Tag: Mystery

Review: MAD Librarian by Michael Guillebeau / Get a FREE book!

61cHoeaY5iLMAD Librarian by Michael Guillebeau / Women’s Crime Fiction / Released Nov 16, 2017 by Madison Press

I have been in love with libraries since Hunts Foods (the ketchup people) built one next to my elementary school over a half century ago.  Nestled in the trees with train tracks running behind it I always saw it as MY portal to adventure.

Well, if it’s an adventure you seek jump on the MAD Librarian train as librarian Serenity Hammer tries to save her library.

Set in a small Alabama town, Serenity battles a bureaucracy that sees little value in a building full of books.  Serenity, however, sees her library as the heart and soul of the community.  Through Kismet, fate, or just dumb luck Serenity stumbles upon a hidden municipal fund she can tap into to save the library’s internet service.  When the air conditioner goes out she taps again.  Then brilliance (or possibility insanity) hits as she discovers this fund is constantly fed by an unknown source.

Not bothered by trivial details like where the money comes from or the fact she is married to a police officer, Serenity’s vision for her library grows and the mystery behind the source of the money deepens.

Award winning author of JOSH WHOEVER, Michael Guillebeau spins a page turning tale with humor, mystery, and wonderful characters.

Breaking Bad for Librarians. Cayocosta72 Reviews said, “This book is truly every librarian’s dream come true.”  Half of all income goes to the Awesome Foundation for Innovation in Libraries. Available at https://www.amazon.com/MAD-Librarian-Michael-Guillebeau-ebook/dp/B075LQD1LB/


I’m Mike Guillebeau, author of the MAD Librarian book which was reviewed here today. I’d like to thank all of the readers for your support, gauge your interest in the book, and offer you a small Christmas present from my MAD librarian and the other characters in the book. For the next week, anyone who would like a free Kindle book of MAD Librarian can send me an email (mike@michaelguillebeau.com). Let me know that you’d like a free Kindle ebook of MAD Librarian, and that you heard about it on The Book Breeze. I’ll email you a $10 Amazon gift card, which will let you buy a MAD Librarian ebook for $7.99, and have enough left over for a cup of tea or coffee with your book.

 Here’s the kicker: I’ll only do this for the first FIVE from this blog. And I’m doing this at a couple of other sites. The first site to get five books, will get five more.

 Regardless of whether you take me up on this or not, thanks for your support for books in general, and The Book Breeze. Review sites like The Book Breeze are the lifeblood for readers like you and writers like me alike.

Cozy Mystery: CAT ABOUT TOWN by Cate Conte

511DkQBNEqLCAT ABOUT TOWN by Cate Conte / Cozy Mystery / Minotaur Books / Released Aug 1, 2017

The first novel in a frisky new mystery series follows an unlikely citizen who is called in to solve the purrfect crime.  This cozy is perfect for fans of Miranda James, Clea Simon, and Rita Mae Brown.

Maddie James has arrived in Daybreak Island, just off the coast of Massachusetts, easy to settle down and start her own business – and maybe even fall in love.  When a stray orange tabby pounces into her life, she’s inspired to open a cat cafe.  But little does Maddie know that she’s in for something a lot more catastrophes when her new furry companion finds the dead body of the town bully.

Now all eyes are on Maddie:  Who is this crazy cat-whisperer lady who’s come to town?  If pet-hair-maintenance and crime-fighting weren’t keeping her busy enough, Maddie now has not one but two eligible bachelors who think she’s the cat’s pajamas … and will do anything to win her heart.  But how can she even think about happily-ever-after while a killer remains on the loose – and on her path?

CATE CONTE serves on the Sister in Crime New England board and is a member of Sisters in Crime National, Mystery Writers of American, and the Cat Writer’s Association.  She currently lives in Connecticut with her cats and dog.

