Thursday, July 3, 2014

What's new at Berkley

July from Berkley Prime Crime & Obsidian Mysteries


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In New York Times bestselling author Victoria Laurie’s newest Psychic Eye Mystery, Abby Cooper is trusting her intuition and heading to Sin City to bet on a friend’s innocence….
When police show Abby surveillance video of her best friend and business partner, Candice Fusco, shooting a man in cold blood, she can’t believe her eyes. And when the cops tell her they think the victim has ties to the Mob—and perhaps Candice does too—she can’t believe her ears. Surely there is a logical explanation. But Candice is nowhere to be found.
Abby decides the only way to find out the truth is to go to Vegas herself—which may be the biggest gamble of her life. Once in town she begins to uncover a rigged game of dirty double-dealing where the stakes are no less than life and death. And if she’s not careful, Abby can forget about ever leaving Las Vegas…alive.

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Lily Ivory hopes to score some great vintage fashions when she buys an antique trunk full of old clothes. But she may have gotten more than she bargained for.…
As soon as Lily opens the trunk, she feels strange vibrations emanating from a mysterious velvet cloak. When she tries it on, Lily sees awful visions from the past. And when the antiques dealer who sold her the cape is killed, Lily suspects a supernatural force might be behind his death.
Then Lily’s familiar, Oscar the potbellied pig, disappears. Lily will do anything to get him back—including battling the spirit of a powerful witch reaching out from the past. But even with the aid of her grandmother, unmasking a killer and saving Oscar might be more than one well-intentioned sorceress can handle.

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Tailing a Tabby
Laurie Cass

In the bookmobile, librarian Minnie Hamilton and her rescue cat, Eddie, roll out great summer reads to folks all over the lake town of Chilson, Michigan. And when real-life drama turns deadly, Minnie makes sure justice is never overdue.
The bookmobile is making its usual rounds when Minnie and Eddie are flagged down by a woman in distress. The woman’s husband, a famous artist, needs emergency medical care. After getting him into the bookmobile, Minnie races the man to the hospital in time…but his bad luck has only just begun.
After disappearing from the hospital, the artist is discovered slumped over the body of a murdered woman. Minnie knows that her new friend didn’t commit the crime, but the evidence paints an unflattering picture. Now this librarian and her furry friend have to put the investigation in high gear and catch the real killer before someone else checks out.

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From Fear to Eternity
Michelle Rowen

Newlywed vampires Sarah and Thierry de Bennicoeur have their whole undead lives ahead of them. And with Thierry’s job as a consultant for the Ring sending them across the globe to solve one vampire crisis after another, eternity may never have a dull moment.
Sarah was hoping the honeymoon would literally last forever, but when Thierry receives a mysterious invitation to an auction held in an old Beverly Hills mansion, it’s clearly time to get back to work. Thierry hopes to win a powerful amulet containing a wish-granting djinn that has eluded him for centuries. Unfortunately, Atticus Kincade, head of the vampire council, also has his eye on the item.
When the auction’s host reveals his unpleasant history with Thierry, and Sarah discovers a talking head in the freezer, things get even weirder than usual. But when the amulet goes missing, and everyone is suddenly trapped inside the mansion, the undead guests find themselves in mortal danger—and Sarah had better be careful what she wishes for.

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Some Enchanted Éclair
Bailey Cates

FLOUR POWER
When Hollywood invades Savannah’s historic district to film a Revolutionary War movie, magical baker Katie Lightfoot, and her witches’ coven, the Spellbook Club, take a break from casting spells for casting calls. One of the witches snags a part as an extra, while Katie’s firefighter boyfriend, Declan, acts as on-set security. Katie and her aunt Lucy decide to stay out of the action, but after the movie’s “fixer” fires the caterer, the Honeybee Bakery comes to the rescue, working their magic to keep the hungry crew happy.
But when someone fixes the fixer—permanently—and a spooky psychic predicts Katie will find the killer, the charming baker and her fellow conjurers step in to sift through the suspects…before someone else winds up on the cutting room floor….

