- Ellery Adams' Murder in the Secret Garden, the third book in her Book Retreat cozy series
- Donna Andrews' Die Like an Eagle, the latest in her Meg Langslow humorous mystery series
- Mignon Ballard's Miss Dimple and the Slightly Bewildered Angel, the fifth book in her Miss Dimple historical mystery series
- Michele Bardsley's A Spirited Defense, the second novella in her Violette Graves paranormal cozy series
- Peter Bartram's Stop Press Murder, a Crampton of the Chronicle traditional British mystery
- Rhys Bowen's Crowned and Dangerous, the tenth book in her Royal Spyness historical mystery series
- Issy Brooke's The Case of the Lincoln Imp, the debut novella in her Small Town Murder Bureau British mystery series
- Laurie Cass' Cat with a Clue, the fifth book in her Bookmobile Cat cozy series
- Colin Cotterill's I Shot the Buddha, the latest in his Laos set Dr. Siri series
- Laura DiSilverio's The Readaholics and the Gothic Gala, the third book in her Book Club cozy mystery series
- John Dobbyn's Fatal Odds, the fifth book in his Knight and Devlin mystery/thriller series
- Deb Donahue's A Bull by the Horns, the debut of her Coffman Country Art Colony cozy series
- Monica Ferris' Knit Your Own Murder, the 19th book in her Needlecraft cozy series
- Sarah Flint's Mummy's Favorite, a DC Charlotte Stafford British mystery
- Daryl Wood Gerber's Grilling the Subject, the fifth book in her Cookbook Nook culinary cozy series
- Victoria Hamilton's Much Ado About Muffin, the fourth book in her Merry Muffin culinary cozy series
- Lily Harper Hart's Deadly Reunion, the 20th book in her Hardy Brothers Security series
- Nancy Herriman's No Pity for the Dead, the second in her Mysteries of Old San Francisco historical series
- Julianne Holmes Clock and Dagger, the second book in her Clock Shop cozy series
- Jane Jensen's In the Land of Milk and Honey, an Elizabeth Harris Amish mystery
- EM Kaplan's Dead Man on Campus, the third book in her Josie Tucker humorous mystery series
- Diane Kelly's Death, Taxes and a Satin Garter, the tenth book in her Tara Holloway humorous cozy series
- Chloe Kendrick's Food Truck Mysteries Books 6-10 culinary cozy set
- Amanda Lee's Eternal Covenant, the third book in her Living Covenant paranormal mystery trilogy
- Lilli Lea's Cat 'n' Dog Get Drenched, a supernatural/cozy/romantic mystery
- Antonio Manzini's Adam's Rib, the second book in his Deputy Police Chief Rocco Schiavone series
- Victoria Roder's DICKs Case 1: Holy Murder, the debut of her New Smyrna Beach Dames Investigating Crimes and Killer humorous cozy series
- Leann Sweeney's The Cat, the Collector, and the Killer, the eighth book in her Cats in Trouble cozy mystery series
- Diane Vallere's Silk Stalkings, the third book in her Material Witness cozy series
- Elaine Viets' Brain Storm, the debut of her Death Investigator Angela Richman series
- Camilla Way's psychological thriller Watching Edie
- Marty Wingate's The Bluebonnet Betrayal, the fifth book in her Potting Shed cozy series
- Stuart Woods and Parnell Hall's Smooth Operator, the debut of their Teddy Fay series
Tuesday, August 2, 2016
The "first Tuesday" comes early this month, and there is a great batch of new mystery releases to summarize. Among the new releases are:
Tuesday, July 26, 2016
Over the past couple of days there have been a bunch of new cozy mystery releases, so we thought we would do our best to summarize them here. Among the new releases are:
- Allyson Abbott's Shots in the Dark, the fourth in her Mack's Bar series
- Carolyn Ridder Aspenson's Unbinding Love, an Angela Panther novella
- Constance Barker and AJ DeBellis' Fright Night at the Haunted Inn, the fourth in their Jessie Delacroix/Whispering Pines series
- LL Bartlett's Shattered Spirits, the seventh book in her Jeff Resnick series (not really a cozy, but by popular cozy author Lorna Barrett)
