Wednesday, February 28, 2018

I'm so excited to join #BerkleyMystery in 
celebrating the March 6 paperback release of 
Book 3 in the Dinner Club Mysteries
by author
Linda Wiken

The third in a delicious series featuring a dinner club that tries out new recipes--while trying to catch a killer

The Culinary Capers Dinner Club is planning a fall picnic for their next meeting. What could be better than sharing delicious food with friends under a beautiful autumn sky? But when club member Alison Malkovich opens the back of her SUV to load in the picnic supplies, she finds a dead body. To make things worse, it's the body of her ex-husband, and now she's the prime suspect. Because Alison is a police officer, she is suspended and warned not to do any investigating of her own. That's not about to stop J.J. and the Culinary Capers gang though. They know that Alison is innocent, and after all, they do have some experience solving crimes.



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A Word From Josephine "J.J." Tanner

What do you think is the worst thing that can happen to a cop? I’ll tell you because one of my best friends is a cop and it’s happened to her.  Try finding the body of your soon-to-be ex in the back of your SUV! That’s Alison Manovich’s nightmare right now. I’ll tell you up front, she didn’t kill him. And I know that her fellow officers believe that too but they have to be seen as impartial throughout the investigation. So, she’s been suspended with pay and is under strict orders to twiddle her thumbs at home while the police search for the real murderer.

So that’s where we come in, my buds and me in the Culinary Capers Dinner Club. I’m J.J. Tanner and although Alison usually warns us to stay out of police business, and I have had more than my share of murders happen in my professional life, this time we can’t leave it to the cops. Who knows what their attempts at looking ‘above board’ will do to the investigation?  Besides, we have a proven track record – two murders, two killers caught. And of course, we always have had valid reasons for getting involved, beyond the fact that the murders happened at two events I planned as an event planner.

Thinking back, the first murder happened at the 2lst birthday celebration of the daughter of a local IT bigwig. It had an Italian theme and I’d hired an Italian caterer. Big mistake. Not the Italian part but the guy turned out to be a dud. And dead. You can read all about it in Toasting Up Trouble. The cops at first thought I’d make a good suspect because of a fight we’d had. A very loud one, it was. Well, you know how that spurs a gal into investigative mode.

The second murder, this one in Roux the Day, took place on a fundraising Casino Dinner Cruise and I again had to get involved when one of the emcee’s was killed. I’d hired her, after all, and her co-emcee, a member of the Culinary Capers Dinner Club, was the prime suspect.

Anyway, back to this case. You’d think things couldn’t get worse for Alison…but they do. Oh, man…they sure do.

I can’t go into more details right now but you can read all about it yourself because Marinating in Murder, the third in the Dinner Club Mysteries, has just been released.

Just remember, Alison didn’t do it. We all believe in her….do you?



Another deliciously deadly Dinner Club Mystery!

It was so much fun to be back with the gang from the Culinary Capers Dinner Club. Author Linda Wiken has truly created a cast of characters that are a joy to read. I’d love to have a group of friends like them to hang out with. As long as murder doesn’t come along with them. Let’s keep that between the book covers.

Speaking of the M word, MARINATING IN MURDER showcases a murder mystery that had me on the edge of my seat (and afraid to open the trunk of my car)! Following along with J.J. and her Culinary Capers cohorts on the search for answers and of course, the killer, was a roller coaster ride of twists and turns. And that ride came to an exciting end with a surprising and satisfying reveal.

Everything you could want in a cozy mystery, I can envision MARINATING IN MURDER, and the rest of the Dinner Club Mysteries being great Hallmark movies!

Make sure to check out the great recipes at the end of the book!



Linda Wiken is a former mystery bookstore owner and a short story writer.
Before life in the world of mystery, she worked as an advertising copywriter, radio producer, journalist and community education worker.

As a volunteer with the Ottawa Police Service for over 15 years, she developed a strong, sometimes scary interest in police procedures. She wrote weekly crime stats articles for the local community newspapers for them, along with stories for the OPS internal newsletter. 

