Category: Mystery

Book Excerpt: THE CULINARY ART OF MURDER by Heather Haven

51iAhgy7QDLThe Culinary Art of Murder • Book Six of The Alvarez Family Murder Mystery by Heather Haven

Lee’s Uncle Tío is smitten with the guest chef at a Silicon Valley culinary arts institute. When the woman is arrested for the murder of a fellow chef, a reluctant Lee agrees to help prove Tío’s lady love innocent. But Lee suspects the ambitious, southern belle of a cook might just be guilty. Undercover work at the institute proves to have more pitfalls than whipping up a chocolate soufflé. The killer isn’t done and tries to get Lee out of the way permanently. But just who is the murderer? The accused? One of her two sons? Another inmate from a cooking school with more to hide than dirty dishes? With secrets as plentiful as sauces, the nagging question remains, if Lee proves the lady chef guilty, will Tío ever forgive her for sending his new love to jail?

BOOK EXCERPT:

Chapter One

And Then There Were Nuts

“Well, looked who’s honored us with her presence. Welcome back, Lee. I almost forgot what you looked like, which is stunning, of course.”

“I see you got hauled in at the crack of dawn, too. For eight AM on a Monday morning you don’t look so bad, yourself.”

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Review: POISON by Galt Niederhoffer

51RENPsWuDLPOISON by Galt Niederhoffer / Thriller / Released Nov 2017 by St. Martin’s Press

Review by Heather Haven

Cass, a widow from New York City with two children, meets architect Ryan Connor, who sweeps her off her feet. They end up marrying, moving to Portland, Maine, having a son, and buying a Victorian fixer upper. They are totally and completely happy. Or are they? The house seems to be in constant need of something, as suddenly does the rest of her life. Cass is unable to cope.

Ryan begins to stay late at work more and more. Is it another woman? Is it her inability to be who she once was? Or is she going mad? Why is everyone turning against her? Even her own mother testifies against Cass at a competency hearing in her ability to take care of her two older children. Where is her once idyllic, storybook life? And her life only tumbles down from there.

The author, Galt Niederhoffer, is a master at creating a world in which this woman is being psychologically tortured, either by herself or others. The reader sees the minutest details of her in the throes of losing her mind. In a very close and personal third person point of view, it’s almost as if the author has experienced a situation akin to the one she writes. But that is often the mark of a fine writer, to wear the skin of others. Poison is a sometimes difficult book to read, but the writing is beautiful, intense, and believable.

Book Excerpt: POISON by Galt Niederhoffer

51RENPsWuDLPOISON by Galt Niederhoffer / Thriller / Released Nov 2017 by St. Martin’s Press

BOOK EXCERPT

The party is over, and Cass and Ryan are walking, heading to their parked car through the streets of downtown Portland. The city is in a perennial state of rainfall. It is always either about to rain or about to stop raining.

The cobblestones in the old part of town are slick, and the brick on the buildings looks mossy. Ryan walks with the halting steps of a broken robot. The car is several blocks farther, on a small side street called Cherry. The walk is challenging for Ryan given the number of drinks he has had, the wet cobblestones, and the manic energy of oncoming trick-or-treaters.

They reach the curb as the light turns red, and just as cars rush toward them, Ryan touches Cass’s back, pushing her ever so slightly into the path of oncoming traffic.

“I’m gonna have to do it this way,” he says, “because you clued into the lobster so fast.”

“Hey! What are you doing?” Cass regains balance and stumbles back to the curb. She is more shocked than scared, more confused than outraged. The push was a gentle shove, as opposed to a forceful thrust, but it was a surprise nonetheless—as was the rush of headlights speeding toward her. “What the fuck, Ryan. Are you trying to kill me?”

“Oh, Cass, you’ve always got a theory.” He says this in the usual way, his demeaning demeanor, with all the usual implication. He says this as though there are two distinct ways to push someone into traffic—one humorous and one homicidal—and that she has jumped to the wrong conclusion, disappointing him once again with her shitty sense of humor.

