Tuesday, December 18, 2018

And the winner is . . .


Congratulations to Pam Flynn, the winner of Murder on Cape Cod by Maddie Day. Plus as a special Holiday event, there's a second winner. 

Congratulations to Liz Caldwell, the second winner.

Special thanks to author Maddie Day for her cooperation.

For a review of Murder on Cape Cod, click here.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Let the Dead Keep Their Secrets

Being a vulnerable heiress in 1889 could lead to death. Prudence Mackenzie and her ex-Pinkerton detective partner Geoffrey Hunter are hired to investigate the death of an opera singer’s twin sister. In Let the Dead Keep Their Secrets by Rosemary Simpson, Claire Buchanan shows the detectives a postmortem cabinet photo of her late sister Catherine.

Claire and her sister Catherine were very close as girls, but when Catherine quickly married Aaron Sorensen, he cut them off from each other. Before she knew it, Catherine was pregnant, then died along with her one-day-old child. Claire cannot accept that her sister would cut her off and doesn't believe her death was natural.

She hires Mackenzie and Hunter to find the truth. They start with the postmortem photographs, a morbid trend in the late 1880s. With the aide of their friend journalist and photographer Jacob Riis, they discover how the eyes of the deceased are made to look real. What they also discover stuns them. 

They find small blood vessel ruptures in the eyes which in many cases is indicative of suffocation.
They soon discover the new widower has quickly remarried and his current wife, a heiress, is very pregnant, and possibly in danger. 

An aside about postmortem photos. They were very popular and some photographers specialized in this type of photography. Photographers were usually called by family members when the person was near death so they could be posed before rigor mortis set in. In this book the photographer Bartholomew Monroe and his sister are well known for their work. But Monroe is completely obsessed with capturing the soul leaving the body and has been accused of helping along some of his clients.

As they continue to investigate, they find a murderous fortune hunter who marries then kills his new wives. Add to the mix a mentally unbalanced death photographer and you have a potent mystery.

An excellent book with a unique take on fortune hunting con men. 

Friday, December 14, 2018

Just in Time

The Etonville Little Theatre joins forces with the Creston Players to perform Bye, Bye Birdie and Dodie plans to coordinate her menus to the musical. In Just in Time by Suzanne Trauth, Dodie's Windjammer Restaurant is presenting themed meals including a pre-show picnic that could put Etonville, New Jersey on the map.

Rehearsals seem to be running smoothly except for a new romance between lead actress Lola Tripper and lead actor Dale Undershot Lola's former love Walter Zeitman is the ELT director and he seems disturbed by the new romance. Dodie wants to help, but she has her hands full at the restaurant.

Her boss Henry was coerced into hiring a newly minted sous chief named Wilson. Wilson has excellent credentials, but he has the unfortunate fault - he is clumsy and drops and spills things - especially when Henry is around. Wilson has an outsized personality and everyone loves him despite his clumsiness.

Before the show opens, the rehearsal accompanist Ruby is found dead in her car. She had been a grumpy, chain-smoking pest, but according to the cast,
a musical savant. At first her death is thought to be cased by accidental carbon monoxide poisoning, but a second look shows someone deliberately cut the pipe to expose Ruby to the fumes. But why would someone kill a seventy-year-old piano accompanist?

Despite being cautioned by her Police Chief to stay out of it, Dodie is knee deep in trying to solve Ruby's death. Before she knows it, she is in serious danger.

The interplay with Dodie and Wilson is hysterical and promises more funny antics in future books

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Lady Helena Investigates

When Lady Helena's husband Justin dies, she is thrust into managing his estate. In Lady Helena Investigates by Jane Steen, Lady Helena is being pressured by her brother to let him manage her estate. She knows most women virtually have no power, but widows have some power until they remarry. That stiffens her desire to manage the estate.

Justin's sudden death appears at first to be an unfortunate accident. He was thought to have slipped into the river while trying to save a ram. When a young French physician named Armand Fortier, Justin's private physician, comes to call on Lady Helena he dispenses a theory that shakes Helena to her core.

He tells her he is not sure Sir Justin's death was an accident. Dr. Fortier had examined the body and found bruising around his face, neck and upper torso, not consistent with a slip and fall into the river. Dr. Fortier believes Sir Justin might have struggled with someone and had been held down in the water and purposely
drowned.

Lady Helena is shocked and unsure what to do next as she is still in mourning. To take her mind off her loss, she tries to revive her interest in her mother's herbalism.  Reading through her mother's journal leads her to some disturbing secrets about her family and the truth about her husband's death.

An excellent first novel in the Scott-DeQuincy family series.

Purchase link 

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Interview with Betty Hechtman

What is the title of your newest book? How many books have you published?
My newest book is Hooks Can be Deceiving and it came out this week. It was a lot of fun to
write and I was thrilled to see the good review from Publisher's Weekly. "A lively ensemble cast led by Molly Pink, assistant manager of Shedd & Royal Books in Tarzana, Calif. lifts Hechtman's entertaining well paced 13th Crochet Mystery." It's the twentieth book I have published.
There are excerpts of all my books on my website BettyHechtman.com

How did you develop your character and choose your location?
I picked the Monterey Peninsula for the Yarn Retreat series because I love it there and it's an excuse to keep making trips. Casey Feldstein just showed up in my imagination and started telling her story. The Crochet series takes place in Tarzana which is where I live, though I created a lot of the stores and changed the names of some of the real places. Molly just kind of showed up as well. After a while the characters just start talking and at seems say things that totally surprise me.

