Showing posts with label Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours. Show all posts

Thursday, March 15, 2018

"Killer Tied" by Lesley A. Diehl

Killer Tied
(Eve Appel Mystery Book 6)
by Lesley A. Diehl

Killer Tied (Eve Appel Mystery Book 6) by Lesley A. Diehl

Killer Tied is the sixth book in the Eve Appel Mystery series. Also available: A Secondhand Murder, Dead in the Water, A Sporting Murder, Mud Bog Murder, and Old Bones Never Die (read my blog post).

Killer Tied 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. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

Eve Appel Egret is adjusting to married life with Sammy and their three adopted sons in Sabal Bay, Florida. While still running her consignment stores, she is going pro with her sleuthing by becoming an apprentice to a private detective.
Until her marriage, Eve’s only “family” was her grandmother Grandy, who raised her after her parents died in a boating accident. Now, in addition to her husband and sons, she has a father-in-law who clearly dislikes her. Sammy’s father, a full-blooded Miccosukee Indian long presumed dead, has emerged from the swamps where he’s been living like a hermit, and he isn’t happy about Eve’s marriage to his half-Miccosukee, half-white son.
As for Eve’s family, are her parents really dead? A woman named Eleanor claims to be Eve’s half-sister, born after her mother faked a boating accident to escape her abusive husband, Eve’s father. Then Eleanor’s father turns up dead in the swamps, stabbed by a Bowie knife belonging to Sammy’s father, Lionel. Strange as Lionel Egret is, Eve knows he had no motive to kill this stranger. In order to clear him, Eve must investigate Eleanor’s claims, and she might not like what digging around in her family’s past uncovers.

