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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

New Cozy Mystery Releases 6/28/16

The past couple of days have been great ones for new cozy mystery releases, so we thought we would summarize them here. Among the new releases are:

Let us know if there are any we missed!!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Guest Post & Giveaway: Who Drives the Plot: Criminal Versus Sleuth By Joyce T. Strand

Who Drives the Plot: Criminal Versus Sleuth
Joyce T. Strand, Author

"The criminal is the creative artist; the detective only the critic."-G.K. Chesterton

Despite more than 50 years of reading mysteries beginning with my very first Nancy Drew, I never viewed them from the perspective that the criminal creates and drives the plot as Mr. Chesterton suggests. 

However, when I examined my newest mystery, The Reporter’s Story, I had to admit that the crimes themselves drove my protagonist’s actions as she responded as an amateur sleuth.  And, from Chesterton’s viewpoint, the criminals did create the plot.

But I would hastily add that the character of my protagonist contributed to how she responded, or in Chesterton’s words, how she became the criminal’s critic. She had multiple options open to her in her response to the crimes. Her character traits, driven by her intense desire to become a world-class front-page reporter, pushed her to make the choices to solve a crime—to get her story—that many others might walk away from.

The same can be said for Sherlock Holmes and the infamous Moriarty. Of course, the villain creates the crime, but how Holmes responds is also unique with many options available in his “critique” of the evil deeds of his adversary. We know that he used the powers of deduction. It’s elementary, so to speak.

So there’s more to a compelling mystery than the criminal’s creativity.

This is especially true of the amateur sleuth’s story. A detective dedicated to solving crime could be viewed as a responder or a critic. It’s his job to solve the crime, and he acts in response to the criminal’s behavior in order to stop him.

 But an amateur sleuth has so many more options, not the least of which is to ignore the crimes. For example, as we read about Mary Higgins Clark’s innocent characters being pulled into a quagmire of crime, we see them behave in a very different manner than Stieg Larsson’s vengeful and tough Lisbeth Salander. Or, Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch pursues his criminal in a different manner than Dick Francis jockeys drawn into the latest horse racing mystery.

Regardless, whether we view a mystery as driven by the crimes of the antagonist, or led by the reactions of the amateur or professional sleuth, we become intrigued by the puzzle itself.  We welcome red herrings and thrive on eliminating them as the solution. Most of the time we cheer for the sleuth to solve the crime—unless the criminal is Robin Hood. Then, maybe not.

We love the challenge and the intrigue. Some of us enjoy more suspense and bloodshed. Others prefer a more “cozy” approach.

But we appreciate a well-developed criminal and sleuth—a despicable villain or more thoughtful one just trying to make a living. And we turn the pages faster when the sleuth has difficulty uncovering the criminal and makes some mistakes along the way and maybe even gets into some danger.  We love our characters to be fleshed out by a well-conceived plot.

So, yes, maybe we can view our criminals as the creator of our mystery and our protagonists as the critic. But, oh my, there’s so much more to it—highlighted by the characters themselves and the puzzle pieces they choose to solve the mystery.


1st Prize: Kindle Fire 7” WiFi 8GB Black plus ebook or paperback copy of The Reporters Story

2nd Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card and ebook or paperback copy of The Reporters Story
3rd Prize: ebook or paperback copy of The Reporters Story

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About The Author

Joyce T. Strand is the author of who-done-it contemporary and historical mysteries set in California. All of her published six novels are inspired by actual events and/or real people, although they are definitely fictionalized.

Strand headed corporate communications at several biotech and high-tech companies in California's Silicon Valley for more than 25 years. Unlike her protagonist Jillian Hillcrest, however, she did not encounter murder in her career. Strand lives with her two cats and collection of cow statuary in Southern California, and enjoys exploring and writing about the growing wine region in the Ramona Valley near San Diego.

About The Reporter’s Story

A house burglary in 1912 San Francisco that the victim denies happening piques Emma Matheson’s reporter instincts. Why would a not-so-wealthy businessman deny that recovered loot was his and forego collecting his $8,000 worth of stolen jewelry? Why did he fire his maid and butler who originally reported the theft? The more she pursues the burglary that wasn’t a burglary, the more she sees it as a major story, involving murder, intrigue, and smuggling. Can she solve it and write the story that could project her to become the world-famous reporter she so covets? Or will she become one of its victims?
Additional info about Emma:  Emma Matheson is a young woman determined to be a star front-page reporter despite the bias against women in her day.Her mother died when she was born. She was reared by her father who runs a newspaper in Sacramento. She grew up learning about the newspaper business. Her father valued education and insisted she attend university before starting her career. She is bright, determined, a great writer — but a bit naive.

