Thursday, July 22, 2021

Blog Tour and Review: SILENCE IN THE LIBRARY (Lily Adler Mystery #2) by Katharine Schellman

About the Book

Regency widow Lily Adler didn't expect to find a corpse when visiting a family friend. Now it's up to her to discover the killer in the charming second installment in the Lily Adler mysteries.

Regency widow Lily Adler has finally settled into her new London life when her semi-estranged father arrives unexpectedly, intending to stay with her while he recovers from an illness. Hounded by his disapproval, Lily is drawn into spending time with Lady Wyatt, the new wife of an old family friend. Lily barely knows Lady Wyatt. But she and her husband, Sir Charles, seem as happy as any newly married couple until the morning Lily arrives to find the house in an uproar and Sir Charles dead. 

All signs indicate that he tripped and struck his head late at night. But when Bow Street constable Simon Page is called to the scene, he suspects foul play. And it isn't long before Lily stumbles on evidence that Sir Charles was, indeed, murdered. 

Mr. Page was there when Lily caught her first murderer, and he trusts her insight into the world of London's upper class. With the help of Captain Jack Hartley, they piece together the reasons that Sir Charles's family might have wanted him dead. But anyone who might have profited from the old man's death seems to have an alibi... until Lily receives a mysterious summons to speak with one of the Wyatts' maids, only to find the young woman dead when she arrives. 

Mr. Page believes the surviving family members are hiding the key to the death of both Sir Charles and the maid. To uncover the truth, Lily must convince the father who doesn't trust or respect her to help catch his friend's killer before anyone else in the Wyatt household dies. 

Praise for Silence in the Library: 

“Schellman’s gracefully written whodunit is equally a tale of 19th-century female empowerment and societal conventions…More than a clever murder puzzle, this is an immersion in a bygone era.” —Kirkus Reviews 

“The fast-paced, engrossing story has a climactic confrontation worthy of Rex Stout or Agatha Christie.” —Library Journal, starred review ** 

Book Details

Historical Mystery Published by: Crooked Lane Books 
Publication Date: July 13th 2021 
Number of Pages: 352 
ISBN: 1643857045 (ISBN13: 9781643857046) 
Series: Lily Adler Mystery #2 | The Lily Adler series are stand alone mysteries but even more fabulous if read in sequence 
Purchase Links: Amazon     Barnes & Noble     BookShop    Goodreads 

Review

Lily is a tenacious sleuth and with Captain Hartley by her side, she is invincible. Even when it comes to her father. When Sir Charles is murdered, Lady Wyatt is the obvious suspect and the son and his cousin have no doubts she's guilty. Lily isn't as sure and pursues clues and connections. 

This is a well-written, historical cosy with deference to males on matters of the world. Only Mr. Page has no problem listening to Lily and that encourages her to help Lady Wyatt even when her doubts grow. Aside from the murders and attitudes of Sir Charles' son and his cousin, there's the tension between Lily and her father, his disapproval of her behavior and of Captain Hartley evident. The pace is steady and kept me engaged to the very end. If you like historical fiction that captures the plight of women, you'l enjoy this story. It is the second in the series, but can easily be read as a standalone.  

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in the hopes that I would post an honest review. This has not affected the content of my review in any way.

Author Bio

Katharine Schellman is a former actor, one-time political consultant, and currently the author of the Lily Adler Mysteries. A graduate of the College of William & Mary, Katharine currently lives and writes in the mountains of Virginia in the company of her family and the many houseplants she keeps accidentally murdering. 

Find her online


GIVEAWAY 

This is a Rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Heather Redmond. There will be 1 winner of one (1) BookShop.org Gift Card (U.S. ONLY). The giveaway runs July 12 through August 8, 2021. Void where prohibited. 



 

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Guest Post: AUDIO BOOKS AND THE AUTHOR'S PERSPECTIVE by Diane Weiner

Today, in a second guest post on the audiobook process, my guest is Diane Weiner, author of three cozy mysteries, to share her experiences with creating audiobooks. I'm discovering it's definitely an interesting process.

My New Year’s resolution: Get all twenty-one of my cozy mysteries into audiobook format. I’d been hearing about, thinking about, and planning to do this “one day,” and decided 2021 would be my “one day.” 

So what has the process been like from an author’s point of view? I started the process by listening to an author speak on the subject at a local Mystery Writers of America luncheon. I took careful notes, spoke to a few authors who had been through the process, and checked out ACX.com. The first step was to “claim my books” on the dashboard. To produce an audio book, you must own the rights to your book and upload a square cover. 

