Tag Archives: humorous mystery

My Musing ~ The Clock Strikes Nun by Alice Loweecey

The Clock Strikes Nun by Alice Loweecey is the fourth book in the “Giulia Driscoll” humorous mystery series. Publisher: Henery Press, May 2017

When terrified Elaine Patrick knocks on Driscoll Investigations’ door and insists her house is haunted, Giulia Driscoll’s first response is “we don’t handle ghosts.” When Elaine’s housekeeper and crackpot filthy rich cousin descend on Giulia and demand she find out who’s trying to steal sweet, fragile Elaine’s family business out from under her, that’s a different story. They want DI to provide Tarot readings, ghost hunting sessions, and even an exorcism.

Ghost hunting? There are apps for that. Tarot readings? Experts in the skill are right across the street. Exorcisms? Having a priest for a brother-in-law comes in handy. Giulia plunges into a crash course in all things supernatural, convinced everything happening to Elaine is stagecraft.

Except when it isn’t. Giulia’s about to discover a new dimension to sleuthing, if she can survive attempted murder long enough to see through the web of lies around her client.

Love, love, love this book. When a client comes to her office speaking of hauntings and such, there’s nothing else to do but seek help from your friendly business associate and your brother-in-law priest and what happens after that is a delightfully entertaining jaunt through the world of ghosts, readings and mayhem, oh my!

This was a fun book to read and quickly became a page turner as I had to know what happens next. The author did a great job in setting this mystery, which was nicely done, with a bevy of suspects and it was fun watching how it all played out with clues sprinkled throughout the story. There were some tense moments where the author’s description of a few scenes had me clutching my heart as our heroine faced a perilous situation, but nothing knocks her down. And that twist at the end when all was revealed, I did not see that coming. Great job! The main characters were accounted for and present and all played pivotal roles that enhanced the telling of this tale. The secondary characters were eccentrically entertaining and added to the mystique in this wonderfully engaging tome. Bonus to me was seeing the homage to my favorite monster and other sci-fi mentions. This is by far, the best book in this most endearing series and I can’t wait to see what exciting adventures awaits Giulia and her friends.

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A day in the life with Ivy Meadows by Cindy Brown

My name is Ivy Meadows. Actually that’s my stage name. My real name is Olive Ziegwart, which my dad says means “victory nipple” in German, and my agent say is a very bad name for an actor. So now I’m Ivy Meadows. As you may be able to tell, I’m an actress. I also work part-time at my Uncle Bob’s detective agency, so it’s not unusual for me to be searching for someone. It is unusual for me to searching for a little black pug, but my friend Marge’s dog Lassie had joined a pack of feral Chihuahuas that were running amok through Sunnydale, a retirement community on the edge of the Arizona desert. I really needed to find Lassie before a coyote did. And I loved him and Marge so much that I did the near-impossible: I got up at five o’clock in the morning.

Yes, five o’clock. In the morning. The last time I was up at five o’clock I was still awake from the night before. “Not a morning person” is stamped heavily on my DNA. But I’d heard that the pack of Chihuahuas was most active in the early morning and late night and I was at a callback for Annie Get Your Gun last night. So I bit the bullet, got up before anyone ever should, and drove to Sunnydale, where I went through a Jack in the Box drive-through. I took a big swig of coffee as I pulled back into traffic and promptly burnt my tongue. Even that didn’t wake me up entirely. I drove until I came to the spot where I’d seen the Chihuahuas disappear into the desert the night before last. I eased my truck onto the gravelly shoulder and scanned the desert, now charcoal gray under the lightening sky. Nothing.

Even so, I put my plan into action. I got out of the car with my two big Jack in the Box bags. I took a wrapped-up kiddie hamburger from one bag and threw it as far as I could into the desert. I had a pretty good arm, so the burger made it forty feet, rattling a desert broom bush as it touched down. I lobbed another one a bit closer to the road, then another, until I had a Hansel and Gretel trail of burgers leading to the road. Before getting back in my truck, I carefully placed the piece de resistance—a bacon ultimate cheeseburger—on the shoulder near my truck. Lassie loved cheeseburgers. And he loved me. I figured if I could get him this close, his cheeseburger-and-Ivy love would be strong enough to overcome his yearning for a pack, and he’d leave the Chihuahuas and come with me.

