Saturday, April 30, 2016

Lisa Ks Book Reviews blog is proud to bring to you
Weekend Edition

This is a weekly online publication focused on connecting cozy mystery readers to favorite cozy characters by way of their town's newspapers.  

Today The Cozy Times is featuring the 
New Chapel Times

The Times has a story of homicide to report this week.  

Check it out!

Welcome to your new home….
Welcome to Brandywine.
Imagine yourself in a brand new home. Picture your days being spent with the kids at the park, taking walks along the extra wide sidewalks, fishing in the many man-made ponds, doing the things you love to do!  With neatly tended houses, well-kept lawns, a clubhouse with a fitness center – you may feel like you’re living on a movie set.  Brandywine has designed this picture for you as we offer this remarkable lifestyle and so much more! We are located only minutes from shopping, dining and entertainment in beautiful New Chapel, Indiana.  Our spectacular community is convenient to every amenity that you could want or need, including many within the community itself. 


Body Found In Brandywine Community Pond

by Connor MacKay

New Chapel, Ind. -

Porter County coroner Joseph Sands confirmed Monday that the body found Sunday afternoon in a Brandywine community pond was that of Dirk Singletary, the superintendent for new construction in the Brandywine community. The cause of death is consistent with blunt force trauma resulting in drowning. No suspects have been named so far.
New Chapel Police Sgt. Sean Reilly confirmed Sunday that the victim had not been reported as missing. County coroner Sands says foul play is suspected. Police say they are not releasing any more information until the victim's family is notified. 
When Theda Coros, a Brandywine community resident, heard of the tragedy, she thought instantly of Dirk Singletary, who had been called out to the property Saturday evening to repair drainage issues with the small community pond.
Coros said, "This frightens me. I am a fragile older woman all by myself and I come to the pond sometimes. It is really scary that this can happen in such a peaceful neighborhood. My neighbors walk their dogs out there. Now they may need to watch their backs. Lucky for me I only have a cat."
An autopsy has been scheduled for Tuesday morning. Confirmation on cause of death is not expected to be released until after the autopsy is complete. Brandon Thorne, owner of Brandywine, has refused to comment on his former employee’s demise.
The body was a shock to people taking a walk along the pond’s edge.
New home owner Abby Knight Salvare said, "This is supposed to be a safe community. One way or another the perpetrator of this crime will be brought to justice and this community will be safe again."


The Cozy Times would like to thank Connor MacKay for the use of his article.

That's this week's edition of 
The Cozy Times 
I hope you enjoyed!


To learn more about the cozy town of 
New Chapel, IN and 
it's residents, read the 
Flower Shop Mystery series 
by author 
Kate Collins

Book 18
Released April 5, 2016

Abby and Marco’s new neighborhood isn’t as rosy as it seems in the latest Flower Shop Mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of Florist Grump and A Root Awakening.
Flower shop owner Abby Knight and her husband, Marco, are ecstatic to finally be moving into their new home, despite the prospect of unpacking a seemingly infinite number of boxes. After all, Brandywine—their new subdivision—seems like an oasis with its welcoming neighbors and beautifully manicured lawns. 
But their idyllic community is suddenly uprooted when a body is found floating in a nearby pond. The police think Abby and Marco’s helpful next door neighbor is the culprit, but the newlyweds aren’t convinced. 
Meanwhile, Marco distrusts his mother’s slick new boyfriend, and Abby’s cousin Jillian has agreed to decorate their new home, resulting in comic chaos. Even worse, as Abby and Marco dig through Brandywine’s secrets in search of a killer, they discover that some flowers come from very bad seeds...and danger stalks even the sunniest small-town streets.

Is there a cozy town you'd like to see featured in 
The Cozy Times? 
Please let me know in the comments section.

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

Follow my blog by 
clicking on the link in the 
upper right hand corner of this page.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Cozy Food Friday

That means it's time to share a recipe from 
another great cozy mystery!

