A new Shakespeare in the Catskills mystery with character interview: Much Ado about Murder by Elizabeth J. Duncan

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Costume designer Charlotte Fairfax has another murder on her hands as she prepares for the latest performance of the Catskills Shakespeare Theater Company, Much Ado About Nothing. The company’s steady growth enables them to cast star British actress Audrey Ashley, who arrives on scene to play the lead role of Beatrice. But things immediately get more complicated when Audrey insists the company replace the current director with new, up and coming British director Edmund Albright.

Edmund plans to change the popular romantic comedy, which alienates several people associated with the production. And the list of people he upsets only grows: the laid off former director, the hotel owner’s secretary, and even Audrey herself. Just as Edmund’s plans are about to come to fruition, his body is discovered on his sofa, holding a gun in his hand. His death is quickly ruled a suicide but Charlotte thinks otherwise. Why would Edmund, on the brink of greatness, kill himself? And in such an American way?

With a whole cast of characters to investigate, Charlotte is determined to unmask each one before it’s final curtain call on the whole production in award-winning author Elizabeth J. Duncan’s third Shakespeare in the Catskills mystery, Much Ado About Murder.

Character Interview

Charlotte Fairfax, costume designer and amateur sleuth, welcome to Island Confidential! Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself?

I began my career with the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-Upon-Avon and found myself in New York about ten years ago when the RSC performed on Broadway. I was engaged to marry the leading actor, but when he broke the engagement, I just couldn’t face going home to the UK with the rest of the Company. So I stayed in the States and eventually made a new life for myself with the Catskills Shakespeare Theater Company in upstate New York. While I love living here, I miss quite a few things about Britain, including the quiet beauty of villages, fields of grazing sheep enclosed in stone walls, and shopping at Marks.

I was just starting to think about returning to the UK when I met Ray, the local chief of police here in Walkers Ridge. And then everything changed, for the better. I’m at a good place in my life right now. So if people think I’m stuck in a provincial backwater, yearning for the bright lights of the big city, I’m perfectly content. Besides, the bright lights of Manhattan are just a train ride away.

Who’s your favorite character in Much Ado about Murder?

That’s an easy one. You probably thought my answer would be Ray, but no, it’s the other man in my life. Rupert. He’s my tri-color corgi, and I love him to bits. I’ve had him since he was a pup and anyone who’s ever loved a dog will know why he’s so special to me. If you’ve ever loved a dog, you’ll know what I’m talking about. He’s been such a comfort, and he’s given my life purpose.

Is there anyone you don’ get along with so well? 

There is usually tension between the costume designer and the director. He (and it’s usually a he although thankfully that’s changing) wants things that are difficult to deliver on a tight budget. In our most recent play, Much Ado About Nothing, things got really out of hand and just about everybody was in conflict with the director and he ended up dead! But fortunately that doesn’t happen too often or we’d never get a production up on its legs!

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

As far as the books go, I like Elizabeth J. Duncan. But I’m not sure I trust her personally. I think she wants to steal my dog.

Charlotte, what’s next for you?

As you’re reading this, I’m back in the UK, with Ray. He’s meeting my mum, and we’re planning to get engaged while we’re here. When we return to the Catskills, we’ll start work on our next project, a production of The Merchant of Menace. Did I really say that? Of course I meant The Merchant of Venice.

About The Author  

Elizabeth J Duncan is the author of two mystery series – Shakespeare in the Catskills and the Penny Brannigan mystery series set in North Wales. She is a two-time winner of the Bloody Words Award for Canada’s best light mystery and lives in Toronto.

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Sleuthing Women II: Ten (TEN!) mystery novels by Maggie Toussaint, Camille Minichino, and more!

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Sleuthing Women II: 10 Mystery Novellas is a collection of ten mysteries featuring murder and assorted mayhem by ten critically acclaimed, award-winning, and bestselling authors. Each novella is a tie-in to an established multi-book series—a total of over 800 pages of reading pleasure for lovers of amateur sleuth, caper, cozy, and female P.I. mysteries.

Frosted, A Moreno & Hart Novella by Allison Brennan & Laura Griffin—Three years ago LAPD Detective Scarlet Moreno and rookie cop Krista Hart were nearly killed during a botched sting operation. Now, they’re best friends and partners in the Orange County private investigation firm of Moreno & Hart. But their routine assignments are anything but safe.

Crewel Intentions, An Anastasia Pollack Crafting Novella by Lois Winston—Craft editor Anastasia Pollack receives a desperate call for help from former fashion editor Erica Milano, now in Witness Protection. Erica is being stalked and is afraid to notify the authorities. She once saved Anastasia’s life. Will Anastasia be able to return the favor before the stalker strikes?

No Quarter, A Cleopatra Jones Novella by Maggie Toussaint—Amnesia, the doctor says when accountant Cleopatra Jones wakes in a distant hospital. Hours later most of her memory returns. Detective Jack Martinez visits Cleo’s nearby wealthy client, only she’s dead and broke. To Cleo’s horror, she’s a murder suspect. Will she totally recover her memory before the killer returns?

What the Widow Knew, A Kali-O’Brien Novella by Jonnie Jacobs—Attorney Kali O’Brien takes on the case of a young woman accused of murdering her much older, very rich husband. As evidence mounts and other possible suspects are eliminated, Kali’s doubts about her client’s innocence grow. Meanwhile, Kali is also grappling with her feelings for longtime boyfriend Detective Bryce Keating.

