Murder at Serengeti Plains by Pat Duggan

Murder at Serengeti Plains is the third mystery novel in the series, featuring amateur sleuths Hazel Davies and Anna Kohl. The earlier novels are Murder at Eagles Nest and Could They Be Twins?

The book is set in a new residential subdivision, Serengeti Plains, built by the renowned local builder, Zebra Homes. It is located in the peaceful, historic town of Centerville, Ohio. However, peace is shattered when the new residents are awakened one morning by the sound of police sirens. The procession of police cars, come to rest in their own neighborhood. A body has been discovered! Was it an accident or was it murder?

Hazel Davies and Anna Kohl have recently moved into this new subdivision. They have previously helped the police to solve murders in both Florida and Ohio, but they did not expect to find one on their own doorstep. When the police begin to look at their friend as the perpetrator, they find themselves drawn into yet another murder investigation.

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Detective Grant and Officer Kilgore found Noah and Luke in the next street which was a ‘hive’ of activity, with multiple homes in various stage of construction. Both were trying to focus on the job in hand, while clearly concerned about what was happening in the cul-de-sac. They had figured someone would come and talk to them when they were ready. Grant introduced himself and Officer Kilgore, then made a note of their names for his records.

Noah spoke up first and said, “I know you have been over at site 564. When I looked there seemed to be a body, but I am still hoping I was wrong. Surely, it cannot be true. I am hoping it was just a hoax, you know a dummy or something. Tell us what has actually happened?”

Detective Grant replied, “I am sorry to tell you, it is not a hoax. We found a body, buried in the gravel basement this morning. Louis Taylor discovered the hidden body when he and his crew were pouring the concrete for the basement floor. We are fortunate that it was discovered before they started pouring in the corner where it was hidden.”

Both Noah and Luke were clearly shocked by the news. Finally, Luke asked, “Do you know who it is? I mean is it a man or a woman? And what were they doing on a building site?”

Grant cleared his throat and answered, “Well, it is a man, probably in his late forties. Unfortunately, there was no identification on the body, so we are still working on an I.D. In fact, I am hoping you will be able to help me out on that matter. I have just received a photograph from the coroner’s office. I am afraid it is a little difficult to look at, but I would appreciate your help if you could just take a look.”


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Which Character is Your Favorite and Why?

My favorite character is Noah. Hazel and Anna never did know his last name as he introduced himself only as Noah. He, along with Luke were the construction managers on the Zebra Homes building site. There job required infinite patience and considerable organizational skills. Between them, they were responsible for scheduling the variety of contractors on each new home site during construction. They had to ensure that everything was done in the appropriate order but with the minimum delay. Each home’s construction was subject to a tight schedule and nobody could afford to leave a property untouched for any period of time. All of this organization was in the hands of Noah and Luke. Obviously dealing with multiple contractors and each of their employees had the potential for arguments and complaints. Once again it was up to Noah and Luke to maintain calm and keep things moving.

In addition, these guys had to deal with daily inspections not only from various authorities but also from the new homeowners. Noah had a good relationship with Hazel and Anna while their home was under construction, and this continued after they moved into their new home. Although he had a busy workload, he always made time for Hazel as she invariably had questions about the finer points of house building when they met during their daily walk around the building site.

In his daily work life, Noah treated everyone with respect and was a strong, confident man. However, when Detective Grant basically accused him of murder, he was scared and visibly shaken. He knew the limits of his own capabilities and had no problem in seeking help from someone with skills outside his field of expertise. Noah quickly sought help from Hazel and Anna and placed himself in their hands.

About the Author

Originally from Manchester, England, Pat Duggan moved to the U.S. in 1985. After a career in finance, which included running her own book-keeping and tax business, in the Cincinnati area, Pat and her partner retired and moved to Oregon. Years later, they embarked on a five-year journey, traveling across the country in a motorhome.

Writing was a whole new direction for Pat, which began with two non-fiction books – The Power Within and Finding God in an RV. Then she branched into writing fiction as she turned to her love for solving murder mysteries and the challenge to figure out ‘whodunit!’

Sadly, their traveling days are over, but settling down has brought its own reward as it inspired this latest novel.

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Coyote Man: A Detective Frank Riley Mystery by JoAnn Conner

Nothing hits hardened Detective Frank Riley like kids in danger, and he finds himself embroiled in an ever shifting case to stop these kids from dying. In the midst of trying to find the dealer slipping them the drugs, he lands a strange case of a woman sitting on the bench outside of the hospital. She has been shot, but remembers nothing about how she came to be there. Dead coyotes start turning up, shot with the same caliber of bullet as the woman.