What is a day in the life of an author like? Do you write a certain number of words, do you write in the morning or evening?
I find I write best in the morning, but sometimes other commitments get in the way. But when I have a deadline I work all day into the night. I don't have a quota of words and often will start by writing on a yellow legal pad. Supposedly you use a different part of your brain when you hand write. The words seem to tumble out when I hand write.

Do you model your character after yourself or any one you know?
I do have some qualities in common with Casey. I have done a lot of different types of jobs and tried all kinds of crazy things like taking tap dancing and a magic class. There are people who think Molly resembles me, but she is younger and braver than I am. We do share nosiness in common.

If your books were made into a movie, who would you want to play the lead character?
I think Jenna Fischer would be great as Casey and I'd love Julia Roberts to play Molly.

Who is your favorite author?
It keeps changing. Right now I'm reading Mary Poppins.

If you could invite five people – living or dead – to a dinner party, who would they be?
Agatha Christie, Princess Diana, Michelle Obama, Oprah and Florence Atwater, my high school French teacher who wrote Mr. Popper's Penguins

If you could not be an author, what would like to do as a career?
Maybe a dessert chef like Casey or work in a bookstore. I love to bake and I would totally enjoy spending my days surrounded by books.

BettyHechtman.com
Hooks Can Be Deceiving (Crochet Mystery #13)
Inherit the Wool (Yarn Retreat Mystery #6)
On the Hook (Crochet Mystery #12)
FB: Betty Hechtman Author
killerhobbies.blogspot.com Fridays

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Murder on Cape Cod

A new series from Maddie Day is set on Cape Cod. In Murder on Cape Cod, the first in the Cozy Capers Book Group Mysteries, Mackenzie “Mac” Almeida’s bicycle shop is ready for the influx of summer tourists. Being located in the quaint, seaside hamlet of Westham, Massachusetts, the bike shop is in the perfect spot for summer fun.

Returning home one evening, Mac stumbles across the body of Jake Lacey, a down-on-his-luck handyman. To Mac's dismay, she recognizes the knife used to stab Jake. It or something like it belongs to her brother and he soon becomes a suspect.

Mac’s only experience with murder investigations is limited to the
cozy mysteries she reads with her local book group, the Cozy Capers. To clear her brother’s name, Mac asks her mystery book club for assistance in solving the case. Many of the members have opinions, some just want to meet Louise Penny.

For a chance to win a copy of Murder on Cape Cod, click here a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, December 10, 2018

A Day on Cape Cod with Maddie Day and a Giveaway

Welcome to a new series by Maddie Day (or Edith Maxwell as many of you know her). There's also a chance to win a copy of Murder on Cape Cod in a giveaway at the end of the interview, so be sure to enter. 

Why is Cape Cod a good setting for your new series?
Cape Cod is a nationally known attraction in the Northeast with something for everyone. It’s a
popular destination for its beaches, natural seacoast beauty, lighthouses, and iconic shops. Couples flock there to get married. Photographers appreciate the unique light. Artists and writers find solitude and community to produce their work. Nature lovers explore the wide variety of birds, other wildlife, ponds, and shorelines. Families visit in the summer to get away from the city. There are many historic sites to visit, and the Mashpee Wampanoag Indians are also located on the Cape.

Tell me about your experience on the Cape.
Because I live on the New Hampshire border, as far north in Massachusetts as the Cape is south, I don’t venture down there in the summer. Instead I rent a Quaker retreat cottage in West Falmouth during the off season for solo

writing retreats. I walk on the Shining Sea bike trail or rent a bike and tool around. I watch the ospreys fish and generally soak up the delectable sights, sounds, and smells of a coastal town. I staged my fictional town of Westham somewhere near there.

Why a bike mechanic protagonist and how does that work with the setting?
I’m always looking for an unusual occupation for a cozy protagonist. Because the Cape is generally flat, lots of people bike, so I knew Mac Almeida would have repair customers year round, not just during tourist season. Being a local business owner makes her a regular in the book group, too.

How did you choose Cape Verde Island as the character’s ancestry?
I knew that a number of people with Cape Verdean ancestry live on the Cape year round, and I have some familiarity with the language (I speak Portuguese and it’s a partly Portuguese Creole). The echo of “Cape” matches, too, and I thought, why not?

Love the Book Club reading only cozies. How will they be involved in future books? Will they
ever meet Louise Penny?
Ooh – great question! I don’t know if Louise will vacation on the Cape, but she might, or maybe the Wicked Authors will go on retreat there and help solve a crime. The Cozy Capers will certainly be involved in every investigation.

What are your plans for the future of the series?
Book two, Murder at the Taffy Shop, is complete and submitted. It takes place during the height of the tourist season in August. Book three will take place in early fall but I’m not yet sure what’s going to happen. I hope to have contract renewal after that.

The book releases December 18 in a paperback exclusive from Barnes & Noble. It will rerelease a year later in all formats on all platforms. This is an experimental deal between B&N and Kensington and none of us is quite sure how it will fly. In the meantime, I’d love to give away a signed copy to one commenter here today.

