Monday, October 31, 2016

DECK THE HALLWAYS by Kate Carlisle
A KILLER KEBAB bu Susannah Hardy
TWICE TOLD TAIL by Ali Brandon 

Book 4 in the Fixer-Upper Mysteries
by Kate Carlisle

The latest mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of Crowned and Moldering.
Someone's been slayed! If contractor Shannon Hammer can't nail the real culprit in the St. Nick of time, her dad will wind up in the clink...
Even at Christmastime, Shannon is more spackle than sparkle, which is why she leaps at the chance to transform a grand old Victorian mansion into ten charming apartments for homeless families. Filled with the spirit of the season, all of Lighthouse Cove turns out to help—including her best friends, a troupe of far-from-angelic Santa Claus impersonators, and her father, Jack.
But their merriment is soon dashed by a heated scuffle between Jack and the miserly president of the bank who’s backing the project. When the man is murdered, all eyes are on Jack, and visions of prison time dance in Shannon's head. Now, she needs to pull off a crime-solving miracle, before her father’s Christmas goose is cooked…


Fix yourself up with a copy of this latest addition to the Fixer-Upper Mystery series by author Kate Carlisle!

Impeccably written by author Carlisle, DECK THE HALLWAYS was packed full of mystery and excitement, and there was no shortage of fun, and sentiment. An energizing cozy from cover to cover, I had a hard time putting this book down, and I know you will too.

I really like learning all the contracting information. It’s fun to feel a part of the projects while reading the story. It gives me the confidence that I could do more projects on my own. (Not going to, but I could if I wanted.)  It really is fascinating.

I adore the characters in this series. Protagonist Shannon Hammer is a strong, feisty lead character. She has no problem holding her own with anyone! She’s a girly contactor with pink tools, but don’t think that means she can be pushed around. Even during the reveal, and the battle with the killer that must certainly happen in all mysteries, Shannon wishes she had her tools, but managed to handle matters in a very girl like way. LOL I loved it!

I was enjoying DECK THE HALLWAYS SO MUCH, I was bummed to see it end. I’m already looking forward to book number five!


Book 2 in the Taste Of Texas Mysteries
by Rebecca Adler

Tex-Mex waitress and part-time reporter Josie Callahan is about to serve up some Lone Star justice in this spicy Taste of Texas Mystery from the author of Here Today, Gone Tamale.
Tourists are pouring into the town of Broken Boot for the annual Homestead Days Music Festival. Opening the celebration at Two Boots dance hall is smooth-talking country singer Jeff Clark, the ex-boyfriend of Josie’s best friend, Patti Perez. When the charming Clark woos Patti onstage in an attempt to rekindle some sparks with his old flame, Josie fears her friend will end up as just one more notch on the singer’s guitar strap.
To impress her editor at the Broken Boot Bugle, Josie and her Chihuahua, Lenny, pursue the singer to Patti’s house, hoping for an interview. Instead, they discover Clark facedown in a bowl of guacamole with a bloodied guitar at his side. With Patti suddenly a murder suspect, Josie must use her reporter skills to find out who had a chip on their shoulder—before the killer double dips....



If you liked book one, HERE TODAY, GONE TAMALE, you’re going to love this second offering in the Taste of Texas Mystery series.

It was so fun to be back in Broken Boot, Texas. With me being an “I love cold weather” kind of gal, this series allows me to enjoy the Texas climate. Of course I wouldn’t enjoy it half as much without main character Josie Callahan and her best friend Patti Perez. These two besties get into a little bit of everything. Even murder Come on, it is a mystery after all. ;-) Oh, I almost forgot, Lenny, Josie’s Chihuahua I just love that pup!

Like its predecessor, THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE GUACOMOLE is a witty, wonderfully written mystery with eclectic characters and plenty of mayhem to keep the reader glue to their seats. From the discovery of the victim, through the investigation, until the shocking reveal, if I wasn’t holding my breath, I was laughing out loud. Author Rebecca Adler knows how to really bring it.

You’re going to want to read THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE GUACAMOLE.

This book includes growling tummy inducing recipes!


