A Dark and Stormy MurderThe scenery is always compelling in Blue Lake. My employer, Camilla Graham, calls it “relentlessly beautiful,” and she’s right; it’s the sort of town that a person would be reluctant to leave because you just don’t walk away from what seems like paradise.

Initially I was excited to come to Blue Lake. Camilla Graham has been my idol since I was thirteen years old and I stumbled across one of her suspense novels in my school library. After that I read everything she ever wrote and decided that she was the best writer in the world. I even wrote to her once to invite her to my fourteenth birthday party. Since I was in Chicago and she was in London, she politely declined, but she wrote back, which is evidence of how great Camilla is as a person.

When I was twenty-six and just out of grad school, my friend called me and said that Camilla Graham lived in her town: Blue Lake, Indiana. I laughed and told her Camilla lived a cosmopolitan existence and clearly had a residence in London, not in some tiny American town no one had ever heard of.

My friend Allison insisted: Camilla lived in Blue Lake, and she had met her. Not only that, but Allison had showed her my own attempt at a book, and Camilla wanted to talk to me.

After that, a serendipitous chain of events happened in rapid motion: I talked to Camilla, she offered me a job, and I came to Blue Lake. It did seem like a little fairy tale town, and I drove in during a Shakespearean storm.

Then, at the height of my joy at meeting Camilla, things started to go wrong. I found a dead body on the beach. I heard a rumor that there was a criminal in town, living on the very bluff where Camilla and I now shared a home. And it seemed we had to keep calling the police to Graham House, Camilla’s family home.

In all of the chaos that is the byproduct of crime, Camilla and I decided that we needed to work together, not only on a book, but on solutions to the mysteries of Blue Lake.

And that is how I, Lena London, came to be living with the great Camilla Graham in her house at the top of the bluff in Blue Lake.

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And how we ended up working together to solve mysteries.


A Dark And Stormy Murder is the first book in the NEW Writer’s Apprentice mystery series, published by Berkley Prime Crime, July 2016.

An aspiring suspense novelist lands in the middle of a real crime, in the first in a captivating new series by the author of the Undercover Dish Mysteries.

Lena London’s literary dreams are coming true—as long as she can avoid any real-life villains. . .

Camilla Graham’s bestselling suspense novels inspired Lena London to become a writer, so when she lands a job as Camilla’s new assistant, she can’t believe her luck. Not only will she help her idol craft an enchanting new mystery, she’ll get to live rent-free in Camilla’s gorgeous Victorian home in the quaint town of Blue Lake, Indiana.

But Lena’s fortune soon changes for the worse. First, she lands in the center of small town gossip for befriending the local recluse. Then, she stumbles across one thing that a Camilla Graham novel is never without—a dead body, found on her new boss’s lakefront property.

Now Lena must take a page out of one of Camilla’s books to hunt down clues in a real crime that seems to be connected to the novelist’s mysterious estate—before the killer writes them both out of the story for good. . .

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About the author
Julia Buckley is a Chicago area writer. Read more about her two cozy mystery series at JuliaBuckley.com.

Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a print copy of A Dark And Stormy Murder. US entries only, please. The giveaway will end July 10, 2016 at 12 AM EST. Good luck everyone!

All comments are welcomed.

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