Sunday, July 31, 2016


I'm very excited to be a stop on the 
blog tour for author 
Colleen J. Shogan
and her new book
Book 2 in the Washington Whodunit Mysteries

Kit Marshall has bounced back from her first brush with the law, when she was suspected of murdering her senator boss. Now she is working for a freshman congresswoman, Maeve Dixon, a young Gulf War veteran representing North Carolina. It's February, and Kit is feeling out of sorts. A government shutdown has just been announced, wreaking havoc on the Hill, and Dan, Dixon's chief of staff and Kit's supervisor, is an inexperienced lightweight flying blind. Then there's Kit's distracted live-in boyfriend, Doug, who doesn't seem any closer to popping the question. Kit's best friend Meg is up to her eyeballs with her new beau and oversight committee job, and Clarence the beagle mix will certainly not win Capitol Canine if Meg has to campaign for him all by herself. Bad as things are now, they are about to get much worse. Early one morning Representative Dixon is caught standing over the corpse of Jack Drysdale, the Speaker of the House's top staffer, a man she argued with in front of the press the day before. The murder weapon was the Speaker's gavel. This item was entrusted to Dixon at the time, leading the police to believe they've found their killer. To save her job, Kit must clear her boss's name, and quickly. Dixon's career may be over if the police declare her a suspect or an anonymous blogger known as Hill Rat breaks the story. Solving this murder will test Kit's courage and all her fledgling powers of deduction as she roams a spooky, sparsely populated Capitol Hill looking for clues and sounding out suspects. 

Book 2 of the Washington Whodunit series, 
which began with Stabbing in the Senate.

Winner will be chosen after August 4
at the end of the tour
Check out the great prize and enter using the Rafflecopter form at the end of this post. 
This giveaway is through Great Escape Book Tours, not Lisa Ks Book Reviews.

An Interview With Author
Colleen J. Shogan

LKBR:  Thank you for being here today!

CS:  Thanks for featuring Homicide in the House on your blog.

LKBR: When did you first know you wanted to be an author?

CS: I’ve been a writer for a long time, but I exclusively wrote nonfiction until a few years ago. I hadn’t thought much about writing fiction until I came up with the plot of my first novel, Stabbing in the Senate, one day when I was taking a walk in my suburban Washington neighborhood.

LKBR: What was your inspiration for the Washington Whodunit series?

CS: I worked for several years as a legislative staffer in the United States Senate and now I work on Capitol Hill at the Library of Congress.  My inspiration is all around me.  New ideas for characters or stories are abundant in my line of work.

LKBR: Do you ever get writer’s block? If you do, how do you work through it?

CS: That hasn’t been a problem for me. Some days, I’m more prolific than others. But I’ve never sat down in front of the computer and not been able to write.

LKBR: Do you have a favorite place to do your writing?

CS: In the summer, I love writing on the deck in my backyard. It’s very peaceful and relaxing, and it’s terrific when it stays light late into the evening.

LKBR: What is your writing schedule like? Do you write a certain number of hours a day, or go by word count?

CS: I try to write for an hour or so when I get home from work. On the weekends, I write for longer periods of time. I don’t put a lot of pressure on myself.  This isn’t my fulltime job so I don’t want to make it stressful by forcing myself to adhere to arbitrary word count requirements.

LKBR: What is the hardest part of writing? What is the easiest part?

CS: For me, the hardest part is finding the time to do it. The easiest part is writing dialogue, particularly between my main characters. I feel like I know them well and when I get a conversation going between them, it’s almost as if I’m watching the scene unfold and I’m dictating their conversation.

LKBR: Do you have plans for a new series?

CS: Not right now. I’m busy enough with the Washington Whodunit series!

LKBR: What book are you reading?

CS: I’m reading Stephen King’s Mr. Mercedes, which won the Edgar award for Best Mystery. We’re hosting Mr. King at the National Book Festival this year and I’m enjoying reading some of his recent books this summer.

LKBR: What are three things you want your readers to know about you?

CS: The characters in my books aren’t based on real people, but I do try to paint an accurate picture of Capitol Hill and Washington, D.C. in my stories.  

Although my writing isn’t political or partisan, the theme I try to underscore is that the people who work for the government largely want to make the country a better place. Washington’s bad rap these days doesn’t mean there aren’t hardworking people trying their best. 

Finally, if I can write a novel, anyone can! I never studied creative writing, literature, or English. However, I have read a ton of books. Good writers are voracious, careful readers who pay attention to stories and how they unfold. If you have an inventive premise for a story, then sit down and start writing.

LKBR: Thank you so much, Colleen for letting us get to know you better!

CS:  Thanks for the terrific questions!


A fantastic installment to the Washington Whodunit Mystery series!

When I read book one in this series, STABBING IN THE SENATE, I wasn’t sure what I would think of it. I read and review cozy mysteries. No way could a series set in Washington DC’s high power world of politics be cozy. However, author Colleen J. Shogan proved you can have a traditional mystery without limiting yourself to a small town. With roughly 95% of cozy guidelines followed, the Washington Whodunit Mysteries can and will be enjoyed by fans of the mystery genre.

HOMICIDE IN THE HOUSE is an exciting whodunit that made turning each page a thrill. Starting with a government shutdown, and dealing with murder, politics, personal agendas, and relationships, this second installment in the series is an action filled, suspenseful read, that will keep you on the edge of your seat all the way to the exciting reveal!

