Tag Archives: anthology

Sleuthing Women: 10 First-in-Series Mysteries edited by Lois Winston

sleuthing women

Being a mystery author, I know quite a few other mystery authors. However, there are many I don’t know and haven’t read. I began to wonder how many wonderful mysteries I’m missing out on because I just don’t know about them. And then I wondered, how many readers don’t know about my books? Or the books I’ve enjoyed by some of my fellow authors? What if there was an easy way to introduce mystery readers to some of my favorite authors and their series? That’s when inspiration hit, and I began contacting some of my mystery author friends. They loved my idea and joined me in producing Sleuthing Women: 10 First-in-Series Mysteries.

Sleuthing Women: 10 First-in-Series Mysteries is a collection of full-length mysteries featuring murder and assorted mayhem by ten critically acclaimed, award-winning, and bestselling authors. Each novel in the set is the first book in an established multi-book series—a total of over 3,000 pages of reading pleasure for lovers of amateur sleuth, caper, and cozy mysteries, with a combined total of over 1700 reviews on Amazon, averaging 4 stars. Titles include:

Assault With a Deadly Glue Gun, an Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery by Lois Winston—Working mom Anastasia is clueless about her husband’s gambling addiction until he permanently cashes in his chips and her comfortable middle-class life craps out. He leaves her with staggering debt, his communist mother, and a loan shark demanding $50,000. Then she’s accused of murder. . .

Murder Among Neighbors, a Kate Austen Suburban Mystery by Jonnie Jacobs — When Kate Austen’s socialite neighbor, Pepper Livingston, is murdered, Kate becomes involved in a sea of steamy secrets that bring her face to face with shocking truths—and handsome detective Michael Stone.

Skeleton in a Dead Space, a Kelly O’Connell Mystery by Judy Alter—Real estate isn’t a dangerous profession until Kelly O’Connell stumbles over a skeleton and runs into serial killers and cold-blooded murderers in a home being renovated in Fort Worth. Kelly barges through life trying to keep from angering her policeman boyfriend Mike and protect her two young daughters.

In for a Penny, a Cleopatra Jones Mystery by Maggie Toussaint—Accountant Cleo faces an unwanted hazard when her golf ball lands on a dead banker. The cops think her BFF shot him, so Cleo sets out to prove them wrong. She ventures into the dating world, wrangles her teens, adopts the victim’s dog, and tries to rein in her mom. . .until the killer puts a target on Cleo’s back.

The Hydrogen Murder, a Periodic Table Mystery by Camille Minichino—A retired physicist returns to her hometown of Revere, Massachusetts and moves into an apartment above her friends’ funeral home. When she signs on to help the Police Department with a science-related homicide, she doesn’t realize she may have hundreds of cases ahead of her.

Retirement Can Be Murder, A Baby Boomer Mystery by Susan Santangelo—Carol Andrews dreads her husband Jim’s upcoming retirement more than a root canal without Novocain. She can’t imagine anything worse than having an at-home husband with time on his hands and nothing to fill it—until Jim is suspected of murdering his retirement coach.

Dead Air, A Talk Radio Mystery by Mary Kennedy—Psychologist Maggie Walsh moves from NY to Florida to become the host of WYME’s On the Couch with Maggie Walsh. When her guest, New Age prophet Guru Sanjay Gingii, turns up dead, her new roommate Lark becomes the prime suspect. Maggie must prove Lark innocent while dealing with a killer who needs more than just therapy.

A Dead Red Cadillac, A Dead Red Mystery by RP Dahlke—When her vintage Cadillac is found tail-fins up in a nearby lake, the police ask aero-ag pilot Lalla Bains why an elderly widowed piano teacher is found strapped in the driver’s seat. Lalla confronts suspects, informants, cross-dressers, drug-running crop dusters, and a crazy Chihuahua on her quest to find the killer.

Murder is a Family Business, an Alvarez Family Murder Mystery by Heather Haven—Just because a man cheats on his wife and makes Danny DeVito look tall, dark and handsome, is that any reason to kill him? The reluctant and quirky PI, Lee Alvarez, has her work cut out for her when the man is murdered on her watch. Of all the nerve.