 She has been short-listed for an Agatha Award for Best First Novel, and an Arthur Ellis Award, Best Short Story, from Crime Writers of Canada.

She is an avid chorister and loves being a choir member.

Keeshas and Mojo, her two Siamese cats, share their house with her in Ottawa, ON where she's lived for over 30 years.


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Tuesday, February 27, 2018

February 27

Take a look at all of the amazing 
cozies coming out today!

Trade (large)  Paperback

Includes A Front and Back Cover for You to Color!
By day, Florrie Fox manages Color Me Read bookstore in Georgetown, Washington D.C. By night, she creates her own intricately detailed coloring books for adults, filling the pages with objects that catch her eye. There’s plenty of inspiration in her new apartment—a beautiful carriage house belonging to Professor John Maxwell, Florrie’s boss. He offers the property to Florrie rent-free with one condition—she must move in immediately to prevent his covetous sister and nephew from trying to claim it.
When the professor’s nephew, Delbert, arrives, he proves just as sketchy as Florrie feared. But the following morning, Delbert has vanished. It’s not until she visits the third floor of the store that Florrie makes a tragic discovery—there’s a trap door in the landing, and a dead Delbert inside. The esteemed Professor Maxwell is an obvious suspect, but Florrie is certain this case isn’t so black and white. Doodling clues, she begins to consider other colorful characters on the scene, all with a motive for murder. With a killer drawing closer, Florrie will need to think outside the lines . . . before death makes his mark again.


Thanksgiving has a way of thawing the frostiest hearts in Lake Eden. But that won’t be happening for newlywed Hannah Swensen Barton—not after her husband suddenly disappears . . .
Hannah has felt as bitter as November in Minnesota since Ross vanished without a trace and left their marriage in limbo. Still, she throws herself into a baking frenzy for the sake of pumpkin pie and Thanksgiving-themed treats while endless holiday orders pour into The Cookie Jar. Hannah even introduces a raspberry Danish pastry to the menu, and P.K., her husband’s assistant at KCOW-TV, will be one of the first to sample it. But instead of taking a bite, P.K., who is driving Ross’s car and using his desk at work, is murdered. Was someone plotting against P.K. all along or did Ross dodge a deadly dose of sweet revenge? Hannah will have to quickly sift through a cornucopia of clues and suspects to stop a killer from bringing another murder to the table . . .


The honeymoon will have to wait for newlyweds Mattie Winston and Steve Hurley . . .
As deputy medical examiner and homicide detective respectively, the couple are dispatched to a grisly crime scene at the Grizzly Motel, a seedy joint for illicit liaisons on the outskirts of Sorenson, Wisconsin. A man and woman are found dead next to each other in bed in what initially appears to be a grim but straightforward murder-suicide. An affair gone sour?
But as the forensic evidence is gathered and autopsies are performed, Mattie and Hurley realize the scene has been staged. They have a double murder on their hands. The spurned spouses of both victims top the list of suspects, but as more is revealed, the case becomes increasingly complex. Dividing their time and resources between the double homicide and an ongoing investigation involving Mattie's father, as well as caring for their toddler,  Matthew, and Hurley’s teenaged daughter, Emily, the two are stretched to their limits.
After another victim turns up dead, there's no room for error as Mattie and Hurley stage a scene of their own to back the killer into a corner . . .


When Lucy Berberian quits her Philadelphia law firm and heads home to Ocean Crest, she knows what she’s getting—the scent of funnel cake, the sight of the wooden roller coaster, and the tastes of her family’s Mediterranean restaurant. But murder wasn’t on the menu . . .
Things are slow in the off-season in this Jersey Shore town, but Lucy doesn’t mind. She doesn’t even mind waitressing at the Kebab Kitchen. Her parents have put in a new hummus bar, with every flavor from lemon to roasted red pepper. It’s fun to see their calico cat again, and to catch up with her old BFF, who’s married to a cop now.
She could do without Heather Banks, though. The Gucci-toting ex-cheerleader is still as nasty as she was back in high school . . . and unfortunately, she’s just taken over as the local health inspector. Just minutes after eating at the Kebab Kitchen—where she’s tallied up a whole list of bogus violations—she falls down dead in the street. Word on the grapevine is it’s homicide, and Lucy’s the number one suspect . . .