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Muffin But Murder
Victoria Hamilton

Muffin maker Merry Wynter hopes to find a buyer for the castle she’s recently inherited. But when she throws a party to draw interest, she finds someone who’s bought the farm instead…
Merry’s career as a New York City stylist has crumbled, but her passion for muffins has helped her rise upstate in Autumn Vale. Everyone in town loves the tasty treats. Still, she would like to return to her glamorous life. Besides, the upkeep of Wynter Castle is expensive, and Merry’s cup isn’t exactly overflowing.
So in order to bring some prospective buyers into the mix, Merry whisks together a spooky soiree and decorates the castle with dashes of fabric and a sprinkling of spider webs. Friends new and old are invited, and everyone has a blast. But as the revelers empty out, Merry notices one partygoer who isn’t leaving—or breathing. Now Merry must hurry to unmask a killer before her perfect plans turn into a recipe for disaster…

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Book Clubbed
Lorna Barrett

New York Times bestselling author Lorna Barrett is back in town—Booktown, that is—with another page-turning mystery. This time bookstore owner Tricia Miles and her sister, Angelica, put their own problems on the shelf to catch a killer who turns a bookcase into a murder weapon…
Cranky Chamber of Commerce receptionist Betsy Dittmeyer is done reading people the riot act. After she’s crushed by a fallen bookcase, the next item to be read is her last will and testament—which is packed with surprises. It soon comes to light that Betsy was hiding volumes of dark secrets behind that perpetual frown of hers—and one of them just might have been a motive for murder.
While Tricia tries to help Angelica—the newly elected Chamber of Commerce president and Betsy’s boss—solve the mystery, she discovers a hidden chapter in her own family history that rocks her to her very core. And with her ex-husband and the chief of police vying for her affections, it’s doubly hard to focus on who might have buried Betsy in a tomb of tomes.
But as Tricia and Angelica try to read between the lines, they need to watch their step…and make sure the killer doesn’t catch them between the stacks.

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Silence of the Lamb's Wool
Betty Hechtman

Dessert chef Casey Feldstein has learned one end of a knitting needle from the other after inheriting her aunt’s yarn retreat business, but a murder threatens to unravel her latest event . . .
Casey’s running a new retreat called “From Sheep to Shawl” at a resort on the atmospheric Monterey Peninsula. Participants will learn about sheepshearing, fixing up the fleece, and spinning, and will eventually knit a lovely shawl.
Nicole Welton has been hired to teach the fleece-to-fiber portion of the retreat. She’s an expert spinner, and her small shop in Cadbury by the Sea houses a beautiful assortment of spinning wheels and drop spindles. But when the new teacher fails to show up for class and is found lying dead on the boardwalk, it leaves everyone’s nerves frayed.
Now Casey has to knit together clues faster than she can count stitches before someone else at the retreat gets dropped . . .
Includes a knitting pattern and a recipe!

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A Grave Matter
Anna Lee Huber

Scotland, 1830. Following the death of her dear friend, Lady Kiera Darby is in need of a safe haven. Returning to her childhood home, Kiera hopes her beloved brother Trevor and the merriment of the Hogmanay Ball will distract her. But when a caretaker is murdered and a grave is disturbed at nearby Dryburgh Abbey, Kiera is once more thrust into the cold grasp of death.
While Kiera knows that aiding in another inquiry will only further tarnish her reputation, her knowledge of anatomy could make the difference in solving the case. But agreeing to investigate means Kiera must deal with the complicated emotions aroused in her by inquiry agent Sebastian Gage.
When Gage arrives, he reveals that the incident at the Abbey was not the first—some fiend is digging up old bones and holding them for ransom. Now Kiera and Gage must catch the grave robber and put the case to rest…before another victim winds up six feet under.

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Crime Rib
Leslie Budewitz

Gourmet food market owner Erin Murphy is determined to get Jewel Bay, Montana’s, scrumptious local fare some national attention. But her scheme for culinary celebrity goes up in flames when the town’s big break is interrupted by murder . . .
Food Preneurs, one of the hottest cooking shows on TV, has decided to feature Jewel Bay in an upcoming episode, and everyone in town is preparing for their close-ups, including the crew at the Glacier Mercantile, aka the Merc. Not only is Erin busy remodeling her courtyard into a relaxing dining area, she’s organizing a steak-cooking competition between three of Jewel Bay’s hottest chefs to be featured on the program.
But Erin’s plans get scorched when one of the contending cooks is found dead. With all the drama going on behind the scenes, it’s hard to figure out who didn’t have a motive to off the saucy contestant. Now, to keep the town’s reputation from crashing and burning on national television, Erin will have to grill some suspects to smoke out the killer . . .
INCLUDES DELICIOUS RECIPES!