Chapter 1
I looked around the old detective’s office. The top of the desk no longer overflowed with paperwork, the floor was as clean as a heavy-duty cleaner could get it, and the paperwork was neatly filed away in the cabinets. I knew Crusty McNabb would hate what I had done to the space, but he had told me to make myself at home while he was gone. He was visiting his daughter, whom he hadn’t seen in over a year, and wouldn’t return for a few days. I was his apprentice now, somewhat eager to learn the private-eye business, and I had the blessing of all my family—my grandmother Grandy, her husband Max, my husband Sammy, and our three adopted sons—Sammy’s orphaned nephews—Jason, Jerome, and Jeremy. Even my best friend and business partner, Madeleine, and the police detective Frida Martinez had blessed my PI career path. The only one with misgivings was me. I still wasn’t real keen on the use of firearms, although I had been going to the gun range to practice with the pistol Crusty loaned me. My instructor there said I’d soon be a crack shot, no problem, but, he added, opening my eyes when I fired the durn thing might help my aim.
Well, I lied about me being the only one with doubts about my new career path. So did my friend Nappi Napolitani, who was a mob boss, or that’s what we all thought—I mean, how do you ask a mob boss for his crime credentials to determine if he’s genuine? Anyway, it seemed clear to me that he had something he wanted to say to me about my PI license but hadn’t gotten around to saying it yet. And then there was my ex-husband, who worried I’d take this opportunity to pistolwhip him or arrest him for transgressions against me while we were married. There were many, but getting revenge for those wasn’t a priority right now.
I heard a knock on the door and turned to see a man peering through the store window. He rattled the knob. “Sorry, the office is closed until the end of this week. Mr. McNabb will be back on Friday.”
“Are you Ms. Appel?” This was silly, having a conversation through the closed door. I walked over and opened it.
“I’m Eve Appel, but I—”
“Then you’re the one I’m looking for. They told me next door I’d find you here.” He smiled and held out his hand. “Henry Montrose.”
He was a slender man with thinning, brownish-gray hair. He wore a beige knit shirt, khaki pants, and sneakers. I noted the beiges did not work together. That was just me, quick to make a fashion judgment. I shook his hand, curious about his reasons for seeking me out.
“If it’s detective work you need, I’m just Mr. McNabb’s apprentice. I don’t do cases on my own, so you might want to come back when he’s here. Like I said. End of this week.”
“I need someone to find my daughter.”
“Have you reported her missing to the police?”
“Well, no. You see, I’m not certain where she’s missing from. Or whether she just moved away. We lived in the Northeast, but we left. But not all together.”
He wasn’t making a lot of sense, and as he talked, he began to show signs of distress. His voice was shaky, and he twisted his hands so tightly together I thought he’d remove the skin.
“Maybe you should sit down for a minute.” I offered the usual but seemingly useless glass of water. He collapsed into the chair in front of Crusty’s desk.
“What police department do I notify? The one up North or the one here? See, I know my daughter was headed here.”
“So you’ve heard from her?”
“No, but this is where she’d come. I told her that her mother might be dead, but my daughter insists she’s still alive.” He shook his head. “That woman, my wife, has nine lives, it seems.”
I was more and more confused by his tale. “Uh, I have a friend on the police force here. Maybe she could help. I can call her, if you’d like.”
Frida might be able to make better sense of his story than I could. And she’d know the legalities of missing persons. Someone walked past the front windows and caught the attention of my visitor.
“No, never mind. I have to go now.” Without another word, he jumped up from the chair and ran out the door, stopping on the sidewalk, looking in both directions and then running toward the street. I lost sight of him when he turned left into the alleyway at the end of the strip mall.
Weird. Just plain weird, but Crusty said that PI work could be unusual, although he warned me that most of it was just plain boring. I shrugged and decided to tackle cleaning the tiny bathroom. It looked as if Crusty hadn’t taken a brush to the toilet bowl since he’d moved in. As I scrubbed—with rubber gloves on, of course—I thought over my decision to move from Connecticut to rural Florida. I’d chosen to open a consignment-shop business with Madeleine Boudreaux Wilson, my best friend forever and forever. The shop was here, right next door to Crusty’s detective agency.
Some might question why I’d located a consignment business specializing in high-end fashions and classy home goods in rural Florida, where you’re more apt to run into a live alligator than a designer alligator bag. We set up our shop to remedy that, not by doing away with the alligators, but by buying apparel and furnishings from the matrons of West Palm Beach, who rarely wore their clothes more than once or twice. Since none of these wealthy ladies would consign their items close to home for fear of someone recognizing the merchandise, we stepped in to take anything they no longer wanted off their hands. They liked having “mad” money to use any way they pleased without conferring with hubby or leaving a credit card trail for him to grump about.
To our surprise, our consignors often slipped off the coast and visited our shop just for the fun of it. They didn’t buy much. They preferred to sell, but they liked to pick up tips about where they could find entertainment not offered in upscale West Palm. Nothing kinky, you understand. Just good old country two-step in our local bars with some mighty handsome cowboys or airboat rides with a member of the Miccosukee Indian tribe piloting the boat (that would be my husband, more handsome than any cowboy). I’d also turned the gals on to a local dude ranch. They sometimes dragged their husbands along for a trail ride.
So why was I in training to become a PI? Was selling used items too tame for me? Well, yes and no, and that’s a long story, but here’s the truth. I am a snoopy gal. I get it from my grandmother, who is the queen of curiosity. Over the years I’ve “intruded” in a number of murders in rural Florida—at least that’s the word you’d hear used to describe my investigations by my family, friends, and Detective Frida, who is also a friend of mine when she’s not moaning about my interfering with her cases. From my perspective, I’ve been more than a little helpful tracking down clues and bringing the bad guys (and gals) to justice. A former lover and private detective Alex Montgomery thought I had a nose for murder and the brain to match wits with any killer. Although he resented my meddling in his business, he respected my sleuthing instincts so much, he suggested I get a PI license by learning the trade from Crusty.
My life was so full of family and business that the very last thing I needed was to learn the professional sleuthing trade, yet the restless side of my nature was intrigued. With Grandy helping Madeleine at the store and Shelley McCleary, our new dressmaker, assuming a growing role in the shop as tailor and junior partner, I figured I had time to try my hand at the detecting business.
I yearned to sink my teeth into a big murder as my first case. Why waste my skills on small potatoes? When I excitedly talked with Crusty about murder investigations, he laughed. “What you get in the private-detecting business is routine: surveillance of cheating spouses, insurance fraud, and some work for the police department when they need to hire out part of their investigation. Most of the work entails a lot of sitting on your butt in a car. I sure hope you don’t have a tiny bladder.”
I reminded him that I’d been key in solving several murders in the county. He did a dismissive flap with his hand. “Well, maybe you’ve taken out all the bad dudes in this county, and the rest of us will be left in peace.”
I squeezed some bleach gel into the sink and began to scrub at the grimy brown stains. I ran water and rinsed out the bowl. When I turned to extract a new bar of soap out of the cabinet behind me, I bumped into the person standing there. I jumped.
Damn. I’d forgotten to lock the front door. A fine detective I’d make. The person standing inside the entrance of the small bathroom was a tall, slender woman with long frizzy brown hair. She looked somehow familiar, although I’d never met her before.
She smiled sweetly. “Hello. I’m your sister.”
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]