New Release: DEATH, TAXES, AND A SHOT GUN WEDDING by Diane Kelly

51+F8lZjEWLDEATH, TAXES, AND A SHOT GUN WEDDING by Diane Kelly / Mystery / St. Martin’s Press / Released Oct 31, 2017

As Tara Holloway and her soon-to-be-husband Nick prepare for their big day, along with the RSVPs and well-wishes, Tara has been receiving death threats from an unknown source.  The culprit has to be someone from an earlier investigation, but Tara has run across too many lawbreakers to narrow it down.  While she dodges attempts on her life, Tara also finds herself working a rent scam where a crook is ripping people off for thousands of dollars.  Will she be able track down the con artist and make it down the aisle in one piece?  Or will “till death do us part” come sooner than Tara thought?

Diane Kelly has once again written a hilarious, witty adventure that ties up the series in true Tara Holloway style.

DIANE KELLY is a former state assistant attorney general and tax advisor who spent much of her career fighting, or inadvertently working for, white-collar criminals.  She is also a proud graduate of the Mansfield, Texas Citizens Policy Academy.  the first book in Diane’s IRS Special Agent Tara Holloway series, Death, Taxes, and a French Manicure, received a Romance Writers of American Golden Heart Award.  Book #2, Death, Taxes, and a Skinny No-Whip Latte, won a Reviewers Choice award. Diane has combined her fascination with law enforcement and her love of animals in her K-9 cop Paw Enforcement series.

Review: TRIPLE CROWN by Felix Francis

51sNDuu+HRLTRIPLE CROWN, by Felix Francis ((G.P. Putnam, 2016, $25.99) takes us back to Kentucky, where Jeff Hinkley, investigator for the British Horseracing Authority, has been called on to unearth a spy in the American horse-racing community. Someone is trying to influence the races that make up the prestigious Triple Crown (the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness, and the Belmont Stakes) by taking out the challengers to the horse most favored to win. Drugging is suspected, but every raid seems to be fore-stalled, and no evidence is ever found. When three of the prime contenders in the Kentucky Derby come down with the same rare disease, and are disqualified, Jeff goes undercover to find out who is trying to fix the races, and who is the mole in the Federal Anti-Corrution Sports Agency (FACSA). It’s a fascinating look at the underbelly of American horse-racing, as Jeff deals with horses, trainers, and jockeys, and learns just how far some people will go to attain their goals. A great ride, by a master.

Review provided by Roberta Rogow

Review: A MEMORY OF MUSKETS by Kathleen Ernst

51HTbdGAdsLThe past often impact on the present in Kathleen Ernst’s Choe Ellefson mysteries. A MEMORY OF MUSKETS (Midnight Ink, 2016,$14.99) has Chole embroiled in a battle over the part played by German immigrants in the Civil War. She’s all for highlighting the home front, but her boss wants a battle, even though there never was one in Wisconsin! At the same time, her fiance, Roelke McKenna, is having disturbing feelings about one of the buildings on the Old World Wisconsisn Museum’s property. A hidden diary flashes us back to the tumultuous 1860’s, and the tortured soul of a young German girl, promised to one man but in love with another. Both stories collide when one of the Civil War buffs who portray soldiers in the mock battle is found dead on the grounds of the museum. What’s worse, valuable antiques are missing from the museum’s back storage rooms, and someone is using the re-enactment as a venue for peddling fake photographs. Between them, Chole and Roelke sort out who is who, what is real, and how to leave the past in the past, and go forward into a brighter future. Photographs a the end of the book show some of the artifacts mentioned, and the author’s acknowledgments give more information about Civil War events.

Review provided by Roberta Rogow

Book Excerpt: RIVER CITY DEAD by Nancy G. West

River City Dead cover front. Final. Hi resRIVER CITY DEAD by Nancy G. West / Traditional / Cozy Mystery / Released 2017 by Henery Press

 Excerpt from Chapter One

            Not every city has a river running through it. And not many women plan a rendezvous at a San Antonio River Walk hotel during Fiesta Week after years of self-imposed celibacy. I was about to make history.

            Sam and I were meeting at Casa Prima Hotel. Hopefully our first days and nights together in River City would be more fiesta than fiasco. And we could avoid dealing with crime.

            To calm the jumping beans in my stomach, I decided to make a quick detour to Barnes and Noble and headed toward Loop 410. If SAPD called Sam away, I’d need something to read. He assured me they wouldn’t contact him, but sometimes they had to rely on an experienced homicide detective for a difficult case.