Then two young girls, who have been savagely beaten and assaulted, are found half buried in snow outside of the emergency room. What is the connection between these cases? Riley and his partner, Sam Rayburn, are hard pressed to put all the pieces together before there is another victim.

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Frank Riley walked out the doors of the Emergency Room, thinking of a hot shower and a warm bed. Earlier, he had been thinking of a burger and a cold beer, but now, he wanted sleep. He was bone tired; so tired he didn't even want to eat. He had seen some crazy, gruesome scenes in his time, but crime that hurt kids always pulled at him more than any other.

The night air was crisp and fresh and he stood, taking deep breaths for a few minutes, gazing up at the bright stars in the clear sky. The sheer beauty of the heavens above started to relax him, and closing his eyes, he rolled his shoulders to ease the tension. He started to key into dispatch and let them know they were clear and returning to the station, but something made him turn to look away from the building.

Scanning the parking lot as his hand rested on the button of the mic on his shoulder, his eyes fell on a form sitting on the bench at the main entrance, facing away from him. It was cold outside, just nine degrees, but the figure sat perfectly still.

“Ready Frank?’ asked Rayburn, coming out of the sliding doors and moving to join him. 

“Not yet,” answered Riley. Rayburn followed his eyes and walked with him as Frank moved across the frozen ground to the bench outside the public entrance to the emergency room. He could now see it was a woman sitting in the cold, but she gave no indication she saw or heard them walking towards her.

She did not move as they approached and the two officers exchanged a glance, automatically spreading out. She stared straight ahead, and Frank noted her right hand was inside her jacket. He glanced at Rayburn, and the younger officer moved behind her as Frank moved closer and stood in front, and slightly to the right, of the woman.

“Ma’am? Are you alright?” Frank asked, studying her rigid face. The woman did not move and gave no sign that she had heard him. He studied her, then repeated “Are you alright?” Her eyelids flickered slightly, but there was no other movement. “Do you need help?” he continued. She nodded her head so slightly, he almost doubted the motion.

Frank scrutinized her, guessing her age to be early thirties, average build and height, with wisps of ash blonde hair escaping the pony tail that held it back behind her head. Her face was too pale but had a rosiness on her cheeks and nose that indicated recent exposure to the sun or wind. She wore black pants and snow boots that reached nearly to her knees. Her jacket said North Face on the front and was a greenish gray in color. The hand that lay listlessly in her lap was protected by what appeared to be a glove of good outdoor quality. Well dressed for the weather, but still…

“What are you doing out here?” he asked. Something was very off, and he needed to find out what was going on.

“Waiting,” she whispered.

“What are you waiting for?” he asked carefully, unconsciously bending his head in her direction.

“Maybe for you," she hissed.  Frank inhaled sharply. She said it so softly he could barely hear the words, but they sent a chill down his spine. Slowly, she raised her eyes to meet his, but there was a vacant quality to them that he found unnerving. Her eyes were dark brown in color, and while her eyes looked into his, he was not at all convinced they actually saw him. Frank noted Rayburn had moved his hand to the butt of his weapon as she spoke.

“Can you take your hand out of your jacket for me please?” he said levelly.

“No.” It was barely a whisper. Frank stiffened at the answer and looked at her more intently. Rayburn took a step closer to her back.

“Do you have something inside your jacket?” he asked, putting more assertiveness in his tone.

“Yes.” She still did not move.

“Can you tell me what is inside your jacket?” The hair on the back of his neck prickled and he realized he was holding his breath.

“My hand.” She had dropped her gaze again and was staring at his knees.

“Do you have something in your hand?” Deliberately, he kept his voice controlled and even.

“Yes,” she whispered.


About the Author

JoAnn Conner is a former history and English teacher who has always been fascinated with mysteries and history. She relies heavily on research and personal experience to bring her stories to life with intrigue and unexpected details.

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Ink, Red, Dead: Kiki Lowenstein Mystery Series by Joanna Campbell Slan

On a sweltering day, ace scrapbooker Kiki Lowenstein has to cancel a crafting party when she discovers Marla Lever, their hostess, nearly dead of the heat. Not only is Marla seriously "under the weather," she's also a hoarder, and her home is a house of horrors, complete with a corpse in the cooler. Meanwhile, Detective Chad Detweiler works a cold case that involves women disappearing all over St. Louis. The attraction between Kiki and Detweiler heats to a red-hot fever pitch, but will it boil over and leave both of them feeling burned?

Available on Amazon.


“Our best friend, our next-door neighbor, and ourselves with just a touch of the outrageous.” That’s how RT Book Review describes Joanna’s protagonist, Kiki Lowenstein. The truth is that’s a pretty good description of Joanna Campbell Slan as well.