Once the book is listed, the author has choices to make. First, you must either upload an audio version you have already created, or select a narrator. I needed a narrator, in fact, I needed several narrators, in order to accomplish my goal. This was a fun part of the process. I uploaded a few pages from the book I wanted to produce as an audition script. I chose the first few pages, but if you have several characters in your book, it might be better to select a section with multiple characters. You select what type of voice you’re seeking: male/female, young/old, accent (if any), and style (engaging, exciting, storytelling…). The producer also has an option to write notes to further clarify. 

Then, the fun begins. I received between 12 and 20 auditions for each book that I posted. The first time through, I weeded out the voices that weren’t a good fit; then listened multiple times to those that were. It was difficult to choose. Some narrators made me laugh with their quirky portrayals; others simply had beautiful voices. I wound up choosing both styles. 


After selecting a narrator, the producer makes an offer to the narrator. This states a time frame for completing the project and details as to how the narrator will be paid. Narrators are either paid per hour, or royalties are shared. If the project is exclusive, the royalty rate is higher, but the platforms are limited and the book can’t be sold to libraries. 

After the project is completed, the producer either request changes or approves it. Then, it goes to ACX for approval, and if the quality is acceptable, it is posted for sale. More than halfway through the year, I am more than halfway finished and plan to meet my goal. Of course, I have a new release coming out soon, and am almost finished writing another, so the process will be continuing past 2021 and well into the future! 

About Diane Weiner

Diane Weiner resides in South Florida and is the author of three cozy mystery series: The Susan Wiles Schoolhouse Mysteries, The Sugarbury Falls Mysteries, and The Sara Baron Tuned-in Mysteries. 

Interested in getting promo codes? Contact her at dianeweinerauthor@gmail.com. Be sure to tell her if you want US or UK promo codes. 

To learn more about the author, visit her website www.dianeweinerauthor.com, or follow her on Facebook, Amazon, Goodreads, and Bookbub


Narrators for Diane's books include:

The Susan Wiles Schoolhouse Mysteries - some are narrated by Emma Speer and some by Sandra Churchill 

The Sugarbury Falls Mysteries are narrated by Rhonda Krachmer

The Sara Baron Tuned-in Mysteries are narrated by Naomi Rose-Mock

Thanks so much, Diane, for sharing with us today. You are way ahead of me in this process. If you're interested in accessing promo codes (US and UK) or audiobook reviews, here are some sites where you can find them.

Cozy Mystery Audiobook Lovers  


If you missed it, check out the guest post by Shaina Summerville, a narrator from last month for a narrator's perspective.

Not so sure if audiobooks are for you? Most books on Amazon with audiobooks have a short sample to preview on the product page.

Note. My goal is to catch up with Diane sometime in 2022. Two done, two in production, and many to go... 

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Blog Tour and Book Review: MUSIC IS MURDER (A Musical Murder Mystery) by B J Bowen


About the Book

When a symphony musician is murdered—bashed with her own bassoon—flute player Emily Wilson becomes the prime suspect. To save herself and secure justice for her murdered friend, she must find the killer. 

In the close-knit, unforgiving environment of the symphony orchestra Emily makes her way through the tender egos and warped relationships of her fellow musicians to find tantalizing clues. Blackmail, the victim’s abusive ex-boyfriend, an angry neighbor, and a shifty Symphony Board member all lead her to feel she is on the right track. 

With the dogged Lieutenant Gordon on her trail, she must flee from the police so she can continue her search. She unexpectedly finds a loyal female friend and the possibility of a new man in her life. But she must learn to trust again after her failed and abusive marriage. With time running out, will she be able to evade the lieutenant, face her personal demons, and clear her name? 

Review

Emily is beside herself, first that a friend is murdered and then that the detective thinks she's the killer. She denies the latter but with the advise of a friend calls Barry and asks him to defend her. Barry is more than willing to defend her and keeps her up to date on the investigation via a friend in the police department. And it doesn't look good for Emily. 

With the help of a retired "escort" in need of a place to live, Emily panics when the stubborn detective comes to arrest her. On the run, she meets up with the last few possible suspects, hoping to discover something that doesn't fit. 

This was an interesting read with unique characters. It was well written and the plot moved along with a few surprises for the reader - and for Emily. Who knew everyone would like her as a blonde? This is a light, enjoyable mystery.

