Monthly Archives: April 2014

Fleeing New York City with Miss Felicity Prim by Steven Rigolosi

The Outsmarting of CriminalsMy parents, Mrs. Charity Prim and Mr. Cornelius Prim, raised me to believe that I am in charge of my life. “You are fortunate to have been born at a time of women’s progress,” Mother used to say. “You and your sister have choices that were unavailable to me. Make the most of them, Dearest.” Meanwhile, Father would nod sagely, not quite sure what to make of this so-called “women’s movement” in which his wife participated so vigorously.

So I made a life for myself in the city of my birth, New York, developing friendships, taking my degree at Barnard, and working in the office of Dr. Amos Poe, a much-beloved, old-world Manhattan doctor with a devoted staff and a set of equally devoted (and very demanding) patients (or, as we sometimes call them, “impatients”). In my spare time, I have tried to surround myself with the books I love while not getting too involved in this so-called “Internet,” which seems these days to attract an unhealthy level of attention and to have a distressingly large number of aficionados.

Then, in the blink of an eye, everything changed. While walking along East 32nd Street, minding my own business, I was mugged. The miscreant broke my arm and stole my purse; but worse than that, he took my dignity and my self-confidence. I saw this as a sign from the heavens that perhaps it was time to make a change, to move to the type of New England village I have always loved. So, hearing Mother’s words of encouragement in my head, I did it: I bought a small cottage in the lovely hamlet of Greenfield, Connecticut, which had come highly recommended by the Times Sunday Magazine.

The situation became much more complicated when, out of the blue, Doctor Poe admitted that he loves me and wants to marry me. What was I to do? I’d spent my life savings on that cottage, and I had the idea that I could do some good by outsmarting the not-very-violent criminals one can expect to find in a New England village. Having read my share of all the great mystery writers, past and present, I felt confident I had all the tools I needed to make a success of my new career. So I promised to consider Doctor Poe’s proposal – one cannot make these decisions quickly or lightly – and removed myself to Connecticut. Upon my arrival I immediately adopted a high-spirited Boxer named Bruno from the Greenfield Animal Shelter. One needs a bit of protection when one lives alone in the country…

Things started to unravel rather quickly after my arrival. My new home was not what I expected it to be. I discovered a secret passage and a hidden basement … and in that basement I found a dead man. I’d planned to start my career in criminal outsmarting helping to catch petty thieves and perhaps graffiti artists; I had not expected (nor had I wanted) murder so soon. And it quickly became apparent that someone has been watching me, perhaps waiting for the right moment to strike. I am now a “woman in jeopardy,” as devoted readers call their beloved heroines; but I will not be a victim a second time. I will not.


You can read more about Miss Felicity Prim in her debut, The Outsmarting of Criminals, published by Ransom Note Press. The book is available in hardcover and as an ebook for Kindle, Nook, and iPad.

Giveaway
Comment on this post by 6 p.m. EST on May 3, and you will be entered for a chance to win a signed copy of THE OUTSMARTING OF CRIMINALS. One winner will be chosen at random. Unless specified, U.S. entries only.

Meet the Author
Steven Rigolosi is the director of market research and development for a science publisher based in Manhattan. He Steven Rigolosiis also the author of Circle of Assassins, Androgynous Murder House Party, and Who Gets the Apartment? He received his B.A. from Manhattan College and his M.A. from Rutgers University. Library Journal has called him “a completely fresh voice in the mystery genre” and described The Outsmarting of Criminals as “a pleasure from cover to cover.” He maintains a blog, with occasional pieces of short fiction, at stevenrigolosi.wordpress.com. You can reach him at srigolosi AT yahoo DOT com.


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Stressin’ with Maureen O’Brien by Susan Furlong Bolliger

Murder on ConsignmentHello, everyone! Maureen O’Brien here. The last time one of the O’Briens made an appearance on Dru’s blog was a year ago when my daughter stopped by to explain her new career choice to readers. I have to admit, as much as I love our daughter, that blog appearance was a little embarrassing. I mean, she went on and on about upcycling, recycling, and heaven forbid, she even mentioned her nasty little habit of dumpster diving. Why, ever since that blog posted, I’ve hardly been able to show my face in Chicago’s social circles.

Of course, this is all my husband’s fault. Things started going awry the day he named our baby daughter. You see, Phillip always wanted a namesake, but after four girls he gave up and dubbed our fifth daughter with a weird feminism of his own name—Phillipena. Right then and there I should have realized all hope for raising a normal child was lost.

Nonetheless, we trudged through her grade school years, tolerated her rebellious teen years, saw her through higher education and into adulthood. I know what you’re thinking. We’re good parents, we did our part, and we can stop worrying now, right? Well, pssh! All you mothers out there certainly understand how impossible that is–a mother never stops worrying. This is especially true when it comes to our daughter, Phillipena.

I’ll explain. First of all, she quit a perfectly good job managing stock portfolios to work as … oh, how shall I put it? A used merchandiser. That’s right. She takes other people’s castoffs–their junk actually–and upcycles it to sell on-line. Oh, I suppose she’s doing alright. She does seem happier now and rarely asks Phillip and me for loans anymore. Of course, we practically allow her to live rent free in the apartment above our garage. Still, our other four daughters are so … normal. They’ve married nice men, settled in respectable jobs and have even given us grandbabies. Why can’t Phillipena be more like them?