When it comes to running a successful garage sale, Sarah Winston believes in doing her homework. She also believes in giving back. But when she agrees to manage an athletic equipment swap, she doesn't bargain on an uncharitable killer. The day of the event, the school superintendent is found dead in the gymnasium. 
Suddenly the murder suspects are the school board members—including the husband of a very difficult client who's hired Sarah to run a high-end sale and demands she do her bidding. In between tagging and haggling, Sarah studies the clues to see who wanted to teach the superintendent a lesson. But as she closes in on the truth, the killer intends to give her a crash course on minding her own business . . .


There’s a new witch-hunt in Salem, Massachusetts . . .
When Lee Barrett joins a former student’s bridal party as maid of honor, she expects cake tastings and dress fittings. But wedding planning becomes more peculiar than Lee’s scrying talents could ever predict. There’s a magical baker, a best man with a checkered past, and a talking crow named Poe as the ring bearer. There’s also a kindly old man dead under his apple tree—one of a series of unexplained deaths hanging over the Wiccan community . . .
With witches dropping dead before they even come out of the proverbial broom closet, Lee’s best friend, River, fears she might have somehow unleashed a terrible curse on the city. Now, aided by Poe and her clairvoyant cat, Lee sets out to investigate. Are lives being claimed by vengeful supernatural forces—or by something more shocking? She soon discovers, casting light on the wicked truth can be one killer commitment . . .   


Too many sweets spoil the murder . . .
Harvest, Ohio, is a long way from New York City, where Bailey King left a coveted job as a head chocolatier to take over Swissmen Sweets, her Amish grandparents’ candy shop. Now, while caring for her recently widowed grandmother, she plans to honor her grandfather’s memory by entering the annual Amish Confectionery Competition. But between lavender blueberry fudge and chocolate cherry ganache truffles, Bailey may have bitten off more than she can chew when the search for a missing pot-bellied pig turns up a body suffering from sugar overload—the fatal kind . . .
A candy maker from a neighboring town who wanted Englischer Bailey disqualified for being an outsider, Josephine Weaver died from an allergy to an essential licorice ingredient. The suspects include: Josephine’s niece, a young woman going through her rumspringa, or running around time, and Bailey herself. Now it falls to Bailey, who’s sweet on the local sheriff’s deputy, to clear their names and entice a killer with a cast-iron stomach for cold-blooded murder . . .

Recipe Included!


The Tail Waggin’ Winterfest is the highlight of the season in the famously pet-friendly Pocono Mountains town of Sylvan Creek. But despite attractions like an ice sculpture display, a dogsled race, and gourmet hot chocolate, Daphne Templeton finds herself annoyed by TV producer Lauren Savidge, who’s filming the festivities. She’s critical, controlling, and as chilly as the January air. Daphne would like to tell her to go jump in a lake—and as a matter of fact, that’s exactly what they’re both going to do . . .
It’s the first-ever polar bear plunge in Lake Wallapawakee, and Daphne and Lauren are among the eighty or so people who charge into the frigid water to raise funds for animals in need. Daphne makes it back to shore—with the help of a mysterious St. Bernard—but Lauren is dragged out stone cold dead. Now, with her trusty basset hound Socrates at her side, Daphne intends to assist Detective Jonathan Black in his investigation—whether he wants her to or not . . .

Includes recipes for homemade pet treats! 