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in the hopes that I would post an honest review. This has not affected the content of my review in any way. 

About the Author 

Barbara Bowen is a freelance writer. She was a finalist and Honorable Mention in the 2018 Focus: Eddy Awards for her article, “Letting Go with Grace,” published in Unity Magazine. Ms. Bowen is also an accomplished professional oboist who played with the Colorado Springs Symphony for nineteen years. 

Drawing on her quirky fellow musicians and orchestral experiences, she created the mystery series, “Musical Murders.” The first is “Music is Murder” (Release date, 6-9-21). The second is “Ballistics at the Ballet” (Release date TBA) The third is “Fireworks on the Fourth” (Release date TBA). 

She is a member of Sisters in Crime, lives in Colorado with two canine friends, and has a stock of musical puns and a song for any occasion. 

Contact Barbara at: 

Author Links

Website   

Purchase Links 

Amazon     B&N     Bookshop     Target 




Sunday, July 11, 2021

Blog Tour and Review: MOUNTAIN VIEW MURDER - A Wintergreen Mystery by Patrick Kelly


About the Book

Guess who cried at Lou Thorpe’s funeral 

No one. His wife, grown children, and best friends all attended the service, but no one shed a single tear. Poor Lou. He was out for his morning walk when a crazed driver knocked him out of life. Crazed? With no car, no driver, and no witnesses, it’s difficult to say. Was it an accident or intentional? 

Until that morning, Bill O’Shea was living the dream. After a career of fighting crime in the big city, Bill bought a condo in the beautiful mountain resort community of Wintergreen, Virginia. When he met his attractive new neighbor, Bill knew his retirement was off to a great start. But then the short-staffed police department asked Bill to help them investigate Thorpe’s death. 

Soon, Bill fell into an old routine. Interviewing suspects. Checking alibis. Everyone had a secret to hide, but Bill lacked evidence to tie any of the suspects to the crime. He was missing something–like he had an itch he couldn’t reach to scratch. 

Will Bill and his new friends solve the case, or will the murder of Lou Thorpe remain a mystery forever? If you love beautiful mountain settings, a charming cast, and intriguing plot twists, you’re going to love this new series! Clean read: no graphic violence, sex, or strong language. 

Review 

As reluctant as Bill was to get involved, the pull was still there and he had to find the answers. With little information to start, he pursues any and all possibilities. In the process, he got in a lot of hiking and trying to figure out who could have killed Lou and gotten home unseen and he isn't buying the idea that it was a hiker who just decided to take Lou out or killed him accidentally and took off. It didn't help that Lou was not liked by anyone.

The plot moves along steadily, with the expected dead ends, a bit of humor, and a budding romance between Bill and Cindy. The characters were likable, even the killer, and I'm guessing Bill will be staying in Wintergreen for some time. If you like a good mystery and characters who have genuine feelings, you will like this one. I certainly did.

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in the hopes that I would post an honest review. This has not affected the content of my review in any way. 

About the Author 

Pat Kelly was raised in the idyllic suburb of Yorktown, Virginia, where children ran barefoot through the grass and fished in the York River. After graduating from UVA, he left the state to pursue a career in finance. He settled in Texas, married a wonderful woman (Susie), and together they raised two daughters in Austin. 

With the girls now grown and gone, Pat has pursued a lifelong love of writing stories. Countless hours at the keyboard have produced the Joe Robbins Thriller Series, two book awards, and four standalone novels. A few years ago, Pat and Susie bought a summer home in the bucolic mountaintop resort of Wintergreen, Virginia. The beautiful vistas there inspired Pat to write a cozy mystery series featuring the reluctant detective Bill O’Shea. 

Join Pat’s newsletter to follow Bill’s adventures as he dodges irrepressible bears, pursues romance, and solves mysteries. 

Author Links 


Purchase Links 

Amazon Paperback – Amazon Kindle – Coming Soon





Thursday, July 8, 2021

Book Review - WHISPERED LIES (Web of Lies #1) by Kathleen Brooks

Another romantic suspense...

Synopsis 

When danger lurks in the shadows… Government secrets are being sold and the newly sworn in President of the United States already feels out of options. Without knowing the full scope of the scandal, the president decides to turn to the one person he knows he can trust—former FBI Agent, Elizabeth James. Her deep distrust of the system is rooted in her unfair discharge from service. Now she sees a chance to restore her reputation and send a message to those that would use their power to destroy others' lives. 

