Thursday, April 4, 2019

Today I'm joining Berkley Mystery
in hosting author
Julia Buckley
and her new release
Book 4 in the Writer's Apprentice Mysteries

Writer's apprentice Lena London is back and better than ever when her friend bestselling suspense novelist Camilla Graham needs help solving a town murder that hits a little too close to home...

It's summertime, and Lena and Camilla are busy working away while a town vandal runs amok. Things get even more complicated when Jane Wyland pays Camilla a not-so-friendly visit and gives her an ultimatum: reveal Camilla's husband James's family secret, or she will. Lena assures Camilla that nothing will come of the woman's threats, since the family has no secrets to hide.

When Jane Wyland is later found dead, they're convinced that whatever secret she was planning to expose led to her death. With Lena's assistance, Camilla is determined to solve the case before the finger points at her...


The Story of Wally
Julia Buckley

We’ve all visited those lovely little resort towns that sit on lakes or rivers and make wonderful escapes when we’ve had too much of urban life. In my Writer’s Apprentice novels, Blue Lake is just such a town, and like any real vacation escape, its streets are lined with storefronts. Every one of these doors leads to new stories, fascinating lore, interesting people. 

One of the first places Lena London discovered when she came to town in Book One (A Dark and Stormy Murder) was a hardware store called Bick’s. In the slightly musty lobby of this eccentric and whimsical place stands a giant Grizzly bear who holds a sign that says “Bick’s is Best.” For a year, Lena walks in and out of Bick’s to pursue various purchases or to mail letters in the ancient post office at the back of the store, but only in Book Four (Death Waits in the Dark), does Lena learn the story of the Grizzly. His name was Wally.

Wally, in life, had been a fixture at the Riverton Zoo, a couple hours from Blue Lake. Beloved by all of Riverton and by zoo visitors from far and wide, Wally enjoyed a long life and formed a loving bond with his caretaker. When the bear died of old age, his keeper asked to have Wally preserved in the hopes of keeping some part of his majestic bear alive for posterity. The man received permission and Wally became a work of taxidermy, similar to the fellow pictured here (from Wikimedia Commons). Through a series of events that are made clear in the book, Wally makes his way to Mr. Bick, and for years he has stood guard in the lobby of Bick’s Hardware. Lena learns this information and feels neglectful—she has passed Wally so many times, but she had never learned his story.

With each door she enters in Blue Lake, Lena learns more about the people—and the animals—who populate her town.

In the latest installment, she also learns a great deal about the past. Her employer, the suspense novelist Camilla Graham, is confronted by a woman who threatens to reveal “Graham family secrets” if Camilla does not come clean. Unfortunately, Camilla has no idea what the woman means, and everyone in the Graham family is dead. She and Lena must come together to find out secrets from the past before someone sullies the family name of Camilla’s dear deceased husband, James.

As they search, they find dark secrets—and death.



With the Writer’s Apprentice Mysteries, author Julia Buckley continues to show that a cozy mystery can be a little more intense without going too far. It’s almost as if she has channeled the great traditional mystery authors who have come before her.

DEATH WAITS IN THE DARK is by far my favorite story in this series to date. That’s saying something considering how much I enjoyed the first three. Julia Buckley just seems to have pulled out all of the stops with this one. I was so caught up in every aspect of the story. It’s a wonderfully plotted mystery for sure, but it was so much more than that to me. 

I was enthralled with the past correspondence between James Graham and Camilla Easton at the beginning of each chapter of DEATH WAITS IN THE DARK. I honestly could read an entire book of nothing but that. (Hmmm…Ms. Buckley, what do you say? “THE LETTERS OF JAMES GRAHAM AND CAMILLIA EASTON”. I’ll be the first to pre-order it!)

I could go on and on with my review of DEATH WAITS IN THE DARK. I have so much I want to say! But I think it’s best to just say this . . . Read this book! If you are a fan of the series already, you are in for such a treat! If you haven’t read any of this series yet, please, get them all now and read them back to back.

There’s an excerpt from book five in the series, DEATH WITH A DARK RED ROSE at the back of the book that will leave you feeling tortured waiting for its release. With every Writer’s Apprentice book better than the one before, it’s sure to be amazing!

As always, please leave a comment and 
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  1. Sounds great. Thanks, Lisa. Happy Thursday!

  2. Thank you for your review. Oh my, this sounds riveting. Sometimes looking into the past can be fraught with anxiety. Would love to read this book.
    quilting dash lady at comcast dot net

  3. Sounds like a great read. Love the cover with the German Shepherds.

  4. Thank you for your review on "DEATH WAITS IN THE DARK" by Julia Buckley. Sounds like a book that I would really enjoy reading. Love the cover from the colors to the pets sharing the bed.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net