Monthly Archives: June 2014

A Conversation with Mags Benson by Nancy Lynn Jarvis

Mags and the AARP GangMy name is Margaret Sybil Broadly Benson, née Spencer, but you can call me Mags. I told my biographer, Nancy Lynn Jarvis, that I was going to be on Dru’s blog today and asked if she would write something for me to say, but did she? No, she did not. I’d like to think it’s because she’s involved with the cozy mystery writers’ cookbook she’s editing, but the truth is, I think she’s forgotten about me. I’m not complaining, though. In my eighty-three years I’ve learned there are advantages to being overlooked.

Sometimes people make assumptions about the elderly, imagine they know how we think, what we’re capable of, and more importantly what we aren’t capable of. Take me and the AARP Gang, for example. Our mobile home park was about to be foreclosed and we were about to be kicked out of our homes, all political und underhanded what was going on…oh, don’t get me started. Bottom line is it was assumed that at our ages we wouldn’t have any fight left; that we’d just be nice little old ladies and gents and go off quietly to live with family.

What people didn’t realize is we were already a family and that after a lifetime of living and reaching our eighties, none of us were quitters. No wonder we decided to rob the bank that held our note and pay off our mortgage with the proceeds. We liked the irony of that, besides, the bank was within walking distance, which was handy because many of us don’t drive any longer.

We devised a masterful plan that made the most of our assets. My cohorts disguised themselves as old people (yes, I know we are all already old people, but they still needed disguises) making the most of the unobtrusiveness of age, while I used my rather formidable-if-never-used-on-stage acting talents to become our distraction, keeping people’s eyes busy so they wouldn’t see what was going on behind their backs.

I was doing my award-worthy impression of a dear old lady who had lost her wallet and pleading with the people in the bank to help me find it when Melvin, who managed to bring along a rifle that none of us knew he had, got upset with a teller, brandished it, lost his balance, and fired the weapon, accidently shooting one of the overhead fire sprinklers. That happenstance caused all the other sprinklers to spurt in sympathy and automatically call the fire department. Oh my! So much for our carefully rehearsed plan.

Did we get away with it, you ask? Well, I am writing from home instead of from a jail cell, but it took quite a bit of complicated maneuvering, a whole novel’s worth in fact, to get from being soggy in the bank to where I am today. You can read all about what happened in Mags and the AARP Gang.

Comment on this post by 6 p.m. EST on July 3, and you will be entered for a chance to win a copy of MAGS AND THE AARP GANG. One winner will be chosen at random. Unless specified, U.S. entries only.

Meet the author
Nancy Lynn Jarvis was a Santa Cruz, California, Realtor® for more than twenty five years, but writing has proven to be so much fun that she officially retired and relinquished her license on May 5th. After earning a BA in behavioral science from San Jose State University, she worked in the advertising department of the San Jose Mercury News. A move to Santa Cruz meant a new job as a librarian and later a stint as the business manager for Shakespeare Santa Cruz at UCSC. Nancy’s work history reflects her philosophy: people should try something radically different every few years.

“Mags and the AARP Gang” represented a new direction in her writing adventure. After four Regan McHenry Real Estate Mysteries, Nancy put her characters, Regan, Tom, and Dave, on hiatus so she could let Mags and her gang, characters who had been forming in her mind for the past year, tell you their story.

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My Musing ~ Blessed are the Dead by Kristi Belcamino

Blessed Are The DeadBlessed are the Dead by Kristi Belcamino is the first book in the new “Gabriella Giovanni” mystery series. Publisher: Witness Impulse, June 2014

To catch a killer, one reporter must risk it all …

San Francisco Bay Area newspaper reporter Gabriella Giovanni spends her days on the crime beat, flitting in and out of other people’s nightmares, yet walking away unscathed. When a little girl disappears on the way to the school bus stop, her quest for justice and a front-page story leads her to a convicted kidnapper, Jack Dean Johnson, who reels her in with promises to reveal his exploits as a serial killer. But Gabriella’s passion for her job quickly spirals into obsession when she begins to suspect the kidnapper may have ties to her own dark past: her sister’s murder.