Murder, Honey, a Carol Sabala Mystery by Vinnie Hansen—When the head chef collapses into baker Carol Sabala’s cookie dough, she is thrust into her first murder investigation. Suspects abound at Archibald’s, the swanky Santa Cruz restaurant where Carol works. The head chef cut a swath of people who wanted him dead from ex-lovers to bitter rivals to greedy relatives.


I hope I’ve piqued your curiosity with these short blurbs, and you’ll soon find some new favorite authors in Sleuthing Women: 10 First-in-Series Mysteries. The boxed set e-book is available through Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, Kobo, and iTunes.

About Lois Winston
USA Today bestselling and award-winning author Lois Winston writes mystery, romance, romantic suspense, chick lit, women’s fiction, children’s chapter books, and nonfiction under her own name and her Emma lois-winston-med-res-fileCarlyle pen name. Kirkus Reviews dubbed her critically acclaimed Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series, “North Jersey’s more mature answer to Stephanie Plum.” In addition, Lois is an award-winning craft and needlework designer who often draws much of her source material for both her characters and plots from her experiences in the crafts industry. Visit Lois/Emma at www.loiswinston.com and Anastasia at the Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers blog. Follow her on Pinterest, and on Twitter. Sign up for her newsletter here.

Giveaway: Leave comment below for your chance to win a Kindle version of Sleuthing Women: 10 First-in-Series Mysteries. The giveaway will end May 6, 2016 at 12 AM EST. Good luck everyone!

All comments are welcomed.

Tales of Mystery from Hawaii by Terry Ambrose

Paradise, Passion, MurderWriters lead solitary lives. That doesn’t mean, however, we who write must also lead isolated lives. On some level, I think we all want to make a contribution that will help others. Paradise, Passion, Murder: 10 Tales of Mystery from Hawai’i grew out of that desire. As a whole, the group always kept a singular focus: help improve literacy in Hawai’i by supporting Read Aloud America, which is a Hawai’i 501.c.3 organization with the same purpose.

“Paradise, Passion, Murder” is similar to other anthologies in many ways: each writer contributed one story, we had an editor, a book designer, etc. Where we differ, however, is that everyone who participated received nothing for their work other than a thank you and the knowledge that they were contributing their most valuable commodities—time and their imaginations—to the cause of helping others learn to read. Everything from our foreword, which was written by Carolyn Hart, to the cover and book layout provided by Pen 2 Ink Designs, to the editing on all stories by Lorna Collins, was donated. This project is truly a labor of love for all those involved.

Our writing team includes JoAnn Bassett, Gail Baugniet, Frankie Bow, Kay Hadashi, Laurie Hanan, Jill Marie Landis, AJ Llewellyn, Toby Neal, and CW Schutter. Most of our stories are about characters from our existing series and I thought it would be fun to share a few of those characters with you today. So, let’s talk story about a writer’s—and, hopefully, readers—most favorite subject, the characters who drive the stories.

Murder on the Road to Hana opens with my protagonist, Wilson McKenna, contemplating a life-changing decision on the far side of Maui in the Palapala Ho‘omau Church. McKenna never wanted to become an amateur sleuth, but as he puts it, “I’ve become quite adept at stumbling onto murders—and finding killers.” McKenna’s latest case, a locked-room mystery on a tour bus, could be his most difficult.

Crime of Dispassion by Gail M. Baugniet features Cacao Janus, a budding freelance reporter in Honolulu. Cacao was born on the Big Island, where her dad is a veteran homicide detective. Her dad’s best friend, a homicide detective with the Honolulu Police Department, and her grandmother try to watch her back, but Cacao’s investigative style still manages to get her tangled in the occasional local-kine murder case.

Toby Neal has a knack for writing about bad girls. Her protagonist in Clipped Wings is Consuelo Aguilar—a girl with a past. . .a brief and glorious past, as a Robin Hood-like folk hero who used a plane to steal from the rich and give to the poor. Now she is paying the price for her “crime spree,” sleeping in the bottom bunk at Hawai‘i Youth Correctional Facility in Ko‘olau. Consuelo’s roommate has plans to break out of the facility and use Consuelo as a bargaining chip. Can Consuelo get the help she needs from Special Agent Lei Texeira in time, or will she be a victim yet again?

