A Day in the Life of Maura Donovan by Sheila Connolly

A Turn For The BadOkay, so I’ve been in Ireland for, what, six, seven months now? I got here in March, and then it was kind of a blur for a while when I found out I now owned a pub—Sullivan’s—and a house. I mean, the most I ever owned before was whatever clothes were in my closet. And suddenly I’m a homeowner and a manager, in a country I’d never seen before. At least they speak English here, except sometimes the people are a little hard to understand.

Well, I’ve made it this far. The pub hasn’t gone belly-up yet, and I haven’t burned the house down, although I’m not really sure how the heat works. If there are taxes and licenses and stuff like that to worry about, I’m going to save them until the end of the year. Maybe by then I’ll be able to afford an accountant or a solicitor or whatever the heck it takes. Maybe.

I’m not complaining, really. There is just this one problem: I get getting involved with crimes (no, I don’t commit them). I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. People keep coming into the pub, and they start talking, which is what I want them to do, and the next thing I know, they’re telling me about somebody who died a long time ago, or something that went missing. Why do they tell me this stuff? It’s not because I look friendly, or even wise (I’m kind of young for that). I guess they just look at me behind the bar and say, yeah, that’s a bartender, and I’m supposed to spill my guts to bartenders. Right?

Don’t laugh. It keeps happening. And now it’s happening again.

You wouldn’t think a dairy farmer who disappeared a good number of miles from here would be any of my business, but I keep finding out that everybody around here in West Cork knows everybody else and is probably related to them three different way, and that makes it everybody’s business. How come I lived in the City of Boston all my life before I came here, but after six months I know more people here than I ever did in Boston? And Sullivan’s is kind of information central, where everybody comes to swap stories and see what’s new. It’s better than the national news.

Okay, this time around it’s that missing farmer. Don’t ask me how many farmers just up and disappear, because I just don’t know. If you ask me, farming, especially with cows, is a messy job, and it wouldn’t surprise me if a lot of people get fed up with it and walk away. But the thing is, this guy left his kid behind, on the beach, wondering where his daddy went. Everybody who’s come into the pub says he isn’t the kind of man to do something like that. So the only other possibility is that somebody took him away, and either didn’t see the kid on the beach or didn’t care. Which doesn’t explain why anybody would want to grab a dairy farmer.

But when they heard he was missing, people got busy—fast. I didn’t know how many rescue agencies there were around here, like the Coast Guard and the Irish Navy, although I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised since we’re so close to the coast. There’s a lot of coast around here. Most of it is too shallow or too rocky for boats. At least, that’s what people say, but then they kind of go nod-nod wink-wink, and I’m left wondering what they’re talking about, but nobody will tell me.

Maybe whatever is going on is not quite legal? But I can’t prove that. All I can do is try to help find the missing guy, and the best way for me to do that is to listen to the people who come into Sullivan’s, because I can promise you, someone knows something about it.


A Turn for the Bad is the 4th book in the County Cork Mystery series, published by Berkley Prime Crime, February 2016.

The New York Times bestselling author of An Early Wake returns to Ireland where Sullivan’s Pub owner Maura Donovan gets mixed up with smugglers.

After calling Ireland home for six months, Boston expat Maura Donovan still has a lot to learn about Irish ways—and Sullivan’s Pub is her classroom. Maura didn’t only inherit a business, she inherited a tight-knit community. And when a tragedy strikes, it’s the talk of the pub. A local farmer, out for a stroll on the beach with his young son, has mysteriously disappeared. Did he drown? Kill himself? The child can say only that he saw a boat.

Everyone from the local gardai to the Coast Guard is scouring the Cork coast, but when a body is finally brought ashore, it’s the wrong man. An accidental drowning or something more sinister? Trusting the words of the boy and listening to the suspicions of her employee Mick that the missing farmer might have run afoul of smugglers, Maura decides to investigate the deserted coves and isolated inlets for herself. But this time she may be getting in over her head.

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All comments are welcomed.