You think I’m being too harsh? Well, let me tell you something. It’s not just Phillipena’s unique choice of careers that has me worked into a tizzy. It’s this new issue she’s developed—solving crimes. I swear, I don’t know where I went wrong, but somewhere down the line, she’s come up with the idea that it’s okay to get involved in police business. Maybe it’s because she used to date a police detective. Or perhaps it’s from watching too much crime television. Who knows? Of course, she would argue that there’s good reason to get involved in these matters, but I know better. I always know better; I’m her mother.

Anyway, this time around she’s taken it upon herself to figure out who murdered a local consignment shop owner. To make matters worse, she’s using the most unconventional detecting methods. Just the other day, I was peeking over the privet hedge and saw her leave her apartment dressed in a hideous disguise. Egad! Her sleuthing antics almost make me wish she’d just stick to rummaging around in peoples’ garbage cans.

Sigh. I could go on and on, but if you want to see for yourself why I’ve been tearing out my hair with worry, just read about her latest misadventure in Murder on Consignment. Or, if you happened to miss her first folly as a wanna-be detective, check out Murder for Bid. Then you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about.

By the way, please don’t mention last year’s post to anyone. (I think it was called something like Chillin’ with Phillipena O’Brien). I’m trying to keep it under wraps.


You can read more about Maureen in Murder on Consignment, the second book in the “Pippi O’Brien” mystery series, published by Martin Sisters Publishing. The first book in the series is Murder for Bid. Books are available at retail and online booksellers.

GIVEAWAY
Comment on this post by 6 p.m. EST on May 2, and you will be entered for a chance to win a signed copy of both Murder for Bid and Murder on Consignment. One winner will be chosen at random. Open to everyone.

Meet the author
Susan lives in the Midwest with her husband and four children. All her kids are still in school, but she’s hoping one day, unlike her main character, they choose sensible careers and pick normal hobbies. For more information about Susan’s writing, visit her website at www.sfurlongbolliger.com.


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A Day in the Life with Laurel McKay by Cindy Sample

Dying for DaiquiriAloha, everyone. My name is Laurel McKay. I’m so excited that my best friend, Liz, decided to get married on the Big Island of Hawaii. After a hectic winter, including a snowmobile chase with a crazed killer in Lake Tahoe, I couldn’t wait to fly 2,000 miles across the Pacific Ocean to celebrate her wedding.

As far as I’m concerned, there isn’t a more romantic spot to exchange vows than a sunset ceremony on the beach. Afterward, we all celebrated at their reception, held at Daiquiri Dave’s Lounge, a cliff side restaurant in Kailua-Kona owned by my brother. The location was the perfect setting for a wedding.

Unfortunately, those cliffs also provided the perfect setting for –– murder.

At first, the police thought Keiki, the beautiful hula dancer who worked at the restaurant, had accidentally fallen over the barrier wall, landing on the lava rocks below. But why was she still at the restaurant hours after the reception ended? And who would want to harm the beautiful dancer?

It turns out that many folks held a grudge against Keiki. Suspects walked, swam, four-wheeled, and zip-lined into the story. All with a motive for murder. Then my sister-in-law, Regan, accused my brother of having an affair with Keiki. Which he denied, of course. When the police arrested Dave for murder, I decided it was time to put down my tropical drink, get out of my lounge chair and come to my big brother’s rescue.

With my homicide detective boyfriend stuck on a case back home in California, I gratefully accepted an offer of assistance from my brother’s best friend. Steve is the captain of the Sea Jinx, a vessel that is almost as gorgeous as he is. But I soon discovered Steve also employed Keiki as a dancer on his boat. When I fell overboard during a huge storm, I didn’t know if it was due to a gust of wind or if a member of the crew pushed me over the railing. Thank goodness, those fishermen showed up and rescued me seconds before that huge shark made me his sushi appetizer.

Despite the fact that my vacation was becoming more deadly than the calorie count in my daiquiri, I was determined to get my brother out of jail before we all had to return home. Even if it meant swimming with sharks, getting pushed off a cliff, zip-lining with a murderer, and worst of all –– having my hula video go viral!

It could take a few pots of highly caffeinated Kona coffee to help us solve this case.

Or, better yet, a pitcher full of strawberry daiquiris!


You can read more about Laurel in Dying for Daiquiri, the third book in the “Laurel McKay” mystery series, published by Cindy Sample. The first book in the series is Dying for a Date. Books are available at online booksellers.

GIVEAWAY
Comment on this post by 6 p.m. EST on May 1, and you will be entered for a chance to win a digital copy of DYING FOR DAIQUIRI. One winner will be chosen at random.

Meet the author
Cindy Sample is a former corporate CEO who retired to follow her dream of becoming a mystery author. Her humorous cindyromantic mystery series features Laurel McKay, a single soccer mom. Dying for a Date and Dying for a Dance, the winner of the NCPA 2011 Fiction Award are set in the California gold country. Dying for a Daiquiri, a 2014 finalist for the LEFTY Award for Best Humorous Mystery, moves the crime scene to the Big Island of Hawaii. This book was definitely the most fun to research! Cindy is a past President of the Sacramento Chapter of Sisters in Crime. She has served on the boards of the Sacramento Opera and YWCA.

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