by Sunny Frazier
Details at the end of this column on how to win a copy of 3 books from past Coming Attractions columns-a print copy of Murder Most Fowl by Edith Maxwell, and an e-book copy of A Silver Medallion by James Callahan, and a print copy of The Diva Serves High Tea by Krista Davis.
Is it too soon to think about Halloween? Apparently not! Several authors are jumping the gun and offering novel treats, recipes, and first-in-a-series titles for those of you searching for the next good read.
It’s Pumpkin Picking With Murder in Otter Lake, New Hampshire. Back in her hometown, Erica Bloom is trying to enjoy herself at the Fall Festival. Then a swan boat sails out of the Tunnel of Love with a dead man slumped over a wing. The only other passenger in the boat is her aunt, and she becomes the prime suspect. While trying to clear her aunt’s name, small-town secrets are dredged up. This is the second in the Otter Lake series by Auralee Wallace.
On Halloween, food and cocktails columnist Hayley Powell can’t imagine a worse trick than her ex-husband returning to Bar Harbor, Maine. The haunted holiday is about to get a whole lot scarier after his uncle is found dead next in a cemetery, and her ex becomes the prime suspect. Hayley will have to dig deep into her bag of tricks to unmask the real killer. Death of a Pumpkin Carver is the eighth outing for Lee Hollis and her Hayley Powell Food and Cocktails mysteries.
Meanwhile, in Ashton Falls, Halloween means the annual haunted house. Zoe Donovan is determined not to have her plans ruined this year, since it is also homecoming weekend and a lot of old friends are in town. When Zoe receives a message that reads, “One is dead, two more will die, unless you can stop it,” she thinks the note is a prank. After one of the friends turns up dead, she races against time before someone else dies. Costume Catastrophe by Kathi Daley is the twenty-first book in the Zoe Donovan series.
In Hollywood, struggling screenwriter Arden writes a script about her last ghostly adventure and a director wants to hire her. But not as a screenwriter, he wants to use her ghost-hunting talents on his accident-plagued movie set. Arden attempts to rid the yacht film set of its dangerous ghost and winds up in some seriously Haunt Water herself. This is the second Ghost Cozy Mystery by Leigh Selfman.
San Ladrón, California’s annual Miss Tangorli beauty pageant asks fabric shop owner Polyester Monroe to use inventory from her shop, Material Girl, for the gowns. But when the millionaire who revived the city’s citrus trade with his imported tangorli tree is found dead, something sour takes over the town. Poly’s on a mission to squeeze out the truth. As she searches for a pattern, the killer seems intent on cutting up the evidence. Silk Stalkings is the third Material Witness Mystery by Diane Vallere.
Author Daryl Wood Gerber is Grilling the Subject in her fifth Cookbook Nook Mystery. As the Wild West Extravaganza rides into Crystal Cove, California, Jenna Hart, owner of the Cookbook Nook, is hungry for grilled and barbecued treats. But when her father’s neighbor is found smoldering in a bonfire, the rodeo revelry is extinguished. There was bad blood between them, and her dad has no alibi for the time of the murder. Now it’s up to Jenna to clear his name before the real killer turns up the heat.
Three mysteries take us back in time. In San Francisco, circa 1860, British-born nurse Celia Davies runs a free medical clinic aided in her endeavors by her half-Chinese cousin and her housekeeper. A young orphan confides that he’s stumbled upon a corpse in the basement of the ruthless real estate owner he works for. One of the main suspects is a friend’s husband. Nancy Herriman’s No Pity for the Dead is the second in her Mysteries of Old San Francisco.
Murder at Rough Point is the fourth in the Gilded Newport mysteries by Alyssa Maxwell. Newport, Rhode Island, in the nineteenth century is the vacation playground for wealthy people like the Vanderbilts. Fashion reporter Emma Cross is sent by her newspaper to cover an elite party at Rough Point. To her surprise, her estranged parents as well as notables like author Edith Wharton are there. When an English baronet is found dead at the bottom of a cliff and a second guest is murdered, Emma must become an “investigative” reporter.
Carolyn Haines is starting her new Pluto’s Snitch Mysteries with The Book of Beloved. Raissa James is a WWI widow. She’s ready to move on and accepts her uncle’s invitation to a party in her honor in Mobile, Alabama. As an aspiring author, she’s also interested in the dark history that haunts the estate. But the party ends when one of the guests takes a deadly plunge. A ghost, once a Confederate soldier, reveals himself to Raissa and she brings in a medium to hold a séance and uncover buried secrets.