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Grace Against the Clock
Julie Hyzy

When Marshfield Manor hosts a charity event, Grace Wheaton, the mansion’s curator and manager, is happy to lend a helping hand—until a killer makes an unwanted donation…
With the town clock in desperate need of repair, local lawyer Joyce Swedburg and her ex-husband, Dr. Leland Keay, are trying to put their differences aside to organize a benefit at Marshfield Manor to raise money to restore the beautiful timepiece. While Grace appreciates the opportunity to support such a good cause, the tension between the unhappy exes is giving her the urge to put both of the organizers in time out.
But after Leland collapses on stage during the festivities, poisoned, Grace suspects there was more going on behind the scenes. Now, she’s in a race to catch a ticked off murderer, and, if she’s going to prevent anyone else from getting hurt, every second will count…

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Maple Mayhem
Jessie Crockett

In Sugar Grove, New Hampshire, people are serious about their maple syrup—especially Dani Greene, whose family owns the Greener Pastures sugarhouse. But when murder disrupts the small-town sweetness, Dani pores over clues to draw out a killer…
Despite being a fourth-generation syrup maker, Dani isn’t stuck in the past. She’s starting a new agricultural cooperative that reduces costs for every syrup producer who joins. Everyone considers it a sweet deal except the die-hard curmudgeon Frank Lemieux—and when a saboteur starts targeting supporters, everyone suspects Frank.
But it turns out they’re barking up the wrong tree when Dani finds Frank murdered in his own sugarhouse. As the sabotage continues, she realizes that Frank was framed. With the help of her family, and a handsome official from the Fish and Game Department, Dani must catch the killer before another syrup maker kicks the bucket.
Recipes Included!

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Cookies and Scream
Virginia Lowell

Olivia Greyson, proud owner of The Gingerbread House—a quaint shop that specializes in all things cookie—and her best friend, Maddie, are baking up scrumptious treats for their cookie-themed parties. But when a stunning antique cookie cutter collection leads to murder, things get a bit too hot to handle…
After a brief vacation to escape the summer heat, Olivia returns home to find the safe at her beloved store stuffed with unfamiliar cookie cutters. The cutters are part of a priceless set owned by former local Greta Oskarson, who has returned home after fifty years in the hopes that Olivia will broker their sale.
But before Olivia can sell a single piece, Greta turns up dead. Though the cause of death appears natural, something is not quite right—between Greta’s mysterious past and her long list of enemies, Olivia suspects murder. And with Sheriff Del Jenkins away, it’s up to Olivia and Maddie to sift through the cookie cutters and the clues before the killer claims another victim…

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Not the Killing Type
Lorna Barrett

In the latest New York Times bestselling Booktown Mystery, amateur sleuth and bookstore owner Tricia Miles gets caught up in a local election that turns lethal . . .
It’s November in Stoneham, New Hampshire, and time for the Chamber of Commerce elections. The long-standing Chamber president is being challenged by a former lover—Tricia’s own sister, Angelica. Also throwing his hat in the ring is small business owner Stan Berry. Unfortunately, Stan isn’t in the race for long.
When Stan is found murdered, his political rivals become suspects. Angelica is going to need more than a vote of confidence from her sister—she needs Tricia to clear her name so she can win the election.
Tricia soon uncovers a ballot box full of lies and betrayals, and a chamber full of people who had grudges against the victim. But were they serious enough to lead to murder? It’s up to Tricia to pull the lever on a killer before it’s curtains for someone else.

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Be Careful What You Witch For
Dawn Eastman

Leaving a traumatic police career behind, Clyde Fortune has returned to her seemingly quiet hometown of Crystal Haven, Michigan. In spite of the psychic powers of its residents, there’s no telling what trouble is brewing in this burg…
The highlight of this year’s fall festival in Crystal Haven is a bonfire with a witch’s cauldron resting over it. Clyde’s best friend, Diana, leads a ritual to divine the future, but it seems no one foresees that one of their own will drop dead—or that Diana will be a prime suspect.
Clyde already has her hands full with her eccentric family, runaway nephew, and burgeoning secret romance with a hunky homicide detective. But after another coven member is attacked, Clyde suspects there’s a witch hunt afoot and focuses her psychic and sleuthing skills to clear her friend’s name and catch a killer.

