Tag Archives: Kensington

My Musing ~ Death of a Bachelorette by Laura Levine

Death of a Bachelorette by Laura Levine is the 15th book in the Jaine Austen mystery series. Publisher: Kensington, June 2018

Freelance writer Jaine Austen thought working for a knock-off reality show in the tropics would be paradise. But when she and her kitty Prozac find themselves trapped between a dimwitted leading man, catty contestants, and a cold-blooded murderer, the splashy gig becomes one deadly nightmare. . .

Jaine’s life has been a royal pain since she started penning dialogue for Some Day My Prince Will Come—a cheesy dating show that features bachelorettes competing for the heart of Spencer Dalworth VII, a very distant heir to the British throne. As if fending off golf ball-sized bugs on a sweltering island wasn’t tough enough, Jaine must test her patience against an irritable production crew and fierce contestants who will do anything to get their prince. . .

But Jaine never expected murder to enter the script. When one of the finalists dies in a freak accident, it’s clear someone wanted the woman out of the race for good—and the police won’t allow a soul off the island until they seize the culprit. Terrified of existing another day without air conditioning and eager to return home, Jaine is throwing herself into the investigation. And she better pounce on clues quickly—or there won’t be any survivors left. . .

I know that once I open up a Jaine Austen book that I will be enjoying all that is happening with Jaine in the middle of all the action, especially the capers that seems to follow her no matter where she is and in this book, she is Tahiti where the accommodation is not what she expected and the contestants and crew are strange indeed, which all adds to the humor that takes place in this engagingly entertaining mystery. In addition to solving a murder, Jaine has to contend with a suitor and of course the daily deluge of emails from her parents and Lance. This is another great book with witty repartee and a cast that is delightfully charming, especially our feline companion. I can’t wait to read the next book in this hilariously humorous series.

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A day in the life of Sophie Vera Kimball by J.C. Eaton

I will never, and I repeat never, move to a retirement community when I turn sixty-five. If I have to live in one of those God-awful tiny houses or a cramped apartment building with college frat boys, I’ll gladly do it rather than find myself in a place obsessed with aging. After spending a week and a half in Sun City West, Arizona, observing how my mother and her friends enjoy their “Golden Years,” it’s a wonder I can think straight. And it’s not because of the heat!

Words that barely crossed my vocabulary were suddenly part of my conversation. Words like stool softeners and compression hose. I couldn’t wait to get on the next plane back to Mankato, Minnesota, only I came out here for a reason and like all good daughters, I intended to keep the promise I had made to my mother – solve the book curse that’s killing off her friends. You heard right, a book curse.

My mother and her close-knit group of book club friends were convinced a book curse was wiping out the population and she wanted me to figure out what was going on. Granted, I worked for the accounts receivable department at the Mankato Police Department, but she figured something must’ve rubbed off on me. I hated to break it to her, but she was wrong.

Every day was a wild goose chase. A half-baked clue, a piece of gossip that needed to be tracked down or some bizarre scheme my mother came up with because she thought it would bring us closer to finding out what was really happening in her usually quiet and enjoyable community. I hated to admit it but I began to dread the mornings.

First of all, I had to sneak into the kitchen for a cup of coffee so I wouldn’t wake up Streetman, her neurotic chiweenie dog. He apparently was grouchy in the mornings and didn’t like being disturbed. (Like who does?) Then, the coffee. In an effort to be frugal, my mother managed to purchase brands of coffee that no one ever heard of. As if that wasn’t bad enough, her refrigerator consisted of cottage cheese, pineapple chunks and unrecognizable things that “were still good to eat.”

Usually, I forfeited breakfast and drove to the nearest diner for sustenance before tackling whatever obscure task she had on the docket for me that day. Today I’m off to the dog park because Cindy Dolton, the “eyes and ears” of the community, will be there at six a.m. Why the heck she couldn’t see or hear anything at a reasonable hour was beyond me. Then, I’ll make a note of anything that might be of help in my so-called investigation.

From there, I’ll grab a bite to eat at my mother’s favorite place – Bagels ‘N More, located across the road from the main entrance to her community. I’ll try to act nonchalant as I hone in on the chatter to see if anyone so much as drops a hint as to why four ladies died under mysterious circumstances.

