News from the Outer Banks with Fire Chief Colleen McCabe by Kathryn O’Sullivan

Neighing With FireThank you for inviting me back, Dru Ann. Much has happened since we chatted a year ago. The summer tourist season in our little beach village of Corolla, North Carolina started quietly enough until Tropical Storm Ana unearthed a body buried under a vacation home boardwalk, local developer Denny Custis died in a suspicious fire, and I got pressured into being a bridesmaid for the “spiritual union ceremony” of one of my firefighters.

Maybe I should go back a bit. Over the last few months, there has been a string of arsons of abandoned properties on the mainland. Jimmy Bartlett, my veteran captain, and I had been keeping a close eye on those developments and hoping that whoever was responsible didn’t decide to cross Currituck Sound and continue his crime spree on the Outer Banks. My heart sank when land developer Denny Custis ended up dead in a fire set to a beach house under construction – not that I’m a fan of Denny’s after the way he teased my border collie Sparky, but it’s always devastating for firefighters when we can’t save a life. During the course of the homicide investigation, Bill and I have discovered that virtually everyone has had a beef or run-in with Denny and a motive for killing him. Right now Antonio “Pinky” Salvatore, Denny’s business rival, is Bill’s chief suspect but I have serious doubts that Pinky is our man. Bill thinks I’m letting Pinky off the hook because I have a soft spot for him. Ridiculous. I just don’t think Pinky would jeopardize the business he’s worked so hard to build. . . although I do think he’s hiding something.

To complicate matters and our investigation, we’ve also learned that Myrtle Crepe, the head of the Lighthouse Wild Horse Preservation Society and my cranky former third grade teacher, has been embroiled in several battles: one with Denny about Corolla’s wild Spanish mustangs, a second with the Tour-zilla tour company for destroying the dunes in the sanctuary where the horses live, and a third with the folks at the endangered piping plover shore bird protection society – although why the horse and bird folks are feuding I have yet to figure out.

What’s that? You want to know about my relationship with Bill? Okay, okay, I admit that maybe we’re a bit more than friends now. When he was away during the winter I realized how important he was to me. I guess absence really does make the heart grow fonder. But don’t get any ideas. The upcoming sunrise wedding is definitely not ours.

All of this might give you the impression that Corolla is a dangerous place to visit, but let me reassure you and your readers that our community is perfectly safe. Tens of thousands of people visit every year without a single incident – unless you count being stung by a jellyfish in August an incident. If you do make it to Corolla, Myrtle will happily take you on a four-wheel drive tour of Carova where you’ll see the beautiful wild horses, the Outer Banks’ second largest living dune, the maritime woods, and the ancient cedar and oak stumps dotting the long, wide beach. And if you survive a morning with Myrtle, I’ll treat you to a famous homemade doughnut from Lighthouse Bagels or a cool delight at Ned’s Ice Cream!

You can read more about Colleen in Neighing With Fire, the third book in the “Colleen McCabe” mystery series, published by Minotaur. The first two books in the series are Foal Play and Murder On The Hoof.

Check out the trailer below

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 12 a.m. eastern on May 27 for the chance to win a signed copy of Neighing With Fire. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. Two lucky commenters will be randomly selected. 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
Kathryn O’Sullivan is a winner of the Malice Domestic Best First Traditional Mystery Competition. Neighing with Fire is the third in the Colleen McCabe series. She is also an award-winning playwright, creator and writer of the Web series Thurston, and a theatre professor at Northern Virginia Community College. She lives with her husband, a film director and cinematographer, and their rescue cat Oscar in Reston, Virginia.

For more information, visit Kathryn at

A Day in the Life of Elizabeth Hartley by Sally Goldenbaum

A Finely Knit MurderIt was a wonderful day. Until it wasn’t.

But as head mistress of an amazing girls’ school in Sea Harbor—an old stone mansion that overlooked the sea—one had to expect some bumps, right? But all bumps aren’t created equal, I discovered one day.

My office overlooks the ocean, and it almost always brings peace and comfort to my life. Almost always.

But this day I had just fired a teacher—a good teacher, but one who had offended a powerful board member. The art teacher took losing his job badly.

After Josh left, slamming my office door so hard the framed photo of the captain who used to live in the mansion that now housed my school, almost fell on his stern, bearded face, I walked to my window, seeking the view that usually brought peace to my soul.