The Magnesium Murder, A Periodic Table Mystery by Camille Minichino—While freelance embalmer Anastasia Brent prepares the body of a young bride-to-be, she learns the girl’s mother suspects foul play. Once again Anastasia is pressed into service as a sleuth, following a trail of clues in search of a murderer and justice.

Honeymoons Can Be Murder, A Lee Alvarez Novella by Heather Haven— When PI Lee Alvarez goes on her honeymoon with bridegroom, Gurn Hanson, they find a dead woman practically on their doorstep. Kauai breezes may be soft, but there are gale force winds of accusation against Gurn. Will Lee find the real killer before her new hubby gets sent to a Hawaiian hoosegow?

Smoked Meat, A Carol Sabala Novella by Vinnie Hansen—Baker and wannabe sleuth Carol Sabala visits her mother for a family Christmas get-together. It’s murder, in more ways than one.

A Deadly Fundraiser, A Talk Radio Novella by Mary Kennedy—When radio talk show host Dr. Maggie Walsh and her pals start digging up clues in a scavenger hunt at a glitzy fundraiser, the game suddenly turns deadly. Will Maggie and her team be able to crack the case and solve the crime?

The Color of Fear. A Kelly O’Connell Novella by Judy Alter—Kelly receives a written kidnap threat targeting her infant daughter, Gracie. Kelly’s assistant Keisha narrates as Kelly and her family plot their precautions, but as time passes and the threat still looms, fear takes a toll on the family…and on Keisha.

Papa’s Ghost, A Gladdy Gold Mystery Novella by Rita Lakin—Gladdy and her girls accept an assignment iat a famous resort in Key West, thinking it will combine business with pleasure. Once they arrive, Gladdy suspects something is strange. Not only is their client an unexpected shock, but so is the case of murder they are expected to solve. Can they succeed when a whole city is against them?

Some explicit language in a few of the stories.

Character interview: Lee Alvarez from Honeymoons Can Be Murder

Lee, welcome back to Island Confidential! Last time we spoke, you had discovered your CEO in a very disadvantageous position (dead in the boardroom in his baby blue boxer shorts), and your ukulele was gathering dust under your bed. Focusing on the important things as we do here at Island Confidential, what’s your progress on the ukulele?

It’s been there for three years. I tried to play it when I first got it, but it’s really hard.  For about two weeks I would practice every day. The tips of my fingers were raw. I asked a musician friend to listen to me and he said if I practiced for the next two years or so, I might move up from ‘horrible’ to ‘amusingly bad’.

So under the bed it went. I don’t know if it’s pride or just the time factor. I mean, I spend the majority of my life investigating cybercrimes, stuff like theft of intellectual property, computer hardware or software. I am the lead in-house investigator for the family-run business, Discretionary Inquiries. Sadly, there are always a few bodies I fall over when I’m not looking.

But here’s the burning question: Do I see myself the same as Sherlock Holmes and his violin?  Hmmmm. First of all, I do like a good hat, but a hounds tooth deerstalker? I think not. Something a little saucier, with a flounce and wide brim. That said, maybe I’ll pick up my uke one of these days and play Tiny Bubbles for all the world to hear. Why not? I’m insured.

Now that you’re a newlywed, how are things with your family? Who’s your main confidant these days?

Here you got me. It’s a three-way tie. Actually, four. Tío, my uncle and an incredible chef, is my strongest confidant. I tell him everything. Wait, wait. I also tell my brother, Richard, everything, too. He really is the best. Wait, wait, wait. My SIL, Richard’s wife, Vicki, gives the Alvarez family large doses of heart. I adore her. But all things are on hold now. I just came back from a honeymoon in Kauai married to the best guy in the world, Gurn Hanson. Not only is he sexy, but he gets me like nobody else does.

Is Gurn okay with your investigating?

He’s happy to be Nick to my Nora Charles. That is, when he’s not going away on a secret mission for the U.S. government.

And how are things going with mom lately? 

Well, I sure hope my mother and CEO of Discretionary Inquiries, Lila Hamilton Alvarez, won’t be reading this. Not that I’m scared of her or anything, but when she speaks, I have been known to roll over with all four in the air and bark. Then I do whatever she says. She is probably the most sophisticated, beautiful, totally in control, and terrifying woman I’ve ever met. It’s ironic that this is the mother fate chose to give me. I love her, anyway.

And your author, Heather: How is she?

Mad as a Hatter. Nice enough, but she gets me into more trouble than I bargain for. Or is that for which I bargain? Anyway, I have been conked on the head, kidnapped, shot at, wounded, waterlogged, left for dead, and we’ve only seen five books! I can’t imagine what’s in store for me next, because Heather says she’s going to keep on writing them! I guess I wouldn’t have it any other way. She keeps my life interesting.

What’s next for you?

Book Six of the Alvarez Family Murder Mysteries, The Culinary Art of Murder, debuts November 2017. I don’t want to give too much away, but I go undercover at a Silicon Valley Culinary Arts School to find a murderer! My getup is pretty awful. I’m disguised as Arbela Einstein, a name given me by my brother Richard. Apparently, I bear a striking resemblance to the discoverer of E = mc 2. However, I see some éclairs in my future, so it can’t be all bad.