In Curse of the Lost Tiki, Jill Marie Landis takes us to everyone’s favorite place on Kaua’i, the Tiki Goddess Bar, where Uncle Louie Marshall serves up drinks with aloha and solves murders. This time, though, Uncle Louie’s not sure if he’s up against a killer or an ancient Hawaiian curse.

We’ve also got JoAnn Bassett’s Pali Moon in Lei Lady Lei. Pali, born on Kaua’i and raised on Maui, is a typical thirty-something hapa haole. That is, if “typical” includes a degree in Criminology from the University of Hawai’i, a black belt in martial arts, and a former stint as a US air marshal. Pali describes her wedding-planner job as, “One pikake blossom short of drill sergeant.”

In Thoroughly Dead, we meet Kay Hadashi’s Keiko Tamura, who sheds her old life as a nurse and bar hostess for a new identity in the federal witness protection program. As part of the deal, she also ends up with a Waikīkī condo, a Japanese special forces roommate, and a very complicated relationship involving her roommate and boyfriend.

And don’t forget Frankie Bow’s Molly Barda, who found herself relegated to a remote campus on the rainy side of a small Hawaiian island. Molly is philosophical about her situation, saying, “It’s not exactly where I was expecting to end up after earning my Ph.D. from one of the top ten Literature and Creative Writing programs in the country.” When Molly’s best friend, Emma Nakamura, displays a little too much honesty in a team-building session and the object of her criticism turns up dead, it’s up to Molly to save her friend.

Those are a few of our protagonists and their stories. All of us involved in Paradise, Passion, Murder hope you’ll join us in helping to improve literacy in Hawai’i while reading about crime in the place we all love, the Aloha State.

About the author
Terry Ambrose started out skip tracing and collecting money from deadbeats and quickly learned that liars come from all walks of life. He never actually stole a car, but sometimes hired big guys with tow trucks and a penchant for working in the dark to “help” when negotiations failed.

An award-winning author, Terry’s novels receive consistent praise from readers for their complex characters and plots. Kirkus Reviews said Terry’s writing has “. . .the kind of snark that will remind readers of Elmore Leonard.

Find Terry at terryambrose.com or learn more about “Paradise, Passion, Murder” at hawaiianmystery.com.

Interview with Mystery Characters by Ritter Ames

Cozy Holiday EscapesInterviewer: Hello readers! Welcome to our Christmas issue of Cozy Sleuths Magazine.

I’m interviewing several interesting characters today who play roles in several of the yuletide-themed stories in the new Cozy Holiday Escapes anthology available now at a special price, with eight stories in all. We’re thrilled to have characters from four of those tales here today to talk about how their lives took a turn toward mystery.

Amanda, let’s start with you. Tell us how you began in the pet sitting profession. I understand you feel it started with your name.

Amanda: I often asked myself how I ended up with this name, Amanda. Hardly a family name. My mamma was Italian and my father American, maybe they figured that was a good compromise, easy to spell and pronounce on both side of the ocean. Then I found out it means lovable, worthy of love, and it all made sense. In my opinion, every creature is worthy of love, even Cheech and Chong the two mischievous cats or Sam, the friendly dog I’m pet sitting at the moment.

Interviewer: And I understand you have a very distinctive pet you’re currently caring for—

Amanda: Matilda. A desert tortoise. Hard to miss, due to her size. She is very quiet and of course slow moving, here, see? That’s her compound, in the yard. Wait a minute…Matilda? OMG!!! Where is Matilda?

Interviewer: Well, Amanda needed to run find Matilda, so let’s move on to Barbara Marr. Barbara, how did a movie blogger’s life turn into mystery solving?

Barbara: I’m just an ordinary mom living in the ordinary suburbs. I have three beautiful daughters, a super sexy husband who looks like George Clooney, a dog, two cats, and a duck.

Interviewer: Come on…I’ve heard there’s more to it than that—

Barbara: Yes, I also find myself in dangerous situations every once in a while. You know, situations with guns and killers and such. Once there was a hand grenade. But deadly weapons and personal peril aside, it’s been a good life.

Interviewer: And this Christmas?

Barbara: This Christmas, something felt wrong. My heart wasn’t in it. Then I heard that those Finches were up to no good, and well, I couldn’t help myself. I pulled another Barbara Marr.

