Posted in Author Spotlight, Blog Tour, Cozy Mystery

Author Spotlight ofJudy Penz Sheluk, Author of Past and Present, a Marketville Mystery

I’m pleased to have author Judy Penz Sheluk from Alliston, Ontario, Canada here to speak about her writing and new release, Past and Present, a Marketville Mystery.

Welcome, Judy. Please tell us how long you’ve been published and what titles and/or series you write

My first short story, “Sylvia’s World,” was published in the Spring 2004 issue of THEMA, a New Orleans-based literary journal. My first novel, The Hanged Man’s Noose: A Glass Dolphin Mystery (#1) was published by Barking Rain Press in July 2015. The sequel, A Hole In One, was published in March 2018. My second novel, Skeletons in the Attic: A Marketville Mystery (#1), was first published by Imajin Books in August 2016, and re-released by Barking Rain Press in November 2017. The sequel, Past & Present, is being published on September 21, 2018 by Superior Shores Press, which is my own publishing imprint, established earlier this year. I also have two short story collections (Unhappy Endings and Live Free or Tri) and a few stories published in anthologies. Three of my books (Noose, Skeletons, Live Free) are also available in audiobook on Audible, Amazon, and iTunes.

Very nice.

Tell us a little bit about your books — what genre you write, if you write a series, any upcoming releases or your current work-in-progress. If you have an upcoming release, please specify the release date.

With the exception of my three short stories (literary fiction) published by THEMA, I’m mystery/suspense all the way. As noted earlier, Past & Present will be out today, September 21st. It’s currently on pre-order in trade paperback and at a special introductory price of $2.99 on Kindle.

I’m currently working on book 3 on both my series (Glass Dolphin and Marketville).

That sounds wonderful. Good luck to you.

Describe your goals as a writer. What do you hope to achieve in the next few years? What are you planning to do to reach these goals?

I have a lot of ideas. I’d like to put together an anthology of mystery stories under the Superior Shores Press umbrella and I’m now in the planning stages for that. I’ve started researching a non-fiction novel (not a mystery). I have a rough outline for a novella prequel for Marketville, and another rough outline for a standalone suspense. How am I going to reach those goals? Hard work. The harder I work, the luckier I get.

I love your positive thinking.

What type of reader are you hoping to attract?  Who do you believe would be most interested in reading your books?

My mysteries don’t contain overt violence, sex or bad language so they can be read by any age. They can be classed as “cozy” but there are no cats, crafts, or cookie recipes. I like to categorize them as “amateur sleuth with an edge.”

Interesting. There are so many subgenres of mysteries including cozies.

What advice would you give other authors or those still trying to get published?

Don’t give up. The Help by Kathryn Stockett was turned down 61 times and it’s brilliant. Hire a professional editor – developmental and copy. Your English teacher, best friend, spouse, writing group etc. are all great resources, but they cannot replace a professional. Consider the amount spent an investment in yourself – much like a college course. Accept constructive criticism and learn from it. Write every day, even if you only have 15 minutes to do it.

Excellent advice. It saddens me to think of all those writers who gave up and had so much to offer readers.

What particular challenges and struggles did you face before first becoming published?

I’d been a freelance writer/editor for 10 years when I started shopping around The Hanged Man’s Noose. I thought that my reputation, especially my role as Senior Editor for New England Antiques Journal, would help. It didn’t. But I didn’t give up, and Barking Rain offered me a contract in 2014. I’d had about 18 rejections before that. It’s a humbling business.

That it is.

Have you taken any writing or publishing classes? If so, please provide information about them and if you feel they helped you further your professional skills.

Absolutely. My first Creative Writing Workshop led me to writing the short story in THEMA and I’ve taken a few Creative Writing workshops early on. I also have a Creative Writing Certificate from Winghill Writing School (2003), and a Fiction Writing Certificate from Gotham Writers (2013).

I’m sure you’ve benefitted from all of those.

What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?

