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).

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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 from Crooked Lane: No Turning Back by Tracy Buchanan

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Anna Graves’s whole life has recently been turned upside down. A new mother, she’s just gone back to her job as a radio presenter and is busy navigating a new schedule of late night feeding and early morning wake ups while also dealing with her newly separated husband. Then the worst happens. While Anna is walking on the beach with her daughter, she’s attacked by a crazed teenager. Terrified, Anna reacts instinctively to protect her baby.

But her life falls apart when the schoolboy dies from his injuries. The police believe Anna’s story, until the autopsy results reveal something more sinister. A frenzied media attack sends Anna into a spiral of self-doubt. Her precarious mental state is further threatened when she receives a chilling message from someone claiming to be the “Ophelia Killer,” a serial killer who preyed on the town twenty years ago—and who abruptly stopped when Anna’s father committed suicide.

Is Anna as innocent as she claims? And is murder forgivable, if committed to save your child’s life? Internationally bestselling author Tracy Buchanan takes readers on an emotional roller coaster ride filled with heart-stopping secrets and hairpin turns in No Turning Back, her US debut.


About The Author

Julie Chase is a mystery-loving pet enthusiast who hopes to make readers smile. She lives in rural Ohio with her husband and three spunky children. Julie is a member of the International Thriller Writers (ITW) and Sisters in Crime (SinC). She is represented by Jill Marsal of Marsal Lyons Literary Agency.

Julie also writes as Julie Anne Lindsey. Learn more about Julie at http://juliechasebooks.com/


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