About the author
Sheila Connolly, Agatha and Anthony award nominee and New York Times bestseller, writes the Orchard Mysteries, the Museum Mysteries and the County Cork Mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime. In addition, she publishes the e-book paranormal romance series Relatively Dead through Beyond the Page Press, most recently Watch for the Dead. Her short stories have been included in Level Best Books’ anthologies, and other e-stories have been published by Berkley Prime Crime and Beyond the Page.

Visit Sheila at www.sheilaconnolly.com and Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen where she blogs.

Giveaway: Leave comment below for your chance to win a print copy of A Turn for the Bad. US entries only, please. The giveaway will end February 19, 2016 at 12 AM EST. Good luck everyone!

A Day in the Life with Gordon Hepler by Terry Odell

Deadly PlacesOccupation: Chief of Police of Mapleton, Colorado

Good morning. Welcome to Mapleton, Colorado. I’m Gordon Hepler, Chief of Police here. First, let me tell you I didn’t want to be Chief, but I owed Dix, my mentor, so when he pushed me to accept the position, I agreed. But I’d rather be out on the streets doing Police Stuff instead of behind my desk doing Chief Stuff.

Most days around here are fairly routine. Mapleton, Colorado is a small town, and we don’t have a lot of serious crime—not unless you count Betty Bedford’s murder, which happened shortly after I took over as Chief. But we caught the bad guy. Then there was the time a dog found a bone. Nothing unusual there, until it turned out to be human. And when I was supposed to be on vacation, there was a guy who showed up at the B&B saying his wife was missing—that turned into a crazy case. Or the time a movie crew came to Mapleton and we found a dead body. Okay, so I ended up getting shot in that one, but most of the time, it’s just noisy dogs, some rowdy patrons at Finnegan’s, or a missing drainpipe.

A typical day starts early. I like to get into the office and go over the night reports to make sure there’s nothing unusual going on. My favorite part of the morning is doing crossing guard duty at the elementary school. Let the kids see cops are the good guys.

Later, I’ll take a break at Daily Bread, the local café, where Angie makes the best cinnamon rolls in the county—maybe the state. We’ve been seeing each other, but that’s hardly a secret around town. It’s hard to keep secrets in Mapleton.

And then there’s Officer Ed Solomon. Ever since I had my disrupted vacation, he’s got this theory that there’s an assassination gang out there killing deadbeat dads. Every chance he gets, he’s looking for more evidence that will prove his theory. I let him follow his leads as long as it doesn’t interfere with his Mapleton Police work. He’s my best officer, and I want him to be happy here. Wouldn’t want to lose him to some big city force.

My least favorite part of the job is dealing with the mayor—we’ve had two since I took over as Chief, and all they care about is the money, so budget reports take up a lot of my time. That and proving to the mayor and the Town Council that what I do is for the good of all the citizens of Mapleton. I mean, he’s a politician, not a law enforcement officer. Things came to a head recently, and I’m kind of on probation. The mayor changed his mind after I showed him I had done everything by the book, but it pissed me off, so I decided to take the time off anyway.

Ed Solomon’s in charge while I’m gone, and I can’t help but wonder what’s going to happen with his Deadbeat Dad Killer theory. Wouldn’t it be funny if he was right?


Deadly Places is the fifth book in the “Mapleton” mystery series, November 2015.

Read Deadly Places to find out what happens when Officer Ed Solomon is faced with being Acting Chief of Police in Mapleton. Can he balance the Chief Stuff with his regular police work and his family? And what about the Deadbeat Dad Killer? Better yet, start at the beginning of this 5 book series with Deadly Secrets and see how Gordon has to solve the first murder in Mapleton’s collective memory.

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All comments are welcomed.

Meet the author
Terry Odell always wanted to “fix” stories she read so the characters did what she wanted. She discovered this wasn’t always possible when the mystery she intended to write became a romance—a real surprise, since she’d never read a romance. Terry writes mystery and romantic suspense, but calls them “Mysteries With Relationships.” Her works include the Blackthorne, Inc. covert ops series, the Pine Hills Police series, and the Mapleton Mystery series. Her short story collection, Seeing Red, is a Silver Falchion Award winner. She’s currently working on a new series set against the backdrop of a Colorado cattle ranch. Visit Terry at terryodell.com.

