"No one can be lonely who has a book for company." ~ Nelle Reagan

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Debut Mystery Release: Killer WASPs

Killer WASPs
A Killer WASPs Mystery
Amy Korman
Crime really stings in Killer WASPs (Witness Impulse e-book, on sale 9/16/2014, $1.99), a Witness Original from debut author Amy Korman. If you love cocktails, antiquing, parties, shopping and the occasional crime-lite thrown in amid vodka tonics and tennis matches at the club, then you’ll love Killer WASPs. The first installment in this modern and cozy series features crime, romance, and fun amid the classic estates of Philadelphia’s Main Line.
Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, is a haven for East Coast WASPs, where tennis tournaments and cocktails at the club are revered traditions. Little happens in the sleepy suburb, and that is the way the Lilly Pulitzer–clad residents prefer it. So when antiques store owner Kristin Clark and her portly basset hound stumble upon the area's newest real estate developer lying unconscious beneath the hydrangea bushes lining the driveway of one of Bryn Mawr's most distinguished estates, the entire town is abuzz with gossip and intrigue.
When the attacker strikes again just days later, Kristin and her three best friends—Holly, a glamorous chicken nugget heiress with a penchant for high fashion; Joe, a decorator who's determined to land his own HGTV show; and Bootsie, a preppy but nosy newspaper reporter—join forces to solve the crime. While their investigation takes them to cocktail parties, flea markets, and the country club, they must unravel the mystery before the assailant claims another victim.
Fans of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series will enjoy shaking up the Philadelphia Main Line. To learn more, check out the Killer WASPs Facebook page:https://www.facebook.com/killerWASPsseries.

About the Author: Amy Korman is a former senior editor and staff writer for Philadelphia Magazine, and author of Frommer’s Guide to Philadelphia. She has written for Town & Country, House Beautiful, Men’s Health, and Cosmopolitan. Killer WASPs is her first novel.
Purchase your copy here:  HarperCollinsBarnes & NobleAmazoniBooks

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Autobiography of Neil Patrick Harris Book Trailer

A Cry in the Night by Carolyn Hart (book review)

A Cry in the Night
Author:  Carolyn Hart
Published:  December 2013 (in paperback)
Publisher:  The Berkley Publishing Group
Pages:  246
ISBN 9780425269909
Format:  Mass Market Paperback
Genre:  mystery/romantic mystery
Source:  I own it.

From the national bestselling author of  Dead, White, and Blue and Ghost Gone Wild  comes a mystery of intrigue and danger in the world of international art theft.  Egyptologist Sheila Ramsay develops a newfound interest in MesoAmerican affairs after meeting an outspoken—and attractive—Mexico City curator, a harsh critic of museums that deal in stolen art. And her own museum gives her the perfect opportunity to see him again: a valuable Aztec manuscript needs to be returned to its rightful owners, the wealthy Ortega family.  

But things don’t go as planned for Sheila south of the border. An anonymous note threatens her with death if she remains in Mexico City. The curator she longed to see treats her with contempt. And the Ortegas are as mysterious as they are charming. What Sheila has stumbled into is much bigger—and more deadly—than she ever dreamed. And amid the splendor of Mexico’s ancient ruins and treacherous hillsides, Sheila will realize that there’s no one she can trust.

My Thoughts

"The first time I saw him, he was furious." 

A group comprised of museum staff had gathered for a lecture Museum Responsibility in the Art Trade given by Jeremiah Elliot, a visiting curator from Mexico City.  His anger is evident as he lectures and admonishes about procuring artifacts with dubious backgrounds.  The tension was palpable in the room, to say the least.

Following the lecture, though, Sheila and Jeremiah seem to hit it off and decide to do some sightseeing on the spur of the moment. Sheila finds herself attracted to him and is taken in by his change in demeanour.  So when the opportunity to travel to Mexico to return an artifact to a family in Mexico City is posted at the museum, Sheila volunteers, hoping she will find Jeremiah again.

Upon arrival in Mexico City, Sheila's senses are heightened when she spots a man watching her.  A letter of warning to return home, a scream in the night, and shots aimed at her should have sent her home but she is apparently very stubborn and determined. That's the makings of a good sleuth, right?  Sheila sets out to discover why someone wants her dead and what secrets the Ortega family is hiding.