I waited in the cab of my truck with the window rolled up, partly because the pre-dawn morning was chilly, but mostly so the dogs would smell hamburgers instead of me. I sipped at my cooling coffee and watched the sun rise over the desert, its long fingers painting the desert gold.

The desert broom near the first burger shook. I watched carefully, but I couldn’t see any animal. Then again, Lassie was black and the Chihuahuas were short. The next bush moved. Definitely something there. I eased open the car door a crack so I could call Lassie when he got near. I watched the brush along the hamburger trail shiver as the dogs got closer.

Wait, what was that rumbling noise? Not thunder. No clouds in the sky. I heard it again, a low growling noise. Oh, sheesh. I took the lone breakfast sandwich out of the Jack in the Box bag and bit into it. Ugh. Cold egg and sticky cheese. At least it could keep my grumbling stomach from scaring the dogs away.

Or was it my stomach? No. Another growl, definitely from outside the truck. And closer. I slid down so most of me wasn’t showing and peered out the dirty window. Two figures slunk close to the dirt, gray and tan bodies blending into the indistinct shadows thrown by the rising sun. They came closer, and yes, they were growling. The noise made the hair on my arms stand up. So I did what any human being would do. I jumped out of the car.

“You better not eat Lassie!” I yelled at the surprised bobcats, whose ears flattened against their heads when they saw me. “If you do, I’ll come for you. And you owe me twenty bucks. Hamburgers don’t grow on bushes, you know.”


You can read more about Ivy in Ivy Get Your Gun, the fourth book in the “Ivy Meadows” mystery series.

There’s a new sheriff in town—and she can sing! When Gold Bug Gulch’s actor-gunslinger Mongo winds up shot for real, actress and part-time PI Ivy Meadows goes undercover as the ingénue in the tourist town’s melodrama. Unfortunately, she’s distracted by a pack of marauding Chihuahuas, a problematic love life, auditions for Annie Get Your Gun, and a personal mission: to show people the real Annie Oakley.

What’s more, the no-good, yellow-bellied varmint who killed Mongo isn’t finished with the Gulch—or with Ivy. Will our heroine prove she can get a man with a gun—before the killer gets her?

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About the author
Cindy Brown has been a theater geek (musician, actor, director, producer, and playwright) since her first professional gig at age 14. Now a full-time writer, she’s the author of the Agatha-nominated Ivy Meadows series, madcap mysteries set in the off, off, OFF Broadway world of theater. Cindy and her husband live in Portland, Oregon, though she made her home in Phoenix, Arizona, for more than 25 years and knows all the good places to hide dead bodies in both cities.

She’d love to connect with readers at cindybrownwriter.com (where they can sign up for her Slightly Silly Newsletter) or on Facebook or Twitter.

All comments are welcomed.

Cover Reveal ~ The Clock Strikes Nun by Alice Loweecey

I’m thrilled to reveal the cover for the fourth book in the “Giulia Driscoll” mystery series, coming May 30, 2017.

the-clock-strikes-nun

Title: The Clock Strikes Nun
Series: Giulia Driscoll #4
Genre: Humorous Mystery
Publisher: Henery Press
Website: Alice Loweecey


When terrified Elaine Patrick knocks on Driscoll Investigations’ door and insists her house is haunted, Giulia Driscoll’s first response is “we don’t handle ghosts.” When Elaine’s housekeeper and crackpot filthy rich cousin descend on Giulia and demand she find out who’s trying to steal sweet, fragile Elaine’s family business out from under her, that’s a different story. They want DI to provide Tarot readings, ghost hunting sessions, and even an exorcism.

Ghost hunting? There are apps for that. Tarot readings? Experts in the skill are right across the street. Exorcisms? Having a priest for a brother-in-law comes in handy. Giulia plunges into a crash course in all things supernatural, convinced everything happening to Elaine is stagecraft.

Except when it isn’t. Giulia’s about to discover a new dimension to sleuthing, if she can survive attempted murder long enough to see through the web of lies around her client.


About the author
Baker of brownies and tormenter of characters, Alice Loweecey recently celebrated her thirtieth year outside the convent. She grew up watching Hammer horror films and Scooby-Doo mysteries, which explains a whole lot. When she’s not creating trouble for her sleuth Giulia Driscoll or inspiring nightmares as her alter-ego Kate Morgan, she can be found growing her own vegetables (in summer) and cooking with them (the rest of the year).

You can also connect with Alice on her Amazon page.

Book is available for pre-order at retail and online booksellers.