Giveaway: Leave comment below for your chance to win an autographed copy of an ARC (Advance Reader Copy, uncorrected proof) of Deadly Secrets, Book 1 in my Mapleton Mystery Series, US only. Or, a digital copy of the book, open to all. Winner’s choice of format: Kindle, Nook, iBooks, Smashwords, or Kobo. The giveaway will end February 19 at 12 AM EST. Good luck everyone!

The Goings On in South Cove with Jill Gardner by Lynn Cahoon

Murder on WheelsThere are many reasons I should hate Kacey Austin. One, her rat cheat of a husband broke my friend, Sadie’s, heart. Two, she and said husband bought the food truck that was supposed to be the first Coffee, Books, and More annex. Coffee, Books, and More is my coffee shop and it’s located smack dab in the middle of South Cove. Of course, Kacey’s food truck won’t be true competition since she’d only selling gluten free items. The girl is crazy about nutrition. I think if you want dessert, you want three things, fat, sugar, and chocolate.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. I’m Jill Gardner, and not only do I own the only coffee shop in town, I’m also the business liaison between the South Cove city council and the business community. A job that typically just gets me into trouble. Somehow, I’m always the one to stumble upon a crime scene. Honestly, even I’m surprised how many dead bodies can show up in one little tourist town.

Back to Kacey. Like I said, I shouldn’t like her. But the girl is nice. Too nice to be married to such a loser like Austin. He knows I’m dying to tell Kacey about his dating Sadie, that’s why he’s always keeping us from talking. He won’t be able to keep this from Kacey very long. South Cove is too small for a secret like that to stay hidden.

Kacey and I have something else in common. She is president of the local geocaching club. Yes, there are such things. Justin, my best friend Amy’s boyfriend, is all into the ‘sport’ and has convinced Greg and I to go with them on our monthly double date.

What is geocaching, you ask? Well, someone goes out, hides something and then posts clues on a website for others to find. Yep, you got it, a modern treasure hunt with the map on line. Apparently a lot of homeschoolers use the activity as a geography exercise. I think it’s best left to the kids.

Anyway it’s life as usual here in South Cove. Except something’s going on with Aunt Jackie. She’s part of this water conservation committee which is keeping her busy, but she’s holding on to a secret too. I’ll figure it out sooner or later.

I guess I better open up the shop and start brewing coffee. My regular townie customers should be showing up soon. Have a great day, and if you’re in the area, be sure to stop by and say hi. We love visitors here in South Cove.

Jill


Murder on Wheels is the sixth book in the “Tourist Trap” mystery series, published by Lyrical Underground, February 2016.

The food truck craze has reached the charming coastal town of South Cove, California, but before Jill Gardner—owner of Coffee, Books, and More—can sample the eats, she has to shift gears and put the brakes on a killer . . .

Now that Kacey Austin has got her new gluten-free dessert truck up and running, there’s no curbing her enthusiasm—not even when someone vandalizes the vehicle and steals her recipes. But when Kacey turns up dead on the beach and Jill’s best friend Sadie becomes the prime suspect, Jill needs to step on it to serve the real killer some just desserts.

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All comments are welcomed.

About the author
Lynn Cahoon is the author of the NYT and USA Today bestselling Tourist Trap cozy mystery series. Guidebook to Murder, book 1 of the series won the Reader’s Crown for Mystery Fiction in 2015. She’s also the author of the soon to be released, Cat Latimer series, with the first book, A Story To Kill, releasing in mass market paperback September 2016.She lives in a small town like the ones she loves to write about with her husband and two fur babies. Sign up for her newsletter at www.lynncahoon.com

Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a digital copy of Murder On Wheels. The giveaway will end February 18 at 12 AM EST. Good luck everyone!

Dumpster Diving with CeCe Prentice by Deirdre Verne

Drawing BloodOoh, that smarts. . .The tiniest of cuts! But it’s my own fault. . .

