Monthly Archives: April 2017

A day in the life with Aunty Lee by Ovidia Yu

No matter what some people say, I never go and look for trouble. Most of the time, trouble comes to me. Like this afternoon, Maisie Ong walked into my shop, ordered laksa, and started crying, “Aunty Lee, my life is hopeless!”

Of course I asked, “What’s wrong?” People who have been away from Singapore for a long time sometimes cry when they taste my laksa but this was different.

“You know Beng’s father moved in with us after his mum died, right?”

“Yes.” I remembered catering satay and spring rolls for her mother in law’s wake.

“The old man’s driving me crazy! Just now he told the boys if they let me boss them around like I boss their father around, next time their wives will also boss them around! I never boss anybody around!” Maisie wailed.

That wasn’t strictly true, but I wasn’t going to paint a target on my own forehead by saying so.

“I was so mad I just walked out of the house!”

“You don’t boss your sons around. You mother them,” I told her.

“That’s right. I mother my husband also.”

“It’s like teaching people to cook. Kitchen rules and house rules are there to keep people safe. He is their grandfather, but if he teaches your sons it is all right to ignore you, that means it is all right for you to ignore him.”

“So if he wants Beng and me to respect him, he should teach our boys to respect us,” Maisie stared thoughtfully into her laksa bowl. “Aunty Lee, this laksa gravy is cold. You should be more careful!”

Of course Maisie’s problem wasn’t solved just like that. Trivial problems tend to drag on and on. You just have to blow on them to cool them down each time they threaten to boil over.

Other problems are serious from the start. For example when my helper, Nina, told me there were body parts in the morning vegetable delivery.

“And the lettuce is wilted, Madam.”

“Maybe for the best. We can’t serve it in salad if it came in contact with raw meat,”

“Madam, we can’t serve it even if the body parts were cooked!”

I phoned Dolly Rodrigues, who runs the organic farm in Kranji which supplies our vegetables. Dolly said she would give us a refund but didn’t want to go to the police because she was afraid of losing her organic certification.

That is how Singapore is. The rules set up to protect people sometimes end up confounding us.

“I’ll come and get the box from you and leave it outside the police station. The police will know what to do.”

Hiyah Dolly, this is Singapore. Everywhere also got cameras. If you are photographed leaving human body parts outside the police station they will arrest you as a terrorist threat!”

“Why should they think I am a terrorist? I am just a typical Singaporean who doesn’t go to church or temple too much!”

“Terrorist threat means they can hold you without trial forever without lawyer,”

“But if I bring the box in, they may suspect me!”

“I will come and talk to the police with you.”

The police didn’t seem to suspect Dolly. They wouldn’t even say officially that the parts in her vegetable box were human. But I doubt any species other than human wear diamond studs in their ears and noses.

I don’t know how that is going to turn out yet. I am going to help out at Dolly’s farm tomorrow. Nina thinks I’m meddling, but I’ve always been interested in growing things.

You can read more about Aunty Lee in Meddling and Murder, the fourth book featuring “Aunty Lee.”

Aunty Lee is on the case!

There is nothing Rosie ‘Aunty’ Lee, amateur sleuth and proprietor of Singapore’s best-loved restaurant, loves more than solving other people’s problems. So when Beth Kwuan, an ambitious businesswoman, tells Aunty Lee her maid has disappeared, Aunty Lee is happy to let her own maid, Nina, help.

Only as the weeks go by, little clues make Aunty Lee worry. And as she digs into what is really going on behind the closed doors of Beth’s grand house, she starts to wonder—did Beth’s maid just run away, or did she meet a darker fate?

Now the race is on for Aunty Lee to get to the bottom of the mystery…and save Nina before it’s too late!

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About the author
Ovidia Yu was born in, lives in and writes about Singapore. After a happy childhood spent reading, drawing comics and dramatizing stories, she dropped out of medical school because while medicine is fascinating, she didn’t want to be a doctor.