Readers: Where’s your favorite waterside getaway? Do you ever rent bikes and ride along the shore? What about book groups? Love ‘em? Hate ‘em? Dish!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Agatha- and Macavity-nominated Edith Maxwell writes the Quaker Midwife Mysteries, the Local Foods Mysteries, and award-winning short crime fiction. As Maddie Day she writes the Country Store Mysteries and the Cozy Capers Book Group Mysteries. Maxwell lives north of Boston with her beau and two elderly cats, and gardens and cooks when she isn’t wasting time on Facebook. Please find her at the Wicked Authors, on Killer Characters and her web site, and on social media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MaddieDayAuthor/
twitter: @MaddieDayAuthor
Instagram: MaddieDayAuthor


Friday, December 7, 2018

Inherit the Wool

Yarn retreat business owner, part-time magician's assistant and community baker Casey Feldman does the worst thing you can do to yourself - invite your long-lost college friends to town for a reunion/yarn retreat. In Inherit the Wool by Betty Hechtman, Casey has inherited her aunt's yarn retreat business along with her house in beautiful Cadbury by the Sea, California.

She holds her retreats in the very rustic Vista Del Mar resort. Many visitors are shocked to learn there is no WIFI, no cell service and no TV. Needless to say this does not go over well with some of Casey's high-powered college friends.

When she meets up with her friends again Casey's feelings of inadequacy are increased by business owner Vanessa Peyton who owns a chain of car dealerships; Courtney Arlington, a high powered attorney; Lauren Clark, a fundraiser for good causes;  Elizabeth Bronsky, only a little more neurotic about her state in life than Casey and an unknown guest.

When the guest arrives, it turns out to be a guy they all knew who now is a journalist. He claims he was invited to the retreat to be part of a news scoop. No one admits to luring him to the retreat and he happily joins the knitters waiting to see what happens. Tensions are high without total access to their smartphones, but Casey convinces them that knitting will relieve the stress.

A bomb scare at the resort empties the building, but when Casey returns, she finds the body of Vanessa slumped on the ground. The doctor rules it a heart attack but Casey's policeman sort of boyfriend hears rumors about air bubbles in the victim's bloodstream.

Because of her past crime investigating experience, Casey jumps right in trying to figure out who the killer is. There are some very funny scenes with Lieutenant Theodore Borgnine, especially when he pretends to teach the suspects how to meditate.

All in all a very entertaining book and I look forward to others in the series. I might even pick up knitting again.

Purchase link

Thursday, December 6, 2018

The Mystery of Three Quarters

Hercule Poirot has returned from an excellent lunch to be confronted by a very irate Sylvia Rule. In The Mystery of Three Quarters by Sophie Hannah, Ms. Rule is waving a letter in his face that accuses her of murdering Barnabas Pandy, claiming she doesn't know who Barnabas Pandy is.

A stumped Poirot cannot understand how this horrible mistake has occurred. When three other accuse him of the same "crime", M. Poirot uses his little gray cells to discover first, who sent the letters, second, who was murdered and third, who is the murderer.

But there is also trouble brewing at one of Poirot's favorite spots - Pleasant's Coffee House. Run by a young woman with the unlikely name of Euphemia Springs, or Fee, as she asked to be called. Poirot always enjoys her excellent coffee and delightful cake, but it seems someone has stolen the recipe for Church Window Cake, Fee's special family recipe.

Besides being tasked to discover who stole Fee's recipe, M. Poirot
also needs to find Barnabas Pandy and determine if he was murdered or not. At the coffee house, Poirot meets a young man named Hugo Dockerill, who it seems, also received a letter declaring him a murdered, but he, in fact, knows this Barnabas Pandy. He tells Poirot that Pandy was nearly one hundred years old and he drowned in his bathtub recently.

This leads M. Poirot on a merry chase to discover if a crime was committed. As it turns out, there was a crime committed, but not the one everyone is accused of.

Another exceptional novel by Agatha Christie - not really - but Sophie Hannah does a great impersonation of the Grand Dame.

Purchase link

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Interview with Jane Steen

What is the title of your newest book? How many books have you published?
My latest book is Lady Helena Investigates, the first in a new series called The Scott-De Quincy
Mysteries. I’ve also published three books in the House of Closed Doors series.

How did you develop your character and choose your location?
My inspirations usually begin with a location. I see or read of a place where I’d love to set a story, and somehow characters walk into that location and start talking to each other in my head. If they stick around long enough I know I have the basis for a book, so then I start trying to write something. Character development is quite a long process; it happens mostly during the first draft although I’ll often go back and flesh out the background of key characters, especially the villains. I rewrite a lot so the characters become more complex as the drafts progress.

What is a day in the life of an author like? Do you write a certain number of words, do you write in the morning or evening?
I tend to start writing toward the later part of the afternoon; I reserve the earlier part of the day for my writing business and all the other things I have to do. That’s the opposite way round from most writers, but once I start writing I find I can’t tackle all the practical stuff and that has led to some horrendous admin backlogs. I’ve tried writing a set number of words but my life is quite full and some days I wouldn’t be able to hit targets. I’ve found it’s easier just to resolve to keep writing, and to track my progress. My fans motivate me by asking for more books.

Do you model your character after yourself or any one you know?
My characters come from all sorts of sources. I might give them an appearance that suits their story, or I might have been inspired by someone I’ve met. Their personality traits come from lots of different people I’ve observed over the years. I would never copy somebody directly from life; that would feel very odd.

If your books were made into a movie, who would you want to play the lead character?
I’m not very good at remembering actors so I rarely connect my characters to them. Besides, what I’d really want to do would be to make some unknown or minor actors into stars—much more fun than using big names, although it would be fun to have a major actor play a villain. I’d love to be an advisor during the casting process. I remember following Diana Gabaldon’s Facebook page when they were casting for Outlander and it was amazing to see two fresh faces turning into Claire and Jamie.

