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New #Cozy with Character Interview and #Giveaway: Chicken Culprit by Vikki Walton

Win the book, a $25 gift card, and the chance to name a character!

Win the book, a $25 gift card, and the chance to name a character!

Finally healing after her heart-breaking divorce, Anne Freemont is ready to put the painful past behind her.Discovering an old Victorian for sale in the small mountain town of Carolan Springs may be just what she needs. The beauty of Colorado beckons, so Anne heads west to start her new life.

Yet, before Anne’s completely settled in, her neighbor is found dead in his compost pile. What’s worse is that Anne’s quirky young neighbor, Kandi Jenkins, could be the killer. When Kandi begs for her help, Anne feels she has no choice but to help the young woman.

However, she finds herself quickly at odds with the local sheriff. And while she uncovers more of the community’s secrets, she’s also exploring her awakening feelings for Sam Powers, the town’s deputy coroner.

Once Anne starts looking at who could be the real killer, the suspect list keeps getting longer and longer. It seems that Carolan Springs is a place of many secrets. But who would want to murder Ralph and who’s willing to kill again to keep their secret?

Interview with Anne’s next-door neighbor, Kandi

Kandi, can you share with our readers a bit about yourself?

Sure! Let’s see, I’ve lived in Carolan Springs pretty much all my life. I’m the oldest of all us kids. So, there’s me and then my twin younger brothers. They’re off backpacking the globe right now. After my dad passed, my mom moved us here to live with my grandpa. We called him Pops. Sadly, he died, like, a few years ago after falling off a ladder. I really miss him. I’m married to Jeff. Umm, no other family. My mom died from cancer. She left me and my brothers a bit of money, but, I don’t really want to talk about her or that part of my life, if it’s okay with you. What else? Oh, I have a new neighbor!

What do you think of your new neighbor, Anne Fremont?

She’s, like, really funny. Opps. She doesn’t like me saying like all the time. But I can’t, like, help it! But I’m getting better. She acts all tough sometimes but I think she’s really not like that at all. Sometimes I think she’s really sad about something. And she can get moody. Oh man, like, really moody. Faith says some of it is due to being a woman and getting older. Not sure I’m looking forward to that. But oh well, whatcha’ gonna do? Right? I do know that Anne has told me that I’m sweet, and smart and a good cook. I don’t think anyone has been as nice to me as Anne has. Even though she’s like, old enough to be my mom, I really like her.

You’re suspected of killing your neighbor, Ralph Rogers. What do you say to those accusations?

Well, it’s the silliest thing ever. I’d never do anything to Mr. Rogers or anyone else. It’s just silly. But I didn’t want him hurting Rusty.


Yes, that’s my Rhode Island Red. She’s the sweetest hen and is a great egg layer. They’re great chickens and I love, like, all my girls. I will stop anyone from hurting them.  Anyway, look at me. Do I look like a killer? On the other hand, they always say it’s, like, who you least expect. (giggle). So maybe I am.

Tell us a bit about where you live.

I live in the most beautiful town (Carolan Springs) in the most beautiful state (Colorado). Winter is so pretty with all the big fat snowflakes. There’s nothing better than, like, grabbing a hot cup of tea and sitting in front of the fire. I have a window right by a nice comfy chair and I love hanging out there. Spring is so nice because the days are warming up and you can go hiking and see all the pretty wildflowers. Summer we have a homesteading fair and it brings in tourists which is nice for our little town. We’ve a town of old-timers with big old houses and lots of entrepreneurs who work online so it helps the town’s economy. Faith–she’s the local herbalist—and I are thinking of making Ralph’s place into a bed and breakfast and teaching classes. So, stay tuned on that. Finally, fall is so nice with the dancing aspens and the colors changing. Crisp mornings are so nice for hikes. Fall is often filled with warm sunny days and cooler evenings so it’s a wonderful time of year. That’s Vikki’s, you know, the author’s favorite time of year. But don’t say I told ya.

You mentioned the author, what can you tell us about her?

Well, she lived a long time in Texas—around the San Antonio area. But just like me, she loves Colorado’s mountains. She also enjoys traveling so I wouldn’t be, like, surprised if she didn’t write something at some point about her travels to England, Europe or Mexico. She’s a house and pet sitter, so who knows, maybe it will be a mystery series around that. She’s also written some nonfiction books. One’s called Work Quilting and it’s a vocational guidance and lifestyle book. The other one is about women’s travel. Of course, she loves everything about being a suburban homesteader or what some call backyard farming. She’s a certified permaculture designer, has chickens and beehives and gardens.

