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A New Eve Appel Mystery: Old Bones Never Die by Lesley A. Diehl

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Just before Walter Egret was killed in a hit-and-run, he phoned his half-brother Sammy to report that he’d unearthed their missing father’s pocket watch, along with a pile of human bones. The project is put on hold until it can be determined if the site is an Indian burial ground. Then the bones disappear.Now Sammy and his brother’s three orphaned children want Eve Appel to go pro, applying her innate snoopiness to the trade of private investigator.

Eve already has her hands full with her two consignment stores. What is she going to do? Sammy and Walter are Miccosukee Indians, and Walter was employed as a backhoe operator on a construction site for a sportsmen’s resort. Was Walter’s death murder or an accident? If the bones belong to Sammy’s father, how did they get there? Delving into these mysteries, Eve is aided by her usual crew of friends and family. This adventure will not only up the stakes for Eve as an investigator, but it will also open her eyes to life possibilities she never imagined.


Welcome to Island Confidential! Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself?

Grandy: I’m Eve’s maternal grandmother always referred to as “Grandy” by Eve, her friends and mine. I’m originally from Connecticut which is Eve’s home also. When younger, I worked for a wealthy Hartford family and fell in love with the family’s son and he with me. We didn’t marry because his family would not hear of their son marrying the hired help, although he would have gladly sacrificed his family’s support for me, but I knew it would later become a problem for us.

I raised Eve because my daughter (Eve’s mother) and my son-in-law were killed in a sailing accident. Everyone thought Eve’s subsequent rebellious behavior was because she couldn’t deal with her grief over the loss of her parents, but I knew was made of tough stuff (she’s just like me) and she would find her own way from her feelings of loss. In personality Eve and I are alike, both snoopy, in-your-face kind of women with a penchant for doing as we like. IN looks, we couldn’t be more different: I am short and chubby while Eve is tall and skinny and likes to emphasize her height by always wearing stiletto heels.

My present husband and I now run a fishing charter boat out of Key Largo, Florida, but because of Max’s recent heart attack, we are considering giving up the boat and retiring to rural Florida. Max seems to be getting into fishing the Big Lake and my freezer is full of speck, bass and catfish.

I help Eve with the consignment shop she runs with her best friend Madeleine. I have to admit that Eve needs all the help there she can get because she’s so often off chasing the bad guys around the swamps!

Who’s the character you get along with the best?

Grandy: Eve and I may lock horns because we are so alike, but I love her like mad. I get along with everyone, but I adore Nappi Napolitani, our mob boss friend. I know that sounds funny, but Nappi is a true friend, always there when you need a hand or a gun or some big guys. He’s a perfect gentleman with a flair for fashion. I’ve never seen a man dress so well or eat so neatly. He tucks into a rack of ribs and rarely leaves a trace of sauce on his lips. I feel fortunate to have him in my corner and particularly in Eve’s corner because she can get herself into some dandy jams.

Which other character do you have a conflict with?

Grandy: I’ve never been a fan of Eve’s ex-husband Jerry. I knew better than to tell her not to marry the guy, and she came to her senses and finally divorced him. He was always chasing women and finally got himself in trouble with of all people Nappi when it looked as if Jerry and Nappi’s daughter had hooked up and were pregnant. It turned out not to be true, but that’s the kind of irresponsible man Jerry is. He’s become a better person now that he’s paying off his affront to Nappi by becoming his gofer. I hope he’s learned his lesson, but I’m not convinced he’s completely over being a jerk.

Just between you and me: What do you really think of Lesley? 

Grandy: Well, now that you ask, she’s okay I guess, but she’s kind of boring. She doesn’t have the panache that Eve and I have, but she does make a good friend. I think she’s like Eve’s friend Madeleine, a nice person, dedicated to her protagonists, reliable and honest, but…boring. I can’t see her running through the swamps saving anyone, but she’s willing to have Eve do that. She has a good imagination, but no gumption when it comes to getting out there herself and chasing down any bad guys. Maybe that’s why she writes sassy protagonists. She’s got a good eye for men. She’s cooked up some mighty hunky love interests for Eve. If I didn’t have Max and I was thirty or forty years younger, I’d love a go at Alex or that handsome Miccosukee Indian, Sammy. Lucky for me, she wrote me as a pip of a grandmother with an appreciation for the male figure.