Risking her life, her job, and everything she holds dear, Gabriella embarks on a quest to find answers and stop a deranged murderer before he strikes again.

Perfect for fans of Sue Grafton and Laura Lippman’s Tess Monaghan series!

This riveting and fast-paced drama quickly became a page-turner that was hard to put down in this well executed tome. The non-stop action propelled this story to heighten intensity with each scene read as I became more involved in the drama unfolding on the page. The author did a great job in presenting this mystery with a cast of characters, in particular Gabriella, who is vulnerable and flawed that you’ll root for in their pursuit of justice served. This is a great read and I can’t wait to read Blessed are the Meek, the next book in this terrific series.

The Diva Wraps It Up by Krista Davis

The Diva Wraps it UpThe Diva Wraps It Up by Krista Davis is the eighth book in the “Domestic Diva” mystery series. Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime, June 2014

The holidays are domestic diva Sophie Winston’s favorite time of year. But this season, there seem to be more mishaps than mistletoe. First, Horace Scroggins tumbles from a balcony during his office Christmas party. Then, Sophie’s neighbor takes a fall from his ladder while decorating his roof with lights. But it’s the cookie swap that really starts her wondering who’s naughty or nice.

Sophie arrives at the annual event with high spirits and thirteen dozen chocolate-drizzled gingersnaps. But when an argument erupts and a murder ensues, it becomes clear that the recent string of events is anything but accidental. Now Sophie has to make a list of suspects…and check it twice!

I truly love this series and I’m so happy at the adventures the author takes me on with Sophie, Nina, Natasha and Mars. In this light fare secret lies causes havoc on neighbors when, once again, Sophie finds a dead body. . . in Natasha’s garage. With a list long of suspects, the author presents some twists and turns with the biggest surprise coming with the method of demise. Bravo and a job well done by the author. Krista keeps this series fresh and it’s always a pleasure to visit Old Town, Virginia. This is a well written whodunit that was both engaging and entertaining and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for Sophie and her friends in this delightfully charming series.

A Day in the Life of Brenna Spector by Alison Gaylin

Stay With MeA typical day in my life is a lot more memorable than most. Not that my life is any more exciting than anybody else’s … most of the time. It’s just that since the age of 11, I’ve been blessed – or cursed – with hyperthymestic syndrome, otherwise known as superior autobiographical memory. I remember every single detail of every day I’ve ever lived, be it mundane, thrilling or somewhere in between.

Hard as I work at my job as a private investigator (my specialty is missing persons) it’s difficult to get from point A to point B without memories intruding. I remember with all five senses, reliving experiences in the most visceral way. And while it’s proved helpful in certain cases I’m investigating, it’s wreaked havoc on my personal life. How can you forgive and forget when you can never forget? How can you “live in the moment” when the past is a constant companion? I’m divorced, but I can’t be in the same room with my ex-husband without remembering all kinds of things I shouldn’t. Outside of my brilliant but ridiculous assistant, Trent, it’s very hard for me to form ties with people, knowing every single moment with them will endure forever in my mind.

In short, I’ve got some major issues…

My 13-year-old daughter Maya resents it sometimes. How could she not? Kids need their moms to pay attention to them. And while I want so badly to be there for her all the time, past events keep intruding. The specter of my older sister Clea — who disappeared when I was 11 years old, triggering the syndrome – haunts our lives. Maya never knew her aunt, of course. But she still makes her angry in a way that only the lack of a person can.

When Maya goes missing herself, my entire world collapses. Leveled by guilt and terror, I need to stay in the present in order to find her – even as I discover new and shocking things about my sister’s disappearance that may actually play a role in Maya’s. As I desperately try to track my daughter, will my memory prove a curse or a blessing? I’m hoping hard for the latter…

You can read more about Brenna in Stay With Me, the third book in the “Brenna Spector” mystery series, published by HarperCollins. The first book in the series is And She Was. Books are available at retail and online booksellers.