Kandi, can you tell us what’s next for the series?

Well, in Chicken Culprit, it’s about chickens. The next book in the series is about tinctures and herbs. It also has the killer using a particular way to kill someone that I don’t know has been used before in a mystery. If all goes well, the author expects the next book to come out in the fall so get on her mailing list, so you can be the first to learn the title, get a sample chapter and see the cover reveal!

About The Author

Vikki Walton is a suburban homesteader aka the Havensteader. She has chickens, gardens, and bees and is a certified permaculture designer. She’s also the author of nonfiction books. She loves to travel, is a global house and pet sitter and when not out in the garden or hiking in beautiful Colorado, is plotting her next mystery.

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The Silver Gun (An Art Deco Mystery) by L.A. Chandlar

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New York City, 1936. In the midst of the Great Depression, the Big Apple is defiantly striving toward an era infused with art, architecture, and economic progress under the dynamic Mayor La Guardia. But those in City Hall know that tumultuous times can inspire both optimism and deadly danger . . .

It’s been six months since Lane Sanders was appointed Mayor Fiorello “Fio” La Guardia’s new personal aide, and the twenty-three-year-old is sprinting in her Mary Janes to match her boss’s pace. Despite dealing with vitriol from the Tammany Hall political machine and managing endless revitalization efforts, Fio hasn’t slowed down a bit during his years in office. And luckily for Lane, his unpredictable antics are a welcome distraction from the childhood memories that haunt her dreams—and the silver gun she’ll never forget.

When Lane gets attacked and threatened by an assailant tied to one of most notorious gangsters in the city, even the mayor can’t promise her safety. The corrupt city officials seem to be using Lane as a pawn against Fio for disgracing their party in the prior election. But why was the assailant wielding the exact same gun from her nightmares?

Balancing a clandestine love affair and a mounting list of suspects, Lane must figure out how the secrets of her past are connected to the city’s underground crime network—before someone pulls the trigger on the most explosive revenge plot in New York history . . .

Character Interview

Evelyn Thorne, welcome to Island Confidential. Aside from the fact that you’re Lane Sanders’ aunt, what else should our readers know about you? 

I am an artist at heart, and at a later age than I thought, I acquired a daughter in Lane when her parents were suddenly killed. I was a suffragist and I have friends all over the place. Readers should definitely keep a keen eye on my friends, they might have a pleasant surprise coming at some of my more colorful acquaintances. Something that no one knows, not even Lane nor any readers yet, is that I was married once. I think the dear author will bring that up at some point. She should – it’s an excellent story and accounts for my eccentric personality.

Which character in The Silver Gun do you get along with the best?

My closest friend is Mr. Kirkland. We’ve had a colorful past and he knows me best. I can’t help admire that he came in and adopted Lane just as much as I did. He’s gruff, but his heart is gold. And he bakes a mean scone. I am utterly useless at cooking.

Is there anyone of whom you’re not quite so fond?

I always have concerns where Lane’s friends –and enemies—are concerned. I have my eye on Uncle Louie, the most notorious gang boss in New York City, who has a curious penchant for actually helping Lane. But I also have concerns with Roxy and Lizzie, not to mention Lane’s boyfriends. I want to like Finn, but I’m not sure, he seems to have a lot behind those delightful eyes of his. And then Tucker… I just don’t know.

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

I like her, especially for giving me the scene where Lane and I paint to music. It was quite enjoyable. My favorite thing about Laurie is that she snuck in little features about myself and a “good friend” that is really Amelia Peabody from Elizabeth Peters. I’m obviously more bohemian than dear Amelia, but we are very dear friends. I also like that Laurie has promised not to kill off any of us main characters. Or the dog. At least not for quite a long while. I worry about that sometimes, of course.

What’s next for you?

Well, in book two, The Gold Pawn (release date September 25th), we have quite an exciting journey back to Michigan where Lane has to face the ghosts of her past in the hopes that she’ll discover some clues about her mysterious parents and perhaps shed some light on a new mystery here in New York. Thanksgiving is coming up and oh I have some lovely friends coming over. You might recognize some of them! I am very worried, though, because Lane is really struggling and she isn’t letting me in as much as I’d like. But I know her. She will overcome and be better for it.

About The Author


L.A. Chandlar is the author of the Art Deco Mystery Series with Kensington Publishing featuring Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia and a fresh take on the innovation and liveliness of 1930s New York City. Her debut novel, The Silver Gun released August 29, 2017, and the sequel, The Gold Pawn, will release September 25th, 2018. Laurie has been living and writing in New York City for 16 years and has been speaking for a wide variety of audiences for over 20 years including a women’s group with the United Nations. Her talks range from NYC history, the psychology of creativity, and the history of holiday traditions. Laurie has also worked in PR for General Motors, writes and fund-raises for a global nonprofit is the mother of two boys, and has toured the nation managing a rock band.