Book 3 in the Greek To Me Mysteries
by Susannah Hardy

The new Greek to Me Mystery from the author of Olive and Let Die and Feta Attraction

The Bonaparte House is closed for the season, and Georgie Nikolopatos looks forward to fixing up the Greek restaurant and historic landmark—until her renovation plans hit a fatal snag.
With her divorce underway, her mother-in-law returning to Greece, and the tourists gone, Georgie finally has life under control—and the Bonaparte House to herself. She quickly hires a contractor for some much-needed renovations to reopen in time for a special Greek-style Thanksgiving meal. Georgie is suspicious though when former dishwasher Russ Riley arrives with the construction crew. He still has an axe to grind with the Nikolopatos family—but is it sharp enough to kill?
When Georgie finds the body of her divorce lawyer amid the construction debris and Russ is quickly arrested for murder, something about the case doesn’t add up. While Georgie is no fan of Russ, even a bad egg deserves a crack at justice.

Includes delicious Greek recipes!


This installment in the GREEK TO ME Mysteries is a perfect dish to this so far three course series.

I know next to nothing about Greek food other than what I have learned from this series. Well, I did know they serve lamb, but, well, no that you on that.

Author Susannah Hardy’s writing has really grown from her first two books in this series, making A KILLER KEBAB an even stronger, intense mystery. But I have to admit, it isn’t my favorite in the series. The writing is just as good, and the plot was on point, but something wasn’t clicking for me. That being said, I still want to read the next book, because as a whole, I do enjoy the series.

If you have read the first two books, do give A KILLER KEBAB try.

This book also includes some tasty Greek recipes, and an author’s note about Thousand Island Dressing!


Book 6 in the Black Cat Bookstore Mysteries
by Ali Brandon

The New York Times bestselling author of Plot Boiler takes us back to Pettistone’s Fine Books, where Hamlet the cat isn’t the only shadowy figure lurking around the Brooklyn brownstone…
As Thanksgiving approaches, Darla Pettistone is preparing for the busiest shopping season of the year. They’ve recently launched their online store, where one anonymous bidder is offering a suspiciously high price for an antique book—and Darla doesn’t need Hamlet’s special senses to know that something isn’t quite right. 
However, there’s no time to think about that after Darla’s roped into helping bridezilla Connie Capello get ready for her big day. After looking at wedding dresses, Darla and Connie head to an antique store to find her “something old”—but they find someone dead instead. When Darla learns that the shop carried a copy of the book that her mysterious bidder is after, she suspects she’ll need Hamlet’s help to discover who penned the poor soul’s final chapter, before someone else is read their last rites…


Fans are going to enjoy this latest installment of the Black Cat Bookshop Mysteries.

Anyone following this series from the beginning is going to delight in, TWICE TOLD TAIL. Darla Pettistone and her black cat, Hamlet are back, and that can only mean one thing . . . murder. Okay, it also means trouble for Darla, mischievous antics from Hamlet, and a fresh new mystery for readers to try and solve.

In this book, protagonist Darla hears from someone from her past, and I’m curious to see where that will lead. Bridezilla Connie Capello, soon to be wife to Darla’s ex-boyfriend NYPD Detective Reese, was written with a perfect pain-in-the-neck-bride-on-the-edge feel. And as in the previous book, I simply adore goth Robert who runs the new coffee bar at Darla’s bookstore, Pettistone’s Fine Books.

Author Ali Brandon brings to TWICE TOLD TAIL, the same crisp writing style as her first five book in this series. Without long, draw out descriptions, she takes readers through each part of the story with a sense that each new scene to come will add more mayhem while still leading us to the inevitable reveal.

If you enjoyed your last trip to Pettistone’s, you’re going to want to pick up a copy of TWICE TOLD TAIL.

Pre-order today!
These wonderful titles release
November 1!

