Nov 202017
 

DOWN TO NO GOOD by Earl Javorsky
Genre Mystery
Published by he Story Plant
Publication Date:Oct. 31, 2017
ISBN:1313: 9781611882537
Pages: 224
Review Copy From:The Story Plant
Edition: TPB
My Rating: 5Add Text Here

**Interview with Earl Javorsky tomorrow~Stop by!**

Synopsis:

Private investigator Charlie Miner, freshly revived from his own murder, gets a call from Homicide Detective Dave Putnam. Self-styled “psychic to the stars” Tamara Gale has given crucial information about three murders, and the brass thinks it makes the Department look bad. Dave wants Charlie to help figure out the angle, since he has first-hand experience with the inexplicable. Trouble is, Charlie, just weeks after his full-death experience, once again has severe cognitive problems and may get them both killed.

Earl Javorsky’s DOWN TO NO GOOD is wildly original, wildly energetic, wildly funny – it’s just straight up wild, and I mean that in the best possible way.
– Lou Berney, Edgar Award-winning author of THE LONG AND FARAWAY GONE

My Thoughts and Opinion:

This is the first book I have read by this author and really enjoyed it. A mystery with a hint of supernatural. It is the sequel to DOWN SOLO but easily read as a stand-alone.

As the synopsis states, Tamara Gale, a known psychic has given the Police Department information about 3 murders. Is she legit? Should the Department rely on her “gift”? And then she predicts more incidents, bigger and more devastating.

With a cast of characters, all with their own personal baggage and defective personalities, they start to investigate if she is the real deal.

This book has plots and subplots that held my interest throughout. The story flows with non stop action and suspense. This read had me reading “just one more chapter”, wanting to know what was coming next, which ended up having read this book in 2 sittings. Many abrasive twists and turns had me turning the pages as fast as I could read. An “I didn’t see that one coming” ending! WOW!

I hope to read the 1st book in this series in the near future and looking forward to reading more by this author. A really tense read! I highly recommend it!

Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗| Goodreads 🔗

REVIEW DISCLAIMER

This blog was founded on the premise to write honest reviews, to the best of my ability, no matter who from, where from and/or how the book was obtained, and will continue to do so, even if it is through PICT or PBP.
DISCLAIMER

I received a copy of this book, at no charge to me, in exchange for my honest review.
No items that I receive are ever sold…they are kept by me, or given to family and/or friends.
ADDENDUM

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Nov 172017
 

Act of Betrayal

by Matthew Dunn

on Tour October 23 – November 30, 2017

Synopsis:

ACT OF BETRAYAL by Matthew Dunn

In this riveting entry in the celebrated thriller series, former intelligence operative Will Cochrane—a “ruthless yet noble” (Ft. Worth Star-Telegram) man from whom “Bond and Bourne could learn a thing or two” (Madison County Herald)—comes out of hiding to expose a conspiracy involving a past assassination that reaches to the highest echelons of the U.S. government.

Three years ago, intelligence officer Will Cochrane was brought in by a Delta Force colonel to assassinate a terrorist financier in Berlin. After the job, the commander vanished, and hasn’t been heard from since. The details don’t quite add up, and one of the CIA agents who was involved has been investigating the mission. He reaches out to Will for help, but before they can connect, the CIA man is poisoned.

Will is determined to uncover the truth about Berlin, even if it means putting himself in the crosshairs. Framed for multiple murders, the skilled former spy has gone deep underground to evade his enemies and the feds. But honor and loyalty to his old colleague thrust him into danger once again.

When Marsha Gage at the FBI discovers that Cochrane—one of America’s Most Wanted—has resurfaced, she immediately launches a manhunt, and she won’t stop until she brings the former CIA/MI6 operative in.

With time running out, Cochrane will use all of his training and formidable skills to outmaneuver the FBI and uncover a shocking conspiracy that will rock the foundations of our nation . . . if he can stay alive.

Book Details:

Genre: Thriller
Published by: William Morrow
Publication Date: October 24th 2017
Number of Pages: 320
ISBN: 0062427229 (ISBN13: 9780062427229)
Series: Spycatcher #7
Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗

Read an excerpt:

IT WAS PAST midnight as wind and rain pounded the exterior of the tiny bookstore in Chicago. The store was closed and its owner was sitting at his desk checking the week’s receipts. The task wouldn’t take long—his store specialized in rare works that he sourced from around the world. He had some loyal customers, but they were few. This week seven people had made purchases.

The only light in the room came from his green desk lamp, old-fashioned in design to match the ambience of the shop. Aside from some electronic devices on his desk and recessed lights that cast a discreet yellow glow when turned on, the place looked like it could have been a purveyor of fine works established and un- changed since the eighteenth century. He’d constructed it that way: dark maple bookshelves; many of the books leather bound, all of them hardcover; two armchairs for customers to sit in when perusing potential acquisitions; an urn for his more discerning patrons who valued his loose-leaf tea collection; and a cage for his two lovebirds.

