Showing posts with label cozy mystery. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cozy mystery. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

"Shadow Dancing" by Julie Mulhern

EXCERPT and GIVEAWAY
Shadow Dancing
(The Country Club Murders Book 7)
by Julie Mulhern

Shadow Dancing (The Country Club Murders Book 7) by Julie Mulhern

Shadow Dancing is the seventh 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), and Cold as Ice (read my blog post).


Shadow Dancing 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.


Description
Visiting a psychic is outside the norm for Ellison Russell. Finding bodies is not. Unfortunately, the psychic’s crystal ball says she’ll soon be surrounded by death. Again.
Drat.
Now there’s a corpse in the front drive, a witchy neighbor ready to turn Ellison and her (not so) little dog into toadstools, and a stripper named Starry Knight occupying the guest room.
How did 1975 go so wrong so quickly?
Ellison must handle Mother (who’s found a body of her own), make up with a certain handsome detective, and catch a killer, or the death surrounding her might be her own.

Excerpt
“Ellison!” Mother’s voice was a mix of relief and exasperation. “Where have you been?”
Tell Mother I’d visited a medium? I’d rather hammer shims under my fingernails or wander around outside without my coat. “Out.”
“I need you.”
Time stopped. Mother never needed me. “What’s wrong?”
“I need you.” Apparently that was the only explanation I was getting. “Can you come over? Please?”
Please? What had happened? “Of course, I’ll come. Are you okay?”
“Hurry.” She hung up.
Aggie appeared in the doorway, a steaming mug of all-things-good in her hand.
“Would you please put that in a travel mug?” I asked.
“Of course. Problem?”
“She won’t tell me what’s wrong.” Mother was not given to crying wolf. Whatever the issue was, it was big. A trickle of dread chilled my blood. “The ambiance committee is meeting here at three. I’ll be back before then.”
“I’ll have everything ready.” Aggie was indispensable. How we’d ever gotten along without her was a mystery. With her sproingy red hair, vivid kaftans, and outspoken ways, Aggie was not Mother’s idea of a perfect housekeeper. Mother’s opinion didn’t matter. I thought Aggie was the best thing since sliced bread.
A moment later I was back in the car, snug in a fox jacket with matching hat. I settled the plastic travel mug filled with coffee between my thighs and wished I hadn’t. The plastic was hot. I turned the key and ELO’s “Can’t Get It Out of My Head” nearly deafened me. I sympathized. Even with hitting a pedestrian and Mother’s crisis, there was a man I couldn’t get out of my head. I turned off the radio and motored down the drive.
Mother’s door opened as soon as I pulled up in front of her house.
I took a quick gulp of coffee then hurried up the front walk. “What’s wrong?”
Mother looked from left to right as if her neighbors were hanging around in the cold, waiting to eavesdrop. “Come in.”
With the door safely closed behind me, Mother sighed.
“What? What’s happened?”
The color had leeched from her skin and the perfect helmet of her hair was mussed. “I found a body.”
Mother? A body? It was about time someone in this family besides me found a body.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]


Praise for the Book
“Although almost all the characters in this series are “a cut above,” actually several socioeconomic levels above me, the author’s wry humor, use of irony, and judicious eliciting of empathy, make the series endearing, despite the cultural disparity.” ~ Mallory Heart’s Cozies
“I love the characters in this series. They are expertly written and feel like old friends. Their dialogues are fantastic.” ~ Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book
“I started this book one night and I didn’t go to sleep till I finished, really, it was addictive!” ~ Varietats
“I love, love, love Ellison. Each time I get to read her latest adventure, I find myself adoring her more.” ~ Bibliophile Reviews


About the Author
Julie Mulhern
Julie 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.




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


Links

Monday, February 12, 2018

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

GUEST POST and GIVEAWAY
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).

Description
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.

Excerpt
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.




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

Links

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

"Cold as Ice" by Julie Mulhern

GUEST POST and GIVEAWAY
Cold as Ice
(The Country Club Murders Book 6)
by Julie Mulhern

Cold as Ice (The Country Club Murders Book 6) by Julie Mulhern

Cold as Ice is the sixth 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, and Watching the Detectives (read my blog post).

The Country Club Murders by Julie Mulhern

Cold as Ice is currently on tour with Great Escapes 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.


Description
Ellison Russell’s life resembles a rollercoaster ride. And rollercoasters make her ill. Her daughter Grace has a crush on a boy Ellison doesn’t trust and she’s taken to hosting wild parties when Ellison goes out for the evening. Worse, the bank which represents Grace’s inheritance from her father may be in trouble.
When a meeting with the chef at the country club leads to the discovery of a body, Ellison can’t afford cold feet. She must save the bank, find the killer, and convince Grace (and herself) that powerful women don’t need men to rescue them.