Joanna is a New York Times Bestselling, USA Today Bestselling, and Amazon Bestselling author as well as a woman prone to frequent bursts of crafting frenzy, leaving her with burns from her hot glue gun and paint on her clothes. And the mess? Let’s not even go there.

Otherwise, Joanna’s a productive author with more than 80 written projects to her credit. Her non-fiction work includes how to books, a college textbook for public speakers, and books of personal essays (think Chicken Soup for the Soul).

Currently, she writes five fiction series: The Kiki Lowenstein Mystery Series (Agatha Award Finalist, contemporary, St. Louis setting, crafting), the Cara Mia Delgatto Mystery Series (contemporary, Florida setting, DIY, and recycling), the Jane Eyre Chronicles (Daphne du Maurier Award Winner, 1830s England, based on Charlotte Brontë’s classic), the Tai Chi Mystery Series (contemporary, senior citizen female amateur sleuth and Washington, DC setting), and the Friday Night Mystery Club Series (traditional mystery, 1980s setting, Midwest).

A former TV talk show host, college teacher, and public relations specialist, Joanna was one of the early Chicken Soup for the Soul contributors. She won a Silver Anvil for her work on the original FarmAid concert to benefit farmers.

In her ongoing quest never to see snow again, Joanna lives with her husband and their Havanese puppy, Jax, on an island off the coast of Florida. You can email her at or visit her website at

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March 21 – I Read What You Write – GUEST POST
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Black Bear Alibi - A Rockfish Island Mystery by J.C. Fuller


Ranger Philip Russell has stumbled across a dead body in the forest. Unsure if the woman is a local or someone from the mainland, the new female sheriff has come to the PNW island to determine if the small community still has anything to fear. Eager to solve the mystery, the ranger and sheriff instantly find themselves at odds with each other. Philip, defending the people he's known his whole life, and Sheriff Lane, giving no one the benefit of the doubt-- not even Philip. Together, the investigation progresses, and both quickly realize not everyone is who they pretend to be, and someone on the island is a killer.

Available on Amazon.



Philip Russell pointed the Parks & Rec's pickup truck in the direction of the public entrance and began his morning circulation of Rockfish Island's National Park. Having finished moving the large, yellow roadblock gate to the side of the road, he'd officially opened the north side of the park for the day.

With the heady smell of exhaust upon the crisp air and a plume of white vapor pouring from the truck’s tailpipe, Philip furiously rubbed his hands together. The early spring morning had left a heavy frost on the gate, and the sting of bitter cold could still be felt in his fingertips.

Cautiously reaching over, he kept one eye on the road and cranked the heater up to its highest setting. Already feeling the heat rushing through the vents, he lifted the coffee filled thermos lid off the dash and took a tentative sip of the steaming hot liquid. The island didn’t have a Starbucks.

Slowly coming to a stop, he peered at the outdoor bulletin board, which stood on the right side of the road. Through the passenger window, he saw there was nothing different from the day before, no notes left behind to bring anything to his attention. Even the small payment envelopes and park brochures were still fully stocked.

Noting this was a good start to his day and satisfied all was in order, Philip continued to meander down the park's graveled dirt road at a safe fifteen miles per hour. As a park ranger, Philip knew a deer or elk could unexpectedly come barging across the road. And having received a new patrol truck the month before, he was wanting to keep it as shiny and unblemished as long as possible. It was also the safe and lazy pace of a man, having only slept a few hours the night before, to get an extra cup of coffee down his gullet before hitting the office.

Doing his best to suppress a yawn, Philip slowed the truck even more. He was approaching the third curve of the road, a favorite spot for deer due to the long grass lining the side of the road when a small black furball rambled out in front of his truck. Philip slammed on the brakes, letting out a curse as hot coffee splashed down his thigh. Another ball of fur scurried into the middle of the road, and a third one quickly followed.

“Well, I'll be damned.”

Philip smiled to himself, knowing as well as anyone what black bear cubs looked like. Placing his empty thermos mug on the dash, he slowly reached over and grabbed the shotgun resting in the gun rack by his seat. Three cubs were sure to be followed by a mama bear, and there was never any messing with one of those.

The last two cubs, who had tumbled together in a play fight, stopped to take a curious look at the truck. When one of them bravely began to take a step towards the vehicle, Philip gave the horn a light honk, sending both bundles of fur flying backwards with wariness.

A deep warning growl suddenly came from the left side of the road, and Philip got a good look at the black bear sow. She had materialized out of nowhere, her black fur bristled, muscles moving smoothly beneath. Resting on all fours, her heavy dark paws found the road, lifting her out of the forest trench, her shoulders as high as the hood of his truck.