He was an old-fashioned guy at heart.

And though he could have done with more cash coming in, he’d deliberately established a business and identity that drew little attention. He playacted a shy man, his trimmed beard intended to put up barriers between him and others, his shoulders artificially stooped during the day as if he were ashamed of his six-foot-four physique, his cropped blond-and-gray hair functional because he had no woman in his life to impress, and his unneeded glasses covering one green eye, one blue. He was always in a smart three-piece suit because the attire was good at hiding his athletic frame and scars. Customers thought he was Edward Pope, a gentleman scholar from the South. They’d probably estimate his age was late forties. They’d be wrong about that and most other things. He’d led a hard life and was forty-five.

His name wasn’t Edward Pope.

It was Will Cochrane.

The assassin. The one Sapper and Kane were terrified of.

He wasn’t from the Deep South. He was raised in Virginia and earned a double first-class degree at England’s Cambridge University. And he’d been a bookseller for only under a year.

But he had to be Pope. In the eyes of the world, Will was a murderer. He’d killed people as a special forces French Foreign Legionnaire and assassinated targets in French intelligence black operations. He had been the West’s prime joint operative with the CIA and Britain’s MI6 for fourteen years, until he went crazy and killed a lot of cops and civilians in the States before throwing himself off the Brooklyn Bridge and dying.

His death was essential. He was America’s Most Wanted. He wasn’t what some thought of him—a psychopath. But he was a former special operative and killer. Had been all his adult life. It started when he was seventeen and walked in on four criminals suffocating his mother and about to kill his sister. His mother died; sister didn’t, because he grabbed his mother’s carving knife and ended the criminals’ lives before fleeing to the Legion. He wished he didn’t know how many people he’d killed since. It would be a lie. He knew every victim. Their souls lingered around him, taunting him, reminding him of who he was.

All 263 souls.

But the souls of the people they say he killed in the States didn’t hassle him.

Because he didn’t kill them. He never killed innocents, only those who needed to be killed.

But in the eyes of the law, that’s not the case and that’s why he had to fake his death and reinvent himself. A year ago, his situation was desperate, despite all of his training and covert operations experience in hostile countries. He’d received only one bit of help, but it was significant. Russia’s most formidable intelligence officer, code name Antaeus—now, thanks to Will, a defector living in the States—had cleverly managed to get $300,000 into Will’s pocket. Will didn’t know exactly why he’d done it. After all, Will had accidentally killed his family with a car bomb when in fact he’d intended only to kill the spy. But he suspected he knew why the Russian had become his benefactor: Antaeus wanted his generosity to plunge the knife that was Will’s guilt deeper.

Regardless of Antaeus’s motives, the cash helped set up Will’s new life.

Will’s family and close acquaintances were all dead. He’d be given the needle if cops found out who he was. The West he’d served with unflinching duty had hung him out to dry. He thought of himself as a scavenging dog, kicked out of its owner’s backyard and left to fend for itself. He was resigned to that, every day expecting the Feds to rush into his store and put a bullet in his skull. That’s what they’d do. No attempt to arrest. No negotiations. Execution only. Will wouldn’t blame them. They knew he’d cause carnage if given the slightest of chances.

He finished his accounts, took a swig of Assam tea, and frowned as he heard the female lovebird make an unusual sound. Like her male companion, she resembled a small parrot, her plumage green and yellow, face and beak red, large eyes pure white with black pupils. He’d taken the birds off the hands of an old lady who frequented his store. Her son, a merchant marine officer, had brought them back from exotic climes, though she couldn’t remember where because she was suffering from dementia. And she could no longer look after them, particularly now that the male had broken his wing. Will hated seeing animals in cages. But the female wouldn’t leave the male’s side. And for the time being, the male had to be kept in the cage until he was fully recuperated. Then Will would release them to a large aviary or the wild.

Their previous owner couldn’t remember their names, so Will called the male Ebb and the female Flo. Flo was now agitated, hopping about as opposed to what she usually did, which was nestling her face against that of her lover. Will opened the cage, knowing Flo wouldn’t go anywhere while Ebb was there. The former special operative bowed his head. Ebb was all wrong, flopping on the base of the cage, his good wing twitching, his broken one immobile. Will knew he was dying and there was nothing he could do about it. What goes through a bird’s brain? He didn’t know. And he didn’t know whether lovebirds were in fact lifelong lovers or if that was a myth. But Will knew how he felt. He had to give Flo closure, let her be free, not allow her to think there was hope that Ebb would return to her. Gently he lifted Ebb. His body was warm but now limp. He carried him to the store’s backyard. Flo followed him. Will had hoped she would.

Will looked at Flo, who was perched close by on the branch of a tree. She was watching. It seemed she and Will didn’t know what to do.