A day in the life of Maizy Emerson by Kelly Rey

motion-for-mischiefJamie Winters mentioned that someone wanted to know about a day in her life, but since she’s really old, like in her thirties, she’s in bed asleep or something right now, so you’re getting me instead. Consider yourself lucky. Don’t tell her I said this, but if we were Batman and Robin, she’d be Robin, and who wants to know what he’s up to all day long?

I’m Maizy Emerson, I’m seventeen, and I help Jamie solve murders. She’s got a job as a glorified legal secretary for a low class law firm, and I do hard and unnecessary time in the classroom, but we rock at the detective thing. My Uncle Curt doesn’t like it much that Jamie keeps finding dead people, but he still helps out sometimes. Which is good for Jamie, because she kind of has a thing going with Uncle Curt. Besides, he’s pretty useful when we need some muscle. Or someone to drive the getaway car.

Personally, I have no time for romance. Sometimes I let Brody Amherst buy me a Sizzli, but that’s just a resource retention calculation on my part. Jamie drives the stegosaurus of cars, so we need to be able to rent Honest Aaron’s junkers when hers breaks down. Honest Aaron doesn’t care that The Man is conspiring to keep me from getting my driver’s license, and I don’t mind little things like rusted-out floors and bloodstains. It’s a symbiotic relationship.

Just because my dad’s a cop doesn’t mean I can’t shop locally.

I should probably tell you that I mostly observe the arbitrary societal norms designed to oppress free thinkers and teenagers, but I had to crash Oxnard Thorpe’s wedding because Jamie was supposedly getting paid to be the maid of honor, and if you know anything about Jamie, it’s that she hates weddings. So there was bound to be serious entertainment value there. It was only a perk that Oxnard was the Adult Diaper King of New Jersey. The situation practically required me to buy that tasteful five dollar thrift store gown and show up. I had a pretty good time, too. If you’ve never checked out a gazillionaire’s mansion, I recommend it. Don’t judge. If rich people don’t want anyone to conduct self-guided tours, they shouldn’t hold parties.

Anyway, for some reason, all the guests left after the food fight, so there was no one around when Jamie and I found the groom dead in the swimming pool. Which might’ve seemed like an accident if Oxnard hadn’t given so many people a reason to want to kill him. We got some help, (if that’s what you want to call it) in finding the killer from Eunice Kublinski, the new lawyer in town. Eunice will be fierce once she gets that fainting problem under control.

And that’s how we got involved in Motion For Mischief.


You can read more about Maizy in Motion For Mischief, the fourth book in the “Jamie Winters” mystery series.

Legal secretary and sometimes-sleuth Jamie Winters thought she’d seen it all. . . until now.

When Oxnard Thorpe, the Adult Diaper King of New Jersey and one of Parker, Dennis’s most important clients, is found dead in the swimming pool of his sprawling mansion on his wedding night, his bride gives Jamie and her teenaged sidekick, Maizy, the green light to find the killer. Could it be the faded society maven, the bridesmaid for hire, the harried housekeeper, Oxnard’s embittered twin siblings, the surly wedding planner, the groom’s sketchy colleague, or even the not-so-blushing bride herself? Just when it seems things couldn’t possibly get more confusing, they get an assist from Eunice Kublinski, the firm’s timid new attorney with a morbid fear of public speaking—which makes things much, much worse! If Jamie doesn’t unravel the truth quickly, she may just be next on the killer’s list!

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Meet the author
Kelly Rey is the author of the Jamie Winters Mysteries and co-author with Gemma Halliday of Sherlock Holmes And The Case Of The Brash Blonde. When she’s not writing, she can be found reading, working out, and avoiding housework.

All comments are welcomed.

Motion For Mischief is available at online booksellers.

A day in the life with Bobby Baxter by Cindy Blackburn

unexpectedWhen Dru Ann asked my daughter to tell you about her typical day, Cassie agreed without thinking ahead. My daughter’s like that—jump in with both feet and worry about the repercussions later. Cassie, if she had just thought a moment, would know she doesn’t have time for any extra work right now! Not only is she busy with her job—she’s a college professor—but she’s also managed to get herself a five-year-old child to take care of. Not that I’m complaining. Little Truman is cute as a button and smart as a whip. He’s a delightful addition to our household, but he’s keeping Cassie on her toes.