Fortunately, friends and family have forgiven her for that as well as for writing about them. (Yes, even relatives who now spend family reunions claiming/denying Aunty Lee’s habits and quirks). Also, released in June was The Frangipani Tree Mystery, a new series from the author.

All comments are welcomed.

Meddling and Murder is available at online booksellers.

My Musing ~ Too Lucky to Live by Annie Hogsett

Too Lucky to Live by Annie Hogsett is the first book in the “Somebody’s Bound to Wind Up Dead” mystery series. Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press, May 2, 2017

Lonely and broke, Cleveland divorce-survivor Allie Harper believes all her problems would be solved if she could find a nice, smart, hot guy and enough money to get her car fixed.

The hot guy arrives first: he’s in a crosswalk clutching a bag of groceries while a blonde in a Hummer is learning hard on her horn, sending the man’s groceries and white cane flying. How has this woman missed that fact that the man is blind? From the curb, an outraged Allie jumps to his rescue, rebagging the groceries as well.

The money is in the bag. Literally- Thomas Bennington III, for that’s who the handsome guy proves to be, has bought a MondoMegaJackpot ticket along with canned tomatoes. Allie takes him home and turns his groceries into dinner for two. Later that night, Tom hears the numbers announced. He’s won. And he’s less than thrilled. PhD Tom had gambled on the odds of losing (175 million to one) to prove a point to Rune, a kid from the projects he’s befriended, that only losers buy lottery tickets. Instead, Rune, who’d helped pick the Mondo numbers, will share Tom’s jackpot.

Allie and Tom grasp two things: one, they’re hot for each other, and two, the ticket is a hot target, and now so are they. Every scheming weasel in Cleveland will be after Tom’s millions. $550 of them. Yes, once the Mondo ball drops, it’s game on with killers and kidnappers as players.

Allie and Tom need to get smarter about the threats all around them. On the run from one fancy hotel refuge to another and from one danger moment to the next, with only Allie s feisty landlady, Margo, and a couple of Cleveland cops for back-up, Allie and Tom evolve a strategy. First, turn in the ticket and claim the jackpot. Second, set up accounts to manage the millions. Third, stay alive to the end of the week…if they can.

Too Lucky to Live debuts a talented writer in Annie Hogsett and a couple in Allie and Tom, a modern Nick and Nora Charles, who can power a compelling, amusing series with an excellent future

This was a fun book. When our hero and heroine meet, mayhem follows them all because Thomas Bennington the Third won a huge lottery and someone is bent on retrieving it for themselves and in the process, death lurks and this dynamic duo must use their wit and know-how to survive another day.

This was a fast-paced and action packed drama that grabbed my attention immediately, quickly becoming a page turner as I had to know what happens next. The writing style and tone created a comfortable story that was easy to follow. The narrative was descriptively eye catching and the dialogue engaging as the duo were racing against time and the unknown. The author did a great job in presenting a good story with elements of romance intertwined with a solid mystery filled with intrigue, suspense and a few strategically placed distractions that kept this reader glued to the pages as I had to know how this was all going to play out and boy did it ever. The character development of the duo was perfectly matched with what was happening with their interactions and that added to how well this story unfolded. This was a terrific read and I can’t wait for my next adventures with Tom, Allie and their friends.

FTC Full Disclosure – I received a digital ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley.

A day in the life of Sneaky the library cat by Debbie De Louise

My name is Sneaky, and I’m the Siamese library cat at the Cobble Cove Library. Cobble Cove is a fictional town in upstate New York. I am featured in the Cobble Cove mysteries by Debbie De Louise. The second edition of A Stone’s Throw, where I made my first appearance, was just released on March 8th. My second adventure, Between a Rock and a Hard Place, is also available. My third book, Written in Stone, came out this month, and I am proud to say my photo is on the cover or at least a handsome replica of me-ow truly.

