Monday, May 22, 2017


Dumpster dying & Grilled, Chilled and Killed!
by Leslie A Diehl

Dumpster Dying: Book 1 in the Big Lake Murder MysteriesCozy Mystery
1st in Series
Creekside Publishing (December 31, 2016)
Paperback: 248 Pages E-Book 232 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0997234923

Emily Rhodes came to rural Florida for the cowboys, the cattle, and to do a little country two-step, not to fall head first onto a dead body in a dumpster. Ah, the golden years of retirement in the sunshine state. They’re more like pot metal to Emily, who discovers the body of the county’s wealthiest rancher in the Big Lake Country Club dumpster. With her close friend accused of the murder, Emily sets aside her grief at her life partner’s death to find the real killer. She underestimates the obstacles rural Florida can set up for a winter visitor and runs afoul of a local judge with his own version of justice, hires a lawyer who works out of a retirement home, and flees wild fires hand-in-hand with the man she believes to be the killer.

Donald Green, Curmudgeon from Dumpster Dying and Grilled, Chilled and Killed
Lesley A. Diehl, Author

Introduction: There are two men who are both an aggravation and an interest to Emily Rhodes, protagonist in Dumpster Dying and Grilled, Chilled and Killed . Today we are fortunate to have caught one of them at work. Donald Green is a bass fisherman and the part-time bartender Emily hired to help out in the Big Lake Country Club. According to Emily, “Donald is difficult to get along with, but he was the only choice I had for a hire on short notice. There isn’t a day that goes by I don’t want to fire him, yet he had surprised me on occasion with his generosity.”

My name is Donald Green, and I’ve lived around and fished the Big Lake most of my life. For those of you Yankees, the Big Lake is Lake Okeechobee, the freshwater lake in the bottom third of Florida. Before the dam was built to contain the lake, it fed the Everglades to the south, but now the water from it is controlled by a series of locks. It’s a shallow lake and recent hurricanes have stirred up the bottom of it, and run-off from farming, ranching and other commercial concerns to the north have created nutrient rich waters which, when allowed to flow into the canals leading to the coast, have created algae blooms on the east coast of Florida. Fishing her water is not what it used to be. There are still big bass to be taken, and bass tournaments to be won, but the lake is not as wild as it used to be, and winter visitors are fishing her to depletion. If it sounds like I’m not fond of tourists coming in here every winter and competing for the fish, you’re right. But I’m really not fond of any newcomers trying to fish waters I used to have to myself, but especially if they’re a snowbird.

The worst winter visitor I’ve met is Emily Rhodes. She’s a short, Yankee gal with attitude. I can’t think why I ever said yes to her offer of a job. Maybe I was feeling kindly that day. (Note from Emily here: I can’t remember any time when Donald felt kindly to anyone.) I guess the perks that come with the job tempted me: I make my own hours and my greens fees are waived when I want to play a round of golf. Free is always a plus in my book.

Nope, I’ve never been married. Never could understand why any man would want a woman around. My view is that they interfere with your life. My life is near perfect. I do what I want when I want. I must admit, however, that despite her pushy ways, Emily is a cute little thing who can tempt any man, and that includes me. The gal also has gumption. She backed up my duelie truck and pulled my bass boat up the ramp the day we met. I was almost impressed. Then I had to save her from that alligator she almost ran into. You’d think she’d be more grateful to me, but she’s still the same scrappy gal.

There is a dilemma for me concerning Emily. I know Stanton Lewis, a friend of mine and a detective  with the local police, is sweet on Emily. I don’t know if he knows how he feels yet, but when he does, he’ll be sure to make his moves on her. Stanton is smooth. And where does that leave me? I don’t like the idea of competing with the guy. And then there’s the matter of which of us Emily favors. She and I did have some difficult moments one night when both of us were close to dying. I almost gave myself away and kissed Emily, but was stopped just in time. I think she knew I was going to kiss her. She keeps giving me those funny looks. I feel like a durn fool, and she acts as if she’s got a one up on me because she knows I fancy her.

Women! I know my way around fish, and I can even deal with alligators, but women are an enigma. Like I said, my life is near perfect with the exception of working next to a woman I also made a fool of myself over. But then, I ask myself: How would I feel if Detective Lewis made a move and Emily decided she liked him? Maybe I should try to kiss her again. Maybe ask her out on a date. Maybe a real date and not just fishing on my bass boat.