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Character Interview: Nun After the Other by Alice Loweecey

Win an electronic copy of Nun After The Other

Win an electronic copy of Nun After The Other

Nuns and murder and ghosts, oh my! Here comes Giulia Driscoll again, and boy, is she in for it this time.

It starts when a frenzied Chihuahua leads Giulia and Frank Driscoll to the body of a nun in the street near a convent. The nuns fear they’re being harassed by the biggest developer in town and quickly embrace Giulia as their savior.

Of course the former nun who exposed the drug ring run by a priest and nun will save their home and discover the murderer.

And of course not only Giulia takes this job, but also all the other jobs clamoring for her attention. The result: Driscoll Investigations is pushed to its limit.

Then Giulia’s brother falls into a coma and she brings his kids to her house. Talk about a crash course in parenting for pregnant Giulia!

Did we mention the convent ghost? She loves the house, hates the nuns, and chain-smokes. Why couldn’t Giulia’s first honest-to-goodness ghost be shy and sweet?

More important, does the ghost hate the nuns—or the developer—enough to indulge in a bit of murder to liven up the afterlife?

Character Interview

Giulia, welcome to Island Confidential! Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself?
I’m a hardworking professional Private Investigator, and I’m worried I’ll turn into a Mama Bear. When I held my first baby I understood every motherhood cliché every written. Motherhood is changing me in ways I never expected.

Who’s the character you get along with the best?
My husband Frank. Isn’t that the way it should be? Although there are times I wonder if it wasn’t easier living with 95 nuns scrutinizing my every move than living with one man. Research is ongoing.

That’s a minor detail that might interest our readers–you’re a former nun, hence the book title. So is there anyone in Nun After The Other you don’t get along with so well? 
My brother Salvatore. He used to be nothing more than a pain in the butt, but we managed to get along. Then he got sucked into an extremist Catholic sect and he’s as bad as the entire Westboro Baptist Church rolled into one person. He almost makes me curse, which proves what he’s like to deal with.

What do you think of your author, Alice?
She needs to stop stressing me out . She puts me in these interesting adventures and then ramps up the action. Suddenly I’m dodging bullets and knives and getting forced of the road in a high-speed chase. And now ghosts? The woman needs yoga or meditation or something.

Assuming you survive this book, what’s next for you?
Ghosts, ghosts, and more ghosts. Now that they know about me, they’re showing up at all hours. I’m a new mother: I need SLEEP. I’ve started to set boundaries. The biggest one is: Wake my sleeping baby and I’ll make your afterlife much worse than anything that happened to you while you were alive.


About The Author  

Baker of brownies and tormenter of characters, Alice Loweecey recently celebrated her thirtieth year outside the convent. She grew up watching Hammer Horror and Scooby-Doo Mysteries, which might explain a whole lot. When she’s not creating trouble for Giulia Falcone-Driscoll, she can be found growing her own vegetables (in summer) and cooking with them (the rest of the year).



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Can a reasoning test predict who will make a good detective?

GettyImages-118096569.jpgBy Alex Fradera

Although criminal investigation has been transformed through technological developments in DNA, phone tracking, and online data, the way a detective works through a crime has remained much the same. The first suspect is often the true perpetrator, but not always, and snowballing biases continue to lead to miscarriages of justice. Proficient detectives need the ability to generate and evaluate different explanations and keep an open mind. New research in the Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology investigates whether it’s possible to use established tests of reasoning ability to identify who has the skills necessary for thinking this way.

University of Gothenburg psychologists Ivar Fahsing and Karl Ask asked 166 recruits (60 women, aged around 23) from the Norwegian Police University College to complete two tests of reasoning ability. One involved deductive reasoning – the ability to apply rules to reach a correct conclusion, in this case, combining shapes to form a new target shape. The other involved inductive reasoning –  viewing different images, and using these to figure out the rule that is governing them all. These tests already feature in Norwegian police recruitment but it’s not clear whether they are useful for predicting detective skills, which are more dependent on abductive reasoning, which is much harder to test.

Whereas deduction seeks linear, definitive conclusions, and induction tries to identify a category based on the available clues (“all birds, none fly”  therefore the category must be “flightless birds”), abduction amplifies the known information to generate imaginative possibilities (“an open wine bottle and smashed glasses could suggest a thwarted seduction… or a failed reconciliation with his wife?”). It requires a leap of logic, a creative act, hard to measure but known to differentiate stronger investigators, whether criminal or scientific. The ability to make many such leaps helps avoid premature foreclosure on the possibilities of a case.

