Interview & Spotlight: CAT GOT YOUR SECRETS by Julie Chase

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As part of a Blog Tour organized by Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours, I am happy to have Julie Chase as my guest as she celebrates the release of Cat Got Your Secrets, the latest addition to her Kitty Couture Mystery series.

Interview

Welcome, Julie.  I think the best place to start would be to tell us a little about yourself. 

JulieALindsey2Sure! I’m Julie Anne Lindsey, a writer-mom who stays home with her three busy kids, ages 9, 11 & 14. My children are growing up so fast in every way. My youngest is in 4th grade tomorrow and my oldest started high school last week.

Also, I write the Kitty Couture series as Julie Chase, but it’s a pen name for the project, and I write lots of other things as myself. Beginning April 2018, I will write romantic suspense for Harlequin Intrigue.

What sparked the idea to write this novel?

The Kitty Couture series was inspired by a trip to New Orleans in 2015. I fell in love with the city and wanted a reason to go back as often as possible. Once I climbed aboard a street car and got off in the Garden District, I knew that was where my next novel/series belonged. It’s an enchanting place. Since I can’t take the whole world with me physically when I visit, I figured a great novel set on those streets is just as good.

How long did it take you to write?

I wrote Cat Got Your Secrets in about 28 days. Though, the writing only began after 7-10 days of extensive plotting and detailed outlining. Once I understood all the pieces and how they would fit together, I began writing one chapter a day. Twenty-eight days/chapters later, I’d finished. I normally take 2 days at the end to reread my work, then huzzah! A novel. The entire process is more like six weeks, but I have it down to a science which helps me meet deadlines and know with confidence when I can turn something in or begin a new project. For this reason, I’m a huge advocate of outlining.

What book are you reading right now?

Right now I’m reading Protection Detail by Julie Miller, it’s a romantic suspense from Harlequin Intrigue, and I’m also reading the first in the Outlander series for my book club. In addition, my high schooler and I are listening to the YA novel, Smoke & Bone, on audio disk during the hefty 45 minute commute to his new nerd school – I’m super proud of my over-achieving offspring. They talk about math the way I talk about books.

Is there anything you would like to say to your readers that my readers might want to know about you or your series?

Only that this series is near and dear to my heart and has been so much fun to write. I’ve fallen in love with each character, and had plans to see them live on for years, having new and exciting adventures in New Orleans. However, the industry is what it is, and I’m not in control of the series duration. I have my finger crossed that the publisher will ask for more tales of Lacy and her crew, but at the moment, it looks like this will be my final installment. It’s something I haven’t mentioned before because it breaks my heart to share, but unless something changes, Cat Got Your Secrets is the final Kitty Couture Mystery.

About Cat Got Your Secrets

cgys-colored-cover-2017-1-4Lacy Marie Crocker has settled into a comfortable groove back home in New Orleans, and with Valentine’s Day right around the corner, she’s busier than ever running a thriving pet boutique, helping her mother organize the upcoming National Pet Pageant, and untangling her complicated love life. But when delivering a king-sized order of dreidel-shaped doggy biscuits for a Saint Berdoodle’s bark-mitzvah, Lacy stumbles into yet another murder scene—and the last person to see the victim alive was her own father.

It’s up to Lacy to clear her dad’s name from the suspect list before Detective Jack Oliver has to cage him for good. But just when she starts pawing at the truth, she receives a threatening letter from a mysterious blackmailer bent on silencing her with her own secrets. And Lacy’s not the only one with bones in her closet.

Giveaway

Click to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win a paperback set of books 1 & 2 in the Kitty Couture series and a themed wallet filled with mardi gras beads.

About the Author

Julie Chase is a mystery-loving pet enthusiast who hopes to make readers smile. She lives in rural Ohio with her husband and three spunky children. Julie is a member of the International Thriller Writers, Romance Writers of America, and Sisters in Crime. She is represented by Jill Marsal of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency. Julie also writes as Julie Anne Lindsey. Learn more about Julie Anne Lindsey here.