Next, I’ll find a way to engage Herb Garrett, my mother’s snoopy neighbor, and a regular lothario, in a conversation to see what he knows. Apparently his pinochle crew can give the FBI a run for their money when it comes to information gathering.

I’ll round up the day putting the clues together and sharing them with my mother. So far, I’ve got a wall chart with information that rivals the ones they use on Criminal Minds and Castle. I only hope I can get the darned thing solved before I actually reach the age where I’ll have to live here. In the meantime, I’ll enjoy fabulous Mexican food, free local entertainment and year-round swimming. Hey, maybe retiring out here won’t be that bad after all.

Sophie (Phee) Kimball, amateur sleuth


You can read more about Sophie in Booked 4 Murder, the first book in the NEW “Sophie Kimball” mystery series.

Never judge a book by its cover. . .

Sophie “Phee” Kimball is not a cop. She’s a divorced, middle-aged mom who works as an account clerk for the police department in a small city in Minnesota. But her retired mother, Harriet Plunkett, is convinced Phee is the only one who can solve the mystery of a cursed book. According to Harriet, four members of her book club have already succumbed to the deadly curse. Harriet insists Phee catch the next plane to her retirement community in Sun City West, Arizona, to investigate.

Is her mother just bored and lonely? She does have a new pet—a long-haired chiweenie (half Chihuahua, half Dachshund)—for company and a host of pals (although that number is admittedly dwindling). Phee is certain that their book club selection isn’t cursed, but is somebody really knocking off the ladies? As Phee starts to uncover dark secrets hidden in plain sight under the blazing Arizona sun, she’ll need to read between the lines before it’s someone else’s final chapter. . .

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Meet the author
New York native Ann I. Goldfarb spent most of her life in education, first as a classroom teacher and later as a middle school principal and professional staff developer. Writing as J. C. Eaton, along with her husband, James Clapp, she has authored the Sophie Kimball Mysteries (Kensington) set for release in June 2017. In addition, Ann has nine published YA time travel mysteries under her own name. Visit the websites at: www.jceatonauthor.com and www.timetravelmysteries.com

When James E. Clapp retired as the tasting room manager for a large upstate New York winery, he never imagined he’d be co-authoring cozy mysteries with his wife, Ann I. Goldfarb. His first novel, Booked 4 Murder (Kensington) is set for release in June 2017. Non-fiction in the form of informational brochures and workshop materials treating the winery industry were his forte along with an extensive background and experience in construction that started with his service in the U.S. Navy and included vocational school classroom teaching. Visit the website at www.jceatonauthor.com

All comments are welcomed.

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My Musing ~ Murder at the Puppy Fest by Laurien Berenson

Murder at the Puppy Fest by Laurien Berenson is the 20th book in the “Melanie Travis” mystery series. Publisher: Kensington, coming June 27, 2017

Frolicking with dogs is Melanie Travis’s idea of heaven. So when she’s invited to be a “puppy wrangler” at a benefit for a local dog rescue, the last thing she expects is to be chasing after a tricky killer.

As a busy mom and pedigree Poodle owner, Melanie has little time to spare. Still, she doesn’t mind helping out at Puppy Fest, an annual fundraiser to benefit Puppy Posse, a local dog rescue organization. Considering the venue–Belle Haven mansion, owned by wealthy philanthropist Leo Brody–it’s shaping up to be the can’t-miss charity event of the summer. Unfortunately, when Melanie’s breeding background lands her in the doghouse with Jane, Leo’s snappy daughter who runs the rescue, Melanie finds herself simultaneously managing Puppy Fest and the millionaire’s hopelessly fractious family.

But once Puppy Fest kicks off, Leo is nowhere to be found–until Melanie discovers his current mistress crouching over his dead body. According to police, the father of nine’s severe nut allergy went into overdrive after he accidentally consumed a contaminated cookie. However, Libby, one of Leo’s children and a friend of Melanie’s Aunt Peg, believes someone deliberately put him down for good. And now, she’s begging a reluctant Melanie to unearth the secrets hidden by the Brody pack. But the closer Melanie gets to fetching answers, the higher the stakes become–and the more she realizes that she’s chasing a criminal who’s been groomed to win.