Oh, oh. Here she comes, and I’ve been yammering away and not icing the beer for this afternoon’s  golfing crowd. Maybe I should ask her for that date now before anybody comes into the bar. Oh, gator barf! Too late. Here’s comes Detective Lewis.

“Hi, Emily,” said Detective Lewis, “ How would you like a cup of coffee with me when you get off work?”

Emily smiles at Lewis. Donald Green just growls and continues to ice the beer.

If you never thought of Florida as the Wild West, you will after reading this!
Fires and Gators and murder - oh my!
These are trying times for Emily Rhodes, who is still reeling from the loss of her long time love. Sadly, he was not her legal husband. Ex-es are making trouble for everyone no matter which way one turns throughout these pages.

There are plenty of men around this retirement community. Is any the sort one wants to see more than once - - if he can stay alive that long!
This is a strong novel about the power of friendship and family, no matter how you define it

                                                  Grilled, Chilled and Killed: Big Lake Murder Mystery

Cozy Mystery                                                                                

2nd in Series

Creekside Publishing (December 31, 2016)
Paperback: 330 pages E-Book 224 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0997234930

It seems as if Emily is destined to discover dead bodies. This time she finds one of the contestants at the local barbecue cook-off dead and covered in barbecue sauce in a beer cooler. She should be used to stumbling onto corpses by now and the question of who killed the guy should pique her curiosity, but Emily decides to let Detective Lewis handle this one, at least until she figures his theory of who did the deed is wrong, wrong, wrong. Lewis’ denigration of Emily’s speculations is condescending enough to stimulate her dormant snooping skills. As the two of them go on their separate paths to find the killer, Lewis’ old partner, Toby the dirty, tobacco-spitting cop interferes in the investigation leaving Lewis with the wrong man in jail. Killers, bootleggers, barbecue and feral pigs—it’s a lethal game of hide and seek in the Florida swamp.

You may enjoy this best if you had read the previous book in the series, Dumpster Dying (Big Lake Murder Mysteries, #1) , but it reads well enough as a stand alone. 

Emily is a petite spitfire trying to establish a new normal after the loss of her longtime love.
Now there are two men who may be trying to make a love connection with her and they are total opposites. The only thing they seem to have in common is a competitive nature and a desire to keep Emily from causing herself harm. That is a full time job.
Emily sees herself as a detective of the private investigator version. She doesn't look for murders to solve but somehow the bodies throw themselves in her path. The daughter she gave up for adoption decades ago had found her and together they manage to get deeper into trouble.

The book visits the wilds of Florida and some less civilized activities. 
It centers around a very competitive world of barbeque cook-off and sauce creation but the danger and action move beyond the fairground setting. Can Emily and Naomi survive this time?
Many decisions need to be made.

Spiders and gators and feral hogs all play a role. Some of the topics are quite dark but the author keeps the action moving and adds her brand of humor to keep this an enjoyable read

Lesley retired from her life as a professor of psychology and reclaimed her country roots by moving to a small cottage in the Butternut River Valley in Upstate New York. In the winter she migrates to old Florida—cowboys, scrub palmetto and open fields of grazing cattle, a place where spurs still jingle in the post office, and gators make golf a contact sport. Back north, the shy ghost inhabiting the cottage serves as her literary muse. When not writing, she gardens, cooks, frequents yard sales and renovates the 1874 cottage with the help of her husband, two cats and, of course, Fred the ghost, who gives artistic direction to their work. She is the author of a number of mystery series and mysteries as well as short stories. The third book in the Eve Appel murders (from Camel Press) A Sporting Murder was awarded a Readers’ Favorite Five Star Award and her short story Gator Aid a Sleuthfest (2009) short story first place. She has fired the alligator that served as her literary muse when she is in Florida and is interviewing applicants for the position.

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Dumpster Dying – Amazon 
Grilled, Chilled and Killed – Amazon

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Sunday, May 21, 2017


Bloodline: A Witch Cat Mystery by Vicki Vass

Bloodline: A Witch Cat Mystery 
New Paranormal Cozy Mystery  Series 
Date of Release - May 1 
Number of Pages: 326  
Synopsis Fleeing from the witch trials in Salem, Terra Rowan finds herself in modern day Asheville, North Carolina. A dark spirit from the past hunts this last witch of Salem. With the help of the ladies of the Biltmore Society, Terra must discover the secret within the forest to preserve the bloodline.

