Daily Archives: August 5, 2014

A Day in the Life of Jane Steward by Ellery Adams

Murder in the Mystery SuiteWelcome to Storyton Hall, my friends. Please, step into our magnificent lobby. I hope you enjoyed your journey from the train station. I find it very relaxing to sit in the back of a vintage Rolls Royce sedan and gaze out the windows at the beautiful vistas. Ah, the tree-covered hills and the endless blue sky. Isn’t it lovely to leave the cares of our busy lives behind us for a spell? And here comes Mr. Butterworth, Storyton’s butler, to offer you a glass of champagne. All of our guests are greeted in this way. This, my friends, is just the beginning of the delightful surprises you’ll discover here.

Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Jane Steward, the resort manager and single mother to twin boys, Fitzgerald and Hemingway (Fitz and Hem for short). It’s my honor to invite you to stay in this manor that was once the Steward’s ancestral home. I come from a long line of readers, which is why most of the rooms in this great, sprawling mansion are named after famous authors.

So after you’ve had a chance to get settled, I can take you on a tour. Perhaps you’d like to check out a book from the Henry James library and then make yourselves comfortable in the Jane Austen Parlor or the Daphne Du Maurier Sunroom. Or, you could stroll through Milton’s Gardens and have a bite of lunch at Kipling’s Café. But don’t overindulge, because we serve afternoon tea every day in the Agatha Christie Tea Room. And believe me, you don’t want to pass up Mrs. Hubbard’s Victoria sponge, scones with homemade jam and clotted cream, or her delicious tea sandwiches.

And make sure you have enough energy for this evening. We’re opening the Murder and Mayhem Week here at Storyton Hall with a costume ball. I hope you’re prepared to come dressed as your favorite detective. Of course, I won’t be able to tell who’s who tonight. With all the Miss Marples, Hercule Poirots, and Tommy and Tuppences, a guest could get away with murder and I’d never know it!

You can read more about Jane in Murder in the Mystery Suite, the first book in the new “Book Retreat” mystery series, published by Berkley Prime Crime. Books are available at retail and online booksellers.

How about you? Which detective would you dress up as and which detective would you Storyton Braceletlike to share a dance with? Post a comment by 6 p.m. eastern on August 8, and one lucky person will win a signed copy of MURDER IN THE MYSTERY SUITE as well as a Storyton Hall bracelet. (US entries only, please.)

Meet the author
Ellery Adams grew up on a beach near the Long Island Sound. Having spent her adult life in a series of landlocked towns, she cherishes her memories of open water, violent storms, and the smell of the sea. Ms. Adams has held many jobs including caterer, retail clerk, car salesperson, teacher, tutor, and tech writer, all the while penning poems, children’s books, and novels. She now writes full-time from her home in Virginia.

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Death, Taxes, and Silver Spurs by Diane Kelly

Death Taxes and Silver SpursDeath, Taxes, and Silver Spurs by Diane Kelly is the 7th book in the “Tara Holloway” romantic mystery series. Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks, July 2014

So maybe it goes without saying that IRS Special Agent Tara Holloway is star-struck? In Death, Taxes, and Silver Spurs, she’s head over heels…in trouble. Easy’s getting harder every day for Tara. A tax-evading pet groomer managed to buzz off a big chunk of her hair…just in time for her date strictly-business meeting with country-music heartthrob Brazos Rivers. Of course Tara shouldn’t care—she’s devoted to Special Agent Nick Pratt, after all—but Rivers does know how to steal a woman’s heart with a song…

Meanwhile, Tara’s up to her fracking neck with another case: A natural-gas company with a money trail that is almost as suspicious as Brazos Rivers’s tax return. Which is to say, he can’t seem to cough up one. Tara figures the misdeeds of her celebrity crush must be an oversight. But will she dance to a different tune…when her tax-evading idol starts evading her, too?

This fast-paced drama kept me glued to the pages from the moment I turned the first page with the comedic escapades that makes Tara the best darn tootin’ gun-slinging IRS agent. You can’t help be amused at the hilarity that is Tara as she tackles her cases. Diane Kelly does a great job in blending humor, romance, and non-stop action that flows easily from chapter to chapter as she teases us with how the perpetrator is going to be caught and will it be easy or hard. I love this series and this book in the best one yet is this amusingly entertaining series. I can’t wait for the next one which adventures await Tara and her friends.