I always like my annual visit with Melanie and her friends and family. Murder is afoot and Melanie finds herself once again involved and it’s her interactions with humans and our furry friends that makes this book a delight to read.

I love the comfortable tone and the evenly paced tempo of this whodunit that grabbed my attention with the first sighting of “Bud.” The author did a great job in delivering a well-written mystery with plenty of suspects and enough clues to keep me glued to the pages as I had to know what happens next. The narrative was visually descriptive, putting me in the middle of all the action and I liked that when I thought I had a handle on the person behind the murder, the author changed the direction with some twists and turns, all to the betterment of this captivating story. I enjoyed my time with this story and look forward to the next one is this wonderfully appealing series.

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

My Musing ~ Booked 4 Murder by J.C. Eaton

Booked 4 Murder by J.C. Eaton is the first book in the NEW “Sophie Kimball” mystery series. Publisher: Kensington, coming June 27, 2017

Never judge a book by its cover. . .

Sophie “Phee” Kimball is not a cop. She’s a divorced, middle-aged mom who works as an account clerk for the police department in a small city in Minnesota. But her retired mother, Harriet Plunkett, is convinced Phee is the only one who can solve the mystery of a cursed book. According to Harriet, four members of her book club have already succumbed to the deadly curse. Harriet insists Phee catch the next plane to her retirement community in Sun City West, Arizona, to investigate.

Is her mother just bored and lonely? She does have a new pet—a long-haired chiweenie (half Chihuahua, half Dachshund)—for company and a host of pals (although that number is admittedly dwindling). Phee is certain that their book club selection isn’t cursed, but is somebody really knocking off the ladies? As Phee starts to uncover dark secrets hidden in plain sight under the blazing Arizona sun, she’ll need to read between the lines before it’s someone else’s final chapter. . .

This was such a fun book that I devoured all that was happening in a few sittings. I like the writing style of this book and the comfortable tone that made it easy and enjoyable read. The pacing set the tone to how well this whodunit was executed with narrative that was visually descriptive putting me in the middle of all the action. The mystery was staged perfectly giving me enough clues to follow and it was fun watch it all play out with the suspects until there was only one person left standing. . .the killer. I loved the camaraderie and interactions between Phee and her mother which amused me dearly. Boasting a wonderful cast of characters, engaging dialogue and a small town atmosphere, this was a delightfully charming addition to the cozy genre and I look forward to more exciting times with Phee and her friends.

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FTC Full Disclosure – I received an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) from the publisher.

A day in the life with Val Deniston by Maya Corrigan

My latest encounter with a murderer started when my grandfather came into the kitchen a transformed man. He looked as if he belonged in a fountain-of-youth drug ad, not at all like the man who’d welcomed me as a housemate a year ago. Only yesterday he’d resembled Santa Claus, with a fluffy beard, white curls fringing his head, and wire-framed bifocals slipping down his nose. Now he had shorter hair, a trimmed beard, rimless glasses with tinted lenses, and a tweed driver’s cap covering his bald spot on top.

I pointed my wooden spoon at him. “Who are you, and what did you do with the real Don Myer?”

“I got a new look for the New Year and a new client.” He sauntered across the kitchen as if on a runway in a fashion show. Then he shed his black wool car coat, hung it over his chair at the breakfast table, and showed me his shirt and pants—black, hip, and expensive.

“You look . . . fantastic, Granddad. What are you doing that requires a stylish wardrobe?”

“That’s confidential. I’m finally attracting the right type of business. No more tracking down runaway tabbies or stolen garden gnomes.”

I suppressed a smile. “With a business card that identifies you as a problem solver and sleuth, you have to be prepared for any challenge. Mrs. Smith was very grateful you found her cat.”

“She wasn’t grateful enough to pay me with cash, just cookies. I want to earn back some of the money I forked over for that online private-eye course. My client is paying my expenses and gave me an advance. Big bucks.” He adjusted the angle of his driver’s cap.

I turned the burner down as I digested his words. Hard to believe he merited upfront payment based on his dubious online training and a minor role in solving a murder or two. Granddad refused to tell me who was paying him and what he was supposed to do. I only hoped he wasn’t getting in over his head.

