Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Review: No Exit by Taylor Adams

Taylor Adams has just released a thriller that promises to be a wild ride and Kerry Hammond is here today with her review.

No Exit by Taylor Adams was published on January 15, in Hardcover by William Morrow. It’s the author’s third thriller and I couldn’t wait to dive in.

In the book, Darby Thorne has just learned that her mother is sick and the young girl is on her way to visit her in Utah. It’s December 23rd and she’s headed through the Colorado Rockies in a blizzard. When the roads become too treacherous, she pulls into a rest stop where four other travelers are taking refuge from the storm. Trying to get a cell signal to check on her Mom, Darby passes a van in the parking lot and looks into the rear window. Inside the van is a cage, and inside the cage is a young girl. What follows this discovery is Darby’s battle to discover the identity of the kidnapper and to save the child at all costs.

You hear people throw out words like pulse pounding and heart racing. You usually assume that they’re exaggerating, maybe embellishing a bit for effect. I am not exaggerating when I say that No Exit was one of the fastest paced, nail biters of a book that I’ve ever read. Adams throws his characters into a remote location under difficult conditions, then pins them against a ruthless adversary.  He ratchets up the pace and then adds a few twists to throw you off your guard. The good thing is that the author doesn’t sacrifice his characters for the sake of the tension. They are well-built and full of depth, which only serves to increase what is at stake. Some are innocent, some are flawed, and others are pure evil.

The book is not for the squeamish, there are some scenes that will make you wince. But it’s a fast-paced read that leaves you glad to turn the last page—because you realize you’ve been holding your breath.

This book was provided to Mystery Playground by the publisher. The review was fair and completely independent.

You can always find Mystery Playground on Twitter @mysteryplaygrnd and on Facebook. You can also follow the blog by clicking the link on the upper right-hand corner of this webpage. 

Friday, January 25, 2019

Dim Sum of All Fears & The Shanghai Shimmer Cocktail

Author Vivien Chien is breaking out the dim sum, the perfect cocktail and her book, The Dim Sum of All Fears, to help us all celebrate Chinese New Year. This is the second novel in her Noodle Shop mystery series, following Death by Dumpling. Now go grab some take out and cuddle up...

Lana Lee is a dutiful daughter, waiting tables at her family’s Chinese restaurant even though she’d rather be doing just about anything else. Then, just when she has a chance for a “real” job, her parents take off to Taiwan, leaving Lana in charge. Surprising everyone—including herself—she turns out to be quite capable of running the place. Unfortunately, the newlyweds who just opened the souvenir store next door to Ho-Lee have turned up dead. . .and soon Lana finds herself in the midst of an Asia Village mystery.
Between running the Ho-Lee and trying to figure out whether the rock-solid Detective Adam Trudeau is actually her boyfriend, Lana knows she shouldn’t pry into the case. But the more she learns about the dead husband, his ex-wives, and all the murky details of the couple’s past, the more Lana thinks that this so-called murder/suicide is a straight-up order of murder. . .
Stop by the Bamboo Lounge and enjoy a refreshing and tart beverage with Lana and friends. This mix of tropical fruit flavors with a splash of champagne will be sure to keep summer on your doorstep! 

To enjoy, follow the recipe below:
Shanghai Shimmer

1 part apricot brandy
1 part mango vodka
1 part whiskey
½ cup passion fruit juice
2 oz champagne

  • Add apricot brandy, mango vodka, whiskey and passion fruit juice to a cocktail shaker with ice
  • Shake well
  • Strain over fresh ice
  • Top with champagne
  • Garnish with strawberry or orange

About the author: 

Vivien Chien lives and writes in Cleveland where she is hard at work on the fourth book in her Noodle Shop series. The third book, Murder Lo Mein, will release in March 2019. When she’s not writing, she can be found frolicking in the bookstore or searching for her next bowl of noodles. 

To learn more, visit her at www.vivienchien.com or follow her on social media: 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/vivienchienauthor/
Twitter: @vivien_chien

Instagram: vivien_chien_author

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Get Me My Brit TV!


Do you love British mysteries? Our newest columnist, TK Starr, has the rundown on all of the best sources to feed your addiction...