“I have to let you know this is the end,” Will said to her. Actually, he was saying it to himself.

He snapped Ebb’s neck and buried him.

Flo looked at him before flying into the darkness. As tears ran down his face, he wondered if she hated him. Or maybe she understood. Of course, he’d never know.

He returned to his desk and stared at the birdcage. After brushing soil off his fingers, he looked at his laptop and saw he had a new e-mail. Nobody sent him mail apart from spammers.

But this one was different. And shocking. It was from CIA officer Unwin Fox, the man who, alongside Will, had been one of those involved in the Berlin operation. Aside from Colonel Haden, Will didn’t know who the other people on the small team were.

His heart was beating fast as he read the mail. Its tone was desperate. There was no way Fox could know that Will was alive. Something was terribly wrong. Fox wanted to meet. Tomorrow. In Washington, D.C.

In all probability it was a trap. Lure Will out, then bam! Swooped on by cops. But then again, Will knew what happened in Berlin. The law didn’t. This would have been far too implausible a tactic to entrap him.

What to do?

He looked at the lovebirds’ empty cage. The door was open. He glanced at the entrance to his store.

What to fucking do?

He opened the drawer in his desk, pulled out his handgun, grabbed his bag containing all he needed if he ever had to run, and left.

He knew he’d never return.

***

Excerpt from Act of Betrayal by Matthew Dunn. Copyright © 2017 by Matthew Dunn. Reproduced with permission from William Morrow. All rights reserved.

Matthew Dunn

Author Bio:

As an MI6 field officer, Matthew Dunn recruited and ran agents, coordinated and participated in special operations, and acted in deep-cover roles throughout the world. He operated in environments where, if captured, he would have been executed. Dunn was trained in all aspects of intelligence collection, deep-cover deployments, small-arms, explosives, military unarmed combat, surveillance, and infiltration. Medals are never awarded to modern MI6 officers, but Dunn was the recipient of a rare personal commendation from the secretary of state for work he did on one mission, which was deemed so significant that it directly influenced the success of a major international incident. During his time in MI6, Matthew conducted approximately seventy missions. All of them were successful. He currently lives in England, where he is at work on his next novel.

Learn More About Matthew Dunn On harpercollins.com!

Tour Participants:

Stop by these great hosts for reviews, and giveaways!

Giveaway:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Matthew Dunn and William Morrow. There will be 5 winners of one (1) print copy of ACT OF BETRAYAL by Matthew Dunn. This giveaway is open to US & Canada addresses only. The giveaway begins on October 23 and runs through November 30, 2017.

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Nov 132017
 

Snifter of Death by Chris Karlsen Tour Banner

Snifter of Death

by Chris Karlsen

on Tour November 1 – December 2, 2017

Synopsis:

Snifter of Death by Chris Karlsen

The summer of 1889 was proving to be a strange one for Detective Inspector Rudyard Bloodstone and his partner.

They had a sexual pervert loose. The man didn’t actually harm women but threatened them at knife point, fondling them, and ultimately stealing their stockings.

Far more serious were the murders of influential men, which appeared random other than they were all killed by arsenic poison. Never had he and his partner had cases with so little workable evidence.

Also, the rivalry between him and his detective nemesis at London’s other police department was intensifying. That nemesis was the boxing champion of their department and looking to challenge Rudyard, who never trained as a boxer.

Besides Rudyard’s pride being at stake, and the pride of his station, his nemesis also had in his possession a photograph of the woman Rudyard cares very much for. The new lady in Rudyard’s life had captured his heart and he’d fight the devil himself to save her reputation.

Book Details:

Genre: Historical Suspense
Published by: Books to Go Now
Publication Date: May 16, 2017
Number of Pages: 376
ISBN: 9781545211090
Series: The Bloodstone #2 | This is a Stand Alone Novel
Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | Kobo 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗

Author Bio:

Chris Karlsen

I was born and raised in Chicago. My father was a history professor and my mother was, and is, a voracious reader. I grew up with a love of history and books.

My parents also love traveling, a passion they passed onto me. I wanted to see the places I read about, see the land and monuments from the time periods that fascinated me. I’ve had the good fortune to travel extensively throughout Europe, the Near East, and North Africa.

I am a retired police detective. I spent twenty-five years in law enforcement with two different agencies. My desire to write came in my early teens. After I retired, I decided to pursue that dream. I write three different series. My paranormal romance series is called, Knights in Time. My romantic thriller series is Dangerous Waters. The newest is The Bloodstone Series. Each series has a different setting and some cross time periods, which I find fun to write.

I currently live in the Pacific Northwest with my husband and five wild and crazy rescue dogs.

Interview

Welcome!
Writing and Reading:

Do you draw from personal experiences and/or current events?

Mostly from personal experience as I use historical settings and weave in my interpretation of events based on my experience along with the culture of the period.

In Journey in Time, there’s a scene where my heroine, a modern London attorney must conduct a trial where she is both prosecutor and defendant. The trial is before King Edward 111 in the year 1355. I used my experience testifying in court for that scene.

In Snifter of Death, the handling of much of my protagonist, Detective Rudyard Bloodstone’s police world, from the crime scene activity to the people he works with to victims, witnesses, and suspects all result from my experience as a detective.

Do you start with the conclusion and plot in reverse or start from the beginning and see where the story line brings you?

I have the basic idea for the storyline in mind and the end. I write out an outline but I’m not married to it. I let the story take me to other places not in the outline. That said, the basic ending doesn’t change. I might add something to it, color it with another event or character’s involvement but it is what I planned when I started.

Are any of your characters based on you or people that you know?

No, not in the Knights in Time series or in the Bloodstone series. In the Bloodstone series, there are colorful or background characters who reflect some of the people whose paths I crossed in my law enforcement career. But there isn’t one person I can point to in those books and say, “that is so and so.”

The only time I used a real life person was in a short story in an anthology I was part of this year. 12 authors got together to do an anthology for children’s cancer research. The series was called Code Redhead and my short story was called Moonlight Serenade. It is set in WW2 and the hero is based on my father. That is the one true person exception and I stated how it related to him in the author’s note.

Your routine when writing? Any idiosyncrasies?

I am not a morning person. I write in the afternoon and stop around 5 and spend the rest of the evening watching television with my husband.

Tell us why we should read this book.

Ruddy (Detective Inspector Rudyard Bloodstone) is my favorite character to write. As a retired detective myself I was often asked about writing a cop story. But I never wanted to write a cop story, especially a contemporary one. Then I started thinking about putting a detective in a historical setting. I couldn’t imagine a more atmospheric city for murder and mystery than Victorian London. Once I began writing Ruddy, I found myself having a great time with him.

He’s a war hero who doesn’t think of himself as a hero. When asked, he just says he did what was necessary at the time. I was able to give him that typical droll/dry humor so common to cops. He is clever and observant, not much gets by him. But unlike Sherlock Holmes, he follows bad leads at times and isn’t perfect, which I really like about him. He has a sharp tongue, a short fuse, and a sometimes healthy and sometimes troublesome disrespect for administrators and politicians.

One of my favorite things about the Bloodstone series and this book is filling his world with colorful support characters. I love showing Ruddy’s nature and personality through his interaction with them.

He’s a man of his time and I try to make the politics and culture of Victorian England almost another character. Ruddy and his associates live and function in a world with a strict class structure and that is an interesting aspect to address. He must work within the confines of the social mores but that can never take over the story. I enjoy using that element to enhance the plot and action.
-Who are some of your favorite authors?

I love Bernard Cornwell, Julie Anne Long, Julia Quinn, Michael Connolly, and enjoy much of John Sanford.

What are you reading now?

I’m reading Sharpe’s Rifles by Cornwell as my current wip (a historical romance with time travel element and book 5 in my Knights in Time series) has a section that is set in the Peninsula War. I wanted to get a feel for that war. Behind it, I have The Crossing by Michael Connolly. I love his Harry Bosch and Mickey Haller characters. After that, I have a Julia Quinn book, “The Girl with the Make Believe Husband.”

Are you working on your next novel? Can you tell us a little about it?

As I mentioned in the previous answer, I’m working on book 5 in my Knights in Time series. That is a historical romance series with a time travel element. My heroine in this story is a modern English doctor. A group of scientists near where she lives are working on a time travel project. She accidentally crosses into one of their experiments and is caught in a time tear where she is sent back to medieval England.

While the scientists continue to try to find a way to bring her home, she begins to fall in love with a medieval knight. As she and the knight are working out if they have a future, the scientists engage another system to bring her home. However, there’s a glitch. She and the knight don’t make it to modern England but find themselves in 1815 and surrounded by the French and English armies at Waterloo.

The hero and heroine have to escape before they’re killed by one or the other battling armies. Then they have to figure out how to get back to England and get word to the scientists who now have no idea where they are in time.

Fun questions:
Your novel will be a movie. Who would you cast?

Karl Urban as Rudyard Bloodstone
Elizabeth Taylor as Honeysuckle Flowers
Thomas Craig as Archie Holbrook (Ruddy’s partner)
Hugh Bonneville as Henry Jameson (Superintendent of Ruddy’s police station)
Clive Standen as Will Bloodstone (Ruddy’s brother)
Myanna Buring as Graciela Robson

Favorite leisure activity/hobby?

Reading, dinner with friends (theme dinners are especially fun), and just watching television.

Favorite meal?

Toss up: French onion soup or crab and/or lobster bisque, crab cakes or scallops, mashed potatoes, creamed spinach, tiramisu or any French pastry.

Thank you for stopping by CMash Reads and spending time with us.