Praise for the Book
“Getting to the bottom sure takes a boatload of work but this book definitely couldn't be put down I read it one day. Eve has a way of dragging you in and not letting go until the perps are arrested and justice has been correctly served!” ~ Paula Ratcliffe

Guest Post by the Author
Eve Apple, protagonist in Killer Tied by Lesley A. Diehl
Eve’s not the gal she used to be: Character development in a cozy mystery series
This is the beginning stop for a two-week book blog tour for Killer Tied, the sixth book in the Eve Appel Mysteries released this month by Camel Press. There are three more books scheduled. It’s a paradox how I feel about the series. It’s as if I began it only yesterday, yet Eve and I have come a long way together, weathering the romance storms of a philandering husband, a PI boyfriend and now Sammy, the Miccosukee man who immediately “got” Eve and instantly loved her. And there have been murders, many murders. Eve helped solve them all … with help from her friends and family, of course.
Eve has expanded her circle of friends since she moved from Connecticut to rural Florida. There is her best friend and business partner Madeleine, now herself married and the mother of two young children. It was Madeleine shopping for cups to replace those she broke that lead to one of the most interesting characters in the series - handsome, suave and sophisticated, Nappi Napolitano, the supposed mob boss who has helped Eve out of many scrapes. Eve is looking for a way to repay him. Perhaps she’ll get that opportunity in one of the three books to come. Nappi doesn’t expect a return on his generosity, but I always think it’s a good plan to return the favor and especially if he’s a “Family” man.
Except for Nappi whose character remains constant - he’s so terrific that I wouldn’t want to change him much - most of the characters, not only Eve, have developed and grown, changes that are necessary to keep the series fresh and vibrant for the reader. Of course, murder is just the sort of challenge that shakes up everyone, not only the protagonist. It can bring out the best in the characters as well as reveal their flaws. Readers like to know the protagonist and others stumble and fall … and get up again. Some of Eve’s character flaws remain throughout the series such as her impatience, which often leads her off on her own when she ought to know better. In Killer Tied, the possibility of her parents being alive when she thought they had died years ago leads her to jump to the conclusion that her grandmother (Grandy) has lied to her. She ought to know there is no one she can trust more than Grandy, but Eve is still the impulsive and impatient woman we met in the first book, A Secondhand Murder. In Book 6, it appears to Eve that love has abandoned her not once but twice, first with the loss of her parents at a young age and then with her assuming Grandy has lied to her about the event for all these years. The reader knows Grandy is steadfast and true in her love for Eve, but will Eve eventually understand that this love doesn’t include lies and deception? Or have I deceived the reader about Eve’s parents? That is the central question that both Eve and the story grapple with throughout this book.
Eve and Sammy’s adoption of three Miccosukee boys and the return of Sammy’s father to the family has deepened Eve’s understanding of the importance of family. Not only does family bring love to her, but she grows to see how loving others is the real definition of love. It makes her a more complex and humble person. Eve has always had sass, but now she’s sassy with a lot of compassion and love added to the mix.
Sammy’s father remains a trial for her as he’s stubborn, impatient, and quick to jump to judgments, almost the female equivalent of Eve, but he has an edge not yet softened by the caring of others. I work on making that happen in Killer Tied. I think the reader will understand him better because he understands himself better, and he will reveal himself as someone who sees deeply into others. He is Sammy’s father after all, so the reader should expect more from him than the self-centered and conflicted person he often presents to others.
Grandfather Egret, Sammy’s father, like Grandy, provides the grounding for family life, but he, too, has evolved throughout the series. He will remain a man in touch with the traditions of his culture, but Eve has brought joy to his life.  While he’s not always an active participant in Eve’s adventures, he has joined her in several of her romps. It is clear she has added a dimension of excitement to his life. Eve has come to trust his advice and counsel and seeks out his advice as she does her Grandy’s. For a woman raised without parents, Eve now has a full complement of family surrounding her: Grandy, Grandfather, Madeleine and her husband and children, Sammy and Eve and Sammy’s children. Can Eve fully appreciate this bounty?
Eve is not the same woman she was in the first book. She’s still as sassy, in-your-face and impulsive as ever, but she’s more loving, a little humbler and more aware of how others have made her life more complete. She’s even more tolerant of her ex-husband, Jerry, who followed her from Connecticut to Florida. He’s still as lacking in common sense as ever, still annoys Eve intentionally and unintentionally, but in Book 6 Jerry’s giving side helps Eve tackle the bad guys.
Eve began her adventure in rural Florida running away from a marriage that did not work. She’s found that life among the cowboys, cattle, alligators, ranchers, locals and winter visitors has brought her more excitement and sense of belonging than she ever thought possible. Killer Tied returns Eve to her roots in the Northeast, but she finds the nostalgia of the past is not as satisfying as her new life in Florida. While still seen as an outsider by many Floridians, Eve knows that this place with all its swamps and alligators, fields of grazing cattle and palm trees has become as familiar to her as her own whip thin body. It is her home.