Purchase Links:  Amazon     B&N     BAM!    IndieBound

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Review: LIES SHE TOLD by Cate Holahan

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As part of a Blog Tour organized by Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours, I recently read Lies She Told, an engaging psychological thriller by Kim Davis.

Description

LiesSheTold_old-692x1024Sometimes the truth is darker than fiction.

Liza Cole has thirty days to write the thriller that could put her back on the bestseller list. In the meantime, she’s struggling to start a family with her husband, who is distracted by the disappearance of his best friend, Nick. With stresses weighing her down in both her professional and her personal lives, Liza escapes into writing her latest heroine, Beth.

Beth is a new mother who suspects her husband is cheating on her while she’s home alone caring for their newborn. Angry and betrayed, she sets out to catch him in the act and make him pay for shattering the illusion of their perfect life. But before she realizes it, she’s tossing the body of her husband’s mistress into the East River.

Then the lines between fiction and reality begin to blur. Nick’s body is dragged from the same river and Liza’s husband is arrested for his murder. Before her deadline is up, Liza will have to face up to the truths about the people around her, including herself. If she doesn’t, the end of her heroine’s story could be the end of her own.

My Review

This was a unique and intriguing read that starts out by following two distinct storylines with the point of view switching between Liza (the writer) and Beth (her made-up character).  The book starts out slowly as you become acquainted with the players, but the pace picks up quickly as both Liza and Beth find themselves in complicated situations.  Both characters were well developed. It was easy to identify with Liza’s yearning to be a mother and with Beth’s distress at the state of her marriage. The partial mirroring of the two plots – Liza’s story and the story she was writing – led to a blurring of the line between reality and fiction. The path to the story’s resolution was peppered with suspense and twists that kept me turning the pages.  It was an enjoyable read, however the ending didn’t feel “right” to me – not so much in terms of the killer’s identity but more in that the factors that led to the killer’s actions seemed a bit far-fetched to me.

FTC Disclosure:   I received a complimentary ARC of this book. This has not affected the content of my review in any way.

Giveaway

Click to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win a print copy of Lies She Told.

About the Author

Holahan-Author-Photo-Credit-Martin-Bentsen-240x300-Copy-240x300Cate Holahan, author of the acclaimed psychological suspense novel The Widower’s Wife, is an award-winning journalist and a former television producer. She currently lives in New Jersey with her husband and two children.

Author Links:

Purchase Links:    Amazon B&N

Review: SEEING RED by Sandra Brown

Nothing like a good thriller to keep me up way past my bedtime.  Seeing Red by Sandra Brown did just that.

41ws6iggcglDescription (from Amazon)

Kerra Bailey is a TV journalist hot on the trail of a story guaranteed to skyrocket her career to new heights. Twenty-five years ago, Major Franklin Trapper became a national icon when he was photographed leading a handful of survivors to safety after the bombing of a Dallas hotel. For years, he gave frequent speeches and interviews but then suddenly dropped out of the public eye, shunning all media. Now Kerra is willing to use any means necessary to get an exclusive with the Major–even if she has to secure an introduction from his estranged son, former ATF agent John Trapper.

Still seething over his break with both the ATF and his father, Trapper wants no association with the bombing or the Major. Yet Kerra’s hints that there’s more to the story rouse Trapper’s interest despite himself. And when the interview goes catastrophically awry–with unknown assailants targeting not only the Major, but also Kerra–Trapper realizes he needs her under wraps if he’s going to track down the gunmen . . . and finally discover who was responsible for the Dallas bombing.

Kerra is wary of a man so charming one moment and dangerous the next, and she knows Trapper is withholding evidence from his ATF investigation into the bombing. But having no one else to trust and enemies lurking closer than they know, Kerra and Trapper join forces to expose a sinuous network of lies and conspiracy–and uncover who would want a national hero dead.