What’s next for you?

Grandy: Eve is interested in becoming a PI and that has some appeal to me. I know I’m not a youngster, but I’m better at handling a gun than Eve—actually she hates guns—and I have the same eagerness to take on people who hurt others and some of the folks around here who don’t appreciate the lovely wildness of this place and destroy living and breeding habitat for plants and animals. Well, maybe I’d do well in the environmental protection field. There’s nothing I’d like better than chasing some of these developers into the swamps and let the gators have a go at ‘em. I’m a darn good rider, too, so I’m thinking of getting myself a little cracker pony to ride while Max is out fishing the lake.


About the Author

Lesley retired from her life as a professor of psychology and reclaimed her country roots by moving to a small cottage in the Butternut River Valley in upstate New York. In the winter she migrates to old Florida—cowboys, scrub palmetto, and open fields of grazing cattle, a place where spurs still jingle in the post office, and gators make golf a contact sport. Back north, the shy ghost inhabiting the cottage serves as her literary muse. When not writing, she gardens, cooks and renovates the 1874 cottage with the help of her husband, two cats and, of course, Fred the ghost, who gives artistic direction to their work.

She is the author of a number of mystery series (Microbrewing Series, Big Lake Mystery Series, Eve Appel Mystery Series and the Laura Murphy Mysteries), a standalone mystery (Angel Sleuth) and numerous short stories.

Visit her on her website: http://www.lesleyadiehl.com
Webpage: http://www.lesleyadiehl.com
Blog: http://www.lesleyadiehl.com/blog
Twitter: @lesleydiehl
Facebook: Lesley.diehl.1@facebook.com

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New #Whisky Business Mystery and #Giveaway: Single Malt Murder by Melinda Mullet

>>>Enter to win an E-Copy of Single Malt Murder by Melinda Mullet<<<

Abigail Logan never expected to inherit a whisky distillery in the Scottish Highlands. But in the first novel of an engaging new series blending fine spirits with chilling mystery, Abi finds that there are secrets lurking in the misty glens that some will go to any lengths to protect . . . even murder.

When Abi inherits her uncle’s quaint and storied single malt distillery, she finds herself immersed in a competitive high-stakes business that elicits deep passions and prejudices. An award-winning photojournalist, Abi has no trouble capturing the perfect shot—but making the perfect shot is another matter. When she starts to receive disturbing, anonymous threats, it’s clear that someone wants her out of the picture. But Abi’s never been one to back down from a fight.

Arriving on the scene with her whisky-loving best friend, Patrick, and an oversized wheaten terrier named Liam, Abi seems to put everyone in the bucolic village on edge—especially her dour but disturbingly attractive head distiller. Acts of sabotage and increasingly personal threats against Abi make it clear that she is not welcome. When one of Abi’s new employees is found floating facedown in a vat of whisky, Abi is determined to use her skills as an investigative journalist to identify the cold-blooded killer and dispense a dram of justice before he strikes again. But distilling truth from lies is tricky, especially when everyone seems to have something to hide.


About the Author

Melinda Mullet was born in Dallas and attended school in Texas, Washington D.C., England, and Austria. She spent many years as a practicing attorney before pursuing a career as a writer. Author of the Whisky Business Mystery series, Mullet is a passionate supporter of childhood literacy. She works with numerous domestic and international charities striving to promote functional literacy for all children. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her family.

 

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Swiss Restaurant Offers Insect Cooking Class, Forces Uncomfortable Comparison to Crustaceans

Insects are a sustainable and healthy food source, Bern’s Löscher restaurant explains.