Who is your favorite author?
Golden Age detective mystery writer Dorothy L. Sayers. I fell in love with her books in my teens, as my school library had the whole set. I adored the elements of an aristocratic family saga, and that has directly influenced Lady Helena Investigates.

If you could invite five people – living or dead – to a dinner party, who would they be?
Dorothy L. Sayers, of course! Queen Victoria, so I could watch her eat—supposedly she was quite greedy and ate very fast. Classics professor and blogger Mary Beard, as moderator of the conversation. Lord Byron, because a good dinner party needs some eye candy and I think he was probably quite funny. Benedict Cumberbatch, so I could get a selfie to send to a friend who’s nuts about him. I think that combination of guests would either start a riot or lead to the world’s best evening, and either way I’d enjoy watching.

If you could not be an author, what would like to do as a career?
At my time of life I might be tempted to fall back on retirement, although I’d keep myself very busy with volunteering for several good causes I wish I had more time for. I’d also raise money by long-distance walking. If I had to work I think I’d look for a job connected with garden design or horticulture, because I adore plants. In all of these circumstances I think I’d launch a blog or website and try to monetize it, or start up a related business. Once an entrepreneur, always an entrepreneur, and I’m completely hooked on being my own boss.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Steamed Open

When an elderly neighbor, Heloise Herrickson dies and her heir decides to cut off access to the beach, everyone in Busman's Harbor, Maine, is worried about their business and their recreation opportunities. Most of all Julia Snowden is concerned about her Clambake Company's ability to get the staple of their cookouts - clams - with the beach access closed. (Steamed Open will be released on December 18 by Kensington Publishing.)

Clammers, locals and tourists alike are outraged when they discover a chain link gate across Herrickson Point, the access to the beach. The sign calling out Private Property means business. When Julia discovers the heir to the property is responsible for the fence, she sets out to change his mind.

Despite her urging Batholomew Frick keeps the gate closed and prohibits access, but shortly after Julia speaks with him, he is found dead. Not a good sign being the last to see the victim alive. Especially when he is dead with a clam rake stabbed into his neck.

Julia knows other clammers from surrounding areas can provide her with clams for a short time, but she knows the local beach needs to be open again. As Julia investigates, she finds many suspects. Included among them is a couple who have a reservation at the lighthouse near the beach, but they cannot drive their RV to the lighthouse because the local access is blocked by the fence.

When Julia discovers a connection between one of the locals and Heloise Herrickson, she probes deeper to discover who the murderer is.

You will feel the warm Maine sun and smell the ocean breeze and the clambake while you are reading this. I think a trip to Maine might be appropriate. I always crave Maine seafood when I read this series.

Pre-order purchase link

Monday, December 3, 2018

Back from the Cruise - Giveaways Announced


Congratulations to the winners of the giveaway while MapYourMystery was on the cruise.

Special thanks to the authors: Maddie Day (Edith Maxwell), Linda Wiken, Isis Crawford, C.Michele Dorsey, Cheryl Hollon, David Burnsworth, V.M. Burns and Wendy Tyson for their books. 

Book 1 winner: Candace Knight (Death Over Easy)
Book 2 winner: Sheryl Holden (Marinating in Murder)
Book 3 winner: Rita Pacchiana (A Catered Cat Wedding)
Book 4 winner: Deb (No Virgin Island)
Book 5 winner: Kara Marks (Shattered at Sea)
Book 6 winner: Dianne Nickel Casey (Read Herring Hunt)
Book 7 winner: Rowe (Bad Time To Be In It)
Book 8 winner: Jenne Turner (Rooted in Deceit)

Please email me your address at MapYourMystery@gmail.com. 

If I don't hear from you by Friday, December 7, I will have to draw another name. 

Thanks again to everyone who entered and keep reading MapYourMystery.com 

Friday, November 30, 2018

Book #8 Giveaway - Rooted in Deceit


Comment below to enter: What is your vegetable? and win a copy of Rooted in Deceit by Wendy Tyson. Then go to the MapYourMystery Facebook page to enter again. Each comment (blog and Facebook) is eligible for one entry. U.S. and Canada only.

Giveaway will be open until November 30, with a new book being posted each day. Be sure to enter them all!

For a review of Rooted in Deceit by Wendy Tyson, click here.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Book #7 Giveaway - Bad Time to Be In It



Comment below to enter: Who is your favorite troublemaker friend? and win a copy of Bad Time to Be in It by David BurnsworthThen go to the MapYourMystery Facebook page to enter again. Each comment (blog and Facebook) is eligible for one entry.

Giveaway will be open until November 30, with a new book being posted each day. Be sure to enter them all!

For a review of Bad Time to Be In It by David Burnsworth, click here.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Interview with Nancy West

What is the title of your newest book? How many books have you published?
Thanks for having me on Map Your Mystery!
My sixth book, The Plunge, the first Aggie Mundeen Lake Mystery, debuts in October, 2018.

Aggie Mundeen goes with love interest, San Antonio Detective Sam Vanderhoven to spend the weekend taking care of a friend’s lakeside cottage on Lake Placid, a retreat on the Guadalupe River in Central Texas. Sam will discretely investigate the theft of his friend’s boat.