Once she realized she’d taken on more than she could handle, Cassie asked me to fill in for her, and hopefully Dru Ann will approve of my typical day. Unexpected perhaps, but the life of a seventy-year-old retired English teacher who lives with his daughter in a teeny tiny town in rural Vermont is anything but boring. Trust me, no one who lives with Cassie Baxter need worry about boring. The girl is always getting herself into the most unexpected pickles. . .But I digress. Let’s get back to a day in the life of me—Bobby Baxter.

We Baxters, despite what Cassie tries to claim, are morning people. I’m up by five a.m., and since I know that deep down inside she’s a morning person also, I go upstairs to my daughter’s room to greet her. Lately, I pick up Truman along the way. The child is always wide awake and waiting for me. He fits right into our household! I take a seat in the rocking chair beside Cassie’s bed, Truman joins me, and by the time our Labrador retriever Charlie gets himself comfortable on top of Cassie, she’s awake, too.

Of course she starts complaining, but that doesn’t last long, because I immediately regale everyone with the latest Chance Dooley dilemma. Upon retirement I took up writing science fiction, and Chance Dooley is the hero of my stories. A whiz-bang pilot, Chance is the owner and operator of Dooley’s Delivery Service: The Delivery Service That Delivers Where No Delivery Service Has Ever Delivered Before! Chance and his trusty Spaceship Destiny spend their days flying here, there, and everywhere throughout the Hollow Galaxy. And Cassie, and now Truman, always make fantastic suggestions to help Chance navigate (no pun intended) his latest exciting adventure. Indeed, Chance Dooley gets into almost as many unexpected pickles as my daughter!

Once we figure out what Chance and I will be working on while everyone else is off at school—Cassie to Crabtree College to teach, and Truman to his kindergarten class in our one room schoolhouse in Lake Elizabeth, Vermont, I cook breakfast. We Baxters love a big breakfast, despite what Cassie might tell you. By the way, she tells me I drive her nuts. But anyone who knows Cassie, knows the girl is completely Looney Tunes with or without my help.

With my daughter and Truman gone for the day, Chance and Charlie and I enjoy a few hours of quiet while I write. On second thought, ‘quiet’ might be a bit of an exaggeration. Life around here is never as quiet as you might expect—we have neighbors. Joe Wiley lives next door and also works from home on the most fascinating contraption called the FN451z. Noisy? Let me tell you. What I cannot tell you is exactly what the FN451z does. My daughter calls Joe Wylie a mad scientist, but Cassie can’t fool me. The girl is head over heels for Joe, and Joe feels the same about her. But between you and me, I also have to wonder about a certain state trooper named Jason Sterling. He and Cassie do seem to spend a lot of time together. . . Hmmm.

But back to me. As far as my own love life is concerned, we have another neighbor, Maxine Tibbitts. The FN451z is our noisiest neighbor, and Maxine is our nosiest. Cassie insists Maxine has a crush on me, and truth be told, she may be right. But I’m not sure how I feel about Maxine, and the woman is busy enough without me anyway. Maxine is a columnist for our local newspaper—a gossip columnist to be specific. And what with Cassie as her neighbor, Maxine always has plenty of interesting fodder for her weekly column.

Speaking of interesting, my daughter has gotten herself involved in yet another murder investigation! Let’s just say, we’re having a very busy autumn here at Lake Elizabeth—where the water is getting colder, the leaves are turning orange, and my daughter Cassie Baxter is going nuts.


Learn more about Cassie, Bobby, Truman, and the whole lovable gang at Lake Elizabeth, Vermont in Unexpected, the second Cassie Baxter Mystery. New release! Here’s the scoop:

Small sleuth, tiny town, unfailing fun.

Welcome to Lake Elizabeth, Vermont, where the water’s growing colder, the leaves are turning orange, and Cassie Baxter is going nuts. Who wouldn’t go nuts with this latest unexpected development? Meet five-year-old Truman Tripp. Cassie, who is most definitely not a kid person, can’t understand why his mother left the child with her. But some even more perplexing problems soon present themselves, and Cassie’s already Looney Tunes life gets even loonier. Expect the unexpected when Lake Elizabeth’s most unlikely duo, Cassie and Truman, team up to catch a killer.

The Cassie Baxter Mysteries: They’re not Cue Balls, but they are screw balls.

