Tuesday, March 12, 2019

"Beach Blanket Homicide" by Maria Geraci

Beach Blanket Homicide
(Whispering Bay Mystery Book 1)
by Maria Geraci

Beach Blanket Homicide (Whispering Bay Mystery Book 1) by Maria Geraci

Beach Blanket Homicide is the first book in the Whispering Bay Mystery series by Maria Geraci. Also available: Whack the Mole.

Whack the Mole by Maria Geraci

Beach Blanket Homicide 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.

The first book in a fun, quirky chick-lit mystery series featuring Lucy McGuffin, world’s best muffin maker and amateur sleuth.
Everyone agrees that Lucy McGuffin bakes the best muffins in Whispering Bay, but she’s got another talent, one that she’s tried her whole life to hide. Lucy can always tell when a person is lying or telling the truth. Being a human lie detector isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Especially when you don’t really want the answer to the universal question: Does this dress make my butt look too big?
When Lucy is hired to cater the grand opening celebration of the city’s new community center, she stumbles across the dead body of Abby Delgado, a prominent member of the Sunshine Ghost Society. Lucy’s brother, Father Sebastian, a local priest, is the last person to have seen Abby alive. Convinced he’ll be breaking a confidence, Sebastian refuses to cooperate with the police, forcing Lucy to put her skills to the test to save her brother’s good name.
Enter the town’s new hotshot deputy, Travis Fontaine. Travis doesn’t want an amateur like Lucy snooping around his turf, so he offers her a deal. He’ll stay out of her kitchen if she’ll stay away from his crime scene. But Lucy isn’t about to let her brother’s fate rest in the hands of an arrogant cop. Good thing she has her best friend Will and her new little rescue dog, Paco, to back her up, because it’s up to Lucy to figure out what everyone in the quaint little beachside town is hiding.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that everyone lies.
I don’t say this to be judgmental. Lying is part of the human psyche. Even my perfect, older brother Sebastian, a priest and the pastor at St. Perpetua’s Catholic Church here in Whispering Bay resorts to the occasional fib.
“I left the rectory ten minutes ago. The traffic is murder,” Sebastian said just the other day when he was late meeting me for dinner.
“You’re not even in the car, are you?” I shot back.
Sebastian let out the sort of long-suffering sigh he’d mastered long before he’d thought of becoming a priest. “Cut me some slack, Lucy, I’ll be there as soon as I can.”
Most people can see through those kinds of lies. Those are the easy ones. The thing is, I can also see through the trickier, more deceptive lies as well, which sounds like a good thing, right?
Not necessarily.
When I was five, a brand-new set of paintbrushes went missing in my kindergarten class. Our teacher, Mrs. Jackson, tore apart our small classroom looking for them. Eventually, she asked us kids if we knew where they were. No one admitted to anything, but there was something odd in Brittany Kelly’s demeanor. Some small tell that went unnoticed by everyone. Except me.
After class, I went to Mrs. Jackson and told her that I thought Brittany had taken the brushes.
“How do you know this?” she asked.
My na├»ve five-year-old self shrugged. “I don’t know. I just do.”
“Lucille McGuffin,” she said, using my full name like she meant business, “It’s not nice to accuse someone without proof.” She narrowed her eyes at me. “Are you sure you didn’t take them?”
A week later, Brittany admitted to taking the brushes.
Now, did Mrs. Jackson ever give me credit for exposing the culprit, or apologize for accusing me? Nope. All I got for my honesty was a letter sent home to my parents telling them that I was a tattletale, and even worse, Brittany Kelly as a lifelong enemy (and believe me, over the years she’s made me suffer).
By high school, I’d pretty much concluded that despite what people said, no one really wanted to know if their boyfriend was cheating on them or if the real reason they’d been excluded from the math club was because they had bad breath.
How I was chosen to receive this “gift” is a mystery. If someone up there wanted to give me special powers, why couldn’t I have been born with the ability to pick winning lottery numbers? Or a perfect nose? I’d kill for a cute little button nose. Or better yet, a metabolism that allows me to eat all the muffins I want without gaining weight.
Lies are a daily occurrence in everyone’s life, and I just have to live with them as best I can, which for me, means to smile and ignore them.
Take right now. I’m currently being lied to by Abby Delgado.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]

Praise for the Book
Beach Blanket Homicide by Maria Geraci is a wonderful cozy and one that I fell in love with from the start. Lucy McGruffin is a great character and a real hoot.” ~ Baroness’Book Trove
“This is the first book that I have read by this author but it definitely will not be the last. I so enjoyed this book, I thought it was fantastic.” ~ MJBReviewers
“5 FUN MYSTERY STARS!! Wow, this story was fun with mystery and fantastic characters. I enjoyed everything about this story, it was different from my normal reads, but definitely held my attention. I can't wait to read more. Maria Geraci knows how to keep us readers engaged.” ~ Rhonda
“The over the top characters and never ending antics of Lucy along with some great character depth make this a fun and witty Florida cozy mystery. And with just a touch of romantic possibility, there seems to be something for everyone. I read this book quickly and would recommend it for a light hearted mystery, perhaps perfect for your own day at the beach.” ~ Petunia P.
“This was my first book by Maria Geraci, but it won’t be my last. I loved the characters and the story line.” ~ Judy

About the Author
Maria Geraci
Maria Geraci writes quirky, fun, romantic women’s fiction and cozy mysteries. She’s a two time RITA® Finalist, as well as a finalist in the National Readers’ Choice Awards and Romantic Times’ American Beach Blanket Homicide Contest. She lives in central Florida and is always on the lookout for the perfect key lime pie recipe (but not the kind they served on Dexter).

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win one of three print copies of Beach Blanket Homicide by Maria Geraci (US only).


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