Picking garbage is a high-risk job. I speak from experience having recently nicked my finger on a glass bottle after a Dumpster-dive at my local recycling center. Frankly, if anyone should know better, it’s me. I’m practically a professional when it comes to refuse, a poster-child for all things junk. That’s right. I’m a full-fledged Freegan – my entire life is about repurposing what others discard. As I often brag, my carbon footprint is so small it wouldn’t fit over a newborn’s toes.

The problem with this particular dive is that I didn’t have a choice. I knew there was something strange going on the moment I saw that doll’s head. A Dawn doll to be specific. You may remember these adorable little figures from the early 1970’s. About 6.5 inches in height, Dawn dolls were so popular they outsold Barbie at one point. That’s why Bob Rooney, one of my best buds and manager of my recycling center, collects them. The week before I cut my finger, I traded Bob some doll parts on the condition that he’d help me find a used car to replace my clunker. But now it seems that Bob has tossed the parts I gave him. That didn’t sit well with me, as I really needed a new car.

Wait. Who am I kidding? I could use a new everything, but I happily deny myself these luxuries. The only things I don’t recycle are my friends. In fact, I keep them so close that I insist we live together, commune-like, in a rambling Victorian overlooking Long Island’s majestic sound. It’s here where we farm our own land and live our sustainable lifestyle. And now that my best friend Katrina is having a baby, our house is about to get that much cozier. . .and louder, but I’m okay with that because there’s nothing I wouldn’t do for my friends, and they for me.

That’s why I’m a little worried that Bob hasn’t called me back in a week. He knows I’ve got impending transportation issues. It doesn’t help that a member of my local police department just informed me that he had a cryptic conversation with Bob right about the time I gave him the doll parts. This tidbit, I learned, because the newest member of my inner-circle happens to be a cop. That’s right. I’m dating a cop. So when I learned that Bob was speaking to the police and I spotted the doll parts in the garbage, I panicked. Then I got frantic and jumped into the pile of garbage.

One injured finger, one broken car, one cryptic conversation and one missing friend. I’d love to tell you that I’m about to throw my hands up and head to the mall for some retail therapy, but you know that’s not happening. I think I’ve got a case to solve and if there’s one thing a Freegan knows, it’s how to get something out of nothing.


Drawing Blood is the second book in the “Sketch In Crime” mystery series, published by Midnight Ink.

When Big Bob, manager of the town dump, goes missing, CeCe is worried about more than where she’ll score her next salvaged car. First at the scene when Bob’s body is recovered from under the weekly recycling haul, CeCe is quick to identify potential witnesses and provide crucial scene sketches. But when CeCe is uncharacteristically startled by an unidentified woman at Bob’s abandoned house, her artistic talents are challenged, and her drawings, much to her frustration, come up short.

With CeCe’s observational talents on the fritz, Detective Frank DeRosa, CeCe, and her network of Freegans are forced to recreate Big Bob’s life from the garbage up. The team is soon thrust into the underworld of recycling where what appears to be junk could actually be the clue that saves a life.

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About the author
Deirdre Verne (Lower Westchester, NY) is a mystery writer, college professor, and an active college blogger. Deirdre’s interest in green living inspired her to create an off-the-grid character who Dumpster dives her way through the “Sketch in Crime” mystery series. Verne’s second book, Drawing Blood, is available in February 2016. A dysfunctional functional family to die for. . . [CeCe Prentice’s] second case is every bit as twisty and surprising.”-Kirkus Reviews.

A member of Sisters in Crime, Deirdre’s short stories appear in all three New York chapter anthologies – Murder New York Style, Murder New York Style: Fresh Slices and Family Matters. Visit her online at DeirdreVerne.com.

A Day in the Life with Herr Georg Wolfsburger as told to B.B. Haywood

Town In A Cinnamon ToastProprietor, Black Forest Bakery
Cape Willington, Maine

Hallo! Wie geht’s? My name is Georg Wolfsburger. You may have heard of me. I own the Black Forest Bakery in the quaint seaside village of Cape Willington, Maine, located on the rocky Down East coast. Many of you I have met around town, and I’m sure some of you have been into my shop, where I bake the most delectable cakes and German pastries in New England. But the sticky mess in which I currently find myself has nothing to do with my bakery.

