My Musing ~ What The Fly Saw by Frankie Y. Bailey

What The Fly SawWhat The Fly Saw by Frankie Y. Bailey is the second book in the “Detective Hannah McCabe” mystery series. Publisher: Minotaur, March 2015

Albany, New York, January 2020

The morning after a blizzard that shut down the city, funeral director Kevin Novak is found dead in the basement of his funeral home. The arrow sticking out of his chest came from his own hunting bow.

A loving husband and father and an active member of a local megachurch, Novak has no known enemies. His family and friends say he was depressed because his best friend died suddenly of a heart attack and Novak blamed himself. But what does his guilt have to do with his death? Maybe nothing, maybe a lot. The minister of the megachurch and the psychiatrist who provides counseling to church members–do either of them know more than they are saying?

Detective Hannah McCabe and her partner, Mike Baxter, sort through lies and evasions to solve the riddle of Novak’s death, while unanswered questions from another high-profile case, and McCabe’s own suspicions make for a dynamite crime novel.

I am a fan of the present, the here and now, when I’m reading a book, but this futuristic story kept my interest and I did enjoy the interplay between the characters, be it the main protagonist, the victim and the supporting players. The author did a good job in pacing the drama so that it was easy to follow and the twists and turns heightened this mystery that resulted in a satisfying outcome.

My Musing ~ Death, Taxes, and Cheap Sunglasses by Diane Kelly

Death, Taxes, and Cheap SunglassesDeath, Taxes, and Cheap Sunglasses by Diane Kelly is the 10th book in the “Tara Holloway” romantic mystery series. Publisher: St. Martin’s Press


IRS Special Agent Tara Holloway can calculate tax penalties to the penny. But seeing the world of white-collar crime through rose-colored glasses? Priceless.

Tara’s career comes with a lot of pros and cons–which is a nice way of saying that she’s kick-a$$ in her fight against professional con-artists. And she’s tough enough to deal with all the money-launderers, tax-evaders, and other such criminals who cross her path. . .Until her own boyfriend, Nick, joins their leagues. Now all bets are off.

Nick is about to go deep undercover–and the stakes are higher than Tara could have ever imagined. It’s all part of a joint task force with the DEA to bring down a powerful, violent drug cartel. It’s going to take more than a pair of dime store shades for Tara to bring their dark deeds to light. Can she help Nick without blowing his cover. . .and ending up in harm’s way herself?

I love this series. Tara is one gutsy heroine who takes her job as an IRS Special Agent and when she is on the case of a tax cheat, nothing will deter her, well maybe one or two will, until she catches her *man*. This fast paced and non-stop action drama entertained me from the first page grabbing my attention immediately. I love the style and format of how this story is presented, letting us feel what Tara feels as she goes about her daily job. From the art gallery to the toga party to the sanctuary, all of this had me quickly turning the pages to see what happens next. Adding the cheap sunglasses skits to the storyline was perfect. This was a great read and I can’t wait to see what cases Tara and her colleagues tackles next. I’m sure it will be a hoot.

A Day in the Life with Caitlin Hart by Kathi Daley

Grimms Furry TailI wake to the sound of rain hitting the roof of the seaside cabin I call home. I slowly open my eyes and lean onto one elbow as I assess my situation. My kitten Emily is sleeping under the covers with her head leaning against my thigh, while my dog Max is asleep atop the covers. Both animals begin to stir as they sense my wakefulness.

I glance out the window next to my bed. The sky is dark and the sea, which on a clear day is visible from my current vantage point, is masked in a shroud of clouds and fog. I uncurl myself from the tangled mass of limbs and pull back the covers. I roll out of bed and begin my morning routine.

I let Max out the side door, toss a match on the fire, and start a pot of coffee. I fill Emily’s food and water dishes and, once the coffee is done, I fill my favorite Garfield mug. Emily follows me to the sofa, where I curl up with my coffee and the quilt Aunt Maggie made for my birthday. I find that at times life is hectic and unpredictable. My morning routine, however, is comfortably habitual to the point of being static. I find that it is these small rituals that keep me grounded when everything else in my life is spinning out of control.

I sip my coffee and close my eyes. I feel a sense of contentment as the warm liquid slides down my throat and warms me from the inside. I listen to the predictable rhythm of the waves as Emily begins to purr in synchronicity. Max, who has wandered back in through the side door, curls up at my feet, and I allow myself a few peaceful moments before the hectic day begins.