Heather Haven’s Honeymoons Can Be Murder, set on the island of Kauai in Hawaii, is one of the amazing stories in Sleuthing Women II. Right now it’s only 99 cents for ten stories!



About Lois Winston

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.

Website | BlogPinterestTwitterGoodreads Newsletter | Kindle | Nook | iTunes | Kobo 

About Heather Haven

Multi-award winning author, Heather Haven, writes humorous, noir, and romantic mysteries, short stories, and plays. The San Francisco Book Review writes of her Alvarez Family Murder Mysteries set in today’s Silicon Valley, “”I found the strongest part…is Lee Alvarez herself: strong, competent, and witty, in a growing tradition of tough female detectives….. All in all, this is a strong work in the genre of the mystery/thriller.”

Honeymoons Can Be Murder, A Lee Alvarez Mystery and more romantic in nature, is the first spin-off novella from that critically acclaimed series. Ms. Haven and her husband of thirty-five years are allowed to live in the foothills of San Jose with their two adorable but demanding cats.

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New Paradise mystery, giveaway, and character interview: Fireworks in Paradise

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While on vacation in South Carolina, Tj Jensen receives a call that her father has been left in a coma after a devastating car crash. Back home in Paradise Lake, Tj learns the accident that killed family friend Judge Harper and left her father clinging to life wasn’t an accident at all—someone cut their brake lines.

To make matters worse, her friend and police contact, Deputy Roy Fisher, is working with a new partner who has no intention of letting Tj anywhere near the case. Facing an investigation more explosive than the annual fireworks show, Tj enlists the help of her best friends to unravel the mystery, all the while navigating a new romance and the thought her father may never wake up.

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

My name is Tj Jensen and I am a high school physical education teacher and coach who lives at the lakeside resort owned by my father. I live with my grandfather, father, and two half-sisters, who I have been raising since our mother died. While I appear to have a good head on my shoulders, and a firm handle on things, I am really unsure and insecure much of the time. My life has been through so many changes in the past four years that there are times I look in the mirror and wonder what happened to the single and carefree girl I was. But then I look at the man I have chosen to welcome into my life, and the two young sisters I have agreed to raise, and I realize that while uncomplicated may be a thing of the past, I wouldn’t trade who I was, for who I have become, for all the carefree moments in the world.

Of all the characters in the series, who’s the one you get along with the best?

At the moment I would have to say the character I get along with best is Kyle Donovan since we are entering a new phase in our friendship and opening the door to love. The thing I love the most about a new relationship is that the world seems to hold nothing but hope and promise in spite of the everyday challenges we all must face.

Is there anyone you don’t get along with so well? At the moment the character I seem to be getting along the least with is the new deputy in town, Kate Baldwin, who seems intent on putting an end to my amateur sleuthing even if it is the last thing she does.

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

Well basically she is an okay person but she has really put me though the ringer in terms of my romantic life over the course of the past four years. Between you and me, I really like Kyle and I hope my author has finally made up her mind and settled on my happily ever after.

What’s next for you?

I guess you will have to ask Kathi what comes next, which I have, and basically she said she really doesn’t know. I imagine that whatever she settles on will be a surprise to the both of us.

Check out the other books in the series

Pumpkins in Paradise (A Tj Jensen Mystery Book 1)

Between volunteering for the annual pumpkin festival and coaching her girls to the state soccer finals, high school teacher Tj Jensen finds her good friend Zachary Collins dead in his favorite chair.

When the handsome new deputy closes the case without so much as a “why” or “how,” Tj turns her attention from chili cook-offs and pumpkin carving to complex puzzles, prophetic riddles, and a decades-old secret she seems destined to unravel.



Snowmen in Paradise (A Tj Jensen Mystery Book 2)
Winter Carnival comes to Serenity, and with it Tj finds her schedule busier than ever. Not only is her ski and snowboard team heavily involved in demonstrations and local competitions, but her ragtag choir is about to debut in their first live performance. To make matters even more complicated, someone has killed Travis Davidson, a town favorite son, world-class snowboarder, and Olympic hopeful. Tj is determined not to get involved in the subsequent investigation until she learns the prime suspect is Chelsea Hanson, high-school boyfriend Hunter Hanson’s sister.

Although there’s no shortage of Sereninites with a grudge against the hometown hero, even Tj has to admit there’s good cause to suspect Chelsea of the murder. Balancing bridesmaid duties, Winter Carnival obligations, show choir duty, and after-hours investigation, Tj sets out to prove Chelsea innocent.


Bikinis in Paradise (A Tj Jensen Mystery Book 3)
When the Tropical Tan Corporation descends on Maggie’s Hideaway, the lakeside resort where Tj Jensen lives, she must juggle a bikini contest, a BBQ cook-off, a missing model, and a dead chaperone while her father is out of town. Lead Deputy Dylan Caine is on vacation while his sister is visiting, leaving Assistant Deputy Roy Fisher in charge. When Roy asks Tj for her help they find there may be more going on than anyone realized. With Kyle and Jenna’s help, they dig into the lives of those involved, only to find a mystery more complex than anything they could ever have imagined.


Christmas in Paradise (A Tj Jensen Mystery Book 4) Christmas in Serenity is a magical time of year Tj has always looked forward to with happy anticipation. This year her holiday spirit is marred by the impending arrival of two new men in her life. When one of them ends up dead, Tj must juggle community plays, Christmas tree cuttings, sleigh rides, and holiday shopping with a complex murder investigation. As the facts begin to unravel, she realizes she may have to risk everything to save someone she loves.