About the Author
Lesley A. Diehl
Lesley is a country gal through and through, from her childhood on a dairy farm in Illinois to college in a cornfield in Iowa, Lesley creates sassy, snoopy protagonists who embrace chasing killers in country settings. Lesley writes several series: the Big Lake Mystery series and the Eve Appel Mystery series both set in rural Florida; the Laura Murphy Mysteries located on a lake in upstate New York; and short stories, some featuring a few of Lesley’s unique relatives from back on the farm (Aunt Nozzie and the Grandmothers). She is inspired by an odd set of literary muses: a ghost named Fred and a coyote as yet unnamed. Killer Tied is the sixth mystery in the Eve Appel Mysteries.

Enter our exclusive giveaway for a chance to win an ebook copy of Killer Tied by Lesley A. Diehl.


Monday, February 12, 2018

"Death by a Whisker" by T. C. LoTempio

Death by a Whisker
(A Cat Rescue Mystery Book 2)
by T. C. LoTempio

Death by a Whisker (A Cat Rescue Mystery Book 2)  by T. C. LoTempio

Death by a Whisker,  the second book in the Cat Rescue Mystery series by T. C. LoTempio, has just been released. Also available: Purr M for Murder (read my blog post).

Purr M for Murder by T. C. LoTempio

This book tour and giveaway is brought to you by Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

More books by this author: Meow If It's Murder (read my blog post), Claws for Alarm (read my blog post), and Crime and Catnip (read my blog post).