I’m a passionate, if poor, golfer, and belong to two ladies leagues. Of course, our season is short – May to October. I used to be an avid runner, but now I’m more of a distance walker, though I still run 3 miles a couple days a week. I love to read and my goal is 40+ books this year. Reading is the best teacher.

I agree. As a librarian, I have my choice of books which is like being a kid in a candy store. Unfortunately, working full time and writing, I can’t read as much as I’d like to.

What do you like most and least about being an author? What is your toughest challenge?

I love just sitting down and writing, letting the words flow and surprise me. I don’t love marketing but it’s part of it. The toughest challenge is finding the time to do everything I want and need to do. It’s a question of balance.

That’s so true. I also love to see where my characters lead me in my books. As for marketing, most writers find it a challenge and have difficulty fitting it into their tight schedules

Please list your social media links, website, blog, etc. and include some book cover graphics and author photos if possible.








Blurb for Past & Present

Sometimes the past reaches out to the present…

It’s been thirteen months since Calamity (Callie) Barnstable inherited a house in Marketville under the condition that she search for the person who murdered her mother thirty years earlier. She solves the mystery, but what next? Unemployment? Another nine-to-five job in Toronto?

Callie decides to set down roots in Marketville, take the skills and knowledge she acquired over the past year, and start her own business: Past & Present Investigations.

It’s not long before Callie and her new business partner, best friend Chantelle Marchand, get their first client: a woman who wants to find out everything she can about her grandmother, Anneliese Prei, and how she came to a “bad end” in 1956. It sounds like a perfect first assignment. Except for one thing: Anneliese’s past winds its way into Callie’s present, and not in a manner anyone—least of all Callie—could have predicted.

Past & Present is available for pre-order in trade paperback and at a special introductory price of $2.99 on Kindle. Publication date Sept. 21, 2018.

Thanks so much for the interview, Judy, and best wishes on your new release and future books.

Posted in Author Spotlight, Blog Tour, Cozy Mystery

Author Spotlight of Marilyn Levinson aka Allison Brook, Author of Read and Gone, a Haunted Library Mystery

I’m pleased to have Marilyn Levinson (aka Allison Brook), fellow Long Island and cozy mystery author from Holbrook, NY here to speak about her writing and new release, Read and Gonethat is on blog tour with Escape with Dollycas into a Good Book.

Welcome, Marilyn. Please tell us how long you’ve been published and what titles and/or series you write.

My first published book was AND DON’T BRING JEREMY, a novel for kids, in 1985 (Holt) and was a nominee for 6 state awards. Other books for kids written around that time: NO BOYS ALLOWED, THE FOURTH-GRADE FOUR, A PLACE TO START and RUFUS AND MAGIC RUN AMOK.

About seven or eight years ago I started publishing mysteries and romantic suspense: A MURDERER AMONG US and MURDER IN THE AIR –my Twin Lakes mysteries; DANGEROUS RELATIONS, GIVING UP THE GHOST, MURDER A LA CHRISTIE and MURDER THE TEY WAY – my Golden Age of Mystery Book Club mysteries; DEATH OVERDUE and READ AND GONE – my Haunted Library mystery series written as Allison Brook


You are quite a prolific and versatile writer. I also like to write other genres in addition to my cozy mystery series.

Tell us a little bit about your books — if you write a series, any upcoming releases or your current work-in-progress. If you have an upcoming release, please specify the release date.

READ AND GONE, the second book in my Haunted Library series, is just out with Crooked Lane Books. My sleuth, Carrie Singleton, works in the Clover Ridge Library in Clover Ridge, CT as head of programs and events. She can see and communicate with the ghost of a former library assistant who sometimes helps her solve mysteries and lives with Smoky Joe, the library cat. I am currently writing the third book in the series.

I read your first and really enjoyed it. I hope to read the new one soon. As you know, as a librarian, I’m a bit partial to librarian sleuths and library cats, as I feature them in my books, too.

Describe your goals as a writer. What do you hope to achieve in the next few years? What are you planning to do to reach these goals?

I plan to keep on writing mysteries. I’d like to write another series and to add a few books to the series I’ve already begun.  I also want to write the third and final Rufus book in my Rufus trilogy for readers ten to twelve.

I’m publishing the fourth book in my series soon and have an unpublished first of a cozy series I’m currently querying to agents. I’d like to continue the Cobble Cove books and am already planning the 5th.

What type of reader are you hoping to attract?  Who do you believe would be most interested in reading your books?

I’m hoping to attract readers that like mysteries, unraveling secrets, and reading about my characters’ relationships with one another. I think readers who like a library setting, novels that include animals, and paranormal elements in their mysteries would love reading my books.

I hope to attract the same readers as you. Besides the paranormal theme in your books, mine feature all the others that you do. I have a standalone paranormal romance, Cloudy Rainbow, that just came out and is on blog tour with a giveaway right now.

What advice would you give other authors or those still trying to get published?

Keep on writing; belong to a critique group to give and receive input from other writers; join writers’ organizations; attend a few conferences if you can; be active in social media but don’t let it overtake the time you should be writing.

Keeping social media time down is tough especially when one works full time. Critique groups can be helpful as well as writer organizations. I’ve attendedf a few conferences and hope to attend more, but many times they are given when I’m working.

What particular challenges and struggles did you face before first becoming published?

I received many rejections.

I think all authors do, but they need not take them personally but use them as motivation to keep trying.

Do you belong to any writing groups? Which ones?

I belong to Sisters in Crime and the Guppies.

Me, too. They’re great.

What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?

I read, knit, do crossword puzzles and Sudoku. I enjoy traveling and dining out.

I used to crochet. I like logic puzzles but have never tried Sudoku. I also like to travel when I have the time and money, but I’m eating out less to keep to my diet.

What do you like most and least about being an author? What is your toughest challenge?

I enjoy hearing from readers, especially when they tell me they’ve loved reading my books and look forward to the next in the series.

Least, I suppose, are the things I can’t control. Like the rare, unfair negative review.

My toughest challenge is finding the necessary time to write. I wish I wrote faster.

I agree that time is one of the biggest challenges for authors and the more you publish, the more time you need to promote your books. I also enjoy hearing from readers and fans of my series. It gives me a reason to keep writing.

What do you like about writing cozy mysteries?

I love writing about characters that appear in a series—their lives in a small town, their concerns, and their relationships with one another. I enjoy the way my sleuths have to figure out clues and gather information to solve the mystery without the use of a forensic lab at their disposal.

Yes, characters are most important in mysteries especially cozies.

Please list your social media links, website, blog, etc. and include some book cover graphics and author photos if possible.


To join Marilyn’s rafflecopter for her blog tour, follow the link here.

Thank you so much for the interview, Marilyn, and continued success with your series, new release, and blog tour. I hope you drop by the library again, so we can chat or maybe do lunch. I may also see you at another LI event.

Posted in Cozy Mystery, Guest Post

Guest Recipe Post and Blog Tour for The Gold Pawn, an Art Deco Mystery, by L. A. Chandlar

This post was contributed by author L. A. Chandlar Her cozy mystery, The Gold Pawn, is currently on tour with Escape with Dollycas into a Good Book.

Charlotte’s Pocket Peanut Butter Cookies

(Lane’s Mom – from the recipe box Lane finds in her Rochester home in The Gold Pawn)

1 ¼ Cups brown sugar                        1 egg

¾ Cup peanut butter                           1 `1/4 Cups flour

½ Cup softened butter                        ¾ teaspoon salt

1 Tablespoon vanilla                           ¾ teaspoon baking soda

3 Tablespoons milk                             Extra peanut butter for middle pocket

Heat oven to 375. Combine butter, peanut butter, sugar, milk and vanilla on medium speed until well blended. Beat in egg until just blended. Combine flour, salt and baking soda, add gradually to creamed mixture. Mix until just blended.

Drop by heaping teaspoon onto lightly greased cookie sheet and flatten.