Eying Philip and the truck with distrust, she let out a loud huff of air and quickly paced herself over to her cubs, encouraging them with her huge body mass to keep moving.

Philip noticed two things about her immediately.

First, she was tagged.

A bright orange colored tag was attached to each of her round ears. Which meant she was one of the three females on the island and, apparently, she'd had three cubs over the winter. A rarity for bears. He would need to let the Department of Wildlife know so they could come out and tag the little critters.

Second, her tan muzzle was colored reddish-brown with blood. This didn't alarm Philip. It was just a curious thing to note. He assumed she'd taken a small fawn or a baby elk and had been enjoying her breakfast when her offspring decided to run off on her. 


J.C. Fuller is the author of the Rockfish Island Mysteries series.

A lover of all things mystery, especially thrillers and whodunnits, she is excited to share her own imagination with her readers and is currently working on expanding the series.

She lives in Washington state and is a nature lover, enjoying the outdoors with her family whenever possible, and lives at home with her two faithful companion dogs, who also keep her feet warm when she's writing.

Please look for False Findings- A Rockfish Island Mystery: III coming out in May 2022.

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Tea & Sympathy by J. New


Tea & Sympathy

A Tea & Sympathy Mystery Book 1

by J. New

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Meet Lilly Tweed. Former Agony Aunt. Purveyor of Fine Teas. Accidental Sleuth.

When Lilly Tweed former agony aunt with the local newspaper is made redundant, she takes the opportunity to pursue a lifelong ambition, to open The Tea Emporium in the small market town of Plumpton Mallet.

But with her replacement making a hash of the column, it’s not long before she is once again being sought for valuable advice.

When the body of a local woman is found drowned in the river, the contents of her pockets reveal a letter from Lilly and she’s unwillingly drawn into the case.

But is it just a tragic accident, as the police think? Lilly isn’t convinced, but pursuing her own inquiry means it isn’t long before she gets into hot water.

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Lilly looked up just as the bell above the door rang and a familiar face walked in.

“Archie Brown!” she exclaimed, pleased to see him. “I wondered when I’d get a visit from you.”

“Sorry it’s been so long, Lilly.” He said, removing his Trilby hat and giving her a peck on the cheek. “It’s a busy life as a crime reporter, you know.”

“Have a seat and I’ll get you a drink. What do you fancy?”

“Anything to take the edge off and stop me wanting to throw things.”

Lilly raised an eyebrow. This was unlike the Archie she knew. She perused her tea selection then nodded, picking a passionflower blend noted for helping with stress. She chose Rooibos for herself and with both teas made she asked him how life at the newspaper had been since she’d left.

Archie sighed. “Awful, if I’m honest. Abigail Douglas, your replacement, is a complete nightmare. She’s ruined your column and unfortunately has discovered people are still writing to you. She knows about your letterbox outside and she’s on the war path, I’m afraid.”

“I realised there must be a problem when the column was missing from the paper, but it’s hardly my fault. I installed the letterbox because I was getting so many letters. I thought it would trickle off once they got used to Abigail. Looks like that’s not going to be the case though, doesn’t it?”

Archie scoffed. “Well, it’s hardly surprising considering she’s unintentionally ‘outed’ a couple of people in the column already. Infidelity and fraud, would you believe? Didn’t go as far as actually naming them, but gave enough clues so that they’d be recognised by their nearest and dearest. People won’t write in to her if she’s going to splash their problems all over the paper.”

“But she can’t do that, Archie! Doesn’t she realise this is a small town? You can’t walk six feet without bumping into someone you know.”

Lilly broke off for a moment to serve a couple of customers who had come in for their regular supplies.

“Try telling Abigail that,” Archie continued once Lilly had returned. “She’s from a bigger concern, remember. Dealing with large cities where people don’t know their neighbours and sensationalism sells papers. Her advice is dreadful. She’s peddling gossip rather than genuine advice. Between you and me, I think she wrote the last few herself. But don’t repeat that.”

“Of course I won’t. So, if the column is failing, what’s she doing?”

“She’s after my job.”

“What? I saw the article about the thefts at the University, but I thought she was just covering because you were so busy.”

“Oh no. She went behind my back. Unbelievable isn’t it. Apparently the agony aunt thing was just to get her foot in the door. She’s always wanted to be a crime reporter. Says she’s got unique skills and fully expects to win awards and have the nationals fighting to give her a job. She’s completely delusional if you ask me. She can’t get a decent quote anywhere because no one will talk to her, so she exaggerates.”