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About the author
Cindy Blackburn writes cozy mysteries because she thinks grim reality is way overrated. When she’s not thinking up cindyblackburnunlikely plot twists and ironing out the quirks and kinks of her lovable characters, Cindy is feeding her fat cat Betty or taking long walks with her cute hubby John. A native Vermonter who hates snow, Cindy divides her time between the south and the north. Most of the year you’ll find her in South Carolina. But come summer she’ll be on the porch of her lakeside shack in Vermont. Yep, it’s a place very similar to Lake Elizabeth. Cindy’s favorite TV show is The Big Bang Theory, her favorite movie is Moonstruck, and her favorite color is purple. Cindy dislikes vacuuming, traffic, and lima beans.

Cindy is giving away a Kindle copy of Unexpected. Giveaway ends February 22, 2017. Leave a comment to be entered in the random drawing. The e-book will be sent directly by the author.

Learn more about Cindy Blackburn and her books at www.cbmysteries.com. Cindy can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

All comments are welcomed.

Unexpected is available at online booksellers.

Cover Reveal ~ Ivy Get Your Gun by Cindy Brown

It is my pleasure to reveal the cover for the fourth book in the “Ivy Meadows” humorous mystery series, coming May 16, 2017.

ivy-get-your-gun

Title: IVY GET YOUR GUN
Series: Ivy Meadows #4
Genre: Humorous Mystery
Publisher: Henery Press
Website: Cindy Brown


There’s a new sheriff in town—and she can sing!

When Gold Bug Gulch’s actor-gunslinger Mongo winds up shot for real, actress and part-time PI Ivy Meadows goes undercover as the ingénue in the tourist town’s melodrama. Unfortunately, she’s distracted by a pack of marauding Chihuahuas, a problematic love life, auditions for Annie Get Your Gun, and a personal mission: to show people the real Annie Oakley.

What’s more, the no-good, yellow-bellied varmint who killed Mongo isn’t finished with the Gulch—or with Ivy. Will our heroine prove she CAN get a man with a gun—before the killer gets her?

About the author
Cindy Brown has been a theater geek (musician, actor, director, producer, and playwright) since her first professional gig at age 14. Now a full-time writer, she’s the author of the Agatha-nominated Ivy Meadows series, madcap mysteries set in the off, off, OFF Broadway world of theater. Cindy and her husband live in Portland, Oregon, though she made her home in Phoenix, Arizona, for more than 25 years and knows all the good places to hide dead bodies in both cities.

She’d love to connect with readers at cindybrownwriter.com.


Ivy Get Your Gun is available for pre-order at retail and online booksellers starting February 20, 2017.

Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a Kindle or Nook copy of Macdeath. The giveaway will end February 21, 2017. Good luck everyone!

A day in the life of Cruise Director Sierra Sullivan by Cindy Sample

dying-for-a-diamondMy name is Sierra Sullivan and I’m the cruise director on the Celebration, a 2200 passenger ship sailing the Caribbean. It’s a great job most of the time. Mingling with passengers, visiting tropical islands, giving dance lessons, and hosting bingo are all part of my daily activities.

Unfortunately, on this voyage, so is murder.

I ran into my cousin, Laurel McKay, and her husband, Tom Hunter, who are on their honeymoon. Laurel’s family is known to be a bit on the zany side. For example, they all thought it was a good idea to surprise Laurel and Tom on their honeymoon.

Honeymoon for eight! That’s a recipe for homicide right there.

Back when I used to babysit Laurel, she always seemed to be a magnet for mischief. According to her husband, she’s become a magnet for murder.

I can’t complain since I’m going to need Laurel and Tom’s help on this trip. You’ve all heard that familiar saying, “no good deed goes unpunished?” Well, it certainly applies to me. I had offered to help Evelyn Peabody, one of the cruise line’s Platinum members. The huge diamond ring she purchased in Grand Turk needed to be resized, but she didn’t have time to wait. When I offered to deliver the ring and her other purchases directly to her stateroom, she couldn’t have been happier.

A few hours later, I discovered that an unhappy Evelyn Peabody could be more forceful and more threatening than a category four hurricane. Not only did she accuse me of stealing her diamond ring, she insisted the captain lock me up in the brig.

I was innocent, of course. But there was one teensy weensy problem. While I was playing emcee in the theater, the cruise security staff decided to go through my stateroom.

Guess whose beach bag contained one of the missing jewels?

It’s hard to believe my situation could get any worse but then a murder occurred, and I landed at the top of the suspect list!

