Did You Know…this about Arizona?

9780727886446In JR Ripley’s light-hearted mystery, Beignets, Brides and Bodies, set in small-town Arizona, café owner Maggie Miller’s offer to help out the bridal shop owners next door leads to a case of cold-blooded murder. The last thing she was expecting was to discover a dead body buried beneath a wedding cake…

Here, author J.R. Ripley sheds some light on vortexes in Arizona.

Sedona, Arizona has a strong metaphysical connection and community. The area is considered to be home to many natural red rock vortexes, anywhere from 4 to 20, depending on who’s doing the counting. Vortexes are masses of energy that affect all who come within range of them. People come from the world over to see and experience these vortexes for themselves. Several of the more famous are Cathedral Rock, Airport Mesa, Boynton Canyon and Bell Rock. Some claim that there is a giant crystal buried deep within Bell Rock and that, one day, Bell Rock will open to reveal an alien spacecraft. It is also believed that these vortexes can be used to travel to alternate dimensions if you open yourself up to them, in addition to their powers to rejuvenate the mind and body. Of course, even if you don’t believe in aliens, alternate universes and mind-altering vortexes, the natural beauty of Northern Arizona make it worth the visit.

J.R. Ripley is the author of the Tony Kozol mystery series and other novels. He has penned novels in various categories including literary, popular fiction, mystery and crime novels, YA and children’s books. As a member of the Mystery Writers of America, he has chaired the Edgar committee for Best Original Paperback novel and served on the Best Short Story Committee. As a member of the International Association of Crime Writers, he has served on the Hammett Award committee for Best Novel.

Praise for J.R. Ripley:

In Maggie, Ripley has created a quirky, vulnerable protagonist with a wicked wit. Those who like their mysteries … delivered with a smile will thoroughly enjoy this little gem” Booklist on Buried in Beignets 

“Fun, farcical … Recipes and tips add seasoning to Ripley’s appealing mix of quirky characters and slapstick humor”  Publishers Weekly on Buried in Beignets

Also available from this author – Buried in Beignets



Today is #NationalDogDay

So for all you dog lovers, here is a selection of mysteries featuring our furry friends. For more information on these titles follow the links below the images.

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“Delaney’s intelligent mystery has no lack of red herrings and suspects. Fans of Laurien Berenson may especially enjoy this well-crafted canine holiday mystery” Booklist on Purebred Dead

“Animal lovers will enjoy this dog-focused cozy with its appealing characters, both two- and four-leggedPublishers Weekly on Curtains for Miss Plym

Purebred Dead and Curtains for Miss Plym by Kathleen Delaney

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Dalton makes her adult mystery debut with this classic British whodunit; its canine element will delight Susan Conant and Laurien Berenson fans” Library Journal on The White Shepherd

The White Shepherd and Written in Red by Annie Dalton

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“Esposito uses the pet-spa frame to bring a fresh perspective to the animal-mystery genre, and Elle and Devon continue to grow as appealing sleuths” Booklist on High Jinx

Faux Pas and High Jinx by Shannon Esposito

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“Celine adds a jaunty, madcap note to the proceedings with a touch of magic. Recipes for pet food from Kitty’s business add an unusual note to this light and fun addition to the pet mystery genre” Booklist on Lights, Camera, Murder!

Lights, Camera, Murder! and Pets in Peril by Marie Celine


Author trivia – Ken McCoy

Ken on booksAmong the many things I’ve done professionally, I used to be a free-lance greetings-card illustrator, designing hundreds of cards for publication all over the world. Back in 1977 I designed a Valentine card and gave my wife, Val, one of my illustrator copies. The following year I gave her the very same card which she’d kept, with it being my own design, and I wrote her a cryptic message inside which read thus: Eiffel foyer deny Time etch ooh! Which I knew Val would read as meaning, “I fell for you the night I met you.’ 

I’ve been sending her the same card every year since, with increasingly cryptic messages.   My latest effort being this: “Gnome hatter howl ate tit tizz, or how whirly, or eve niff it’s not lay tat tall. Ice till lieu view. Eye shudder tooth ink wot eyed dewey few weren’t tear.”  No matter how late is, or how early, or even if it’s not late at all, I still love you. I shudder to think what I’d do if you weren’t here.’