I signed-up for AcornTV a few months after it premiered and was in heaven. At last. Brit mysteries and comedies at my remote-clicking fingertips whenever I wanted and without having to get–up and change DVDs. Combined with Netflix, which has some pretty decent British programming too, what more could I want? I was content. Then along came BritBox. Wait, I thought, who’s this interloper? What did Britbox have that my beloved AcornTV and Netflix did not? Well, as it turned out, the BBC/ITV streaming channel known as Britbox did offer different programming including some favorite classics. Although there is overlap between the two Brit-focused channels (and Netflix since you can’t get away from Midsomer Murders even if you tried-more on that later),  they are just different enough that I realized if I wanted access to the fullest catalogue of Brit offerings, I needed both BritBox and AcornTV. Darn them. 

But it is confusing. I mean, why in the name of all of Poirot’s little gray cells can’t one channel have his entire collection instead of splitting it  (BritBox- seasons 1-6, AcornTV-seasons 7-12)? Perplexing since AcornTV owns most of the Agatha Christie licensing rights. Sigh. True AcornTV has many more Agatha Christie offerings, but how is one to remember that it only has the newer re-wired versions of Miss Marple (with Geraldine  McEwan and Julie McKenzie)  while Britbox has the original ones with Dame Joan Hickson? Mmmm. Or why can you catch only the first two seasons of the delectable Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries on AcornTV and all 3 seasons on Netflix? Good Grief! But the worst offender is definitely Midsomer Murders. Yup, the long popular Brit series with more criminals per square foot than your local prison is on all three channels in some form (Netflix seasons 1-19, Britbox and AcornTV seasons 1-20). It’s enough to make you throw your Roku against the wall and hook your cable back-up.

But of course, you don’t (at least regarding the Roku) because in the end, you want to have it all. And, despite my gripes, what they all have is pretty darn good. And, for the most part, unique. For instance, if you love programs with London based Scotland Yard leads, worry not, there are plenty on all three channels. But if you want to be bold and try something new,  travel to the remote coast of Ireland for Single-Handed (AcornTV) or shimmy up to Scotland to catch a different sort of monster in Loch Ness (Loch Ness, AcornTV).  Not enough? Keep heading north to Shetland, the sub-arctic archipelago of Scotland and the determined DI Perez (Shetland, Britbox). Or how about west to Wales for Hinterland, an intriguing series with the haunted DCI Mathias (Netflix). All of these shows feature complex,  characters and gripping stories set against impressive, if admittedly sometimes gloomy, scenery. Definitely, some noir going on. 

And speaking of noir (we were, weren’t we?), if truly tortured main characters are your thing and the location isn’t, try Marcella, a London-based detective series in the currently popular  “Nordic-noir” style (think “The Bridge” or the “Killing”). Not twisted enough? Then check out River, a mini-series with a “brilliant detective whose fractured mind traps him between the living and the dead”. Stellan Skarsgard plays London Detective John River to perfection (in my amateur opinion).

If you tire of the brooding mystery dramas and want something light and effortless, fly to the delightfully fun Death in Paradise set on the make-believe British Caribbean Island of Saint-Marie (Netflix) or travel very south to New Zealand to the town of Brokenwood for Brokenwood Mysteries. Much like Midsomer County, Brokenwood would not be a place I’d want to visit (if it was real of course) as people die there with frightening frequency. Still, AcornTV’s quirky detective series is one I hope comes back for several more seasons. 

There are even more choices for lighthearted detecting. Up to Canada and back to the early 20th century where Detective William Murdoch solves cases for the Toronto Constabulary using innovative forensic techniques. (The Murdoch Mysteries, AcornTV) Or return to the British countryside to the 1950’s where Mark Williams (Arthur Weasley of Harry Potter) plays a rather progressive Father Brown who solves mysteries and saves souls ( Father Brown Mysteries, Netflix). Want present day? Then stay in the countryside and visit the deliciously daffy Agatha Raisin, the retired PR Diva, who can’t seem to stop tripping over bodies around the picturesque village of Carsley (Agatha Raisin, AcornTV). 

All great stuff. So is there really a content difference between the three? Well, yes, and no.  it does seem that BritBox offers more Brit classics like the comedies Are You Being Served, Absolutely Fabulous, and  Fawlty Towers, as well as Derek Jacobi’s masterful dark-age monk, turned detective Cadfael. However, Britbox also has intriguing new content such as Rowan Atkinson (Mr. Bean) as Maigret and of course the enduring Vera. AcornTV has more recent comedies and shows like the endearing Doc Martin and Foyle’s War (mystery/drama). Netflix carries many of the same programs as well (Foyle’s War, Doc Martin, AbFab), but only Netflix has Monty Python as well as other wonderfully goofy comedies like “The IT Crowd”. All three are constantly adding new content as well. So take your pick or do a trial on each for a few months and see.