“Are you trying to kill me?” she says. “You’re trying to kill me.”

“Yup,” he says. “And I know exactly how I’m going to do it. I’m gonna make it look like a suicide, and everyone’s gonna believe it.” He is smiling like a mischievous child who has successfully stolen a cookie.

“Fuck you, Ryan,” Cass says. “Fuck you. That’s not funny.” Cars are rushing past them now, making the threat of the act all the more potent. Cass hurries to the car, opens the door, starts the engine. She is pulling out of their parking spot as Ryan gallops toward her, fumbles to open the passenger door, and collapses into his seat in a fit of laughter.

The car is silent as they drive home, away from the city of Portland, over Back Cove and Tukey’s Bridge, into the dewy suburbs. The only sound is Ryan’s breath. In. Out. In. Out. A request and a rejection. A threat and a promise. A death threat or a diabolical joke. A mind game or a confession? Cass watches the light recede as they approach Cumberland, holding the light in her gaze as though the city is safety and every mile she drives away, she is farther from it.

New Release: ANOTHER ONE BITES THE CRUST by Ellie Alexander

51NAmMcluHLANOTHER ONE BITES THE CRUST (A Bakeshop Mystery) by Ellie Alexander / Cozy Mystery / Released January 2, 2018 by Minotaur

Torte—the beloved small-town bakeshop run by Jules Capshaw—is set to hit the stage. But who would have guessed that murder would makes a surprise appearance?

It’s the role of a lifetime for Jules. The Shakespeare Festival has returned to Ashland, Oregon, for the season and Torte has been cast as the supplier of Elizabethan-era treats for the main event. But on the eve of opening night, a brawl between Jules’s friend Lance, the artistic director, and a strapping young thespian named Anthony almost brings down the house. . .and the next morning, Anthony is dead. Jules knows that Lance loves his drama—and his just desserts—but she also knows that murder is way off-script for him. Now it’s up to Jules to cut through a bevy of backstage betrayals and catty co-stars who all have their own secrets—before the curtain drops on someone else. . .

Interview with mystery author Shelia Lowe

sheila-uscLike her fictional character, Claudia Rose, Sheila Lowe is a real-life forensic handwriting examiner who testifies in court cases. The mother of a tattoo artist and a former rock star, she lives in Ventura, CA with Lexie the Very Bad Cat. Despite sharing living space with a feline, however, her Forensic Handwriting mystery series is definitely not cozy. If you enjoy psychological suspense and in-depth exploration of characters, they may be for you. She also writes nonfiction about handwriting analysis.

 

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Historical Thriller: THE FOUR HORSEMEN by Gregory Dowling

512JQP0kVJLTHE FOUR HORSEMEN by Gregory Dowling / Historical Thriller / Thomas Dunne Books / Released Oct 10, 2017

The second of two historical thrillers set in the 18th century Venice that features tour guide Alvise Marangon.

Certain that he is finally about to have his guide’s license revoked after a tavern brawl, Alvise is instead dragged into the service of Missier Grande, who has linked the death of one of his agents to a secret society known as the Four Horsemen.  Every attempt that Missier Grande makes to investigate the matter is blocked by forces on high, and enlisting Alvise is a move of last resort – one last-ditch effort to uncover the crime of the present in the secrets of the past before the future claims more lives.

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Interview with cozy mystery author Daryl Wood Gerber (includes book excerpt)

Daryl Wood Gerber 0483 100dpiAgatha Award-winning Daryl Wood Gerber is best known for her nationally bestselling Cookbook Nook Mysteries and Cheese Shop Mysteries, which she pens as Avery Aames. She now debuts the new French Bistro Mysteries with A DEADLY ÊCLAIR. Daryl also writes stand-alone suspense: DAYS OF SECRETS and GIRL ON THE RUN. Fun tidbit: as an actress, Daryl appeared in “Murder, She Wrote.” She loves to cook, and she has a frisky Goldendoodle named Sparky who keeps her in line!

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