            Barnes and Noble was packed. After a lengthy search through half the store, I found aisles brimming with romance novels. I didn’t relish being caught scouring this area. In my Flash-News column, “Stay Young with Aggie,” I answered readers’ questions about everything from fitness to relationships. As an “expert,” I wasn’t supposed to need help.

            It wasn’t as though I was innocent. I became painfully experienced after Lester the Louse seduced me when I was barely eighteen, impregnated me and vanished like mist. But stories of other people’s romances might be enlightening.

            Slipping down an unoccupied aisle, I reached for a title that caught my eye, A Well-Spent Night. A bare-chested, muscled Scottish hunk wearing a plaid kilt bulged from the cover. I squinted at the title, which upon closer inspection actually read, A Well-Spent Knight. Worked either way. I flipped pages to the middle, found what I was looking for and started reading. There was a lot of heavy breathing and rippling biceps, but it never said why the guy wore a kilt or how he got it off. I’d wondered about that. Historical romance might not be the thing.

            Another cover caught my eye with the title The Long Hard Ride. A shirtless muscle-bound cowboy stood spread-legged front and center while a steer romped around behind him. I snatched the book off the shelf.

            From the corner of my eye, I saw a young sales girl eyeing me. Was my face flushing?

            “Can I help you?” About twenty-five with swinging hair and a pouty mouth, she looked sexy, bored, and all-knowing.

            I whipped the novel under the arm laden with my shoulder purse. “Imagine that. You even have westerns. So many choices.” I doused her with my superior bank-teller expression. “I doubt if any of these books are really that good.”           

            She smirked.

            Some urge compelled me to jabber. “I don’t think he could ride a steer dressed like that.”

            The new-fangled phone jangled in my purse. Digging to retrieve it, I dropped the books. The sales girl swiveled over and scooped them up. “I’ll keep these at the counter while you search for more.” She cocked a corner of her sulky mouth and walked away. I fumbled to flip open my Motorola StarTrac.

            “Where are you?” It was Sam, using his professional detective voice.

            “I just needed a few things. Have you seen the…our room?”

            “You need to get down here, Aggie. We have problems. I’ll meet you in the lobby.” He hung up.

Interview: Cozy mystery author Nancy G. West

Nancy G WestWhen Nancy was seven, she and her mother wrote poems to each other. The poetry was awful, but Nancy learned if you wrote something, people stopped to read it.
     In high school, Library Journal’s Pegasus published her poem. At eighteen–since journalists were underpaid and English grads sold lingerie–she slogged through General Business at UT-Austin, earning a BBA. Fortunately, one elective was Creative Writing.
     After graduation, Nancy read books on writing, wrote articles, poetry, the biography of artist Jose Vives-Atsara, and founded Book Publishers of Texas. 
     Returning to college to study English literature, she wrote Nine Days to Evil, a novel of psychological suspense, and the Book Shelf column for San Antonio Woman Magazine. NPR broadcast her poem, “Time to Lie”.
     Aggie Mundeen, a character from Nine Days to Evil, captivated Nancy and led her to create award-winning Aggie Mundeen mysteries. She is working on Aggie’s next escapade, convinced that writing is a lot more fun accounting.

River City Dead cover front. Final. Hi resTell us about your new release.  My heroine, Aggie Mundeen, a single columnist, moves from Chicago to Texas to shape up and start life over and falls in love with San Antonio Detective, Sam Vanderhoven. Eagerness and curiosity propel her to help with his investigations, creating humorous and dangerous results. In River City Dead, they plan a weekend getaway at a San Antonio hotel on the River Walk during Fiesta week—an escape from crime and reset for their dicey relationship. But murder has a way of interfering with the best laid plans. Sam and Aggie must improvise before she ends up dead in the river.

What led you to write this book?  By the end of Book 3, Smart, But Dead, Aggie and Sam reached a new level of understanding. Having survived volatile encounters with crime and a few self-evaluations, they need a calm, secure place to start over, an idyllic setting not too far from Sam’s work. It’s time for a rendezvous. What better setting than the beautiful San Antonio River Walk?