Getting used to life back home in Deer Park, North Carolina, Sydney McCall and her right-hand tabby, Toby, are helping her sister Kat run the local animal shelter. Syd and Kat are all excited about the prospect of the shelter’s newest fundraiser: shopping channel queen Ulla Townsend. Shelter admin Maggie Shayne vehemently refuses to have anything to do with the woman, but the fundraiser ensues as planned. That is, until Ulla turns up dead in the middle of the event.
The cause of death is determined to be an allergic reaction, but Syd and Toby are sniffing out something fishy. When Syd met Ulla, it was clear she was distasteful and rude. And right before the event, Syd spotted some behind-the-scenes drama between Ulla and her manager. As they begin to investigate, they realize there is no shortage of suspects, and Maggie is at the top of the list.
Now Syd and Toby must claw their way to the truth before everything goes paws up at their animal shelter in Death by a Whisker by national bestselling author T. C. LoTempio.

As I passed by the signing table I noticed that Ulla was frowning and scratching her arm. She leaned over and whispered something to Wendy, who immediately got up and headed toward the back. Then she smiled at the person standing in front of her and asked who he wanted the book inscribed to. As she signed it, I noticed she seemed to be having trouble breathing. Suddenly she tossed the pen and book aside and jumped to her feet, almost knocking her chair over. I set the flyers down and hurried over to her. “Ms. Townsend, are you all right?”
She pressed two fingers to her sternum. “I-I’m not sure,” she said in a strangled tone. “My chest feels so tight…maybe I need to splash some water on my face.”
She turned toward me and I frowned. Her lower lip looked a bit puffy, and the flush on her neck had now morphed to a bright candy-apple red. “Do you need me to come with you to the restroom?”
She shook her head. “Just tell Wendy and Savannah where I am,” she murmured. She raced down the hall to the bathroom and I heard the door slam.
There was an excited buzz in the room. As I debated whether to say something, Wendy suddenly appeared at my elbow. “Where’s Ulla? Why isn’t she at the table?”
“She said she felt sick – her chest was tight. She went to the bathroom to splash some water on her face.”
Wendy let out a strangled cry. “A panic attack. Just what we need in the last twenty minutes.”
I frowned. “It didn’t seem as if it were a panic attack.”
“Oh trust me, it probably was. She does this all the time-although it’s usually to get Ken’s sympathy.”
“I don’t know about that,” I said. “Her lip looked a bit puffy, and she really was having trouble breathing.”
Wendy ran a hand through her short do, glancing over at the people who were milling around the table, craning their necks and whispering excitedly. “I guess I’d better do some damage control.” She turned toward the crowd and said smoothly, “Not to worry, folks. Ulla will be back in a few minutes…I hope,” she muttered under her breath to me and then she hurried off in the direction of the bathroom.
Tara came over to me, concern etched on her face. “Is Ulla sick?”
I frowned. “I’m not sure. It seemed that way. I think I’ll go check on her as well.” I hurried down the hall, and I could hear Tara saying to the remaining people, “Don’t worry, Ulla will be back shortly. In the meantime, there’s plenty of goodies at our café.” As I passed the side door it suddenly swung open and Savannah breezed in. Her gaze swept me up and down. “You look concerned. Is something wrong?”
“Ulla didn’t feel well. She went to the bathroom to splash some cold water on her face. She doesn’t have high blood pressure, does she?”
“One twenty over eighty since I’ve known her. Her pressure’s fine. She just manages to raise other people’s.” Savannah said, and then she frowned. “How bad is she? I wonder if I should call Ken.”
“He’s not here?”
Savannah shook her head. “He and his wife left about fifteen minutes ago.” Her lips twisted into a wry smile. “Neither one of them looked very happy. Man, would I love to be a fly on the ceiling of that Mercedes. Come to think of it, he might appreciate an interruption.”
Savannah put the phone to her ear and moved off. I shifted the tray in my arms and was just about to enter the playroom when the bathroom door banged open and Wendy emerged, pale and wide-eyed.
“Someone call nine-one-one,” she shouted. “Something’s terribly wrong with Ulla. I-I don’t think she’s breathing.”