Elizabeth James is ordered to do whatever it takes to end a criminal organization pulling the strings of the worlds’ governments to do their bidding. She's also been told that this is completely off the books. If caught, the government will deny all knowledge of her and the mission. Elizabeth was ready to go it alone until a man with a chip on his shoulder mysteriously helps her when she’s under fire. 

Dalton Cage had led his small group of elite Air Force Pararescuemen into the most dangerous parts of the world to rescue civilians and soldiers alike. He thought his time spent evading enemy fire was over after he was booted for ignoring an order he believed to be wrong. But enemy fire was nothing compared to the dangers he faced when he was offered a chance at redemption. All he had to do was provide back up to an undercover agent and he’d get a chance to rejoin his pararescue team. Danger strikes early and often as Elizabeth and Dalton begin their mission and find their hearts becoming involved. Now every decision could cost them their freedom . . . or their lives. 

Review

Elizabeth has an ulterior motive - a desire to set the record straight. Off the books, she undertakes the mission, only to be aided by Dalton, who also was removed from service for ignoring an order. Both of them want to address the President's concern and restore their positions. Only they need to keep themselves alive.

This was an engaging read and, as with many of Brooks' books, I had a hard time forcing myself to stop reading, even in the wee hours of the morning. I liked both Elizabeth and Dalton - they weren't perfect, had secrets and ulterior motives, but were committed to the mission. The ending was satisfying. This was my first in this series by Brooks, but I will definitely be reading the rest - when I have plenty of time and no need to sleep.

Web of Lies

Rogue Lies
Shattered Lies


Monday, June 28, 2021

Book Review: SPRING CLEANING MURDERS (An Ellie Haskell Mystery) by Dorothy Cannell

Synopsis 

When the ever-scrupulous and ever-caustic Mrs. Roxie Malloy leaves her employ in tears, Ellie Haskell—busy mother of twins—is forced to find another cleaning person. As she searches for someone who can at least aspire to taking Mrs. Malloy’s place, Ellie turns the household topsy-turvy, overcome with spring-cleaning fever. But when members of the Chitterton Fells Charwomen’s Association (C.F.C.W.A.) start biting the dust, Ellie swaps scrubbing for sleuthing to find out what dark secrets have been swept under the rug. 

With the help of her husband, Ben, her feckless cousin Freddy, and an assortment of homemade cleaning solutions, Ellie joins the C.F.C.W.A.’s roster and embarks on a brief stint as a mercenary maid—just long enough to snoop through her neighbors’ things and find out which one has more than dust bunnies and dirty dishes to hide. 

Review 

An English cozy, Ellie and Ben Haskell take care of their own, including their hired help. This becomes more evident with the murder murders. Ellie jumps right in with the ladies to find the killer, including going undercover. 

Readers get a slice of English culture, with its mannerisms and everyday comings and goings. The characters are likable and funny, especially Roxie. 

This is seventh in a series of at least twelve books by Cannell. It was an enjoyable escape and can be read as a stand-alone mystery. It might be even better though if you started with the first one. At a time when travel is somewhat testy, take a trip to England with Ellie and Ben and forget the daily stressors.

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in the hopes that I would post an honest review. This has not affected the content of my review in any way.

Saturday, June 26, 2021

Book Review: MURDER WITH STRINGS ATTACHED by Mark Reutlinger

Synopsis (from Amazon)

Sometimes even the most carefully conceived burglary can take an unexpected turn. Florence Palmer has her eye on concert violinist Aaron Levy's priceless violin.

Unfortunately, she finds it's already been stolen. Her surprise doubles when the virtuoso she'd planned to burgle offers to hire her to help him steal it back. 

But they're not the only ones looking for the missing violin. When Flo inadvertently becomes the prime suspect in a case of murder, she and Aaron need to clear her name. Will they find the real killer and get the violin back to its rightful owner without anyone else, especially themselves, being killed? 

Review 

This was a fun read with a twist. First, there's Flo, previously a domestic worker who discovered it was more profitable to be a thief. Then you have Aaron Levy, famous violinist, who plays a priceless Stradivarius. Flo does her homework, maps out his habits, and is set to steal the priceless violin. Only the one in his hotel room is a fake and she's caught in the act. Aaron surprises Flo by hiring her to steal back his precious violin and replace it with the fake. Then the fun begins.

This was an enjoyable read with great characters, humor, a steady pace and surprises to keep my interest. I'll be looking for more books from Reutlinger.

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in the hopes that I would post an honest review. This has not affected the content of my review in any way.