“I’m sorry, Archie. Is there anything I can do to help?”

“See, that’s why I’m here. For a bit of tea and sympathy.”

Lilly laughed. “You know, that would have been a great name for the shop.”

“And talking of the shop… you’ve done a superb job here, you know. I’m so pleased you were able to put the redundancy money to good use. I don’t know why I felt so worried for you. You’ve got a knack for bouncing back.”

“I’ve had a lot of support from the community though, Archie. The place wouldn’t have worked without them.”

“Don’t sell yourself short, Lilly. There’s a reason you’ve got their support. You’re a good person and they like you. You give sound advice and never gossip. Plus, your tea is excellent.” He said, draining his cup.

“Do you want a re-fill?”

“Yes, but I’d better not. Look, there’s another reason I dropped in.”

“Oh?” Lilly questioned, raising an eyebrow. Archie’s expression had changed. She’d seen that look before when he was working on a serious article. “What’s happened?”

“It’s not common knowledge yet.” Archie leaned closer, his voice dropping to a whisper. “But there’s been a body found in the river.”

Lilly gasped. “A body?”

Archie nodded. “I’ve a contact at the police station, as you know. The body of a woman was found early this morning by a couple of joggers.”

“What happened?”

Archie shrugged. “It could have been an accident, or maybe suicide. I don’t have much information at the moment. I expect the autopsy will be done over the next few days and we’ll know more then. But be prepared for a possible visit from the authorities. I wanted to be the one to tell you first.”

“Me? But why would they want to see me? Wait, was it someone I know?” A nervous knot had formed in her stomach and she suddenly shivered.

“I assume so. There was a letter from you found in her pocket.”

A Deadly Solution

A Tea & Sympathy Mystery Book 2

Meet Lilly Tweed. Former Agony Aunt. Purveyor of Fine Teas. Accidental Sleuth.

It’s the height of summer and Lilly has been asked to demonstrate at a local book club. Not only is this her first event, but it’s for the crème de la crème of the town’s residents, a member of the aristocracy and a wealthy heiress included.

When the proceedings get underway Lilly notices underlying tension and competition between the members and it’s not long before tragedy strikes. The heiress is found dead.

As a prime witness Lilly is asked unofficially to help solve the crime, but with motives galore, animosity running rife and all the women having spent time alone with the victim, the culprit could be any of them.

The more she digs the murkier it becomes, and she soon realises appearances are deceiving when it comes to the rich and titled of Plumpton Mallet. 

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Tiffin & Tragedy

A Tea & Sympathy Mystery Book 3

Meet Lilly Tweed. Former Agony Aunt. Purveyor of Fine Teas. Accidental Sleuth.

Invited to celebrate the wedding anniversary of two close friends, Lilly jumps at the chance. Not only is there to be a party, but as the family owns a luxury seaside bed-and-breakfast she’s looking forward to a well-earned break. 

Unfortunately, nothing goes to plan. Beneath the happy, carefree exterior, lurk secrets and lies, and as the tension mounts somebody reaches breaking point.

The party ends in a tremendous storm which causes a power cut and fells trees across the only access road, and the inhabitants of The Palms find themselves trapped with no way to call for help. Then a body is discovered and Lilly realises the danger outside is nothing compared to within.

There is a murderer among them.

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A Bitter Bouquet

A Tea & Sympathy Mystery Book 4

Meet Lilly Tweed. Former Agony Aunt. Purveyor of Fine Teas. Accidental Sleuth.

Organising and catering for a local wedding means the potential to expand into events for Tea Emporium owner Lilly Tweed, and she’s pleased to confirm the booking.

But as the bride’s family let her down one by one, Lilly finds herself taking on more tasks than she’d agreed to. Luckily, she’s brought a local café owner on board to provide the food.

During the rehearsal, family arguments and spilled wine are the worst catastrophes, but the wedding itself ends in murder. For at the heart of this family lies a dark secret.

It’s up to Lilly, alongside her friends, Bonnie, the detective in charge of the case, and Archie, the local crime reporter, to solve the case. But while there are motives galore, clues are scarce.

When the family suddenly close ranks and the investigation stalls, Lilly is left wondering if blood really is thicker than water, especially when she discovers their secret.

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A Frosty Combination

A Tea & Sympathy Mystery Book 5

Meet Lilly Tweed. Former Agony Aunt. Purveyor of Fine Teas. Accidental Sleuth.

It’s Christmas in Plumpton Mallet, but it’s not all holiday cheer and goodwill.

The festive season brings with it the biggest and most important event of the year for Plumpton Mallet, the annual Christmas Market. Attracting visitors nationwide, this time it’s bigger than ever.