The village of Kilbane in County Cork, Ireland, has a new garda—and her first case is a grave matter indeed . . .
It's official! SiobhΓ‘n is now Garda O’Sullivan, and her five siblings couldn’t be prouder. While brother James runs Naomi’s Bistro, SiobhΓ‘n is doing her part to keep the village safe. Of course, Kilbane is pretty quiet compared to a place like Dublin, where Macdara Flannery has gone to be a detective sergeant. 
Then one night the local priest summons SiobhΓ‘n to the church cemetery. There’s a dead man in the graveyard—aboveground. He lies shot on a blanket of freshly fallen snow, hand stretched out toward a nearby headstone. He’s a stranger, but the priest has heard talk of an American tourist in town, searching for his Irish ancestor.
A detective sergeant is dispatched from Dublin to assist with the case, and as fate would have it, it’s Macdara. After his parting, things are awkward between them, but they have to work together. They learn the victim was from Dublin—Dublin, Ohio, that is. And when his family members are located and told of his murder, the plot thickens. SiobhΓ‘n begins to dig for a motive among the gnarled roots of the family tree. But as long-buried secrets are unearthed, she and Macdara will need to stay two steps ahead of the killer or end up with more than one foot in the grave.


Sergeant Hamish Macbeth--Scotland's most quick-witted but unambitious policeman--returns in M.C. Beaton's new mystery in her New York Times bestselling series


When Police Sergeant Hamish Macbeth hears reports of a haunted castle near Drim, he assumes the eerie noises and lights reported by the villagers are just local teenagers going there to smoke pot or, worse, inject themselves with drugs. Still, Hamish decides that he and his policeman, Charlie "Clumsy" Carson, will spend the night at the ruined castle to get to the bottom of the rumors once and for all.
There's no sign of any ghost...but then Charlie disappears through the floor. It turns out he's fallen into the cellar. And what Hamish and Charlie find there is worse than a ghost: a dead body propped against the wall. Waiting for help to arrive, Hamish and Charlie leave the castle just for a moment--to eat bacon baps--but when they return, the body is nowhere to be seen.
It's clear something strange--and deadly--is going on at the castle, and Hamish must get to the bottom of it before the "ghost" can strike again...


A killer heat wave settles over Seagull Lane...Summer's sizzling in Vista Beach, the home of computer programmer and tole-painting enthusiast Aurora (Rory) Anderson. The abnormally high temperatures are hard on everyone in the quiet Los Angeles county beach community, especially the city's homeless population. Residents are doing everything they can to stay cool, including leaving windows open to catch the faintest breeze. Not the best idea when a string of burglaries is plaguing nearby towns.
Still, Rory doesn't expect to find her neighbor's body just a few doors down. When suspicion falls on a friend and fellow painter, Rory must discover the truth before the police paint the wrong picture and send her friend away permanently.


James Henry and the Flab Five are invited to serve as judges at Hog Fest, a celebrated barbecue festival in the Virginia mountains. But when one of the "pit masters" is found dead and a member of the supper club is accused of the murder, James and his friends have to lick the sauce off their fingers and get to work catching a killer. Amid a fairground filled with colorful people and tempting food, The Flab Five are sure to fall off the diet wagon. But James Henry has more to worry about than his expanding waistline. His bookmobile is dead, suspicious activities are taking place in his beloved library, and his relationship with Murphy Alistair is on the rocks. James needs to focus less on brisket and fried pickles and more on solving problems because Hog Fest is clearly no picnic.


For Hayley Powell, food and cocktails columnist for the Island Times, Halloween is all about costume parties and holiday treats-until a killer crashes the party . . . This Halloween, Hayley can't imagine a worse trick than her ex-husband Danny returning to Bar Harbor. Her kids may be happy to see their dad, but Hayley's determined not to be taken in by his charms, and suspects he's in financial trouble-again. Still, the haunted holiday is about to get a whole lot scarier after Danny's moonshine-making uncle is found lying dead next to a tombstone in a cemetery-and Danny quickly becomes the prime suspect. To prove her ex is innocent, Hayley will have to dig deep into her own bag of tricks to unmask the real culprit . . . before anyone else-including her-ends up in the graveyard . . .