You may wonder what role I play in this cozy mystery series. I started out helping Alicia, the librarian main character, find some clues in the library’s storage room. Unfortunately, my dog co-star, Fido the golden retriever, upstaged me. I tried to make my comeback in our second book where I appeared in a children’s storytime, but Fido joined in there, too. Then Debbie wrote me a scene at the vets that was far from my starring role. To make up for this betrayal, she offered me my own blog. I leaped at the chance. Since then, I have interviewed other cat characters, real cats, and even a dog. You can read my posts here:

I am quite pleased with the role Debbie wrote for me in our third adventure. Even though there is a scene where Fido competes with me, I am the victor. “Cats rule, dogs drool,” has always been my motto, but I have to admit that Fido is a nice co-star for a dog.

I don’t want to give too much away about our books, although I will say that each one features a mystery that involves Alicia and her love interest, John McKinney, a newspaper man. There are many quirky people who make up Cobble Cove. To introduce them all, Debbie created a Facebook chat group called Cobble Cove Chat that a different character hosts each month. Every host sponsors a contest that features a prize. Besides entering the contest, members may ask any question of a month’s host about the Cobble Cove books and that character’s role in them. I was voted as last February’s host and hope to host again in the future. To learn more about this group or to join, visit the Cobble Cove Character Chat

So what is my day like? As I said, I live upstairs in the Cobble Cove library. Sometimes I pad down to the main library and make myself at home in the comfy cat bed that Mac, John’s father, gave me by the local history collection. At other times, I find a sunny spot in the bay window of the Children’s room where Laura, the new librarian, greets me with some cat treats. She’s younger than Alicia and has quite a few of her own cats. She also works at a cat shelter. I love it when she invites me to the children’s storytimes. As for Alicia, I still keep an eye on her. Even though she and John are married now and write a mystery series together, she continues to work at the library.

I have to admit I have quite a good life as a fictional library cat. Although some of the Cobble Cove characters, especially Alicia, have been in danger in our books, Fido has been the only animal threatened. This occurred in our second adventure. In my current book, the third of the series, Alicia fears for my life when I disappear. I won’t reveal if, when, or where I turn up, but I will say I was involved in a crime.

Since I have to take a catnap soon on my cat tree, I will meow off. Thank you for reading about my life. To learn more, please check out my series. They are listed on Debbie’s Amazon author page and can also be purchased through her website at and on my blog.

You can read more about Sneaky and her human in Written in Stone, the third book in the “Cobble Cove” mystery series.

Alicia McKinney is confused . . . Was the strange email her husband received from the fictional detective in their mystery series a threat? Did the killer mistake the woman shot in the library for Alicia or the victim’s twin sister? Cat vs. Dog . . . After Sneaky goes missing from the library, will he turn up before a young girl becomes ill with worry over his disappearance? And will he return in time to outsmart Fido by being first to find the perpetrator’s smoking gun? Alicia is worried . . . While waiting for the killer’s next move, Alicia has other concerns. An old flame of John’s is in town and her friend, Gilly, has adopted the role of Miss Marple to aid her sheriff boyfriend in his investigation. When all clues point to one of her co-workers, Alicia joins Gilly in searching for the answers to the mystery. Will they survive . . . or is their ending written in stone?

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About the author
Debbie De Louise is an award-winning author and a reference librarian at a public library on Long Island. She is a member of International Thriller Writers, Sisters-in-Crime, and the Cat Writer’s Association. She has a BA in English and an MLS in Library Science from Long Island University. Her three published novels include Cloudy Rainbow, A Stone’s Throw, and Between a Rock and a Hard Place (Solstice Publishing, 2016) that was on the Amazon bestseller list for cozy mysteries. Her new release, the third in the Cobble Cove mystery series, is Written in Stone. Debbie has also written articles and short stories for several anthologies of various genres. She is currently querying agents to represent her psychological thriller, Sea Scope. She lives on Long Island with her husband, daughter, and two cats.