For me, since I couldn’t get everything I wanted on one channel, I splurged for all three. It's my vice, I'll live with it. Now, let me get back to my program. There’s just been a murder at the vicarage. I wonder how it’s going to end.

TK has many mystery fiction addictions. This Friday we'll feature her ode to audiobook star, Katherine Kelgren, and here's her homage to Trixie Belden.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Review: The Last of the Stanfields by Marc Levy

Kerry Hammond is here to review the latest book by French author Marc Levy.

The Last of the Stanfields by Marc Levy was released in Hardcover on January 1 by AmazonCrossing. It was originally written in French and translated into English by Daniel Wasserman.  It is a story of greed and deception, love and hate. It’s about family, the things that draw family members close and the events that push them apart. It spans four generations, one world war, four countries, and two continents. It is masterfully told and cleverly plotted. I enjoyed it immensely.

One day Eleanor-Rigby Donovan receives an anonymous letter informing her that her mother had a mysterious past she never knew about….and in that past she committed a crime. Eleanor is still struggling to come to grips with her mother’s recent death and latches on to the note, and the quest it encourages,  as a sort of lifeline with the past—hers and her mother’s.

Her journey takes her from London to Baltimore, where she meets George-Harrison Collins. George-Harrison has received a similar letter and is on a bit of a quest of his own. His letter speaks of the father he never knew and challenges him to find out the truth about the man his mother would never speak of. Together they learn about their mothers and the things they kept from them. As their pasts intertwine, they begin to wonder if some secrets are better left alone, for once you learn them, you can never go back.

Levy is a wonderful writer. The story unfolds at just the right pace to keep the reader going. I was invested in the characters and the information they were seeking. I found myself taking sides, mistrusting information, and urging them on. The assumptions I made at the beginning of the book were shattered halfway through and I found myself surprised at every turn. A great read!

This book was provided to Mystery Playground by the publisher. The review was fair and completely independent.

You can always find Mystery Playground on Twitter @mysteryplaygrnd and on Facebook. You can also follow the blog by clicking the link on the upper right-hand corner of this webpage. 

Monday, January 21, 2019

Mystery Fan Conventions for 2019

2019 is going to be a great year for mystery fan conventions and here is a list of some of our favorites. Planning ahead for these conventions is a great idea because the hotels where the cons are held can sell out and airfares can become challenging closer to the dates of the conventions. 

We've given you an array to choose from and a little bit about each convention. These events can be a great way to meet like minded mystery fans, authors and have a great time while talking mystery. Oh, and most conventions give attendees free books. If you want to see what it's like to meet Harlan Coben or Laurie R. King or Jeffrey Deaver or see what the cons are like, click on the links on the author's name. 

Left Coast Crime, Vancouver Canada, March 28-31
American Guest of Honor: CJ Box
Canadian Guest of Honor: Maureen Jennings
Toastmaster: Cathy Ace 

Left Coast Crime is an annual mystery convention sponsored by mystery fans, both readers and authors. LCC is held during the first quarter of the year in Western North America. 

Malice Domestic, Bethesda, MD May 3-5
Guest of Honor: Donna Andrews
Toastmaster: Chris Grabenstein
Lifetime Achievement: Parnel Hall

Established in 1989, Malice Domestic™ is an annual fan convention in the metropolitan DC area that celebrates the traditional mystery, books best typified by the works of Agatha Christie. The genre is loosely identified as mysteries which contain no explicit sex, or excessive gore, or violence. 

Thrillerfest, NY, NY, July 9-13
Thrillermaster: John Sanford
Silver Bullet Award Recipient: Harlan Coben
Silver Bullet Award Recipient: James Rollins

Thrillerfest is the premier conference for thriller enthusiasts, bringing together famous authors and new ones along with industry professionals, agents, and fans.

Bouchercon, Dallas, Oct 31 - Nov 3
Lifetime Achievement: Peter Lovesey
American Guest of Honor: Hank Phillipi Ryan
Distinguished Contribution to the Genre: James Patterson

This is the granddaddy of the conventions, named after mystery critic and writer, Anthony Boucher (rhymes with coucher). This year it's over Halloween and features an interactive mystery dinner theater scripted by none other than Heather Graham. It's not to be missed. 

These conventions are all fan and volunteer led. