Posted in Blog Tour, New Releases

Guest Post and Blog Tour for the Physicist’s Daughter

The Physicists’ Daughter: A Novel
by Mary Anna Evans

About The Physicists’ Daughter

The Physicists’ Daughter: A Novel
Historical Fiction
Poisoned Pen Press (June 7, 2022)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 352 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1464215553
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1464215551
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09TGB4BVK

The Nazis are no match for the physicists’ daughter.

New Orleans, 1944

Sabotage. That’s the word on factory worker Justine Byrne’s mind as she is repeatedly called to weld machine parts that keep failing with no clear cause. Could someone inside the secretive Carbon Division be deliberately undermining the factory’s war efforts? Raised by her late parents to think logically, she also can’t help wondering just what the oddly shaped carbon gadgets she assembles day after day have to do with the boats the factory builds…

When a crane inexplicably crashes to the factory floor, leaving a woman dead, Justine can no longer ignore her nagging fear that German spies are at work within the building, trying to put the factory and its workers out of commission. Unable to trust anyone—not the charming men vying for her attention, not her unpleasant boss, and not even the women who work beside her—Justine draws on the legacy of her unconventional upbringing to keep her division running and protect her coworkers, her country, and herself from a war that is suddenly very close to home.

Guest Post by Mary Anna Evans

It Never Hurts to Know How Things Work, or How I Came to Write a Historical Novel With the Very Science-y Title of The Physicists’ Daughter.

When I was in college, I had a chemistry book subtitled: “The Central Science.” The arrogance of that subtitle made my physics classmates snicker, as they were pretty sure that their science was the central one.

This kind of rivalry goes on between people in all disciplines. I’m sure that historians think that archaeologists should spend more time in archives and that archaeologists think that historians should get out in the field and put their hands on things that historical people actually used. I would bet that paleontologists think that historical archaeologists should stop wasting their time on “new” stuff. And cosmologists almost certainly think that the further you get from the dawn of time, the less important your field of study is.

However, I’m going to go ahead and attract the slings and arrows of chemists by saying that physicists have a pretty good claim on the title of “The Central Science,” since physics describes the ways that the molecules of various chemicals move and connect and disconnect. At rock bottom, physics is about the way things work.

Since the long-ago time when I earned a BS in engineering physics, I’ve done a lot of jobs that don’t seem to have much to do with science at all. The job that seems furthest from my science-y background is writing novels, but I’m here to tell you that those studies come in handy every day. Let me say, once and for all, that my professors were correct when they said, “A degree in physics will prepare you for darn near anything.”

“How so?” you might ask. Well, in my experience, you come away from studying science, in general, and physics, in particular, with a deep appreciation for the relationship between cause and effect. And what better way to describe the plot of a page-turning novel than as a series of incidents that flow inexorably toward an exciting ending, from one event to the next? A reader wants to finish a story believing that it couldn’t logically have ended any other way.

These are the ideas I brought with me to The Physicists’ Daughter, the story of a Rosie-the-Riveter-type worker who finds herself up against a spy trying to sabotage the factory where she builds the boats and planes that Allied soldiers took into World War II. My character, Justine Byrne, knows science because her physics professor parents taught it to her, but the people around her don’t expect a woman to know such things in 1944. They don’t expect her to be able to weld. They don’t expect her to be able to solve their codes. They don’t expect her to be able to tell that none of the frightening things happening around her are accidents. Nobody in Justine’s world expects a well-behaved, twenty-one-year-old woman to be a threat to anyone at all, especially not to the Axis powers that are trying to take over the world, wiping out people who aren’t like them in the process.

Justine doesn’t accept situations that don’t make sense. When somebody tells her something that simply cannot be true, she looks for the truth. She is driven to find out why things are the way they are. Justine’s knowledge of science—her bone-deep understanding of cause-and-effect—is the thing that she brings to the fight against the Nazis. It is her secret weapon in the war against Hitler.

Because the Nazis are no match for the physicists’ daughter.

About Mary Anna Evans

Mary Anna Evans is the author of The Physicists’ Daughter, the first in her series of WWII-era historical suspense novels featuring Rosie-the-Riveter-turned-codebreaker Justine Byrne. Her thirteen Faye Longchamp archaeological mysteries have received recognition including the Benjamin Franklin Award, a Will Rogers Medallion Award Gold Medal, the Oklahoma Book Award, and three Florida Book Awards bronze medals. She is an associate professor at the University of Oklahoma, where she teaches fiction and nonfiction writing, including mystery and suspense writing. Her work has appeared in publications including Plots with Guns, The Atlantic, Florida Heat Wave, Dallas Morning News, and The Louisville Review. Her scholarship on crime fiction, which centers on Agatha Christie’s evolving approach over her long career to the ways women experienced justice in the twentieth century, has appeared in the Bloomsbury Handbook to Agatha Christie (coming September 22, 2022), which she co-edited, and in Clues: A Journal of Detection. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Rutgers-Camden, and she is a licensed Professional Engineer. She is at work on the second Justine Byrne novel, The Physicists’ Enigma.