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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

New Mystery Releases 6/7/16

This month the first Tuesday is as late as it possibly could be in the month. There are a bunch of good new mystery releases though, so let's get to them:

Let us know if there are any that we missed!!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

New Mystery Releases 5/3/16

Another first Tuesday of the month is upon us, and this month there is a big batch of over 50 new mystery releases.  So let's get right to them:

  • Kelley Armstrong's City of the Lost, the debut of her Casey Duncan mystery/thriller series
  • Ace Atkins' Slow Burn, the latest in his acclaimed continuation of Robert B Parker's Spenser series
  • Jessica Beck's Devil's Food Defense, the 25th in the Donut Shop culinary cozy series
  • Heather Blake's Gone With the Witch, the sixth book in her  Wishcraft paranormal cozy mystery series
  • Larry Bond's Jerry Mitchell thriller, Fatal Thunder
  • Zac Brewer's mystery/thriller The Blood Between Us
  • Kathleen Bridge's Hearse and Gardens, the second book in her Hamptons Home & Garden cozy mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime
  • Jane Casey's After the Fire, the sixth in her series with London detective Maeve Kerrigan
  • Barbara Cleverly's Diana's Altar, the latest in her highly praised Joe Sandilands British historical mystery series
  • Ted Clifton's Sky High Stakes, the third book in his Pacheco and Chino cozy mystery series
  • Peg Cochran's Berry the Hatchet, the second book in her Cranberry Cove cozy series
  • Max Allan Collins' Better Dead, a new Nathan Heller historical mystery
  • Annette Dashofy's With a Vengeance, the fourth book in her Zoe Chambers mystery series from Henery Press 
  • Hannah Dennison's A Killer Ball at Honeychurch Hall, the third book in her Honeychurch Hall British village cozy mystery series
  • Claire Donally's Catch as Cat Can, the latest in her Sunny and Shadow cozy mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime
  • Susan Gillard's Mint Chip Murder, the sixth book in her Donut Hole cozy series
  • Sally Goldenbaum's Murder at Lambswool Farm, the latest in her Seaside Knitters cozy mystery series
  • Addison Harper's Pumpkin Carving Disaster, the third book in her Hampton Port cozy series
  • Edgar Award winner John Hart's latest, Redemption Road
  • Lilly Harper Hart's Ghostly Deceits, the third book in her Haley Harper paranormal cozy series  
  • Lilly Harper Hart's Ghostly Start, with the first 3 books in her Haley Harper paranormal cozy series
  • Betty Hechtman's Seams Like Murder, the tenth book in her Crochet cozy mystery series
  • Charlaine Harris' Night Shift, the third book in her Midnight, Texas series
  • April Henry's YA mystery/thriller The Girl I Used To Be
  • Hazel Holt's Mrs. Malory and Death Is a Word, the latest in her Mrs. Malory British cozy mystery series
  • Cynthia Hurst's Uprooted, the 12th book in the R&P Labs series
  • Diane Kelly's Against the Paw, the fourth book in her Paw Enforcement humorous cozy mystery series
  • Ward Larsen's Assassin's Silence, a David Slaton thriller
  • Joyce and Jim Lavene's reissued The Last To Remember, the third book in their Sheriff Sharyn Howard series 
  • Allison Leotta's legal mystery thriller The Last Good Girl from her Anna Curtis series
  • Amanda Lee's Charms and Witchdemeanors, the 8th book in her Wicked Witches of the Midwest paranormal mystery series 
  • Laura Lippman's standalone mystery/thriller Wilde Lake
  • Kylie Logan's Irish Stewed, the debut of her Ethic Eats culinary cozy mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime
  • Edgar Award nominee Malcom Mackay's thriller The Night the Rich Men Burned, set in Glasgow
  • a reissue of Francine Mathews' Death in the Off-Season, the debut of her Merry Folger Nantucket traditional mystery series from Soho Crime
  • Kimberly McCreight's new mystery/thriller The Outliers
  • Nancy McGovern's Death of a Deputy, the second in her Murder in Milburn culinary cozy series
  • Joe McNally's Wild Horses, the eighth book in his amateur sleuth mystery series with jockey Eddie Malloy 
  • Carol Miller's southern country house mystery An Old-Fashioned Murder, the third book in her Moonshine mystery series
  • Tamar Myers' Tea With Jam and Dread, the latest in her long running Pennsylvania Dutch humorous cozy series
  • Nancy J Parra's Newlywed Dead, the third book in her Perfect Proposals cozy series
  • James Patterson and Maxine Paetro's 15th Affair, a Women's Murder Club mystery
  • JM Poole's Case of the One-Eyed Tiger, the debut of the Corgi Case Files cozy series
  • Summer Prescott's Peaches and Creme Killer, the sixth book in her INNcredibly Sweet culinary cozy series
  • Cynthia Riggs' Bloodroot, the latest in her Martha's Vineyard cozy mystery series with 92 year old senior sleuth Victoria Trumbull
  • Sleuthing Women, a collection of 10 first in series female sleuth cozy mysteries, bargain priced (currently) at only $2.99 for Kindle
  • Victoria Thompson's Murder in Morningside Heights, the latest in her Edgar Award nominated Gaslight historical mystery series
  • Elaine Viets' The Art of Murder, the 14th book in her Dead-End Job cozy mystery series
  • Tracey Jane Jackson and Amanda Washington's Dial L for Lynda, the debut of the Linda and Lynda Detective Agency humorous cozy series
  • John Wells' Over Your Dead Body, the latest in his John Wayne Cleaver mystery series
  • Darcie Wilde's A Useful Woman, the debut of her Rosalind Thorne historical mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