Buckets of rain and gusting winds roil the lake, turning the peaceful, shady Guadalupe into an angry, raging river. After dark, lightning highlights two people arguing on a dock across the river. When lightning flashes again, they are gone. Do Aggie and Sam witness an accident? A drowning? A murder?

The Plunge infects readers with the threat of looming disaster and the helplessness of being swept along by an untamable force. Do survivors really survive if disaster changes them forever? Filled with suspense and fear, The Plunge, A Lake Mystery, takes Aggie in a new direction.

How did you develop your character and choose your location?
My books are set in Central Texas. Many types of people fill the state, which provides me with a great source of endless stories and a variety of characters in distinctive settings.

My first novel, Nine Days in Evil, was mystery/suspense. In the story, Aggie’s friend Meredith, a young San Antonio graduate student, faces a life threatening dilemma. Aggie pops up in Meredith’s class and wants to help. This was my first acquaintance with Aggie Mundeen. With her wry sense of humor and eager determination, she captivated me and insisted that I write about her. Four Aggie Mundeen cozy mysteries followed, Fit to Be Dead, Dang Near Dead, Smart but Dead and River City Dead, each one the winner or nominee for an award. Aggie matured and changed, and I wanted to stretch myself as a writer and try new things. So I delved into a catastrophe I personally experienced in The Plunge, A Lake Mystery.

What is a day in the life of an author like? Do you write a certain number of words, do you write in the morning or evening?
I have a large family and they come first in my life, so I go days without writing. But I’m always thinking about the story I’m working on. I set personal deadlines based on how many full writing days I can count on each week.

I research a new book for two-to-three months. The following month, I’ll make a general outline for the book, write the first draft and set it aside. After two weeks of trying to stay away from the book, I revisit the manuscript and start revising. Once the story is in the best shape I can produce, I submit it to the editor.

My writing days are long, ten to twelve hours. I like to immerse myself in my characters’ world while I’m telling their story.

Do you belong to a writers group or are you in touch with other writers? How does that help your writing?
I belong to Sisters in Crime, its Guppy Chapter, and the Writers’ League of Texas. I benefit most from learning about resources: publishers, agents, online media, new books, and creative ways to structure books. Sometimes I take classes from these organizations. Sometimes I teach a class. When I can, I critique other writers’ manuscripts anonymously, which is a great learning experience. I LOVE going to writer and fan conferences where I can talk shop with writers and readers. In my reading club, I read and review a book each year and listen to twenty-six other reviewers offer their impressions of books.

Do you model your character after yourself or any one you know?
All writers’ characters are based on a combination of people we know. Personal experiences, those of others, and situations we read about, sprinkled with imagination, make their way into our stories in some form.

If your books were made into a movie, who would you want to play the lead character?
For the cozies, it would be “Miss Congeniality’s” Sandra Bullock, or someone with her doggedness and capacity for humor. But just as Ms. Bullock developed her acting breadth from comedy to serious roles, Aggie matured and developed a secure sense of self, so her future stories will be more substantive. Her wry sense of humor, however, will undoubtedly slip in.

I’ve written a few short stories with completely different characters and am obsessed with an idea for a stand-a-lone contemporary novel that will be different from my previous books.

Who is your favorite author?
I have several: G. M. Malliet, James W. Ziskin, William Kent Krueger, David Baldacci, Elizabeth George, John Grisham, Ken Follett and Alan Eskin. I also like Jodi Picoult, Celeste Ng and Catherine Ryan Hyde.

How do you keep track of character details from book to book so they are consistent?
For my main characters, I keep a list of their physical and emotional states, frequently revealed in dialogue. My supporting characters rarely reappear in other books because they are indigenous to the setting for that book. Each cozy mystery, for example, is set in a specific Texas locale: a university, a dude ranch, a fitness club, and the San Antonio River Walk. Aggie, originally from Chicago, gets to react to and interact with these distinctive Texas types. If I’m particularly fascinated by a character, they are more apt to reappear in a future story.

If you could not be an author, what would like to do as a career?
Writers don’t really have a choice. We have to write. If I couldn’t write fiction, I’d probably write copy for an advertising firm. With the single goal of making money, I’d sell real estate. But then I would have to write about it.


Thanks for the great questions. You made me think about my answers.

--

Christine Gentes

MapYourMystery.com

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Book #6 Giveaway - Read Herring Hunt



Comment below to enter: What is the title of your favorite book? and win a copy of Read Herring Hunt by V.M. Burns. Then go to the MapYourMystery Facebook page to enter again. Each comment (blog and Facebook) is eligible for one entry. U.S. and Canada only

Giveaway will be open until November 30, with a new book being posted each day. Be sure to enter them all!

For a review of Read Herring Hunt by V.M. Burns, click here.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Book #5 Giveaway - Shattered at Sea



Comment below to enter: What is your favorite cruise destination? and win a copy of Shattered at Sea by Cheryl Hollon. Then go to the MapYourMystery Facebook page to enter again. Each comment (blog and Facebook) is eligible for one entry. U.S. and Canada only

Giveaway will be open until November 30, with a new book being posted each day. Be sure to enter them all!

For a review of Shattered at Sea by Cheryl Hollon, click here.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Book #4 Giveaway - No Virgin Island


Comment below to enter: Do you drink Virgin Bloody Marys or Regular Bloody Marys? and enter to win a copy of No Virgin Island by C. Michele Dorsey.Then go to the MapYourMystery Facebook page to enter again. Each comment (blog and Facebook) is eligible for one entry. U.S. and Canada only.