Fahsing and Ask were hopeful that measures of deductive and inductive reasoning would help identify better detectives because investigation isn’t rooted solely in abduction, and because different forms of reasoning ability are known to correlate (so a candidate skilful at deduction and induction ought to be skilled at abduction and therefore detective thinking too).

To assess detection nous, the researchers asked their participants to review two case vignettes, each describing a woman missing under ambiguous circumstances, and some versions also mentioned the arrest of a suspect. The participants’ task was to outline all the possible explanations that could account for the facts. Both vignettes had been reviewed by an expert panel of detectives, who generated a “gold standard” of 9 viable hypotheses for the first and 11 for the second.

The participants tended to neglect the non-criminal hypotheses, such as the possibility the missing woman had suffered an accident. More importantly, scores on the reasoning ability tests didn’t predict their detective performance. Nor did they predict immunity to a commonly observed detecting error: becoming more narrow-minded (generating fewer hypotheses) after reading that a suspect had been arrested.

The current data suggest that commonly used cognitive assessments are unlikely to help identify candidates with the best aptitude for becoming a detective. It seems police forces will need to think more inventively about the actual skills that contribute to good detection if they are to succeed in separating the Maigrets from the Clouseaus.

— In Search of Indicators of Detective Aptitude: Police Recruits’ Logical Reasoning and Ability to Generate Investigative Hypotheses

Image: Peter Sellers In ‘The Pink Panther Strikes Again’ is disguised as a mountain climber, while hiding in a trash can, in a scene from the film ‘The Pink Panther Strikes Again’, 1976. (Photo by United Artists/Getty Images)

Alex Fradera (@alexfradera) is Staff Writer at BPS Research Digest

from BPS Research Digest http://bit.ly/2ovmSuq

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Three Strikes, You’re Dead: A new Eddie Shoes Mystery (with character interview!)

Private investigator Eddie Shoes heads to a resort outside Leavenworth, Washington, for a mother-daughter getaway weekend. Eddie’s mother Chava wants to celebrate her new job at a casino by footing the bill for the two of them, and who is Eddie to say no?

On the first morning, Eddie goes on an easy solo hike, and a few hours later, stumbles upon a makeshift campsite and a gravely injured man. A forest fire breaks out and she struggles to save him before the flames overcome them both. Before succumbing to his injuries, the man hands her a valuable rosary. He tells her his daughter is missing and begs for her help. Is Eddie now working for a dead man?

Barely escaping the fire, Eddie wakes in the hospital to find both her parents have arrived on the scene. Will Eddie’s card-counting mother and mob-connected father help or hinder the investigation? The police search in vain for a body. How will Eddie find the missing girl with only Eddie’s memory of the man’s face and a photo of his daughter to go on?

Eddie, welcome back to Island Confidential! Last time we talked, you had a brand-new roommate–your mom. How’s that working out?

Well … here’s something I don’t usually admit to people, but since it’s just the two of us … My mother, Chava, is a big fan of American Idol and The Voice. I would never admit this to her, but I love watching them too. I let her think I only watch them to keep her company. But I love them. I love the challenges and hearing the contestants sing outside their comfort zones. I love the duets and the costumes and the judges’ comments.

Do you think you’ll ever be a contestant?

If I could choose one talent, one gift I wish I had, it would be to sing. I can’t carry the tune to Happy Birthday, so I have to live vicariously through the contestants on those shows. I like to pretend that’s me up there getting one of the judges to turn around.

So no problem, then, living with your mom? 

My mother and I have struggled for years, not that we didn’t love each other, but because we often rubbed each other the wrong way. But now that I’m an adult, she’s only sixteen years older than me, and she’s living with me, we’re doing a whole lot better.

Can you update us on your friend Iz? Last time we spoke, she was working in the Bellingham Police Department with your ex. How’s that working out?

Izabelle is an amazingly patient person. She puts up with my foibles. (Chava has been encouraging me to expand my vocabulary). She understands I’m not always good at talking about my feelings or letting people see me vulnerable. But she’s always there when I need to talk or just hang out. She’s been so good about listening to me complain about Chance. I’m so confused about our relationship, or if we even have a relationship, and she’s wonderful about letting me talk about it without trying to tell me what to do.

Where would you like things to go with you and Chance?

I want to be in a romantic relationship with him.

Fair enough. How does he feel about it?

