Way to go Barbara Jean! I look forward to what books three and beyond have to offer.

Another older review from me.


It’s springtime in Santa Lucia and everything is blooming, including the Poppy Cove dress shop. 1958 is proving to be a banner year for its young owners Margot Williams and Daphne Huntington-Smythe––with Hollywood starlets becoming customers and attracting national attention to their business. Even the girls’ love lives are blossoming. But a casual walk with their boyfriends along the beachfront after an art show suddenly turns shocking, when an unidentified man’s body is found washed up on the shore, with a gunshot wound clean through his heart. The startling discovery becomes personal when the police arrive at the dress shop the next day and confirm that the dead man is none other than Nate––Nathan––Reed, Margot’s ex-husband! Everyone is astounded; Margot has always been secretive about her background, but no one thought it included a spouse. The news becomes even worse when it’s discovered that Margot had a hidden handgun which has now gone missing, and is the same caliber as the one that killed her ex. The young designer finds herself the prime suspect in the murder. She feels even more alone when her police detective boyfriend Tom is forbidden to associate with her while the crime is investigated. As Margot’s past comes to light, Daphne must come to terms with the news about her friend and business partner, which causes her to wonder if maybe she’s lived too sheltered a life. Determined to have her own secret adventure, Daphne gets herself involved in a predicament more daring than she bargained for. With Margot working hard to prove her innocence and Daphne trying to lose hers, Nathan’s killer is still on the loose and creating more havoc. That dead man on the beach is truly A NATE TO REMEMBER.


Hey guy and gals, if you’re looking for a dream mystery to curl up with, look no further. A NATE TO REMEMBER is a book to remember. It will take you back to simpler days when Tupperware and cocktail parties were all the rage, when sweet girls were courted by nice young men (well, mostly), and murders never happened…..well, almost never happened. ;-)

A NATE TO REMEMBER is the third book in the Poppy Cover Mystery series written by Barbara Jean Coast. I have loved this series since book one, STRANGLED BY SILK, and I discovered Margot Williams and Daphne Hunting-Smythe, the owners of the Poppy Cove dress shop and lead characters of this series.

In this installment these sweet ladies and upstanding business women are in a real fix. At least Margot is. The dead body of her ex-husband, that no one knew she had, is discovered and Margot becomes he prime suspect.

Barbara Jean Coast aka Andrea Taylor and Heather Shkuratoff have really outdone themselves this time. This story is by far the best in the series to date. It was nothing short of a brilliant mystery and a completely amazing read. I was entranced through the entire story. And when I got to the surprising reveal and found out the who and why, I literally said “Wow” out loud.

If you have read the first two Poppy Cover book, you are going to be thrilled with this one. If you haven’t read the series, do yourself a favor and get all three books in the series, and take a trip back to the 50’s you’ll never forget! 

All three of this titles are available through Amazon.

Barbara Jean Coast

Barbara Jean Coast is the pen name of authors Andrea Taylor and Heather Shkuratoff, both of whom reside in Kelowna, BC, Canada. 

 Barbara Jean, however, is a resident of Santa Lucia, California (eerily similar to Santa Barbara), where she enjoys long lunches, cocktail parties, and fancy dinner dates with attractive and attentive gentlemen. Her interests include Alfred Hitchcock movies, reading Carolyn Keene, music by popular musicians, such Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett, shopping for new dresses, attending society events and always looking fabulous in kitten heels. Published by Cozy Cat Press, the first novel in the Poppy Cove Mystery Series is STRANGLED BY SILK, followed by DEATH OF A BEAUTY QUEEN. The third book, A NATE TO REMEMBER, is the newest release.

Andrea Taylor

Andrea always imagined herself being a supersleuth girl detective and writing adventurous stories, full of mystery and intrigue since she was old enough to hold a pencil.  She resides in Kelowna, BC, Canada, where she writes under the pen name of Barbara Jean Coast with her co-author friend, Heather Shkuratoff, and travels often to California to further develop the stories and escapades of the Poppy Cove Mystery Series.  Andrea has also published freelance articles about fashion, current events, and childcare, and is currently blogging on Wordpress about creativity and poetry, as well as researching for her own literary novels.

Heather Shkuratoff

As an avid mystery reader, Heather joined lifelong friend Andrea Taylor to create the Poppy Cove Mystery Series, written under the pen name of Barbara Jean Coast.  Growing up in a family of talented crafters and sewers, Heather developed her own skills to become a dressmaker and designer, which helps to give rich detail and character to their stories.  She lives in Kelowna, BC, Canada, but spends much time in California, researching for the novels and doing her best to live like Barbara Jean.

Amazon Kindle: 

Learn more about Barbara Jean. Andrea, and Heather...

Twitter:  @BarbaraJCoast

Andrea and Heather want to give a thank you and a shout out to 
Robyn Flinn at Perch Travelling Boutique.

The ladies get their period accessories from Robyn and her travelling boutique bus! 

Perch's Website

Perch on Facebook 

I do want to make note that the dresses worn by Andrea and Heather on their library tour were made by heather herself. 

I hope you've enjoyed reading this as much as I did putting it together.  

Give the Poppy Cove series a try. 
I just know you'll love it!

As always, please leave a comment and 
let me know what you think!

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  1. These books sound great! I will be adding them to my TBR list. Thank you Lisa!

  2. thank you for the great reviews for the poppy cove books! I am so looking forward to reading the books!

  3. Dear Lisa,
    The Mutual Admiration Society is in full swing! It is a pleasure to know you. Thank you for your kind words and folks, all are welcome in Santa Lucia. Just watch out for a little murder and mayhem!

  4. I think Andrea and Heather are a great team! I can only imagine the fun they have writing together. Their 50s photos and covers always make me smile.

    Lisa, very nice review of A Nate To Remember. (I love their book titles.)

    Best wishes, ladies on your new novel. :)

    A fan,
    Susan Bernhardt

  5. Lisa - great reviews, and thanks for showcasing Andrea and Heather. I have loved this series from the first. And the pictures are terrific.

  6. Yes, I did really enjoy your post! She (they) are so funny! Thanks for the reviews!