But there’s one unexpected arrival who’s not welcome, and he’s out to cause trouble.

When a lifeless body is found outside Lilly’s shop, she’s shocked. But the arrest of one of her staff changes the shock to anger and compels Lilly to turn sleuth once more to prove their innocence.

Yet proving one person innocent means another must be guilty and this time Lilly might not be ready for the truth.

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Steeped In Murder

A Tea & Sympathy Mystery Book 6

Meet Lilly Tweed. Former Agony Aunt. Purveyor of Fine Teas. Accidental Sleuth.

It’s all steam ahead as Lilly and Archie board The Lakes Express on their first official date. The train is full of writers travelling to a conference, which adds to the ambience and piques Archie’s interest.

But what starts as pure luxury ends in chaos. On the journey home, the train screeches to an unsanctioned stop in the middle of nowhere.

Night has fallen, it’s pitch black outside, and a body has been discovered. The scene staged to mimic one of the best loved crime novels of all time.

Currently on board a luxurious 1930s steam train, the homage is not lost on Lilly and Archie, who are asked to help. But its meaning eludes them.  

Can they discern the truth from myriad lies? Cut egos down to size while dealing with bouts of creative jealousy and finally unveil the culprit?

And can they do it before the police arrive?

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J. New is the author of The Yellow Cottage Vintage Mysteries, traditional English whodunits with a twist, set in the 1930's. Known for their clever humour as well as the interesting slant on the traditional whodunit, they have all achieved Bestseller status on Amazon. J. New also writes the Finch and Fischer contemporary cozy crime series and (coming in 2021) the Will Sharpe Mysteries set in her hometown during the 1960's. Her books have sold over one hundred-thousand copies worldwide.

Jacquie was born in West Yorkshire, England. She studied art and design and after qualifying began work as an interior designer, moving onto fine art restoration and animal portraiture before making the decision to pursue her lifelong ambition to write. She now writes full time and lives with her partner of twenty-one years, two dogs and five cats, all of whom she rescued.

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Dangerous Revenge - FBI Affairs series - Book 2 by Suzanne Baginskie

Special Agent Diane Emerson seemingly has it all: A successful career with the FBI, a close-knit relationship with her twin sister, and deep ties to her city of residence, Allentown, Pennsylvania. When her sister goes missing, Diane’s life is turned upside-down. As horrible as this is, other women are disappearing as well. Diane discovers the tentacles of embedded evil and a thick trail of cybercrime and murder.

When her ex-flame, Agent Alex Kane, is transferred to Allentown, Diane now has to add affairs of the heart to her worry list. But when she herself becomes a target, the affairs of the heart will have to wait as Diane and Alex fight to uncover these malevolent forces—malevolent forces that could wind up killing her.

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Sunday evening around midnight, Special Agent Diana Emerson’s iPhone played a couple of bars of “Live and Let Die”. Aroused from a deep sleep, she grabbed the cell from her nightstand. At this hour, only the dispatcher from FBI’s Fraud and Cyber Crime Division or her boss, Director Owens would contact her. No one called this late, not even telemarketers.

“Agent Emerson,” she answered.

“Diana, I need your help.” Her twin sister’s voice quivered like an off-keyed violin string. “He drugged me, and I woke up in his basement locked in a cell.” Swallowing back tears, she whispered, “He thinks I’m you…he’s going to kill me.”

Diana froze. “Where are you?”

“I’m not sure…”

The line clicked dead. Cold chills traveled the length of her spine. “Dear God, this can’t be happening.” She shoved off the quilt and swung her legs over the edge of the mattress. Room darkening draperies hung from her ceiling to the carpeted floor filtering out light in her bedroom. Shaking off grogginess, she switched on a table lamp and the bedroom narrowed into focus.

She pressed callback launching a series of digital numbers across her cell’s screen, none she recognized. Seconds ticked away as busy signals vibrated in her ear. She redialed three more times and received the same monotonous buzzing tones.

Where could Danielle be? How could she save her?

Determination ignited in her brain. She speed-dialed her sister’s cellphone and listened when her recorded voicemail answered. Diana left a short message asking for a return call.

Another dead end.

Think, think. She dropped the mobile phone on her bed and rushed to her makeshift corner desk where she powered up her official FBI laptop. Her heart thundered in her throat. Once the icons loaded, she entered the ten digit number from Danielle’s first call into the FBI phone validation program. She prayed for quick results and studied the monitor. The number in question came back categorized as prepaid, a disposable device or as her coworkers called it, a burner phone. Her sister’s frightening words roiled over and over in her mind as she lowered the screen’s curser and read the final line.


