Last month, Mystery Writers of America announced the nominees for the Agatha Awards! I thought it might be fun to read and review a few of these books and to offer a $20 Amazon gift card giveaway to help finance you buying all these books! Here is a list of writers and the fiction that will be voted on at Malice Domestic in May.
Don’t you love strolling through a bookstore? The smell of the books, the invitation to new worlds and excitement on every shelf? Let’s take a run over to Samantha Washington’s bookstore in North Harbor, Michigan where the senior crowd from Shady Acres has their heads together to solve another mystery. Read my review below the description and don’t forget to put your name in for the giveaway!
Mystery bookstore owner Samantha Washington is trying to keep her grandmother from spending her golden years in an orange jumpsuit . . .
The small town of North Harbor, Michigan, is just not big enough for the two of them: flamboyant phony Maria Romanov and feisty Nana Jo. The insufferable Maria claims she’s descended from Russian royalty and even had a fling with King Edward VIII back in the day. She’s not just a lousy liar, she’s a bad actress, so when she nabs the lead in the Shady Acres Senior Follies—a part Nana Jo plays every year in their retirement village production—Nana Jo blows a gasket and reads her the riot act in front of everyone.
Of course, when Maria is silenced with a bullet to the head, Nana Jo lands the leading role on the suspects list. Sam’s been writing her newest mystery, set in England between the wars, with her intrepid heroine Lady Daphne drawn into murder and scandal in the household of Winston Churchill. But now she has to prove that Nana Jo’s been framed. With help from her grandmother’s posse of rambunctious retirees, Sam shines a spotlight on Maria’s secrets, hoping to draw the real killer out of the shadow
I liked The Novel Art of Murder. V.M. Burns has taken the traditional, contemporary cozy mystery and added a twist. There is a second, British historical cozy beautifully woven into the storytelling. I found this mystery full of funny characters and many plot twists and surprises. I loved Nana Jo and the ladies and gentlemen of Shady Acres. It had to be the funniest killer takedown I have seen! I highly recommend this one.
About the Author
V.M. Burns was born in Northwestern Indiana and spent many years in Southwestern Michigan on the Lake Michigan shoreline. She is a lover of dogs, British historic cozies, and scones with clotted cream. After many years in the Midwest, she went in search of milder winters and currently lives in Eastern Tennessee with her poodles. Her debut novel, The Plot is Murder was nominated for a 2017 Agatha Award for Best First Novel. Valerie is a member of Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, and a lifetime member of Sisters in Crime. Readers can learn more by visiting her website at vmburns.com
Okay, first you have a cozy mystery sleuth named Merry Winters and a dog named Ebenezer. Hmmm, sensing a trend here. I’ll make a true confession–I love reading Christmas mysteries when it isn’t Christmas. I think I actually like them more probably because I have time to enjoy them! Check out Christina Freeburn’s new Merry and Bright Handcrafted series with her first entry, Not a Creature was Stirring. Don’t forget to enter her giveaway and there is a second chance to enter below the Rafflecopter box.
Empty nester Merry Winters loves three things: Christmas, crafting and her family. To regain purpose and joy, Merry hits the road to a Christmas vendor event with her furry sidekick Ebenezer in her new mobile crafting sleigh, aka an RV.
But it soon turns into the nightmare before Christmas when Merry unwraps her Scrooge of an ex-husband’s body in one of the RV’s compartments. Add to that his missing winning lottery ticket believed to be stashed somewhere in the RV, leading the homicide detective and Merry’s stepdaughter to believe Merry is the one whodunit.
With visions of prison dancing in her head, will Merry be able to solve this Christmas calamity before she’s locked away?
Christina Freeburn has always loved books. There was nothing better than picking up a story and being transported to another place. The love of reading evolved into the love of writing and she’s been writing since her teenage years. Her first novel was a 2003 Library of Virginia Literary Award nominee. Her mysteries series, Faith Hunter Scrap This Mystery and Merry & Bright Handcrafted Mysteries, are a mix of crafty and crime and feature heroines whose crafting time is interrupted by crime solving.
Christina served in the US Army and has also worked as a paralegal, librarian, church secretary, and golf shop pro. She lives in West Virginia with her husband, dog, and a rarely seen cat except by those who are afraid and allergic to felines.
I am happy to announce that Nora, Tuck and all the folks in Piney Woods, Texas have a brand new adventure!