A Swiss eatery has bugs on the brain, and they’re hoping that patrons will bite. As Travel + Leisure reports, The Löscher restaurant in Switzerland’s capital city, Bern, is now offering classes to instruct people how to cook with insects.

Aside from the initial “ick” factor, insects are a sustainable, protein-packed food source, and cultures around the world—from Central Africa to Asia and Latin America—eat the tiny critters. To enjoy the taste of bugs, we need to rethink our relationship with them, Löscher’s manager, Andrea Staudacher, told Swiss news outlet 20 Minuten, according to The Local. “We associate prawns with food but not grasshoppers. However the two animals are very similar,” Staudacher said.

Read the rest at Mental Floss 


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New Beading Mystery from Janice Peacock: Off the Beadin’ Path

Jax O’Connell and her friend Tessa have no idea what challenges await them when they head to the small town of Carthage to take a glass blowing class with Marco De Luca, a famous Italian glass artist. While Jax loves melting glass to make beads, she discovers that standing in front of the glass furnace’s inferno frightens her.

 

After the first night of class, Tessa sees a dead body through the water-streaked window of the studio. The next morning there’s no sign of Marco—dead or alive—and one of the studio owners is also missing. The local sheriff doesn’t take the disappearance seriously, so Jax and Tessa take matters into their own hands.

Jax must face her fears to find the body, track down the clues, and uncover the killer—and do it all before another life is shattered.

Off the Beadin’ Path is the third book in the Glass Bead Mystery series.


About The Author

Janice-headshot

Janice Peacock decided to write her first mystery novel after working in a glass studio full of colorful artists who didn’t always get along. They reminded her of the odd, and often humorous, characters in the murder mystery books she loved to read. Inspired by that experience, she combined her two passions and wrote High Strung: A Glass Bead Mystery, the first book in a new cozy mystery series featuring glass beadmaker Jax O’Connell.

When Janice Peacock isn’t writing about glass artists who are amateur detectives, she makes glass beads using a torch, designs one-of-a-kind jewelry, and makes sculptures using hot glass. An award-winning artist, her work has been exhibited internationally and is in the permanent collections of several museums. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, three cats, and seven chickens. She has a studio full of beads…lots and lots of beads.

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New Bed and Breakfast Mystery with author interview: Murder at the Fortune Teller’s Table by Janet Finsilver

>>>Enter to win an e-copy of Murder at the Fortune Teller’s Table<<<

Poisons, prophecies—and a peculiar past . . .When a local woman begins searching for a couple she hasn’t seen since the 1960s, Redwood Cove Bed and Breakfast manager Kelly Jackson and the crime-solving group, the “Silver Sentinels,” are quick to help out. They’re also quick to guess that they’re in over their heads after the woman is found dead beside the body of a Greek fortune teller—and a fellow Sentinel gets attacked. As Kelly juggles work and her responsibilities at a food and wine festival in town, she and her sleuthing posse must confront a killer obsessed with old secrets . . . and solve a murder mystery more than fifty years in the making.


Janet, welcome back to Island Confidential! Can you tell us a little about your protagonist, Kelly?

Janet Finsilver: Kelly Jackson was raised on a Wyoming cattle ranch that operates as a dude ranch in the summer. She tried several different careers, but none of them felt like a fit. Kelly’s thrilled when the company she works for, Resorts International, assigns her to manage Redwood Cove Bed and Breakfast. The town and people feel like the community she was hoping to find. Kelly experienced a bitter divorce with her best friend stealing her husband and is unwilling to get involved again.

How much of you is in Kelly? How would you feel about her if you met her in real life?

JF: I’d really like her. We share a love of animals, riding horses, and the outdoors. I used to work in education and Kelly taught school for a while. Another common interest is helping people. If I was a Redwood Cove regular, I’d introduce her to as many people as possible. We both have red hair. I’ve stood out all my life because of the color of my hair. I endured a lot of teasing as a child. I found it hard to write a character without that as part of her background.

Do your characters change and evolve throughout consecutive books in the series?

