by Sunny Frazier
Kathi Daley has started a new series! Appropriately named First Case, it’s the first case in the Writers Retreat Series. Jillian Hanford’s journalism career is pretty much defunct when she gets a call from a former editor. A woman’s murder has attracted national news because it comes on the same date she and five other teenagers survived a massacre. The editor is looking for a human interest piece on the victim’s unusual life and her death. To make the article have impact, Jillian decides to solve the murder with the help of five writers living at a writer’s retreat on Gull Island. (this book actually releases now on May 1)
To whet your appetite, here’s another new series. Author Nell Hampton takes us to England in Kale to the Queen, her first Kensington Palace Chef mystery. When American Chef Carrie Ann Cole is assigned as Personal Chef to the Royal Family, she expected some backlash from Royal Chef Butterbottom. He has a bone to pick since he was passed over for the position. But she didn’t expect to find a body under the kale beds. Now Carrie Ann has to be both cook and sleuth—not so bad when a handsome M16 agent is tracking her every move.
Back across the Pond, Mel and Angie, owners of Fairy Tale Cupcakes in Arizona, are facing their own problems. One of their friends is dumping her fiancé after she learned he’s marrying her for her money. She wants Mel to deliver caramel “breakup” cupcakes. What she finds is a dead man and the police arrive, her friend and the incriminating cupcakes become the number one suspects. In order to stop the friend’s life from crumbling, Mel and Angie must see the killer gets their “just desserts.” Caramel Crush is book nine in Jenn McKinlay’s Cupcake Bakery Mysteries.
Want some coffee to go with those cupcakes? Welcome to Java Jive, managed by Juliet Langley. In addition to that hat, she’s just gotten her P.I. license. But the owner of the coffeeshop hopes she’ll find her way back to the Nashville music scene. When one of her baristas asks her to look into the suspicious death of his fiancé, her boss greenlights the investigation. Since the woman died on her job as a party planner, her co-workers are Juliet’s first suspects. She recruits her boss to go undercover with her at a wedding showcase. Which puts her square in the path with her detective ex. Now they have to work together. It’s Brew or Die in Caroline Fardig’s Java Jive Mystery #4.
Lacy Marie Crocker’s pet couture has a following in New Orleans’ Garden District. Word reaches her favorite fashion designer, Annie Lane. Lacy’s thrilled when the designer asks for a private meeting at her home to discuss evening wear for pets to match her human line. Lacy arrives, enters the kitchen, and finds two Siamese cats and a very dead Annie. Lacy takes the kitties home until a friend or family member comes to claim them. After a busy day of work, she returns home to find them missing. Since the cats were to inherit a fortune, Lacy wonders if the killer was after the kittens all along. Now Lacy will stop at nothing to save the Siamese and find justice for Annie. Luckily, Lacy has the help of a handsome homicide detective to help her catch the cat-napper. Cat Got Your Cash is the second Kitty Couture mystery by Julie Chase.
From clothes for animals to gussying up houses, book four in the Madison Night Mystery has Interior Decorator Madison on assignment in Palm Springs. She’s got her handyman with her and is anticipating after work romantic evenings. When she spots a body in the river by the job site, she develops recurring nightmares and a growing dependency on sleeping pills. She wisely seeks professional help, but the doctor she’s been referred to is the murder victim. The Decorator Who Knew Too Much comes to us from author Diane Vallere.
Every Body on Deck, that’s the order of the day when Savannah Reid and the Moonlight Magnolia Detective Agency are invited on an Alaskan cruise. The famous mystery writer is using them as protection on her pleasure trip. The sailing goes smoothly until the writer and husband flee the ship and die in an explosive crash. The sleuth and her team won’t go back to Santa Carmelita until they find out who’s behind the “accident.” What they discover is the writer’s life was more dramatic than her bestsellers. Her marriage and literary career is splattered with bad blood, and there’s a crazed fan stalking her. G.A. McKevett has us all treading water on her twenty-second Savannah Reid Mystery.
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