Catch Up With Chris Karlsen On:
Website 🔗, Goodreads 🔗, Twitter 🔗, & Facebook 🔗!

Read an excerpt:

“What address do you show for the Cross family?” the Vicar asked. Her mind went completely blank. Finally, she blurted the only one that came to her, which was no doubt wrong. “Park Lane.”

The Vicar smirked. Not smiled. Smirked. That meant it had to be wrong.

“I suggest you start there. In the meantime, I will have my housekeeper escort you out. I don’t know what you’re playing at but I don’t care for mischief. You’ll do your soul a good turn to drop a coin in the poor box on your way to the street.” He rang a small bell on his desk and the housekeeper came. “See this lady out.”

Graciela stood on the top stair of the chapel cursing her luck when a man’s disturbingly familiar laugh interrupted her thoughts. She took a quick step to the left and flattened herself against one of the portico pillars. The horrible laugh rippled over from close by. It sounded like Detective Bloodstone’s from the morning she’d bailed out Addy. He’d said something that sent the shine boy scampering away and had all the detectives snickering, including Bloodstone.

Taking a deep breath, she peered around the edge of the pillar expecting to see the detective. His presence would’ve been the perfect end to this entire St. Jude’s Chapel mission-turned-catastrophe. To her great relief, it came from a carriage driver. She hadn’t noticed a group of them gathered at the corner waiting to be hired. Graciela, you had no reason to be frightened. You’d done nothing wrong. Stop being such a ninny.

She left the church and headed home. Zachary would be getting up from her nap soon. The whole way home she questioned her luck. A dozen people are murdered every day in London.

How hard can it be to kill someone?

***

Excerpt from Snifter of Death by Chris Karlsen. Copyright © 2017 by Chris Karlsen. Reproduced with permission from Chris Karlsen. All rights reserved.

Tour Participants:

Stop by these great hosts for guest posts, interviews, reviews, and giveaways!

Giveaway:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Chris Karlsen. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card. The giveaway begins on November 1 and runs through December 4, 2017.

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Nov 072017
 

Bad Blood by P.M. Carlson

Bad Blood

by P.M. Carlson

November 7, 2017 Book Blast

Synopsis:

Bad Blood by P.M. Carlson

After an argument with her grandmother at her Maryland home, sixteen-year-old Ginny Marshall – “born rotten,” according to Gram – gets high and runs away. She turns up on the doorstep of Maggie Ryan and Nick O’Connor’s Brooklyn brownstone. Her presence in Brooklyn is unsettling, but, more urgently, Ginny is a suspect in a murder investigation back home. Maggie travels undercover to Maryland, where she searches for a killer as threads from the past threaten to unravel both families.

This Mystery Company edition is the first paperback publication of the eighth and final novel in the Maggie Ryan series.

Don’t Miss These Great Reviews:

“P.M. Carlson’s energetic and insightful novels are back in print — hallelujah!” — Sara Paretsky

“BAD BLOOD is a fascinating and illuminating story”–– C. Bartorillo, Murder By the Book

BAD BLOOD “has vivid, interesting characters, great dialogue and psychological insight”–– Amazon Reviewer

Book Details:

Genre: Traditional Mystery
Published by: The Mystery Company/Crum Creek Press
Publication Date: 2017
Number of Pages: 294
ISBN: TBD
Series: Maggie Ryan and Nick O’Connor #8
Purchase Links: CRUM CREEK PRESS / THE MYSTERY COMPANY
Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗

“Bad Blood” by P.M. Carlson, the Maggie Ryan Mystery #8

After an argument with her grandmother at her Maryland home, sixteen-year-old Ginny Marshall – “born rotten,” according to Gram – gets high and runs away. She turns up on the doorstep of Maggie Ryan and Nick O’Connor’s Brooklyn brownstone. Her presence in Brooklyn is unsettling, but, more urgently, Ginny is a suspect in a murder investigation back home. Maggie travels undercover to Maryland, where she searches for a killer as threads from the past threaten to unravel both families.

Read an excerpt:

Rina had waited a day and faced her daughter. “Honey, I don’t want to make a big thing out of an experiment. But drugs are off-limits in this family.”

“For sure, Mom. No problem.”

The ironic flash in the blue eyes hurt Rina. She had exclaimed, “Ginny, think of your future! You’re bright and talented. You can do anything you want!”

Ginny had smiled tauntingly. “Like you, Mom?”

But at least she hadn’t come home high again. Till now.

Rina couldn’t trust herself to mention it directly today. She said, “Honey, if you have problems, please tell me about them. Don’t run from things. You have to face them.”

“Oh? You tell me to face them? You? Funny old Mom!”

“Yes, damn it! I’ve faced problems!” And a hell of a lot bigger than whatever you think yours are, she almost added. But she swallowed her rage; Ginny was high, so arguing wouldn’t help now. She said more calmly, “It’s just that you could be hurt. I don’t want that.”

