The Evening’s Amethyst: Nora Tierney #5 Monday, Oct 4 2021 

Auntie M is very pleased to announce that the fifth Nora Tierney English Mystery, THE EVENING’S AMETHYST, has made it through the Covid delays and the paperback is now available. Kindle and Audible version will follows in the next few weeks, but she’s excited to have the book on offer.

This time the majority of the story takes place in Oxford, where Nora is settling into her new home with her fiancé, DI Declan Barnes, her young son, Sean, and their puppy, Typo.

Who is Verity? That soon becomes the central question for Nora and Declan, after his new case at Exeter College coincides with a frantic call from Nora’s stepsister, Claire Scott: a fellow graduate student has died in a fall, and Claire begs Nora to help her prove Bea Jones would never commit suicide.

The sisters start their own snooping, while Declan and his team juggle this death investigation with a cold case that will prove to have a startling resolution. Over twenty years ago, toddler Donnie Walsh was kidnapped from his dirty playpen outside a Cumbrian pub. His body was never found. Now in the midst of Declan’s new case, a young man walks into St. Aldate’s Police Station claiming to be Donnie Walsh.

A mix of amateur sleuth and police procedural, The Evening’s Amethyst has garnered wonderful early reviews, including this one from Nicola Upson, author of the Josephine Tey series: “A fine addition to a wonderful series, Graff delivers her trademark blend of compelling mystery, vivid setting, and engaging characters—and in Nora Tierney she has created a sleuth whose humanity and insight are the stars of the show. I loved it.”

Available now on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Evenings-Amethyst-Tierney-English-Mystery/dp/0990828735/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=the+evening%27s+amethyst+by+m+graff&qid=1633376773&sr=8-1 OR

for signed copies contact the author at: bluevirgin.graff@gmail.com.

Hooked on a Feeling Monday, Sep 6 2021 

From humor author Jan McCanless, a memory for Labor Day:

 Hooked on a  Feeling
                                                                                     by Jan mcCanless


     One of the news magazines I subscribe to had a blurb this week about Lake  Leelanau, in the upper peninsula of Michigan.  That’s the place my family went to every summer;  my dad couldn’t take the summer heat of Florida, and went in search of cooler temps. He found it in northern Michigan. The article went on to tell about the delicious cherries found in the area, that every roadside stand had fresh cherries, and on our way up to our cabin, we would often stop by the side of the road, and watch the cherry pickers. This was before we had tv, so we had to watch something!  They were so good! There is nothing quite like Michigan cherries.


     Then, the article went on to describe the huge sand dunes at Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes National Park. They were like mountains to me, huge things, and the challenge was to see how easily you could climb one. Not an easy task, since you sank down into the sand a little bit, and the higher you went, the tougher it got. But once at the top, oh what fun to slide down, never mind the mouthful of sand one got on the way. It gave a terrific feeling of freedom and exhilaration.


     We generally stayed until the Labor Day weekend, when  it was time to go home and start a new school year.  That was not fun or exhilarating – – -to me. 


     To this day, I enjoy outdoor adventures, and have thoroughly enjoyed watching the summer Olympics this year.  I can’t help but admire the athletes and their prowess at these games. Imagine the work and practice it took to get there.  I wonder if they had as much fun as I did sliding down those sand dunes.


      Looking at the divers and swimmers really was enjoyable, and i can just imagine myself doing a graceful swan dive off the 16′ board into that beautiful, clear water.  Okay, so I thought I would try it, I mean, how hard could it be anyway ? I just pretended in my mind I was sliding down that huge sand dune toward the bottom.  


     You ever do a belly flop off a diving board?  I’m here to tell you, it ain’t fun! For one thing, it hurts like the dickens; for another, a snootful of pool water is not cool.


     
Back to the Olympics.  I am so proud of team USA for their outstanding performances, and every time I hear the National anthem played, and see our flag raised, I get goose bumps on top of goosebumps.  I am definitely hooked on that feeling, and haven’t had so much enjoyment out of sports since sliding down that sand dune—even if my brother pushed me.

Tuesday, Jul 13 2021 

Word Refiner

This week Mark Schultz (and Grizz) from Word Refiner will be asking me questions about writing and my process.

Mark has an extraordinary eye for edits, does reviews, and these lovely, thoughtful interviews. Grizz ferrets them out. We are talking about THE GOLDEN HOUR, the fourth Nora Tierney English Mystery.