I can remember my dad telling me that as long as you begin and end each day with a moment of quiet reflection, you will be able to deal with everything that comes your way. My usual routine is to quietly drink my coffee in front of the fire on cold days or on the front deck overlooking the ocean during the warmer summer months. Once I am fully awake, I take Max for a run on the beach so that we can both receive the fresh air and exercise we need.

At the other end of the day, as the sun sets over the horizon, I watch the whales breaching in the distance and thank God that I have been blessed with my own piece of paradise. I love living on Madrona Island, with its white sand beaches and crystal-clear water. I love Coffee Cat Books, the bookstore/coffee bar I own with my best friend Tara. And I love Harthaven Cat Sanctuary, the rescue operation my aunt and I founded to shelter the feral cats who live on the island. But most of all I love that I share my life with others who are tethered to the island with roots planted as deeply as my own. Life on Madrona Island is much like a continuum. Generations flow one into the next, creating a community of friends who are family, and family who are friends.

You can read more about Caitlin in Grimm’s Furry Tail, the third book in the “Whales and Tails” mystery series, published by Kathi Daley Books. The first two books in the series are Romeow and Juliet and The Mad Catter.

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 12 p.m. eastern on March 27 for the chance to win a paperback or Kindle copy of Grimm’s Furry Tail–winner’s choice. The print giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. The kindle copy is open to everyone. Winner will be notified within 48 hours after giveaway closes and you will have three days to respond after being contacted or another winner will be selected. Make sure to check your SPAM folder.

About the author
Kathi Daley lives with her husband, kids, grandkids, and Bernese mountain dogs in beautiful Lake Tahoe. When she Kathiisn’t writing, she likes to read (preferably at the beach or by the fire), cook (preferably something with chocolate or cheese), and garden (planting and planning, not weeding). She also enjoys spending time on the water when she’s not hiking, biking, or snowshoeing the miles of desolate trails surrounding her home.

Kathi uses the mountain setting in which she lives, along with the animals (wild and domestic) that share her home, as inspiration for her cozy mysteries.

Stay up to date with her newsletter, The Daley Weekly. There’s a link to sign up on both her Facebook page and her website, or you can access the sign-in sheet.

Visit Kathi on her Webpage

Facebook at Kathi Daley Books / Kathi Daley Teen / Kathi Daley Books Group Page / Kathi Daley Books Birthday Club (get a book on your birthday) / Kathi Daley Recipe Exchange

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April 2015 Books


April 1
Threads of Deceit by Mae Fox & Jan Fields – Vineyard Quilt *new series*

April 7
The Cozy Cookbook by Childs, Coyle, Haywood, Hyzy, McKinlay and more
Lemon Pies and Little White Lies by Ellery Adams – Charmed Pie Shoppe #4
Bittersweet by Susan Wittig Albert – China Bayles #23
Killer in the Kitchen by Donald Bain – Murder She Wrote #43
Blessed are those Who Weep by Kristi Belcamino – Gabriella Giovanni #3
Demise in Denim by Duffy Brown – Consignment Shop #5
Wedding Duress by Elizabeth Lynn Casey – Southern Sewing Circle #10
Shadow of a Spout by Amanda Cooper – Teapot Collector #2
A Sticky Situation by Jessie Crockett – Sugar Grove #3
Bridges Burned by Annette Dashofy – Zoe Chambers #3
Five-Alarm Fudge by Christine Desmet – Fudge Shop #3
The Readaholics and the Falcon Fiasco by Laura DiSilverio – Book Club *new series*
A Fright to the Death by Dawn Eastman – Family Fortune #3
Manhattan in Miniature by Margaret Grace – Miniature #8
Pride v. Prejudice by Joan Hess – Claire Malloy #20
Grave on Grand Avenue by Naomi Hirahara – Officer Ellie Rush #2
Bye, Bye Love by KJ Larsen – Cat DeLuca #4
Dead Girl Blues by Joyce and Jim Lavene – Taxi for the Dead #2
Wicked Stitch by Amanda Lee – Embroidery #8
Dark Chocolate Demise by Jenn McKinlay – Cupcake Bakery #7
Buy a Whisker by Sofie Ryan – Second Chance Cat #2

April 14
The Masque of a Murderer by Susanna Calkins – Lucy Campion #3
Slated for Death by Elizabeth Duncan – Penny Brannigan #6
With Vics You Get Eggroll by Diane Vallere – Mad for Mod #3

April 15
Matrimony Meltdown by Kathi Daley – Zoe Donovan #13

April 21
Lowcountry Boneyard by Susan M. Boyer – Liz Talbot #3
Ghost Image by Ellen Crosby – Sophie Medina #2