Thank goodness, I have Laurel and her husband on my side. Tom is a former homicide detective and Laurel’s hobby is solving mysteries. Although her investigative technique appears to be more Inspector Clouseau than Miss Marple.

I don’t care how Laurel stumbles about solving these mysteries. I just hope she can do it before the cruise ends, or my career, and my freedom, could end as well.

After all, one of these days, I’d kind of like to star in a series of my own!


You can read more about Sierra and her adventures in Dying for a Diamond, the sixth book in the “Laurel McKay” humorous mystery series.

Warm breezes, tropical seas, a handsome new husband? What more could a girl dream of?

When newlyweds Laurel McKay and Tom Hunter embark on their honeymoon cruise, they look forward to sunny days exploring the Caribbean islands and intimate evenings together. Their dream quickly goes “poof,” when Laurel’s family decides to tag along and their romantic duet turns into a party of eight.

The first night on the ship, Laurel witnesses someone “going overboard.” But no one is reported missing, and the chief of security gives Laurel’s sighting the same credibility as an alien landing.

After a series of diamond thefts, Laurel discovers that suspicious shipmates are as plentiful as calories on this cruise. When a murder occurs, and a family member becomes the top suspect, Laurel is determined to unmask the killer before her dream honeymoon becomes a nautical nightmare.

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About the author
Cindy Sample is the national bestselling author of the Laurel McKay humorous romantic mystery series. She is a four-time LEFTY Award Finalist for best humorous mystery. Her experiences with on-line dating sites fueled the concept for Dying For A Date.

Dying For A Dance, winner of the 2011 Northern California Publishers & Authors award for fiction, is based on her experiences in the glamorous world of competitive ballroom dancing. Who knew dancing could be so deadly?

Dying For A Daiquiri, a 2014 Silver Falchion Award finalist for best traditional mystery, moves the action to the Big Island of Hawaii. Dying For A Dude, a 2015 Next Generation Indie Award Finalist in both humor and mystery brings the action back to the California Gold Country. Get ready to hang on to your saddle because the West just got wilder!

Dying For A Donut, is set in the Apple Hill area, home to more than fifty apple farms and bakeries. Talk about dangerous research! Then on to the 2017 release of Dying For A Diamond. Laurel wanted to take another vacation (Or maybe Cindy did) so the gang sets off on a Caribbean cruise. A killer cruise!

Cindy is a past president of the Sacramento chapter of Sisters in Crime and has served on the boards of the Sacramento Opera and the YWCA. She has two wonderful adult children who live too far away.

Visit Cindy on her website at cindysamplebooks.com, on Facebook and on @cindysample1.

All comments are welcomed.

Dying For A Diamond is available at online booksellers.

My Musing ~ Dying for a Diamond by Cindy Sample

Dying for a Diamond by Cindy Sample is the sixth book in the “Laurel McKay” humorous mystery series, published January 2017

dying-for-a-diamondWarm breezes, tropical seas, a handsome new husband? What more could a girl dream of?

When newlyweds Laurel McKay and Tom Hunter embark on their honeymoon cruise, they look forward to sunny days exploring the Caribbean islands and intimate evenings together. Their dream quickly goes “poof,” when Laurel’s family decides to tag along and their romantic duet turns into a party of eight.

The first night on the ship, Laurel witnesses someone going overboard. But no one is reported missing, and the chief of security gives Laurel’s sighting the same credibility as an alien landing.

After a series of diamond thefts, Laurel discovers that suspicious shipmates are as plentiful as calories on this cruise. When a murder occurs, and a family member becomes the top suspect, Laurel is determined to unmask the killer before her dream honeymoon becomes a nautical nightmare.

This was a fun book to read with a quirky cast of characters and disappearing jewelry and a missing body or was it missing. Nonetheless, Laurel is bent on solving these crimes and when a murder sneaks aboard, the shuffle board game keeps everyone involved.

The author does a wonderful job in setting up this fantastic and hilarious whodunit with some surprising twists and turns that enhanced the telling of this tale. The narrative was visually appealing and descriptive putting me on the cruise with this group. The mysteries kept me engaged in all that was happening and all the main characters played pivotal roles in the outcome of this excellent romp on the high sea. I had such a great time with Laurel and the gang, that I sense some new things moving forward with these beloved characters. This was by far, the best book in this delightfully entertaining series and I can’t wait for my next adventures with this crew.