You can read Mark’s review of the book and our interview as the week progresses at: http://www.wordrefiner.com.

In other news, the fifth Nora Tierney mystery should be in print by September. Covid and cancer have caused many delays, but it looks like we’re on track for then. With fantastic early reviews coming in, and with gorgeous cover blurbs from Nicola Upson, Margaret Murphy, and Anne Cleeland, this one is my personal favorite of the series.

But then I say that about each newly finished book!

Stay cool and read~

News Update~ Sunday, Feb 21 2021 

Marni is thrilled that her newest Nora Tierney English Mystery, THE EVENING’S AMETHYST, has gone off to the copyeditor. With another round of edits this spring, it’s looking like this fifth in this series, set in England, will be in print late May.

At least, that’s what she’s been told, if the Covid gods allow it!

In the meantime, Marni will be moderating a panel March 6th for the Suffolk Mystery Author’s Festival, from 10-11 AM. Do sign up for this FREE event with interesting panels, reading recommendations, and more. With the topic “Somewhere in Crime: Global Mysteries,” Marni will be talking with Catriona McPherson, Sara E Johnson, and Wendy H Jones. Don’t miss it!

Change is coming. . . Sunday, Jan 17 2021 

Change is coming to Auntie M Writes Crime Reviews.

A little thing called breast cancer has Auntie M’s attention right now. While her prognosis is excellent, she needs time to rest, to get used to her new normal, and to fiddle with preventative drugs. Her stamina has taken a hike!

For the moment, look for Auntie M in Twitter under @GraffMarni. She’s still reading, and occasionally will tweet the cover and a few lines of a good book she’s read. Any energy between naps goes to reading and her own book for the foreseeable future.

She’s working (slowly) on revisions to her new Nora Tierney English Mystery, The Evening’s Amethyst. The fifth in this series finds Nora settling into life in Oxford, when a grad student falls to her death from a stairwell at Exeter College. The dead young woman was a friend of Nora’s stepsister, Claire Scott, who found the body. The title is from a Robert Louis Stevenson poem that has resonance to the victim. No pub date yet, but updates here and there.

In the meantime: Stay safe and healthy, get your vaccine, and keep reading!

MW Craven: The Washington Poe series Wednesday, Oct 28 2020 

MW Craven’s Washington Poe series features two highly unusual and creative characters: Poe himself, whose origins he wants to unearth, and Tilly Bradshaw, the sheltered genius who works as a civilian analyst and can run rings around any computer or hacker.

Starting the series off, which won multiple awards including the CWA Gold Dagger Award in 2019, is The Puppet Show, which introduces the suspended detective Poe.

In Cumbria, a serial killer had taken to burning people alive amongst the many stone circles in the area. There is no forensic clue left, and no doubt in anyone’s mind that these victims suffered terribly before their deaths. The press have dubbed the killer the Immolation Man.

On suspension from the National Crime Agency for a previous decision, and enjoying his time at the croft he’s bought in rural Cumbria, Poe and his springer spaniel, Edgar, have settled into a routine that doesn’t include policing one whit. Then his former sergeant, Stephanie Flynn, now in his old position as DI, shows up at the croft and proffers an Osman Warning.

When police receive information that a person is in significant danger, they issue an Osman Warning, which informs that person of the threat against him or her.

Flynn explains that her best civilian analyst at the Serious Crime Analysis Section has found multiple slashes on the third victim’s chest, which a multi-slice computed tomography has revealed, despite the heavily charred tissue, as spelling out “Washington Poe.”

Back working the case as a sergeant under Flynn is not only a new experience, it brings Poe into contact with Tilly, a young woman whose brain has allowed her to advance through universities and degrees at a young age but who has missed any chance of having a youth, and the social clues that go with it.

Tilly is direct, follows orders to the point of rudeness, and the smartest person Poe has ever met, with a mind that sees patterns. This is whom Poe will grudgingly come to respect in their hunt for the madman setting people on fire after torturing them.

The plot is carefully constructed, a real tour de force, as Poe and Tilly, aided by Flynn, try to find the thread that connects the victims. The resolution is as startling and sad and it is inventive. No wonder it won the CWA Gold Dagger!

Carven followed this series debut up with Black Summer, another compelling plot that seemingly has no solution.

One of Poe’s old cases put a celebrity chef, Jared Keaton, behind bars for life for the murder is his daughter, Elizabeth, despite no body being found. Poe had recognized the man as a psychopath and convinced the CPS and a jury that the man had killed his own daughter.