My hope was dashed later that afternoon. After parking at an outlet mall, I spotted a bearded man in a black coat and a driver’s cap at the other end of the mall’s sprawling parking lot. Granddad in his new clothes. Could he have been hired as a mystery shopper? A car turned into the lane where he was walking. He paid no attention to it. He staggered. Then he disappeared as if a stage trap door had swallowed him.


You can read more about Val and Granddad in The Tell-Tale Tarte, the fourth book in the “Five-Ingredient” mystery series.

It’s a cold January in the Chesapeake Bay area, but Cool Down Café manager Val Deniston has plenty to sweat over—like catering a book club event, testing recipes for her Granddad’s cookbook, and catching the author of a deadly tale of murder. The last thing Val needs in her life is an unsolved murder, especially when the victim, an actor famed for impersonating Edgar Allan Poe, happens to be dressed exactly like her Granddad. To keep an eye on Granddad, whose latest job takes him to the home of Rick Usher, a local author inspired by Poe, Val gets herself hired as a cook in Rick’s House of Usher. When she discovers the actor wasn’t the only one doing an impersonation, separating the innocent from the murderous becomes a real-life horror story. But Val must decipher a killer’s M.O. sooner rather than later . . . or she can forget about finding poetic justice.

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About the author
Maya (Mary Ann) Corrigan, lives outside Washington, D.C., an easy drive from Maryland’s Eastern Shore, the setting for her culinary mysteries: By Cook or by Crook, Scam Chowder, Final Fondue, and The Tell-Tale Tarte. Her Five-Ingredient Mysteries feature a café manager and her grandfather. Each book includes five suspects, five clues, and Granddad’s five-ingredient recipes. Visit her website at mayacorrigan.com, for more about the series and for trivia about mysteries.

All comments are welcomed.

Giveaway: Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of The Tell-Tale Tarte (print copy for US entries, e-book outside the US). The giveaway ends June 27, 2017. Good luck everyone!

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A day in the life of Melanie Travis by Laurien Berenson

Who doesn’t love puppies? Certainly not me. So when I was asked to serve as a puppy wrangler at a charity event modeled after the famous Puppy Bowl, I couldn’t say yes fast enough. My name is Melanie Travis, and aside from being a wife, mother of two sons, and a special needs teacher, I am also an avid breeder and exhibitor of Standard Poodles. So dealing with puppies is right up my alley.

What I’m not nearly as good at, is dealing with the humans that come long with them.

Millionaire philanthropist, Leo Brody, was the driving force behind the event. And unfortunately for me, all nine of his grown children were determined to put in an appearance at Puppy Fest and lend a (not particularly) helpful hand to the proceedings. In other words, they all wanted to butter up their old man.

That plan backfired spectacularly when the bowl game started and Mr. Brody failed to show up at the ballroom of his seaside mansion where the event was being filmed for broadcast. Having volunteered to make myself useful, I was the one who was sent to locate the missing millionaire. I found him in his office, lying dead on the floor, with his much-younger mistress bending over him.

In Leo Brody’s case, charity hadn’t begun at home.

With three ex-wives and a blended family that included not only the adult children but also six grandchildren, the contentious, chaotic Brody clan was definitely not the Brady Bunch. And with a vast inheritance on the line, the finger-pointing started almost immediately. Trying to sort out those nine squabbling siblings was like trying to herd cats. Worse still, none of them seemed able to keep their story straight for longer than it took to tell it.

Fortunately, things seem to be proceeding much more smoothly on the home front. As long as you don’t count the fact that while my son, Davey, and I were driving along a quiet country road, a passing driver stopped his car to dump out a malnourished puppy, then immediately sped away. As a result, our pack of Standard Poodles has been joined by a small, spotted mutt whom Davey has named Bud. We’ve been checking with local vets and animal control, and putting out feelers online. But even though Bud just got here, he’s already stolen our hearts. We’re all hoping desperately that nobody shows up to claim him.

With two mysteries to solve, I’m going to have a busy summer. But I’m a Mom so I’m used to that. Multi-tasking is one of the things I do best. At least that’s what I keep telling myself. Now if only I can figure out how to stay one step ahead of Leo Brody’s vindictive, money grubbing, children, everything should turn out just fine.