But today, this is what I saw instead:

My fired artist strolling across the rolling green lawn, spraying the grass with canary yellow paint—the color of crime scene tape—in wild flying circles. And in the center of one of the fuzzy circles he added a unique and frightening touch—it reminded me of a road sign—a stick figure of a woman with a line slashed through her.

I should have seen the omen that day for what it was: a harbinger of the days that would follow. Some of the most difficult of my life. Days that were a roller coaster ride that dipped down to its lowest the evening of a magnificent party on the lawns and terraces of my school, an evening that ended with a body being found near our old boathouse—the body of a person who hated me.

Walking away would have been an option, but I had been gifted with my dream job, working every day in a magnificent mansion straight out of Jane Eyre. One filled with the high chatter and spinning laughter of young girls with bright inquisitive minds.

Somehow that omen would lift me up again, I knew it had to.

And with the help of four amazing women who taught my students the gifts that knitting brings to one’s soul, and, on the side, taught a headmistress how to live and fall in love with a tiny seaside town—it did.

You can read more about Elizabeth in A Finely Knit Murder, the 10th book in the “Seaside Knitters” mystery series, published by Obsidian. The first book in the series is Death by Cashmere.

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 12 a.m. eastern on May 26 for the chance to win a copy of A Finely Knit Murder. 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
Sally Goldenbaum is the author of three dozen novels, most recently the Seaside Knitters Mystery Series, set in Sea Harbor, Massachusetts. A Finely Knit Murder, the newest in the series, is now available in hardcover, and the 9th book, Murder in Merino is now available for the first time in paperback. Sally lives in Prairie Village, Kansas, but spends as much time as possible on Cape Ann, MA, cavorting with the seaside knitters (and her family). Visit Sally at

My Musing ~ Dying Brand by Wendy Tyson

Dying BrandDying Brand by Wendy Tyson is the third book in the “Allison Campbell” mystery series. Publisher: Henery Press, May 2015

When image consultant Allison Campbell attends an award ceremony to honor a designer friend, she’s thrust into a murder investigation. Only this time, it’s personal.

A former boyfriend is dead, slain on the streets of Philadelphia. His widow claims he was meeting with Allison, yet Allison hadn’t spoken to him in years. Nothing about his death—or life—makes sense. When compromising photos from their past arrive at Allison’s office, they raise more questions than they answer.

Driven to find justice, Allison deconstructs the image her ex had created for himself, looking for clues about the man he’d become. As her hunt for the truth unveils secrets, Allison’s past and present collide—with deadly results.

This fast-paced, adrenaline-fuel and action-packed drama immediately pulled me in never letting go until the last sentence was read. The past comes back to haunt Allison and it’s her determination to solve this puzzle that brings her life full-circle in this suspense-filled and intriguing tale that I could not put down. The intensity of each scene controlled my emotions and I was there running with Allison as this case seemed to open up a can of worms that she was not prepared to witness. I like that the author took the time to draw me into the storyline with the visual display of her words and the dialogue that warned me that there was more to come that heighten the level in the dynamic telling of this mystery. Allison is strong-willed, always seeking the truth and is surrounded by a great cast of characters that includes Vaughn, Jason and Mia. I especially love the addition of Grace who I hope we get to see more of. This was a great read and I can’t wait to read the next book in this terrific series.

A Day in the Life with Iris Stanford by Hannah Dennison

Deadly Desires at Honeychurch HallThey say that life begins at 40—or perhaps it’s 50? Anyway, I don’t care. For me, life begins at 69! Don’t get me wrong, I adored my Frank (bless his cotton socks) and considering his profession working for HM Customs & Excise, he had a good sense of humor despite only knowing one joke about a goat and a banana. Every time he told it, he made me laugh. I still miss him.

Being married for fifty years is quite an accomplishment in this day and age. Take my poor daughter Katherine. She’ll be forty on her next birthday and she’s no closer to walking up the aisle or having a family—not that I’m pressuring her to do any of those things, you understand. And frankly, I’m glad she didn’t end up with David. He was so stuffy. Sometimes I can’t help wondering if I might have had something to do with her disastrous choices in men.

It’s true—I wasn’t always emotionally available (as they say in America) as a mother. I did spend a lot of time writing my romance novels and pretending I had migraines, but would either Frank or Katherine have supported my dreams if they’d known what I was really up to? Of course not! But it’s too late for all that sort of thing now. What’s past is past. It’s time to seize the day! Live life to the fullest—and that’s exactly what I’m doing.