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

Follow my blog by 
clicking on the link in the 
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Sunday, October 30, 2016


Book 11 in the Crochet Mysteries
by Betty Hechtman

Molly Pink can’t help seeing a pattern of trouble in the latest mystery from the national bestselling author of Seams Like Murder.
The Tarzana Hookers’ Yarn University has been a big success, and the classes have drawn in a slew of new crochet devotees. A less welcome arrival is the boxy monstrosity in the yard behind Molly’s house. She hasn’t met her new neighbors, but when she sees a couple struggling on the balcony and later spies what looks like someone lying on the ground, Molly wastes no time calling in her ex, homicide detective Barry Greenberg. 
To Molly’s shock, Barry reports that nothing is amiss with her neighbors and asks her to lay off with the amateur detecting. Molly knows she wasn’t just seeing things, but with no body to prove her case she’ll have to unravel the evidence on her own—because someone in Tarzana is tangled up in murder...



Author Betty Hechtman knows how to spin a yarn that will keep readers hooked.

With my fiftieth birthday just around the corner when I read this HOOKING FOR TROUBLE, the irony of protagonist Molly Pink celebrating her fiftieth wasn’t lost on me. Indeed, I felt energized by the fact.

HOOKING FOR TROUBLE was an excellent story. It had such a well thought out plot, and which was executed brilliantly. There were times when I was sure I knew exactly where things were leading, only to turn the page and find I was heading in a completely different direction. Betty Hechtman has a real talent for writing an intricate tale that twists and turns, slowly intertwining until the reader is totally tied up in the tale. Then, she expertly starts to unravel the knot to lead us through the exciting reveal and the ultimate conclusion.

It truly is hard to tell that HOOKING FOR TROUBLE is the eleventh book in the Crochet Mystery series. Hechtman’s ideas are still fresh and entertaining. I for am looking forward to volume twelve!

Make sure to check out the back of this book for a great crochet pattern, and as well as a couple tasty recipes!


Book 2 in the Tear-Round Christmas Mysteries
by Vicki Delany

A grinch is spoiling the holiday cheer and causing fear in the latest from the author of Rest Ye Murdered Gentlemen...

It’s Christmastime three hundred sixty-five days a year in Rudolph, New York, and as Christmas Day approaches, shop owner Merry Wilkinson is enjoying a rare evening off at the Yuletide Inn when she runs into owners Grace and Jack Olsen. With Jack's health failing, Merry is relieved to hear that his son Gord will be taking over the day-to-day running of the Inn. 

But then Gord reveals that his new plans have no room for Christmas at the Inn, and Merry and the other shopkeepers start to fret about the effect a bland franchise hotel could have on their livelihoods. 

When Gord is found stabbed to death, there’s an entire town of potential suspects—and it’s up to Merry to find whoever brought homicide home for the holidays...


With merry mayhem and mystery, WE WISH YOU A MURDEROUS CHRISTMAS is like getting the best present under the tree!

I adored the thought of this series when I first heard about it. I absolutely loved book one, REST YE MURDERED GENTLEMEN, and am thrilled to have finally read, WE WISH YOU A MURDEROUS CHRISTMAS.

Author Vicki Delany takes us back to Rudolph, New York, the town where Christmas never sleeps. I seriously need to investigate and find a town like this in reality because I want to live there! Well, you know, without the murder.

I like that author Delany took readers a little way into this story before having the victim killed. Speaking for myself, it gave me the time I needed to really dislike him. So much so, had I been there, I’d have been a suspect as well. ;-)

This wonderfully penned tale had me wrapped up by the end of the first chapter. Reading it was like removing the paper from a beautiful gift. The outside is lovely, but what’s inside is spectacular! With the skill of a true writer, Delany made her words come to life. I could smell the pine, feel the cold on my face, and I had the same sense of urgency to solve the murder as series lead, Merry Wilkinson had. When the reveal came and the book ended, I was satisfied, but also shaken to find myself at home in my chair.

Like a dream you don’t want to wake from, WE WISH YOU A MURDEROUS CHRISTMAS was a book I didn’t want to end.