My Review

The author weaves a well written and intriguing tale of suspense rooted in events that took the place when both of  the main characters were children, and which impacted on each of them in different ways.  Trapper’s fascination with the bombing drives him to seek answers about the persons behind the tragedy which brought about so much change in his life.  With “The Major” refusing interview requests, Kerra reaches out to his estranged son for help in obtaining access to the hero.  The result is a reluctant partnership of sorts between the two as they search for answers to difficult questions.

I found both Trapper and Kerra to be interesting and well developed characters.  The intricate plot has an abundance of twists and turns a real page-turner  with non-stop action and elements of romantic suspense and sexual tension.  Although the sexual tension enhanced the story, in my opinion, the explicit descriptions of their intimate physical interactions were somewhat gratuitous and detracted from the story.

Content Advisory:  If you are offended by strong language and explicit graphic sex, this book is not for you.

FTC Disclosure:  I received an advance review copy of this book and have voluntarily chosen to share my honest review. 

Book Blast: MURDER SHE FLOATS by Rachael Stapleton

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As part of a Blog Blast organized by Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours, today’s post turns the spotlight on  Murder She Floats, a new cozy mystery by  Rachael Stapleton.

Description

MurdersheFloat_finalIt’s the end of the summer and Journalist Penelope Trubble has returned home to help her father with the Private Eye business. With a contest prize of ten thousand dollars on the line, the town is full of summer vacationers on the hunt for the rare 1913 Liberty Head nickel that was lost to Bohemian Lake over fifty years ago. With the help of spitfire local, Eve Berns and Cody Lumos, the town’s handsome new detective, amateur sleuth Lucky Penny takes the bait and goes diving for the story behind the legend of the million dollar coin. Unfortunately, her dive turns up more bodies than missing treasure. The deeper she digs, the more secrets she finds hidden in the sand, but will she be buried along with them?

Giveaway

Click to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win an autographed copy of The Temple of Indra’s Witch.

About The Author

Concert-PicRachael Stapleton lives in a Second Empire Victorian home with her husband and two children in Ontario, Canada and enjoys writing in the comforts of aged wood and arched dormers.

Author Links:
Webpage     Blog    Facebook   @RaquelleJaxson 
Amazon     GoodReads 

Purchase Link:  Amazon

Review & Giveaway: GAME OF DECEIT by K. A. Davis

GameDeceitAs part of a Blog Tour organized by Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours, I recently read Game of Deceit, an enjoyable mystery by Kim Davis.

DescriptionA-Game-of-Deceit-Cover_final_eBook

A father’s disappearance never solved, a mother’s secret taken to the grave, a daughter deceived…

Kathryn Landry thinks her life is just about perfect. She is the owner of a successful interior designer business in Newport Beach, California, and she has an attentive, supportive husband. But her world comes crashing down when her husband, Neil Landry, vanishes without a trace… in a situation almost identical to the disappearance of her father twenty years before.

With her father’s disappearance still a mystery, Kathryn is skeptical that the detective assigned to her case will be able to find her husband. Determined to uncover the truth, Kathryn is plunged into a world of politics, high-priced call girls and wealth. As she begins to search for her husband, a decades-old secret her mother took to the grave threatens to destroy all she holds dear. Caught up in a web of betrayals and deceit, and not knowing who to trust, Kathryn must find a way to survive as she discovers the past has a way of repeating itself.

My Review

Game of Deceit is a well written mystery.  Kathryn made for an interesting main character and it was easy to empathize with her dismay as events unfolded and with her conflicting feelings about the two men vying for her affections.  As I read the book I found myself  framing hypotheses and then revising them again and again, flip-flopping in my suspicions right along with Kathryn as the story progressed.  The pace was good and  held my attention throughout, although the resolution felt a bit rushed and was somewhat vague regarding the motivation of the main villain.  All in all, an admirable debut by a new author.

FTC Disclosure:   I received a complimentary ARC of this book. This has not affected the content of my review in any way.