- Patti Benning's Spicy Lasagna Murder, the 13th book in her Darling Deli series
- Laurien Berenson's new Melanie Travis mystery Live and Let Growl
- Hope Callaghan's Road to Savannah, the second book in her Made in Savannah series
- Bailey Cates' Spells and Scones, the sixth in the Magical Bakery series
- Jessie Chandler's Blood Money Murder, the fifth book in her Shay O'Hanlon series
- Nancy Coco's All You Need is Fudge, the fourth in her Candy-Coated series
- reissues of the first 10 of Philip Craig's Martha's Vineyard Mysteries
- Carrie Doyle's first two Hamptons Murder Mysteries, "Death on Windmill Way" and "Death on Lily Pond Lane"
- Kaitlyn Dunnett's Kilt at the Highland Games, the ninth in her Liss MacCrimmon series
- Wendy Sand Eckel's Death at the Day Lily Cafe, the second in her Rosalie Hart series
- Caroline Fardig's Wedding Bell Blues, the fifth book in her Lizzie Hart series
- Marilyn Fisher's The Ashworth Mysteries, the fourth in her Connie Holt series
- Jennifer David Hesse's Midsummer Night's Mischief, the debut of her Wiccan Wheel series
- Victoria Laurie's A Grave Prediction, the latest in her Psychic Eye series
- LA Nisula's The Body in the Box Room, the fifth in the Cassie Pengear steampunk cozy series
- Laura Pauling's A Most Unusual Death, the third book in her Seacoast Cozy series
- Raven Snow's Counterfeits and Cauldrons, the sixth book in her Harper "Foxxy" Beck paranormal cozy series
- Tess Thompson's first two Legley Bay Mysteries, "Caramel and Magnolias" and "Tea and Primroses"
- Lyn Walker's first 3 Cockatoo Cozy Mysteries
at 4:31 PM
Monday, July 11, 2016
Author Anne Marie Stoddard is joining us this week with an excerpt and giveaway of Deception at Castle Rock, the second book in her well-reviewed Amelia Grace mystery series. You can pick it up for 99 cents this week! See below for details on how to win a signed copy of Deception at Castle Rock!
Anne Marie Stoddard
After making a quick run through the drive-thru at Java Joy, I sped over to Castle Rock and parked in the gravel along the side of the building, closest to the back entrance. Grabbing one of the chocolate raspberry scones from the bag, I nibbled the pastry as I made my way toward the back door.
To reach the rear entrance of the venue, I had to walk around Royal Flush’s black tour bus, which was now parked behind Castle Rock. Kat and I agreed to let the band keep the over-sized vehicle out back until they left on Sunday for their next tour stop. As I rounded the bus, I stopped short, frowning at the passenger’s side door. Why is the bus open? When I’d left Castle Rock the night before, Kat was about to shuttle the guys, Ginger, and Suzie back to their hotel. Maybe they forgot to close up the bus after loading their equipment. No way, I thought, shaking my head. The guys wouldn’t leave their instruments in an unlocked vehicle overnight.
A sense of unease crept over me as I approached the open door. What if a bum had wandered aboard? Or a thief? Don’t be ridiculous. I shook it off and stepped up onto the small set of stairs that led inside the tour bus.
I was immediately overwhelmed by a cloying, coppery odor. “What is that?” I asked aloud, wrinkling my nose. The inside of the bus was dark. I squinted, waiting for my eyes to adjust. “Hello?” I called. Either my imagination was playing some horror movie-style tricks on me, or someone—or some thing—responded with a muffled groan. Fear pricked at the hairs on my arms and neck. The noise had come from the back of the bus. Was someone back there?
There was a fleeting moment where I almost turned and bolted, figuring it would be safer to wait and inspect the bus when someone else had arrived, like Emmett. Or Reese. Or maybe a SWAT team. Then the low moaning noise sounded again, and I sucked in a breath. Something about it sounded oddly familiar. Curiosity got the better of me, and I began to move deeper into the bus’s interior.