Despite what Katherine says, buying that old carriage house on the grounds of the magnificent Honeychurch Hall estate in Devon was the best thing I’ve ever done. It’s filled with such happy memories of my childhood—life on the road, sleeping under the stars, working the sideshows for the traveling boxing emporium—all the things I gave up when I fell in love with Frank. I’m not saying I regret anything. I don’t—but as you get older, priorities change. It’s time for ME!

Of course, there are drawbacks to living in such close quarters to the gentry. They’re nice enough—although his lordship walks around as if England still has an Empire and his wife, Lavinia, is such a cold fish, it’s no wonder that he has a wandering eye. Then there’s the dowager countess, Lady Edith Honeychurch. I would still do anything for her. She was always good to me back in the day despite the tragedy. But I don’t want to talk about that. As I say, there’s no point in looking back.

Speaking of the past, Honeychurch Hall has been around for six hundred years. Even King Charles I paid a visit. So when I found out that the government planned to build a high-speed railway line right through the estate as well as the neighboring village of Little Dipperton, I knew they would have to be stopped. The English countryside must be preserved! Our heritage must be saved!

Fortunately, we’ll soon have some help from someone who is rather good at organizing protests and riots and that kind of thing. I haven’t told Katherine about our visitor yet because she can be such a killjoy. But I’m sure once she meets him she’ll love him just as much as me. After all, family is family.

Gosh, it’s nearly six and that means it’s gin and tonic time. I must pour myself a glass. Until next time . . . bottoms up!

You can read more about Iris in Deadly Desire at Honeychurch Hall, the second book in the “Honeychurch Hall” mystery series, published by Minotaur. The first book in the series is Murder at Honeychurch Hall.

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 12 a.m. eastern on May 25 for the chance to win a copy of Deadly Desire at Honeychurch Hall. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. Two lucky commenters will be randomly selected. 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
British born, Hannah originally moved to Los Angeles to pursue screenwriting. She has been an obituary reporter, antique dealer, private jet flight attendant and Hollywood story analyst. Now living in Portland, Oregon, Hannah continues to teach mystery writing at UCLA Extension and still works for a west coast advertising agency. Hannah writes the Honeychurch Hall Mysteries (Minotaur) and the Vicky Hill Mysteries (Constable Crime) both set in the wilds of the English countryside.

For more information, visit Hannah’s website and on Facebook.

June 2015 Books


June 2
A Hidden Secret by Linda Castillo – Kate Burkholder Short Story #2
Scheduled to Die by Alan Cupp – Carter Mays #2

Truffled To Death by Kathy Aarons – Chocolate Covered #2
A Fatal Chapter by Lorna Barrett – Booktown #9
Fat Cat Spreads Out by Janet Cantrell – Fat Cat #2
Ripped from the Pages by Kate Carlisle – Bibliophile #10
Privy to the Dead by Sheila Connolly – Museum #6
Tying the Knot by Elizabeth Craig – Southern Quilting #5

The Diva Steals a Chocolate Kiss by Krista Davis – Domestic Diva #9
Collared for Murder by Annie Knox – Pet Boutique #3
A Watery Death by Joyce and Jim Lavene – Missing Pieces #7
Bodice of Evidence by Nancy J. Parra – Perfect Proposals #2
Death of A Chocolate Cheater by Penny Pike – Food Festival #2
Purl Up and Die by Maggie Sefton – Knitting #13
Bushel of Murder by Paige Shelton – Farmer’s Market #7

June 6
Downton Tabby by Sparkle Abbey – Pampered Pets #7
Unfinished Business by Jenna Bennett – Savannah Martin #10

June 9
Murder Freshly Baked by Vannetta Chapman – Amish Village #3
Superfluous Women by Carola Dunn – Daisy Dalrymple #22

June 15
Heavenly Honeymoon by Kathi Daley – Zoe Donovan #15

June 16
Eyewitness by L.L. Bartlett – Jeff Resnick Short Story #6

June 23
Dressed to Kill by Lynn Cahoon – Tourist Trap #4
The Melody Lingers On by Mary Higgins Clark

June 24
The Irises by Cynthia Lott – Southern Spectral #2

June 30
A Batter of Life and Death by Ellie Alexander – Bakeshop #2
Picture Them Dead by Brynn Bonner – Family History #3
Scam Chowder by Maya Corrigan – Five-Ingredients #2
The Longest Yard Sale by Sherry Harris – Sarah Winston Garage Sale #2
Death by Tiara by Laura Levine – Jaine Austen #13
As Night Falls by Jenny Milchman
All Dressed Up and No Place to Haunt by Rose Pressey – Haunted Vintage #2