He’s conflicted! Hopefully that will change soon … for the better.

How are you and your author, Elena, getting along these days?

She’s a bit of a worrier. You should see all the rewriting she does. Rewrite after rewrite after rewrite. It gets a little tedious to have to go through the same scene over and over and over again. And she’s never quite sure what she’s doing at the beginning of a new book, so I might get to the end and find out, we have to do the whole thing over again because she got something really important wrong … like who committed the murder! But I will say, I like her sense of humor a lot. And I know she loves me. So that’s a pretty great combination.

What’s next for you? 

I am currently involved in a brand new homicide investigation. I have no idea how it’s going to come out, that writer of mine is just winging it right now. I’ll let you know as soon as I can!


About The Author

After twenty years in the theater, Elena Hartwell turned her dramatic skills to fiction. Her first novel, One Dead, Two to Go introduces Eddie Shoes, private eye. Called “the most fun detective since Richard Castle stumbled into the 12th precinct,” by author Peter Clines, I’DTale Magazine stated, “this quirky combination of a mother-daughter reunion turned crime-fighting duo will captivate readers.”

In addition to her work as a novelist, Elena teaches playwriting at Bellevue College and tours the country to lead writing workshops.

When she’s not writing or teaching, her favorite place to be is at the farm with her horses, Jasper and Radar, or at her home, on the middle fork of the Snoqualmie River in North Bend, Washington, with her husband, their dog, Polar, and their trio of cats, Jackson, Coal Train, and Luna, aka, “the other cat upstairs.” Elena holds a B.A. from the University of San Diego, a M.Ed. from the University of Washington, Tacoma, and a Ph.D. from the University of Georgia.

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New paramedic mystery, giveaway, and character interview: Uneasy Prey by Annette Dashofy

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Enter to win a signed print copy (U.S. only)

On the way to the emergency room, an elderly woman regains consciousness long enough to inform paramedic Zoe Chambers that her fall down the basement steps was no accident. Before she can say more, she succumbs to her injuries, launching Zoe and Police Chief Pete Adams into the investigation of a burglary ring targeting the area’s vulnerable senior citizens.

Zoe—in spite of Pete’s objections—takes it upon herself to act as protection detail after the con men, disguised as water company employees, set their sights on Zoe’s beloved former landlady. It’s a decision that eventually puts Zoe in harm’s way.

With Zoe already recovering from one close call, Pete must race against time to stop the crime ring—and a dangerous killer—before they strike again.

Character Interview: Zoe Chambers

Zoe, welcome to Island Confidential! Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself?

I’ve been a paramedic since I was 23 but before that I wanted to be a veterinarian!  Unfortunately, I was a horrible student in high school and in college, so that was not to be. Next, I thought I wanted to be a firefighter until Ted and Sylvia Bassi steered me toward EMS. I’ll be forever grateful they did because it’s a much better fit.

Who’s your favorite character in Uneasy Prey?

You’re probably expecting me to say Pete. I love Pete, but we disagree more than we agree. So, I’m going to say Sylvia. She’s a mother hen to just about everyone in Vance Township including me.

Is there any character you don’t get along with so well?

My mother. Absolutely, my mother. Why? We’re polar opposites in most matters. I was my daddy’s girl, and when we lost him when I was eight, neither of us handled it well. Mom remarried, and she and Tom moved to Florida when I was fifteen. I chose to stay behind, claiming I wanted to finish school here but the truth was I didn’t want to deal with her “diva complex” any longer. She’s high-fashion, and I’m t-shirts and barn boots. I think I’m a huge disappointment to her.

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

Annette’s okay. She “gets” me. I do wish she’d dress Pete in tighter jeans, but I guess I can’t have everything. And although she’s a vegetarian, she hasn’t made me give up my cheeseburgers and bacon!

What’s next for you?

I seem to have come into possession of a rundown farm. I have no idea how I’m going to come up with the money to make it livable for me and my horse. Maybe I need to ask Franklin Marshall to give me more duties (and more pay!) in the Coroner’s Office. (Cry Wolf, the 7th Zoe Chambers Mystery is scheduled for a September 2018 release!)


About The Author  

Annette Dashofy is the USA Today best-selling author of the Zoe Chambers mystery series about a paramedic and deputy coroner in rural Pennsylvania’s tight-knit Vance Township. CIRCLE OF INFLUENCE, published by Henery Press, was finalist for the Agatha Award for Best First Novel and for the David Award for Best Mystery of 2014. LOST LEGACY, was released in September 2014 followed in April 2015 by BRIDGES BURNED, which has been nominated for the Agatha for Best Contemporary Novel.