Adrenaline flushed through her. With one click of her mouse, she downloaded the GPS Tracking System. The Pennsylvania state map surfaced on the screen, and she directed her focus on Lehigh County. After entering her sister’s iPhone number into the search program, it confirmed Diana’s worst fear, someone had programmed the cellphone into ‘Disable GPS Satellite’ mode. Her last tracking point listed the coffee shop, where Danielle met her match-mate from Perfect Fit’s dating website.

Her twin sister, Danielle had vanished.

Out of options, she showered, dressed, and hurried to her Honda Fit. She drove three miles to her sister’s apartment with her windows down, hoping the coolness of the night air would sharpen her senses. Once there, she inserted her spare key and entered.

Danielle’s favorite perfume lingered in the air. Inhaling the sultry, fragrance of Shalimar, Diana typed digital code numbers into the alarm system. Hopefully, her twin sister slept soundly in her bed, and all this turned out to be an awfully bad joke. She rushed inside the darkened room, flipped on the lights, and stared at the neatly made bed. Her shoulders tensed. On the nightstand lay Danielle’s appointment calendar with Saturday night circled in blue ink, she’d written meet B.N. at the coffee shop and noted the time, 6:00 p.m.

No sign of a struggle anywhere. She inched toward the front door, waves of dread building inside her. Hesitating at the entryway, she closed her eyes in prayer. “Dear God, please keep Danielle safe.”


Suzanne Baginskie retired from a twenty-nine-year career as an office manager/paralegal in a law office. She has sold several short mysteries, romance stories and over twenty non-fiction stories to Chicken Soup for the Soul books and Cup of Comfort books. Her first book, Dangerous Charade for her FBI Affairs series was released December 2021. Her second, Book Two recently released is Dangerous Revenge. Her short stories appear in Red Penguin’s Behind Closed Doors Anthology, A Heart Full of Love Collection, Woman’s World, Plan B Mystery Magazine, The Wrong Side of the Law, two Daily Flash Fiction volumes, Woman’s World Magazine, First Magazine, True Romance Magazine, Futures Magazine and Turbulence & Coffee. She is a member of MWA, FMWA and Sisters-in-Crime and The Short Mystery Fiction Society.

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Front Page Murder (A Homefront News Mystery) by Joyce St. Anthony


In this World War II-era historical mystery series debut by Joyce St. Anthony, small-town editor Irene Ingram has a nose for news and an eye for clues.

Irene Ingram has written for her father’s newspaper, the Progress Herald, ever since she could grasp a pencil. Now she’s editor in chief, which doesn’t sit well with the men in the newsroom. But proving her journalistic bona fides is the least of Irene’s worries when crime reporter Moe Bauer, on the heels of a hot tip, turns up dead at the foot of his cellar stairs.

An accident? That’s what Police Chief Walt Turner thinks, and Irene is inclined to agree until she finds the note Moe discreetly left on her desk. He was on to a big story, he wrote. The robbery she’d assigned him to cover at Markowicz Hardware turned out to be something far more devious. A Jewish store owner in a small, provincial town, Sam Markowicz received a terrifying message from a stranger. Moe suspected that Sam is being threatened not only for who he is…but for what he knows.

Tenacious Irene senses there’s more to the Markowicz story, which she is all but certain led to Moe’s murder. When she’s not filling up column inches with the usual small-town fare—locals in uniform, victory gardens, and scrap drives—she and her best friend, scrappy secretary Peggy Reardon, search for clues. If they can find the killer, it’ll be a scoop to stop the presses. But if they can’t, Irene and Peggy may face an all-too-literal deadline.

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About the Author

Joyce was a police secretary for ten years and more than once envisioned the demise of certain co-workers, but settled on writing as a way to keep herself out of jail. As Joyce St. Anthony, she is the author of the Homefront News Mysteries. The first in the series, Front Page Murder, will be (or was, depending on the blog date) released on March 8, 2022. Under her own name--Joyce Tremel--she wrote the award winning Brewing Trouble cozy mystery series. She is a native Pittsburgher and lives in the beautiful Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania with her husband and two cats--Hops and Lager.

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Ring of Lies by Rachel Lynne

Pandemonium on Saint Patrick’s Day!

After a nomadic childhood with a free-spirited aunt, Ivy Michaels is ready to settle in the city of her birth and open her dream café. The decision to return to Savannah created a rift with the woman who raised her, but Ivy is determined to carve out her own path.

The Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations are bringing tourists into the Cosmic Café. The pot of gold is in sight and all of her dreams are coming true; until her estranged aunt is found floating in the Savannah River. Enter ...

   an inherited diamond ring with a shady past
   a handsome ex-cop who can’t let a cold case die
   and a series of burglaries.

