Showing posts with label women sleuths. Show all posts
Showing posts with label women sleuths. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

"Oh Holy Fright" by Teresa Trent

Oh Holy Fright
(Pecan Bayou Series Book 8)
by Teresa Trent

Oh Holy Fright (Pecan Bayou Series Book 8) by Teresa Trent

Oh Holy Fright, the eighth book in the Pecan Bayou Series by Teresa Trent, is currently on tour with Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours. The tour stops here today for a guest post by the author, an excerpt, and a giveaway. You can also get the book FREE today only! Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

For more books by this author, please check out my blog post on Color Me Dead and my blog post on Murder of a Good Man.

It’s Christmas in Pecan Bayou, Texas. Join Betsy (aka The Happy Hinter) for a good old small-town Christmas complete with Christmas carols, over the top light displays, delicious food, loving friends and … a Christmas Creeper. One of the residents of Pecan Bayou has a secret and you’d better lock the door because that isn’t Santa out there or even a stray elf. Enjoy spending Christmas with the town and family you’ve come to know in the Pecan Bayou Series.
Recipes and helpful hints included!

“What would possess Joe Nelson to give the Christmas solo to a woman who sings like a washing machine full of rocks?” Aunt Maggie’s voice echoed in the community center gym, the location hosting many of the neighborhood churches for the Christmas Eve service. Her attitude was in direct contrast to Rudolph’s blinking nose on her fire engine red Christmas sweatshirt.
“Ooh. You better watch out,” Danny whispered in my ear. “When Mama says words like that, it’s best to look busy.” I had just picked up Danny from the Christmas party for people with disabilities held at his adult care center. Today he seemed especially happy for some reason. And from the way he kept giggling, I could tell Danny had a secret he was bursting to tell me.
“Joe!” Aunt Maggie called out.
The choir director, who was busily engaged in a conversation with Enid Sanford—solo-stealer and owner of the voice that sounded like a washing machine full of rocks—didn’t respond.
“Joe!” she bellowed.
When he failed to respond a second time, she stomped back, turned him around by the shoulders, and plopped her slender black music folder into his hands.
“Take it. I can’t sing in a choir where my voice isn’t heard.”
I had to admit, Maggie was one of the better singers in the holiday choir. Some of the other vocalists possessed lesser talent. One time when I was watching Joe’s friend Howard Gunther at the soundboard, I noticed he was turning down certain microphones. It was wonderful these people volunteered, but some of the singers could be described as cats screeching in the night. Enid Sanford was one of those people; when she hit the high C, it could make the hair on the back of your neck stand up.
Leaving an astonished Joe, Maggie returned to us. “Well, that’s it. You’re hearing it right here and now. I am quitting the Pecan Bayou Singers. They can jingle their bells with somebody else.”
Lester Jibbets, a tall wiry man with protruding cheekbones and the owner of the most successful port-a-potty business in Central Texas, walked over waving a bony hand. “I totally agree, Maggie. What happened here is nothing short of criminal. It will ruin the Christmas Eve performance, uh huh.” He nodded his head to reinforce his point.
“Thanks, Lester,” Maggie said, about to continue her tirade, but Lester just kept talking.
“Yes, sir, I knew right away I needed to come over and help a beautiful lady in trouble, I did.” More nods.
“Thank you, Lester,” Maggie repeated, but this time she waited. Lester Jibbets was not an easy man to shut up once he got started. I guess the portable bathroom business is pretty lonely, even if you’re at the top of your game.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]

Praise for the Book
“I enjoyed meeting Betsy, the ‘Happy Hinter’ and her family and friends living in Pecan Bayou.” ~ Carla Loves To Read
“Fast-paced and full of clues, this book can be enjoyed by all ages.” ~ Laura’s Interests
“If you want a funny and cute holiday-themed mystery, this is your book! Trust me, you will be as excited as I was to visit this book and series. It is light-hearted, fun and mysterious, just in time for Christmas!” ~ Bibliophile Reviews
“The Pecan Bayou Series brings cozy mysteries in the kind of town where readers wish they could live. Teresa Trent has a gentle writing style to keep her fans turning the pages in delight and intrigue.” ~ Mallory Heart’s Cozies
“I thought I had it all figured out and that it was too easy. I didn't and it wasn't.” ~ PRBC