Praise for the Book
“The author provides plenty of suspects for you to dish about their suspicious behaviors and activities, and the finale is a whopper of a reveal!” ~ Linda Langford at Chatting About Cozies
“This was a highly enjoyable cozy mystery. I loved how this book was perfect if you are an animal/cat lover.” ~ Dani, Touch My Spine Book Reviews
“This was a quick fun read that will appeal to mystery lovers.” ~ Kristi
Death by a Whisker is the 2nd book in the enjoyable cozy mystery series. The story is well told and the plot kept me guessing.” ~ Lisa Morin
Death by a Whisker is a fast-paced, enjoyable read that will have the audience yelling for more. It is highly recommended to anyone who loves animals, town gossip and stories that keep them guessing.” ~ The Cozy Review

Guest Post by the Author
Cats Make Great Detectives, Too!
As a writer of cozy mysteries featuring extremely communicative cats (Nick in the Nick and Nora Mystery series, debut December 2014, Toby in the Cat Rescue series, debut March 2016), I must confess to being partial to mysteries that feature cats! (Not that I don’t like dogs, or give dogs equal time, I do, I do! But when you own a twenty-two-pound blogging cat, your loyalties are naturally going to gravitate toward the feline end!)
Here are a few of my favorite feline cozies!
Magical Cats Mystery series by Sofie Kelly
This series centers around Kathleen Paulson, a librarian from Boston, and two stray cats with special powers, Owen and Hercules, in fictional Mayville Heights, Minnesota. Kathleen has moved to Mayville Heights from Boston after her fiancée marries a waitress after an argument, and ends up adopting two strays, a tabby named Owen and a tuxedo named Hercules. Turns out the cats have magical powers: Owen can turn invisible and Hercules can walk through walls! Which provides quite a bit of humor! There is also a bit of romance in the form of uptight detective Marcus Gordon. Plenty of quirky characters and homespun charm! Kathleen finds herself a murder suspect in the first volume setting up the romantic tension between herself and Detective Gordon for future adventures.
In my favorite entry, Final Catcall, Kathleen’s ex-boyfriend Andrew shows up, desperate to win her back, but Kathleen’s unsure just where she stands with Detective Marcus. And when a local theatre festival relocates to Mayville Heights and its insufferable director is found shot, Kathleen (and her cats) are in the thick of a puzzling mystery once again.
The latest in the series, Faux Paw, revolves around the arrival of an art exhibition at the Mayville Heights library. Thanks to the overbearing curator and high-tech security system that comes with it, Kathleen’s life has been completely disrupted. Even Owen and Hercules have been affected, since their favorite human doesn’t seem to have a spare moment to make their favorite fish crackers or listen to Barry Manilow. But when Kathleen stops by the library late one night and finds the curator sprawled on the floor - and the exhibition’s most valuable sketch missing - it’s suddenly time to canvass a crime scene.
The charm of this series lies in the quirkiness of its main characters and, of course, the two cats with their seemingly supernatural abilities. A great series!
Cat in the Stacks Mystery series by Miranda James
Set in the fictional town of Athena, Mississippi, the action centers around librarian Charlie Harris and his Maine Coon cat, Diesel. Diesel is quite large for his size, but very lovable, and Charlie walks him on a leash and takes him pretty much everywhere he goes. Unlike the cats in the Magical Cats Mystery series, Diesel is more of a sidekick for Charlie than an active participant in the mystery solving – although he does lend a paw from time to time. The series has many charming characters, some of which have even been put into a spin-off series by James. My favorite is The Silence of the Library, which revolves around a library exhibit to honor YA novelists – in particular, one octogenarian, Electra Barnes Cartwright, the author of the beloved Veronica Thane series. Once news of the author’s appearance goes viral, another rumor surfaces – that of five unpublished manuscripts – drawing out one rabid fan who will stop at nothing short of murder to get hold of the rare books. Series book devotees will find the references and facts about actual series books interspersed throughout the book interesting, and it adds to the mystery. Charlie and Diesel should be around entertaining us for many years to come.