Puppies in Paradise (A Tj Jensen Mystery Book 5)
When a friend of Tj’s is injured in a car accident during a blizzard, Tj takes responsibility for the litter of puppies left behind. Meanwhile, she works with Kyle, Jenna, and the gang to catch the person responsible for the death of a close family friend. When it turns out that the main suspects are also close to the Jensens, Tj must deal with one of the most difficult decisions she’s ever had to make.


Halloween in Paradise (A Tj Jensen Mystery Book 6)

In the midst of the annual Halloween frenzy, Tj finds herself pulled into a series of events at the high school where she works. Not only must she help one of the girls on her team deal with a case of cyberbullying, but she must help a student who has recently suffered a personal tragedy. And as if Tj wasn’t busy enough, in walks Samantha Colton, a reporter for Second Look, a television series that takes a look back at unsolved murders. This time the case is the death of a popular student after the homecoming dance ten years before. To make matters even worse—or maybe more convenient—the graduating class of the victim is in town for their ten-year reunion and all the suspects just happen to have converged on Serenity for the weekend. When Samantha turns up dead, Tj must track down someone who seems willing to kill again to keep their secret.



About the Author

Author of the Zoe Donovan cozy Mystery Series, Tj Jensen Paradise Lake Mystery series, Whales and Tails Cozy Mystery Series, Sand and Sea Hawaiian Mysteries, and Seacliff High Teen Cozy Mystery Series.

Come for the murder, stay for the romance.

Kathi lives in the beautiful alpine community of Lake Tahoe with her husband Ken and dog Echo. When she’s not writing she enjoys hanging out on the beach with her children and grandchildren. During the summer she enjoys hiking, kayaking, mountain biking, wakeboarding, and sunset cruises on the lake. During the winter she enjoys cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and curling up by a fire with a good book.

Kathi uses her mountain home as inspiration for her books, all which include appearances by the wildlife she shares her life with.

Visit Kathi Daley:

Blog – http://kathidaleyblog.com

Facebook at Kathi Daley Books, www.facebook.com/kathidaleybooks

Kathi Daley Teen – www.facebook.com/kathidaleyteen

Kathi Daley Books Group Page – https://www.facebook.com/groups/569578823146850/

Kathi Daley Books Birthday Club- get a book on your birthday –https://www.facebook.com/groups/1040638412628912/

Kathi Daley Recipe Exchange – https://www.facebook.com/groups/752806778126428/

Webpage – www.kathidaley.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7278377.Kathi_Daley

Twitter at Kathi Daley@kathidaley – https://twitter.com/kathidaley

Tumblr – http://kathidaleybooks.tumblr.com/

Pinterest – http://www.pinterest.com/kathidaley/

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A new Vintage Toyshop Mystery from Crooked Lane: Murder on the Toy Town Express

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Liz McCall has come to love running her father’s vintage toyshop back home in East Aurora, NY, so when the Train and Toy Show comes to town, she’s all aboard for a fun toy-filled weekend. The only hitch is that her childhood bully Craig McFadden, now local business rival, has set up a booth next to hers. But the fun and games are over when Craig falls from the ceiling in a publicity stunt gone wrong.

What was initially thought to be a fatal accident proves much more sinister. Pulled into the case by her feelings for both Ken, the police chief, and Jack, her high school sweetheart whose brother is one the prime suspects, Liz dives headfirst into the investigation. But as she digs deeper, she’s shocked to learn her father may have been the intended target.
The trouble train is barreling down and Liz may have just bought herself a first class ticket in Murder on the Toy Town Express, Barbara Early’s delightful second installment in her Vintage Toyshop mysteries.

Character Interview: Liz McCall

Liz, welcome to Island Confidential. Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself?
Well, my name is Elizabeth McCall. Dad thought it funny to name me after the old Betsy McCall paper dolls, but I prefer to go by Liz. Two reasons for that, really. First, I hate to be called Betsy, and second, I’m not that fond of dolls, either. Paper dolls aren’t too bad, but anything with eyes and that looks like it might come to life in the middle of the night and murder you in your sleep? Yeah, not fond of those. I guess the technical term for the fear of dolls is pediophobia, but it’s definitely a drawback when you manage a vintage toyshop.

Who’s the character in the book you get along with the best?
Oh, that’s easy. My dad. That wasn’t always the case. When I was growing up, he worked long hours (he used to be the chief of police). But after Mom passed, and later, when he was injured in the line of duty and forced to retire, we connected stronger than ever before. He’s my rock, really. I don’t know what I’d do without him and that quirky sense of humor…and those truly dreadful puns of his.

Anyone you have a conflict with?
Funny you should ask that. You never forget your childhood bullies, and mine just moved back to town and opened a comic book shop just down the street. It’s not that he competes with us—except both of us sell action figures, but it rankles me that such an odious man would have a higher rating on Yelp than we do!

Just between you and me: What do you really think of your author?
She’s okay. She does have an annoying tendency to showcase my most embarrassing life moments, when I would rather sweep them under the rug. But much better than if my sister-in-law Cathy had published her version of the story. She had me dancing around the toyshop in a sheer harem costume before stumbling over a dead body.