Drop 1 teaspoon peanut butter onto each disc. Take 1 heaping tablespoon of dough, roll and make a pancake in your hands. Lay on top of flattened disc with the peanut butter – don’t worry if they crack a little.

Pinch and seal edges (look like flying saucers), then scooch the edges back in to form more of a ball.





Place in oven for about 9 minutes or until golden brown.

ENJOY! For a quicker version, use pre-made refrigerator dough. Use the same method. They’re delicious! Let’s hope Lane figures out how to make the recipe without burning them. I’m pretty sure Finn will love them and Mr. Kirkland will want the recipe.

The Gold Pawn (An Art Deco Mystery)
by L.A. Chandlar

About the Book

The Gold Pawn (An Art Deco Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Kensington (September 25, 2018)
Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 1496713435
ISBN-13: 978-1496713438
Digital ASIN: B078QSRGRY

November 1936. Mayor La Guardia’s political future buckles under a missing persons case in New York City. Simultaneously, Lane unravels devastating secrets in the outskirts of Detroit. As two crimes converge, judging friends from enemies can be a dangerous game . . .

Finally summoning the courage to face the past, Lane Sanders breaks away from her busy job at City Hall to confront childhood nightmares in Rochester, Michigan. An unknown assailant left Lane with scattered memories after viciously murdering her parents. However, one memory of a dazzling solid gold pawn piece remains—and with it lies a startling connection between the midwestern tragedy and a current mystery haunting the Big Apple . . .

Meanwhile, fears climb in Manhattan after the disappearance of a respected banker and family friend threatens the crippled financial industry and the pristine reputation of Lane’s virtuous boss, Mayor Fiorello “Fio” La Guardia. Fio’s fight to restore order leads him into more trouble as he meets a familiar foe intent on ending his mayoral term—and his life . . .

Guided by overseas telegrams from the man she loves and painful memories, only Lane can silence old ghosts and derail present-day schemes. But when the investigation awakens a darker side of her own nature, will she and New York City’s most prominent movers and shakers still forge ahead into a prosperous new age . . . or is history doomed to repeat itself?

About the Author

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

Author Links

Purchase Links

a Rafflecopter giveaway


September 10 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

September 11 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, RECIPE

September 12 – Jane Reads – CHARACTER GUEST POST

September 13 – Mysteries with Character – REVIEW

September 14 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

September 14 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW

September 15 – MJB Reviewers – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

September 16 – Island Confidential – GUEST POST

September 17 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW

September 17 – Handcrafted Reviews – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

September 18 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

September 18 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT

September 19 – Ruff Drafts– RECIPE

September 20 – Book Club Librarian – REVIEW

September 21 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – GUEST POST

September 22 – A Blue Million Books – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

September 23 – Readeropolis – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

September 24 – My Reading Journeys – CHARACTER GUEST POST

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!

Posted in Interview, Television Broadcast

My TV Debut on The Writer’s Dream

My TV interview with Linda Maria Frank for her show, The Writer’s Dream, is on Youtube. It was recorded at the LocalTV station in East Hampton, Long Island, New York. In the interview, I talk about my Cobble Cove mystery series, my other books, and my new paranormal release, Cloudy Rainbow. I also talk about my love of cats, propensity for killing off husbands/boyfriends in some of my books, and how working as a librarian has helped me with my writing, I hope you enjoy the broadcast.


Posted in Cozy Mystery, Guest Post

Guest Post and Blog Tour for Fatal Flip, a Home Renovator Mystery by M. E. Bakos

This home improvement tips post was contributed by author M.E. Bakos. Her cozy mystery, Fatal Flip is currently on tour with Escape with Dollycas into a Good Book.

Katelyn’s Fatal Flip’s Home Improvement Tips

Enjoy the home improvement tips. If you have tips you would like to share, leave a post, or contact me at

*The home improvement stores make do-it-yourself look so easy. Plumbing is one area where they can convince you to fix your own toilet or replace existing faucets. Both are fraught with peril. I once spent hours trying to fix a leaky toilet with the wrong part sold me by a home improvement store employee. I finally gave in and called a plumber.