You can read more about Melanie in Murder at the Puppy Fest, the 20th book in the “Melanie Travis” mystery series, coming June 27, 2017

Frolicking with dogs is Melanie Travis’s idea of heaven. So when she’s invited to be a “puppy wrangler” at a benefit for a local dog rescue, the last thing she expects is to be chasing after a tricky killer.

As a busy mom and pedigree Poodle owner, Melanie has little time to spare. Still, she doesn’t mind helping out at Puppy Fest, an annual fundraiser to benefit Puppy Posse, a local dog rescue organization. Considering the venue—Belle Haven mansion, owned by wealthy philanthropist Leo Brody—it’s shaping up to be the can’t-miss charity event of the summer. Unfortunately, when Melanie’s breeding background lands her in the doghouse with Jane, Leo’s snappy daughter who runs the rescue, Melanie finds herself simultaneously managing Puppy Fest and the millionaire’s hopelessly fractious family.

But once Puppy Fest kicks off, Leo is nowhere to be found—until Melanie discovers his current mistress crouching over his dead body. According to police, the father of nine’s severe nut allergy went into overdrive after he accidentally consumed a contaminated cookie. However, Libby, one of Leo’s children and a friend of Melanie’s Aunt Peg, believes someone deliberately put him down for good. And now, she’s begging a reluctant Melanie to unearth the secrets hidden by the Brody pack. But the closer Melanie gets to fetching answers, the higher the stakes become—and the more she realizes that she’s chasing a criminal who’s been groomed to win.

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About the author
Laurien Berenson is the author of more than thirty novels that have sold two million copies worldwide. Her cozy mystery series revolves around the world of dog shows, a milieu she knows well as her family has been involved in the sport of dogs for three generations. There are currently twenty Melanie Travis canine mysteries including the newest book, Murder At The Puppy Fest.

Berenson is a four time winner of the Maxwell Award for Fiction from the Dog Writers Assoc. of America and a winner of the Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award. She is also an Agatha and Macavity nominee. Her work has appeared in The New York Times as well as numerous magazines. She is a graduate of Vassar College, and she and her husband live on a farm in Kentucky, surrounded by horses and dogs.

Connect with Laurien at www.LaurienBerenson.com and on Facebook.

All comments are welcomed.

Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a print copy of Murder at the Puppy Fest. US entries only, please. The giveaway ends June 26, 2017. Good luck everyone!

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My Musing ~ The Tell-Tale Tarte by Maya Corrigan

The Tell-Tale Tarte by Maya Corrigan is the fourth book in the “Five Ingredients” mystery series. Publisher: Kensington, June 27, 2017

It s a cold January in the Chesapeake Bay area, but Cool Down Cafe manager Val Deniston has plenty to sweat over like catering a book club event, testing recipes for her Granddad s cookbook, and catching the author of a deadly tale of murder. . .

The last thing Val needs in her life is an unsolved murder, especially when the victim, an actor famed for impersonating Edgar Allan Poe, happens to be dressed exactly like her Granddad. To keep an eye on Granddad, whose latest job takes him to the home of Rick Usher, a local author inspired by Poe, Val gets herself hired as a cook in Rick s House of Usher. When she discovers the actor wasn’t the only one doing an impersonation, separating the innocent from the murderous becomes a real-life horror story. But Val must decipher a killer s M.O. sooner rather than later . . . or she can forget about finding poetic justice.

Includes 6 delicious five-ingredient recipes!

I love this book with its five-ingredient recipes and five clues that blends together perfectly to bring me a delightfully engaging whodunit that whets my appetite for more stories. The story was set at a comfortable pace that flowed easily from chapter to chapter keeping me engrossed in all that was happening as Val sought to clear her boyfriend’s name and protect her grandfather from an unknown killer. This well-written mystery was nicely done with a homage to Poe in how certain characters were portrayed and where everyone was suspect. Adding strategically placed twists and turns enhanced the telling of this tale and making this one of the best book in this endearing series.

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FTC Full Disclosure – I received an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) from the author.