Today I'm featuring a recipe from
Book 2 in the Cycle Path Mysteries
Duffy Brown

Evie Bloomfield puts the pedal to the metal—in the latest Cycle Path mystery from the national bestselling author of Geared for the Grave.
Moving from Los Angeles to small, picturesque Mackinac Island to work in a bike shop might seem crazy, but Evie knows it’s the best decision she’s ever made. That’s not to say she’s gotten rid of all her stress; after all, the upcoming Lilac Festival has everyone in town riding in circles.
But things really go downhill when a ferry full of tourists—including Evie’s friend Fiona’s former boss, the editor of a sleazy rag in LA—arrives on the island. No one knows why Peephole Perry came all the way to Mackinac, but things aren’t looking good for Fiona when Peep is found dead. Now Evie has to gear up and get a grip on the truth if she wants to clear her friend’s name...

Let's hear from author
Duffy Brown 

Braking for Bodies is the second book in my Cycle Path mystery series. It’s set on Mackinac Island, a chunk of land where Lake Michigan meets Lake Huron. The island has two main directions...up and down and with no cars that means everything is hauled by horses or bikes or on foot. If you live on the island for any stretch of time you’ll be in the best shape of your life from walking the hills or riding your bike because these are some hills!

And this is a really good thing so you can walk off all that fudge!

The town is mainly two streets, Main Street and Market Street. Main faces the water and the one street back is Market. There are the usual tourist shops of t-shirt etc but the one thing that will capture your attention right away is that there are 18...yes 18!...fudge shops in town. Ryba’s, JoAnn’s, Murdocks, Mackinac get the picture

Inhale the mouthwatering aromas. Partake in the deliriously delicious confectioneries. Revel in the experience – your palate will think it won the lottery! The Island doesn’t claim to have created fudge. But after one taste, you’ll agree that it was perfected here. The flavors are to die for.
The tourist center says…Born in the years following the Civil War, the tradition of fudge making is stronger than ever and fudge remains the Island’s most popular and tastiest souvenir.  
I think they sell TEN tons of the stuff a year. That is a LOT of fudge. And of course there are a bazillion kinds of fudge. In addition to perfecting recipes, the art of fudge making also plays an important role on the island besides eating can watch it being made. There is actually a Fudge Festival every year. Holy cow! Nothing better than a fudge festival!
All the fudge shops have big windows where you can watch men…usually it is the guys doing this ‘cuse tossing fudge is hefty work. They throw big kettles of fudge onto big marble tables then use a thing that looks like a canoe paddle to flip the fudge up onto itself. This creates one big huge loaf of fudge. Then they toss in nuts and chocolate bits and bits of maple and toffee and cookie and peppermint etc…you get the picture on to the loaf as they flip it over and over and over as it cools. Once it does cool they cut the loaf into half-moons and sell it to the salivating customers lined up at the counters.

Sooooo, after all this talk about fudge, what is your favorite? Chocolate-chocolate, maple, Oreo, lavender (yep, it really tastes like lavender) peanut butter, pumpkin pie, turtle, raspberry, blueberry (it’s really blue!)

Tell me your fave flavor and share this blog on FB or twitter and I’ll give away two Braking for Body totes from the answers.

Here is a recipe from Irma who owns The Good Stuff fudge shop in the series.

Irma’s Drop Dead Decadent Rum Fudge…

From her fudge shop…The Good Stuff…on Mackinac Island


1 pound quality semisweet chocolate chopped fine 
                                (please do not use chocolate chips for this one)
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
4 Tablespoons Dark Rum
pinch of kosher salt
1 tsp. vanilla


Line 8 inch square pan with wax paper or parchment paper. You want it to hang over the edge of the pan so you can lift it out.  Lightly grease (butter or baking spray) the 2 sides of the pan that the sling is not touching.  This will make it easy for you to remove the fudge later.

In double boiler first put in the chocolate, then dump in the condensed milk, and then the rum, vanilla and salt.

Stir over medium low heat. Do not let the water below the pot boil; you don’t need to let the water get that hot as you are looking for a slow melting. You don’t want to burn the chocolate

Dump in prepared pan and smooth it out. Let the fudge sit out overnight or several hours. Lift out the whole “sling” and then peel off the wax paper and cut it into small squares. It’s rich, so cut small squares.

Irma says: Irma won the Gold Ribbon at the Mackinac Island Fudge Festival with this recipe. Her secret…This fudge gets better with age. It’s best the second day!  

