Cathy Ace: The Case of the Dotty Dowager Sunday, Jul 19 2015 

Please welcome Cathy Ace, VP of the Crime Writers of Canada:

the case of the dot#14A450C(1)

Thanks for inviting me to visit, Auntie M – I’m so happy to have the chance to drop by to introduce you to my new characters.

With five Cait Morgan Mysteries in print (#6, THE CORPSE WITH THE DIAMOND HAND, comes out in October 2015) and having just won the Bony Blithe Award for the best Canadian Light Mystery for #4, THE CORPSE WITH THE PLATINUM HAIR, I have to admit I have been worrying about how the women of the WISE Enquiries Agency Mysteries would be accepted, but I’m pleased to say quite a lot of folks are already enjoying spending time with them.

I’ve always relished Downton Abbey, but when I decided to set a group of four female private eyes to work on a case at a stately home I made two big decisions: I realized I wanted a modern-day setting, and to be able to use technology as it’s available now to help solve their puzzling (and quintessentially British) cases; I also made the decision to go back to my home country of Wales for the setting…though I am told the series is perfect for Anglophiles (maybe there’s a word to coin here – Welshophiles?).

THE CASE OF THE DOTTY DOWAGER is the first novel-length outing for the four women of the WISE Enquiries Agency: one is Welsh, one Irish, one Scottish and one English (hence the acronym) but, whilst they work well together and effectively use their complementary skill-set, what I’m enjoying is that they are all so different: Carol Hill is a Welsh computer whiz in her mid-thirties, happily married and delightedly pregnant; The Hon. Christine Wilson-Smythe is the brilliant and beautiful daughter of an Irish viscount, who’s fearless in the way only someone who is single and in their twenties can be; Mavis MacDonald is a retired army nurse, a widow in her mid-sixties, she has two grown sons, grandchildren, and an ailing mother in a nursing home close to her family in Scotland; then there’s Annie Parker, born to St. Lucian parents within the sound of Bow Bell–she’s a cockney through and through – her abrasive nature a shield against a world that’s not been too kind to her, and weathering her very sweaty mid- fifties.

Throw in Althea Twyst, the dowager duchess of Chellingworth who, at almost eighty, is just as active as her Jack Russell, McFli, but who might be losing her marbles (according to her son, Henry, the eighteenth duke) and you’ve got four women enquiring into the life of a fifth – who might not take kindly to their interest.

So why not grab yourself a cuppa, and indulge in a delightful romp through the Welsh countryside with these women? Book two in the series, THE CASE OF THE MISSING MORRIS DANCER, will be published in the UK in October 2015, and in the US and Canada in February 2016, so, if you enjoy meeting these women, you won’t have to wait long before you can tackle another case with them.

1610884_639339149521629_3791092845543988135_n
Cathy Ace is the BC Bestselling author of the Bony Blithe Award-winning Cait Morgan Mysteries and the WISE Enquiries Agency Mysteries. You can find out more about Cathy and her work at her website: http://cathyace.com/ on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cathy-Ace- Author/318388861616661?ref=hl or on Twitter: @AceCathy

Leigh Russell: DI Geraldine Steel Sunday, Jan 26 2014 

Leigh Russell’s Geraldine Steel series is finally available in the US, in paper back on Amazon.com and now through the Witness Impulse series as ebooks. Jeffrey Deaver calls the debut of the series: “A stylish top-of-the-line crime tale” and readers on both sides of the pond are quick to agree.

These are intricately plotted crime novels that  find readers quickly flipping pages as the stories race along, and all in the psychological style of Ruth Rendell or Frances Fyfield. Steel is likeable and human, with her own ghosts that haunt her, and her insecurities and errors in relationships feel realistically drawn.

First in the series is Cut Short, which introduces Geraldine and her complicated background as she starts a new job in Kent.  cut-short

Relocating near the small village of Woolmarsh, Steel fully expects her life to take a quiet turn. Still smarting from the end of a six-year relationship to a man who couldn’t handle her commitment to her work, Steel moves into a new flat and prepares to turn a page and start a new chapter. Her flat on a pretty tree-lined street promises to become a haven at the end of her work day for the mobile Murder Investigation Team based in southeast England.

Steel is still unpacking boxes when the call comes to attend the Incident Room being set up in Woolmarsh, a lucky break for Steel for it means she can stay at home instead of traveling to a different site. She’s introduced to her new colleagues, and the DCI she’ll be working with, Kathryn Gordon, a tough but fair detective.

The body of 22 yr-old Angela Waters has been found by children with their nanny, partially hidden in the leaves and shrubs of a nearby park. The crime scene has been compromised by the children, the nanny, and a variety of small animals that have been at the corpse in the day and night she’s lain there.