Meet the author
USA Today and international bestselling author Alison Gaylin received an Edgar nomination for her first book Hide Your Eyes. Her Shamus Award-winning novel, And She Was, was also nominated for the Thriller, Anthony and RT awards. In addition to her six published crime fiction novels, she’s published the Young Adult mystery Reality Ends Here (Simon and Schuster/PocketStar). Stay With Me, her eighth book – and the third in the acclaimed Brenna Spector series – was released June 24, 2014 from HarperCollins.

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Sofia Balducci Talks About Peggy Lee by Joyce and Jim Lavene

Lethal LilyI’m Sofia Balducci, half owner of the Kozy Kettle Tea and Coffee Emporium. My husband, Emil, and I run the shop which is across from Peggy Lee’s garden shop in Brevard Court.

Peggy Lee is always looking for trouble! How many times have Emil and I offered to help her find a real man who could help her out of the tight scrapes she gets into? She turns her nose up and walks off with that crazy husband of hers. He’s as much good as a bicycle in a snowstorm!

Where we come from, women are protected by their family. They don’t go out in the middle of the night with strange men who could rape and strangle them – God forbid! The stories I could tell you about Peggy. They would curl your eyebrows!

Peggy is a good woman – like my own grandmother who raised three sets of children and buried five husbands. My grandmother could plow the land and put a new roof on the house by herself. But even she wouldn’t try some of the stunts that Peggy has.

I say this with all the love in my heart – Peggy is crazy! She should tend her garden, and get a smaller dog. That dog of hers is a small horse. My cousin, Jacopo, had a horse smaller than that brute. He probably ate less too.

Don’t get me started on the two kids Peggy has working with her at the garden shop. Best to leave that alone. If she had a good man, like my Emil, she wouldn’t need them and their silly stunts.

But if you should pay Peggy a visit at The Potting Shed in Charlotte, North Carolina – be sure to pay Emil and me a call too. We bake our cookies fresh each day, and everyone loves our coffee. Come to us for food. Don’t eat any of the plants that Peggy sells. She knows about poisons, God help her.

You can read more about Peggy in Lethal Lily, the 7th book in the “Peggy Lee Garden” mystery series, published by Joyce and Jim Lavene. The first book in the series is Pretty Poison. Books are available at retail and online booksellers.

Comment on this post by 6 p.m. EST on July 1, and you will be entered for a chance to win a copy of LETHAL LILY. One winner will be chosen at random. Unless specified, U.S. entries only.

Meet the author
Joyce and Jim Lavene write award-winning, bestselling mystery fiction as themselves, J.J. Cook, and Ellie Grant. They have written and published more than 70 novels for Harlequin, Berkley, Amazon, and Gallery Books along with hundreds of non-fiction articles for national and regional publications. They live in rural North Carolina with their family. Visit them at or

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A Winter Day in the Life of Sophie Winston by Krista Davis

The Diva Wraps it UpThe colonial charm of Old Town Alexandria, Virginia is always special. The stately, historic homes are lovely in every season, but when snow begins to fall, Christmas wreaths appear on doors, and candles light the windows at night, it’s almost magical.

I rose to a lazy snowfall this morning. Not enough to accumulate, just enough to put me in the holiday spirit. No sooner did I pour hot water into my French coffee press, than Nina Reid Norwood, my best friend and across the street neighbor, appeared at the kitchen door. I lit a small fire in the kitchen fireplace. My Ocicat, Mochie, curled up on a chair by the fire while Nina and I lingered over French toast spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg, and topped with hot apples sautéed in butter and dark brown sugar.

Although I longed to dive into decorating my house for Christmas, that project had to take a backseat to Horace Scroggins’s Christmas party, which always kicked off the holiday season in Old Town. Horace reminded me of Santa Claus, with pink cheeks, white hair, a little round belly, and a smile for everyone. He had talked me into organizing the party for him. The employees of his real estate company delighted in decorating a huge tree in their two-story foyer. Ruby red poinsettias and Scottish tartan ribbons brought holiday spirit to his elegant office building. Horace spared no expense in entertaining his clients and neighbors. The menu included delicacies like oysters on the half shell and caramelized pears with foie gras. Most of my neighbors would be in attendance. It was always a special event.

I spent the morning and early afternoon taking care of details. The carolers were coming and the caterer was on schedule. I made a quick trip to Horace’s office to be sure the buffet tables and extra chairs were in place. Everything looked perfect.

I hurried the few blocks home, showered and changed into a sleeveless red velvet dress with a V-neck, musing about the fact that velvet made me feel like the Christmas season had finally arrived. I pinned my hair up and added dangling earrings. Black sling-back shoes seemed appropriate. They had short heels in case I needed to dash through the halls.

For the next couple of hours, I tended to the party. The food smelled heavenly. The clove-studded oranges in the English Bishop punch made it look as delicious as it tasted. Nina arrived. Mars, my ex-husband, made it, and droves of our neighbors poured through the doors. Everyone appeared to be having a great time.

Checking my watch, I strode to the front door and peeked outside for the carolers. The snow had picked up just enough to be festive. In their traditional Victorian outfits, the carolers looked right at home on the colonial street. I swung open the door and stepped onto the sidewalk. The carolers burst into “Deck the Halls.”

Guests gathered at the door and the windows. Upstairs, Horace led a group out onto a small decorative balcony.

He didn’t look well. His rosy cheeks had gone white. Something wasn’t right. Horace leaned forward. The railing split with an enormous snap, and Horace plunged headlong onto the sidewalk, landing at the feet of the carolers.

You can read more about Sophie in The Diva Wraps It Up, the 8th book in the “Domestic Diva” mystery series, published by Berkley Prime Crime. The first book in the series is The Diva Runs Out of Thyme. Books are available at retail and online booksellers.

Comment on this post by 6 p.m. EST on June 30, and you will be entered for a chance to win a copy of THE DIVA WRAPS IT UP. One winner will be chosen at random. Unless specified, U.S. entries only.

Meet the author
Like her characters, Krista Davis has a soft spot for cats, dogs, and cupcakes. She lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with three dogs and two cats. The Diva Wraps It Up is the eighth book in her Domestic Diva Mystery series. Three of those books have been nominated for Agatha awards and three have made the New York Times Bestseller list. In December, The Ghost and Mrs Mewer, the second book in her Paws and Claws Mysteries will be published.

Visit Krista at Website | Facebook | Pinterest | Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen | Twitter | Killer Characters

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A Day in the Life of Lydia Krause by Marilyn Levinson

Murder in the AirToday was a terrible day. It started out with the funeral of my neighbor, Daniel Korman, and went downhill from there. Days earlier we’d celebrated Daniel’s 85th birthday with a party at the mansion where I work. His death saddened me and left me with the odd sense that something was wrong. Daniel had been in perfect health, though something lay heavy on his heart. The week before his party, he’d stopped by to ask if I thought it wise to open a can of worms that had been buried for many years. He left before I could offer an opinion. From the little he said, I gathered he was referring to the 70-year-old remains of the teenaged boy unearthed when the demolition crew demolished the house behind us, on property we’d acquired for the Twin Lakes’ putting green and second clubhouse.

After the funeral, I went to the shiva at the home of Daniel’s youngest, his beloved daughter Polly. I overheard his three children and a nephew arguing. Polly was convinced her father had been murdered. The others thought she was overwrought and sadly mistaken. I didn’t know what to believe. Polly was often overly-emotional. But Daniel’s other two children were hungry for their father’s money.

When I stopped by to visit Eve, Daniel’s fiancée, she asked me to look through his computer in hopes of discovering what might have been troubling him. Among his documents, in a file labeled “suspects.” were three paragraphs, each headed with two initials. Eve figured out the letters stood for Daniel’s childhood friends. Ron Morgenstern, who lived at Twin Lakes, and Mick Diminio, a big shot politician, had been at Daniel’s birthday party. The third, Billy Evans, was dead. Next to the computer was a framed pencil drawing of Daniel as a teenager. The paper was yellowed with age. Curious, I asked Eve who the artist was. She said he was Timmy John Desmond, a friend of Daniel’s when they were in high school. He’d come from the south to live with relatives on Long Island. One day he disappeared and no one ever saw him again.