Giveaway will be open until November 30, with a new book being posted each day. Be sure to enter them all!

For a review of No Virgin Island by C. Michele Dorsey, click here.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Book #3 Giveaway - Catered Cat Wedding



Comment below to enter: If you got married again would you elope or have a catered wedding? and win a copy of A Catered Cat Wedding by Isis Crawford. Then go to the MapYourMystery Facebook page to enter again. Each comment (blog and Facebook) is eligible for one entry. U.S. and Canada only.

Giveaway will be open until November 30, with a new book being posted each day. Be sure to enter them all!

For a review of Catered Cat Wedding by Isis Crawford, click here.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Interview with Anna Lee Huber


What is the title of your newest book? How many books have you published?
My latest release is Treacherous is the Night, the second novel in my Verity Kent Mystery series. It is my tenth published book.

How did you develop your character and choose your location?
My heroine, Verity Kent, developed from my desire to write about the amazing women who worked for the British Secret Service during the First World War. WWI has long interested me, and the role of women who served in various roles, often with little acknowledgement, throughout the conflict.

What is a day in the life of an author like? Do you write a certain number of words, do you write in the morning or evening? 
Totally glamorous. Not really. I’m also the mother of two girls under the age of five, so my day revolves around them more than anything. My mother babysits for several hours a day several days a week, and my husband and I split the other work hours evenly. We both work from home, making that possible. I aim to write a certain number of words per week, and usually prefer to write in the morning. But I often write in the evening after the girls are in bed as well, especially when a deadline is looming.

Do you belong to a writers group or are you in touch with other writers? How does that help your writing?
I have a number of writing friends who write in various genres, so I sometimes bounce ideas off of them, or simply chat with them to vent. It helps to have friends who understand exactly what it means to be a working writer when most people have false perceptions of what that really means. We all help support each other with promotional efforts.

Do you model your character after yourself or any one you know?
I never model my characters off of someone I know. My imagination simply doesn’t work that way. But I do sometimes use quirks or mannerisms, or specific physical attributes from the people around me to help give my characters added depth.

If your books were made into a movie, who would you want to play the lead character?
I always have trouble casting my heroines. Maybe because I write in first person, so I’m in their heads and don’t view them from the outside. My heroes are a little easier. I imagine Sebastian Gage (from the Lady Darby series) looking a bit like a cross between Rupert Penry-Jones and Simon Baker. In the Verity Kent series, Max is a bit like Tom Hiddleston, and Sidney is a bit like Aidan Turner.

Who is your favorite author?
My all-time favorite author is Mary Stewart. I adore her romantic suspense novels.

How do you keep track of character details from book to book so they are consistent? I keep a series notebook where I note down character details – physical descriptions, birth dates, relationships, hobbies, traits, even statements they’ve made in the past.

If you could not be an author, what would like to do as a career?
My degree is in Music, so probably something in that field. I also almost went back to school a few years ago to get my Masters in Speech and Language Pathology, so that’s another possibility.


Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Book #2 Giveaway - Marinating in Murder


Comment below to enter: What's your favorite marinade? and win a copy of Marinating in Murder by Linda Wiken. Then go to the MapYourMystery Facebook page to enter again. Each comment (blog and Facebook) is eligible for one entry. U.S. and Canada only.

Giveaway will be open until November 30, with a new book being posted each day. Be sure to enter them all!

For a review of Marinating in Murder by Linda Wiken, click here.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Book #1 Giveaway - Death Over Easy


Comment below to enter: How do you like your eggs cooked? and win a copy of Death Over Easy by Maddie Day. Then go to the MapYourMystery Facebook page to enter again. Each comment (blog and Facebook) is eligible for one entry. U.S. and Canada only.

Giveaway will be open until November 30, with a new book being posted each day. Be sure to enter them all!

For a review of Death Over Easy by Maddie Day, click here.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Reminder 8 Days of Thanksgiving Giveaways

While MapYourMystery is on a cruise, readers will have a chance to win one of eight different books. Each day a different book will be posted on the MapYourMystery blog and on the MapYourMystery Facebook page from November 19-November 30.

Comment on either or both and have a chance to win. Readers will be chosen randomly after December 1. U.S. and Canada only.


Thursday, November 15, 2018

8 Days of Thanksgiving Giveaway

While MapYourMystery is on a cruise, readers will have a chance to win one of eight different books. Each day a different book will be posted on the MapYourMystery blog and on the MapYourMystery Facebook page from November 19-November 30.

Comment on either or both and have a chance to win. Readers will be chosen randomly after December 1. U.S. and Canada only.


Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Interview with Amanda Flower

What is the title of your newest book? How many books have you published?
My newest title that will release the first week of November is Death and Daisies, this is the second
novel in the Magic Garden Mystery Series set in Scotland. In October, my third Amish Candy Shop Mystery came out called Premeditated Peppermint. With the release of Death and Daisies, I will have twenty-five published novels.

For a review of Premeditated Peppermint, click here.

How did you develop your character and choose your location?
I usually have the location before I have the character. For me setting is sort of like a character in and of itself since they are so important to my stories. When I know where the story will be, the protagonist usually falls into place for me.

What is a day in the life of an author like? Do you write a certain number of words, do you write in the morning or evening? 
I currently work as a full time writer and a full time librarian. On the days that I’m at the library, I try to write two thousand words, and on the days I’m not at the library, I try to write five thousand or more.