I did successfully replace a faucet set—it took three days, and multiple trips to the store where a plumber apprentice who walked me through the process. My final tip, find out the expertise level of the employee before you buy something to do it yourself.

*Dollar for dollar, insulating a home can save bunches on heating and cooling bills, not to mention cut unwanted sound travel. 

*The factory codes you get with your new garage door opener should always be changed. Otherwise, it is possible someone could have the same code to open your garage—and your house, if the garage connects to the house.  

*There are items designed to slip under a doorknob, and prop from the floor for security. If you need something in a hurry, shove a chair under the doorknob to prevent an intruder. Simple security measures, like locking your doors even while at home are a good idea.

*One way to silence a squeaky hinge is to tap out the pin, clean the pin and coat with petroleum jelly

*Any stain is tough. If you have a wine spill, the best time to get it out is before it dries. Blot the stain first, then depending on the area, try white wine or club soda, and cover with salt and let sit, and vacuum. Best thing to do is drink all the wine, thereby avoiding any unfortunate spills.

*It is my humble opinion; the best home is a mortgage free home. After your monthly mortgage payment, make a separate payment each month towards the principal portion of your mortgage. It saves a bundle on interest and cuts the length of your loan, and you won’t even miss the money in your budget.

*My final home improvement tip is a saying from Pliny, a Roman philosopher, “Home is where the Heart is.”  I would add “Home is Nice.” Make your home as nice as you can. It’s where you live.

Fatal Flip: A Home Renovator Mystery
by M. E. Bakos

About the Book

Fatal Flip: A Home Renovator Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Cozy Cat Press (October 27, 2017)
Paperback: 220 pages
ISBN-10: 194606341X
ISBN-13: 978-1946063410
Digital ASIN: B077WRRMH6

Flipping houses can be fatal! When Katelyn finds a dead body in her first home renovation project, she seriously doubts her decision to “follow her bliss.” After getting fired from her steady job, her plan to flip houses takes a hit when she becomes a suspect. After all, possession is nine points of the law, isn’t it? Especially, when it’s a dead body.

To keep herself in pizza, peanut butter, good coffee, and her stray cat, Boots, in kitty chow she takes survival jobs as a wine sample hostess and market researcher. Meanwhile, Sheriff Don is kind of hunky, and her ex-husband, Eddy (it’s complicated) is back in her life sleeping on her sofa. How’s a girl supposed to solve dead body mysteries, make a living, and find love?

About the Author

M.E. Bakos has published several short stories in national women’s magazines. Her love of mysteries has led to writing cozies. Her first mystery short story, “Carpe Diem or Murder at the Carp Fest” appeared in the Festival of Crime, a SINC Anthology. Her second, “Perfect Storm . . . Perfect Murder” will be in Dark Side of the Loon, May 2018 also a SINC Anthology.

Her first cozy, FATAL FLIP, A Home Renovator Mystery has several home improvement tips for the reader.

Mary is a member of Twin Cities Sisters in Crime, the SINC Guppies Group, and an alumna of the University of Minnesota. She is a lifelong resident of Minnesota and resides in Minneapolis with her husband, Joe Sebesta, and their spoiled Morkie.

Website – Mystery | M. E. Bakos, Author

Purchase Links

Amazon B&N


September 12 – Maureen’s Musings – REVIEW

September 12 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW

September 12 – Babs Book Bistro – HOME IMPROVEMENT TIP POST, GIVEAWAY

September 12 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

September 13 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW

September 13 – Cozy Up With Kathy – GUEST POST

September 13 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY

September 14 – Book Babble – REVIEW

September 14 – The Montana Bookaholic – CHARACTER GUEST POST

September 14 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

September 14 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY

September 15 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

September 15 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW, EXCERPT POST

September 16 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW

September 16 – Ruff Drafts – HOME IMPROVEMENT TIP POST

September 16 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY

September 16 – Here’s How It Happened – REVIEW

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!