Sol, my homicide detective boyfriend, called to invite me to dinner. We arranged to meet at a nearby Greek restaurant at seven. Great! This gave me enough me to stop and chat with Ron Morgenstern. He was very jovial at first, telling me about the days when he, Daniel, Mick, and Billy played together as kids. When I asked him if he knew what had happened to Timmy John Desmond, Ron’s demeanor changed. He suddenly resented my questions and asked me to leave. Now I was pretty sure that Timmy John Desmond was the body they’d unearthed. What’s more, I was beginning to believe that Daniel thought Mick, Ron, and the deceased Billy had murdered him.

Sol arrived at the restaurant only fifteen minutes late. We ordered and, since we were both famished, hardly spoke as we devoured our Greek salads topped with grilled chicken. As we waited for our coffee, Sol told me they had a tentative ID for the body—a fifteen-year-old boy named Timothy Desmond who had been reported missing and never been found.

“Poor Timmy John!” I exclaimed. A mistake, I knew, the moment I saw Sol’s thunderous expression.

“What did you say?” he demanded.

There was nothing for me to do but tell him about my day—how Polly insisted her father had been murdered and what I found on Daniel’s computer. Sol hated when I got involved in one of his murder cases. He nearly blew a gasket when I mentioned Mick Diminio’s name. But the worst came when I admitted to having paid a visit to Ron Morgenstern.

“You should have called me! I’m the homicide detective, remember?”

I tried to apologize, but he wasn’t having any of it. He got to his feet, his anger barely under control. “Come on, we’ll leaving. I’m following you home.”

You can read more about Lydia in Murder in the Air, the second book in the “Twin Lakes” mystery series, published by Untreed Reads. The first book in the series is A Murderer Among Us. Books are available at retail and online booksellers.

Meet the author
A former Spanish teacher, Marilyn Levinson writes mysteries, romantic suspense, and books for kids. Her latest mystery, Murder a la Christie, is out with Oak Tree Press. Untreed Reads has brought out a new e-edition of her first Twin Lakes mystery, A Murderer Among Us–a Suspense Magazine Best Indie–and will bring out a new e-edition of the sequel, Murder in the Air, in April. Her ghost mystery, Giving Up the Ghost, and her romantic suspense, Dangerous Relations, are out with Uncial Press. All of her mysteries take place on Long Island, where she lives.

Marilyn loves traveling, reading, knitting, doing Sudoku, and visiting with her granddaughter, Olivia, on FaceTime. She is co-founder and past president of the Long Island chapter of Sisters in Crime.

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A Day in the Life of Ava Oosterling by Christine DeSmet

Hot Fudge Frame UpCopper kettles and a minnow tank hold the “gold” in the shop I share with my grandpa Gil, whom I’ve affectionately called Gilpa since I said my first words thirty-some years ago.

Gilpa and I own Oosterlings’ Live Bait, Bobbers & Belgian Fudge & Beer on the docks of the bay in Fishers’ Harbor.

We’re located in Door County, Wisconsin, a peninsula known as the “Cape Cod of the Midwest” because of its rustic beauty, boating, arts, and recreation that draw tourists. No fast food restaurants are allowed above the canal zone that splits our county. The canal connects our bay known as Green Bay with the main body of Lake Michigan.

I returned to Door County when Grandma Sophie broke a leg. I’d spent eight years in Los Angeles trying to be a TV writer after a failed marriage. In my twenties I eloped with a man who had two other wives he was still married to. Oops! Grandma and Grandpa helped me forget that indiscretion by gathering the equipment to run a fudge shop. I arrived in May to find Gilpa had moved his minnow tank to make room for the copper kettles they’d found. He’d also moved the singular apostrophe in the shop’s name to plural to accommodate both of us. With love like that, I had to stay in Fishers’ Harbor.