When the Pennsylvania Antiquarian Society discovers it owns some unique real estate, a deadly plot unfolds....
Society president Nell Pratt believes life is finally going her way. Everything's running smoothly at work, and her love life is thriving. Then some unexpected news rocks her foundation. Two members of a local neighborhood rescue program, Tyrone Blakeney and Cherisse Chapman, inform Nell that her society owns an abandoned row house in a rundown area of Philadelphia and they insist on taking her to see the property before its date with the wrecking ball.
But soon after they arrive at the house, Cherisse is fatally shot and Tyrone is badly injured. The police believe it's just random violence in a bad neighborhood, but Nell thinks there's more to it and is determined to find answers before someone else becomes history....


Krissy Hancock is staying in her adopted hometown of Pine Hills, Ohio, for Christmas this year - and she even has a whole week off from her combination bookstore-cafe. But a killer is about to dampen her spirits....
Unfortunately, Krissy's been roped into filling in for a sick elf in the local holiday musical extravaganza. With a demanding director, backstage gossip, and two men in fierce competition for the starring role, it isn't all sweetness and Christmas lights. Then a murder puts a stop to the production, and Krissy is faced with a pageant of suspects.
Could her ex-boyfriend, a fellow elf, really be the culprit as the police are claiming? Or will the actor playing Santa be trading his red suit for an orange jumpsuit? When her behind-the-scenes investigation starts getting dangerous, the only thing Krissy really wants is to make it to Christmas dinner alive. But first she'll have to finish wrapping up this case....

How do you even begin to choose?!

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Monday, February 26, 2018

I'm so excited to join #BerkleyMystery in celebrating the March 6  releace of
Book 6 in the Lady Darby Mysteries
by author
Anna Lee Huber

Sebastian Gage returns home to battle the ghosts of his past and prevent them from destroying his future with Kiera in the latest exciting installment in this national bestselling series.

July 1831. It's been fifteen years since Sebastian Gage has set foot in Langstone Manor. Though he has shared little with his wife, Lady Kiera Darby, about his past, she knows that he planned never to return to the place of so many unhappy childhood memories. But when an urgent letter from his grandfather reaches them in Dublin, Ireland, and begs Gage to visit, Kiera convinces him to go.

All is not well at Langstone Manor. Gage's grandfather, the Viscount Tavistock, is gravely ill, and Gage's cousin Alfred has suddenly vanished. He wandered out into the moors and never returned. The Viscount is convinced someone or something other than the natural hazards of the moors is to blame for Alfred's disappearance. And when Alfred's brother Rory goes missing, Kiera and Gage must concede he may be right. Now, they must face the ghosts of Gage's past, discover the truth behind the local superstitions, and see beyond the tricks being played by their very own eyes to expose what has happened to Gage's family before the moors claim yet another victim...

Whenever I’m asked to write a blog for the release of a new book, I always turn to my readers on social media to ask them if there are any questions they would like answered. As an author, it isn’t always easy to know what readers are most curious about. So I’m grateful for their input.

One reader queried: I have wondered if Lady Darby will use her artistic knowledge and talent in the future, related to a case or otherwise.

Those of you who read the series know that Lady Darby is a gifted portrait artist, and she’s used these skills in numerous ways in the past to help with investigations. And, yes, she will definitely continue to do so, whether it’s sketching possible suspects, or her keen artistic eye, or spotting something off in a potentially forged piece of artwork. As alluded to at the end of As Death Draws Near, she will also be painting a series of portraits based on the people she met in Ireland—The Faces of Ireland—with the goal to exhibit them and showcase their humanity. Readers will also recall her notoriety has made her portraits all the rage, so she will also continue to accept commissions, but only for subjects she’s interested in painting.