I quietly inched my way past the black leather benches that lined the walls of the vehicle, and I sidestepped around the table that stuck out from the little breakfast nook. Digging into my purse, I produced a small can of pepper spray and a key chain that held a mini-flashlight. One finger hovered over the trigger of the can ready to unleash a cloud of pepper spray on anything that moved.
Before I could turn on the flashlight, my foot connected with something solid in the middle of the floor. With a startled cry, I dropped the can and the keychain as I toppled down, landing on something cold and sticky. The coppery smell grew stronger, and a feeling of nausea rolled over me. I fumbled around on the floor for my flashlight, but instead my fingers closed over something hard and smooth. I ran my hand around the object, trying to identify it. A shoe?
My pinky grazed against the cold metal of the mini-flashlight, and I reached for it. I clicked it on, illuminating the space in front of me. A shock wave of horror slammed through me. I screamed and scrambled to my feet, backing quickly toward the bus’s entrance. The hard object I’d felt before was a boot, all right—and it was still on the foot of Sid Malone’s corpse.
About the Author
Anne Marie Stoddard is an Amazon Movers and Shakers and Amazon top 100 Mystery & Suspense author who writes funny rock n' roll-themed cozy mysteries with an edge.After studying Music Business at the University of Georgia, she worked for several music venues, radio stations, and large festivals before trading in her backstage pass for a pen and paper (Okay, so she might have kept the pass...). Her debut novel, Murder at Castle Rock, was the winner of the 2012 AJC Decatur Book Festival & BookLogix Publishing Services, Inc. Writing Contest, and the 2013 Book Junkie's Choice Award Winner for Best Debut Fiction Novel. It was also a finalist for Best Mystery/Thriller in the 2014 RONE Awards. Deception at Castle Rock was a finalist in the 2016 RONE Awards for Best Mystery.
Aside from all things music and books, Anne Marie loves college football, Starbucks iced coffee, red wine, and anything pumpkin-flavored. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and the Sisters in Crime Guppies chapter. Anne Marie is currently hard at work on several new projects. Visit www.amstoddardbooks.com to connect with Anne Marie and learn more about her upcoming books!
Win a free signed copy of Deception at Castle Rock
Please comment below to enter the giveaway! Share this post on social media additional entries, and don't forget to comment and let us know you did so! Please Note: If you are commenting anonymously, please leave your full Facebook name or email address so that we may contact you if you are the winner. Comment before midnight on 7/18/16 to enter. US delivery only. Winners will be chosen via random number generator next week!
at 4:00 AM
Tuesday, July 5, 2016
I hope everyone had a terrific 4th of July and long holiday weekend!! This month there is a nice batch of 30+ "first Tuesday" new mystery releases, including:
- Sarah Biglow's Saints and Sinners, the fifth book in her Geeks and Things cozy series
- Juliet Blackwell's A Toxic Trousseau, the eighth book in her Witchcraft paranormal cozy series
- Susan Boyer's Lowcountry Book Club, the fifth book in her Agatha Award winning Liz Talbot series from Henery Press
- Lisa Brackmann's hardboiled thriller Go-Between
- Julie Buckley's A Dark and Stormy Murder, the debut of her Writer's Apprentice cozy mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime
- Matthew Costello and Neil Richards' Cherringham Episodes 22-24, a three books set from the Cherringham British village cozy series
- Helen Durrant's Dead and Buried, the fifth book in her Calladine and Bayliss British mystery/thriller series
- Chelsea Field's Eat Pray Die, the debut of her Eat Pray Die humorous cozy mystery series
- Tricia Fields' Midnight Crossing, the fifth in her highly praised series with police chief Josie Gray
- Susan Gillard's Chocolate Revolution Murder, the 11th book in her Donut Hole culinary cozy series
- Lily Harper Hart's Wicked Warning, the fifth book in her Ivy Morgan paranormal cozy series
- Betty Hechtman's Gone with the Wool, the fourth book in her Yarn Retreat cozy series