April 23
Memory Man by David Baldacci – Amos Decker #1

April 28
Antique Swap by Barbara Allan – Trash ‘n’ Treasures #9
The Postman Always Purls Twice by Anne Canadeo – Black Sheep Knitters #7
Oh Say Can You Fudge by Nancy Coco – Candy-coated #2
A Catered Mother’s Day by Isis Crawford – Mystery With Recipes #11
Your Next Breath by Iris Johansen – Catherine Ling #3
The Ghosts of Peppernell Manor by Amy M. Reade
Musseled Out by Barbara Ross – Maine Clambake #3
Gathering Prey by John Sandford – Prey #26

A Day In The Life of Carla Lance by Janel Gradowski

Chicken Soup and HomicideIt’s 5:00 a.m., but it’s dinner time for me. Or at least it is today. I’m Carla. I work in the ER at Kellerton Hospital, and I just got done working the night shift. There’s nothing like driving home in the dark on icy, snow-covered streets after working to patch up people who were in traffic accidents because of the ice rinks that double as roads on some days in Michigan. This winter has been particularly brutal in more ways than one.

I should be winding down, getting ready to go to bed soon. I’m filling in for a sick coworker, so I’ll need to go back to the hospital this afternoon. Like I said, I should be relaxing so I can get some sleep, but instead I’m drinking coffee and wolfing down double chocolate cookies made by my best friend, Amy. Apparently the recipe needs more work before she’ll consider it good enough to enter in any contest. Entering cooking contests is her hobby that leans more toward an obsession, but I can’t fault her for pursuing something she loves.

Amy is crazy in multiple categories. First of all, the cookies are fabulous. Better than many that I’ve had from bakeries. I’m sure they could win some kind of contest just as they are, with no further changes. Secondly, she’s standing up to the obnoxious detective who is trying to pin a murder on me. The man has the personality of a hungry grizzly bear…who’s hungry to put a fellow detective’s girlfriend in prison. Pitts has the classic, bad cop routine perfected, but Amy is fearlessly punching holes in his case against me. He got in a mental sword fight with the wrong person.

Some of her theories on who the real murderer is are rather creative, but there’s a decent chance she will figure out who the killer is. She did it last summer and even managed to play matchmaker at the same time. Now, rather miraculously, I’m still dating Bruce, a detective with the Kellerton Police Department. He would be able to solve the case if he hadn’t taken himself off of it because the victim was one of my former boyfriends. Just my luck that one of my past, dysfunctional relationships is messing with the first serious relationship I’ve had in years.

So I’m sitting here, filling up on sugar and caffeine, so I can stay awake long enough to call at least one of the sleuths that are on my side. Amy or Bruce could have uncovered a new clue while I was working. They’re both early risers, but even if one of them is up it would still be wiser to wait until they’ve had the time to get some coffee before dealing with my sugar-fueled desperation. Maybe I should switch out my coffee for milk, to give myself a better chance to fall asleep. But I know if anybody has any news, good or bad, I probably won’t be able to sleep anyway. Being a murder suspect is wreaking havoc on my already messed up sleep routine. Somebody needs to find the real murderer before I turn into an insomnia-induced zombie.

You can read more about Carla in Chicken Soup & Homicide, the second book in the “Culinary Competition” mystery series, published by Gemma Halliday Publishing. The first book in the series is Pies & Peril.

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 12 p.m. eastern on March 27 for the chance to win an autographed copy of Chicken Soup & Homicide or an e-book–winner’s choice. The print giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. The kindle copy is open to everyone. Winner will be notified within 48 hours after giveaway closes and you will have three days to respond after being contacted or another winner will be selected. Make sure to check your SPAM folder.

About the author
Janel Gradowski lives in a land that looks like a cold weather fashion accessory, the mitten-shaped state of JanelGradowskiMichigan. She is a wife and mom to two kids and one Golden Retriever. Her journey to becoming an author is littered with odd jobs like renting apartments to college students and programming commercials for an AM radio station. Somewhere along the way she also became a beadwork designer and teacher. She enjoys cooking recipes found in her formidable cookbook and culinary fiction collection. Searching for unique treasures at art fairs, flea markets and thrift stores is also a favorite pastime. Coffee is an essential part of her life. She writes the Culinary Competition Mystery Series, along with The Bartonville Series (women’s fiction) and the 6:1 Series (flash fiction). She has also had many short stories published in both online and print publications.