What’s next for you?
Well, not to give too much away, but a little zinger came my way and there’s a surprise at the end of Murder on the Toy Town Express. I know that Barbara Early has plans on dealing with that for another book that comes out October, 2018.

About The Author  


Barbara Early earned an engineering degree, but after four years of doing nothing but math, developed a sudden allergy to the subject and decided to choose another occupation. Before she settled on murdering fictional people, she was a secretary, a school teacher, a pastor’s wife, and an amateur puppeteer. After several years living elsewhere, she and her husband moved back to her native Western New York State, where she enjoys cooking, crafts, classic movies and campy seventies television, board games, and posting pictures of her four cats on Facebook. She writes the Vintage Toyshop series and the Bridal Bouquet Shop Mysteries (as Beverly Allen).

Author Links





Author Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/cUh3Wn

Cozy Café: https://www.facebook.com/CozyCafeMysteries/

Killer Characters: http://www.killercharacters.com/search/label/Barbara%20Early

Purchase Links

Amazon     B&N   BAM    INDIEBOUND    Book Depository

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New College Town Cozy Series: Gone with the Wings, a Meera Patel Mystery

Author Leena Clover announces a brand new cozy mystery series set in a small Oklahoma college town. Mystery readers will enjoy this culinary cozy murder mystery featuring plenty of yummy recipes like Masala Fried Chicken and Shish Kabob Blue Plate Special.
Meera Patel is back home with the family after she dropped out of graduate school. Now she shelves books for a living and rustles up fusion recipes at Sylvie’s Cafe & Diner. Everything is fine until her old nemesis Prudence Walker floats up in the local pond. Meera is accused of murder! Well, she did publicly declare Prudence would drop dead.Meera cries foul and screams police harassment. But she has no defense when she is accused of a second crime. Flanked by pals Tony and Becky, Meera puts in the leg work, trying to solve clues and discard red herrings.Fall in Oklahoma has never been more exciting.Cozy mystery fans will love this new mystery series featuring an Asian American amateur sleuth. There is a full cast of characters with a professor father, young sibling, old grandparents, loyal friends and a candid glimpse into South Asian culture.

Character Interview: Meera Patel

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

I’m Meera Patel, a 20 something girl from Swan Creek, Oklahoma. My father loves to think I’m some kind of prodigy. I think he expects me to be one. But I love cooking more than hacking computer networks which I’m good at. Really good at. No one really knows why I dropped out of graduate school just a few credits shy of getting my degree. I packed my bags one fine day, bid California goodbye and came back home to Swan Creek. A certain blue eyed guy might have something to do with it. But no one’s guessed it yet. So let’s keep it between us for now.

Who’s the Gone With the Wings character you get along with the best?

That’s a toss-up between Tony and Becky. We’ve been together since first grade. But there’s some things I talk to Becky about that I can’t share with Tony. He’s a guy, after all.

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

Pappa, my grandpa, is always on my case, I don’t know why. He refers to me as ‘that girl’ all the time, never calls me sweetie or baby like my Motee Ba. He’s just a cranky old man, I guess. Or he just likes ordering everyone around. Colonial hangover!

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

I think she’s done a fair job so far. She’s kept my secrets. She lets something slip once in a while, but thankfully, it’s been vague enough that most people haven’t caught on. She keeps wanting to talk about my mother though. And my future. What’s the rush, I don’t get it. I’m happy frying chicken at Sylvie’s, for now. Maybe I won’t be doing it two years later. But I’m in no hurry to get there.

What’s next for you?

Have you joined forces with my Dad? That’s all he asks me every few days. He wants me to get on with my life, do something spectacular. But what? Isn’t that the million dollar question?

I’m having a good time back here in Swan Creek. Rustling up new recipes for Sylvie’s Café is rewarding. And then I spend all my free time with my pals. I think I might have to go back to school soon. Maybe even teach a few classes. Or I might become a full fledged PI. Yeah, that’ll be the day. Meera Patel, Private Investigator instead of Dr. Meera Patel, Professor.

Que Sera Sera, right? What do you think is in store for me?

About the Author

Leena Clover is the author of the brand new Meera Patel Cozy Mystery Series, starring a 20 something Desi girl as the protagonist. The series is set in a small Oklahoma college town Meera calls home.

Leena Clover offers plenty of clues for her readers so that they can solve the mystery as they read along. Readers can expect a unique look into Indian/ South Asian culture and plenty of yummy recipes.Author Links

Twitter – http://twitter.com/leenaclover

Facebook – http://facebook.com/meerapatelcozymystery

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16918791.Leena_Clover

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New from Ellen Byron: A Cajun Christmas Killing

>>>Enter to Win a hardcover copy of A Cajun Christmas Killing (plus swag)<<<

Maggie Crozat is back home in bayou country during the most magical time of the year. In Pelican, Louisiana, Christmastime is a season of giant bonfires on the levee, zydeco carols, and pots of gumbo. Except, this year, the Grinch has come to stay at the family-run Crozat Plantation B&B. When he floods travel websites with vicious reviews, Maggie thinks she’s identified him as rival businessman Donald Baxter. That is, until he’s found stabbed to death at Maggie’s workplace. And Maggie and her loved ones become top suspects.

The Crozats quickly establish alibis, but Maggie’s boyfriend, Detective Bo Durand, remains under suspicion. With Bo sidelined during the investigation, Maggie finds herself forced to work with an unlikely ally: longtime family enemy Rufus Durand. Her sleuthing uncovers more suspects than drummers drumming, and lands her in the crosshairs of the murderer.