JF: Yes. Kelly finds herself getting interested in Scott Thompson, an executive administrator for Resorts International. She reins her emotions in, so the relationship grows very slowly.

Helen Rogers and her ten-year-old son, Tommy, moved to Redwood Cove to work at the bed and breakfast when her husband died. She thought the small town and beautiful outdoors would be good for her son. That didn’t prove to be the case. Tommy has a slight touch of Asperger’s which makes him socially awkward. The tight group of children at the school grew up together and weren’t interested in having a newcomer join them. Through the books Helen and Tommy begin to find their place in community.

I just started book four, and I don’t know what’s ahead for the others!

Have you ever thought of killing someone that you know in real life–on the pages of a murder mystery, I mean?

JF: A travel agent who turned an international flight into a nightmare. Because of the type of ticketing she did, there were several places it looked like my luggage might get left behind. It was something I couldn’t fix in advance. Pleading and changes made at the airport got me through, but it was stressful.

How realistic is your setting? Do you take liberties, or are you true to life?

JF: The setting is Mendocino, California, with the beautiful Pacific Ocean coastline and the towering redwood trees…with a name change to Redwood Cove. I chose to have a fictitious name after attending a conference where panels talked about some of the problems that could possibly arise using a real place. I take minor liberties. I changed the name of the Mendocino Whale Festival to Whale Frolic. I kept the chowder sampling that takes place, but I made it into an evening event instead of one in the morning. I gave the airport a runway that ends at a seaside cliff which it doesn’t in real life.

When the movie or TV series is made, who plays the major parts?

JF: I like the “when” in your question! Thanks! I’m familiar with very few actors. I do tend to think of a young Pierce Brosnon when I picture Scott.

What’s the worst and best advice you’ve heard or received as an author?

JF: The best advice is to write because you love the process. Enjoy what you’re doing. I don’t know that I’ve had any worst advice. I would caution people to beware of feedback from someone that says “you have to” do a certain a certain thing. They might be right. But sometimes the change is one that reflects how they write, not what you’re trying to accomplish.


About The Author  

Janet Finsilver is the USA TODAY best-selling author of the Kelly Jackson mystery series. She worked in education for many years as a teacher, a program administrator, and a workshop presenter. Janet majored in English and earned a Master’s Degree in Education. She loves animals and has two dogs–Kylie and Ellie. Janet has ridden western style since she was a child and was a member of the National Ski Patrol. One of the highlights of her life was touching whales in the San Ignacio Lagoon. MURDER AT REDWOOD COVE, her debut mystery, was released on October 13, 2015. Her second book, MURDER AT THE MANSION, was released on June 7, 2016.

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On my way to Left Coast Crime: Honolulu Havoc!

  1. I’m moderating a panel called The Gorgeous Outdoors: Rugged & dangerous, with Christine CarboMadeleine Harris-CallwayAnn Parker, and Dana Stabenow.  This is a hilarious choice on the part of the conference organizers as I am the least outdoorsy person ever, and am impressed by anyone voluntarily living north of the 34th parallel.
  2. I’ll be attending Writing About Hawaii: Surf’s up. A crime wave? Thursday at noon.  With Laurie HananLeslie KarstKatharine M. Nohr, and Mark Troy, and the inimitable Terry Ambrose moderating, this is a must-see. And also Hawaii’s Own Authors: Creating havoc in paradise (Saturday at 9:15) with Rebecca Cantrell, Dawn Casey, Lizbeth Hartz and Jane Lasswell Hoff, moderated by A.J. Llewellyn.
  3. I’m a panelist on Creating Characters Beyond an Author’s Culture with Hal GlatzerJesse KellermanMargaret C. Morse, and Joel Fox moderating.
  4. I’m bringing Mahina State University bags to give away!

Watch this space for updates!


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New Tea Shop Mystery: Pekoe Most Poison by Laura Childs

>>>Enter to Win a Print Copy of Pekoe Most Poison<<<

In the latest Tea Shop Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Laura Childs, Theodosia Browning attends a “Rat Tea,” where the mice will play…at murder.

