Sleuthing Women: 10 First-in-Series Mysteries

Apr 16, 2016 | 2016 Articles, Mysteryrat's Maze

by Lois Winston

In this our Earth Day issue we are featuring e-books and books that somehow tie in to Earth Day. Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win an e-book copy of this collection of books, along with a link to purchase it.

Back when I penned my first novel at the end of the last century, I thought that being an author meant sitting at my desk writing books. I also thought it was the publisher’s job to promote those books so that we both made money. Silly me! Once upon a time that was true, but by the time I sold my first book, publishers had abdicated this responsibility for all but a handful of their authors. Promotional efforts had become the responsibility of authors.

Most authors I know, myself included, weren’t born with a “sales” gene. We’d much rather sit pecking at our keyboards in our writer caves than hawk our books to readers. But if our books don’t sell, our careers wind up petering out, so promotion has become a necessary evil for most of us. I say most because there are the few among us who are naturally gregarious and love to talk about their books to everyone from the butcher to the baker and even the candlestick maker—not to mention perfect strangers in bookstores, in supermarkets, and even on sidewalks. Since the thought of morphing into the author equivalent of Professor Harold Hill gives me the hives, by necessity I’ve become an outside-the-box thinker when it comes to promotion.


Lois Winston

Over the last few years the ebook boxed set has become a successful promotional tool for many authors. Some authors bundle a group of their own books; others join together with several authors in one boxed set. I’ve taken part in a few of these multi-author sets. As a result, readers who had never heard of my books are now discovering them.

It recently occurred to me that I’d never seen a boxed set of first-in-series mysteries, and that this would be a wonderful way to introduce readers to authors and series they might not know. I contacted some of my mystery author friends who had the rights back to some of their books to see if they were interested in joining me in such a project. The response was overwhelmingly positive. The result is Sleuthing Women: 10 First-in-Series Mysteries, available for pre-order now and on sale May 1, 2016

Sleuthing Women: 10 First-in-Series Mysteries is a collection of full-length mysteries featuring murder and assorted mayhem by ten critically acclaimed, award-winning, and bestselling authors. Each novel in the set is the first book in an established multi-book series—a total of over 3,000 pages of reading pleasure for lovers of amateur sleuth, caper, and cozy mysteries, with a combined total of over 1700 reviews on Amazon, averaging 4 stars. Titles include:book

Assault With a Deadly Glue Gun, an Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery by Lois Winston—-Working mom Anastasia is clueless about her husband’s gambling addiction until he permanently cashes in his chips and her comfortable middle-class life craps out. He leaves her with staggering debt, his communist mother, and a loan shark demanding $50,000. Then she’s accused of murder…

Murder Among Neighbors, a Kate Austen Suburban Mystery by Jonnie Jacobs–When Kate Austen’s socialite neighbor, Pepper Livingston, is murdered, Kate becomes involved in a sea of steamy secrets that bring her face to face with shocking truths…and handsome detective Michael Stone.

Skeleton in a Dead Space, a Kelly O’Connell Mystery by Judy Alter—-Real estate isn’t a dangerous profession until Kelly O’Connell stumbles over a skeleton and runs into serial killers and cold-blooded murderers in a home being renovated in Fort Worth. Kelly barges through life trying to keep from angering her policeman boyfriend Mike and protect her two young daughters.

In for a Penny, a Cleopatra Jones Mystery by Maggie Toussaint—-Accountant Cleo faces an unwanted hazard when her golf ball lands on a dead banker. The cops think her BFF shot him, so Cleo sets out to prove them wrong. She ventures into the dating world, wrangles her teens, adopts the victim’s dog, and tries to rein in her mom…until the killer puts a target on Cleo’s back.

The Hydrogen Murder, a Periodic Table Mystery by Camille Minichino—-A retired physicist returns to her hometown of Revere, Massachusetts and moves into an apartment above her friends’ funeral home. When she signs on to help the Police Department with a science-related homicide, she doesn’t realize she may have hundreds of cases ahead of her.

Retirement Can Be Murder, A Baby Boomer Mystery by Susan Santangelo—-Carol Andrews dreads her husband Jim’s upcoming retirement more than a root canal without Novocain. She can’t imagine anything worse than having an at-home husband with time on his hands and nothing to fill it—until Jim is suspected of murdering his retirement coach.

Dead Air, A Talk Radio Mystery by Mary Kennedy—Psychologist Maggie Walsh moves from NY to Florida to become the host of WYME’s ‘On the Couch with Maggie Walsh.’ When her guest, New Age prophet Guru Sanjay Gingii, turns up dead, her new roommate Lark becomes the prime suspect. Maggie must prove Lark innocent while dealing with a killer who needs more than just therapy.

A Dead Red Cadillac
, A Dead Red Mystery by RP Dahlke-—When her vintage Cadillac is found tail-fins up in a nearby lake, the police ask aero-ag pilot Lalla Bains why an elderly widowed piano teacher is found strapped in the driver’s seat. Lalla confronts suspects, informants, cross-dressers, drug-running crop dusters, and a crazy Chihuahua on her quest to find the killer.

Murder is a Family Business, an Alvarez Family Murder Mystery by Heather Haven—-Just because a man cheats on his wife and makes Danny DeVito look tall, dark and handsome, is that any reason to kill him? The reluctant and quirky PI, Lee Alvarez, has her work cut out for her when the man is murdered on her watch. Of all the nerve.

Murder, Honey, a Carol Sabala Mystery by Vinnie Hansen—-When the head chef collapses into baker Carol Sabala’s cookie dough, she is thrust into her first murder investigation. Suspects abound at Archibald’s, the swanky Santa Cruz restaurant where Carol works. The head chef cut a swath of people who wanted him dead from ex-lovers to bitter rivals to greedy relatives.

Buy Links:

To enter to win a copy of Sleuthing Women, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “sleuthing,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen April 23, 2016. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section.


USA Today bestselling and award-winning author Lois Winston writes mystery, romance, romantic suspense, chick lit, women’s fiction, children’s chapter books, and nonfiction under her own name and her Emma Carlyle pen name. Kirkus Reviews dubbed her critically acclaimed Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series, “North Jersey’s more mature answer to Stephanie Plum.” In addition, Lois is an award-winning craft and needlework designer who often draws much of her source material for both her characters and plots from her experiences in the crafts industry.
Visit Lois/Emma at Visit Anastasia at the Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers blog, Follow her on Pinterest at Twitter at Sign up for her newsletter at


  1. I love how there are so many great stories in the box set and all so different. It’s a great way to check out new writers that I don’t know and get a taste of their stores and maybe find a new series to love.

  2. Thanks, Lorie, and thanks to Lois for coming up with this great idea!

  3. Wow! So many great stories all in one collection. Thankyou for the opportunity!

  4. This is a great collection of mysteries and I would really enjoy reading them. Great giveaway, thanks.

  5. OMG! What a wonderful set of stories to binge on a blustery day! Thanks for the opportunity to join in.

  6. This is a great way to introduce us to new so many series and authors. Thanks for the chance to win.

  7. Thank you for this opportunity to win a great set of mysteries! I would love to add them to my cozy library! And I have added a couple of the authors to my must read list.

    • Sorry I didn’t understand how to leave the twitter ID since I just signed up for an account last week. Here is my real twitter ID

  8. Thank you all for stopping by. I’m thrilled you’re all excited about Sleuthing Women!

  9. I think this set of first in a series is a great idea! Thanks for the info and chance to win!

  10. We have a winner!


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