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Posted in Reviews

Review of Secluded Cabin Sleeps Six by Lisa Unger

*Note: This book was an advanced reader’s copy from Net Galley. It will be published on November 8, 2022, but is available for pre-order now on Amazon at


I was looking forward to reading another Lisa Unger book, but I found this one disappointing. The theme was a good idea: three couples spending time at a secluded cabin with all amenities included — a chef, hot tub, and a list of activities to “get back to nature.” Mako, a rich tech guy whose sister, Hannah, worships, planned and paid for the weekend..

Prior to their weekend away, at Christmas, the family all receive an Origins DNA test from an anonymous source. No one knows who placed them under the tree, and no one will admit to putting them there.

Six months later, Hannah and her husband, along with Mako and his wife and Hannah’s close friend and her boyfriend, move into the cabin during an approaching storm. Their host and builder greets them, a man who they don’t realize is watching them from cameras placed around the property. There are also two unidentified persons staying in the small cabin nearby, a man and a woman who we meet through separate POV scenes.

One other addition to this book is the story of a family’s murder on the same land before their “cabin” was built and a ghost that is said to haunt the place. I found the characters, all privileged and proud of it, except for Hannah and her husband, who seemed more appreciative of their circumstances. There were some twists, but they weren’t that surprising. It’s a decent book but not the one I expected.

Posted in Blog Tour, New Releases, Spotlight

Spotlight and Excerpt for The Double Exposure Murder: A Robyn Cavanaugh Mystery by Jeanne Quigley

The Double Exposure Murder (A Robyn Cavanagh Mystery)
by Jeanne Quigley

About The Double Exposure Murder

The Double Exposure Murder (A Robyn Cavanagh Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Garland, a fictional town in Orange County, NY
TouchPoint Press
Number of Pages: 270

Robyn Cavanagh enjoys a thriving second career as a portrait photographer in her beloved suburban hometown of Garland, New York. Having built a large portfolio of high school senior photos and family portraits, Robyn is thrilled when math teacher Brooke Gibson hires her to take photos of a different subject: 16 Clover Lane, the house Brooke has recently inherited from her late great-aunt. Brooke will soon put the home on the market and wants Robyn to take the photos for the real estate listing. Robyn thinks the cozy house will attract prospective buyers—until she finds bride-to-be Brooke’s battered body in the garden shed.

When Brooke’s mother asks her help in canceling the wedding plans, Robyn plays amateur sleuth and gathers clues while also collecting refunds from Brooke’s wedding vendors. With help from her friend Will Vonderlin, Robyn assembles evidence of a possible love triangle, financial indiscretions, and neighborhood feuds and builds a suspect list that includes Brooke’s fiancé, a jealous relative, a longtime rival, and a shady bartender. The clues lead Robyn to the killer and a spectacular July Fourth finale complete with a marching band and a parade of howling dogs.


Yogi and I arrived at 16 Clover Lane a couple of minutes before 10:30. Brooke’s Ford Focus was parked in the carport.

Brooke didn’t respond to the first ring of the doorbell. I pressed the button again and waited a few seconds. The front door was open several inches, so I called to Brooke through the screen door. When she still didn’t answer, I assumed she was either in the bathroom or the backyard. I opened the screen door and entered the house, Yogi at my heels. The door to the powder room was open, and Brooke wasn’t in any of the first-floor rooms.

“Brooke! It’s Robyn.” I yelled up the staircase opposite the front door. I listened for a few seconds then headed into the kitchen. “Let’s go out back.”

The mystery deepened when I didn’t find Brooke on the patio. More possibilities ran through my mind. Brooke could be on a stroll around the block or in a neighbor’s house for a quick visit.

I called Brooke’s cell; when it went to voice mail, I ended the call without leaving a message. I’d text her, but before I started the message, a breeze blew open the shed door. The creaky door closed with a soft thud; then, another puff of wind urged it open again.

I spotted a can of paint on the ground outside the shed. “I should’ve known Brooke would fix the shed.”

Curious about the paint color Brooke had selected, I crossed the yard and bent over the paint can. I thought Brooke might have selected sunny yellow to match the house, but she had purchased a dark green shade. New paintbrushes and a drip pan lay on the grass next to the can. Did she plan to enlist me to help with the shed’s facelift?

The shed’s door creaked open and closed a third time. I moved to secure the door shut, but first I peeked inside and experienced an adrenaline rush like I’d never had. Fighting a growing sense of panic, I wrapped a length of the leash around my hand and pulled Yogi away from the supine form on the shed’s floor.

I took a second look at the still figure, clad in cut-off jeans and a white tank top. “Brooke!” Brooke’s mouth was open, and her eyes stared at the roof. Her nose was bloodied, and scratch marks stretched from her shoulders to her wrists. Her collarbone jutted out at a sickening angle.