Book 1 in the Bay Island Psychic Mysteries
by Lena Gregory


It doesn’t take a crystal ball to see that something’s not right on Bay Island...
Since she left her psychiatric practice in New York City to open up a psychic shop in her hometown on Bay Island, Cass Donovan has given her fair share of readings to conflicted customers. But what she sees in Ellie Callahan’s future doesn’t bode well. 
When Ellie’s mother, Marge, publicly confronts Cass about the reading, the embarrassment makes her want to curl up and die. And when she later stumbles across Marge’s body—and is a suspect in her murder—Cass is suddenly the star of Bay Island’s rumor mill.
Cass is determined to prove her innocence and save Ellie from meeting the fate in her unfortunate vision. But even with the help of her friends Bee and Stephanie, Cass will have to channel some serious sleuthing instincts to find the real killer...


Very good start to a new mystical mystery series by author Lena Gregory.

I was hesitant about reading DEATH AT FIRST SIGHT. I’m not much into reading about psychics and such. However, something clicked on the very first page for me. I instantly liked protagonist Cass Donovan. I love when that happens. There’s just something about the way her character is written. And that connection continued as I was introduced to Cass’s friends. For a first is a series, the characters are very well thought out.

DEATH AT FIRST SIGHT was a really wonderfully written mystery. There was so much subterfuge going on, I thought I was going to need a crystal ball to figure it all out. But nothing could have prepared me for the shocking reveal. Even if I was psychic, I wouldn’t have seen it coming.

Cozy fans are going to love DEATH AT FIRST SIGHT. Para-cozy fans are going to be thrilled!

Take a peek at the back of the book for an excerpt of book two in the Bay Island Psychic Mysteries, OCCULT AND BATTERY.


Book 18 in the Gaslight Mysteries
by Victoria Thompson

The author of Murder in Morningside Heights returns to nineteenth-century New York City to find Christmas in the air, a police detective and a midwife with love in their hearts, and a wealthy widow accused of murder…
Detective Sergeant Frank Malloy and Sarah Brandt aren't the only ones who’ve recently tied the knot. Family friend Mrs. O’Neill was delighted when her daughter, Una, wed the seemingly wealthy and charming Randolph Pollock. But there’s a problem. Una was found cradling her dead husband’s body. Rendered mute by the ordeal, she cannot explain what happened and now stands charged with murder.
Mrs. O’Neill would like Frank to investigate the case and save Una, yet with Frank and Sarah still on their honeymoon, it’s up to the other members of their newly formed household to do some detective work. But solving the mystery behind Pollock’s death means first discovering the truth about who he really is…


If you’re a fan of Historical mysteries, the Gaslight series may be just what you are looking for.

While I have enjoyed a few, I will admit, historical mysteries aren’t my favorites. My brain seems better suited for strong female leads of present time rather than more demur ladies of the past. That being said, I am happy to say that in the Gaslight Mysteries, has not just one, but several strong females. While this series normally centers around characters Frank Malloy and Sarah Brant. However, having married in the previous book, the Malloy’s are on their honeymoon. Author Victoria Thompson uses this in MURDER ON ST. NICOLAS AVENUE to bring to the forefront, Mauve and Gino. Readers of this series will know these characters from past installments. Having already established a wonderful team with Frank and Sarah, author Thompson shows Mauve and Gino more than competent to take the lead. 

This was an interesting mystery. I found myself really getting drawn into the story. A young woman thrown into prison for murdering her husband, and her distraught mother desperate to find help in proving her daughter innocent. All through the intriguing investigation I looked forward to learning each new detail. I had some moments when I thought I knew all, but I ended up falling short when the reveal came.

Victoria Thompson is an impressive author and certainly knows how to build suspense in her writing. Her fans are going to enjoy this fresh look into the series, even as they miss Frank and Sarah. But no worries, you can’t keep the Malloy’s away forever!

Pre-order today!
These wonderful titles release
November 1!

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

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Saturday, October 29, 2016

The authors who write our favorite books do a lot of research to make them accurate. 

They go to amazing places and see some incredible things.

Ready to learn some fun facts and hear some interesting tales?