New Mystery Releases 4/5/16

It is once again the first Tuesday of the month, so we are here to run down today's list of over 40 new mystery releases:

Let us know if there are any that we missed!!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

New Mystery Releases 3/1/16

The first day of March is full of new mystery releases (over 40 of them!), so lets get right to it:

Don't forget to let us know if there are any that we missed!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

A Sweet Treat for Valentine’s Day—A Cozy Mystery Anthology guest post by Joanna Campbell Slan

A Sweet Treat for Valentine’s Day—A Cozy Mystery Anthology
By Joanna Campbell Slan

My mama always said, ‘Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.’--Forrest Gump

Growing up, I spent many happy hours parked on a chair in my grandmother’s converted sunporch. There I happily explored her bookshelves that were packed with copies of Reader’s Digest’s Condensed Books. Opening each hefty copy felt gave me the same excitement as opening a box of chocolates. Most of the authors were unknown to me. Often the subject matter was over my head. But always, always I found hours of reading pleasure on those pages.

It’s the same with our new anthology series, Happy Homicides. My friend Linda Gordon Hengerer and I reached out to other cozy authors with an offer to compile and publish our work. In today’s crowded market, getting “found” by new readers has become more and more difficult. We figured that if we could offer a variety of cozy mysteries at a bargain basement price, all of us authors would benefit.

The concept is working! Our first anthology—Happy Homicides (1): Thirteen Cozy Holiday Mysteries became a bestseller in several Amazon categories. It also propelled a few of us into Amazon’s Top 100 Mystery Author list.

Now we’re on to Happy Homicides 2: Thirteen CozyMysteries/Crimes of the Heart. (Release date: Feb. 14, 2016) All of our authors wrote “whodunits” that explore that intersection of love and bad behavior. At only $2.99, it’s a bargain, thanks to 600-plus pages of reading material. As is our habit, we’re also including in the book an email address so readers can send away for a free bonus file of recipes and craft projects. Order your copy today

And yes, we have more traditional mystery anthologies on the way.

Here’s our line-up of authors and their stories.

Stupid Cupid: A CaraMia Delgatto Novella by Joanna Campbell Slan—Cara Mia’s search for love gets her involved in a star-crossed, homicidal romance.

A Heart for Murder by Teresa TrentAn expensive family heirloom is stolen from a local jewelry store, and Betsy Livingston Fitzpatrick would love to figure out who’s responsible.

For the Love of Dog by Neil Plakcy—A young woman’s death causes a man to consider the many aspects of love. Is it ever a justification for murder?

Wedding Knife by Elaine VietsA groom learns to take his vow–Till death do we part—very, very seriously.

Death and a DozenRoses by Annie Adams—Plucky florist Rosie McKay is reunited with an old love, thanks to complications that happen when she tries to deliver a dozen roses.

The Sodium Arrow by Camille Minichino—The love of a student for a favorite teacher drives a freelance embalmer to seek out justice.

Sweets, Treats, andMurder by Nancy Jill Thames—Jillian Bradley is a widow with no children, but she still has a keen sense of family. Her love of a good mystery sets her and her canine companion, Teddy, on a quest for justice.

Dying for Valentine’sTea: A Beach Tea Shop Novella by Linda Gordon Hengerer—The three Powell sisters want their friend Thelma to find true love, but they’re having trouble believing her fiancĂ© has her best interests at heart.

The New Normal by Kathi Daley—Even though her own dreams have been shattered, Ellie Davis finds it impossible to quit loving an old friend, even after he’s accused of murder.

Bones and Arrows by Carolyn Haines—Intrepid Sarah Booth Delaney would rather face a gun than a party on Valentine’s Day. Not surprisingly, she’s decided that Cupid is a big phony. But is he a jewel thief, too?

Murder at CatmmandoMountain: Georgie Shaw Cozy Mystery 1 by Anna Celeste Burke—Georgina Shaw loves her cat, chocolate, and cooking. When she’s framed for a crime, she’s forced to reconsider her priorities.

The Missing Jacket by Randy Rawls—A golfing buddy offers Jonathan Boykin big money to retrieve a stolen jacket, but Jonathan suspects something else is going on. Jonathan is smart enough to discern the difference between love and lust. But can he also figure out the scam?

Really, Truly Dead by Maggie Toussaint—Lindsey McKay has no desire to return to small town life. But her love for her father brings her back home when he’s accused of murder.

I’m curious. Do you like anthologies? Did you ever read the Reader’s Digest Condensed books? How do you discover new authors?

About the Author

Joanna Campbell Slan is the national bestselling and award-winning author of thirty books, as well as being a contributor to many of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books. When she isn’t walking the beach with her Havanese pup, Jax, she’s writing books for one of her three mysteries series and building dollhouses. Joanna and her husband David live on Jupiter Island, Florida. http://www.JoannaSlan.com

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