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New Bed and Breakfast Mystery plus giveaway: Clues in the Sand by Terry Ambrose

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To Rick Atwood’s dismay, the police find a body on the beach near his Seaside Cove B&B. The dead woman held a pottery shard from an ancient rice bowl, which the cops believe is a clue to her murder.

The chief suspect is Flynn O’Connor, a female archaeologist known for her hatred of treasure thieves. Trouble is, Rick’s daughter Alex sees Flynn as a role model and will not believe her friend is a killer.

Alex pressures her dad as only a ten-year-old can to prove Flynn is innocent. The mayor is also making demands—for Rick to stay out of the investigation. With his daughter and the mayor at odds, Rick sees trouble brewing. He knows too well how much Alex loves sticking her nose where it doesn’t belong. Especially when there’s murder involved.

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Character Guest Post by Alex (Age 10)

Hey Journal,

I gotta go soon because we’re having a luau here at the B&B! Daddy said we were gonna spend the afternoon sipping umbrella drinks and watching the sunset. Okay, I’m only ten, so I don’t get a real umbrella drink. I get the kid’s version. But, here in Seaside Cove we have palm trees and we have a beach, so it’s almost the same as what we’d get at a real luau, right?

Now that me and Daddy own the Seaside Cove Bed & Breakfast and are living here, we can’t take a big vacation. Marquetta’s worked here for so long she could totally run this place on her own, but Daddy says that wouldn’t be fair. That makes me happy because I’d like her to go with us if we do go to Hawaii.

Marquetta ran the B&B after Captain Jack died. She did that for a long time before me and Daddy moved here. I didn’t think I was gonna like Seaside Cove, but when I met Marquetta, I totally fell in love. She’s gonna be my new mom someday. I just have to get her and Daddy to realize it. My plan to get them together is starting to work. They both like each other a lot and maybe someday they’ll stop acting so lame!

For the luau, Daddy ordered the makings for this stuff called shave ice. We got coconut and macadamia nut and pineapple syrups, plus a couple other flavors. According to Marquetta, this won’t be authentic because we don’t have a machine to shave the ice, but we can use a blender and it will be close!

Today I’m wearing my first grass skirt. Daddy wanted to buy one for Marquetta, too, but she said she wouldn’t wear hers unless he wore one too. Me and Marquetta thought that was funny, but Daddy didn’t think so.

It’s kinda fun getting an afternoon off. Between being in fifth grade, helping around the B&B, and finding a killer, my life has been totally hectic. After we moved from New York, Daddy said we were gonna settle into a nice little town where not much happened. That sounded totally boring to me. Then, I heard about all the treasure around here.

The treasure hunters are getting closer to the old Manila galleon that sunk off the coast. Miss O’Connor, she’s the lady archaeologist who’s staying here, told me all about those old ships and how hard the journey was. It’s awesome that one sunk off our coast!

Anyway, I thought having all those treasure hunters around would be super interesting, but it was even better than that because they keep getting murdered! That gives me and Daddy killers to find. I’ve told you how he doesn’t like me to help him find the clues, but between you and me, Journal, he needs my help. That’s why I’ve gotta get him and Marquetta together soon. I can’t keep splitting my time between helping them see the obvious, finding killers, and fifth grade. Something’s gotta give, Journal.

I just looked out my window and Daddy’s out on the patio with Marquetta. They look super happy right now. Someday, this is all gonna work. I just know it!

Gotta go,


PS I guess that should’ve been aloha.


About the Author

Terry Ambrose is a former skip tracer who only stole cars when it was legal. He’s long since turned his talents to writing mysteries and thrillers. Several of his books have been award finalists and in 2014 his thriller, “Con Game,” won the San Diego Book Awards for Best Action-Thriller. He’s currently working on the Seaside Cove Bed & Breakfast Mystery series.

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A new Eve Appel mystery with Character Interview: Killer Tied by Lesley A. Diehl

Eve Appel Egret is adjusting to married life with Sammy and their three adopted sons in Sabal Bay, Florida. While still running her consignment stores, she is going pro with her sleuthing by becoming an apprentice to a private detective.

Until her marriage, Eve’s only “family” was her grandmother Grandy, who raised her after her parents died in a boating accident. Now, in addition to her husband and sons, she has a father-in-law who clearly dislikes her. Sammy’s father, a full-blooded Miccosukee Indian long presumed dead, has emerged from the swamps where he’s been living like a hermit, and he isn’t happy about Eve’s marriage to his half-Miccosukee, half-white son.