Then a young woman turns up at a police outpost and claims to be Elizabeth Keaton, abducted and kept prisoner for years. Blood DNA proves she is telling the truth. How is this possible, if is?

And if Elizabeth is alive, Poe is in deep trouble when the young woman once again disappears. Now he’s suspected of killing Elizabeth. Once again, he will depend on his own smarts and those of Tilly to figure out the workings of a psychopath.

The third installment finds Poe and Tilly investigating a strange case of body parts left in different parts of Cumbria with only the message “#BSC6” accompanying each one.

It appears some victims received anesthetic before being separated from their body part, while others were not. The only clue Tilly can unearth is that each victim took the same two weeks off work several years earlier. Then an FBI agent horns in on their investigation, saying that in the US they’ve had similar deaths.

It’s a slim lead, but it’s all they have to work on. Using the victim’s lives as the catalyst, Poe and Tilly will find their way through the labyrinth plot.

As the relationship between Poe and Tilly relaxes, he helps her grow her social graces while she grows to be someone he and Flynn can depend on. All three books in the series show original plots, based on the characters and their histories, and with such creativity that Auntie M is anxiously awaiting the next outing of Washington Poe and Tilly Bradshaw.

This entire series is Highly Recommended.

L. C. Shaw: The Silent Conspiracy Wednesday, Oct 21 2020 

L.C. Shaw brings back the duo of investigative reporter Jack Logan and free-lance television producer Taylor Parks in a dark thriller, The Silent Conspiracy.

With their young son in tow, they hope their lives will settle down two years after their debut in The Network. But then a pattern of murder-suicides raises its ugly head and Jack starts to investigate.

Meanwhile, Taylor’s newest story is a Supreme Court case, a class-action suit against a national insurance company, and has an all-too realistic feel about it.

Things take a complicated turn when it seems there may be an overlap in their stories. And all the while a nemesis returns, and family secrets that have been kept far too long impact the couple. There are political and religious ramifications, with conspiracies that are pure evil.

As the puzzle pieces come together, the stakes are raised and the couple find their family in more jeopardy than they could imagine.

This is a high-action thriller, with international settings and a whopper of an ending. The cliffhanger promises that the third in the series will be just as thrilling.

Cara Hunter Day: DI Adam Fawley Sunday, Oct 18 2020 

Oxford. Crime. Auntie M is so there. Here’s another roundup of a great series you might want to look for:

Cara Hunter’s DI Adam Fawley introduces a detective with an unusual background. In the debut mystery, Close to Home, Fawley and his team are called in to investigate the disappearance of eight-year-old Daisy Mason, when the girl vanishes during a party held in her family’s backyard.

It’s a barbecue of sorts, and a costume party. Daisy’s family strikes Fawley are weird, from her mother who is height of perfection to her distanced, cold father. And her younger brother won’t speak, or make eye contact.

It’s obvious there is an undercurrent here, and as his team sorts out the lies from the truth, his own home situation comes into play. And then there’s that twisted ending that will have you reaching for the next one in the series straightaway.

In the Dark takes Fawley and his team into a disturbing nightmare of a case. A woman and her young child are found locked in a basement room, with nothing to identify them. Barely surviving, the woman refuses to speak. Is she mute or terrified?

The elderly man who owns the house is confused and it seems he doesn’t know these two people, nor why they were in his basement. Has he lost the plot totally? Or is someone toying with him?

The is masterful plotting, with secrets being kept in a quiet Oxford street, right under the gaze of neighbors. Another winner with a startling resolution.

In No Way Out, it’s a sad Christmas for one family when their home burns down and children are lost. It appears at first glance that they were in the house alone. Where are their parents?

Trying to give the distraught grandparents answers, Fawley and his team race to find answers to these questions, especially after it’s deemed that this fire was set on purpose.

Another gripped mystery with a twisted ending, readable and compelling.

All the Rage makes residents of the streets of Oxford sit up and take notice when a young teen is attacked, a plastic bag thrown over her head, and she’s dragged away. Taken to a remote area, she somehow escapes.

Fawley’s team is cohesive now and his DC Eric Somer, can’t help but feel this young woman knows exactly who attacked her, but some obscure reason isn’t willing to say.

The case echoes a similar early string of cases and causes more than a few sleepless nights for Fawley. And at home things are ramping up, too, with threads to an earlier case.