Guest Post by the Author
Can You Write a Mystery?
How many times have you read a mystery and said to yourself, I could have written that! All I need is an amateur sleuth, a killer, and some other characters. Easy Peasy. It might be a different story when you sit down and try to actually put pen to paper.
Welcome to the great blank wall of storytelling.  
You can write a page, but thousands of words? Maybe not so simple.
So, here's my oversimplified method to help you get past the wall.
Make a list.
What is the crime?
It is best to start with this because your entire story is going to center around it. You can find some great ideas just reading your newspaper. or you can make something up yourself. Make sure it will be interesting to your readers.
Who are your characters?
Is this a cozy mystery or more of a thriller? A cozy mystery hero or heroine has to be beyond reproach. They can investigate, but they can't break any rules doing it. The main character in a thriller can feel free to break the rules. It just depends on the kind of character you have built.
Who are the other characters and or subplot that you can weave in with the crime-solving plot?
Supporting characters can help create subplots. These subplots become problems that will affect your main character, and they need an abundance of problems.
When you have all of this together, start making an outline. Then keep taking your outline to the next level until you can come up with a scene list. 
Read other books in your genre and outline them. I started out outlining Agatha Christie and was amazed how every character had a secret. I'm no Agatha, but I learned so much from her!
In Oh Holy Fright, I started with a crime story. (spoiler alert) I read about a mailman in Italy who died, and they found tons of mail in his garage. From there the characters, subplots and mystery progressed.
As I said before, this is oversimplified, but it gives you an idea of how to get started writing your mystery. Good luck!

About the Author
Teresa Trent
Teresa Trent writes humorous cozy mysteries that take place in the small towns of Texas. Her Pecan Bayou Series features Betsy, the town’s helpful hints columnist who seems to spend a lot of time getting out blood stains. Teresa’s Piney Woods Series with Camel Press takes place in an East Texas hotel and features Nora, a redhead with an eye for crime.
Teresa loves to feature other cozy authors and cozy giveaways on her blog.

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card.


Wednesday, November 7, 2018

"The Secluded Village Murders" by Shelly Frome

The Secluded Village Murders
by Shelly Frome

The Secluded Village Murders by Shelly Frome

The Secluded Village Murders by Shelly Frome is currently on tour with Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours. The tour stops here today for an excerpt and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

For another book by this author, please check out my blog post on Murder Run.

For tour guide Emily Ryder, the turning point came on that fatal early morning when her beloved mentor met an untimely death. It’s labeled as an accident and Trooper Dave Roberts is more interested in Emily than in any suspicions over Chris Cooper’s death. For Emily, if Chris hadn’t been the Village Planner and the only man standing in the way of the development of an apartment and entertainment complex in their quaint village of Lydfield, Connecticut, she might have believed it was an accident, but too many pieces didn’t fit.
As Emily heads across the pond for a prescheduled tour of Lydfield’s sister village, Lydfield-in-the-Moor, she discovers that the murderer may be closer than she thought.

Picking up speed, she passed the rows of Victorian houses with their pilastered front porches and attached shutters in homage to last century’s Colonial Revival. She’d grown up here, always lived here except for college and her transatlantic jaunts. But at this moment, her village might as well be a scattering of old photos.
Before she knew it, the rain was beating down harder, her wiper blades barely able to keep up. Among the nagging questions flitting through her mind was how could Miranda Shaw have suddenly gotten wind of her leaking roof? Or did somebody just put her up to it, to get Chris rushing pell- mell in the rain so he would . . .
Emily eased her foot off the pedal, barely able to see through the downpour. She switched the wipers on high and kept her eyes on the road, intent on avoiding an accident.
Minutes later, she pulled into Miranda Shaw’s place at a slow but steady crawl. As she reached the circular drive, straining her eyes through the thwacking blades, she peered up two stories above the stone archway.
There she caught sight of the familiar gangly figure climbing higher toward the peak of an eight-sided turret. At a point where the grayish-blue slate, copper flashing, and a mullioned window merged, the figure suddenly became a shuddering blur.
Emily honked her horn, blasting as loud as she could. But it was too late. The figure flopped over and slid down the turret, glanced off the aluminum ladder and toppled like a broken doll.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]