No one will call this a traditional cozy mystery. It has all the elements, a murder, a close knit community of characters with unusual traits, and a the person trying to solve the crime is not a professional.    In fact, this amateur, while a person, is presently incarnated as a cat!
The case kept me guessing. I enjoyed the historical references sprinkled throughout the book.
I even learned a few useful facts about plants! 

Pixel was quite amusing and I became fond of him quickly. I look forward to seeing this series grow.

pixel (2)About This AuthorT

Vicki Vass traded in her reporter's notebook to pursue her passion of writing cozy mysteries. Her Antique Hunter series was a finalist in the 2016 Mystery & Mayhem contest. Bloodline is the first book in the Witch Cat Mystery series.
Vicki has written more than 1,400 stories for the Chicago Tribune as well as other commercial publications including Home & Away, the Lutheran and Woman's World. Her science fiction novel, The Lexicon, draws on her experience in Sudan while writing about the ongoing civil war for World Relief.
She lives in the Chicago area with her husband, writer and musician Brian Tedeschi, son Tony, Australian shepherd Bandit, kittens Terra and Pixel, seven koi and Gary the turtle.

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Saturday, May 20, 2017


Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Henery Press (May 16, 2017)
Paperback: 234 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1635112078

There’s a new sheriff in town—and she can sing! 
When Gold Bug Gulch’s actor-gunslinger Mongo winds up shot for real, actress and part-time PI Ivy Meadows goes undercover as the ingĂ©nue in the tourist town’s melodrama. Unfortunately, she’s distracted by a pack of marauding Chihuahuas, a problematic love life, auditions for Annie Get Your Gun, and a personal mission: to show people the real Annie Oakley.
What’s more, the no-good, yellow-bellied varmint who killed Mongo isn’t finished with the Gulch—or with Ivy. Will our heroine prove she can get a man with a gun—before the killer gets her?
Related subjects include: cozy mysteries, women sleuths, murder mystery series, whodunit mysteries (whodunnit), amateur sleuth books, book club recommendations, humorous murder mysteries, private investigator mystery series.
Books in the Ivy Meadows Humorous Mystery Series:

Not only is author Cindy Brown balancing the laughs with murder and the very real danger Ivy is facing, but she is also walking a fine line with comedic characters who are funny yet come across as real. She pulls it off perfectly.
~Carstairs Considers…

Quirky characters and strange situations make for the best cozy mysteries.  
When Lassie doesn't come home, the fear is he has been abducted or worse.  How can Ivy say no when asked to track him down?  While trying to understand the circumstances,  she finds herself drawn into another serious situation all while auditioning for  a role she truly wants but is very nervous about.  Can she mix her acting talents and burgeoning P.I. skills to help out friends?
Or will it be curtain down for Ivy?

You will smile as Ivy does her best,  and hold your breathe as you see her put herself in harm's way.
There is never a lull or slow section.  This whodunit will keep you guessing.

Cindy Brown has been a theater geek (musician, actor, director, producer, and playwright) since her first professional gig at age 14. Now a full-time writer, she’s lucky enough to have garnered several awards (including 3rd place in the 2013 international Words With Jam First Page Competition, judged by Sue Grafton!) and is an alumnus of the Squaw Valley Writers Workshop. 
Though Cindy and her husband now live in Portland, Oregon, she made her home in Phoenix, Arizona, for more than 25 years and knows all the good places to hide dead bodies in both cities.

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Twitter handle: @friendlybrown
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Friday, May 19, 2017


Asked to accompany Mrs. Roosevelt on her Pacific Island tour, Agnes and Katherine travel by train to Washington, D.C. Agnes carries a package for Colonel Farthingworth to President Roosevelt.
Convinced the package contains secret war documents, Agnes expects Nazi spies to try and derail her mission.
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Elk Grove Publications (February 8, 2017)
Print Length: 199 pages

 Purchase Links – Amazon  B&N
She meets Irving, whose wife mysteriously disappears from the train; Nanny, the unfeeling caregiver to little Madeline; two soldiers bound for training as Tuskegee airmen; and Charles, the shell-shocked veteran, who lends an unexpected helping hand. Who will Agnes trust? Who is the Nazi spy?
When enemy forces make a final attempt to steal the package in Washington, D.C., Agnes must accept her own vulnerability as a warrior on the home front.
Can Agnes overcome multiple obstacles, deliver the package to the President, and still meet Mrs. Roosevelt’s plane before she leaves for the Pacific Islands?
Mrs. Odboddy: Undercover Courier is a hysterical frolic on a train across the United States during WWII, as Agnes embarks on this critical mission.