- Reissues of Joan Hess humorous mystery short story collections Big Foot Stole My Wife and Other Stories and Caveat Emptor and Other Stories
- Reissues of Joan Hess' 2 humorous mysteries in her series with retired florist Theo Bloomer, The Deadly Ackee and The Night-Blooming Cereus
- Amanda Lee's Dark Covenant, the second book in her Living Covenant paranormal suspense series
- Anna Lee Huber's As Death Draws Near, the fifth book in her Lady Darby historical mystery series
- Amanda Lee's Freaky Lies, the second book in her Mystic Caravan paranormal mystery series
- Bill Loehfelm's New Orleans set mystery/thriller Let the Devil Out, the debut of the Maureen Coughlin series
- Italian author David Longo's mystery/thriller Bramard's Case
- Peter Lovesey's Another One Goes Tonight, the 16th book in his British mystery series with Detective Peter Diamond
- Julie Moffett's No Strings Attached, the eighth book in her Lexi Carmichael humorous cozy mystery series
- Terrie Farley Moran's Read to Death, the third book in her Read Em and Eat cozy mystery series
- Amanda Morgan's YA mystery/thriller Secrets, Lies, and Scandals
- Laura Morrigan's Take the Monkey and Run, the fourth book in her Call of the Wilde cozy mystery series
- Marcia Muller's Someone Always Knows, the latest in her long running series with PI Sharon McCone
- German author Melanie Raabe's debut psychological thriller The Trap
- Hannah Reed's Dressed to Kilt, the third book in her Scottish Highlands humorous cozy mystery series
- Gerry Schmitt's Little Girl Gone, and Afton Tangler thriller
- Carl-Johan Vallgren's Swedish mystery thriller The Boy in the Shadows
- AEH Veenman's Ten Days in Tahiti, the debut of the Marjorie Gardens romantic mystery series
- Linda Wiken's Toasting Up Trouble, the debut of her Dinner Club culinary cozy mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime
- Conrad Williams' mystery/thriller Sonata of the Dead, the second book in his Joel Sorrell series
- Bestselling author F Paul Wilson's new thriller Panacea
Tuesday, June 28, 2016
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:
- Ellie Alexander's Caught Bread Handed, the fourth book in her Bakeshop series
- Stephanie Blackmoore's Engaged in Death, the debut of her Wedding Planner series from Kensington
- Amy Boyles' Scared Witchless, the debut of her Bless Your Witch series
- Cheryl Bradshaw's Hickory Dickory Dead, the debut of her Maisie Fezziwig series
- Vickie Britton and Loretta Jackson's The Memory of a Murder
- Mary Corrigan's Final Fondue, the third book in her Five-Ingredient culinary series
- Judith Cranswick's Blood Hits the Wall, the fourth book in her Fiona Mason series
- Leighann Dobbs' No Scone Unturned, the 12th book in her Lexy Baker series
- Cheryl Hollon's Cracked To Death, the third book in her Webb's Glass Shop series
- Richard Houston's Letters To Die For, the fourth book in his Books To Die For series
- Julie Hyzy's Grace Sees Red, the seventh book in her Manor House series
- Violet Ingram's Death by Nail Gun, the second book in her Kim Murphy PI series
- Ally Kershaw's The Catering Kill-tastrophe, the third book in her Willowbrook series
- Helena Lamb's Deadly Mischief, the second in her Brides Bay series
- Laura Levine's humorous Murder Has Nine Lives, the 14th book in her Jaine Austen series
- Kate Lucky's The Heirloom Piano Murder, the third book in her Sammy Young Piano Tuner series
- Mary Marks' Something's Knot Kosher, the fourth book in her Quilting series
- Rayna Morgan's Murder at the Pier, the debut of her Sister Sleuths series
- Meredith Potts' bargain collection Cozy Mystery Three Sleuth Set
- Rose Pressey's Take a Haunted Walk with Me, the fifth book in her Haunted Tour Guide series
- Sara Rosett's Marriage, Monsters-in-Law and Murder, the ninth book in her Ellie Avery series
- Beth Sherman's Murder Down the Shore, the fifth in her Jersey Shore series
- Liz Turner's novella Murder at the Festival, #4 in her Cozy Mystery in the Mountains series
- Hannah Weaver's Amish Secrets: Shunned House
- Natalie Woodley's novella Maid to Murder, the debut of her Molly Westbrook series
at 5:04 PM
Thursday, June 16, 2016
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.
