Posted in Cozy Mystery, Guest Post

Guest Post and Blog Tour for The Perfect Body, A Professor Molly Mystery by Frankie Bow

This post was contributed by author Frankie Bow. Her cozy mystery, The Perfect Body, is currently on tour with Escape with Dollycas into a Good Book.

Book Cover Design and the Danger of Assuming

When I sent out The Perfect Body to my beta readers, I expected feedback and maybe even a little pushback. Professor Molly has just had a baby, and the story contains some graphic elements of postpartum life.

To my relief, no one was offended by descriptions of soggy breast pads or diaper explosions. But one reader had a strong opinion about the cover:

She hated the rat.

Uh-oh. Was this going to be a problem? Maybe the rat didn’t look enough like a lab rat because it was more brownish-gray than white. (A truly white rat would have disappeared against the white clipboard.)

I went to one of the Facebook groups I belong to, Save our Cozies, for advice. Save our Cozies is a community of passionate, outspoken cozy mystery enthusiasts.

Dear cozy-savers, I pleaded, I need your help! I got feedback from one beta reader that the creature on the cover was too vermin-y and gross. Does the redesign (with the standing rodent) fix it?

I expected to get some straightforward feedback from my fellow cozy-savers, and I was not disappointed.

The original rat was not popular. Readers thought it was “creepy,” and some even shared that they had a phobia of rats.

Maybe a cuter rodent would be better—a wee mouse, perhaps?

The little standing mouse had a few positive comments, and was definitely seen as cuter than the rat.

But overall, the rodents didn’t get a lot of love. Quite a few people said they wouldn’t even pick up a book with a rodent on the cover.

My beta reader, it turns out, was on to something.

Well then, how about a cover with no critters? This is nice, right?

Sure, but there was another problem now. Without a critter to draw the eye, the cover was too plain.

What design element would fit the composition of the book cover, and make people think of laboratory research? I asked my husband (who is an actual scientist) for ideas. He suggested I fill the space with a syringe and needle.

I thought that might be a bit much for a cozy, but I decided to give it a try.

We were down to hibiscus-only versus hibiscus and needle.

With only two cover designs to choose from, I enlisted the (free!) site, and invited the Save our Cozies members to vote.

The winner was hibiscus and needle, which got over 70% of the votes.

So what did I learn?

1) Don’t assume everyone shares your taste.

2) A lot of cozy readers really, really dislike mice and rats (which might by why they love cats so much).

3) “The Hibiscus and Needle” would be an intriguing name for a pub.

About the Book

The Perfect Body (Professor Molly Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
8th in Series
Hawaiian Heritage Press
Release Date – September 30, 2018
Print Length: 203 pages

When Professor Molly attends Mahina State University’s exclusive donor dinner, she doesn’t expect to have to share a table with the insufferable Stephen Park. Turns out it’s one thing to invite your toxic ex-boyfriend to drop dead…it’s quite another when he takes you up on it.

About the Author

Like Professor Molly, Frankie Bow teaches at a public university. Unlike her protagonist, she is blessed with delightful students, sane colleagues, and a perfectly nice office chair. She believes if life isn’t fair, at least it can be entertaining. In addition to writing murder mysteries, she publishes in scholarly journals under her real name. Her experience with academic publishing has taught her to take nothing personally.

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Links to all platforms will be there.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


October 1 – Ruff Drafts – GUEST POST

October 2 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT

October 3 – Jane Reads – CHARACTER GUEST POST

October 4 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW

October 5 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

October 6 – Babs Book Bistro – RECIPE POST

October 7 – Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

October 8 – Cozy Up With Kathy – CHARACTER GUEST POST

October 9 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

October 9 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – REVIEW

October 10 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

October 11 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good BookREVIEW

October 12 – My Reading Journeys – SPOTLIGHT

October 13 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

October 13 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

October 14 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT

Here’s the link to the Rafflecopter for the blog tour’s giveaway:



I'm a retired librarian and the author of the Cobble Cove and Buttercup Bend cozy mystery series and other novels, short stories, poems, articles, and a novella. My books include CLOUDY RAINBOW, REASON TO DIE, SEA SCOPE, MEMORY MAKERS, TIME'S RELATIVE, MEOWS AND PURRS, and MEMORIES AND MEOWS. My Cobble Cove cozy mystery series published by Solstice Publishing consists of 6 books: A STONE'S THROW, BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE, WRITTEN IN STONE, LOVE ON THE ROCKS, NO GRAVESTONE UNTURNED, and SNEAKY'S SUPERNATURAL MYSTERY AND OTHER COBBLE COVE STORIES. My new Buttercup Bend series published by Next Chapter Publishing includes THE CASE OF THE CAT CRAZY LADY and THE CASE OF THE PARROT LOVING PROFESSOR. I've also written a romantic comedy novella, WHEN JACK TRUMPS ACE, and short stories of various genres published as eBooks and in anthologies published by the Red Penguin Collection. My poetry appears in the Nassau County Voices in Verse and the Bard's Annual. I'm a member of Sisters-in-Crime, International Thriller Writers, and the Cat Writers' Association. I live on Long Island with my husband, daughter, and 2 cats.

3 thoughts on “Guest Post and Blog Tour for The Perfect Body, A Professor Molly Mystery by Frankie Bow

  1. Thank you for being part of the Escape with Dollycas into a Good Book boo tour for “The Perfect Body” by Frankie Bow.

    Loved reading the author’s comments and would love the opportunity to read this book.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net


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