In just two day’s time, I will be marrying the love of my life and apple to my strudel, the lovely and energetic Maggie Tremont. I can’t even begin to describe my happiness to you! I’m looking forward to the wedding more than anything else in the world. There’s just one minor problem at the moment. Last evening, at our wedding rehearsal dinner, our best man, Julius Seabury, went missing. Much to my surprise and regret, he was later found dead and—dare I say?—possibly murdered! A friend of mine, blueberry farmer Candy Holliday, discovered his body at the English Point Lighthouse and Museum, in the second-floor archives, which is full of musty old books and documents. Needless to say, it was a great shock for us all.

As if that isn’t tragic enough, it appears that Julius was killed by a knock on the head with one of the bottles of champagne I personally ordered for our upcoming wedding celebration! Talk about popping a cork! The police might even think I did it! Gott in Himmel! Can you imagine?

With the loss of Julius, my best friend and best man, and with my upcoming wedding just two days away, and with a possible murderer running around town, and with ongoing preparations to open the bakery for the summer season in a few weeks’ time, I have so much on my mind that it’s just spinning like a top! Not to mention the fact that I have a wedding cake to bake for my own wedding! But before I can do that, I need to find out who took that bottle of champagne from its case without anyone’s knowledge, and why it was taken to the museum and used to strike down my best man.

If you know me, then you know I’m normally a reserved, stay-out-of-trouble man, but in this case I feel that I need to take immediate action. I have to find out what happened to Julius in order to save my wedding. Thankfully, I have Candy Holliday to help me solve this mystery. As you might know, she has quite a bit of experience with this sort of thing. It’s a case we’ll try to solve together.

The clues, as expected, are mysterious. Why was there sand on the bottoms of Julius’s shoes? What was he looking at through his binoculars? Why did he seem so distressed in his final days? Was someone after him? Did it have anything to do with the town’s founding families, like the Sykes and the Pruitt families? And, most important, what the heck is this thing called Foul Mouth?

It will take all our combined efforts to get to the bottom of this mystery. I admit that I’ll never be the sleuth Candy has become, but I will do my best to sharpen my investigative skills! I’ll don my green felt Tyrolean hat (complete with feather) and get out there to solve this crime. Only then will I have peace of mind. Then the beautiful wedding I’ve planned with my darling Maggie can take place, so we can both live happily ever after.


Town in a Cinnamon Toast is the seventh book in the “Candy Holliday” mystery series, published by Berkley Prime Crime, February 2016.

The author of Town in a Sweet Pickle brings back Candy Holliday, a blueberry farmer with a green thumb for sleuthing.

The much-anticipated wedding of local resident Maggie Tremont and popular baker Herr Georg has stirred up the usually quiet coastal town of Cape Willington. To make sure the wedding of the year goes off without a hitch, the participants gather at a pre-wedding dinner—everyone, that is, except the best man.

Worried, Candy, the maid of honor, goes looking for him, finally tracking him down to the upstairs archive rooms at the English Point Lighthouse and Museum. There’s only one problem: he’s dead, struck over the head with a bottle of champagne, the same exclusive brand that was ordered for the dinner. Before the wedding plans fall flat, Candy rushes to find the murderer, unearthing a conspiracy that could spill over into the whole town.

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All comments are welcomed.

NOTE: Town in a Cinnamon Toast was published on Feb. 2, 2016, by Berkeley Prime Crime, and available in both print and as an ebook. Other titles in the New York Times bestselling series include Town in a Sweet Pickle, Town in a Strawberry Swirl, Town in a Pumpkin Bash, Town in a Wild Moose Chase, Town in a Lobster Stew, and Town in a Blueberry Jam. Large print editions of the books and an audiobook of Town in a Blueberry Jam are also available. For more information on the series, visit www.hollidaysblueberryacres.com.

Giveaway: Leave comment below for your chance to win a signed copy of Town in a Cinnamon Toast. US entries only, please. The giveaway will end February 16, 2016 at 12 AM EST. Good luck everyone!