The sleigh bells are jingling, and the clock is ticking for Maggie and Rufus, who must catch the killer or it will be the opposite of a Joyeux Noël in A Cajun Christmas Killing, the recipe-stuffed third installment of USA Today bestselling author Ellen Byron’s Cajun Country mysteries.


Interview with Innkeeper and amateur sleuth Maggie Crozat

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

Maggie Crozat: I’m an artist, but I help out at my family’s Louisiana plantation-turned-B&B. I also have a part-time job working at another plantation, one my mother’s family owned but donated to the state. I have to – I mean, get to – wear one of those fake antebellum ball gowns. Honestly? Not my style. I’m a jeans and t-shirt kinda gal.

I’m 5’4” and have hazel eyes, but I’ve always wanted to be 5’7” and have one blue and one green eye. I’m an artist and I have a fantasy of seeing the world blue through the blue eye and green through the green eye. Does that sound crazy? Yeah, it sounds crazy. But I don’t care, it’s true!

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

I’m very close to my parents and have fantastic friends, but I’d have to say I get along best with my grand-mere. She’s smart and has a great sense of humor, and only plays the Southern grand dame card when she has to. But when she plays it, Katie, bar the door. That’s something she would say. I also have an extremely hot boyfriend. Like, “what’s he doing with me and not a super model?” hot. Just thought I’d mention that.

Which character do you have a conflict with?

Oh, that’s easy. Rufus Durand. His family’s hated mine for 150 years, ever since my great-great-great-grandmother dumped his great-great-great-grandfather for cheating on her during their engagement. But there’s been a thaw in our relationship. Stay tuned! (Translation: read book three, A CAJUN CHRISTMAS KILLING.)

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

She’s very bossy – always telling me what to do. And I think she’s mean for not making me 5’7” and not giving me one green and one blue eye. And for stuffing me into those wretched antebellum ball gowns. Do you know what it’s like suffering through Louisiana’s legendary humidity wearing twenty yards of polyester? Hashtag brutal!

What’s next for you?

I love Christmas in Cajun Country. They build these giant bonfires all along the levees near my hometown of Pelican, Louisiana, and light them on Christmas Eve to guide Papa Noel to the houses of Cajun children. But those bonfires can be dangereux, especially if a murderer is on the loose. You can read about how one of those psychopaths almost got me in the previously mentioned  A Cajun Christmas Killing. After putting me through that, my author better get me something nice for Christmas. Like one blue and one green eye.

About The Author  

Body on the Bayou, the second in Ellen’s Cajun Country Mystery series, won the Left Coast Crime Lefty Award for Best Humorous Mystery, and was nominated for a Best Contemporary Novel Agatha Award. Her debut book in the series, Plantation Shuddersmade the USA Today Bestsellers list, and was nominated for Agatha, Lefty, and Daphne awards. Ellen is also a recipient of a William F. Deeck-Malice Domestic Grant from the Malice Domestic Convention. Her TV credits include Wings, Still Standing, and Just Shoot Me, as well as network and cable pilots. As a journalist, she’s written over 200 magazine articles for national publications. Her plays, published by Dramatists Play Service, include the popular Graceland and Asleep on the Wind. A native New Yorker and graduate of Tulane University, Ellen lives in the Los Angeles area with her husband, daughter, and the family’s spoiled rescue dogs.

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New Thriller from Crooked Lane: Lies She Told

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Sometimes the truth is darker than fiction.

Liza Cole has thirty days to write the thriller that could put her back on the bestseller list. In the meantime, she’s struggling to start a family with her husband, who is distracted by the disappearance of his best friend, Nick. With stresses weighing her down in both her professional and her personal lives, Liza escapes into writing her latest heroine, Beth.

Beth is a new mother who suspects her husband is cheating on her while she’s home alone caring for their newborn. Angry and betrayed, she sets out to catch him in the act and make him pay for shattering the illusion of their perfect life. But before she realizes it, she’s tossing the body of her husband’s mistress into the East River.

Then the lines between fiction and reality begin to blur. Nick’s body is dragged from the same river and Liza’s husband is arrested for his murder. Before her deadline is up, Liza will have to face up to the truths about the people around her, including herself. If she doesn’t, the end of her heroine’s story could be the end of her own.

Character Interview: Liza Cole

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

My name is Liza Cole and I’m a suspense writer. I write frequently about heroines with children, which might give the impression that I have a few of my own. Unfortunately, I don’t—not for lack of trying. Short of immaculate conception, though, I’m not sure kids will happen for me. My husband’s business partner went missing and he’s been struggling to keep the firm afloat. There hasn’t been much time for us, lately. Anyway, I’m babbling. I do that when I’m nervous. Sorry.

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

My best friend Christine has been my rock since childhood. She was there when I got depressed after my dad left and also when my mom died. She’s a fiery redhead with a sardonic streak, but she’s also the most loyal person I’ve ever known. I love her. She’s the family I chose.

Is there anyone you have a conflict with?