“Yeah, for sure. I could be hurt.” That shining, cruel smile again. “Or I could be an addict. Or I could be a movie star. In America I could be anything!” Ginny pushed herself to her feet, scooping up Kakiy. She carried him steadily enough into her bedroom. Rina followed as far as the door. Ginny had made an insert for her backpack, a sturdy cardboard cat carrier with a round porthole window. She put Kakiy into it, took her waterproof poncho from the closet, clapped the fedora onto her head, then frowned at her cluttered table for a moment. Finally she picked up a box of cat treats.

“Where are you going, honey?” asked Rina.

“Library.”

Rina sighed. Better to talk to her later. “Okay. See you at dinner.”

“Yeah. Save the whales.” She kissed Rina almost contemptuously, then pushed by and swung down the hall. Kakiy, unapologetic, gazed back serenely through his porthole as she marched out the door.

She wasn’t back for dinner. Rina fought down her worry. But when her mother finally excused herself and went downstairs to her room, she said to Clint, “Maybe Ginny thought we’d be eating late, because of Mamma’s bridge game.”

“Maybe.” Clint, silvery-haired and blue-eyed, paused with a last forkful of cherry pie halfway to his mouth. “You’re worried, though.”

“Yes.”

He tried to be comforting. “She’s probably just throwing her weight around.”

“Maybe.”

“Rina, I hate to see you worrying like this! It’s time to get her back in line. It’s no favor to go easy on a kid these days. But it’s up to you, Rina. I’ll back you up, but I’m not here much of the time, damn it.”

“She had reason to be mad today.”

“Half her fault,” he pointed out. He was too much the lawyer, she thought, always ready to see both sides of a question and argue whichever suited him. Rina busied herself cleaning off the table.

But when the doorbell rang at eight-fifteen Rina ran to it, her anxious heart a staccato counterpoint to her footsteps. Two men stood there: stolid faces, intelligent eyes. The older one held out a shield. Police.

“Ginny?” she blurted before they could say anything. “Has something happened to Ginny?”

“No, ma’am,” said the older policeman. His voice was flat-pitched, unexcitable. “We’re here to ask about a John Spencer.”

“Spencer?”

Behind her, Mamma laid a firm hand on her arm. “John Spencer was here this afternoon. Is there a problem?”

“Yes, ma’am. Are you Mrs. Marshall?”

“I’m Mrs. Rossi. Leonora Rossi,” Mamma corrected him. “My daughter here is Mrs. Marshall. But I’m the one who knows John Spencer. Not well–– we just met this afternoon.”

“I see. Well, ma’am, I’d like to ask you a few questions.”

Clint had come up behind them. “We’d be glad to help,” he said. “What’s the problem?”

In answer the policeman held up his identification again. “Just a few questions, sir,” he repeated. “I’m Sergeant Trainer. Homicide.”

***

Excerpt from Bad Blood by P.M. Carlson. Copyright © 2017 by P.M. Carlson. Reproduced with permission from P.M. Carlson. All rights reserved.

P.M. Carlson

Author Bio:

P.M. Carlson taught psychology and statistics at Cornell University before deciding that mystery writing was more fun. She has published twelve mystery novels and over a dozen short stories. Her novels have been nominated for an Edgar Award, a Macavity Award, and twice for Anthony Awards. Two short stories were finalists for Agatha Awards. She edited the Mystery Writers Annual for Mystery Writers of America for several years, and served as president of Sisters in Crime.

Catch Up With Our Author On:
Website 🔗, Facebook 🔗, Goodreads 🔗, Smashwords, & Twitter 🔗!

Tour Participants:



Giveaway:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for P.M. Carlson. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card. The giveaway begins on November 7 and runs through November 14, 2017.

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Oct 242017
 

Killer Holiday

by Amy Korman

on Tour October 23 – November 30, 2017

Synopsis:

Killer Holiday by Amy Korman

Kristin Clark and her offbeat crew of Bryn Mawr socialites are ready for a fun and festive winter holiday—one that involves sipping martinis by a crackling yule log, hot guys beneath the mistletoe, and Gucci under the Christmas tree. But this year, Old Saint Nick has something more dangerous in store. A stranger dressed in a Santa suit has Kristin’s friends on his naughty list. First, Sophie’s favorite handbag is blasted by a bullet. Then, Father Christmas shatters her brother Chip’s car window with a golf club and leaves a threatening note demanding fifty grand. Both are convinced it has to be a mistake. But when Chip goes missing, the stakes become deadly. Eula Morris is also back in town for the holidays, more bossy and boastful than ever after winning a mega-jackpot in the lottery. She’s returned from a luxury cruise around the world with a handsome new boyfriend (who looks oddly familiar…) and a Samsonite suitcase filled with gold bars. When the suitcase is snatched, Eula implores Kristin and the team to track it down. Where is Chip? Why is a vengeful Santa targeting the gang? Who stole Eula’s suitcase? And how are these events linked? The WASPs and Kristen’s basset hound Waffles are on the case—before this white Christmas turns even darker…

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery
Published by: Witness Impulse
Publication Date: October 24th 2017 by Witness Impulse
Number of Pages: 320
ISBN: 0062431366 (ISBN13: 9780062431363)
Series: A Killer WASPs Mystery, #4
Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗

Amy Korman

Author Bio:

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.