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A day (well, morning!) in the life of Martine LeDuc by Jeannette de Beauvoir

Asylum“It’s snowing again,” Ivan observed Monday morning at breakfast.

I glared, first at my husband, and then at the window. I was perfectly capable of seeing that it was snowing—again. It’s not an altogether unexpected occurrence in Montréal, which gets more snow every winter than does Moscow; but this March storm hadn’t been forecast, and I had meetings lined up for most of the day. All in different parts of the city, of course.


Ivan’s head was bent again over his iPad: he consumes the morning news along with his café au lait and croissants, and I was accustomed to his running commentary. “Well,” he said finally, “your new boss hasn’t called in sick yet, that has to be good news.”

“My new boss,” I reminded him, “has only been in office two weeks.”

“Still, it’s some sort of record.”

I’m the publicity director for the city, and my new boss was our new mayor, Jean-Luc Boulanger. Early days, I thought realistically: in a city incapable of electing anyone who isn’t corrupt, it seemed a little fanciful to expect anything else. “I never took you for a glass-half-full kind of guy,” I said.

“I’m dedicated to surprising you,” Ivan said, not looking up from his reading.

“Everybody needs a worthy goal in life,” I responded agreeably, slipping into my boots. “I’m leaving; the metro will be jammed.”

Well, it would be a test, anyway: the previous mayor hadn’t gone much of anywhere in the winter months, despite having a limousine and driver at his disposal—unless it was to an important meeting held at an expensive restaurant. If Jean-Luc was actually in his office this morning, he’d score a few points.

But only a few. Unlike Ivan, I am definitely not a glass-half-full kind of person when it comes to politicians. Then again, I work more closely with them than he does.

The wind hit me the moment I stepped out the door, and even though I was well wrapped up—hat and hood, scarf, mittens, and a coat so padded that I looked like the Michelin Tire Man—the snow it sent full into my face was stinging. I trudged to the closest metro stop, wondering (as I did every winter morning) why we didn’t just get an apartment in one of the many buildings that have direct access to the Underground City—Montréal’s miles of passageways, food courts, shops, and transportation that enable us to keep the city running despite the weather. I was relieved when I got to the subway and could do most of my commute underground.

City Hall is located in the Old City, and that meant another few blocks floundering along sidewalks that hadn’t yet been cleared. Beneath my feet, I knew, were picturesque cobblestones, and the cafés I passed would in the summer spill tables, chairs, and chattering customers over them. Some were shuttered, now, waiting for better weather and the waves of tourists that came along with it.

My administrator was already beside her desk, shaking out her coat and muttering under her breath. She lived in the Old City, I knew, and that meant that she’d done her entire commute on foot and outside. “Bonjour, Chantal,” I said as sympathetically as I could.

Bonjour, Martine.” She gestured toward my door. “Sylvie from the mayor’s office left a stack of paperwork for you,” she warned.

“Is he in?”

She nodded and we exchanged a look that was half-shrug, half a grimace of surprise. “Will wonders never cease,” I said.

“And he wants to see you,” she added.

“Okay.” I went into my inner office and exchanged furry boots for office shoes, hung up my coat, and looked with some dismay at the papers piled on the desk. Maybe he was going to be efficient after all, I thought. That would certainly make for a change.

I assembled what I might need for meeting with my boss—pen, notebook, courage—and headed up to his office. Sylvie waved me in. “He’s waiting for you,” she said.

“What time did he get here?” I was still a little shocked: this efficiency was going to shake the whole building up.

“Early,” she said. “I think he has some new plans, he’s very excited about something, said he wanted to talk to you about it first thing.”

Curiouser and curiouser. “Thanks, Sylvie.” I knocked on the door and went in.

Vast expanse of desk, and Jean-Luc Boulanger behind it, gazing out the window. “Good morning, monsieur le maire,” I said. “Sylvie says you have something important to discuss with me?” I was ready. Plans for a new PR campaign? Maybe some much-needed money for my department? A new citywide initiative?

He turned from his perusal of the snow falling outside. “Yes,” he said. “Quite important.”

I sat down, pen and notebook at the ready. “Yes, monsieur?”

“Tell me,” he said, leaning over and looking at me earnestly, “what exactly I need to do so they’ll name a major street after me.”

Read more about publicity director Martine LeDuc in Asylum, available from St. Martin’s/Minotaur.

Women are being murdered in Montréal’s summer tourist season, and everything points to random acts of a serial killer—but it’s Martine who discovers that the deaths reflect a darker past that someone wants desperately to keep hidden.