Did you have an interesting experience in the research of this book?  I live in San Antonio, have spent many happy hours on the River Walk and attended many Fiesta Events. But I learned so much about my own city: why San Antonio is called Military City, how the city honors the military, their ranks, heroes’ resting places; how city groups convene for Fiesta and what it all means; how the city water system and river authority interconnect with the San Antonio River, and the fascinating story of the creation of the River Walk.

How important is setting to your story?  Aggie and Sam’s story takes precedent over everything, but the River Walk and hotel are integral to the plot and crucial to telling their story. One reviewer writes, “River City Dead is like taking a vacation while reading a mystery.” Another says, “I have visited the River Walk. I wish I had read this book first. Lots of interesting information along with the mystery.”

Which is more important characters or setting?  In my Aggie Mundeen mysteries, characters are always most important. The setting exists to highlight their personalities and foibles when they confront crime in a distinctive place.

Are any of your characters loosely based on people you know in real life?  Author Carolyn Hart writes, “Aggie’s pluck, humor, intelligence and loving heart will keep her young and make readers smile.” Author James W. Ziskin calls Aggie an “irrepressible heroine.” I plead guilty to having Aggie’s overwhelming curiosity, but I wish I had half her energy and bravery. The other traits, spread among many friends, coalesce in Aggie. I love Sam’s good judgment and reliability (probably based on my husband and father.) One reader wrote, “I identify with Aggie… the characters live and breathe….Shoot, if I was single and Aggie wasn’t in the picture, I’d go after Sam myself!”

Do you people watch for character inspiration?  All the time. Their body language and dialogue reveals so much about them. One could write a whole character sketch after listening to someone talk into their phone on a long-winded call.

Do you have a favorite fictional character by another author you’d like to meet  Movies come to mind. I love Goldie Hawn’s character in Private Benjamin and Sandra Bullock’s female FBI agent in Miss Congeniality. They try so hard, they mean well and they keep screwing up.

 SMART BUT DEAD cover frontWhat do you hope readers take away from your work?  A great sense of who Aggie Mundeen and Detective Sam are and a fervent hope for their relationship, fascination with their entertaining friends, genuine entertainment, and more than a few laughs.

What do you do when you are not writing?  Enjoy my family. Read. Daydream. Tile table tops. Sit and watch the river go by.

Which book impacted you as a teenager?  The Secret in the Old Clock. The Hidden Staircase. Nancy Drew, of course. She was curious, smart and independent, and her father had such trust in her.

Do you read the same genre you write?  I read mysteries, thrillers, literary fiction, biographies, political books, and other non-fiction if the topic intrigues me.

What is #1 on your bucket list?  More travel in the United States and enough time to write all the books I want to write.

 Have you ever written a scene that ‘creeped’ you out?  Aggie gets herself in some scary situations, but I’m averse to blood, guts and serial killers.

Do you have a favorite writing place or writing rituals?  I love to sit beside the Guadalupe River, daydream and write.

Do you have a reoccurring theme to your books?  Trust. You can like somebody, even love them, but can you trust them? If you find you can’t, how do you adjust your thinking? After writing a biography, prequel suspense novel and four Aggie Mundeen mysteries, I became aware of this recurring theme.

What are you reading now?  I’m always behind. I just read Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See, Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale, David Baldacci’s The Black Widow. Next up, Nelson DeMille’s The Charm School. I try to read a book on the craft of fiction between novels. I have an occasional rash of realism and read non-fiction.

What social media do you participate in?

Website: http://nancygwest.com

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/pg/authorNancyG.West/posts/?ref=page_internal

Twitter: @NancyGWest_

Pinterest/RIVER CITY DEAD: https://www.pinterest.com/nancyg0257/river-city-dead-aggie-mundeen-mystery-4-by-nancy-g/?lp=true

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nancy-g-west-69186731/edit/topcard/

What is the one question you wish an interviewer would ask you?

Do you see humor in people and situations like Aggie Mundeen does?

Yes. I can’t help it. I think it’s genetic.

 What’s next for you?  Another book about Aggie Mundeen and Detective Sam. I can’t give them up.