I didn’t really like my husband David’s business partner and friend, Nick. He always treated me as the girl David had settled for. I guess that I tied down Nick’s wingman before Nick was ready to give up the single-in-the-city lifestyle. But, I shouldn’t speak ill of him, given the circumstances. He is my husband’s best friend, after all. I also don’t really like Jake, the husband in the book that I am writing about Beth. He cheats on her right after she’s had a baby. But, he’s not real so…

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

As an author, I relate to her. She’s empathetic. I think she spends a lot of time wondering what it’s like to be other people and how she’d handle horrible situations, which I understand. Believe me. I think she’s a bit of a control freak for all her extensive plotting, though.

Liza, what’s next for you?

If I told you that, you might not read my book. My author is working on another psychological suspense thriller involving neighbors and a beach house.

About The Author

Cate Holahan, author of the acclaimed psychological suspense novel The Widower’s Wife, is an award-winning journalist and a former television producer. She currently lives in New Jersey with her husband and two children.

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New suspense and character interview: A Game of Deceit by K. A. Davis

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A father’s disappearance never solved, a mother’s secret taken to the grave, a daughter deceived…
Kathryn Landry thinks her life is just about perfect. She is the owner of a successful interior designer business in Newport Beach, California, and she has an attentive, supportive husband. But her world comes crashing down when her husband, Neil Landry, vanishes without a trace… in a situation almost identical to the disappearance of her father twenty years before.

With her father’s disappearance still a mystery, Kathryn is skeptical that the detective assigned to her case will be able to find her husband. Determined to uncover the truth, Kathryn is plunged into a world of politics, high-priced call girls and wealth. As she begins to search for her husband, a decades-old secret her mother took to the grave threatens to destroy all she holds dear. Caught up in a web of betrayals and deceit, and not knowing who to trust, Kathryn must find a way to survive as she discovers the past has a way of repeating itself.

Character interview: Kathryn Landry

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

I didn’t have the best teenage years after my father disappeared when I was fourteen. I felt pretty lucky when I met my future husband, Neil, in college. He was strong and I was happy to let him take care of me. Once we graduated, I found my passion and started up an interior design company in Newport Beach but let him take control of all the decisions. Once he disappeared, I was lost when it came to how the business side of my company was ran. And then all sorts of terrible things started happening to me, like my apartment being broken into, someone forced me off the road which landed me in the emergency room, and then someone tried to abduct me. Never in a million years would I have thought I could handle traumas like this but I’ve found that I’m a much stronger person than I realized.

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

My assistant, Marianne Patton. She’s a grandmotherly sort, taking strays like me under her wing. I envision my own grandmothers, whom I never had the chance to meet, as being women like Marianne. Marianne also likes to bake and cook and always has food to share with friends. I try to ignore my sweet tooth but it’s pretty hard when she is passing around her delectable treats.

I understand there’s one person you don’t get along with so well.

Detective Mike Williams. I was warned about him after he was assigned to my husband’s disappearance case. He’s a bit chauvinistic and inclined to blame me for my husband leaving instead of doing his job and finding the truth. We seem to butt heads often and I don’t like that he yells at me on occasion. Some people might say I deserve it but I think there are better ways to communicate displeasure.

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

I’d be a lot happier with her if she spent as much time with me as she did with her friends on Facebook! I mean, come ‘on… how many of those people have had their father and their husband disappear without a trace? Instead she relegates me to the dark files of her computer for months, if not years on end. I’ll cut her some slack though, on the amount of time she spends with her granddaughters, Jaidyn and Emory. I’d ignore me too if I had sweet little girls to dote on.

What’s next for you? 

I think I have a chance at finding my happily-ever-after but once again my author is relegating me to the dark recess of her mind. She says there’s a wannabe cupcake baker caught up in the murder of her best friend that needs some help. I’m not giving up though, my story isn’t finished and I have a couple secrets I haven’t shared with her yet.

About The Author

Kim Davis lives in Southern California with her husband, near wildfire country. During the Portola Hills fire in October 2007, she had to evacuate her two young granddaughters, one of whom has Rett Syndrome, as a wall of one hundred foot flames crept towards their home. Thankfully, due to the brave efforts of firefighters, their neighborhood was spared and no loss of life or property occurred. She was able to use that experience to write a harrowing scene in A Game of Deceit.

She writes the Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder blog and has had several children’s articles published in Cricket, Nature Friend, Skipping Stones, and the Seed of Truth magazines. Kim Davis is a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime.


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New Quilting Mystery and character interview: Knot What You Think

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The newest member of Martha’s close-knit quilting circle has an eye for couture. But when the designer’s fingerprints are found blanketing a crime scene, Martha must prove that he didn’t have a hand in homicide!

Martha Rose is alarmed by the discovery of Dolleen Doyle’s dead body, especially when evidence suggests a fellow quilter committed the crime. Set on clearing her pal, Martha searches for answers—but with ties to a convicted fraudster’s stolen millions and a secret office room, the victim’s past raises even more questions. As Martha inches towards the culprit, she learns that wrapping the case up—and living to baste another square—will be trickier than she ever imagined . . .

Character Interview with Yossi Levy

Aloha Yossi, and thank you for stopping by Island Confidential. Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself?

YL: My name is Yossi Levy, but my friends all call me Crusher. I got that name because of some undercover work I did in the ATF. A paramilitary group was planning to blow up the Federal building on Wilshire Boulevard in LA. They used a construction company as cover. Anyway, I managed to infiltrate. My job was to operate a big machine that crushed rocks into gravel, and the name stuck.

