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The Secrets of Bones By Kylie Logan: Review/Giveaway/Interview

IN THE May 9 ISSUE

FROM THE 2020 Articles,
andMysteryrat's Maze,
andPets,
andSandra Murphy
SECTIONS

by Sandra Murphy

This week we have a review of The Secrets of Bones By Kylie Logan, and an interesting interview with Kylie. Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of the book, and links to purchase it.

The Secret of Bones: A Jazz Ramsey Mystery by Kylie Logan
Review by Sandra Murphy

Wally is an Airedale puppy, in training to be a cadaver recovery dog. His person, Jazz, works as an administrative assistant at St. Catherine’s school for girls. It’s time for the annual career day and the school is jam packed—except for one guest who’s had a minor car accident.

Jazz and Wally are asked to fill in, but she knows he’s not ready for his debut. Gus, a retired dog, comes along to assist. Wally will show the girls how much time and care go into living with a dog while Gus does a demo of finding a tooth and bone Jazz placed in strategic places.

All goes well (except for the accident Wally had) until Gus indicates he’s found his goal. The problem is, it’s not the bone Jazz hid. Gus insists he hit his mark. The girls are quickly shuttled to their next event as Jazz and Sister Eileen check it out. Sure enough, the skeletal remains of a woman are behind a door leading to the building’s pipes. It appears to be a teacher who resigned three years before and is presumed living in Florida.

The teacher, Bernadette Quinn, was somewhat overly enthusiastic about how her pupils should live. She’d been warned and offered counseling so she could better relate to the other teachers and to parents but refused. No one was surprised to see her letter of resignation. Yet, here’s a skeleton wearing her distinctive cross.

Jazz knows suspicion will fall on those at the school. After all, with their security system, everyone has to scan in and out or go through the office first. Eileen is the likely number one. What could it hurt to ask a few questions?

This is the second book in the series, and I was hooked from the first chapter. Wally is overeager, still play biting, jumping, and in favor of inappropriate chewing but well-loved. Jazz enjoys her job, volunteers as part of a cadaver recovery team, and is seeing recurring sparks from a fizzled out love affair as it rekindles. There’s a subplot crying for a solution, misdirection, some clues I caught, and a twist that floored me.

This will certainly be on my Best of 2020 list. The only thing I can criticize is Wally needs more time on the page, which I expect will happen in book three. This is a thoroughly enjoyable series.

Logan also writes the League of Literary Ladies series, the Chili Cookoff books, the Button Box mysteries, and the Ethnic Eats books. Look for reviews of these books in the archives.

Sandra Murphy lives in the shadow of the Arch in St. Louis Missouri. A Murder of Crows, edited by Sandra Murphy (a popular title so you need her name to search), has twenty-one cozy stories. Each features the collective name of an animal and a crime. The animals range from tarantulas, koalas, wolves, bears, jellyfish, toads, cats, dogs, alpaca, goats, penguins and more. No animals were harmed. The people weren’t so lucky. Available at the usual outlets, print or ebook.

Interview with Kylie Logan:

KRL: How long have you been writing?

Kylie: A very, long time! My first book (Twilight Secrets, a historical romance), was published in 1992. I probably started writing fiction seriously about two years before that. Gasp, that was 30 years ago!

KRL: Can you tell us a little about that first book?

Kylie: Historical romance set in Victorian England (my favorite place and time period) about a woman who sings in a music hall and the soldier who loves her. As for mysteries, though, my first was Don of the Dead, which I wrote as Casey Daniels. That was published in 2004.

Kylie Logan

KRL: Have you always written mysteries/suspense, and if not what else have you written?

Kylie: As I mentioned, I started out writing historical romance. I’ve also published contemporary romance, YA, and a children’s book, but mystery was always my first love. I talked myself out of writing a mystery because I convinced myself I wasn’t smart enough to have a plot with enough twists and turns. Finally slapped myself into shape and gave it a go and these days, mysteries are all I write.

KRL: What brought you to choose the setting and characters in your latest book/series?

Kylie: The newest book is The Secrets of Bones by Kylie Logan. It’s book #2 in the Jazz Ramsey mystery series. The idea for a book about a heroine who trains cadaver dogs came because my husband and I belong to an Airedale club. We once had a cadaver dog trainer as speaker at a meeting and I thought it was so fascinating that I knew I had to write about it.

As for the main character, Jazz, I knew I needed someone dedicated and down to earth. Cadaver dog trainers work hard, not just training their dogs, but on things they personally need to know like orienteering, first aid, etc. It’s a major time commitment so I needed a character who was devoted and dedicated. As for the setting, well, I’m a lifelong Cleveland resident and so I love writing about this area.