Purchase Links: Amazon  B&N

Giveaway

Click to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win a copy of  Game of Deceit and an Amazon gift card.

About the Author

Kim DavisKim Davis lives in Southern California with her husband, near wildfire country. During the Portola Hills fire in October 2007, she had to evacuate her two young granddaughters, one of whom has Rett Syndrome, as a wall of one hundred foot flames crept towards their home. Thankfully, due to the brave efforts of firefighters, their neighborhood was spared and no loss of life or property occurred. She was able to use that experience to write a harrowing scene in A Game of Deceit.

She writes the Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder blog and has had several children’s articles published in Cricket, Nature Friend, Skipping Stones, and the Seed of Truth magazines. Kim Davis is a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime.

Surprise release! THE MISPLACED DOG by Christa Nardi and Cassidy Salem

Christa Nardi and I are excited to announce the early release of our third Hannah and Tamar Mystery — The Misplaced Dog.  Thanks to speedy beta readers and an efficient editing process, it was ready ahead of schedule, so we decided not to keep our readers in suspense.

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Synopsis

A gorgeous addition places Playful Paws and its staff at the center of a mystery.

It’s love at first sight when Tamar meets Rusty – the newest resident at the local shelter where she volunteers. However, the arrival of the well-trained and affectionate dog coincides with the onset of suspicious and dangerous incidents involving the shelter and its staff. Is it a coincidence or is the dog the key to solving a major crime? In this latest addition to the Hannah and Tamar mystery series, the sisters are determined to find out.

Read an excerpt:

“I don’t get it. Why couldn’t you do your community service closer to home? I’m gonna be late for my study group at the library.”

The Playful Paws animal shelter was located on the eastern outskirts of Rosedale, Maryland. Only a 10 minute drive from Rosedale High, you’d think it was on the moon to judge from Hannah’s complaining.

“You know, I could drop you off at school and take the car the rest of the way myself. It’s not my fault you insist on driving.” Tamar knew that wasn’t going to happen.

“Fat chance.” Hannah shook her head.

Tamar had recently passed her driving test and was itching to spend more time behind the wheel, even if it meant putting up with her sister’s non-stop criticisms. Hannah, on the other hand, wasn’t about to give up the driver’s seat.

The Bertolet’s green Subaru Outback pulled up in front of a dreary, red brick building in Rosedale’s industrial area. The parking lot was half full.

“Be ready to leave at 6:30 – I’ll text you when I get here. And don’t make me wait for you. Dad’ll be mad if we’re late.”

“Alright. I get it. Your wish is my command.” Tamar slammed the car door shut and headed into the building.

The ever-present scent of disinfectant and incessant barking filled the building. Playful Paws was just one of the animal shelters in the greater Baltimore area that housed cats and dogs in need of a good home. Temporary residents, the animals were kept in two rows of enclosures in an old warehouse.

Tamar stopped to greet two other volunteers, Zola and Jason, who were busy sweeping out the enclosures and filling water dishes.

“Hi, Tamar. How’s it going?” Zola was a second-year student at Towson University, where she was majoring in zoology. Tall and slim with long blonde hair and big blue eyes, she looked like a model.

“Great. So looking forward to our next adoption event.”

Jason watched the two young women but didn’t say anything. A senior at a different high school, Jason flashed Tamar a shy smile. It was his second year volunteering at the shelter, and he was almost never at a loss for words, except for when Tamar was around. Zola was amused by his obvious interest in the slender, dark haired teen who seemed oblivious to his admiration.

Tamar spoke softly to the residents as she walked down the long row of enclosures to reach the office in the back. This Paws shelter had a total of 18 enclosures, eight large enclosures on one side of the aisle, 10 smaller enclosures on the other. The center currently housed 19 dogs.

Two dogs were curled up together in the enclosure closest to the office. A bit of an odd couple – a small dachshund and a full grown Irish Setter. When the setter raised its head and gazed into Tamar’s eyes, her heart melted. She immediately spoke to the setter.

