by Sunny Frazier
Details on how to win a copy of a book from a past Coming Attractions column-Thread and Gone by Lea Wait.
Candy is fattening; flowers wilt. Books make the best gifts for book lovers!
Brew a cup of tea while you enjoy The Grim Steeper, #3 in Amanda Cooper’s Teapot Collector Mysteries. It’s time for the annual Fall Fling Town-wide Tea Party in the upstate NY town of Gracious Grove. Highlight of the festivities is a roaming tea-tasting, which includes a stop at Auntie Rose’s Victorian Tea House. Sophie Taylor would like to share her enjoyment of the event with boyfriend and English teacher Jason Murphy. Jason’s dean has accused him of falsifying grades to help an athlete at the local college, and when the dean’s corpse shows up under Sophie’s Japanese Maple later that night, Jason is suspected of far worse than fudging grade reports. It’s up to Sophie, her Nana, and the Silver Spouts to find out who decided to teach the dean a lesson.
Does cheese go with tea? Because it’s time for the annual Cheese Festival in Providence, Ohio. Charlotte Bessette’s cheese shop is packed with homemade specialties, and friend Erin is prepping her dairy farm and inn for cheese makers, marketers, journalists, and a critic whose extra sharp tongue can crumble a reputation. When the foodie is smothered to death in her room at Erin’s inn, Charlotte has to find a killer. For Cheddar or Worse is Avery Aames’ Cheese Shop Mystery #7. RECIPES INCLUDED
How about pickles and tea? It’s Scene of the Brine at Piper’s Picklings in Cloverdale, New York. When her accountant and friend Sugar is found poisoned, all evidence points to Sugar’s son, Zach. It won’t be easy for Piper to preserve Zach’s innocence, especially after someone falls victim to a poisoned jar of some of Piper’s brandied cherries. This is #3 in the Pickled and Preserved Mysteries by Mary Ellen Hughes.
Wedding cake certainly goes with tea. Hannah Swensen is thrilled to be marrying Ross Barton and he’ll be able to join her on her trip to New York City for the Food Channel’s dessert chef contest. She’s nervous about facing a celebrity chef with a nasty reputation, and before he can tear into Hannah’s layer cake, he’s stabbed to death on the show’s kitchen set. Hannah has to solve a mystery with more layers than a five-tiered wedding cake. Joanne Fluke offers Wedding Cake Murder, #19 of the Hannah Swensen Mysteries.
The Novel Idea Literary Agency has planned a wedding-themed week for Inspiration Valley, N.C. Some of the agency’s bridal books will be featured, and Lila Wilkins can use the event to plan her own nuptials. When a dead man turns up face down in the frosting, it’s discovered he was connected to several Novel Idea authors. It’s up to Lila and her fellow agents to find the real killer. Off the Books is the 5th Novel Idea Mystery by Lucy Arlington. INCLUDES DELICIOUS RECIPES!
Another much-anticipated wedding is set in Cape Willington, Maine. Candy Holiday is the maid of honor, but when the best man doesn’t show up at the rehearsal dinner, she goes looking for him. He’s found in the upstairs archive rooms at the English Point Lighthouse and Museum, dead from a thump on the head with a champagne bottle. Candy rushes to find the murderer, unearthing a conspiracy. It’s a Town in a Cinnamon Toast in this 7th outing for Candy Holiday and author B. Haywood.
Also in that state is Fogged Inn, a Maine Clambake Mystery, #4 by Barbara Ross. Julia Snowden is warming up Busman’s Harbor by offering lobster stew at the local diner. When her landlord discovers a dead body in the walk-in refrigerator, Julia must figure out who ordered up a side of murder. The victim spent his last night dining at the restaurant bar, so Julia is the center of the investigation. But it might have something to do with a group of retirees and a decades-old tragedy that connects them. Includes Traditional Maine Clambake Recipes!
Cats are also a nice accompaniment to a cup of tea. North Harbor, Maine is the location for a shop called Second Chance. Owner Sarah Grayson is eyeing an estate hoping for fabulous finds when rescue cat Elvis discovers a body in the kitchen. It’s an appraiser who had been hired to check out a wine collection. A trio of ladies, who call themselves Charlotte’s Angels and work out of Sarah’s shop, are hired to solve the murder. It becomes a cat and mouse game of lies, cons, cheats, family squabbles, and A Whisker of Trouble in A Second Chance Cat Mystery #3 from the paws of Sofie Ryan.
From Maine we go to sunny California. The food truck craze has reached the coastal town of South Cove in Murder On Wheels by Lynn Cahoon. When the owner of a dessert truck is found dead on the beach, Jill Gardner—owner of Coffee, Books, and More—has to prove her friend Sadie isn’t the killer. This is A Tourist Trap Mystery #6.
Meanwhile, in Blossom Valley, CA, business is good at the O’Connell Organic Farm and Spa. But a murder has employees Dana Lewis and Zennia Patrakio looking for clues in a commune full of strange people wary of the modern world. It’s Murder Most Wholesome by Staci McLaughlin in A Blossom Valley Mystery #5.
In the 19th outing for feline P.I. Joe Gray, Cat Shout For Joy by Shirley Rousseau Murphy, the tom is awaiting the birth of his first kittens in Molena Point on the California coast. Sadly, old Misto is nearing death, but says in the litter will be a calico returned from the past. Their humans have their hands full with projects of their own and criminals are busy, too. The Molena Point PD has stepped up patrols to apprehend a mugger attacking the local elderly. The case becomes a homicide when one of the victims dies.
We travel to Mississippi where there are No Cats Allowed in Miranda James’ Cat in the Stacks Mystery #7. The new library director is an unfriendly Yankee who’s on a mission to cut costs; his targets are the archive and the rare book collection. He also wants to replace Charlie Harris’ friend Melba with someone younger and ban cats from the library. When his body is discovered in the library, a threatening email points to Melba as the killer. It’s up to Charlie and Maine Coon cat Diesel to prove her innocence.
At a Serenity, Mississippi, swap meet, it was an innocent slip when Brandy Borne lost her balance and fell into the arms of her old flame, Wesley Sinclair III. But when Wesley’s jealous wife is murdered, Brandy becomes the #1 suspect. While Brandy and her mom are wrapping up the pilot for their TV show, they become unwitting players in a deadly small-town soap opera. With the help of their sleuthing shih tzu, Sushi, they must trap a remorseless killer. Antiques Swap is #9 in Barbara Allan’s A Trash ‘n Treasure mysteries. Don’t miss Brandy Borne’s tips on swap meets! (this is a paperback reprint of a hardback 2015 release)
To enter to win a copy of Coming Attractions column-Thread and Gone, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “valentine” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen after February 6, 2016. U.S. residents only.
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