Jazz lives in a Cleveland neighborhood called Tremont. Such an interesting place! Originally settled by farmers, but after that, by the thousands of immigrants who came to the city to work in industry. The neighborhood was a true melting pot. In fact, in just a two square mile area, there are something like 38 churches because the Polish would have a church where they spoke Polish, the Greek would have a church where they spoke Greek, etc. Fascinating! These days, the neighborhood is the center of the food scene and home to many artists, clubs, and boutiques, but it still retains its wonderful working-class vibe.

KRL: Do you write to entertain or is there something more you want the readers to take away from your work?

Kylie: I suppose entertaining has to be #1, because if a reader isn’t engaged, he’s not going to keep reading. But of course, there’s more to it than that and I think the reasons differ with every book I write. For The Secrets of Bones, I wanted to explore a cold case. I find those fascinating! In all my mysteries, I feel it’s necessary to show the wake of misery murder leaves in its path, not just for the victim, but for the murderer, too, and for the people who love both the murderer and the victim.

KRL: Do you have a schedule for your writing or just write whenever you can?

Kylie: Writing is my fulltime job and I write all day, every day. Well, usually not weekends, unless I’ve got a deadline breathing down my neck, but I put in a minimum of seven hours every day.

KRL: Do you outline? If not, do you have some other interesting way that you keep track of what’s going on, or what needs to happen in your book when you are writing it?

Kylie: I do outline. Very thoroughly! I find that it helps keep me on track and allows me to write more pages every day.

KRL: If you had your ideal, what time of day would you prefer to write?

Kylie: Can’t really answer that one. Like I said, all day, every day!

KRL: Did you find it difficult to get published in the beginning?

Kylie: Absolutely and it’s even more difficult to stay published. The Secrets of Bones is my 62nd novel. It’s difficult to keep going in this business, especially these days when there are so many other things (games, social media, etc.) vying for readers’ attention.

KRL: Wow that’s a lot! Do you have a great rejection/critique or acceptance story you’d like to share?

Kylie: Ha! I once wrote a proposal for what I thought was a fun YA series all about a school for witches. My agent at the time insisted that “No one wants to read about witches.” Yeah, that was about 5 years before Harry Potter!

KRL: How funny. Most interesting book signing story-in a bookstore or other venue?

Kylie: Book signings are tricky things. They can be wonderful, or they can be total busts, and really, there’s no one thing you can blame for the failures. However, the successes… ah, those are usually because the book-store staff has worked hard to get the word out and create enthusiasm!

I have to say my favorite signing ever was once upon a time when I had a book out called Reinventing Romeo, a contemporary/comedy/romantic suspense. It was about a millionaire who has to take on a new identity and lives in a blue-collar neighborhood. The bookstore hired a polka band, served Polish food and we played Bingo. It was great fun! These days when I have a new book out, I always do a signing at an art Gallery called Something Different in Cleveland. Wonderful place, fabulous owners. So interesting to meet their customers!

KRL: Future writing goals?

Kylie: Lots of goals, lots of plans. Right now, I’m working on Jazzy Ramsey mystery #3. I also have a new series starting in the fall. For this one, I’ll be writing as Lucy Ness. The first book of the Haunted Mansion series is Haunted Homicide, and follows the adventures of Avery Morgan who takes a job managing a women’s club in an old mansion. Her first week on the job, she not only has a murder to solve, she finds out there’s a ghost in the old speakeasy in the basement!

KRL: Writing heroes?

Kylie: Too many to list but certainly Agatha Christie, Elizabeth Peters, and all those hard-working writers out there who put butt in chair every day even when we don’t feel like it so we can get the job done.

KRL: What kind of research do you do?

Kylie: Depends on the book, but there is always research to do. It might be about a neighborhood (like Tremont where Jazz lives) or it might be about Prohibition (I needed some of that for “Haunted Homicide”). Fortunately, I love research. In fact, it’s hard for me to tear myself away!

KRL: What do you read?

Kylie: Not as much as I’d like to, I’m sorry to say. I do try to keep up with books by friends, especially the writers in my brainstorming group, Stephanie Cole, Serena Miller, and Emilie Richards. Of course, I love reading other writers’ mysteries, too. So interesting to see what other writers do.

KRL: Favorite TV or movies?

Kylie: I love British mysteries. Always happy watching those on TV. Don’t go to the movies much, not a big fan of the dark-room-with-strangers scenario, and of course, my all-time favorite, Buffy.

KRL: Yay a fellow Buffy fan! Any advice for aspiring or beginning writers?

Kylie: Do it! Yes, that sounds trite, but you really do need to sit down and do it. You can think of a great story, you can plan it all out in your head but it’s not until you sit in front of your computer or your typewriter or your pad of paper and actually find the words to tell that story that you’re actually a writer. And you know what? You’ll never know if you can do it until you try.