When Indigo Tea Shop owner Theodosia Browning is invited by Doreen Briggs, one of Charleston’s most prominent hostesses, to a “Rat Tea,” she is understandably intrigued. As servers dressed in rodent costumes and wearing white gloves offer elegant finger sandwiches and fine teas, Theo learns these parties date back to early twentieth-century Charleston, where the cream of society would sponsor so-called rat teas to promote city rodent control and better public health.

But this party goes from odd to chaotic when a fire starts at one of the tables and Doreen’s entrepreneur husband suddenly goes into convulsions and drops dead. Has his favorite orange pekoe tea been poisoned? Theo smells a rat.

The distraught Doreen soon engages Theo to pursue a discreet inquiry into who might have murdered her husband. As Theo and her tea sommelier review the guest list for suspects, they soon find themselves drawn into a dangerous game of cat and mouse…

INCLUDES RECIPES AND TEA TIME TIPS


About the Author

laura-childs-from-facebook

Laura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Tea Shop Mysteries, Scrapbook Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. In her previous life she was CEO/Creative Director of her own marketing firm and authored several screenplays. She is married to a professor of Chinese art history, loves to travel, rides horses, enjoys fund raising for various non-profits, and has two Chinese Shar-Pei dogs.

Laura specializes in cozy mysteries that have the pace of a thriller (a thrillzy!) Her three series are:

The Tea Shop Mysteries – set in the historic district of Charleston and featuring Theodosia Browning, owner of the Indigo Tea Shop. Theodosia is a savvy entrepreneur, and pet mom to service dog Earl Grey. She’s also an intelligent, focused amateur sleuth who doesn’t rely on coincidences or inept police work to solve crimes. This charming series is highly atmospheric and rife with the history and mystery that is Charleston.

The Scrapbooking Mysteries – a slightly edgier series that take place in New Orleans. The main character, Carmela, owns Memory Mine scrapbooking shop in the French Quarter and is forever getting into trouble with her friend, Ava, who owns the Juju Voodoo shop. New Orleans’ spooky above-ground cemeteries, jazz clubs, bayous, and Mardi Gras madness make their presence known here!

The Cackleberry Club Mysteries – set in Kindred, a fictional town in the Midwest. In a rehabbed Spur station, Suzanne, Toni, and Petra, three semi-desperate, forty-plus women have launched the Cackleberry Club. Eggs are the morning specialty here and this cozy cafe even offers a book nook and yarn shop. Business is good but murder could lead to the cafe’s undoing! This series offers recipes, knitting, cake decorating, and a dash of spirituality.

Visit Laura’s webpage or find her on Facebook.


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Bet you didn’t know this about Pi

Happy Pi Day (3/14)!

Pi shows up everywhere. Here’s one place: Did you know that Buffon’s Needle Problem, one of the oldest problems in Geometric probability, was posed by Count Buffon, who was inspired by a popular game of chance of his time? In that game, you would toss coins onto a tiled floor and bet on whether the coin would land entirely inside one tile. Count Buffon modified the problem to look at the probability that a needle (or stick) dropped on a grid of parallel lines would cross a line. Counting the number of stick crossings using multiple tosses, you can approximate Pi:

See the Science Friday article (where this image is from) for more: https://www.sciencefriday.com/articles/estimate-pi-by-dropping-sticks/
Try simulating stick-dropping yourself here, and see how close you can get to Pi:
Bonus: we know that random number generators aren’t perfect (and are not really “random”). Some generators are not that good, but others do a pretty good job.  If you write your own Buffon’s Needle simulator, you could use it to test how good different underlying random number simulators are. (More on randomness here: https://www.random.org/analysis/ )
Find some history of Pi here:
Enjoy Pi Day!
(Source: L. de Pillis, chair of the mathematics department at Harvey Mudd)


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Why We Can’t Look Away From Our Screens

By CLAUDIA DREIFUS In a new book, the social psychologist Adam Alter warns that our devotion to digital devices has morphed into something very much like addiction.
The New York Times
Published: March 5, 2017 at 02:00PMRead more: http://nyti.ms/2mxELZJ


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New paranormal cozy and interview: Pressed to Death by Kirsten Weiss

>>>Enter to Win a Print Copy of Pressed to Death by Kirsten Weiss<<<

Paranormal museum owner Maddie Kosloski thinks she has the perfect paranormal exhibit for the harvest festival—a haunted grape press. But when she’s accused of stealing the press, and her accuser is found murdered, all eyes turn to Maddie.