A day in the life of Liv McKay by Vickie Fee

My name is Liv McKay, the owner and only full-time employee of Liv 4 Fun, which may not be the biggest party-planning business in Tennessee, but I believe we hold the record for the most corpses turning up uninvited. I’ve had dead bodies show up at two different holiday events—Halloween and Independence Day. That’s not even counting the two dead guys who turned up in my clients’ home while I was there planning their anniversary party. It’s not exactly something I can put in my promotional brochures, but it’s a distinction, nonetheless.

The most recent incident happened at the Dixie, Tennessee annual Fourth of July Festival. I was hired by the town council to coordinate all the various events of the day. I had quoted them a fee so high I never thought they’d agree to it. They didn’t even bat an eye. That should’ve told me something. If I’d had any idea how cutthroat the Kudzu jelly competition could be or how much controversy the Miss Dixie Pageant would stir up, or that my mother would come in second in the chocolate cake baking contest, I never would have signed on—for any amount of money. And that’s not even taking into account the dead body.

The day was nearly over, and despite the many fires I’d had to put out, most people were none the wiser. From the comfortable distance of an average spectator, the July 4th celebration had gone beautifully. No one had gotten into a fist fight, although two opposing candidates for town council did get into a brief shoving match. Even the weather cooperated. It wasn’t cool by any means, but not nearly as hot as July can oftentimes be in the delta. So, thankfully, no one had to be treated for heat exhaustion.

The evening had wound down nicely, with the presentation of all the day’s winners, followed by a concert of patriotic music by the high school band. As the skies darkened, little kids hyped up on cotton candy and funnel cakes cleared out of the bouncy houses. Youngsters waved glow sticks and weary parents spread blankets out on the grass. I stretched out on a tablecloth next to my husband, Larry Joe, for what was the longest period of time I’d been off my feet all day. The band played a rousing John Phillips Souza tune as the fireworks began to explode overhead to the oohs and ahhs of an appreciative crowd.

I was feeling pretty proud of myself—and tired to the bone and ready to go home—as we gathered up our tablecloth and sunscreen and ice chest. Suddenly ear-piercing screams broke through the chatter and clatter of the crowd. I turned and spotted Helen Maples screaming her head off, and just behind her I could see why. Councilman Bubba Rowland was dead, adding one more victim to the growing body count at my events. He’d been one of the participants in the shoving match and he’d been accused of trying to fix the Miss Dixie Pageant in his niece’s favor. And the big bloodstain on the front of Bubba’s shirt made natural causes seem unlikely.


You can read more about Liv in One Fete in the Grave, the third book in the “Liv & Di in Dixie” mystery series.

Party planner Liv McKay has outdone herself this time. She’s put together an unforgettable Fourth of July celebration for the town of Dixie, Tennessee—including breathtaking fireworks and an exciting Miss Dixie Beauty Pageant. Maybe a little too exciting.

As the party is winding down, Liv’s sense of triumph fizzles when the body of town councilman Bubba Rowland is discovered on the festival grounds. And now the prime suspect in his murder is Liv’s mother’s fiancé, Earl, who had a flare-up recently with Bubba. To clear Earl’s name, Liv and her best friend Di burst into action to smoke out the real killer before another life is extinguished. . .

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About the author
Vickie Fee blesses hearts and makes Jack Daniels whiskey balls that’ll scorch your tonsils. The third book in her Liv and Di in Dixie cozy mystery series from Kensington, One Fete in the Grave, was released May 30. Books 1 and 2, Death Crashes the Party and It’s Your Party, Die If You Want To, featuring intrepid party planner and amateur sleuth Liv McKay and best friend Di Souther, are available at bookstores and the usual online retailers. Vickie is hard at work on Til Death Do Us Party, which will release in March 2018.

Visit Vickie at www.vickiefee.com and at chicksonthecase.com blog.

All comments are welcomed.

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A day in the life of Sasha Silverman by Meg Macy

bearly-departedAs manager of my parents’ Silver Bear Shop & Factory in Silver Hollow, Michigan, my day begins with the alarm ringing in my ear at seven thirty. Ugh. “Sasha, get up!” That’s my sister Maddie’s piercing call from downstairs. We live ‘above the shop’ in a renovated Victorian house.