Excerpt
Check out the Guest Post by the Author (below) to read an excerpt and the inspiration behind it.

Praise for the Book
"I loved that the book takes place in 1974 when there were no cell phones, computers, etc. It was a nice change of pace. I am looking forward to reading the other books in this series, but do not feel that I was missing any important information because I hadn't. This book can definitely stand alone and I truly enjoyed it." ~ Sunny
"This is the first book I have read by Julie Mulhern and certainly won't be the last. I now need to go back to the first book in the Country Club mystery series and read them in order. Ellison is a typical seventies mom, a widow with a typical teenage daughter. Great story, fast paced, funny and a dead body." ~ sonnysmom
"This was the first book in the series I have read but it will not be the last! The characters were quite entertaining and the whodunit was very well written. I will certainly read the previous books in the series now, and look forward to reading the next in the series." ~ Karen Kenyon
"Every Country Club Murder is better than the last. I read this one in an afternoon; there was no stopping this story. I can't wait for the next one, because Anarchy." ~ G. Smith
"Julie Mulhern keeps honing her craft as a writer. I enjoy each of her Country Club mystery series installments more than the pervious. Her books are funny, well written and you can't put them down. When reading one of Mulhern's books, I keep telling myself, 'Just one more page' until I'm at the end, and I've lost a night's sleep. Cold as Ice is her best yet!" ~ Charlotte Wilson

Guest Post by the Author
Excerpt from Cold as Ice and My Inspiration for the Scene
If, by chance, you’re the parent of a teenager, I hope your son or daughter is an angel - the kind of adolescent who does their homework without being asked, the kind that empties the dishwasher because there are clean dishes inside and not because you nagged, the kind who never misses curfew and never considered having a party.
I did not raise angels. On the upside, my girls give me lots of inspiration. One of them (I won’t tell which one) inspired this scene in Cold as Ice.
Anarchy slowed the car to a crawl. I looked for the house flooded with lights and people.
Mine.
I was hosting an enormous party.
And if the police cars and scattering teenagers and empty beer cans littering my lawn were any indication, the party was a good one.
“She’s grounded until she’s thirty.”
Anarchy snorted and pulled into the drive, parking at the bottom. The rest of the driveway was already filled with haphazardly parked vehicles.
I didn’t wait for Anarchy to open my door. I was out of the car before he’d even turned off the ignition.
I charged up the drive in full Mother mode. Four friends to spend the night? Where was Grace? When I was done with her she’d wish for Mother.
“Ma’am?” A uniformed officer actually thought he could stop me.
My steps didn’t slow. “My house.”
He wisely got out of my way.
I pushed on the front door. It didn’t budge.
Apparently the teenagers who remained in my house had decided their best course of action was to lock the door and wait out the police.
Too bad for the geniuses behind the door, I had a key. I inserted the gold Schlage and turned. The door swung open onto a world gone mad.
A mob of children holding beer cans stared at me with horrified expressions on their young faces. “Smokin’ in the Boys’ Room” blared from the stereo in the family room, loud enough for me to feel the bass rumble through the floor. The boys’ room wasn’t the only place people were smoking. Far too many children held cigarettes. My house smelled like a dive bar.
I stepped inside. “Where. Is. Grace?”
No one said a word.
“Out.” I pointed toward the front yard.
No one moved.
I let my gaze travel. “I know who you are.” I’d known most of the kids in my front hall since they learned to toddle. “If you’re not out of here in one minute, I’ll call your fathers.” I paused, slowing my voice to deadly intent. “And send them bills for this mess.”
The little delinquents flew out the door.
I felt a presence at my back and glanced over my shoulder. Anarchy stood behind me. “Wow.” His voice was mild.
Wow? Maybe that was an appropriate response for a homicide detective who was accustomed to witnessing gruesome crime scenes, but as the unexpected hostess for this party, the words scrolling through my brain were much stronger. My fingers curved into talons and I stalked forward. At least thirty teenagers still lingered in the living room. And why wouldn’t they? That was where most of the liquor was—had been. A group of five or six kids were spinning an empty bottle of eighteen-year-old Glenfiddich. The bottle had not been empty when I left.
They saw me and leapt from the floor.
“Out.” I pointed toward the door.
Maybe it was the look on my face. Maybe it was the police detective standing behind me. They ran.
I strode toward the kitchen. The island was cluttered with empty beer cans and glasses doing double duty as ashtrays. Three boys perused the contents of my refrigerator, a fourth pumped a keg.
The growl in my throat was visceral.
“Ellison, keep everything in perspective. No one’s dead.”
“Yet.” Maybe not the smartest thing to say to a homicide detective.

About the Author
Julie Mulhern
Julie 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.





Giveaway
Enter the giveaway for a chance to win one of five ebook copies of The Deep End by Julie Mulhern (US only).

Links