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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.
at 4:30 AM
Tuesday, June 7, 2016
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:
- Isabella Alan's Murder, Handcrafted, the fifth book in her Amish Quilt Shop cozy series
- MJ Arlidge's Detective Helen Grace mystery/thriller Liar Liar
- Kendra Ashe's Grim Grinning Ghouls, the latest in her Izzy Cooper paranormal cozy series
- Donald Bain's continuation of Margaret Truman's Capital Crimes series, Deadly Medicine
- Laura Bradford's Eclair and Present Danger, the debut of her Emergency Dessert Squad cozy mystery series
- Lynn Cahoon's Tea Cups and Carnage, the latest in her Tourist Trap cozy mystery series
- Dorothy Cannell's Goodbye, Ms. Chips, the 13th in her Ellie Haskell cozy series
- Kate Carlisle's Books of a Feather, the 10th book in her Bibliophile cozy mystery series
- Amanda Carmack's Elizabethan historical mystery Murder at Fountainebleau
- Sheila Connolly's seventh Museum cozy mystery Dead End Street
- EJ Copperman's Written Off, the debut of his Mysterious Detective series
- Episodes 19-21 in Matthew Costello and Neil Richards' Cherringham British cozy mystery series
- Krista Davis' The Diva Serves High Tea, the 10th book in her Domestic Diva cozy mystery series
- Kathryn Dionne's Six Mile Canyon, the debut of her Savannah Swift Psychic mystery series
- Kay Finch's The Black Cat Knocks on Wood, the second book in her Bad Luck Cat cozy mystery series
- Sarah Fox's Deadly Overtures, the third book in her Music Lover's cozy mystery series from Witness Impulse
- Shelley Freydont's A Golden Cage, the second in her Newport Gilded Age historical mystery series
- Eileen Goudge's Swimsuit Body, the second book in her Cypress Bay series
- Lily Harper Hart's Grave Decisions, the seventh book in her Maddie Graves paranormal cozy mystery series
- 11 books in Joan Hess' Arly Hanks cozy mystery series have been reissued for Kindle
- Mary Kennedy's A Premonition of Murder, the third book in her Dream Club cozy mystery series from Berkley
- Kassandra Lamb's Missing on Maui, the fourth book in her Kate on Vacation cozy series
- Joyce and Jim Lavene's Until Our Last Embrace, the reissued fourth book in their sheriff Sharyn Howard series
- Amanda Lee's paranormal suspense novel Rising Covenant, the debut of the Living Covenant Trilogy from the author of the popular Wicked Witches of the Midwest series
- Sophie Littlefield's boxed set A Bad Day for Murder: The Stella Hardesty Series Books 1-4
- 8 books in Stefanie Matteson's Charlotte Graham cozy mystery series have been reissued for Kindle
- Jennifer McAndrews' A Shattering Crime, the third book in her Stained Glass cozy series
- Joanne Pence's Four O'Clock Sizzle, the fourth book in her Inspector Rebecca Mayfield series
- Summer Prescott's Marshmallow Creme Killer, the seventh book in her INNcredibly Sweet culinary cozy series
- Claire Robyns' The Butler Didn't Do It, the second book in her Maddox Storm cozy series
- J Tood Scott's western crime novel The Far Empty
- Maggie Sefton's Knit to Be Tied, the latest in her popular Knitting mystery cozy series
- Shawn Reilly Simmons' Murder on a Designer Diet, the third book in her Red Carpet Catering culinary cozy series from Henery Press
- Stuart Woods' Dishonorable Intentions, a Stone Barrington mystery
- James Ziskin's fourth Ellie Stone mystery Heart of Stone