As for Eve’s family, are her parents really dead? A woman named Eleanor claims to be Eve’s half-sister, born after her mother faked a boating accident to escape her abusive husband, Eve’s father. Then Eleanor’s father turns up dead in the swamps, stabbed by a Bowie knife belonging to Sammy’s father, Lionel. Strange as Lionel Egret is, Eve knows he had no motive to kill this stranger. In order to clear him, Eve must investigate Eleanor’s claims, and she might not like what digging around in her family’s past uncovers.

Grandy, welcome to Island Confidential! Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself?

I’m Eve Apple’s maternal grandmother. I worked for years for a wealthy family in Hartford, CT and fell in love with their son, but they were not anxious for him to marry the hired help. They warned him they would disown him and write him out of their will if he chose to marry me. He was such a lovely man, and I loved him with all my heart. He was willing to go ahead with our wedding, but I knew he would eventually come to resent me for what he had to give up, so I let him go and later married Eve’s grandfather. We had only one child, Eve’s mother. I lost him soon after Eve was born, but he did get to see his only grandchild. Then my daughter and her husband died in a boating accident when Eve was only nine. It was difficult to deal with my own grief, but I had the responsibility to get Eve through her parent’s deaths, and that was not easy.

She dealt with her loss by becoming an angry rebellious child, mad at the world for dealing her such a rotten hand. But she eventually got beyond that, and I think the friendship with Madeleine Boudreau begun in grade school helped her. Eve taught Madeleine how to stand up for her rights, and Madeleine taught Eve some manners and how to deal with difficult people, other than trying to beat the snot out of them.

All of us, Eve, Madeleine and I relocated to rural Florida. I’m surprised how well Eve has done adjusting to a place where the nearest mall with a decent store for designer fashion is almost forty miles away. Eve is quite the fashionista, but she addressed her need for designer wear by opening a high-end consignment shop with Madeleine. I was a bit surprised because I thought the only thing alligator to be found around here was in the nearby swamps, but there are a few alligator bags and boots in Eve and Madeleine’s shop.

My current husband Max and I used to run a fishing charter boat out of Key Largo, but since his heart attack, we’ve relocated to be near Eve. Max has enjoyed fishing the Big Lake, Lake Okeechobee, and I work with Eve a few days each week in the shop. It’s a pretty laid-back life, unless Eve taps me to join her on one of her detective adventures. Now that’s fun. Eve says I’m responsible for her snoopy nature, and that’s probably true.

Who in the book would you say you get along with the best?

I’m close to Eve, her husband, their adopted boys and Grandfather Egret, her husband’s grandfather as well as Madeleine and her family. But I have to say I just love Nappi Napolitano, our “Family” friend from the Northeast. He treats me like a queen, always kisses my hand when he greets me and says I am a good-looking woman, and he does not add, “for your age.” How can a woman not love that in a man? Were it not for my husband Max and for the difference in age between Nappi and me, I might consider a serious fling with the guy. I have a thing for “bad boys”, and it appears Nappi is one. He dresses well, and he seems to have access to information others have trouble getting. If there’s anything a person wants to know about someone, Nappi can find it out. I know Madeleine and our police detective friend Frida have some doubts about Nappi’s “connections”, but he’s always been there for Eve, her friends and family. I’ve gone on some capers with him, you know, sleuthing adventures, and he’s always treated me as an equal partner. I must admit that some of what we’ve been involved in has been just this side of legal, but over the moon fun. You can read about my first caper in Book 1 of the Eve Appel mysteries, A Secondhand Murder.

Is there anyone you don’t get along with so well?

For most of the years I’ve known Sammy Egret, Eve husband’s, who is half Miccosukee, his father was missing, gone, we were told, into the swamps when Sammy was small. Imagine our surprise when the man showed up one day. Lionel Egret disappeared into the swamps out of a sense of guilt but returned when Sammy and Eve married and adopted three orphaned Miccosukee boys, also Lionel’s relatives. I give you this background because I think it might explain why he acts the way he does. He’s suspicious, arrogant, and sullen, and particularly hard on Eve. He’s not crazy about white folks although Sammy’s mother, Lionel’s wife was white. Given his years alone in the swamps, I try to be understanding, but the man is hard to take. I will say, however, that he does love the three boys Eve and Sammy adopted, although he thinks he knows best how to raise them. Eve says he’s coming around, slowly, very slowly.

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

I’m not happy she made me overweight, but she did write me as a fun-loving and adventurous gal. She also gave me my hubby, Max, who I love despite the fact he smells like fish because he spends his days out on the lake with his fishing pals. At least he cleans the catch for me!