Carolyn Hart is one of my absolute favourite mystery writers and I adore her Death on Demand series.  Cry in the Night is one of Ms Hart's stand alone novels that could be classified as romantic suspense or romantic mystery considering the plot has a strong thread of romance strung throughout the mystery.  Well written and designed, Cry in the Night is a fast clean read with an ending that will appeal to the romantics out there. While I really enjoyed this foyer into Hart's works that lie beyond her addictive series of Death on Demand and Henrie O, I rather prefer them to this novel.  Perhaps because I know the characters, but I thinks it's more like Hart invested more of herself in the series.  Cry in the Night is a good read nonetheless, especially if you enjoy travelling, archeology, art, mystery and a love story to boot.

Meet the Author

An accomplished master of mystery, Carolyn Hart is the author of fifty novels of mystery and suspense.  Her books have won multiple Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity awards.  One of the founders of Sisters in Crime, Hart lives in Oklahoma City where she enjoys mysteries, walking in the park, and cats.  She and her husband Phil serve as staff - cat owners will understand - to an orange tabby and brother and sister tables.  Visit her website at carolynhart.com.

Giller Prize Long List Announced Today

Giller Prize logo 2013
The long list for the Giller Prize has been announced.  Additionally, the prize has increased for the winner at $100,000 (thus making this the richest fiction prize in the country) and each of the four finalists will be awarded $10,000 each.  The longlist is:
The short list will be announced October 6/14.  The gala to announce the winner will be held in Toronto November 6/14 and will likely be aired live again.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Christie Curse by Victoria Abbott (book review)

The Christie Curse
A Book Collector Mystery
Author:  Victoria Abbott
Published:  2013
Publisher:  Penguin Group (USA)
Pages:  296 (includes recipes)
Genre:  Mystery/cozy mystery
Edition:  mass market paperback
ISBN 9780425255285

In 1926, Agatha Christie disappeared—making headlines across the world—only to show up eleven days later at a spa under an assumed name. During those eleven days, did she have time to write a play?

Jordan Kelly needs a new job and a new place to live. She’s back in Harrison Falls, New York, living with her not so law-abiding uncles, in debt thanks to a credit card–stealing ex and pending grad school loans.

Enter the perfect job, a research position that includes room and board, which will allow her to spend her days hunting down rare mysteries for an avid book collector. There’s just one problem: her employer, Vera Van Alst—the most hated citizen of Harrison Falls.

Jordan’s first assignment is to track down a rumored Agatha Christie play. It seems easy enough, but Jordan soon finds out that her predecessor was killed while looking for it, and there is still someone out there willing to murder to keep the play out of Vera’s hands. Jordan’s new job is good…but is it worth her life?

My Thoughts:

It would seem the infamous play, it's very being in doubt, is a curse upon whomever seeks it.  Jordan's predecessor, while in New York seeking information about the possibility of a never before published Christie play, was pushed to his death in the subway.  This only makes Jordan more cautious as she investigates the whereabouts of a play that no one can ascertain even exists.  It's a rumour based upon the disappearance of mystery author Agatha Christie for a short period in 1926 when her first marriage ended.  Perhaps she spent her time at a spa?  Or, perhaps she spent her time in seclusion, writing a play.  No one knew for sure but conjecture would have it she was writing. This is the basis for the mystery The Christie Curse.

Jordan is hired to find it and her investigations soon become dangerous to anyone associated with her search.  Two attempts are made on a possible source's life and a woman is beaten. Everywhere Jordan turns, Officer Smiley is not far behind.  Everyone is suspicious to Jordan and it is uncertain who her enemies really are.  The search has become a matter of life and death.

Victoria Abbot is actually a mother and daughter writing duo.  The Christie Curse is the first in the new Book Collector series.  It is an excellent example of a cozy mystery with enough suspects to keep you guessing.  Like Jordan, I had brushed off the real assailant until it was too late.  Suspicion had been cast on a few others who had good cause or were just shady enough to be possible.  The characterization was plausible, scenarios wrought with suspense, and the plot twisted just enough to put me off.

For me this was a timely read as Sophie Hannah just released The Monogram Murders, a Hercule Poirot mystery and the Christie name is all the buzz right now.  The Christie Curse title caught my eye in the bookstore and the writing begs me to come back for more.  The Sayers Swindle is the second book in the series and I will be searching it out.  I'd love to collect them all.

Meet the author(s) of The Christie Curse

Victoria Abbott is a collaboration between the always very funny and creative artist, photographer and short story author, Victoria Maffini and her mother, Mary Jane Maffini, award-winning author of three mystery series and two dozen short stories. Mary Jane's two miniature dachshunds are understandably outraged that a pug and some Siamese cats have wiggled their way into the series, and now a pug has weasled her way into Victoria's home.  The indignity of it all.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Wherever I am....

I am reading Six Against the Yard, a mystery anthology with contributors like Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers.

What are you reading this weekend?


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