By five o’clock a.m. my grandpa is helping customers load up with fishing bait, and I’m making fudge. I created the Fisherman’s Catch Tall Tale line for the guys and the Fairy Tale flavors for women and girls. Cinderella Pink Fairy Tale Fudge is made with our famous Door County cherries, Belgian chocolate, and cream from my parents’ farm.

Oosterling is a common Belgian name. This area was settled by a lot of Belgians in the 1850s, as well as Scandinavian people. Back then, the United States advertised in Europe for farmers, fishermen, and forestry workers. Many Belgians came to Door County and bought land for $1.25 an acre. Today, this area of Wisconsin is considered to have the largest U.S. rural population of Belgians.

What makes a Belgian unique besides excellent chocolate and beer? Booyah!

Booyah is a tomato-based vegetable-and-chicken stew made over an open fire in a steel drum for the community fall kermis, or harvest festival. Most Belgian communities here—such as Namur and Brussels—hold a kermis. Anybody is welcome to enjoy the good music, games, and of course Belgian beer, pies, and booyah.

Belgian pies—like my fudge—are also special. Belgian pie pans are 12 inches across. We’re also known for small pies the size of a large Danish pastry topped with generous amounts of chocolate pudding and fruits.

Belgians are also famous for beautiful lawns and flower gardens. My Grandma Sophie and Grandpa Gil have a huge garden that attracts butterflies in the back of their cabin home on Duck Marsh Street. Since I began sharing the bait shop with Gilpa, I’ve added flower boxes to the front windows overlooking the harbor. I also love roses and have created a rose fudge recipe which you can try by visiting my shop.

I enjoy the harbor view every day as I make my fudge. Making fudge is hard physical work. The chocolate comes in kilo bars or chips from Belgium. Once I put the rich chocolate, cream, and ten or more pounds of sugar into the copper kettle, it’s a matter of stirring it by hand for many minutes with a four-foot wood paddle. And you can’t stop for a rest or you’ll ruin the fudge.

Making fudge is akin to science, which I love. The heat and action of stirring changes the sugar crystals from white crystals to liquid, and then to fudge consistency. The batch changes from dull to shiny to something rich-looking.

Here are tips for making small batches of fudge at home:

  • Add your ingredients in the exact order called for in the recipe, and stir a lot non-stop. Fudge likes tender loving care and constant motion.
  • If your fudge becomes hard taffy or is too runny, reheat it and add more chocolate chips or cream or butter depending on whether you need to harden it or soften it.
  • If it still doesn’t turn out, use it as ice cream topping or frosting. I’ve also added unruly soft fudge chunks to muffin batter for moist muffins.

After making fudge in my shop for the day, I often connect up with my best friend Pauline Mertens. She’s a kindergarten teacher. We sometimes end up talking with Jordy Tollefson—our sheriff. And he doesn’t like seeing us coming. He knows there’s been a murder and I’m connected to it somehow. But Jordy likes my fudge, so he’s an okay guy.

Christine DeSmet’s new Fudge Shop Mystery Series (Penguin Random House), set in Door County, Wisconsin, debuted last September with Book 1, First-Degree Fudge. It enjoyed 10 weeks on the Barnes & Noble mystery bestseller list.

Book 2, Hot Fudge Frame-Up, debuted June 3, 2014. Ava Oosterling is gearing up for the First Annual Fudge Festival when a fight between her guest celebrity chefs spawns a nasty recipe for murder with the blame pointed right at Ava and with her grandparents put in grave danger.

Comment on this post by 6 p.m. EST on June 27, and you will be entered for a chance to win a copy of HOT FUDGE FRAME-UP. One winner will be chosen at random. Unless specified, U.S. entries only.

Meet the author
ChristineDChristine is a writing teacher at University of Wisconsin-Madison Continuing Studies where she mentors writers of novels, screenplays, plays, and short fiction. She directs the “Write-by-the-Lake Writer’s Retreat” every June in Madison. Her other publications include Spirit Lake, a romantic suspense novel from Hard Shell Word Factory. Christine is a past winner of the Slamdance Film Festival and optioned that screenplay to New Line Cinema. She’s a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, Romance Writers of America, Writers Guild of America, and Wisconsin Screenwriters Forum.

