So as you already know because I shouted from the roof tops, Well Read, Then Dead has been nominated for an Agatha Award for Best First Novel. The Awards will be present at the Agatha Banquet which is the highlight of Malice Domestic, the premier conference for traditional and cozy mystery readers and writers.
May I present the Agatha nominees for Best First Novel:
Circle of Influence by Annette Dashofy (Henery Press)
Tagged for Death by Sherry Harris (Kensington Publishing)
Finding Sky by Susan O’Brien (Henery Press)
Well Read, Then Dead by Terrie Farley Moran (Berkley Prime Crime)
Murder Strikes a Pose by Tracy Weber (Midnight Ink)
With all the excitement of the nomination and the banquet, I can assure you these writers are still working hard to produce excellent mystery fiction. And because inquiring minds want to know, we asked the nominees to talk a little bit about the next book in their series.
Here’s Annette Dashofy, author of Circle of Influence:
“My second book in the Zoe Chambers mystery series, Lost Legacy, came out in September. In it, Zoe responds to a call involving a body hanging from the rafters in a hay barn on a sweltering summer afternoon. What’s worse, Zoe has vague memories of a similar hanging—involving her own family—decades earlier in that same barn. As the story progresses, we learn about a string of mysterious deaths spanning over forty years linked to this recent case, and all have ties to Zoe. The secondary story, however, involves Chief Pete Adams’ father Harry, an Alzheimer’s sufferer, who Pete’s care-giving sister deposits unannounced on his front door so she can take a much needed respite. My own father lived with Alzheimer’s, which is a sad, ugly disease, so I struggled to make Harry “real” yet endearing enough to make readers want to stick with him through the entire book. I borrowed a number of my dad’s quirks, and Harry quickly become very close to my heart. The book is dedicated to my dad’s memory, and I am donating a portion of my royalties from its sale to the Alzheimer’s Association.”
Sherry Harris, author of Tagged for Death has still more proof that garage sales can be murder.
“In The Longest Yard Sale my protagonist, Sarah, turns Ellington, Massachusetts, into New England’s largest garage sale for a day. It’s the small town’s biggest event since the start of the Revolutionary War — but without the bloodshed — she hopes. During the garage sale a valuable painting goes missing and the lifeless body of a government employee is found in Carol Carson’s painting studio, his face perfectly framed with the murder weapon—a metal picture frame. Sarah is mad as heck that someone used her town-wide garage sale to commit a crime and frame her good friend Carol. She is definitely on this case, but it’s not easy rummaging through increasingly strange clues that point to a cage fighter, a suspicious town manager and even the mob. Sarah will have to be very careful if she wants to live to bargain another day.”
Susan O’Brien, author of Finding Sky is a little more reticent since she has to wait to hear from her editor, still we are all glad to know that P.I. Dean will still be around for us to ogle, er, read about.
“I can’t say much about book two (Sky High) because I just submitted it to Henery Press, and I’m waiting for my editor’s feedback. I can say, however, that Nicki Valentine is now a full-fledged private investigator, and she’s still involved with her smokin’ hot P.I. colleague Dean. Together, they search for a missing groom who was planning much more than a wedding.”
Tracy Weber, author of Murder Strikes a Pose has this to say:
“In my second book, A Killer Retreat, yoga teacher Kate Davidson has been given the opportunity to stay at Elysian Springs—a vegan resort on picturesque Orcas Island, Washington—in exchange for teaching yoga to the wedding guests of the center’s two caretakers. The trip seems like a perfect, much-needed vacation until her boyfriend Michael starts hinting that he’s ready to pop the question and her best friend shows up unannounced and hiding a secret. Then there’s the loud, public—and somewhat embarrassing—argument Kate has with Monica, the bride-to-be’s stepmother. When Monica’s body is found floating face-down in the resort’s hot tub, Kate becomes the investigator’s number one suspect. Kate will have to solve Monica’s murder quickly, or her next teaching gig may last a lifetime—behind bars. Of course, Bella will be along too, literally dragging Kate into trouble any chance she gets. It’s a lot of fun.”
And what you ask, will I present as the follow up to Well Read, Then Dead? I’ll tell you:
“Here’s the scoop on Caught Read-Handed. Always happy to lend a hand to her fellow bibliophiles, Sassy visits the Beachside Community Library with a box of book donations for their annual fundraising sale. Unfortunately, she finds the usually warm and welcoming readers’ haven in turmoil, when a heated argument erupts between one of the patrons and Tanya Lipscome, a new volunteer – also known as “Tanya Trouble” — who isn’t exactly known for her people skills, but the community is shocked when she’s later found murdered in her own hot tub.
The man last seen arguing with the victim was Alan Mersky, who also happens to be the brother of Sassy’s former boss. He’s soon arrested, but while the veteran suffers from PTSD, he’s no murderer. Now it’s up to Sassy and Bridgy to clear Alan’s name and make sure the real killer gets booked.”
So there you have it. These five award nominated authors are hard at work to continue to bring you captivating mysteries for years to come.
Congratulations and good luck to all. Our journey around the internet is great fun and I never know where we are going to show up next but one thing is for sure, we’ll be together.