“Hey there, how’d you end up here?”

Joel Newman, the manager, stood in the doorway to the office. Passionate about animal welfare, the thirty-something year old worked as a free-lance designer to pay his bills. He always wore jeans and a t-shirt regardless of the weather, and today was no different. “I see our latest guests have made an impression.”

“Wow. That setter is gorgeous. Where did she come from? How could anyone surrender such a beautiful dog?”

“First, she is a he. Of course, it’s hard to tell the way he’s curled up right now. A lady found him wandering around the industrial area and dropped him off right before you got here. He has a collar but no tags. I was about to check to see if he’s chipped.”

“I’ll do it.”

Tamar reached for the handheld RFID reader. Although Maryland doesn’t require owners to have microchips implanted in their pets, the widespread practice makes it easier to identify and contact the owners of lost pets. As soon as she let herself into the enclosure, the dog sat upright and smiled; at least it looked like a smile to her.

She crouched down and held out her hand, waiting for the dog to come to her. He ambled over and smelled her hand before giving it a gentle nudge. She scratched him behind the ears and stroked his silky fur. He had a leather collar, his fur wasn’t matted, and he wasn’t shy.

The small brown dachshund was soon bouncing around her feet, demanding her share of attention. With the scanner tucked under her arm, Tamar tried to pet them both.

“You do realize you can’t play with them and scan the setter at the same time.” Joel chided her. “I think I’d better do it myself.”

Tamar shrugged.

Joel let himself in and took the scanner from her. Standing next to the setter, he commanded, “Sit.” And the dog sat. As he waved the scanner over the animal’s left shoulder, an indicator on the device flashed.

“Great, it looks like he has a chip.” He pressed a button on the device to save the reading and smiled. “Now, maybe we can find out who he belongs to.”

Back at the desk, Joel attempted to pull up the scanned data on his screen. “That’s odd.” A popup message indicated that no ID data had been found.

Tamar peered over his shoulder. “Must be an old or faulty chip.”

“What about the dachshund?”

“Already checked. No chip. No collar, either. Found her sitting outside when I got back from lunch. Well, since it looks like these two guys are going to be here for a while, we might as well give them names.”

Zola had walked over and heard the latter part of the conversation. “Let’s call the dachshund Ducky.”

“And the setter looks like a Rusty to me.” Tamar said.

“Sounds good to me. Let’s get their general descriptions, nicknames, and photographs into the database. I didn’t notice any immediate medical needs, still I’ll let Dr. Goodman know we have two new guests.”  

Copyright © 2017. All rights reserved

 

The third book in the Hannah and Tamar YA mystery series,  The Misplaced Dog is available for Kindle at a special introductory price of just $0.99 for a limited time only.  Of course, it is also available in paperback or through Kindle Unlimited.

About the Series

The release of The Mysterious Package in October 2016 marked the launch of the Hannah and Tamar Mystery series, a new mystery series for young adults and teens written by Christa Nardi and Cassidy Salem.  Mrs. Tedesco’s Missing Cookbook was released in April 2017.  For more about the series, click here.

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Book Blast & Giveaway: AUDITION FOR MURDER by P.M. Carlson

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As part of a book blast organized by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours, today’s post showcases Audition for Murder by P.M. Carlson.

audition-for-murder-by-p-m-carlson.jpgSynopsis

Actors Nick and Lisette O’Connor need a change. They leave New York City for a semester as artists-in-residence at a college upstate, where they take on the roles of Claudius and Ophelia, two of the professional leads in a campus production of Hamlet. Threats and accidents begin to follow Lisette, and Nick worries it might be more than just petty jealousy. Maggie Ryan, a student running lights for the show, helps investigate a mystery steeped in the turmoil of 1967 America.