Interview

Welcome!
Writing and Reading:

Do you draw from personal experiences and/or current events?
The main character in Killer Holiday, antiques dealer Kristin Clark, is always stumbling into crime scenes with her friends, which doesn’t happen to me in real life—fortunately! And I’ve never had the good luck to own a charming shop like Kristin, but I’ve had plenty of bad part-time jobs like Kristin does. Also, Kristin and her friends find themselves on last-minute, impulsive trips to the Jersey Shore pretty frequently, and who doesn’t love a good road trip in real life? And, I love to include current trends that I find funny, cool and unlikely for the characters I write about, like the current obsessions with barbecue and artisanal booze that Holly and the Colketts are into in Killer Holiday.

My Killer Wasp series is set in a fictional version of the Philly suburbs, which is a beautiful place filled with cute small towns, farms, and of course the occasional country club like the ones in the books. I’ve lived my whole life in this area, so I combined some of my favorite parts of amazing towns like Lambertville and Frenchtown, NJ, with the real area known as the Main Line of Philly to create a version of Bryn Mawr.

Do you start with the conclusion and plot in reverse or start from the beginning and see where the story line brings you?
I like to know where the story and Kristin and her friends are headed! Detours happen, but the route and destination are fairly well mapped out.

Are any of your characters based on you or people that you know?
The character of Kristin is much more free-spirited than I am—and she’s younger, more of a risk-taker, and even though she worries that her friends are going to land her in risky situations, she’s careful but fearless.
I wish I had the free time and energy Kristin and her friends have to do stakeouts, break-ins, and pose as hotel staff and postal employees. I don’t base characters on real people, but I’ve always liked the country clubbing types that are featured in the books, and I love confident, sporty tennis girls like Bootsie, since I personally can’t play at all! I also really enjoy being around world-weary, slightly bitter types like Joe, who’s secretly an optimist.

Your routine when writing? Any idiosyncrasies?
JUST DO IT works for me, as soon as I can get to my desk first thing in the morning. Think positive and be fully caffeinated!

Tell us why we should read this book.
Killer Holiday is light, escapist, and transports you to a world where the biggest problem is a stolen suitcase full of jewelry and gold that a lottery winner named Eula “forgot” to declare at Customs when stepping off a round the world cruise. There’s mystery in Killer Holiday—where is Bootsie’s missing brother Chip, and will his left eyelid get chopped off if he doesn’t come up with fifty grant by Christmas?—but there’s also “drama lite” such as Kristin and her friends needing to convince two upscale party planners that most people don’t want fancy food and DO want baked ziti and pulled pork at a holiday party.

Who are some of your favorite authors?
Agatha Christie and P.G. Wodehouse are timeless, smart, inventive and hilarious.

What are you reading now?
Jan Karon’s To Be Where You Are. So sweet and positive.

Are you working on your next novel? Can you tell us a little about it?
I’m working on a tropical mystery with an unlikely group of criminals and detectives, with margaritas and sunshine to keep things light.

Fun questions:
Your novel will be a movie. Who would you cast?

Prince Carl Phillip of Sweden would be the perfect Mike Woodford! I think he’s busy being a gorgeous, dashing prince though.

Favorite leisure activity/hobby?
There’s nothing better than walking our basset hound, and love to jog, work on my veggie garden, and head to concerts. We’ve also been taking Murphy the dog on weekend getaways, since he loves a road trip.

Favorite meal?
Chocolate, especially dark and with almonds. Is that a meal?
CM: A girl after my own heart. I think chocolate should be served with every meal! 🙂

Thank you for stopping by CMash Reads and spending time with us.

Catch Up With Ms. Korman On: amykorman.com 🔗, Goodreads 🔗, Twitter 🔗, & Facebook 🔗!

Read an excerpt:

Chapter One

Bootsie McElvoy burst through the front door of The Striped Awning, a bag of ice in her right hand and the biggest bottle of Maker’s Mark bourbon I’ve ever seen in her left. She dug into her L.L. Bean tote for a bottle of red wine, a shaker of nutmeg, and a bag of fun-size candy canes, all of which she deposited next to a display of 1940s barware near the front of my antiques store.

“Kristin, it’s December fifteenth, which means it’s time for you to start offering shoppers a specialty cocktail the minute they set foot inside your store,” Bootsie told me. “I’m going to mix up a batch of the Delaney family Christmas drink, the Bourbon Blitzen, which never fails to produce a White Christmas vibe. One sip and you’ll feel like you’re singing and dancing with Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye at a snowy Vermont inn. This should double your sales totals for the month.”