This is a great series to start now since it’s only two books in. Read STABBING IN THE SENATE and HOMICIDE IN THE HOUSE back to back. You’ll be anxiously awaiting book three as much as I am!

More about Colleen

Colleen J. Shogan has been reading mysteries since the age of six. She conceived of the plot of her first mystery, Stabbing in the Senate, one morning while taking a walk in her suburban Washington, D.C. neighborhood. A political scientist by training, Colleen has taught American politics at Yale, George Mason University, Georgetown, and Penn. She previously worked on Capitol Hill as a legislative staffer in the United States Senate and as the Deputy Director of the Congressional Research Service. She is currently a senior executive at the Library of Congress who works on great outreach initiatives such as the National Book Festival. Colleen lives in Arlington, Virginia with her husband Rob and their beagle mutt Conan.


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

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clicking on the link in the 
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Saturday, July 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 Ridley Ridge Reporter

This edition of The Reporter offers us a sneak peek into September in Ridley Ridge, 
and Autumn Vale New York.  

Check it out!

Ridley Ridge Police Blotter

Friday: Report of strange flashing lights in a field just outside of Ridley Ridge. Confirmed as 3 unidentified males harvesting their patch of medicinal herbs. Herbs confiscated and charges laid.

In a related call, a woman contacted the police after her boyfriend came home complaining he had been followed by two men in uniforms. He was confirmed as the fourth man in the medicinal herbs call, and was also arrested.

Saturday: Two male patrons at the Henderson Town House Motor Lodge bar were taken into custody after a loud argument, but quickly released once it was established that they were arguing over whether the Golden Girls or Murder She Wrote was the better TV show. No charges.

New & Improved Ridley Ridge Coffee Shop!

Joe at the coffee shop wants everyone to know that after a summer with none of Merry Wynter’s muffins, she is back, so he will be featuring a full sampling of her luscious muffins! Use the coupon to indulge!

It’s Happened Again in Autumn Vale!

Autumn Vale, the inhabitants of which put up their nose at Ridley Ridge, once again has had a murder. Just this morning the body of Minnie Urquhart (formerly of Ridley Ridge; see what happens when you move to Autumn Vale?) was found in the back of her postal facility, stabbed dead and stuffed in a mail bag.

Township Sheriff Virgil Grace had (as usual!) no comment, but later a convoy of dark blue vehicles, many with tinted windows and FBI on the sides, snaked into the village. Our own Sheriff Ben Baxter was tightlipped, but when asked, said, “Autumn Vale is not my village. If it was, this wouldn’t be happening.”

Never fear; your Ridley Ridge Reporter is on the job and will provide more details when they become available.

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

A big thank you to author
Victoria Hamilton
for sharing with us the latest news from Ridley Ridge and Autumn Vale.

To learn more about the cozy towns and 
their residents, read the 
Merry Muffin Mystery series 
by author 
Victoria Hamilton


In this fresh mystery from the national bestselling author of Death of an English Muffin, baker Merry Wynter comes to the aid of an innocent woman accused of murder.

When muffin baker Merry Wynter sees an innocent woman accused of murder, it’s dough or die...
Opera singer Roma Toscano may have a crippling case of stage fright, but she certainly is stirring up drama in Autumn Vale, New York, as she prepares for an upcoming performance at Merry’s Wynter Castle. With her flamboyant style and flirtatious personality, Roma attracts fans as well as critics, including the town’s postmistress—and Merry’s bitter foe—Minnie Urquhart.
But Roma and Minnie’s heated rivalry goes cold after Merry discovers Minnie dead at the post office. While every clue seems to be another ingredient in the investigation of Roma, Merry thinks the case is half-baked, and she’s eager to get her mitts on the real killer...

Pre-order your copy today.


releases Tusday August 2!

Book One                                     Book Two

Book Three                                   Book Four

About Victoria

Victoria Hamilton is the national bestselling author of three bestselling series, the Vintage Kitchen Mysteries and Merry Muffin Mysteries as Victoria, and the Teapot Collector Mysteries as Amanda Cooper. She is also the bestselling author of Regency and historical romance as Donna Lea Simpson.
Victoria loves to cook and collects vintage kitchen paraphernalia, teacups and teapots, and almost anything that catches her fancy! She loves to read, especially mystery novels, and enjoys good tea and cheap wine, the company of friends, and has a newfound appreciation for opera. She enjoys crocheting and beading, but a good book can tempt her away from almost anything… except writing!

Merry Muffin Mysteries Facebook Page:

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, July 29, 2016

I was looking back over old blog posts 
and came across this one from 
Tuesday July 2, 2013.


Thanks to help from Julie Hyzy (Thank you Julie), I can now add photos to my blog. So here are the covers of the first four books I reviewed.

A DEADLY GRIND by Victoria Hamilton
KNEADING TO DIE by Liz Mugavero
HEARSE AND BUGGY by Laura Bradford

And from the comments


  1. These sound really interesting!
    I really enjoy cozies, thanks for the Reviews!
  2. Thank you Melissa! I'm having a lot of fun getting the blog together and doing the reviews. Love you blog as well!

Another big THANK YOU to author Julie Hyzy for her help 3 years ago. 

It sure has been a fun journey! 

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.