Weekly Roundup
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

May 18 – May 24, 2015 on dru’s book musings
May 18: Iris Stanford from “Deadly Desire at Honeychurch Hall” by Hannah Dennison
May 19: Elizabeth Hartley from “A Finely Knit Murder” by Sally Goldenbaum
May 20: Colleen McCabe from “Neighing with Fire” by Kathryn O’Sullivan
May 21: Carrie Kennersly from “Bite the Biscuit” by Linda O. Johnston
May 22: Mavis Loomis from “Dollar Daze” by Karin Gillespie
May 23: Jamie Taylor from “Flame Game” by Peg Brantley
May 24: Aria Tortura from “Tie Died” by Tim Hall

Week of May 11 – May 17, 2015
Keiko Nishisato from “Come to Harm” by Catriona McPherson
Faith Fairchild from “The Body in the Birches” by Katherine Hall Page
Theodosia Browning from “Tea Murder” by Laura Childs
Cait Morgan from “The Corpse With The Sapphire Eyes” by Cathy Ace
Toni Holmes from “Flourless to Stop Him” by Nancy J. Parra
Allison Campbell from “Dying Brand” by Wendy Tyson
Author Showcase with Craig Johnson

Recent contest winners
“A Draw of Death” by Gin Jones – K. Hutcherson
“Seven Threadly Sins” by Janet Bolin – B. Handy
“Fillet of Murder” by Linda Reilly – Y. Cestare
“One Foot in the Grape” by Carlene O’Neil – S. Parks
“Some Like It Witchy” by Heather Blake – L. Wine
“Murder With A Twist” by Tracy Kiely – J. Varner
“The Final Reveille” by Amanda Flower – P. Pinkston
“Killing Weeds” by Joyce and Jim Lavene – R. Nixon

Follow dru’s book musing on Facebook.

Author Showcase ~ Dry Bones by Craig Johnson

Dry Bones

Walt and Undersheriff Victoria Morretti don’t know what to make of it when they find Danny Lone Elk, a Cheyenne rancher, dead and floating in a turtle pond—until they learn that “Jen”, a T. rex skeleton named for the paleontologist who discovered her, has been unearthed on his land. Walt soon finds himself in the middle of an ownership dispute between the deceased man’s family, a local natural history museum, and the Cheyenne tribe, as well as a political charade involving Wyoming’s ambitious acting Deputy U.S. Attorney.

With the case growing more complex by the day, Walt is blindsided by a shocking tragedy that leaves his daughter heartbroken. Meanwhile, residents of Absaroka County are determined to “save Jen” from those who would claim her for the federal government and remove the dinosaur from her Wyoming home. It’s up to Sheriff Longmire to get the bottom of Danny Lone Elk’s death, determine where rightful ownership lies, and, hopefully, win the dinosaur for Wyoming. Toxic Cheyenne artifacts, illegal prescription drugs, missing film footage and missing persons all come into play as Walt and Vic try their best to “save Jen.”

Release: May 2015
Series: Walt Longmire #13
Genre: Mystery
Publisher: Viking

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 12 a.m. eastern on May 20 for the chance to win a copy of Any Other Name. 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.

Meet the author
Craig Johnson is the New York Times bestselling author of the Walt Longmire mystery series. Johnson’s series is the basis for Longmire, the hit TV original drama that has been picked up by Netflix for its fourth season. He is the recipient of the Wyoming Historical Award for fiction, the Western Writers of America Spur Award for fiction, the Mountains and Plains Booksellers Award for fiction, the Rocky Award from Left Coast Crime, the Nouvel Observateur Prix du Roman Noir, and the Prix 813. His novella, Spirit of Steamboat, was selected by the Wyoming Library Association as the One-Book-Wyoming, the inaugural state read. Find Craig’s events at (Tour of Duty tab). He lives in Ucross, Wyoming, population twenty-five (still).

Longmire was the highest-rated scripted program in A&E’s history and stars Robert Taylor (Matrix, Vertical Limit) as Sheriff Walt Longmire, Lou Diamond Phillips (La Bamba, Young Guns) as Henry Standing Bear and Katee Sackhoff (Battlestar Galactica, 24, Riddick) as Victoria Moretti. Longmire was developed by Shephard/Robin Productions for Warner Horizon. In fall 2015, all 10 new episodes of Longmire Season 4 will be available to stream on Netflix.