Author Connie di Marco / Archer

I’ve been super busy for some time now, writing two different series – the Soup Lover’s Mysteries set in Snowflake, Vermont and the Zodiac Mysteries set in San Francisco.  So far, I’ve been neglectful of my home city – Los Angeles -- ground zero for noir and police procedurals. 

Driving around the city I often see tour buses, the double decker on-off kind, and the smaller vans that stalk Beverly Hills and the homes of the rich and famous.  I never see them in my neighborhood, undoubtedly because I am not rich and famous!  That’s fine with me.  I enjoy my privacy.  But I’d be willing to bet those tourist buses don’t ever visit one of the city’s most interesting spots – the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office.  This office was originally founded in 1882 and is now housed in a gorgeous old building at 1104 North Mission Road.  I’m very grateful no developer has been able to tear it down, not yet anyway! 

Twenty thousand cases are investigated there annually to determine the identity and cause and manner of death.  Who goes there?  Anyone who dies in L.A. County of trauma or what may be unnatural causes.  And some who die of natural causes, including those who die at work or in custody and those whose identity is unknown.  Upon arrival, a full body photo is taken, the remains are weighed, measured and undressed.  Fingerprints are taken.  Clothing is wrapped in brown paper and secured.  The remains are placed in refrigerated storage pending examination.  The identity of the person and cause of death must be confirmed, including homicides, deaths at work or in custody and police shootings.  Of the approximately 300 unidentified cases every year, 20 to 30 are never identified.  And at any given time, there might be 300 to 400 plus bodies awaiting exams at the Coroner’s Office. 

Here are a few tips for writers:  Relatives never make an identification by viewing the body.  A photo is used.  Shriveled-up fingers are only found on TV.  In reality, they can be rehydrated to obtain prints to match to a body.  You know how the same pathologist always appears in every crime drama?  Not in reality.  In real life in LA, approximately 24 pathologists use 14 stations in three autopsy rooms. 

But just in case you think I’m waxing morbid, here’s the fun part.  Inside that remarkable building is a gift shop.  It’s called Skeletons in the Closet and you’ll see it when you enter the lobby.  The only caveat is that you must speak quietly and respect those who are visiting for a not so happy reason. 

The gift shop offers lots of intriguing items -- Sherlock water bottles, skeleton key chains, jackets, mugs, T-shirts, lunch coolers, crime scene towels, DVD’s and stickers, car shades, and holiday stockings -- to name just a few things.  There’s even a DVD series available for purchase called North Mission Road:  “If LA is a city of illusions, those illusions end at 1104 North Mission Road.”

I haven’t seen these episodes but I’m very tempted to order them. Check these out: 
Episode 3:  “Fitting the Mold - A young woman is found dead, but a strange mark on her body holds the secret to the crime.”

Episode 8:  “Christmas Surprise – a piece of Christmas cheese is the key to solving the murder of a suburban woman.” 
These sound better than episodes of Forensic Files, don’t they? 

If you don’t live in LA, but do manage a trip here, make sure you ask the tour bus to take you to Skeletons in the Closet [] at 1104 North Mission Road, Los Angeles 90033 so you can shop to your heart’s content.  I guarantee it’ll be much more interesting than Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills

And if you’re curious, check out the LA County Dept of Medical Examiner-Coroner’s website at

I don't know about you, but I want to check it out!

Thank you to Connie, for sharing this fun information with us!

Connie Archer is the national bestselling author of the Soup Lover's Mystery series set in Snowflake, Vermont -- A Spoonful of Murder, A Broth of Betrayal, A Roux of Revenge, Ladle to the Grave and A Clue in the Stew. You can find excerpts from the Soup Lover's Mystery series and Connie's recipes in The Cozy Cookbook from Penguin Random House and The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook. Connie was born and raised in New England and loves writing about Vermont. Today she can be found on the other coast inventing soup recipes and designing plots. You can visit her website and blog at and sign up for her newsletter. You can find her on Facebook at and Twitter @SnowflakeVT.

Writing as Connie di Marco, she also writes the Zodiac Mysteries from Midnight Ink. The first book in the series, The Madness of Mercury was released on June 8, 2016. You can visit her at, and Twitter @askzodia.

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.