Posted in Cozy Mysteries, New Releases

Spotlight for Deadly Dram, A Whiskey Business Mystery, by Melinda Mullet

Deadly Dram: A Whisky Business Mystery
by Melinda Mullet

About the Book

Deadly Dram: A Whisky Business Mystery
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Alibi (September 4, 2018)
Print Length 300 pages
ASIN: B079R3PW46

Distillery owner Abigail Logan discovers that high spirits are no match for a cold-blooded killer as the Whisky Business Mystery series puts a fatal twist on stiff competition.

It’s been a year since globe-trotting photojournalist Abi Logan inherited Abbey Glen, a whisky distillery in the heart of the Scottish countryside. To her surprise, the village of Balfour already feels like home, and her new business partner, Grant MacEwan, continues to be too charming to resist. But Abi has a history of relationship disasters, so she struggles to avoid an ill-fated romance with Grant. Steering clear is hard enough on a day-to-day basis, but when the two head off to a whisky industry competition together, Abi panics. Five-star resort, four glorious days of nonstop whisky tasting, and a fatally attractive Scotsman—what could possibly go wrong?

The night before the award presentations, with foreign and domestic whisky makers at one anothers’ throats, two judges are found dead under mysterious circumstances. What started with three dream-come-true nominations for Abby Glen’s whisky soon turns into a nightmare for Abi. With a killer on the loose, she must call on her investigative skills to stop another murder—before she gets taken out of the running herself.

About the Author

Melinda Mullet was born in Dallas and attended school in Texas, Washington D.C., England, and Austria. She spent many years as a practicing attorney before pursuing a career as a writer. Author of the Whisky Business Mystery series, Mullet is a passionate supporter of childhood literacy. She works with numerous domestic and international charities striving to promote functional literacy for all children. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her family.

Author Links

Website –

Facebook –

Twitter –

Purchase Links

Amazon B&N Kobo Google Play BookBub

a Rafflecopter giveaway


September 4 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

September 4 – Handcrafted Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

September 5 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW

September 5 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

September 6 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

September 6 – Readeropolis – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

September 7 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW

September 7 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

September 8 – MJB Reviewers – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

September 8 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

September 9 – The Power of Words – REVIEW

September 9 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT

September 10 – The Bookwyrm’s Hoard – REVIEW, GUEST POST

September 10 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

September 11 – T’s Stuff – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

September 11 – Christa Reads and Writes – SPOTLIGHT

September 12 – MysteriesEtc – REVIEW

September 13 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

September 13 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW

September 14 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW

September 14 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT

September 15 – Varietats – REVIEW

September 16 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW

September 16 – Mysteries with Character – REVIEW

September 17 – The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW, GUEST POST

September 17 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – REVIEW

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!

Posted in Cozy Mystery, Guest Post

Guest Post and Blog Tour for Just in Time, a Dodie O’Dell Mystery, by Suzanne Trauth

This post was contributed by author Suzanne Trauth. Her cozy mystery, Just in Time, is currently on tour with Escape with Dollycas into a Good Book.

JUST IN TIME by Suzanne Trauth
From the beginning of my Dodie O’Dell mystery series, I knew that I wanted to create a cast of quirky, fun characters who would be included in each book. A cozy mystery series with both murder and humor, the latter generated by the mainstays of  Etonville, New Jersey. They include Dodie O’Dell, my protagonist, manager of the Windjammer restaurant and amateur sleuth—but don’t tell her she’s an amateur! Her investigative instincts are usually right on the money, much to the chagrin of her current squeeze Bill Thompson, Etonville’s police chief, who appreciates Dodie’s nose for detection but is wary when she gets in over her head. There’s her boss Henry, chef/owner of the restaurant, who is finally getting on board with Dodie’s theme food ideas that accompany the Etonville Little Theatre productions. Italian night for Romeo and Juliet, a seafood buffet for Dames At Sea…

     Lola Trotter, theater diva and Dodie’s BFF, is always present to support Dodie’s adventures and accept a little hand-holding whenever the ELT is in production, or whenever she has to deal with Walter Zeitzman, ELT director, actor and sometime playwright, and his sidekick stage manager Penny Ossining. Who never met a cliché she didn’t love to mangle.