Interviewer: Readers, you’ll love reading this new adventure. Shuffling my notes here, next we have Sheriff Coleman Peters. We understand you’ve had to keep an eye on Sarah Booth Delaney again. Both professionally and romantically, I hear.

Sheriff Peters: Sarah Booth works hard to end up on the “nice” list each Christmas, but to be honest, I’d like to see her name on the “naughty” side. But only if she’s naughty with me. Sarah Booth and I have shared a few kisses, and she’s one special lady.

Interviewer: Once the mysteries are solved, Sarah Booth is out of trouble, and bad guys are locked up, do you have any special plans, Sheriff?

Sheriff Peters: I’ve planned a private Christmas Eve complete with eggnog, a gift or two, and some mistletoe. I’m ready to take my relationship with Sarah Booth to the next level, and that’s what I’m hoping Santa will bring me. Merry Christmas!

Interviewer: Sounds promising. We wrap up with our final guest, Kate McKenzie. Kate, I understand this is your first Christmas in your new Vermont hometown.

Kate: It is, and I’m really enjoying the whole Currier and Ives feeling of Hazelton’s hometown festivities. My best friend and neighbor, Meg Berman, is making sure I see and do everything this season. She even believes she’s going to get me to eat fruitcake.

Interviewer: So all your organizing tasks are done, and the mysteries are solved this year?

Kate: Not exactly. Some puzzling things are happening around Hazelton. They might all be coincidences, but I’m getting the feeling there’s more to it. Meg is always ready to investigate. But I’m trying to be good since I promised my husband to stay out of trouble this Christmas. I hope I can keep my promise.

Interviewer: It sounds like everyone is trying to stay on Santa’s Good List. Readers, to hear what happens to these four sleuths, as well as stories featuring four more sleuths from other bestselling mystery series, get a copy of Cozy Holiday Escapes.

Besides these stories by Maria Grazia Swan, Karen Cantwell, Carolyn Haines and Ritter Ames, there is a Kiki Lowenstein story and a Cara Mia Delgatto tale by Joanna Campbell Slan, Leslie O’Kane included an Allie Babcock story, and there’s a new Bodies of Art short by Ritter Ames.

All of us at Cozy Sleuths Magazine give the collection our highest critical review—five magnifying glasses. It’s specially priced at 99 cents, but get it quick—just like Santa, this anthology disappears after the holidays!

About Cozy Holiday Escapes

Eight light holiday short stories by six bestselling mystery authors–

  • “How the Finches Stole Christmas” by Karen Cantwell, a new story in the popular Barbara Marr series. When a new couple moves down the block and Christmas decorations begin disappearing, Barbara investigates in her own humorous way.
  • “Organized for Christmas Wishes” by Ritter Ames is a Kate McKenzie Organized Mysteries short story. Kate and Meg sign up for a cookie exchange, and find a new mystery to solve.
  • “Cara Mia Delgatto’s White Christmas” by Joanna Campbell Slan, a short story in the Cara Mia Delgatto series. Cara spends Christmas with her new friends in Florida and learns what a recycled, upcycled, repurposed Christmas can mean.
  • “Bones on the Bayou” by Carolyn Haines, a Sarah Booth Delaney short story. A hometown Christmas event is tarnished by a practical joke, and Sarah Booth Delaney investigates after a foreign visitor goes missing.
  • “Christmas in Venice” by Maria Grazia Swan. Amanda finds she has to do more than pet-sitting over the Christmas holidays when Matilda the tortoise goes missing.
  • “A Dog-Gone Christmas” by Leslie O’Kane, an Allie Babcock short mystery. Allie Babcock and her mom are at the airport, heading for a holiday away from home, when Allie notices a dog-switch and has to find a celebrity’s canine.
  • “Kiki Lowenstein and the Secret Santa” by Joanna Campbell Slan, a Kiki Lowenstein scrapbook story. Kiki and her scrapbook pals think they’re just having fun with a holiday scrapping party, but there’s more to the Christmas story.
  • “Seasonal Switches” by Ritter Ames, a brand new Bodies of Art Mysteries story. Laurel Beacham stops a Christmas crime, and may be gifted something she’s wanted for months–and almost given up on receiving.

cozy

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 12 a.m. eastern on December 11 for your chance to win a Kindle or Nook edition of Cozy Holiday Escapes. Five lucky commenters will be randomly selected. Good luck everyone!