Maddie knows well the perils of amateur sleuthing and is reluctant to get involved. But her mother insists she investigate. Does her mom have a secret agenda? Or is she somehow connected to the murder?

Facing down danger and her own over-active imagination, Maddie must unearth the killer before she becomes the next ghost to haunt her museum.


Kirsten, thanks for stopping by Island Confidential. Can you tell us a little bit about your protagonist, Maddie Kosloski?

KW:  Maddie’s greatest strength and weakness is her big imagination. It serves her well coming up with promotional schemes for the paranormal museum she manages. But it gets her into trouble too, because she tends to blow threats out of proportion. This makes her great fun to write.

How much do you have in common with Maddie? 

KW:  I returned to California after working abroad for years and really floundered, trying to figure out where I “fit”. It didn’t help that it was a tough economy, and I had a hard time finding work. But I got creative and eventually figured it out, becoming a full-time writer. In the first book in the series, The Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum, Maddie is in the same situation – she’s back from overseas, can’t find work, and is really struggling. So we definitely shared that situation.

Do Maddie and the other characters change and evolve throughout consecutive books in the series? 

KW:  Definitely! Stagnant characters are boring. Over the course of the series, Maddie’s arc involves both figuring out what she truly wants and becoming part of a community. The people around her grow as well. Her mother re-learns how to relate to her grown daughter. Her friend, Adele, learns to lighten up. They’re still the same people, but they’re evolving, and I think that keeps things fresh.

Have you ever thought of killing someone that you know in real life–on the pages of a murder mystery, I mean? 

KW: What mystery writer hasn’t? But I’ve managed to resist it so far.

How realistic is your setting? Do you take liberties, or are you true to life?

KW:  I based the setting on Lodi, California, though I made up a town for the series called San Benedetto, because I wanted some freedom to make changes. If you’ve been to Lodi, you’ll probably recognize quite a bit in the books – like the adobe arch that marks the entrance to downtown, the landscape, and especially the Wine and Visitors’ Center.

When the movie or TV series is made, who plays the major parts?

KW:  My dream is to get this cozy series onto the Hallmark Mystery channel! But I confess I haven’t visioned much beyond that to who plays the parts. That said, I could easily see Isaiah Mustafa as Detective Slate.

 

What’s the worst and best advice you’ve heard or received as an author?

KW:  Best advice: keep writing. Worst advice: replace the word “said” with other dialog tags. Yes, the word “said” is used a lot in a novel – he said this, and she said that. But people’s eyes glide write over it. I’m not averse to occasionally switching it up. But ironically, it’s when you frequently switch it out for other words like, “he growled” or “she groaned” that it starts to jar on the reader. I heard someone tell a budding author that recently and winced.

 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

kirsten-weiss

Kirsten Weiss grew up in San Mateo, California. After getting her MBA, she joined the Peace Corps, starting an international career that took her around the fringes of the defunct USSR and into the Afghan war zone. Her experiences abroad not only gave her glimpses into the darker side of human nature, but also sparked an interest in the effects of mysticism and mythology, and how both are woven into our daily lives.

She writes paranormal mystery and suspense, blending her experiences and imagination to create vivid worlds of magic and mayhem.

Kirsten has never met a dessert she didn’t like, and her guilty pleasures are watching Ghost Whisperer re-runs and drinking good wine.

Follow her on Twitter @KirstenWeiss, on her Facebook page, or at her blog.
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