Do you belong to a writers group or are you in touch with other writers? How does that help your writing?
I’m a member of Sisters in Crime. Through the organization and through my local chapter, I’ve made many friends and contacts. I would not have been published without the group.

Do you model your character after yourself or any one you know?
All of my characters are from my imagination, but I may get characteristics from real people. However, none of my characters are like any living person.

If your books were made into a movie, who would you want to play the lead character?
I would love for Reese Witherspoon to play any one of my protagonists. My characters tend to be on the quirky side, and I think she would do a good job capturing that.

Who is your favorite author?
I love Heather Blake and Kylie Logan’s books. Both are great mystery authors.

How do you keep track of character details from book to book so they are consistent?
I usually keep a notebook for each series.

If you could not be an author, what would like to do as a career?
I would definitely be a librarian, which I am. I love helping people find the information that they need!

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The Darling Dahlias and the Poinsettia Puzzle

The Darling Dahlias have been among my favorites and this current book keeps them at the top of my list. In The Darling Dahlias and the Poinsettia Puzzle by Susan Wittig Albert, the residents of Darling, Alabama, are competing in a Christmas jigsaw puzzle contest.

As usual there is much going on: Earlynne Biddle and Mildred Kilgore are planning to open a bakery. The only problem is neither of them knows how to bake bread. They can bake all sorts of pastries and sweets, but not bread. They both discover their inability to bake two days before the bakery is set to open.
\
Now the residents of Darling can buy Wonder Bread, but it's days old and even though it comes in evenly sliced loafs, fresh bread is still better. Earlynne and Mildred are surprised by the generosity of their neighbors.

Liz Lacy is still working part-time for attorney Benton Moseley
when she receives a strange phone call. Someone is trying to find a little girl about three years old who disappeared at birth. The caller threatens legal action if the little girl is not surrendered. Liz thinks this little girl sounds like Cupcake, daughter of Violet Sims and Myra May Mosswell, but she wants to wait until she talks to Mr. Moseley before she does anything.

There are other surprises for the residents of Darling as they prepare for the Puzzle Challenge and Liz gets the biggest surprise of all.

Another delightful treat about the people of Darling showing how they manage their lives in a positive manner despite the ups and downs of life in the 1930s.

Purchase link

Monday, November 12, 2018

Fiction Can be Murder

There's nothing more frightening to a mystery writer than having a crime committed in the exact way it does in the manuscript of your latest book. Worse yet, the victim is your agent. In Fiction Can Be Murder by Becky Clark. that's what happens to Charlemagne (Chalee) Russo.

So far the only people who have read the book are the dead agent, Charlee's critique group and her boyfriend. Who among them would kill the super aggressive agent Melinda Walker? The police think it is Charlee - she knows it's not.

Everyone knows Charlee has been having royalty issues and her late agent had been dragging her feet about checking with the publisher. Once the police learn this, they are convinced this was Charlee's motive for murdering Melinda.

Feeling guilty, Charlee takes it upon herself to quiz the various
members of her writers group to learn who could have had a motive to kill Melinda. She tries to get inside information from her brother who is a copy, but a whisper campaign against him is causing people to think he is a dirty cop. This makes him unable to glean any information about the case so she is pretty much on her own.

Charlee has a vivid imagination as many mystery writer do, but sometimes that imagination bumps up against reality and causes problems for her.

Nothing like a Mystery Writer's Mystery to make you laugh out loud. Looking forward to book #2.

Purchase link 

Friday, November 9, 2018

Murder in her Stocking

If you have read the Savannah Reid books and always loved Granny Stella Reid, here's your chance to learn how the Reid gang came to live with Grandma.  Murder in her Stocking by G.A. McKevett begins in present day as Granny Reid meets her newest great-grandchild, then takes us back to the early days of the Reid family's life.

The Reid children live with their party-girl mother while their father is a long distance truck driver who rarely comes home. The oldest child Savannah cares for the children as best she can but the times are hard and money is short. Granny Reid does the best she can, but knows her daughter-in-law Shirley just drinks away the money she receives from her husband.

It's close to Christmas and Stella has knitted hats, gloves and scarves for the children so they will at least have something for Christmas. As the family walks through town heading for the Nativity at the local church, there's a buzz of activity. It's seems someone with a wicked sense of humor and a little art ability has painted handlebar mustaches on all the characters including the Baby Jesus.

Stella has seen this handiwork before and herds the family back home to discuss how to handle the
mess. She rounds up the culprit, nine-year-old Waycross and Savannah and they creep out in the dark of night to rectify the mustache issue, While they are outdoor, they hear a car heading past them and see the Principal Neville's car driving through town. Suddenly they hear a cry of pain, Stella rushes down the street and finds the crumpled, badly injured body of Prissy Carr, the town's fallen woman.

Prissy is not the only victim in the book. Stella's next door neighbor Florence Bagley has been abused by her husband for many years, but refuses to admit it. As Stella tries to unravel the mysterious death of Prissy and help Florence, Savannah shows some early investigative talent and discovers who killed Prissy.

So much early heartache for the Reid children, but all them turned out so well, thanks largely to their grandmother. I look forward to the next book in the Granny Reid series

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Murder at the Mill

Artist Iris Grey needs some time away from her failing marriage and a chance to get her painting mindset back in place. In Murder at the Mill by M.B. Shaw, Iris rents Mill Cottage on the Hampshire property of well-known crime author Dominic Wetherby. (Murder at the Mill will be released on December 4 by Minotaur Books.) 