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 12 p.m. eastern on March 26 for the chance to win a copy of ASYLUM. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. Winner will be notified within 48 hours after giveaway closes and you will have three days to respond after being contacted or another winner will be selected. Make sure to check your SPAM folder.

About the author
JeannetteJeannette de Beauvoir grew up in Angers, France, but now lives on Cape Cod—and spends as much time as she can in Montréal, a city that never fails to be inspiring. Her idea of an excellent way to spend a snowy winter day is curled up in bed with a novel and a cup (or three!) of hot chocolate. You can read more about her at

A Conversation with Nico by Ritter Ames

Marked MastersI am Nico. Laurel Beacham calls me silly names like her “gorgeous geek” and “secret weapon”—she does not think I know these things, but I do. It is okay. I know there is respect in her teasing. It is true I have pulled her attractive body out of many tight situations. Mio Dio! The woman charges headlong into every job, focused only on returning with whatever work of art has . . . poof! . . . vanished. Her day’s work is tracking the thieves with an instinct incomparabile, while my day is spent attempting to keep her in sight with a GPS tracker and a hope she has not misled me again in what she plans to do.

You see, she tends to lie by omission. It is a challenge.

Yes, she is bella e intelligente . . . I mean beautiful and smart . . . but she can do very stupido things because she has great passion for art. I understand passion. I am Italian, whereas Laurel is American and stubborn. It is my job to make sure she has the necessary tools each time to recover her objective.

Unlike Laurel, I do not like the fieldwork. I like quiet hours to work on the gadgets and specially designed packages I must have ready even before Laurel knows she needs them. She doesn’t always appreciate my gifts. A month ago, when I gave her some specially developed glasses she called them “nerd wear.” Yes, she has a great appreciation for appearances, but that is to be expected with the pitfalls she has had to overcome in her life.

I watch her be frivolous and too carefree with her money one moment, and the next she is like a tigress protecting me and her assistant Cassie from the yelling of our boss Max. Someday, I tell her Max does not scare me. I think she already knows, but it is her strong heart that jumps up to strike down anything she sees as bullying.

She must be protected from herself, for she does not know when to back off sometimes. In that regard, I have an ally in Jack Hawkes, as he also tries to keep her from running headlong into any disaster to grab the art objective. However, he also does stupido things himself, so I keep him digitally tracked as well. For his own good, naturalmente.

This newest job led our team to Florence, Italy, which should have been happy for me since it is close to my home, but there is too much danger to relax and enjoy the surroundings. I am tangled in quite a tight situation by the end. Laurel and Jack as well. Dead bodies, forgeries, exquisite masterpieces… It is all a day’s work for us. As long as we can get the work of art away before a bullet finds us instead.

If you enjoy fast-paced mysteries with smart characters, lots of twists and turns, and exciting world-class settings, pick up a copy of our latest adventure Marked Masters. I promise you will get more than a few surprises as Laurel and Jack reluctantly team up again to pursue an even greater risk to the art world than in their previous job. All while I keep the peace and pull them both out of the fire another time or three. The two are so evenly matched they cannot see they should trust each other more and fight less. But I will be there to make sure things are less rocky. That is my job. That is my day’s work. It is a challenge to keep them alive, believe me.

You can read more about Nico, Laurel, Jack and Cassie in Marked Masters, the second book in the “Bodies of Art” Mysteries series, published by Gemma Halliday Publishing. The first book in the series is Counterfeit Conspiracies.

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 12 p.m. eastern on March 25 for the chance to win a copy of Mark Masters. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. Winner will be notified within 48 hours after giveaway closes and you will have three days to respond after being contacted or another winner will be selected. Make sure to check your SPAM folder.

About the author
Ritter Ames is the USA Today Bestselling author of the Organized Mysteries series and the Bodies of Art Mysteries series, both published by Gemma Halliday Publishing. When she’s not writing or brainstorming new mysteries Ritter is usually trying to get her favorite yellow lab to stay out of the pond, or keep her grouchy black cat from trying to give the dog away on Freecycle. Ritter would love to live on a boat and write from far flung locations around the globe, but the dog would constantly have to be fished from the water, and her husband and cat would just complain endlessly about the dog’s smell, so staying on land seems to be the only good option to keep her sanity and not get sidetracked from writing.

Ritter tries to blog regularly at and subscribe there to get the latest news about upcoming releases, and inside scoops on her characters and series. Marked Masters and all of Ritter’s other books are currently available in print and all ebook formats through any online bookseller.