Elaine Viets is introducing her Death Investigator mysteries with Brain Storm. The wealthy families of Chouteau Forest look down on death investigator Angela Richman, but they also rely on her. When a horrific car crash kills a teenager, Angela is among the first on the scene. Her investigation is hardly underway when she suffers a series of crippling strokes. Misdiagnosed by the resident neurologist and cured by a brilliant neurosurgeon, Angela faces a harrowing recovery. When the neurologist is found murdered, the suspect is the surgeon who saved her life. Angela’s brain trauma might mean she’ll never recover her investigative skills, but she’s determined to save the doctor from a death-row sentence.
Are you looking for some new recipes? Then try Murder with Macaroni and Cheese, second Mahalia Watkins Soul Food mysteries by A.L. Herbert. Mahalia’s Sweet Tea serves the best soul food in Prince George’s County, Maryland. Her high school reunion needs a caterer, so Halia steps up to the plate. Many classmates have changed but not the school’s mean girl. When she is found dead, possible suspects could fill the school gym. With her cousin’s help, Halia needs to track down the killer. Recipes include Double Crust Chicken Pot Pie, Chocolate Marshmallow Cake, and 5 more recipes.
It’s Much Ado About Muffin in the fourth outing of Victoria Hamilton’s Merry Muffin Mysteries. Merry Wynter’s Castle in Autumn Vale, NY, is bringing in an opera singer for a performance and owner Merry Wynter has her hands full with the rivalry between the singer and the postmistress. When the postmistress is found dead at the post office, Merry is eager to get her mitts on the killer.
Also in NY is Blue House, a revamped art complex that brings a theater, art gallery, restaurant and coffee bar to the town of Longely. Catering sisters Bernie and Libby Simmons agree to throw an Alice in Wonderland tea party the billionaire developer insisted on. But when an electric tea kettle shorts out his pacemaker, it’s not an accident, but murder. A Catered Tea Party is the twelfth in A Mystery With Recipes by Isis Crawford.
Cora Chevalier is a blogger writing from Indigo Gap, North Carolina. She’s pouring all her talents and money into a craft retreat business with a close pal and resident potter. When the local librarian is found dead and her friend’s fingerprints are found at the scene, Cora not only worries about her friend, but her own reputation. Angry townsfolk put the retreat at risk, so she must unlace the truth. If the killer’s patterns aren’t pinned, Cora’s handiwork could end up in stitches. Death Among the Doilies is the first in Mollie Cox Bryan’s Cora Crafts mystery series.
The town of Littleboro, NC, is abuzz with Crazy Reba’s upcoming wedding. The homeless lady’s marriage seems peculiar. Her diamond’s big, but no one can tell if it’s real or a Cracker Jack prize. When Reba is arrested for her fiancé’s murder, Beth McKenzie, owner of the Dixie Dew Bed and Breakfast, is determined to clear Reba’s name. Wedding Bell Blues is the second in the Dixie Dew mystery series by Ruth Moose.
Another bed and breakfast is the blue Victorian in Colorado that Cat Latimer inherited from her ex. That’s where she hosts writers’ retreats. When a best-selling NY author is murdered in his room, Cat calls her uncle, the local police chief, to find the killer and throw the book at him or her. A Story to Kill is first in the Cat Latimer series by Lynn Cahoon.
In Heaven, Colorado, Amy-Faye Johnson has her hands full coordinating the Celebration of Gothic Novels. The weekend is soon cursed with large egos, old resentments, and uninvited guests. Matters become truly grave when a dead body is found at the costume party. Skeletons turn up in all of the suspects’ closets, and it’s up to Amy-Faye and the Readaholics to find a killer who lurks in the shadows. Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca is featured in Laura DiSilverio’s The Readaholics and the Gothic Gala, third in the Book Club Mystery series by Laura DiSilverio.
Ruth Clagan is owner of the Cog & Sprocket clock shop in Orchard, Massachusetts. She is having trouble with a bookstore owner who’s trying to put other shops out of business. He even tried to hire her watchmaker away from her. When Ruth discovers her employee’s body, she decides to investigate and make the murderer serve time. Clock and Dagger is the second in the Clock Shop Mysteries by Julianne Holmes.
Former NYPD homicide detective Elizabeth Harris has gained trust in the Amish community of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. When a fatal illness hits, many believe it’s hexerei, an old-world curse. Elizabeth doesn’t believe in curses and when an Amish family is found dead, she begins to suspect something more sinister. Customers buying Amish raw milk start dying and the CDC is called in to investigate. Elizabeth must fight superstition to save the livelihood and lives of the entire community. In the Land of Milk and Honey is the second in Elizabeth Harris mystery by Jane Jensen.
To enter to win copies of 3 books from past Coming Attractions columns-a print copy of Murder Most Fowl by Edith Maxwell, and an e-book copy of A Silver Medallion by James Callahan, and a print copy of The Diva Serves High Tea by Krista Davis, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “fall attractions” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen after August 6, 2016. U.S. residents only.
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