A day in the life with IRS Special Agent Eddie Bardin by Diane Kelly

death-taxes-and-sweet-potato-friesHello, taxpayers. I’m Eddie Bardin, a Senior Special Agent for the IRS Criminal Investigations Division in Dallas, Texas. We’re the feds who go after tax cheats. Our boss is retiring in just a few weeks, and I’ll be stepping up to the position of co-director of the department. Bigger paycheck. Bigger office. Bigger headaches. But you’ve got to take the bad with the good, right?

What’s my typical day like? Well, that depends. When I’m not working alongside Special Agent Tara Holloway, things are pretty routine. Reviewing spreadsheets and financial records. Interviewing tax evaders and witnesses. Tracking down money trails. But when I’m partnered with Tara? Heck. That’s a whole ‘nother story.

I suppose it wouldn’t be fair to say that Tara is bad luck. But I will say trouble always finds her. Unfortunately, I’ve been along for the ride on more than one occasion when trouble showed up. On one of our early cases I ended up in the ER with a bullet in my skull. Another time Tara and I were nearly blown up by an improvised bomb. Needless to say, I stay on my toes whenever I’m working with her. And I always make sure I’ve got my gun at the ready.

This time around, Tara is helping the Border Patrol track Salvador Hidalgo, a human smuggler or “coyote” who’s abandoned desperate people in the west Texas desert. The Border Patrol agents have found several corpses in Big Bend, a rugged national park that lies just north of the Rio Grande river. There’s also evidence implicating Hidalgo in kidnappings for ransom. Three sisters are missing as we speak, their ransom due in mere days. I can tell the case is eating Tara alive. Tara, in turn, has been eating sweet potato fries by the truckload. If she’s not careful, she won’t be able to fit into her wedding dress come October. That’s when she and Special Agent Nick Pratt will be tying the knot. To make matters more interesting, the case has led her to her ex, Brett, who might have some helpful information. Talk about awkward! Of course I’m trying my hardest not to get in the middle of things.

I’ve also been helping Tara track down an as-yet-unidentified criminal who issued bogus 1099’s to a number of victims, reporting cash prize winnings that were never paid. The scheme has caused confusion at the IRS and angered the victims, so much so that one of them has sic’d a senator on us. Nothing like Congress breathing down your neck to add some pressure.

Come spend some time with me and the rest of the gang at IRS Criminal Investigations. You might be surprised how fun—and dangerous—being a financial detective can be.


You can read more about Eddie in DEATH, TAXES, AND SWEET POTATO FRIES, the 11th book in the Tara Holloway humorous mystery series.

SHE HAS AN APPETITE FOR JUSTICE.
But this time IRS Special Agent Tara Holloway is in over her head—and challenging every dietary law in the book. . .

When the IRS is tasked with assisting the border patrol in pursuing unscrupulous “coyotes” who’ve transported illegal immigrants across the border, Tara finds herself at odds. Not only must she investigate Brett Ellington, her old flame whose landscaping business employs such workers, but now Tara has to convince her new romantic partner in crime, Nick Pratt, that she doesn’t still carry a torch for Brett.

Now, in addition to proving her love to her own fiancé, Tara is on the hunt for a trail of bogus 1099s in the Dallas area. Someone, somewhere is using the IRS as a pawn in a cunning game of revenge. Will Tara be able to identify the culprit making the false tax reports—before her sweet-potato-fry addiction forces her to get her engagement ring resized? That is, if jealousy doesn’t get the best of Nick first.

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About the author
A former Assistant Attorney General and tax advisor, Diane Kelly inadvertently worked with white-collar criminals. Lest she end up in jail, Diane decided self-employment was a good idea. Her fingers hit the keyboard and thus began her Death and Taxes romantic mystery series. A graduate of her hometown’s Citizen Police Academy, Diane Kelly also writes the hilarious K-9 cop Paw Enforcement series. Sign up for Diane’s newsletter at www.dianekelly.com, find her on Facebook, and on Twitter @dianekellybooks.

All comments are welcomed.

Giveaway: Five people selected at random will win a copy of Death, Taxes, and Sweet Potato Fries, either Kindle/Nook (open to everyone) or paperback (U.S. residents only), winner’s choice. Leave a comment below for your chance to win. The giveaway ends February 5, 2017. Good luck everyone!

Death, Taxes, and Sweet Potato Fries is available at retail and online booksellers.