I pushed back the door and told Yogi to lie down, making him a makeshift doorstop. He obeyed and watched me check Brooke for a pulse and breath.

It was a futile attempt, I knew, but a necessary one.

I stepped into the doorway and called 9-1-1, my glance fixed on the steel-blade shovel on the ground next to Brooke’s body.

About Jeanne Quigley

Jeanne Quigley is the author of the Veronica Walsh Mysteries and the Robyn Cavanagh mystery series. Unlike her fictional sleuths, she has never been a soap opera star or an accountant (though she was an accounting major for a few minutes in the spring of 1985), but she has worked for an educational publisher and in the music industry. A lifelong New Yorker, Jeanne lives in her native Rockland County.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Cozy Mystery

Review and Blog Tour for Old Bones and Ice Cream Cones: Destiny Falls Mystery & Magic Book 6 by Elizabeth Pantley


Another fun and absorbing tale in the Destiny Falls Mystery and Magic cozy mystery series by Elizabeth Pantley. I can’t get enough of this series and even though I’ve only read three of the six books so far, I’m hoping to catch up with all of them soon.

What I like most about this series is the vivid descriptions of the magical island as well as the interesting characters and, of course, the magical library and the cats. In this installment, Latifa again steals the show with the other felines from the Secret Cat Society. Hayden and Han’s relationship undergoes a trial when Han disappears periodically and returns in an upsized model. While this is nice, it’s also an indication of black magic and that something sinister is being planned for him.

Without giving away the details of the story, which includes two mysteries, Hayden needs to obtain an antidote from an enemy to destroy the spell on her boyfriend. She also needs to travel to the mysterious island of Gladstone where she is not allowed to go.

The second mystery involves a murder from over thirty years ago that is discovered when Hayden finds a body in a boat. The women of the Destiny Falls knitting club may know something about the murder, as they went to high school with two of the women who disappeared at that time and whose body may be one of them.

It was fun to read about the 1950’s ice cream social that took place in the story and all the preparations that went into it including the costumes.

I highly recommend this book as a must read for fans of the Destiny Falls mysteries and also those new to the series. While some back story information is revealed, it’s still possible to read this one as a standalone and will also make one curious to read the past novels.

Check out the blog tour below and also my previous posts about the Destiny Falls series.

Review for Falling into Magic: Destiny Falls Mystery & Magic #1 by Elizabeth Pantley

Review of THE GHOST CAMPER’S TALL TALES, A Destiny Falls Mystery and Magic Cozy Mystery, by Elizabeth Pantley

Interview with Elizabeth Pantley, Author of The Disappearance of Emily, A Destiny Falls Mystery and Magic Novel

Sneaky Interviews Chanel from The Disappearance of Emily by Elizabeth Pantley

Sneaky Interviews Latifa from Falling Into Magic, A Destiny Falls Magic and Mystery Cozy Mystery by Elizabeth Pantley


Old Bones and Ice Cream Cones: Destiny Falls Mystery & Magic Series
by Elizabeth Pantley

About Old Bones and Ice Cream Cones

Old Bones and Ice Cream Cones: Destiny Falls Mystery & Magic Series
Paranormal Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Better Beginnings, Inc. (May 20, 2022)
Print length ‏ : ‎328 Pages
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09W42KVV1

A boyfriend who’s missing. Or was. . . Or is. . . A boat full of old bones. A community ice cream social. A friend in trouble, a spiteful witch, and an angry villain. The mysteries and fun abound in Destiny Falls. Hayden, Latifa, and their family and friends are up for the excitement and adventure.

Old Bones and Ice Cream Cones follows the series format of combining two stories that blend into one. A murder mystery and the island mystery.

The Island Mystery: Hayden’s boyfriend Han is missing. But she swears she saw him zoom by in his car. She’d thought it was a surprise, and that he was home early from his secret service case. She was wrong. The surprise is that his signal isn’t pinging, and no one knows where he is. There appears to be black magic behind his disappearance. Can they learn who’s responsible and bring Han safely home?

The Murder Mystery: A pile of old bones is found in an ancient fishing boat. They could be tied to the disappearance of two young women years ago, back when many of the Destiny Falls people where in high school. Many of the citizens had bad history with the missing students. Do the bones belong to them, and what happened? Were the they murdered? And could the murderer be living among them?

Hayden and Latifa’s many adventures in Destiny Falls will keep you guessing with each book in this fun and intriguing series.

About Elizabeth Pantley

Elizabeth Pantley says that writing the Destiny Falls Mystery and Magic book series is the most fun she’s ever had at work. Fans of the series say her joy is evident through the stories she tells. Elizabeth is also the internationally bestselling author of The No-Cry Sleep Solution and twelve other books for parents. Her books have been published in over twenty languages. She lives in the Pacific Northwest, the beautiful inspiration for the enchanted Destiny Falls world.

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