Praise for the Book
“The author had a great way of creating developed characters that felt like people you know and see around - which made the twist at the end all the more sweet. Especially with the dialogue! Those familiar with small-town Connecticut will appreciate the setting and find it familiar. All the right details are there to figure out the mystery - will you figure it out before the end? Highly recommend.” ~ Olivia Earnshaw
“I would call this an oddball mystery. The wit is dry and obscure. Clues are hidden in plain sight, if you are clever enough to notice them. I would not recommend trying to read this and another book at the same time. This mystery requires focus. I enjoyed it.” ~ Laura S Reading
“I really enjoyed this British cozy with the twist of having a young American as the amateur sleuth. The characters were well written, the setting sounded divine and the story had plenty of twists and turns.” ~ Mary Nickell
“If you prefer your murder mysteries to have more twists and turns than a steep mountain trail, The Secluded Village Murders is just what you’re looking for.” ~ R. V. Helms
“This is a classic British mystery in the great tradition of British mysteries. […] This had a very lovely setting, nice characters and a good plot. I enjoyed this new mystery and look forward to further work by this author. […] A enjoyable read!” ~ M. Davis

About the Author
Shelly Frome
Shelly Frome is a member of Mystery Writers of America, a professor of dramatic arts emeritus at the University of Connecticut, a former professional actor, a writer of crime novels and books on theater and film. He is also a features writer for Gannett Media. His fiction includes Sun Dance forAndy Horn, Lilac Moon, Twilight of the Drifter, Tinseltown Riff, Murder Run, and The Secluded Village Murders. Among his works of non-fiction are The Actors Studio and texts on The Art and Craft of Screenwriting and writing for the stage. He lives in Black Mountain, North Carolina.

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $20 Amazon gift card.


Thursday, November 1, 2018

"Back Stabbers" by Julie Mulhern

Back Stabbers
(The Country Club Murders Book 8)
by Julie Mulhern

Back Stabbers (The Country Club Murders Book 8) by Julie Mulhern

Back Stabbers is the eighth book in Julie Mulhern's Country Club Murders series set in the 1970s. Also available: The Deep End (read my blog post), Guaranteed to Bleed, Clouds in My Coffee, Send in the Clowns, Watching the Detectives (read my blog post), Cold as Ice (read my blog post), and Shadow Dancing (read my blog post).

Back Stabbers is currently on tour with Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours. The tour stops here today for an excerpt and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

All Ellison Russell wanted was an update on her stock portfolio. Instead, she found her broker dead.
With an unexpected out-of-town guest at her house, Ellison is too busy for a murder investigation. Only this time, Detective Anarchy Jones wants her help, and she can’t deny the handsome detective. Can Mr. Coffee supply her with enough caffeine to keep her brain sharp and everyone else happy?
Juggling bodies (one, two, three, four), two-faced friends, her social calendar, and a cat (yes, a cat) is taxing but Mother might be the biggest challenge of all.
With a killer drawing closer, can Ellison put together the pieces or will she be the one getting stabbed in the back?