Anyone else want a piece of fudge really bad right now? Yum!


I cycled through this fabulous mystery at record speed. What a fun ride it was!

Cozy mystery readers were given a marvelous gift when author Duffy Brown came on the scene. All you have to do is read BRAKING FOR BODIES to see just how blessed we are.

Set on real life Mackinac Island (Have you ever seen Somewhere In Time?), the Cycle Path mystery series will pull you in with Ms. Brown’s descriptions of this beautiful setting. It’s clear she has a real love for, and vast knowledge of Mackinac. The Grand Hotel is featured in this story, and it has strengthened my resolve to get there one day.

With a fantastic plot that had me from page one, BRAKING FOR BODIES as a fast, funny mystery that had me on the edge of my seat with anticipation as well as laughing practically through the entire book! Duffy Brown knows just the right combination of mystery, intrigue, and humor to make up the perfect cozy mystery.

If you’re thinking of getting BRAKING FOR BODIES, stop back peddling. Throw yourself in gear, and race to get your copy!

About the Author

Duffy Brown loves anything with a mystery. While others girls dreamed of dating Brad Pitt, Duffy longed to take Sherlock Holmes to the prom. She has two cats, Spooky and Dr. Watson, her license plate is Sherlok and she conjures up who-done-it stories of her very own for Berkley Prime Crime. Duffy's national bestselling Consignment Shop Mystery series is set in Savannah and the Cycle Path Mysteries are set on Mackinac Island.

Please keep reading and check out my 
installments of 
Book Beginnings on Fridays
The Friday 56


My Book Beginnings and Friday 56
 for this week are from 

Book Beginnings on Fridays is a meme hosted by Rose City Reader
Share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading

My Book Beginnings

"What's with the garlic and the bottle of olive oil?" I asked Fiona when I bumped into her, the two of us heading down to Shepler's Ferry Dock, which was crowded with tourists. "Spaghetti for dinner and I'm invited?"

The Friday 56 is a meme hosted by Freda's Voice
Rules: *Grab a book, any book. *Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader (If you have to improvise, that's okay.) *Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it) that grab you. *Post it.

My Friday 56

Penelope held my hand tight, her eyes pleading. "You're going to fix this, right? You're going to make this all go away and get my life back to normal, right?"

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

Follow my blog by 
clicking on the link in the 
upper right hand corner of this page.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Have you ever wondered what your favorite authors are doing when they aren't writing those wonderful cozy mysteries that we love so much?

Do they have other jobs, hobbies, hidden talents?

Now you can find out!

Stop by the blog on Thursdays for delightful guest posts from our amazing authors! 

They're going to be sharing all sorts of things that they do when they're not writing.

Today's special guest author is 

Susan Bernhardt

Susan is the author of the awesome 
Kay Driscoll Mysteries
So, what does Susan do when she's not writing?

When I’m Not Writing...

Hello everyone. My name is Susan Bernhardt. 
I'm the author of the Kay Driscoll cozy mysteries.

I had an interest in stained glass long before I started the art. My husband and I moved often with his career. Along the way, I had checked out various technical schools, but the classes always entailed making some small insignificant project and I wanted to create something more.

When we moved to Colorado, I saw an ad for stained glass classes in a private home from a woman who made beautiful stained glass lamps. I attended class once a week and created the design for my first project.

 Even though I have made many lamps, it is still my favorite, much like my first cozy mystery, The Ginseng Conspiracy will always be my baby. :) I have been working in stained glass for the past twenty years.

Here are a few other lamps that I've made. It was difficult to choose which of my lamps to show.

Once while watching a Knots Landing episode, I saw a lamp that I absolutely loved. I quickly captured the image on our VCR, drew the design on paper, and here is the result.

Although that lamp was not an original design of mine, what I enjoy most about working in stained glass is the design. I love creating something unique. That's where the artistic part comes in for me. Many of my pieces are one of a kind. I've designed many lamps, vases, window hangings. I also designed our kitchen cabinets.

Here is a stepping stone that took more work than any lamp. I don't want anyone stepping on this I keep it among my garden plants where it is safe.