The series is a winning combination of great cases with stealthy police investigation, coupled with the instincts of the team. There’s the sense that nothing is formulaic about this series.

While the mysteries are solved in each individual book, the hallmark of a great series is that the reader can follow the personal life of the detective, and Fawley certainly has his share of his personal past he and his wife are dealing with, parsed out over the course of the series in a highly effective way that do not detract from the individual book.

It’s an absorbing series, with the next book due out in February 2021. And Auntie M will be reading.

Anne Cleeland: Murder in Revelation Friday, Oct 16 2020 

Anne Cleeland’s twelfth Doyle and Acton Mystery, Murder in Revelation, brings the married detective duo back into action.

Kathleen Doyle is the sergeant who receives a tip that leads her to a doctor being assaulted at a London free clinic. The witness she finds, who’s obviously been assaulted, spins Doyle a tale of evil doers eating the souls of children.

While Doyle realizes there is a cultural component to the woman’s interpretation, she tries to convince DCI Acton, her titled husband, to put surveillance on the clinic. It doesn’t help that another doctor who volunteered at the clinic was recently murdered. Something’s rotten at the clinic, and children are involved.

Doyle’s Irish fey countenance will come into play as she can tell if someone’s statements are true or false. Only a few people know of her gift, and she uses it wisely.

With a toddler son and a new baby on the way, Acton is hyper vigilant over his wife, doing his best to keep Doyle rested and fed with good food like fruit, instead of haring off on a case. The ghost who haunts Doyle’s dreams seems to agree with him.

But Doyle knows her husband and his peculiar ways of justice, just as she knows she must become the buffer for him and those who want to destroy him.

There are multiple murders and several old foes who return. This is not a cozy mystery but one where careful plotting excels as Doyle helps Acton in the only way she knows how–by being in the thick of things.

One of the highlights of this series is the charm of the main characters. Readers feel the chemistry between them, and accept their unusual relationship. While Doyle does her best to reign in her husband, Acton remains far ahead of her and everyone else, orchestrating things.

But Doyle has the last word in this one. There are several surprises along the way that add to the engrossing read, and the final chapter gives a glimpse to the future.

M.E. Browning: Shadow Ridge Thursday, Oct 8 2020 

M.E. Browning’s new series starring Detective Jo Wyatt is off to a strong start with Shadow Ridge, featuring a nicely twisted plot and brisk pace.

The author of the Agatha-nominated Mer Cavallo Mysteries brings her former police captain experience to the book, set in the town of Echo Valley, a nature-filled area of Colorado.

When Jo is called out to what appears to be a suicide case, she still takes all the precautions she should if it turns out that video game designer Tye Horton didn’t kill himself. Something feels off to her.

The young woman who found Horton, Quinn Kirkwood, seems to be keeping secrets, even as she asks Jo for help with an internet stalker. Quinn was a beta tester for one of Horton’s lucrative games, as were several others in the area. An eccentric and unreliable character, Quinn has her own baggage.

Then a tragic car accident takes a second life, and as Jo investigates, she realizes there are ties to Horton, and that Quinn’s life is in danger. Suddenly, Horton’s suicide seems unlikely. As she tries to pair Quinn’s stalker with a deadly killer, her small community will face a bigger tragedy than it has even seen.

Browning does a great job of exploring Jo’s personal life and its disappointments, along with the rigors of being a woman in a police force where men are promoted. The setting is engaging, and the characters well-drawn.

Jo is a smart woman with the skill set needed to be a great detective, and can more than handle the lead in what promises to be an entertaining and suspenseful series.

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Lee Lofland

The Graveyard Shift

S L Hollister, author

Welcome to Leeward

Liz Loves Books

The Wonderful World of Reading

The Life of Guppy

the care and feeding of our little fish

dru's book musings

Reading is a wonderful adventure!

JoHanna Massey

"I tramp the perpetual journey." Walt Whitman

MiddleSisterReviews.com

(mid'-l sis'-tǝr) n. the reader's favorite sister

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Smile! Don't look back in anger.

Emma Kayne

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K.R. Morrison, Author

My author site--news and other stuff about books and things

The Wickeds

Wicked Good Mysteries

John Bainbridge Writer

Indie Writer and Publisher

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Writers & writing: books, movies, art & music - the bits & pieces of a (retiring) writer's life

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Authors and reviewers of historical crime fiction

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