Character Guest Post -  Mrs. Odboddy - Undercover Courier (Elaine Faber)

My name is Agnes Agatha Odboddy. My friends call me Agnes. I live with my Siamese cat, Ling-Ling, and my beautiful red-headed granddaughter, Katherine. Oh, yes, MY hair is also red. Quite natural, I assure you. Oh, I may freshen it from time to time with a henna rinse but I would never dye it, because only fast women and European spies do that. I should know. I saw enough of them during WWI as an undercover agent for the US government. 

Thanks to the way I handled myself last year with an affair of national security, (Mrs. Odboddy Hometown Patriot) Colonel Farthingworth from the local military base asked me to carry a package to President Roosevelt, since Katherine and I were headed to Washington to join Mrs. Roosevelt’s Pacific Island tour. What better way to not draw attention to the package than to have it carried by a plump, red-headed, elderly, eccentric old gal like me? Naturally, I assumed the package contained secret war documents too sensitive to travel through the mail. I fully expected evil-doers to get wind of our plans. As a retired WWI undercover agent, I felt confident that I could thwart any attempt on the part of a Nazi spy to steal the package. My stars, yes! We saw some action in 1918, but I never hurt anybody. Well, there was that one time… Of course, I can’t talk about the details. If I did, I’d have to kill you.

Mrs. Odboddy Undercover Courier mostly takes place on the train between California and Washington, D.C. It is a hysterical romp across the U.S.A. during WWII as I prove, yet again, that even old ladies can be home front warriors. Along the way, I’m forced to take risks and deal with the consequences of pitting my intuition and skills against the most diabolical enemy agent. We meet two soldiers headed for training as Tuskegee airmen who run afoul of the Jim Crow laws in Tennessee. Then there is the insensitive caregiver to a delightful child who steals Katherine’s heart, and we experience first-hand the diabolical schemes of how J. Edgar Hoover treated Mrs. Roosevelt!
All that may sound pretty dull, but I assure you, there is a laugh a minute throughout the book. Katherine says my wild imagination always gets me into trouble but I’m never wrong…well…mostly never wrong. I know a Nazi spy when I see one…usually. There was that one time when I thought there was a Nazi plot involving stolen ration books…but that’s another story.
In the exciting conclusion to Mrs. Odboddy - Undercover Courier, I come face to face with the enemy agent and I’m forced to accept my own limitations when dealing with younger, stronger enemy forces. Are my undercover warrior days over? Not on your tintype! Not as long as there’s henna in the shampoo jar and breath in this old body.
Mrs. Odboddy shall live to fight another day.

Coming soon. Mrs. Odbody – And Then There Was a Tiger.

I became acquainted with Mrs. Odboddy in a previous book but this adventure reads just as well as a stand alone. I recommend it for fans of historical fiction as well as those who appreciate some humor in their crime novels.

Mrs. O is one of a kind. Having been an agent in a previous role, she always thinks she sees something suspicious in the behavior of others. When she is given a secret mission and a package to deliver into the hands of the President of the United States, her intuition and observations go into high alert status. Can her granddaughter Katherine keep her under control?

Halfway through the book I was convinced I had it figured out but there were more surprises ahead.
I enjoyed the character interactions and individual traits. The author writes amazing descriptions, incorporating valuable facts from history. 
This is a wild train ride and dangerous adventure.
I look forward to discovering how Mrs. Odboddy carries out her civic duty next time.

Elaine is a member of Sisters in Crime, Inspire Christian Writers and Cat Writers Association. She lives in No. Calif with her husband and four house cats (the inspiration for her three humorous cozy cat mysteries, Black Cat’s LegacyBlack Cat and the Lethal Lawyer, and Black Cat and the Accidental Angel).
Mrs. Odboddys character is based in no way on Elaines quirky personality. Two more Mrs. Odboddy adventures will publish in the near future. Many of Elaines short stories have appeared in magazines and multiple anthologies.

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