I work in stained glass purely for enjoyment. While living in Colorado I was asked, commissioned to make a large window for a McMansion. Despite the earning potential, I didn't want to turn this art into a job.

Here is a closeup window of the Northern Lights.

The protagonist in my cozy mysteries also works in stained glass.

These truly are works of art.

I want to thank Susan for sharing her amazing talent with us!  

You can thank Susan too by reading and reviewing her books.
You'll love the Kay Driscoll Mysteries!

Book One

On her way to attend a Halloween Ball, Kay Driscoll, a newcomer to town, witnesses the murder of a local professor. When the official coroner's report rules the cause of death to be accidental and the community accepts the judgement, Kay decides to uncover the truth for herself. Through her personal investigations, Kay exposes a complex conspiracy, woven deep within the thriving local ginseng industry, that involves some of the more prominent figures and families of Sudbury Falls. 

With her new friends, the free-spirited herbalist Deirdre and the untamed modern woman Elizabeth, Kay discusses new clues over tea and pastries at Sweet Marissa's Patisserie, their crime-fighting headquarters. As Kay gets closer to the heart of the conspiracy, additional murders happen in quick succession. Before long, Kay learns that the villains are gunning for her, too. Phil, her musically talented but preoccupied husband, determined to keep her safe, withholds from her the one thing she needs most: the truth.

"There are enough twists and turns to keep Kay Driscoll and the reader guessing the whole time." Mary Brown, MJB Reviewers.

Book Two

While Kay attends a Christmas tea at Hawthorne Hills Retirement Home, a beloved caretaker dies from an allergic reaction to peanuts. When the official coroner's report rules the cause of death to be accidental, a small group of residents suspect foul play and call upon Kay to investigate. 

Kay uncovers sinister plots of fraud, revenge, and corruption at the Home. During this season of peace on earth, good will to men, additional murders occur. Despite multiple attempts on her life, and with the support once again of her best friends, Elizabeth and Deirdre, Kay continues her quest for bringing justice for the victims. Kay's first Christmas in Sudbury Falls is an unforgettable one, with equal amounts of celebration and danger. Tis the season to be sleuthing!

Book Three

Wedding bells are in the air, and so is murder. 

Kay Driscoll's son's wedding reception for two hundred guests is in her backyard. As if that wasn't enough, a precocious and troubled twelve-year-old is foisted on her two days before the wedding. When the happy day arrives, one of the guests disrupts the event and is asked to leave: a womanizing member of Kay's book club. 

A few days later, after a Fourth of July fireworks show, he is found dead on the beach. Kay and her ever-present friends, Elizabeth and Deirdre, investigate the death, which at first is declared a suicide. They believe this is a cover-up and go about to prove their theory, an arduous task because the potential suspects are many, and few (if any) will regret the victim's death.

About The Author

Susan's town in northern Wisconsin was an inspiration for the quaint setting of her novels. Like Kay Driscoll in her cozy mysteries, The Ginseng Conspiracy and Murder Under the Tree, Susan is a retired nurse who volunteers at her local free clinic. She lives with her husband, William, and has two sons, Peter and David.

An avid reader of mysteries, she is a member of Sisters in Crime, Inc. and the Wisconsin Writers Association. 

As a rule, Cozies revolve around multiple murders in a small community, a likable amateur sleuth, and often food. In The Ginseng Conspiracy, Bernhardt fulfills our cozy expectations and adds a few refreshing touches. The murders in the fictionalized community of Sudbury Falls multiply at an alarming rate. Kay Driscoll as the sleuth is immensely appealing because, like every character in Bernhardt's book, she's multi-dimensional. She's sweet, tough, vulnerable and reckless in her sense of justice. When Kay's husband begs her to walk away from the investigation because her life is in danger, indomitable Kay refuses to stop. She continues her pursuit of the truth and we root for her every inch of the way, holding our breath whenever she puts herself in harm's way.

When not writing, Susan loves to travel, bicycle, kayak, and create culinary magic in her kitchen. She works in stained-glass, daydreams in her organic garden, stays up late reading mysteries, and eats lots of chocolate.

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

Follow my blog by 
clicking on the link in the 
upper right hand corner of this page.