The cottage, although on the property, is slightly isolated and Iris finds that perfect for her painting and thinking process. Unfortunately the larger than life Wetherby family has other ideas and she finds herself enmeshed in the intrigue surrounding Dom's family. Araidne is the saintly, perfect mother, ever tranquil and calm no matter what the circumstances. Marcus, the eldest, is tightly connected to his mother even though he has a wife and family. Billy, the middle son, has anger issues and recently was released for jail. Lorcan, the youngest, is a teen, but his Down's Syndrome keeps him childlike.

Despite her better judgment, she attends a holiday party on Christmas Eve at the house. The media has dubbed it "The Party of the Year" and have come out in full force to see who was invited and who was not. Saying she will only stay for a brief while. Iris meets the charming old friend of the family - Graham Feeney.

On Christmas Day the youngest child, Lorcan, finds a body in the pond. Was it an accident, a suicide or murder? Iris is drawn into the case and tries to unravel the complicated life of the Wetherby family.

When her estranged husband is accused of the murder, Iris knows Ian is not a killer and although they have their differences, she works to free him.

An excellent, suspenseful mystery.

Preorder purchase link

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Interview with Carlene O'Connor

What is the title of your newest book? How many books have you published?
My fourth in The Irish Village mystery series, Murder in an Irish Pub, will come out February 26,
2019. In April 2019 Murder in Galway will be released and for the first year is exclusive with Barnes and Noble. Then in September 2019 the anthology A Christmas Cocoa Murder will be released. So 2019 is a banner year!

How did you develop your character and choose your location?
The location is based on a walled town in Ireland I fell in love with-- Kilmallock, County Limerick. Siobhan O'Sullivan, my main character, is a mix of people I know, people I've met, parts of me, and then as usual somewhere in the process becomes her own and starts telling me who she is.

What is a day in the life of an author like? Do you write a certain number of words, do you write in the morning or evening?  
For me it has varied during my twelve years of writing. I've never had a certain time of day because I've always worked other jobs. I used to be a sign language interpreter and I worked freelance so I would write in-between work assignments. I used to love writing in coffee shops. Now I teach writing in the evenings from my live/work loft so I write from home during the day, but my hours still vary depending on whether it's a first draft, rewriting, or final edits.

Do you belong to a writers group or are you in touch with other writers? How does that help your writing?
I've always had a fantasy of belonging to a great writers group as my sister once did, but that never came to fruition. Now I do have author friends but we are not in any official group. I am surrounded often by aspiring writers due to teaching which I love.

Do you model your character after yourself or any one you know?
As an acting teacher once told me, you are part of every character you play. So that's always a given. And often bits and pieces from people I know. But as you write the character then takes all of that in and becomes his/her own person. It's magical!

If your books were made into a movie, who would you want to play the lead character?
Saoirse Ronan from Brooklyn would be fabulous as Siobhan O'Sullivan.

Who is your favorite author?
I've always rebelled against picking just one. Impossible! From literary to classic to mysteries...Margaret Atwood, Amy Tan, Alex Marwood, John Irving, Stephen King, Herman Hesse, Agatha Christie, Michael Chabon, Dan Chaon, F. Scott Fitzgerald, all the way to Mary Higgins Clark, who can beat Where are the Children? to John Grisham and Sandra Brown to Colum McCann, and Paul Murray and Sohpie Kinsella, Donna Tartt, I'm a multi-genre reader -- Lois Duncan and Suzanne Collins for YA plus many more-- and I'm always trying new authors. I can't do it. I can't pick one. Thank goodness I don't have to.

How do you keep track of character details from book to book so they are consistent?
I keep notes and look back to the most recent book which looked back to the most recent book, to make sure I'm tracking. It's a challenge.

If you could not be an author, what would like to do as a career?
Wildlife photographer.

For a review of Murder in an Irish Churchyard, click here

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Naughty On Ice

The Discreet Retrieval Agency is doing a brisk business at Christmas, but society matron and owner of the Agency Lola Woodby and her stalwart Swedish cook, Berta find themselves at loose ends. In Naughty on Ice by Maia Chance, Lola receives an anonymous Christmas card inviting them to Maple Hill, Vermont to retrieve a missing antique ring. (Naughty on Ice will be released on November 13 by Minotaur Books.)

Lola and Berta jump at the chance to go to Vermont and are soon on the case. Several of the estranged Goodard family are assembled in the home and it is not a pleasant experience.

The card says they will find the ring on the "thieving" finger of Aunt Daphne. Once they remove it from Aunt Daphne, they are to leave the ring in the breadbox and expect a check in the mail.

But things go horribly wrong. Fifteen minutes after their arrival, Judith Goddard keels over after drinking a poisoned Negroni. Then Lola and Berta are caught in the act of removing the ring from the very drunk Aunt Daphne's hand.  They finally have to explain to the police about the anonymous Christmas card they received and their Agency business.  Of course they do not have the card with them, so the police are skeptical of their story.

Before they can go to the police with the dossier Berta compiled on the case, it goes missing as well. This doesn't sit well with the police and they decide to keep Lola and Berta close at hand.


As Lola and Berta investigate the family, they discover the family is not a happy group. The more they dig, the more mysteries they find including the legend of a hairy beast roaming the area.

Another fun Prohibition-era mystery involving lots of illegal booze and many strange and wonderful characters.

Pre-order purchase link