After three or four times hitting the snooze button, I shove my sweet ‘teddy bear’ dog, Rosie (a mix of Lhasa Apso and Bichon Frise, whose muzzle is right in my face – dog breath!), aside. Crawl out of the sack, one eye open. Rosie snuggles deeper in the bed, on my pillow too, clearly grateful she has it all to herself. I head into the shower and stand under the pulsing hot water until my brain fog clears. I grab my silver tee shirt with our teddy bear logo, black jeans, sandals, and pull my still-wet hair into a ponytail.

Maddie, an unapologetic happy morning person, has already made a pot of coffee – God bless her! – and left me a toasted English muffin with cream cheese and raspberry jam. She’s already at work in the office. I enjoy a second cup of coffee while watching the morning news show. By nine-thirty, I’m in the shop checking the cash register, the shelves of bears and accessories, and ready to greet customers at ten o’clock.

Do I want to marry again and have a family? One day, I hope.

Oh no. Trouble arrives when our sales rep, Will Taylor, once again demands to know why I’ll be hosting a tour of senior citizens from the local church. It’s a waste of time, in his opinion. He’s also mad that someone keyed his sporty car in our parking lot yesterday. He’s unpopular enough with our staff, but also around the village – how would I know who might have damaged his car in a show of fury? As for the tour, I’ll keep giving them. People enjoy seeing our factory, the staff in action, how we cut the fur and sew bears, and they always buy one or several as souvenirs.

I ignore his opinion that we need to cut staff, too. He’s crazy. We can barely keep up getting all our orders filled. Maddie interrupts our argument. She’s just agreed to accept a small company’s request for a hundred silver teddy bears to reward their employees’ children. Uncle Ross barges in, waving another special order for a five-foot-tall bear. The Oktobear Fest committee wants to give it as a prize at the festival, but their budget is limited – they need it ‘at cost’.

When Will refuses to budge on anything less than retail price, my uncle backs him against the door with a clenched fist. The Silverman family has always been generous to the community, and that will never change. Will stalks out of the shop in disgust.

Uncle Ross, Maddie, and I exchange satisfied grins and get back to work.


You can read more about Sasha, the Silver Bear Shop & Factory, and Silver Hollow in Bearly Departed, the first book in the NEW “Shamelessly Adorable Teddy Bear” cozy mystery series.

The Silver Bear Shop & Factory might be the cutest place around, but there’s nothing warm and fuzzy about murder . . .

As manager of the family teddy bear shop and factory, thirty-one-year-old Sasha Silverman leads a charmed life. Well, except for the part about being a single divorcée with a ticking biological clock in small-town Silver Hollow. And that’s just kid’s stuff compared to Will Taylor, the sales rep who’s set on making drastic changes to the business her parents built from scratch—with or without Sasha’s approval.

But before Will digs his claws in, someone pulls the stuffing out of his plan . . . and leaves his dead body inside the factory. Reeling from shock, Sasha’s hit with more bad news—police suspect her hot-tempered Uncle Ross may have murdered him. Sasha knows her uncle would never do such a thing, and she’s launching her own little investigation to expose the truth. As she tracks Will’s biggest rivals and enemies for clues, Sasha can’t get too comfy—or she’ll become the next plaything for a killer . . .

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About the author
Award-winning mystery author Meg Macy lives in Southeast Michigan, close enough to Ann Arbor, Chelsea, and Dexter — the area she chose for the setting of her new “Shamelessly Adorable Teddy Bear” cozy mystery series for Kensington. She is also one-half of the writing team of D.E. Ireland for the Eliza Doolittle & Henry Higgins Mystery series; two books have been named Agatha Award finalists. Meg’s first published book, Double Crossing, won the 2012 Best First Novel Spur Award from Western Writers of America. She’s also a graduate of Seton Hill University’s Writing Popular Fiction program. Meg loves reading mysteries, historical and contemporary, and other genre fiction. She needs more time for gardening, crafts, and watercolor painting – and a week or two on Mackinac Island. Visit the author online at megmacy.com.

All comments are welcomed.

Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a print copy of Bearly Departed from Kensington Books. US entries only, please. The giveaway ends June 1, 2017. Good luck everyone!