This is the first of a series of murders by a sick mind preying on young woman. In an interesting twist, several chapters are from the killer’s point of view, so the reader has a very different feel for the motives behind what Steel and her team think is a typical serial murderer.

A great start to an interesting series, with Steel finding her footing in a new environment amongst a new team who may or may not be watching out for her. And of course, one very sick killer who may just get away with murder unless Steel can figure out the culprit.

road-closed-coverRoad Closed finds Steel and her team called in after a gas explosion takes the life of a man in his home. Was this a case of arson or that of a desperate woman trapped in a hasty marriage finding a way to end it?

In the midst of the new case, Steel’s affair with a young man seems to waffle. Is that on her end or his? And what of the grieving widow Sophie? Was her husband’s death the result of a pair of bumbling burglars or did he die at her own hand?

An old woman falls down the stairs during a burglary. Or was she pushed? And are these incidents in any way related?

These are some of the questions facing Steel and her team as they try to pick apart what is real and what is not in this second outing that starts with the death of Steel’s mother.

At the funeral, she is forced to face the ambivalence she felt toward her mother as her older sister’s mourning takes its toll. With her small family reduced to just her sister Celia and her husband and their daughter, Steel ponders what it means to have felt throughout her life as an outsider in her own family. the answer will shock her and rock her very core.

But that answer opens up even more for Steel, and will be almost as difficult as Steel’s investigation. With her team not solidly behind her, Steel has to decide if a witness to the previous crimes who dies in a hit-and-run accident is part of the larger picture or just an untimely coincidence.

Book Three continues with Dead End, the most disturbing case Steel will have to date. The trail will lead to York and back as her team struggles to find a killer9781DeadEnd just as Steel seems to heat things up with the handsome pathologist, Paul Hilliard.

Abigail Kirby is a determined woman, pushing her way to a new position as headmistress at a private school, uprooting her two teenagers from their schools and homes, despite the crumbling state of her marriage. Young Ben seems to have settled in well to his new school, but 14 yr-old Lucy is socially awkward and on the verge of an eating disorder. Plus, she’s furious with her father for having a relationship outside his broken marriage.

Then Abigail’s corpse is found and as horrible as the fact of murder seems, it takes a decided turn for the worse at the postmortem when it’s discovered her tongue had been cut out while she dying. Could her husband have decided to take the easy way out to have the relationship he wants?

As Steel’s team gets their investigation underway, a second corpse is found, that of a potential witness, who has been blinded. Then Lucy runs away from home to find her new internet friend, the only person who seems to understand her.

Meanwhile, Steel’s DS, Ian Peterson, is having his own troubles at home. He’s gained Steel’s trust, but then goes off on his own to follow a tangent in the investigation.

Steel soon finds herself on the receiving end of a surprising twist as the climax builds to a swift conclusion that will jeopardize her own life.

These complex procedurals are tightly written and the new change in store for Steel at the end of this novel promises to keep the series from becoming formulaic or stale.

Death BedBook Four follows Steel’s relocation to London in Death Bed. After a surprise discovery about her personal life, which has affected her deeply, she’s forced to tell her sister that she’s received a transfer she’s hoped for: to the Met to work as Detective Inspector on their Murder Squad in London.

Another move for Steel, this time to Islington, with more boxes and new people to meet and fit in with, and this time she’s also fighting what she perceives as their idea that she’s a country bumpkin who won’t be able to handle the hectic pace of the Hendon Squad.

Her new DS is a woman, an adjustment for both of them, but that becomes the least of the two women’s problems when a young black woman is found murdered in North London. Showing signs of severe abuse, dehydration and marks of being held with chains, the discovery is quickly followed by a second body in similar circumstances.

Worried about calls of racism against black women, the team realizes the two murders are connected, especially when it’s found that two teeth are missing from both women. But their individual circumstances are clearly different. So what is the reason this killer has taken them? Is this his idea of a trophy?

In the midst of their investigation, chapters show the victims chained in the attic of their captor, and the chilling account of his rationale for doing what he believes to be a spiritual purpose, adding to the highly unusual “collection” that readers will find a haunting premise.

This is the darkest of the series, and probes the mind of a sociopath who only sees what he needs for his own purposes. It will be up to Steel to put the pieces together to unmask a canny and highly unusual murderer.

This gritty addition to the series delivers a powerful wallop. There are two more in the series with Steel in London that will be reviewed this spring when they are released by Witness Impulse here, along with an interview with the charming Russell. Stay tuned for more with DI Geraldine Steel from Leigh Russell.

