Tag Archives: Penguin Random House

A day in the life with Monica Albertson by Peg Cochran

Bringing in the Bees

Many people don’t realize that work on a cranberry farm continues all year round. They know about the fall harvest if they’ve seen the bogs flooded with water and the ruby red cranberries massed together before being sucked into the hopper.

Fall is also the time when the cranberry farmer has to be vigilant against frost, prepared to flood the bogs should the temperature go below freezing. More than once I’ve had to get up in the middle of the night to help my brother with the flooding.

During the winter, the bogs are flooded and when ice has formed, sand is spread out on top. When the water melts in the spring, the sand will filter down to the cranberry crop to encourage growth and keep out weeds. Winter is also the season when farmers spend time maintaining and repairing their equipment.

I’m busy, too. Our farm store is open all year long. We’ve added a commercial kitchen at Sassamanash Farm and I’ve been making our signature cranberry salsa for a local gourmet food chain. I also bake all sorts of cranberry goodies like scones, muffins and bread.

There’s still a danger of frost come spring so farmers are ready to flood the bogs at a moment’s notice. When the weather gets warmer, there’s weeding to be done as well as cleaning accumulated debris from the ditches that funnel water out to the bogs.

It late spring and I was walking toward the farm store and my new kitchen when I noticed a truck parked in a field alongside one of the bogs. It was stacked with unusual looking wood boxes—I’d never seen anything like them before.

My brother Jeff was talking to the driver of the truck.

“What are those boxes?” I pointed toward the truck.

Jeff smiled. “Those are bee hives. We’ve rented bees to pollinate the crop.”

I must have looked dumbstruck because Jeff went on to explain.

“There aren’t enough native bees to do the job. Cranberry flowers aren’t their first choice and most of them flock to the other flowers around the farm.”

The thought of a swarm of bees being released all at once made me rather nervous. I’ve been stung, and it hurts!

“Isn’t it dangerous?”

Jeff shook his head. “Nah. The bee keeper knows what he’s doing. You just have to be careful not to rile up the bees.”

I didn’t like the picture a swarm of riled up bees formed in my mind.

“Don’t worry. You won’t get stung,” Jeff said.

No, I thought later. I didn’t get stung. But someone else did and it proved fatal.


You can read more about Monica in Dead and Berried, the third book in the “Cranberry Cove” mystery series.

It’s hive time for murder in the latest Cranberry Cove mystery from national bestselling author Peg Cochran.

It’s June in Cranberry Cove and Monica Albertson’s plan to sell cranberry relish to chain stores is taking off. The cranberry bogs are in bloom, and local beekeeper Rick Taylor and his assistant Lori Wenk are bringing in bees to pollinate the blossoms. When a fatal prick fells Lori, the buzz is that Rick is to blame.

In trying to clear her friend’s name, Monica discovers that more than a few people in Cranberry Cove have felt the power of Lori’s venom, and it looks as if this time she may have agitated the hive a bit too much. With the fate of the farm on the line, Monica must get to the bottom of the crime before another victim gets stung.

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About the author
A former Jersey girl, Peg now resides in Michigan with her husband and Westhighland white terrier, Reg. She is the author of the Sweet Nothings Lingerie series (written as Meg London), the Gourmet De-Lite series, the Lucille series, the Cranberry Cove series and the Farmer’s Daughter series.

All comments are welcomed.

A day in the life with Frank Malloy by Victoria Thompson

If you’ve read about me in any of the Gaslight Mysteries, you probably remember me as a Detective Sergeant with the New York City Police. I was a cop my entire adult life, up until they fired me about a year ago. Oh, don’t feel sorry for me. They fired me because I got too rich to be a cop. But that’s a story for another day. Today’s story starts at home. Now that Sarah Brandt and I are married, we live in this gigantic house her neighbor, Mrs. Ellsworth, found for us. I’m glad it’s big because we share it with my mother, my son, Sarah’s daughter, our Nanny, our maid and our cook. So after breakfast is over, I’m often glad I’ve got an office to go to.

The office is the detective agency I now own, thanks to my former colleague from the police department, Gino Donatelli. While Sarah and I were on our honeymoon, Gino and our Nanny, Maeve Smith, decided I needed something interesting to fill my time, and they’d already solved our first case by the time Sarah and I got home from our European tour.

This morning I arrived at my office to find Gino had found a new client for us. Will Bert was looking for his brother who worked as a newsboy in the city. The orphaned boys had gotten separated when Will had been taken out west on the Orphan Train to find adoptive parents. Now that Will is grown, he wants to find Freddie and give him a home.

Since I don’t have to worry about earning a living anymore, I can take the cases I like, even if I don’t get paid, and I didn’t need to get paid to help these two brothers find each other. The trouble was, once Gino and I started investigating, we found out everything Will Bert had told us was a lie, including his name. That gave us a whole new mystery to solve, and we were very interested to find out the real reason Will Bert wanted to find Freddie. Then people started turning up dead, and the situation became more and more desperate. What did a missing debutant, a gangster from the Bowery, and a poor newsboy have in common?

The answers we found surprised us, but I won’t spoil it for you. Meanwhile, I’m on to the next case.


You can read the whole story and find out what Sarah and the rest of her family have been up to as well in Murder in the Bowery, the 20th book in the Gaslight Mystery Series.

Former police sergeant turned private detective Frank Malloy and his wife Sarah are caught up in the strange world of a society woman who enjoyed flirting with danger but found death instead. . . Frank Malloy’s latest client is well-dressed Will Bert. He’s searching for his brother, a newsboy named Freddie so he can share his new financial good fortune. Frank makes quick work of the case and locates Freddie but a happy reunion between brothers is not in the cards.

