A California Magazine with Local Focus and Global Appeal:
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Weekly issues every Saturday morning and other special articles throughout the week — there's something for everyone. If you love mysteries — explore Mysteryrat’s Maze — and check out our sister site on Blogger for bonus articles.


Books & Tales

April Food Penguins

IN THE April 22 ISSUE

FROM THE 2017 Articles,
andCynthia Chow,
andFood Fun,
andMysteryrat's Maze,
andSandra Murphy
SECTIONS

by Sandra Murphy
& Cynthia Chow


This week we have a fun group of food mysteries from Penguin authors-Town in a Maple Madness: A Candy Holliday Mystery by B. B. Haywood, A Frying Shame: A Deep Fried Mystery by Linda Reilly, and Silence of the Jams: A Down South Café Mystery by Gayle Leeson.

{ 15 comments }

LitHop Fresno 2017

IN THE April 22 ISSUE

FROM THE 2017 Articles,
andArts & Entertainment,
andBooks & Tales,
andLorie Lewis Ham
SECTIONS

by Lorie Lewis Ham


On April 29 LitHop Fresno will be taking place. We took a moment to chat with this year’s LitHop director Juan Luis Guzman about this unique literary event-he is tasked with organizing the event and the planning committee. Fresno’s second Poet Laureate Lee Herrick was the founder of LitHop.

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by Kathleen Costa


The Kenni Lowry series by Tonya Kappes is a marvelous adventure following Sheriff Kendrick “Kenni” Lowry as she patrols Cottonwood, Kentucky. Along with Kenni, we meet Duke (hound dog pal), her staff, some of whom are very quirky and the State Police Reserve officer Finn Vincent, a handsome transplanted Yank. We also meet the citizens of Cottonwood, some more quirky than others, and…Poppa.

{ 17 comments }

by Kathleen Costa


The Oxford Tearoom Mystery series by H.Y. Hanna is my absolute favorite ‘cozy’ reading adventure. It has six very entertaining novels and a prequel, which is a great place to start and get those “How did she get here from there?” answers. Set outside Oxford, England, in the tiny Cotswold village of Meadowford on Smythe, Gemma Rose has opened up the quintessential image of ‘Olde England,’ The Little Stables Tearoom. She serves the best scones and pots of tea along with…murder.

{ 21 comments }

by Kate Fellowes


“What do you think happened here?” Officer Robert Packard asked, gesturing to the remains of a blaze, recently extinguished.
Fire hoses spread across the parking lot of Al’s Auto Parts. Smoke drifted into the air

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by Sandra Murphy


Angie Curtis hasn’t questioned her friend Sarah Byrne about her past. She knows Sarah is adopted, from Australia, and loves antiques. Otherwise, their friendship stays pretty much in the present. Angie runs the Mainely Needlepointers, a diverse group of stitchers who repair or create needlepoint to be sold. One theme is Save the Cormorants, a local endangered bird as well as water and lighthouse scenes.

{ 15 comments }

by Kathleen Costa


Digby Sloan has been hired as security for a 300-year old wooden icon called the “Kangaroo Dreaming” set to be the premier piece in an exhibit at the Royal Museum of London. The trip from Australia to London was long, but uneventful. However, the appearance of an Aboriginal man at the airport and on the street sets his little ‘gremlin’ (his professional sixth sense) chattering.

{ 15 comments }

by Sharon Tucker


It’s just after World War I (1914-1918) in Yorkshire, and former volunteer nurse Kate Shackleton has discovered that she has skills. Her husband has been missing in action since the last year of the war, 1918, and although her efforts to find him have been unsuccessful so far, she has helped other families locate missing husbands and fathers by having “a police officer father, a poke-your-beak-in persistence, and an eye for detail.”

{ 10 comments }

by Terrance McArthur


Sometimes, a fantasy is too good to look at from only one viewpoint. It cries out to be viewed from another angle.
Marshall Ryan Maresca created the otherworldly city of Maradaine for The Thorn of Dentonhill, a novel about a schoolboy/mage/superhero/avenger, a character followed in The Alchemy of Chaos. That academia/magic/underworld blend wasn’t enough, so Maresca took another look at the city, creating a male/female police detective duo with paranormal aspects for A Murder of Mages and An Import of Intrigue.

{ 3 comments }

by Doward Wilson
& J.R. Lindermuth


Flora Vastine is a police officer in the small town of Swatara, Pennsylvania. Her long time neighbor, Mrs. Kepler, stops her as she is leaving for work to ask for her help. Her daughter, Jan, had not returned from a birding outing the afternoon before. Jan is a local school teacher and had grown up and gone to school with Flora, but they had never really been friends. Jan’s only friend is Peg Peabody, a retired teacher and fellow birder who Jan assisted in conducting birding tours.

{ 7 comments }

by Margaret Mendel


New York City is an undeniably atmospheric place that many mystery authors find irresistible to use as a backdrop for stories and novels. I cannot even venture a guess how many murder or crime stories have been centered in any one of the five boroughs that make up this town that I call home.

{ 13 comments }

by Cynthia Chow


Juliet Langley enjoys managing Nashville’s Java Jive coffeehouse, but she loves her challenging new part-time job as a licensed private investigator. Working at her friend Maya Huxley’s agency, Juliet’s newest assignment has her working undercover to discover how and why one of the partners of Wonder-Gen Fabricators is funneling money into the accounts. It’s Juliet’s first case working alone, but scrubbing office toilets while disguised as a nighttime cleaner is not exactly the glamorous job she may have envisioned.

{ 12 comments }

by Cynthia Chow


The ever-busy Julia Lanchester has finally managed to carve out a weekend away from her job as the manager of Smeaton-under-Lyme’s tourist information center to spend a weekend away with her boyfriend Michael Sedgwick. It’s a shame that upon their return they find Detective Inspector Tess Callow greeting them with the news that Julia’s ex-husband has just been found in the summerhouse of Hoggin Hall.

{ 9 comments }

by Cynthia Chow


After being kicked out by her sister, finding her latest boss dead, and never managing to hold a job, the last place twenty-nine year-old Summer Sloan-Smythe ever expected to feel at home was in Southwest Florida’s Hibiscus Pointe Senior Living Community. She moved into the ritzy retirement community after her grandmother’s death, and now Summer volunteers as its aquatics director.

{ 21 comments }

by Kathleen Costa


Polly Blake and the rest of the Blake family are enjoying the annual Spring Equinox barbecue, until Uncle Larry collapses. The 911 call and the ambulance sirens both mark the emergency, but the lack of a pulse points to the futility. Grandpa can’t believe a healthy man just drops dead and yells it must be murder, but he always yells any Blake family death is murder. When the police’s preliminary determination is that Uncle Larry had been poisoned, Polly is at a loss as to how and why.

{ 10 comments }

by Kathleen Costa


Early morning in Hawaii is so peaceful…the colorful sunrise, swaying palms, gentle movement of the ocean waves, but…Shhhark! Kailani Pope decides to get a couple of surfing runs in before heading off to work at the Dolphin Bay Resort, but one shark fin leads to another, leads to a dozen. Quietly she watches the early morning breakfast frenzy near shore, and so does Sandy, her barking dog. When the sharks head off, Lani slowly heads into shore, but Sandy leaps into the surf and drags in…an arm! The tattoo is unique to a food truck vendor, Blaze Whitmore, whose undercutting the competition may have gotten him served up as lunch!

{ 49 comments }

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