Don’t Miss These Great Reviews:

“P.M. Carlson’s energetic and insightful novels are back in print — hallelujah!” — Sara Paretsky

“An extremely well-written tale, with a plotline that offers a jolt per page.” — CF, Booklist

“Very literate, sprinkled with surprises and offering that rarity of rarities — fully fleshed out characters.” — Bob Ellison, Los Angeles Daily News

Read an excerpt:

Lisette stumbled on the way to the car, and Nick caught her elbow to steady her. Rob had unlocked the back door, and Nick helped her in while Rob let Maggie into the front passenger seat and then went around to the driver’s side. There were a few snowflakes blowing in the wind, and his pale hair licked about his forehead like little flames. He sat down, closed the door, and stared at the wheel a minute.
“God,” he said. “I’m stoned. A little.”
“Do you want someone else to drive?” asked Maggie.
“No. I’ll be fine.” He raised a dramatic finger and declaimed, “Good wine is a good familiar creature if it be well used.”
“Every inordinate cup is unblessed,” countered Nick, who had maybe had a drop too much himself.
“I’ll be extremely careful,” Rob promised. He turned the key and started out of the lot. Lisette lurched against Nick as they rounded the corner onto the highway.
“Are you okay?” he asked.
“Very tired,” she said.
Nick tipped her chin up and studied her a minute in the headlights of the car behind them. “You look bad,” he said, concerned. He could see her honey-brown eyes in the wavering light. The pupils were tiny. “Do you feel sick?”
“M’all right,” she said. The eyes closed. Nick leaned forward.
“Rob, she looks bad.. Could we get her to a hospital, do you think?” Maggie turned to look at Lisette.
“She says she’s all right,” objected Rob. “Are you sick, Lisette?”
She made an effort. “Just tired. Bed.”
“I’ll just take you home,” said Rob soothingly.
“Home,” murmured Lisette. Her cheek was cold and damp. Nick felt panic rising.
“Rob, please!” he said.
“Come on, Nick,” said Rob. He had stopped at a stoplight, and turned to look back at them, the red glow making his hair shine like embers. “The hospital is miles away, and she says she’s just tired. I believe her. I’m tired too.”
“Nick’s right,” said Maggie suddenly. “She’s not just tired.”
“Jus’ tired,” repeated Lisette.
“See?” said Rob. “You two alarmists are interfering with her rest.”
Maggie leaned across Rob, switched off the ignition with one hand, and opened his door with the other. “Out, Rob,” she said.
“What?”
“Out. Get out. Now.”
“You’re crazy!” He stared at her unbelievingly. The light blinked to green.
“Sorry, kid,” she said, leaning back against her door and placing an elegant French boot, still muddy, against his thigh.
“My God! My coat!” Shocked, he flinched away from the boot. She shoved, and he suddenly found himself outside, arms flailing for balance. Maggie slid smoothly into the driver’s seat and turned the ignition. The car moved forward and left Rob on the pavement, staggering. When they were clear of him Maggie pulled the door closed and made a rapid U-turn, then pressed the accelerator. The car vaulted up the hill toward the hospital.
By the time they had run their third red light, a patrol car was chasing them. Lisette was slumped against Nick, and he braced himself to keep them both from ricocheting around the back seat as Maggie traced a complex, competent line through the other traffic. He was dimly aware of the flashing lights from behind intersecting the rapid flow of the light from street lamps. She did not slow, and the sirens and lights behind them got other traffic out of the way. When she turned into the hospital driveway the patrol car seemed to relax a little. She skidded to a halt in front of the emergency room and was out opening Nick’s door instantly.
“Need help?”
“She’s not heavy,” he said. Lisette was unconscious.
“I’ll follow when I’ve talked to the officers.” She made sure the emergency door was open and then walked toward the patrol car. Nick carried the limp body into the emergency room.
Excerpt from Audition for Murder by P.M. Carlson. Copyright © 2017 by P.M. Carlson. Reproduced with permission from P.M. Carlson. All rights reserved.