The latest in the series, No Cats Allowed, has Charlie facing trouble at the workplace. The new library director, Elwyn Dillard, is a brash, unfriendly Yankee who’s on a mission to cut costs - and his first targets are the archive and the rare book collection. Dillard quickly raises the hackles of everyone on staff, including Charlie’s fiery friend Melba - whom Dillard wants to replace with someone younger. But his biggest offense is declaring all four-legged creatures banned from the stacks. With enemies aplenty, the suspect list is long when Dillard’s body is discovered in the library. But things take a turn for the worse when a threatening e-mail throws suspicion on Melba, and Charlie and Diesel have to put in overtime to clear her!
Mrs. Murphy Mystery series by Rita Mae Brown (& Sneaky Pie Brown)
What can you say about a mystery series co-authored by a cat? The first adventure, Wish You Were Here, published in 1991, introduced us to Mary Minor Haristeen (aka Harry) and her constant companions, Mrs. Murphy, a tabby and Tucker, a Welsh Corgi. Harry is the postmistess of the town of Crozet, Virginia, a job that puts her in an excellent to figure out who is murdering, in ghastly fashion, various pillars of her community. Postcards are sent to a wealthy contractor shortly before parts of his body are found in a cement mixer and then to a storeowner whose corpse, tied to a railroad track, is cut in three parts by the express. The cards alert Harry and friends to a plot that will take more lives before they discover the treasure that inspires the violence. Quirky is the middle name of most of the characters in this long-running series, and Brown always gives a brief rundown of all the characters at the beginning of each book, apparently to keep readers from becoming confused at the large cast.
My pick of the series is The Litter of the Law. Autumn has descended and crops are being harvested all over Crozet, Virginia, ideal conditions for a scenic drive for Harry and husband Fair. Bucolic views are all well and good, but Harry’s nose for trouble leads her straight to a cornfield’s macabre scarecrow - an all too real murder victim that frightens all but the noisy crows! Nothing, however, frightens the irrepressible Mrs. Murphy, because we all know that while it’s Harry who receives the credit for the crime solving, it’s really Mrs. Murphy and her friends, Pewter the cat and Tucker the dog, who are the real detectives!
Nick and Nora Mystery series by T. C. LoTempio
And while I don’t like to toot my own horn, I feel I’d be remiss if I didn’t give a brief shout out to my own series. First is the Nick and Nora Mystery series. Nora Charles is an ex-true crime reporter who leaves her high pressure job on a Chicago newspaper to return to her hometown of Cruz, California, to take over her late mother’s specialty sandwich shop. Along the way she makes the acquaintance of a tubby tuxedo cat she names Nick. Nick belonged to a PI who may or may not be dead, and the cat seems to have extraordinary abilities of his own. He’s remarkably adept at sniffing out a clue, and he can spell them out with his favorite toy, Scrabble tiles! The first book in the series is Meow If It’s Murder.
Cat Rescue Mystery series by T. C. LoTempio
Then there is Toby in the Cat Rescue Mystery series. Toby might not spell out clues for his human, Syd McCall, but he’s very adept at pointing her in the right direction and in the latest, Death by a Whisker, even manages to rescue her from a tight situation.
I hope that you’ll be inclined to try one of these wonderful mysteries. And there are more, lots more to come!

About the Author
While Toni Lotempio does not commit – or solve – murders in real life, she has no trouble doing it on paper. Her lifelong love of mysteries began early on when she was introduced to her first Nancy Drew mystery at age 10 – The Secret in the Old Attic. She (and Rocco, albeit he’s uncredited) pen the Nick and Nora Mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime and the Cat Rescue Mystery series from Crooked Lane. She, Rocco, and company make their home in Clifton, New Jersey, just twenty minutes from the Big Apple – New York.

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