     Of course Etonville wouldn’t be a small town without a gossip center—in this case Snippets Salon owned by Dodie’s other BFF Carol whose son Pauli is Dodie’s teenage computer guru. He’s always available to supply Dodie with digital forensic assistance in the form of email hacking, facial recognition software, deep Internet searches…you get the picture. And to round out the cast of locals there’s sweet Mildred, choir director, and husband Vernon, in a perennial prickly mood; the Banger sisters, elderly siblings who stay on top of Etonville rumors while dipping their toes in the acting waters of the ELT; and Edna, the law enforcement dispatcher for the Etonville PD who loves her police codes!

     These regulars are the source of much of the humor in the mystery series as they navigate daily life in Etonville, generate gossip, busy themselves with Dodie’s love life, support the Etonville Little Theatre, and offer advice and perspectives on the murder-solving process. You gotta love them!

     But what about the non-regulars? In every book I add characters who may or may not show up in future books…a few of them have been killed off. Sorry about that. In my upcoming book JUST IN TIME, there are a handful of interesting folks who make their debut in Etonville. The ELT is doing its first co-production with the Creston Players from the town next door. Dale Undershot, their leading man who becomes Lola’s heartthrob, makes a bow in Bye, Bye, Birdie, along with high school student Janice who claims Pauli’s heart—young love! There are also a few staff members, like the musical director and the rehearsal accompanist, who add a little levity to the story. Finally, Windjammer owner Henry has hired a new sous chef to replace his second in command: Wilson, fresh from the culinary institute. Happy, enthusiastic, eager to make his mark in the gastronomic world. He loves to experiment with Caribbean recipes from his hometown.

     So every Dodie O’Dell mystery is a stew of the tried and true, regular, fun characters seasoned with some special folks who are passing through Etonville on their way to—wait I can’t tell you that. It will ruin the mystery…you’ll have to read JUST IN TIME to find out where they are headed.

Just in Time (A Dodie O’Dell Mystery)
by Suzanne Trauth

About the Book

Just in Time (A Dodie O’Dell Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Lyrical Underground (September 25, 2018)
Print Length 220 pages
Kindle ASIN: B078QTBB4F


Business is humming at Dodie O’Dell’s Windjammer Restaurant, where she offers theme menus connected to the Etonville Little Theatre’s amateur productions. This June, the theatre is collaborating with the neighboring Creston Players to stage Bye Bye Birdie under the stars—their first musical! There’s a contest in the play to pick a fan to receive rock idol Conrad Birdie’s last kiss before he ships off for the Army, so Dodie plans a contest to pick the food for a pre-show picnic.

But before the show opens, Ruby, the rehearsal accompanist, is found dead in her car. Why would anyone murder the crusty old gal who loved to sneak a smoke and a nip between wisecracks? Once again, the resourceful restaurant manager must play the part of amateur sleuth, accompanied by Police Chief Bill Thompson, who also happens to be her beau. Confronted with a chorus of suspects, she’ll need to stay composed to catch the killer—or it’ll be bye bye Dodie…

About the Author

Suzanne Trauth, Harvard Studio, Montclair, NJ. 06/27/2014 Photo by Steve Hockstein/

Suzanne Trauth is a novelist, playwright, screenwriter, and a former university theatre professor. She is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and the Dramatists Guild. When she is not writing, Suzanne coaches actors and serves as a celebrant performing wedding ceremonies. She lives in Woodland Park, New Jersey. Readers can visit her website at


Purchase Links

Amazon B&N kobo BookBub

a Rafflecopter giveaway


September 10 – Babs Book Bistro – GUEST POST



September 13 – Ruff Drafts – GUEST POST

September 14 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW

September 14 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

September 15 – Varietats – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

September 16 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY

September 17 – Readeropolis – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

September 18 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW

September 19 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

September 20 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

September 21 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – SPOTLIGHT


September 23 – Handcrafted Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!