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Ill-Gotten Panes
Jennifer McAndrews

FIRST IN A NEW SERIES!
Stained-glass aficionado Georgia Kelly packed up her city life for the quiet of small town Wenwood, New York. But the sleepy village’s peace is about to get shattered—by murder…
After a banking scandal loses Georgia her job and fiancé, she decides that a change of scenery will help piece her life back together. But escaping to her grandfather’s house in the old-fashioned, brick-making Hudson River hamlet of Wenwood, New York, turns out to be less relaxing than she expects. Not only is the close-knit community on edge about their beloved brickworks being turned into a marina to draw in tourists, one of those most opposed to the project winds up dead—cracked over the head with a famous Wenwood brick.
Georgia wouldn’t be broken up over the news except for the fact that the main suspect is the deceased’s biggest adversary—her grandfather. Now, to remove the stain from her grandy’s record, Georgia will have to figure out who in town was willing to kill to keep the renovation project alive, before someone else is permanently cut out of the picture…

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BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WITCH FOR Q&A with Dawn Eastman



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Dawn Eastman
releases a new book.
1)  1) How did you come up with The Family Fortune Mystery Series? What did you first think of: the characters, town, plot or a mix?

The characters came first, specifically Clyde, Rose (her mother), and Violet (her aunt). They arrived arguing about the family business. When I realized the business was psychic intervention, I created a town that catered to that way of life.

It probably won’t surprise my readers to hear that I also loved reading the Nancy Drew mysteries, Trixie Belden, the Hardy Boys... mystery solved, justice served.

2)  2) Why psychic intervention? Is this something you’re familiar with?

I liked the idea of psychics because that tends to be something that people treat with skepticism (myself included). I wanted to turn the tables a bit and show the skeptics as the minority and imagine what it would look like if everyone believed and talked about it as if it were the same as fingerprint evidence.

I’m only familiar with psychics as an interested observer. I’ve talked to psychics as research for the books and read about the pendulum and the tarot, etc. As a kid I was fascinated with psychics and mediums and thought it would be great to be able to predict the future. Now, I’m in Clyde’s camp — I think it would be more of a burden. I’m happy taking each day as it comes.

3)  3) How long did you live with the character(s) and plot before sitting down to write the manuscript?

I spent a couple of months fleshing out the family and the town. I wrote snippets of the manuscript — dialogue and a couple of scenes while working on that world building, but didn’t really start the manuscript until I had a good sense of the characters and the setting. Most of this work was done in a notebook or whatever paper I had to hand when I thought of something — sometimes the best ideas happen when I’m not technically working on the book. Then I took all those notes and scraps of paper and organized them into a computer file.

4)  Who is your favorite character and why?

Seth is probably my favorite character because of his easy-going nature. He is a great balance for Clyde — he tends to be her stabilizing influence, especially when her family’s antics begin to irritate. However, whenever I need an injection of fun or conflict, I turn to Vi. So in some ways she’s my favorite.

5)  Your books are set in Michigan, where you grew up. How important was it to have this series set in Michigan and why?

I grew up in southeast Michigan, near Detroit, and it still feels most like home to me. The books are set in western Michigan, which is one of my favorite places to vacation. Crystal Haven itself could have been placed almost anywhere, but I wanted to write about a location where I had spent a good amount of time and that might appeal to readers as a place to visit from book to book. Some of my favorite series, such as Susan Wittig Albert’s China Bayles series, Agatha Christie’s St. Mary Mead, Louise Penny’s Gamache Series, and Krista Davis’s Paws and Claws series have places that I wish I could visit in real life.

6)  In your next book, many of the characters are snowed in while at a B&B. Which of your characters would you want to be snowbound with?

Like Clyde, I’d rather be snowbound with Mac alone than with the whole gang. However, I do love to knit, so a weekend where I was forced to hang out with knitters and talk about yarn-y things would not be as horrible for me as it will be for Clyde.

7)  What inspired you to write, and specifically write a cozy mystery?

I think every book I have loved has inspired me to write. I was such a huge reader growing up and I always thought that I would love to be able to create a whole new world with words. I also really love a puzzle and read a lot of mysteries. I like the sense of justice and the resolution of putting the world back to normal that can often be found in mysteries.

8)  What is your writing routine like?

It varies depending on the time of year. During the school year I keep to a school schedule and write while the house is quiet and everyone is at work or school. During the summer I have to get more creative and be a bit more structured. In some ways I am more efficient in the summer because I don’t have as much time. But the daily routine starts with a pot of tea.

I am very fortunate to have a loft space that I use as my office. It’s open to the living room below, which is not ideal when everyone is home. Rowdy, my dog, likes to bring all of his toys up into the loft and watch out the back window for intruders. Unfortunately, he invariably drops his toys off the balcony and behind a large set of shelves. He is not patient about their retrieval. My writing routine seems to have this added feature of rescuing dog toys — I know I’ve had a good long writing session if I’ve rescued several toys.