“Thanks!” I said gratefully, since Bootsie’s family’s boozy drinks are known throughout our village of Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, for their potency and tendency to produce unwise purchases.

“The drinks sound good, but you’re also going to need about four thousand more of these pinecones, triple the greenery, and eight hundred additional strands of lights,” Joe Delafield informed me; he’d arrived twenty minutes earlier to help me decorate my store for the Christmas rush.

To lure in passing foot traffic, I’d brought in armloads of holly and spruce branches from my backyard (cost: free, thankfully), spray-painted pinecones silver (the paint was only $5.28 at the hardware store), and added some cheerful-looking blinking white lights. This would probably bring tons of holiday shoppers through my front door!

Joe paused, eyeing the room with his signature critical stare. “The effect I’m going for is that a bunch of HGTV-crazed elves with subscriptions to Veranda magazine snuck in and decorated for four straight days. Gerda, we’re going to need the blinking lights to stop blinking, pronto. Pull the plug, please.”

Joe’s assistant for the day was the eponymous owner of Gerda’s Bust Your Ass Gym, which is housed inside the beauty salon across the street. Since Gerda stands a lofty six feet tall in flats (or sneakers, which is her usual footwear, since fancy shoes aren’t her style), she’d agreed to hang ornaments, bringing her signature grim attitude to the proceedings.

“Cute idea,” Bootsie observed, casting a dubious stare at my front window, which was filled with antique silver-plated candlesticks, flatware, and wineglasses. “Is that your holiday inventory?”

“Nobody going to want that stuff,” said Gerda, who moved here from her native Austria a few years back. Gerda, who’s incredibly muscular and brings in sell-out crowds at her Pilates classes, isn’t the most tactful person in the world. “People want, like, scarves and Fitbits and iPhones.”

I sighed, knowing Gerda was right. Those were the gifts on most holiday wish lists.

“Luckily, I’ve solved all your problems,” Bootsie told me. “I ran into Eddie from the Pub this morning, and he needs a place to hold some late-night poker tournaments this month, so I brokered a deal for The Striped Awning. You’ll be hosting twice-weekly games from 10 p.m. till 1 a.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays till Valentine’s Day.”

“What!” I erupted, alarmed by this idea. “First of all, that doesn’t sound legal.”

“It’s fine,” she told me, waving away my concerns. “I mean, it’s not like it will be a professional betting operation. Eddie’s limiting each night to ten players and three hours. Some cards, a few drinks, a few small wagers. What could go wrong?”

“A lot!” I said. “They’ll blow cigar smoke and drop Dorito crumbs everywhere. Not to mention get arrested for operating a casino without a license. A lot could go wrong!”

“You worry too much,” Bootsie informed me dismissively. “Plus, he’ll pay you two hundred dollars a night.”

I opened my mouth to respond, but no words came out. Bootsie knew she had me—there’s no way I can refuse an extra four hundred dollars a week, even if it puts me on the wrong side of the state gaming commission.

Just then, though, the front door was thrown open by one Sophie Shields, a tiny blonde who at the moment was looking slightly wild-eyed.

“Ya won’t believe what just happened!” shrieked Sophie. “The Colketts were helping me put up curtains in my new dining room, since Joe here never finished decorating my place—and the curtains are orange silk, by the way, they’re totally Elle Decor meets a J. Lo red-carpet gown. So Tim and Tom Colkett were talking paint colors when I heard a horn honking, so I opened the front door, thinking it was the delivery boy from the Hoagie House. I figured I’d go out and pay the driver, when boom!

“A guy dressed as Santa leaned out of the driver’s seat of a black SUV that had pulled right up in my driveway and aimed a gun at me and the Colketts!” The Colketts are the town’s leading landscape designers, who’ve lately turned their talents to party planning and interior design.

“Then the guy yelled, ‘Hey, Sophie, this one’s from your ex, Barclay!’ and shot my favorite handbag!” Sophie finished. “I was reaching into it to pay for the hoagies, thank goodness, so it acted as a protective shield. Also, I think maybe this Santa guy doesn’t have great aim.”

We all stared at her for a moment.

“Are you sure, Sophie?” said Bootsie finally. “Because this sounds like BS.”

“Yeah, Sophie, maybe you been hitting the wine bottle today,” seconded Gerda. “I know the Colketts are day drinkers. Maybe you been guzzling alcohol, too.”

“It’s true!” Sophie bleated. “Just look at this Ferragamo satchel! If it hadn’t had gold hardware to block the trajectory of the bullet, me and the Colketts would have been toast!”

***

Excerpt from Killer Holiday by Amy Korman. Copyright © 2017 by Amy Korman. Reproduced with permission from Witness Impulse. All rights reserved.

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