Determined to regain her well-oiled life, Ivy, aided by her grouchy cat, sets out to solve the mystery surrounding the hot blue diamond only to end up in the crosshairs of a stone-cold killer.

As the world’s second largest Saint Patrick’s Day parade kicks off, Ivy must stop marching to the beat of her own drum and work with her new love to uncover the secrets of the past before she finds herself buried along with the truth.

 ~~ Available on Amazon. ~~


“Ma’am …” The younger man interrupted her. His tone was flat, and his eyes showed nothing but determination. A chill of foreboding ran up her spine.

The older gentleman stepped forward and flashed his badge. “I’m Detective Hallowell with the Savannah PD. This is my partner, Detective Adkins. Mind if we come in?”

Ivy’s euphoric cloud burst. She opened the door wide and motioned for the detectives to enter, before swallowing past a lump in her throat and shouting for Tina to cut the music.

The music died, leaving an uneasy silence. “Hey! What gives?” Tina’s face appeared in the pass-through window. “I thought you said the music kept you movin and gave the joint good vibes …” Her gaze flickered over the men before coming to rest on Ivy. “Uh, everything all right?”

Ivy nodded and forced herself to smile. She didn’t know why the detectives were there, but it couldn’t be good. “These men are with the SPD.”

Tina’s eyebrows rose and she shot Ivy a questioning look. “Want me to join you?”

Ivy shook her head. Until she knew their purpose wasn’t in anyway detrimental to her café, it was better not to involve Tina. Her friend couldn’t keep her mouth shut to save her soul.

Ivy stifled a groan as Detective Adkins took the decision from her. “If you would, ma’am? We just have a few questions.”

Tina was through the swinging door like a shot. She hurried across the room and plopped down onto one of the shiny black wooden chairs. Her face was alight with curiosity as she looked up at them. “So, what’s up?”

Ivy rolled her eyes and flashed an apologetic smile. “How can we help you, detectives?”

Detective Hallowell reached into his coat pocket and withdrew a plastic evidence bag. Condensation beaded the surface and made the contents appear fuzzy, but Ivy would have recognized the tie-dye patterned paper even before he turned it over to expose the fat black letters filled with white stars that spelled out Cosmic Café.

The detective held it up in front of her and asked, “This yours?”

Ivy licked her lips and nodded, remaining silent. From years on the road with her Aunt Fey, she’d learned never to offer any information not specifically requested.

The detective stared at her for a long minute, not bothering to hide his speculation. He cleared his throat then slipped the bag back into his pocket. “Thought so. I know these things are all over town but this one has the name Ivy scrawled on the bottom with an address over on Gwinnet.”

Ivy sucked in a breath. “My … my name is Ivy and I live on Gwinnet.” Her stomach churned. Someone involved in a crime had her name and address. She swallowed hard and forced her voice not to tremble. “What is going on?”

Detective Hallowell held his hand out toward his partner. “We pulled a body out of the river this morning. She had this flyer in her pocket.” Without warning, he thrust a picture under Ivy’s nose. “Do you recognize this woman?”

Ivy gasped and sank into a chair. She raised a shaking hand to her mouth and stared at the photo. Her breath came in short pants and pinpoints of light filled her eyes. She opened her mouth, but no sound came out.

“Ivy!” Tina leaped from her chair and tried to push Ivy’s head between her knees. “Breathe girl, breathe!” Tina slapped the photo away from Ivy’s face. “For God’s sake man, put that away!”

“Ma’am, I’m sorry to distress you but I need to know who this woman is.”

“Leave her alone! It’s obvious she knows the poor woman- “

“No …, no, Tina, it’s all right.” Ivy pulled away from Tina and dragged a shaking hand through her hair. “I, I know who she …” Her voice broke on a sob and tears spilled down her cheeks unheeded. She wrapped her arms around her midsection and rocked in the chair as the truth sank in. It couldn’t be true; she didn’t even live in Savannah.

“Ma’am?” Detective Hallowell prodded.

Ivy looked at the detectives and struggled to rein in her emotions long enough to whisper, “That …, that’s my Aunt Fey.”


*Sweet Tea & Live Oaks heavy with Spanish Moss. *A warm breeze rustling the Spartina. Now, add a cozy little murder & a dash of mayhem! I live in the hauntingly beautiful Savannah, Georgia/South Carolina Low Country area. My Cozy Mysteries feature strong Southern female sleuths, a motley crew of locals, plot twists and a splash of romance all set amidst the splendor of the coastal South.

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