9)  What do you love most about cozy mysteries?

I love the sense of visiting old friends when I read a known series, or of meeting new ones. I like to watch the relationships change and develop over time. And because I like a puzzle, a cozy provides that closed community with often buried conflicts that erupt into murder.

10)  What advice do you have for anyone who is thinking about embarking on writing their first novel?

I love an outline and it helps me to stay on task and to avoid facing that scary blank page alone. However, I know there are people who feel paralyzed by an outline. I spent a lot of time reading writing books that said you should just write and see where the story takes you, etc. That was bad advice for me, but probably great advice for someone else. I would say, figure out what works for you and keep doing that. Whatever helps you get the words on the page is the right way to work. And recognize that it’s a marathon, not a sprint. For most writers, it’s the daily few pages done on a regular basis that add up to a novel — focus on a day at a time so you don’t get overwhelmed.

11)  While you keep your mysteries light and cozy, you approach some serious themes in your books. Why is it important to you to introduce this to your work?

I think most people have a dark side and mystery novels exploit that tendency. For me, one of the fascinating aspects of a cozy is the darkness that lurks just under the surface of everyday, perfect-looking life. Most people keep those impulses in check but obviously not all, as a casual perusal of any local newspaper will attest. I also think that many writers have favorite issues that sneak into their work. I have noticed that the same sorts of themes show up for me without explicit effort. I seem to gravitate toward mothers and family and the ways they help or harm the individual. I also feel that you can’t judge another person without knowing their story, so many of my characters are revealed to be different than they first appear. I think these themes show up somewhat organically for me, especially in the early phases and then I have to decide how far to go with it.


A Letter from Bailey Cates


Notify me via e-mail when
Bailey Cates
releases a new book.
Dear Reader,

As an avid cook and amateur herbalist, a cozy mystery series about a baker who infuses her pastries with herbal magic felt right up my alley. Of course, at the beginning of the first book, BROWNIES AND BROOMSTICKS, Katie Lightfoot doesn’t know she’s a witch, only that she’s ”pure magic in the kitchen” according to her aunt Lucy. Newly transplanted from Akron, Ohio, to Savannah, Georgia, Katie joins with her aunt and uncle to put her pastry school training to work in the Honeybee Bakery. Soon Lucy reveals that she and Katie are hereditary hedgewitches with special talents for kitchen and garden magic. Needless to say, it takes Katie a while to get used to the idea!

Lucy introduces Katie to her spellbook club, an informal coven of witches who welcome Katie with open arms. This group of five magical mentors range in age from mid-twenties to late seventies, and each is drawn to a particular flavor of witchcraft. Along with Lucy, they teach Katie about spell work, as well as stepping in to help her solve the murders that seem to crop up in her new life with alarming regularity.

Katie came to Savannah to escape a failed engagement and dead end job, but Savannah is the perfect place for a cozy series about witches. Besides boasting stunning architecture, the park like squares of the historic district, outstanding food, and the Savannah College of Art and Design, it’s also the most haunted city in the U.S. As the oldest city in Georgia, established in 1733, it was a port city key in the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. No wonder the ghosts abound.

As do the movie makers. It’s the setting for what local residents simply call ”the book,” Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, which was made into a movie in 1997. Over 75 movies have been filmed in Savannah, the first in 1915(!), among them Forrest Gump, The Legend of Bagger Vance and The Conspirator. In fact, I happened to see Robert Redford filming The Conspirator and noticed how they cordoned off the streets, covered them with dirt and straw, and brought in the horses and carriages. I immediately began scribbling notes and taking pictures.

Those notes came in handy for SOME ENCHANTED ÉCLAIR. In Katie’s fourth adventure, A. Dendum Productions is filming a romantic comedy set during the Revolutionary War and has turned Reynolds Square into an eighteenth century movie set. The Honeybee is called upon to cater to the cast and crew, one of whom unfortunately turns up stabbed with a knife from the bakery. Katie, along with her boyfriend Declan McCarthy, Uncle Ben, columnist Steve Dawes, her witchy friends and their familiars, and a psychic named Ursula, dives into finding the killer among a cast of suspects, all of whom seem to be keeping secrets.

Hope you enjoy it!

Bailey Cates
www.baileycates.com and www.cricketmcrae.com

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