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About the Author

p-m-carlson-e1495662546391P.M. Carlson taught psychology and statistics at Cornell University before deciding that mystery writing was more fun. She has published twelve mystery novels and over a dozen short stories. Her novels have been nominated for an Edgar Award, a Macavity Award, and twice for Anthony Awards. Two short stories were finalists for Agatha Awards. She edited the Mystery Writers Annual for Mystery Writers of America for several years, and served as president of Sisters in Crime.

Catch up with the author on:  Website 🔗, Goodreads 🔗, Smashwords, & Twitter 🔗!

Purchase links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords | Goodreads

Giveaway

Enter a Rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win an Amazon gift card.

Review: CRIME SCENE by Jonathan Kellerman and Jesse Kellerman

Having read and enjoyed many of  Jonathan Kellerman’s books, I was glad to have the chance to read a pre-release copy of  Crime Scene, co-authored with his son, Jesse Kellerman.  It was an enjoyable read.

Description (from Amazon)

51j3newt8qlNatural causes or foul play? That’s the question Clay Edison must answer each time he examines a body. Figuring out motives and chasing down suspects aren’t part of his beat—not until a seemingly open-and-shut case proves to be more than meets his highly trained eye.

Eccentric, reclusive Walter Rennert lies cold at the bottom of his stairs. At first glance the scene looks straightforward: a once-respected psychology professor, done in by booze and a bad heart. But his daughter Tatiana insists that her father has been murdered, and she persuades Clay to take a closer look at the grim facts of Rennert’s life.

What emerges is a history of scandal and violence, and an experiment gone horribly wrong that ended in the brutal murder of a coed. Walter Rennert, it appears, was a broken man—and maybe a marked one. And when Clay learns that a colleague of Rennert’s died in a nearly identical manner, he begins to question everything in the official record.

All the while, his relationship with Tatiana is evolving into something forbidden. The closer they grow, the more determined he becomes to catch her father’s killer—even if he has to overstep his bounds to do it.  The twisting trail Clay follows will lead him into the darkest corners of the human soul. It’s his job to listen to the tales the dead tell. But this time, he’s part of a story that makes his blood run cold.

My Review

Clay Edison works for the coroner’s office and is called out to a case that appears to be a an accident, or a medical incident – anything but a homicide.  Nonetheless, Edison doesn’t seem to be able to let it go, due in large part to his attraction to the deceased’s daughter.  Even though his boss tells him not to investigate, he does so, ultimately leading him to uncover the truth about a case. I liked Edison and his determination but at the same time the amount of time he spent digging up the past on his own time didn’t seem feasible. After all, he still had to do his actual job.

This well-written novel also touched on pertinent issues related to mental illness and the influence of TV and computer games on violent behavior.  The plot moved along at a steady pace, with several unexpected turns, making for an enjoyable and interesting read.  I look forward to reading more books featuring Clay Edison if this becomes a series.

FTC Disclosure:  I received an advance review copy of this book without obligation and have voluntarily chosen to share my honest review. 

Spotlight & Excerpt: A FLAIR FOR DRAMA by Deborah Garner

I recently found out that, in addition to her successful Paige Mackenzie Mystery series, Deborah Garner has released the first two books in the Sadie Kramer Flair Mystery series.  Today’s spotlight is turned on the more recent release, A Flair for Drama.  Something tells me it might even feature a cute little dog.

Description

Drama_1800When a former schoolmate invites flamboyant senior sleuth Sadie Kramer to a theatre production, she jumps at the excuse to visit the Monterey Bay area for a weekend. With quaint Carmel shops a short drive away and luxurious linens in her hotel accommodations, the excursion promises to be both entertaining and relaxing.

Plenty of action is expected on stage, but when the show’s leading lady turns up dead, Sadie finds herself faced with more than one drama to follow. With both cast members and production crew as potential suspects, will Sadie and her sidekick Yorkie, Coco, be able to solve the case?