Yeah, I know it’s childish but it’s what we do.

Anyway, I’ve forgotten how, but about ten years ago our local newspaper got to hear of it and devoted the whole centre spread to my cards and their cryptic messages. Since then, every year up to 2014, some publication or other has contacted us wanting to write a Valentine piece about us. With Valentine’s Day being in February this culminated in my being asked to be Mr February in the 2015 Dull Men of Great Britain Calendar. I was reluctant at first but was eventually persuaded and ended up being interviewed by various papers plus several radio and TV stations, including national TV News. This year, 2016, it all seems to have died a death, thank goodness.


Ken McCoy’s latest title, Dead or Alive, features DI Sep Black and is set in Leeds. For more information on this title visit our website

Did You Know this about DNA tests..?

9780727886262By Pauline Rowson, author of Dangerous Cargo, the second title in her Art Marvik series featuring the former marine commando, published in eBook and in the US on 1 September 2016.

Did you know that in England a DNA test taken by the police usually takes 5 days for the results to come through?  Not quite what you see on the television or read in crime fiction where the results can be portrayed as almost instantaneous – still we are allowed to bend the rules occasionally, after all it is fiction! (I have been told though that DNA tests can be fast-tracked as can fingerprints).

And did you know that somewhere in England (the location is a secret) there is a very large forensic archive storage warehouse where all the evidence which has been collected on cases solved, unsolved and unresolved are held.  Let’s hope there is never a fire!

Pauline Rowson is the author of the critically-acclaimed marine mystery series featuring DI Andy Horton, as well as several stand-alone thrillers and one previous Art Marvik thriller, Silent Running.  Pauline’s novels are set in the area in which she lives, Hayling Island and Portsmouth. Before becoming a full-time writer she ran a Marketing and Training company.

A tense, terrifying thrill ride that twists and turns with dizzying speed, combined with a likable, smart, tough, but all too human hero, make this a cracking-good new series”                                                               Booklist on Silent Running

                                                                             “Action-packed”                                                                                           Kirkus Reviews on Silent Running

For further information about Pauline Rowson and Dangerous Cargo, please visit our website here.

Behind the Book

FOREIGN BODIES by David Wishart

Summer, AD 42, and Marcus Corvinus is all geared up for a trip to the Alban Hills when the Emperor Claudius steps in to alter his holiday arrangements. Not Latium. Gaul. And it won’t be a holiday, either; Claudius wants him to investigate a murder.

9781780290805The victim is one of the imperial clients, Tiberius Claudius Cabirus, a wine merchant based in Lugdunum, stabbed through the heart as he was taking his afternoon nap in the family’s summerhouse. For a city boy like Corvinus, the prospect of a jaunt out in the sticks lasting several months doesn’t exactly appeal, even with his wife Perilla and major-domo Bathyllus in tow, but at least there are out-of-the-ordinary compensations: as Claudius’s personal rep., official clout in spades, first-class travel and accommodation, and a no-arguments-from-anyone freedom to conduct the investigation in any way he likes. Bliss. On the other hand, there is the drawback of a travelling companion he can’t seem to shake off, a clean-living doctor with perfect teeth and pecs and definite designs on Perilla’s virtue which, Corvinus suspects, aren’t exactly unwelcomed. The fact that Lucius Domitius Crinas has convinced the lady of the need for Corvinus to cut down drastically on the booze doesn’t help much, either.

Then, when things start to become political, the investigation takes on a whole new – and much more sinister – shape . . .

David Wishart studied Classics at Edinburgh University and spent several years teaching Latin and Greek in schools.  He now teaches part-time at the University of Dundee and is the author of seventeen previous novels in the Marcus Corvinus series.

Praise for David Wishart:

“Excellent characterization and period setting . . . Fans will greet this new Corvinus novel with open arms” Booklist on Solid Citizens

“An intricate plot, lively dialog, humor and plenty of colorful historical details bring Ancient Rome vividly to life. This thoroughly enjoyable mystery is bound to keep Lindsey Davis fans entertained” Library Journal on Finished Business

Visit our website for further information on Foreign Bodies and other titles by David Wishart.