Nora Alexander has sunk her inheritance into the Tunie Hotel, in Piney Woods, Texas. Now there is a chance that her first major booking, a national cat lovers’ conference called Meow Meet-Up, will help her bottom line.
Pushy reporter Alan Shaw shows up the day before the event, making trouble for Nora and the conference.
When Shaw is later found dead in the bottom of the hotel’s faulty elevator shaft, Nora depends upon boyfriend and police officer, Tuck Watson, to investigate and save the Tunie Hotel’s reputation. Nora also has to deal with a surprise health inspection and a conference organizer bent on getting steep discounts for conference attendees.
Things spin further out of Nora’s control when she discovers she has a cat dander allergy setting off unpredictable sneezing episodes at inopportune times. The featured feline guest, grand champion show cat, Catpurnicas, escapes and disappears, leading to a town-wide search. Surrounded by members of the Meow Meet-Up convention, Nora must sort through a list of suspects that include a beloved cozy mystery writer. A Sneeze to Die for is the second book in the Piney Woods Cozy Mystery Series, which began with Murder of a Good Man.
This one is a special shout out to all the literary agents out there, (including mine) from J.C. Kenney. Be sure to check out my review of A Literal Mess and then enter the giveaway for a chance at a $25 Amazon gift card.
The first book in a new series featuring Allie Cobb brings the New York literary agent back to her Hoosier home town where a mysterious death keeps everyone on spoiler alert . . .
Allie Cobb left home for the literary circles of Manhattan to make her name out from under the shadow of her legendary father. Now his death brings her and her rescue cat Ursula back to the southern Indiana town of Rushing Creek, population: 3,216. But a tragic new chapter hits the presses when the body of her father’s hard-drinking, #1 bestselling client is found under the historic town bridge. The local police suspect foul play and their prime candidate for murder is the author’s daughter—Allie’s longtime friend.
Determined to clear her bestie, Allie goes into fact-checking amateur detective mode while trying to ignore the usual rumormongers. Those with means, motive, and opportunity include the vic’s ex-wife, his rejected girlfriend, the mayor, and a rival agent trying to mooch clients. With a rugged genealogist distracting her and the imminent Fall Festival about to send tourists descending on their once-peaceful hamlet, Allie needs to stay alive long enough to get a read on a killer ready to close the book on a new victim: Allie . . .
J.C. Kenney gives us a new cozy mystery series with little Allie Cobb, the kickboxing crusader, and literary agent. Allie was a relatable character and I was pleased with how the story came full circle. I read a lot of mysteries but I wasn’t sure “whodunnit” until the very end. Good work! I look forward to other works by J.C. Kenney.
How did you come with an idea for your book?
It’s kind of a funny story. My agent posted an article in our agency chat group about a person going missing near a river. I wasn’t writing mysteries at the time, but commented in an offhand way that the article sounded like a great story nugget for a cozy mystery. Well, my agent responded by challenging me to write the story. After thinking about it for a couple of days, I decided to go for it. That offhand comment led to A Literal Mess. It’s been nice having something good come out of spouting off without thinking!
What scene do you hope your readers enjoy the most?
I hope they really like Allie’s final showdown with the murderer. I think it’s a testament to her quick thinking and fearlessness. Allie doesn’t sit back and wait for things to come to her. She takes the initiative. I hope readers see that, and appreciate it.
What other things have you written or what projects might we see in the future?
A Literal Mess is the first book in the Allie Cobb Mysteries series. Book two, A Genuine Fix, will be out this July. The third book in the series, A Mysterious Mix Up, will be out in 2020.
If you could write any other genre what would that be?
I’ve been a fan of science fiction all my life, so writing in that genre could be fun. I actually have a space opera I work on when time permits. Someday, I’ll finish it. I hope!
Is there a giveaway or promotion with this book?
I’m giving away a $25 Amazon gift card to one lucky winner!
Where can readers leave reviews of your book?
Goodreads and Amazon. I truly appreciate the time readers spend with my stories and if they are inclined to leave a review, those are the two places that would help the most. Thanks in advance!
Please share the link for readers to add your book on Goodreads!