KRL: Anything you would like to add?

Kylie: Just how grateful I am to all the readers out there who have made my career possible. It was a dream for a long time, and sometimes it’s still hard to believe I’m living that dream. Thank you, all!

KRL: What is something people would be surprised to know about you?

Kylie: I play the ukulele!

KRL: Website? Twitter? Facebook?

Kylie: I am on Facebook as both Casey Daniels and Kylie Logan. Website is being re-designed even as we speak. In fact, I can’t even remember the name we’ve chosen for it. It will be one site where you’ll find all of me, Kylie Logan, Casey Daniels, Lucy Ness, and whoever else I might be down the road. The site isn’t live yet, but eventually, readers can Google any of my names and get to it.

To enter to win a copy of The Secrets of Bones, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “secrets,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen May 16, 2020. U.S. residents only, and you must be 18 or older to enter. If you are entering via email please include you mailing address in case you win, it will be deleted after the contest. You can read our privacy statement here if you like. BE AWARE THAT IT WILL TAKE LONGER THAN USUAL FOR WINNERS TO GET THEIR BOOKS DUE TO THE CURRENT CRISIS.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. Also listen to our new mystery podcast where mystery short stories and first chapters are read by actors! They are also available on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Spotify. A new episode goes up next week!

You can use this link to purchase this book from indie bookstore Mysterious Galaxy, and KRL gets a portion of the sale:

You can use this link to purchase the book on Amazon. If you have ad blocker on you may not see the link:

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Taylor R Williams May 9, 2020 at 9:34am

This book sounds so good – thanks for the chance to own it.

Reply

2 Jeanie Dannheim
Twitter: @JeanieDannheim
May 9, 2020 at 11:54am

Sounds exciting! I’d love to read this!

Reply

3 Glen Davis May 9, 2020 at 12:14pm

Great interview. Interesting premise. Count me in the drawing.

Reply

4 Betsy Pauzauskie
Twitter: @betsypauzauskie
May 9, 2020 at 3:23pm

Thank you for this dynamic review which caught my fancy Sandra! You’re a natural writer yourself! And, I thoroughly enjoyed the interview. Kylie is a hard working, successful writer; and, I hope I’m a lucky winner. Best Wishes for a Wonderful Mother’s Day!

Reply

5 Kara Marks May 9, 2020 at 6:09pm
6 camille minichino May 10, 2020 at 7:02am

What a great interview — thanks Sandra and Kylie for this. I love your “just do it” attitude, sitting down and writing no matter what.
I’ll leave the contest for a lucky new reader.
Camille/Elizabeth

Reply

7 Laini May 10, 2020 at 8:12am

Thank you for this wonderful review, interesting interview and great giveaway. A real treasure which I would enjoy.

Reply

8 Carl May 10, 2020 at 8:26am

This sounds like kind of the perfect book for me right now. Thanks for the chance to win a copy. crs(at)codedivasites(dot)com

Reply

9 Teresa Warner May 10, 2020 at 8:49am

I’ve been hearing a lot about this one! Sounds like it would be interesting. tWarner419@aol.com

Reply

10 Dianne Casey May 10, 2020 at 11:21am

Love reading books featuring dogs.. the cadaver dog training sounds like an interesting storyline.
diannekc8(at)gmail(dot)com

Reply

11 NANCY May 10, 2020 at 3:43pm

Sounds like a great read. Love the cover. Thanks for the chance.

positive DOT ideas DOT 4you AT gmail DOT com
A recent post from NANCY: Thrive While Teaching & Learning at HomeMy Profile

Reply

12 Alicia May 10, 2020 at 7:05pm

Love the idea of a cadaver dog. Sounds like an adventure!

Reply

13 Robin Leslie Coxon May 11, 2020 at 9:39am

I am a big fan of Kylie Logan aka Casey Daniels since I acquired the taste of cozy mysteries as well as other mysteries. As of yet I haven’t had the opportunity to read any in this series. Fingers crossed.

Reply

14 Sherry Moran May 11, 2020 at 12:06pm

This sounds like a book I’d love to read….thanks for the contest and I hope I win! The first book is out of stock on Amazon right now, but I’ll probably order it when I can, so I need to have the second one ready to go!

Reply

15 Mary Holshouser May 15, 2020 at 12:12pm

My granddaughter has a service
dog so I’m familiar with those
trained to perform a task. this
sounds interesting. Love to
try it. thanks.
txmlhl(at)yahoo(dot)com

Reply

16 Lorie
Twitter: @mysteryrat
May 18, 2020 at 10:17am

We have a winner!

Reply

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