Read an excerpt:

Sadie reached over to the night stand, her hand slapping blindly across the surface, knocking off a pair of rhinestone-studded reading glasses, a dog-eared fashion magazine, and a halfway-consumed bag of peanut butter chocolate cups before landing on her cell phone. Annoyed the Dragnet ringtone had interrupted her dream of starring in a Broadway production, she looked at the Caller ID, surprised to see both a time of 1:30 am and Roxy’s phone number on the screen.

“Roxy?” Sadie sat up and clicked on the bedside light, temporarily startled at the sight of her neon pink flamingo pajamas. Why hadn’t she thought to pack the ones with pastel poodles? Those were much less of a shock when viewed unexpectedly from a half asleep state.

“What?” Sadie sat up straighter, suddenly wide awake. Coco lifted her head off the velvet pillow in her crate. “Oh, my!” Sadie stood up. Coco sprang to her paws. “How awful!” She began to pace. Coco followed suit, changing directions each time Sadie did an about face. The call lasted only a minute, after which Sadie hurried to the restroom to splash cold water on her face while Coco tapped one paw impatiently.

“Coco, we need to go down to the theatre,” Sadie said as she walked back into the room. “There’s been a terrible accident. Roxy is beside herself. Oh, my, oh my.” Sadie shook her head as she shed the pink flamingos in exchange for a bright yellow jogging suit. “Oh, my,” she added again. She scooped Coco out of the crate and deposited her in the tote bag, tossed in a few treats, and headed to the theatre..

Excerpt from A Flair for Drama by Deborah Garner. All rights reserved.

A Flair for Drama is available from:  Amazon, Nook, Apple, Kobo, and Google.

About the Author

DeborahGarnerDeborah Garner is an accomplished travel writer with a passion for back roads and secret hideaways. Born and raised in California, she studied in France before returning to the U.S. to attend UCLA. After stints in graduate school and teaching, she attempted to clone herself for decades by founding and running a dance and performing arts center, designing and manufacturing clothing and accessories, and tackling both spreadsheets and display racks for corporate retail management. Her passions include photography, hiking and animal rescue. She speaks five languages, some substantially better than others. She now divides her time between California and Wyoming, dragging one human and two canines along whenever possible.

Author Links:

Review: BRING HER HOME by David Bell

Last year I had the pleasure of reading and reviewing Since She Went Away by David Bell, so I was quick to snap up a pre-release copy of the author’s latest book, Bring Her Home. Besides, it has such a lovely cover.

About the Book (from Amazon)

51unob9ncblJust a year and a half after the tragic death of his wife, Bill Price’s fifteen-year-old daughter, Summer, and her best friend, Haley, disappear. Days later, the girls are found in a city park. Haley is dead at the scene, while Summer is left beaten beyond recognition and clinging to life.

As Bill holds vigil over Summer’s bandaged body, the only sound the unconscious girl can make is one cryptic and chilling word: No. And the more time Bill spends with Summer, the more he wonders what happened to her. Or if the injured girl in the hospital bed is really his daughter at all.

When troubling new questions about Summer’s life surface, Bill is not prepared for the aftershocks. He’ll soon discover that both the living and the dead have secrets. And that searching for the truth will tear open old wounds that pierce straight to the heart of his family…

My Review

Bill Price is a first and foremost a father who is worried about his daughter. As a parent, I get that. Nonetheless, his character was hard to relate to at times. He is quick to make assumptions about people and events, without evidence and without taking time to consider all the possibilities. This leads him to act rashly, interfering at times with the police investigation. I really liked his sister, Paige, who comes to stay with him and offer moral support. She has good instincts, she is sensible, and helps balance out his somewhat erratic behavior.

The plot is intricate, with an abundance  twists and turns.  Although some of the twists were unexpected, I found a few to be quite predictable.  Some aspects of the story lacked credibility, nonetheless, the novel was definitely intriguing enough to hold my attention to the very end.  Like Bill, I had to know what had happened to Summer.

FTC Disclosure:   I received a complimentary ARC of this book from NetGalley.  This has not affected the content of my review in any way.