J.C. Kenney grew up in a household filled with books by legends Agatha Christie and Lilian Jackson Braun, among many others, so it was no surprise when he found himself writing mystery stories. When he’s not writing, you can find him following IndyCar racing or listening to music. He lives in Indianapolis with his wife, two sons, and a cat who is the inspiration for Ursula in the Allie Cobb Mysteries.
Welcome to our first book spotlight in 2019! Here it is January and time to slog back to school, but wait there is something strange afoot on campus. Academic Curveball is the first book in this cozy mystery series and is full of grade tampering and mysterious death. So grab your backpack and your overpriced coffee and let’s go to school!
Don’t forget to enter for your chance at a print copy of the book 🙂
When Kellan Ayrwick returns home for his father’s retirement, he finds a dead body in Diamond Hall’s stairwell.
Unfortunately, Kellan has a connection to the victim, and so do several members of his family. Soon after, the college’s athletic program receives mysterious donations, a nasty blog denounces his father and someone attempts to change students’ grades.
Someone is playing games on campus, but none of the facts add up.
With the help of his eccentric and trouble-making nana, Kellan tries to stay out of the sheriff’s way. But who is behind the murder?
About the Author
James is my given name, but most folks call me Jay. I live in New York City, grew up on Long Island, and graduated from Moravian College with a degree in English literature. I spent fifteen years building a technology career in the retail, sports, media, and entertainment industries. I enjoyed my job, but a passion for books and stories had been missing for far too long. I’m a voracious reader in my favorite genres (thriller, suspense, contemporary, mystery, and historical fiction), as books transport me to a different world where I can immerse myself in so many fantastic cultures and places. I’m an avid genealogist who hopes to visit all the German, Scottish, Irish, and British villages my ancestors emigrated from in the 18th and 19th centuries. I frequently blog and publish book reviews on everything I read at ThisIsMyTruthNow via WordPress.
Writing has been a part of my life as much as my heart, my mind, and my body. I decided to pursue my passion by dusting off the creativity inside my head and drafting outlines for several novels. I quickly realized I was back in my element growing happier and more excited with life each day. My goal in writing is to connect with readers who want to be part of great stories and who enjoy interacting with authors. To get a strong picture of who I am, check out my author website or my blog. It’s full of humor and eccentricity, sharing connections with everyone I follow—all in the hope of building a network of friends across the world.
When I completed the first book, Watching Glass Shatter, I knew I’d stumbled upon my passion again, suddenly dreaming up characters, plots, and settings all day long. I chose my second novel, Father Figure, through a poll on my blog where I let everyone vote for their favorite plot and character summaries. It is with my third book, Academic Curveball,, the first in the Braxton Campus Mysteries, where I immersed myself in a college campus full of so much activity, I could hardly stop thinking about new murder scenes or character relationships to finish writing the current story. Come join in the fun!
Jodi Rath introduces a new cozy mystery series with Pineapple Upside Down Murder. Yes, it’s the holiday season and even the book titles are fattening! Be sure to enter Jodi’s giveaway for a chance at a free digital copy of this book. There will be a winner chosen from this blog!
Introducing Jolie Tucker, an introverted yet passionate restaurant co-owner of Cast Iron Creations, who, at her best friend Ava’s request, steps out of her comfort zone which leads her into the shade of a killer in the small, cozy village of Leavensport, Ohio. The victim is the villages beloved Ellie Siler who runs the village sweet spot, Chocolate Capers. Jolie finds her grandma Opal is a prime suspect and goes on a search for answers only to find out that her families secret recipes may not belong to the Tucker family at all. Jolie’s job, family, and livelihood are all on the line. The answers are assuredly lethal.
About the Author
Moving into her second decade working in education, Jodi Rath has decided to begin a life of crime in her The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series. Her passion for both mysteries and education led her to combine the two to create her business MYS ED, where she splits her time between working as an adjunct for Ohio teachers and creating mischief in her fictional writing. She currently resides in a small, cozy village in Ohio with her husband and her seven cats.
At midnight this free book goes to $3.99 so if you haven’t downloaded it yet–now’s the time!
Wow! I’ve had some wonderful tour stops this time thanks to Lori Caswell and her tour company Great Escapes Tours. I’ve met several readers and future readers through the comment sections who made me feel as warm and welcome as a cup of hot cocoa. <3
BUT WAIT…IT ISN’T OVER YET! I STILL HAVE FIVE MORE BLOG STOPS, AND THE BOOK IS STILL FREE!