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A Day in the Life with Max Avtaikin by Larissa Reinhart

Death in PerspectiveI am Max Avtaikin, but in certain circles, I am known as the Bear. From the certain country of Eastern Europe, but now American citizen. We think. I much appreciate American history, particularly your Civil War, and so choose to live in your Halo, Georgia. Georgia has the interesting history of rebellion and the cheap property taxes. Also many peoples enjoy the illegal gambling, and I am happy to help them with that. Please don’t tell Cherry Tucker that I continue with the “back room poker,” which is actually in my luxurious basement gaming room. She has the ridiculous ethical dilemma with our friendship. Too much interest in “justice,” I think.

For example, now Cherry Tucker is hired to work at expensive high school for drama director, Terry Tinsley. Tinsley wants Miss Tucker to design his scenery for absurd Romeo and Juliet play, which he has changed to musical with underwater aliens or some such foolishness. Miss Tucker has talent to make the avant garde art, but Tinsley actually wants my Artist to hunt down malicious texter who is cyberbullying faculty at this Peerless Day Academy. The school secretary received poisonous texts and police think she killed herself because of them. Miss Tucker is suspicious creature and doesn’t believe secretary killed herself. Cherry loves to hunt down the criminal. Especially one she thinks has done the murder.

While Miss Tucker has knack for sleuthing, I have knack for making money. And this Tinsley wants my investment in his drama department. So while Cherry spends time at school, painting scenery and hunting for anonymous texter, I am researching this Tinsley for her. His blog, Tinsley Talks, has much — what do you say — smack talk about fellow drama peoples and teachers. Especially the art teacher, Dr. Camille Vail. She and Tinsley have the departmental feud. Cherry finds both characters suspicious, but Cherry has so many suspicions about so much.

At same time as hunting possible texting killer, Cherry Tucker is also hunting her missing brother, Cody. I don’t know this Cody, but he has stolen some damning photos from Cherry’s nemesis, Shawna Branson. These photos implicate Shawna’s father and Cherry’s mother. I do not care about family history, but Cherry cares very much about Halo’s view of longtime family feud between her family and Branson family. Personally, I think because Cherry cares too much for Branson stepson, Deputy Luke Harper. He is police, so I don’t like him. Maybe Cherry is smitten with his good looks. Harper is also assisting her with anonymous texter case. I suspect he is helping her to get back in Cherry’s good graces after their split. The deputy can’t stand her sleuthing and she can’t stand being told “No” or “Stop”.

Personally, Miss Tucker is more interesting when you allow her to chase down the “bad guys.” It is very amusing. However, this time she may be — how do you say — in the deep water over her head. I believe the cyber bully may be more dangerous than she believes. We have an old saying in my country, “Where there is courage, there is victory.” I wish it true for Cherry Tucker’s sake.

You can read more about the Bear in Death in Perspective, the fourth book in the “Cherry Tucker” mystery series, published by Henery Press. The first book in the series is Portrait of a Dead Guy. Books are available at retail and online booksellers.

Comment on this post by 6 p.m. EST on June 26, and you will be entered for a chance to win a copy of DEATH IN PERSPECTIVE. One winner will be chosen at random. Unless specified, U.S. entries only.

Meet the author
After teaching in the US and Japan, Larissa enjoys writing, particularly sassy female characters with a penchant for trouble. She lives near Atlanta with her family and Cairn Terrier, Biscuit. Larissa Reinhart’s third Cherry Tucker book, Hijack in Abstract, is a 50th Annual Georgia Author of the Year Nominee. The first, Portrait of a Dead Guy, was a 2012 Daphne du Maurier finalist for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense, 2012 The Emily finalist, and 2011 Dixie Kane Memorial Winner. Death in Perspective is the fourth book in the best-selling Cherry Tucker Mystery series.

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