Another reader asked: I just would like to know how you come up with your plots, and also how you decided to let your readers get into Kiera’s head.

My plots have been inspired in a number of different ways. The plot for The Anatomist’s Wife emerged from the development of Kiera’s character and background, as well as the necessity for a mystery in an isolated setting. For Mortal Arts, the story actually started with a dream I had of the scene where Will is drawing on the walls and Kiera comes to sit beside him and help him. For A Grave Matter, I was inspired by a documentary I watched about how criminals planned to steal President Lincoln’s corpse and ransom it. For A Study in Death, it was the desire to pursue the topic of domestic violence in that period. For As Death Draws Near, I’d had the idea early on for Kiera to investigate the death of a nun, for it seemed feasible that in such a murder, a woman might be requested to view the body rather than a man. For the latest Lady Darby book, A Brush with Shadows, the plot was entirely inspired by the setting, as well as a desire to force Gage to return to his childhood home. I’d already established this manor stood at the edge of Dartmoor—a place I have visited and long wanted to set a book in. There is so much rich history and myth and mystery already surrounding that patch of England, so it was ripe with material.
As far as choosing to write in first person, inside Kiera’s head, I simply enjoy it. And I also think it adds a layer of suspense and uncertainty to a mystery, as well as immediacy.

A third reader asked: Will Gage inherit his father's title? If he inherits his father's title, then will Kiera be Lady Gage? Considering everything Gage has done for the Crown, will he receive his own title?

Yes, upon Lord Gage’s death, his son—Sebastian Gage—will inherit his title and become Baron Gage. And Kiera will become Lady Gage, a baroness, both by right and courtesy, as the title of baron is higher-ranked than her first husband (Sir Anthony), who was a baronet. As far as Gage receiving his own title from the Crown, only time will tell. No spoilers. Although, there are a number of factors against this happening—namely the fact that Gage will be inheriting a title eventually, and Lord Gage, who is good friends with the King, would likely be displeased to see his son ranked higher than or equal to him. But that doesn’t mean something extraordinary couldn’t happen. Readers will have to wait and see.

Another reader asked: How did you choose the names for your lady protagonists? I love the name Ella & am familiar with it, but Kiera &, especially, Verity, were new to me.

I am a bit idiosyncratic when it comes to names. It’s one of the first things I have to know about a character, and it MUST fit them in my mind, or I simply can’t move forward with them. I wrangle with names a lot. But fortunately, my main female protagonists seem to tell me their names rather quickly when they’re forming in my head. From what I can recall, and bizarre as it sounds, Kiera simply told me that was her name, and that was that. Verity (from my Verity Kent Mystery series) was slightly trickier. I wanted something a bit unique, so I started searching through name lists and stumbled across Verity, which means “truth.” Quite fitting for a mystery sleuth, huh? And her last name simply slid into place once I had her first name. 

One final question: Your settings are often unique. How do you choose them?

Other than character, I would say setting is the element of my stories I enjoy crafting most. It’s something I’m drawn to, and I love exploring new places through fiction. Sometimes, I’m inspired by a picture. Sometimes, I happened to visit the site and connected with the place. Other times, a location pops up while I’m doing research and presents itself as the perfect setting for a mystery. I love London, but sometimes I get tired of seeing it used so often in 19th century mysteries, so I gravitate more toward Edinburgh and rural settings. That being said, Lady Darby Book 7 (out April 2019), is set in London, but only because a piece of 1831 history demanded Kiera be there. However, Book 8 will find Kiera and Gage venturing to some distinctive locale yet again.


Anna Lee Huber is the Daphne award-winning author of the national bestselling Lady Darby Mysteries, the Verity Kent Mysteries, the Gothic Myths series, and the forthcoming anthology The Jacobite’s Watch. She is a summa cum laude graduate of Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee, where she majored in music and minored in psychology. She currently resides in Indiana with her family and is hard at work on her next novel. Visit her online at

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.