I met my girlfriend Martha Rose while I was running an op out of a bike shop in Reseda, posing as the leader of the Valley Eagles biker gang.  We were after some local skells selling stolen military ordinance to terrorists overseas. We were so dark, even the LAPD didn’t know who we were.

A civilian who was doing some technical work for us got accused of murder. Martha was his neighbor. That’s how I met her.

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

YL: You know, I’d like to say Martha, but the truth is, she’s hard to pin down. I want to get married, but she’s afraid to commit. The guy I really like is her Uncle Isaac. He’s an 80-year-old scholar.

I grew up in an Orthodox Jewish home in New York, and although I’m not strictly observant anymore, I still keep a lot of the traditions.  I didn’t go to public school. I studied in a private Yeshiva. That’s a school which focuses on learning Jewish sacred texts. I loved that stuff. Now I look forward to discussions with Isaac when we celebrate the Sabbath together.

Which other character do you have a conflict with? 

YL: Are you kidding? Beavers! LAPD Detective Arlo Beavers. He was Martha’s boyfriend when I first met her. Then he cheated on her. That’s when I saw my chance and took it. The dude still comes sniffing around, hoping to win her back. But I can’t blame him. Martha is one sassy woman; smart and sexy.

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

YL: Mary Marks? She’s one spunky old gal. She didn’t publish her first book until she was 70 years old. Now she’s 74 and publishing her fifth murder mystery. One word for her is eccentric. She used to have gray hair. Now it’s turquoise and purple. She also pierced her nostril. And, I hear she plans to go skydiving on her 75th birthday.

What’s next for you?

Well, I’m staying in the ATF for now. And I really want to get married. I’ll just have to wait until Martha is convinced I won’t abandon her. Isaac is helping me with that. 

About the Author

Born and raised in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area, Mary Marks earned a B.A. in Anthropology from UCLA and an M.A. in Public Administration from the American Jewish University in Los Angeles. In 2004 she enrolled in the UCLA Extension Writers Program.

Her first novel, Forget Me Knot, was a finalist in a national writing competition in 2011. She is currently a reviewer of cozy mysteries for The New York Journal of Books at www.nyjournalofbooks.com.

Readers can visit her at www.marymarksmysteries.com and https://www.facebook.com/mmarks2013

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New Cat Cafe Mystery: Cat About Town by Cate Conte

The first novel in a frisky new mystery series set in a small New England town, where an unlikely citizen is called in to solve the purrfect crime. . .

Maddie James has arrived in Daybreak Island, just off the coast of Massachusetts, eager to settle down and start her own business—and maybe even fall in love. When a stray orange tabby pounces into her life, she’s inspired to open a cat café. But little does Maddie know that she’s in for something a lot more catastrophic when her new furry companion finds the dead body of the town bully. Now all eyes are on Maddie: Who is this crazy cat-whisperer lady who’s come to town? If pet-hair-maintenance and crime-fighting weren’t keeping her busy enough, Maddie now has not one but two eligible bachelors who think she’s the cat’s pajamas . . . and will do anything to win her heart. But how can she even think about happily-ever-after while a killer remains on the loose—and on her path?

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

Thanks for having me! I’m Maddie James, and I’ve just returned to Daybreak Island, where I grew up. My grandma just died, and my grandpa Leo needs me. But that’s nothing new – my family thinks I’m their own personal Dear Abby. You readers may pick this up as you start reading the series, but they all really love it when I solve their problems. Even when I was out west, it was inevitable – once a week I’d get a call from someone with a crisis to handle or problem to solve. Like the time my dad needed talking points written for an event he was attending and his assistant couldn’t do it. Then my sister Sam called me from the hairdresser’s chair once to ask me how many inches she should get cut off her hair! I mean, seriously. I’m not sure what any of them would do if I got hit by a bus.

Which character do you get along with the best?

Aside from JJ the stray cat I picked up? My best friend Becky. We’ve known each other since we were kids, when I was a burgeoning entrepreneur and she was dreaming of being editor of the Daybreak Island Chronicle. We stayed friends throughout my travels west, and now that we’ve both reached our goals and I’m back in town, we’re just picking up where we left off. She’s my voice of logic, my sounding board—and my main source of news, both on and off the record.

Which other character do you have a conflict with?

Officer Craig Tomlin, my high school boyfriend. It’s an interesting conflict—neither of us will admit it’s really a conflict! First he’s in the uncomfortable position of having to interview my grandpa – his former boss! – in a murder. To make it worse, I think he’s thinking we can rekindle our romance. I’m not sure I want that, but I don’t want to hurt his feelings. It’s kind of a dilemma.

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

Ha! Love this. She needs to write faster! I have so many more stories to tell and adventures to have. And she needs to stop procrastinating too. I’ve heard that’s her worst habit…

What’s next for you?

I’ve got to get the cat cafe up and running! That’s if I decide to stay on the island…Keep reading, though. I assure you JJ and I will have plenty more adventures to tell you about.

About The Author

Cate Conte is the alter ego of Liz Mugavero. Liz is the author of the Pawsitively Organic Mystery series from Kensington Books, the first of which was an Agatha nominee for Best First Novel. As you can imagine, her canine and feline rescues demand the best organic food and treats around. She is a member of Sisters in Crime National, Sisters in Crime New England, Mystery Writers of America, and the Cat Writers’ Association. She currently lives in Connecticut.

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