Guest Author Lane Stone, on the Worth of a Good Laugh~ Sunday, Dec 11 2011 

Please welcome Debut Author, Lane Stone, on the worth of a good laugh –

The setting for Current Affairs, the first book in the Tiara Investigations Mystery series, is Sugar Hill, Georgia.  My husband and I split our time between Alexandria, Virginia and Sugar Hill.  I could have set the book in either location but Sugar Hill is a funnier place.  You knew that already, right?  That’s one secret to writing humor – you just heard which was funnier.

I decided I wanted to write a humorous mystery when a series of extremely funny books got me through a rough patch.  While hiking someone told me about a book group for E. F. Benson fans, called the Rye Society.  That week while foraging in the clearance bin at Barnes & Noble, I saw a compilation of the “Lucia” books.  It was three or four inches thick and cost five bucks.  How could anyone turn that down?  It’s called excellent money management.  The first time I tried to read the tome I put it right back on my bookshelf.  I thought it was silly and not my cuppa.   Months later I picked it up again, and had the same reaction.  I knew that these books inspired not just loyalty, but obsession, still ….

In December, 2001, my mother died, and I hadn’t really recovered from 9/11.  My husband was working at the Council on Foreign Relations in Manhattan, and we were living in exile in Fort Lee, New Jersey.  You could see the twin towers from our balcony.  Then all you saw was smoke and rising ash – for months.  If the largest thing in your backyard disappeared you’d never stop looking for it.  So in this time of feeling unable to get my footing,  I gave Make Way for Lucia another go.  It was the funniest thing I had ever read!  I fell in love!  These books had been waiting for just the right time.  They got me through that hellish month.

I had written my first book, which never had nor ever will see the light of day.  Not to get too technical here, but it was crap.  I wasn’t writing in my own voice – don’t know who’s voice it was written in, but it was a boring book.  My goal became to do for some reader, somewhere, what E. F. Benson had for me, either in a difficult time, or just at the end of a long day.  The idea of three former beauty queens from Georgia starting a detective agency came to me and I went on from there.  After about three years of writing, and then another three or four revising and querying, I was offered a contract by Mainly Murder Press. (During the getting pub’d time I was getting edits, both from my critique partner, Jacqui Corcoran, and Sisters in Crime’s Guppy manuscript swap program.  We writers are told to send out fifty query letters then send out fifty more.  My advice from the other side of the fence is this:  make your writing better, then make it better again, then again.  That’s how you’ll get published.)

According to reviewers, Current Affairs is, indeed, funny.  Crime and Suspense Reviewer, Wil Emerson, said, “Lane Stone’s style is both witty and charming … join her on this latest adventure.  And hold onto your belly, it’s a bumpy ride and you can’t stop laughing.”  Sandra Parshall, author of the Rachel Goddard Mysteries, said, “Current Affairs is hilarious and thoroughly entertaining.”  These blurbs made my heart sing.

I hope you’ll give the Tiara Investigations detectives, Leigh, Tara and Victoria, a try and let me know what you think.  I can be reached through www.LaneStoneBooks.com, or on facebook (LaneStoneBooks) and you can follow our standard schnauzer, Abby, on twitter at TheMenopauseDog.  Here’s a link to the video-  http://youtu.be/1mrMqarGPS4

Keep in touch!

Lane

Lane Stone is a member of that rare species known as the native Atlantan, and is a graduate of Georgia State University. She and her husband, Larry Korb, along with the real Abby, really do divide their time between Sugar Hill, GA and Alexandria, VA. Lane is a proud member of the Chessie Chapter and the Atlanta Chapter of Sisters in Crime

 

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

My train of thoughts on...

Smile! Don't look back in anger.

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

Some Days You Do ...

Writers & Writing, my own & other people's; movies, art, music & the search for a perfect flat white - the bits & pieces of a writing life.

Gaslight Crime

Authors and reviewers of historical crime fiction

Crimezine

#1 for Crime

Mellotone70Up

John Harvey on Books & Writing - his own & other people 's - Art, Music, Movies, & the elusive search for the perfect Flat White.

A thrilling Murder-Mystery...

...now being made into a radio drama

Past Offences: Classic crime, thrillers and mystery book reviews

The best mystery and crime fiction (up to 1987): Book and movie reviews

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

My train of thoughts on...

Smile! Don't look back in anger.

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

Some Days You Do ...

Writers & Writing, my own & other people's; movies, art, music & the search for a perfect flat white - the bits & pieces of a writing life.

Gaslight Crime

Authors and reviewers of historical crime fiction

Crimezine

#1 for Crime

Mellotone70Up

John Harvey on Books & Writing - his own & other people 's - Art, Music, Movies, & the elusive search for the perfect Flat White.

A thrilling Murder-Mystery...

...now being made into a radio drama

Past Offences: Classic crime, thrillers and mystery book reviews

The best mystery and crime fiction (up to 1987): Book and movie reviews