March, 1975
Kansas City, Missouri
The woman in the chair opposite me was hacking up a lung.
If the sick woman died, Mother would have a conniption fit.
Not because the poor woman was dead. No, Mother would be upset I’d been present at her passing. Mother took a dim view of death. She took a dimmer view of my unfortunate habit of stumbling over bodies.
I glanced at my watch. My broker, Winthrop Marshall, had kept me waiting for nearly thirty minutes.
The woman’s eyes streamed. Her nose ran like a faucet. Overwhelmed by her cold, she didn’t cover her mouth when she coughed.
Cough, cough.
I sympathized. I did. But the woman should have stayed home. In bed. With chicken soup, a bottle of 7UP, a box of Kleenex, and a gross of cold pills.
I abandoned the leather club chair (where I sat) and the most recent copy of Barron’s (where I’d found nothing of interest—the magazine had no fashion stories and probably didn’t even block the woman’s germs) and approached the receptionist’s desk.
“I’d like to wait someplace else.” I said.
The receptionist, an exceedingly pretty woman with very white teeth, donned a I-know-you’ve-been-waiting-with-the-plague-but-there’s-nothing-I-can-do smile. “I’m sorry. We don’t have another waiting area but—” her smile grew brighter “—Mr. Marshall should arrive momentarily.”
Winthrop wasn’t even here? That meant his office was empty.
Cough, cough. COUGH!
“Either I wait in Winthrop’s office, or I’m leaving.”
The receptionist eyed the germ (masquerading as a woman) who was busily infecting the brokerage’s elegant waiting room. A wrinkle marred her pretty brow. “I can check with his assistant.”
“Please do.” I stood at the front desk (as far from the sick woman as possible) and waited.
I did not tap my fingers against the high polish of the receptionist’s desk as Mother would have. I did not dig in my purse for a travel pack of tissues as my housekeeper, Aggie DeLucci, would have (then she’d have given them to the sick woman). I did not roll my eyes as Grace, my daughter, would have. I simply fixed a polite but firm smile on my face.
The receptionist pushed a button on what looked like a very complicated switchboard. “Debbie, Mrs. Russell would like to wait in Mr. Marshall’s office.” She glanced (more of a glare) at the coughing woman and lowered her voice to a whisper. “There’s a sick woman up front.”
Cough, cough.
She listened, glanced at me, and manufactured a small smile of her own. “She insists. If she can’t wait in his office, she’ll reschedule.”
She listened again. “Debbie will be right out.”
Winthrop Marshall’s assistant appeared a moment later. Debbie, another exceedingly pretty young woman, had bouncy blonde hair, bright blue eyes, and vivid red lipstick. She wore a dress so short that I hoped, for her sake, she never dropped anything—bending over would give anyone watching a view of everything God gave her.
In her shoes, working for Winthrop as she did, I would have worn a nun’s habit. As it was, I wore pants and a turtleneck sweater in the most serious shade of gray I could find.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]

Praise for the Book
“Fast paced and with wonderfully descriptive details of the era, the multiple plotlines weave together smoothly and in such an enjoyable way.” ~ Laura’s Interests
“I love the series. Ellison is a precious personality; although born into wealth and married into wealth and raised by a very ‘upper-class disdainful’ mother, she is very much an ‘at-home’, loving, compassionate and generous individual, an artist, and a devoted mother and dog lover.” ~ Mallory Heart’s Cozies
Back Stabbers is well-written, well-paced, and includes an occasional touch of humor.” ~ Christa Reads and Writes
“With life getting crazy outside of the mystery hunting, Ellison reminds me of why I love moms that are strong and smart in novels. This latest mystery brings out the best thus far in Ellison and I wouldn’t miss reading this one for the world.” ~ Bibliophile Reviews
“Narrated from Ellison’s first person perspective, the novel is quick-paced and enjoyable, with lots of sleuthing and jumping around.” ~ Nadaness In Motion
“I love going back to this time frame where people talked and not texted it was such fun!” ~ Community Bookstop

About the Author
Julie MulhernJulie Mulhern is the USA Today bestselling author of The Country Club Murders. She is a Kansas City native who grew up on a steady diet of Agatha Christie. She spends her spare time whipping up gourmet meals for her family, working out at the gym, and finding new ways to keep her house spotlessly clean - and she's got an active imagination. Truth is - she's an expert at calling for take-out, she grumbles about walking the dog, and the dust bunnies under the bed have grown into dust lions.

Enter the giveaway for a chance to win a signed print copy of Back Stabbers by Julie Mulhern (US only).