This author never lets things be. Just when you think everything is going to settle down, and the path ahead looks easy, she injects an event to shake things up or introduces a character that sets you back on your heels. For example, I hadn’t seen my sister for years. We just seemed to drift apart, but wouldn’t you know it, Miss Diehl creates a situation in Killer Tied that demands I get in touch with her. I wasn’t expecting that, and it took adjustment on my part. Maybe it was just as well. I guess I shouldn’t have let family get so far away. And I learned a secret about my sister that I never knew.

So what’s next for you?

Max is grumbling about needing to get back to fishing the blue ocean and not the brownish waters of the fresh water lake. I miss the salt water also. I think we might divide our time between the Keys and rural Florida. I’ve heard rumors that Madeleine has family in Scotland that are eager to come to the United States for a visit. I’m eager to meet them. I’m a little worried about Nappi lately. He seems to have something on his mind. He’s just not his old charming self. I know he suffered a gunshot wound, but I thought he was fully recovered from it. Perhaps not. Maybe Eve and I should take him out to lunch and see if we can wheedle the truth out of him.

Thank you, Grandy!

It was a pleasure to talk with you, Frankie.

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, frequents yard sales 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 and mysteries as well as short stories. The third book in the Eve Appel murders (from Camel Press) A Sporting Murder was awarded a Readers’ Favorite Five Star Award and her short story Gator Aid a Sleuthfest (2009) short story first place. She has fired the alligator that served as her literary muse when she is in Florida and is interviewing applicants for the position.

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Why Are There No Snakes in Ireland?

There never were any snakes in Ireland, partly for the same reason that there are no snakes in Hawaii, Iceland, New Zealand, Greenland, or Antarctica: the Emerald Isle is, well, an island.

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Bonus character interview: Theodosia Browning from Laura Childs’ Plum Tea Crazy

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Theodosia Browning investigates a Charleston steeped in tradition and treachery in the latest Tea Shop Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Laura Childs.

While viewing the harbor’s Gaslights and Galleons Parade from the widow’s walk of Timothy Neville’s Charleston mansion, local banker Carson Lanier seemingly tumbles over a narrow railing, then plunges three stories to his death. But a tragic accident becomes something much more sinister when it’s discovered that the victim was first shot with a bolt from a crossbow.

At the request of the mansion owner, Theodosia investigates the tragedy and is soon neck deep in suspects. An almost ex-wife, a coworker, a real estate partner–all had motives for killing the luckless banker, but one resorted to murder to settle accounts.



Character Interview: Theodosia Browning

Theodosia, thanks for stopping by Island Confidential. Can you tell our readers something about yourself? 

Besides being the proprietor of the Indigo Tea Shop in Charleston, SC, I’m sort of a true crime groupie. Murders, smash and grab robberies, they all fascinate me to no end. Which is probably why I enjoy doing a little amateur sleuthing. Picture this if you will – a two-hundred-year-old city with ancient alleys, haunted cemeteries, and fog continually creeping in from the pounding Atlantic. Now throw in historic mansions and quirky, wealthy residents with umpteen skeletons hidden in the attic. Now, wouldn’t you be fascinated too?

Of course–that sounds terrifying and intriguing. But you don’t do all of this sleuthing alone, do you? Do you have anyone else you can trust? 

Drayton Conneley, my resident tea master, is the one who’s always got my back. Yes, he’s very proper, slightly fussy, and is a complete technophobe, but he still “gets” me. You know?

That sounds wonderful. Of course not everyone is as pleasant or helpful, I’d imagine. Is there anyone you don’t get along with quite so well? 

When it comes to conflict, Detective Burt Tidwell of the Charleston PD takes the cake. First off, he’s this big burly bear of a guy who always assumes he knows best. Which he doesn’t. I mean, why should he get to doggone agitated when all I’m trying to do is figure out suspects and offer a little help? Really, I can’t figure it out.

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

Laura Childs was the one who breathed life into me, so I really shouldn’t complain. But, dear Lord, the perfectly horrible situations she puts me in are enough to curl your hair! Think floating dead bodies, fires, angry alligators, haunted cemeteries, stabbings, shootings, boat chases, and even a food truck chase. I say take it down a notch, Laura!

What’s next for you?

That crazy author of mine is working on the 20th Tea Shop Mystery. And it looks as if she’s going to send a killer drone smack dab into the middle of a hot air balloon rally. Yes, balloons will crash and people will be killed. So that book’s probably going to be titled something like Shattered Teacups or Broken Bone China. It’s still up in the air right now (pun intended) but it does sound exciting!

About the Author


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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