When Will’s name is mentioned, Freddie runs off—only to be found dead a short time later. A suspicious Frank tracks down Will who spins a tale of lust and deceit involving a young society woman Estelle Longacre. Estelle’s risky behavior took a fatal toll but Frank can’t be sure if the company she kept is to blame or if her own ruthless family had a hand in her death.

Frank will need Sarah’s help to unearth the dark secrets of the Longacres and to discover if there is a connection between Estelle and Freddie’s death. Together they must navigate an underground web of treachery to find answers.

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About the author
Edgar® and Agatha Nominated author Victoria Thompson writes the Gaslight Mystery Series, set in turn-of-the-century New York City and featuring midwife Sarah Brandt. Her latest, Murder in the Bowery, is a May 2017 release from Berkley Prime Crime. She also contributed to the award winning writing textbook Many Genres/One Craft. Victoria teaches in the Seton Hill University master’s program in writing popular fiction. She lives in Illinois with her husband and a very spoiled little dog. Find out more at www.victoriathompson.com.

All comments are welcomed.

Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a print copy of Murder in the Bowery. US entries only, please. The giveaway ends May 12, 2017. Good luck everyone!

A day in the life of Meg Barrett by Kathleen Bridge

The hurricane barreling up the East Coast wouldn’t bother me in the least, except for the fact that I’m staying on a friend’s vintage sailboat docked at the East End Yacht Club and there is an evacuation order for Montauk. The reason I’m living on a sailboat in the Hamptons with my curmudgeonly adorable cat, Jo, is that I’m waiting on zoning approval for my new oceanfront cottage. Jo’s not a fan of staying on a boat moored at the yacht club, maybe because she can’t partake in the Top Chef worthy gourmet meals and daily massages.

If I’m honest, the Malabar X’s owner, Cole Spenser, is more than a friend. Yes. Definitely, more. But between Cole’s schedule and mine, we haven’t spent much time together. He’s been sailing his antique boats, I mean “yachts,” as I was told to call them, to far off ports, accompanied by his three-legged dog, Tripod, while I work on decorating the author suites at the Victorian Bibliophile Bed & Breakfast in Sag Harbor. Each room is filled with antiques and vintage items that coincide with the time the authors were alive. I think rare book collector and owner of the inn, Franklin Hollingsworth, is going to be very pleased when he sees what I’ve done in the Edgar Allan Poe suite. That’s if he has time to check it out, because he’s been so busy coordinating the first annual Sag Harbor Book and Ephemera Fair, not to mention, the kick-off Gatsby-esque cocktail party where he’ll read from his recently acquired The Heiress and the Light unpublished manuscript written by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The book takes place at my favorite spot on earth, the Montauk Point Lighthouse, and I can’t wait until it’s published.

Back to the issue of here-again, gone-again, Cole. Perhaps, due to Cole’s lack of commitment, I’m also spending time with Byron Hughes, Hamptons’ Landscape Architect extraordinaire. Do I feel guilty, I am staying on Cole’s yacht, while occasionally dating Byron? You betcha, but that doesn’t stop me from having feelings for both men. I’m only human and they both have a lot to offer. I’ve promised myself I will choose one guy or the other by Labor Day. I just hope whomever I pick, picks me back.

Jo’s in her crate and the waves are starting to get rough. It’s time to hit the road and make the trek to Sag Harbor, it’s only thirty miles away, but I’m sure it will take us hours to get there because of the evacuation. Brenna Hollingsworth, Franklin’s niece, has kindly offered Jo and I shelter from the storm. Pets aren’t usually allowed at the inn, so I’m hoping Jo behaves herself in the attic space, soon to be the Emily Dickinson loft. Jo has a penchant for getting in trouble—kind of like her owner. . .


You can read more about Meg in Ghostal Living, the third book in the “Hamptons Home and Garden” mystery series.

In the latest mystery from the author of Better Homes and Corpses and Hearse and Gardens, Hamptons interior designer and antiques picker Meg Barrett uncovers a veil of spooky goings-on. . .

The first Sag Harbor Antiquarian Book and Ephemera Fair is right around the corner, and interior designer Meg Barrett has her hands full decorating rooms at the Bibliophile Bed & Breakfast for wealthy rare book collector Franklin Hollingsworth. Rumor has it Hollingsworth is in possession of an unpublished manuscript written by F. Scott Fitzgerald. When the Fitzgerald manuscript’s authenticator is found dead at the bottom of a cliff, Meg suspects a killer is on the loose.

Rare books start disappearing from the B & B and Meg sees a connection between the stolen books and the deceased authenticator. With the fair looming, she finds herself caught up in catching a killer and thief before another victim is booked for death.

Includes Recipes And Decorating Tips

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About the author
Kathleen Bridge, National bestselling author of the Hamptons Home and Garden Mysteries Hearse and Gardens and Better Homes and Corpses, started her writing career working at the Michigan State University News in East Lansing, Michigan. She is the author and photographer of an antiques reference guide, Lithographed Paper Toys, Books, and Games. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America, and has taught creative writing classes at Bryant Library in Roslyn, New York. Kathleen is also an antiques and vintage dealer and has contributed to Country Living magazine.

Connect with Kathleen at www.kathleenbridge.com, on Facebook, on Twitter, on Instagram and on her Amazon author page.

All comments are welcomed.

Ghostal Living is available at retail and online booksellers or you can ask your local library to get it for you.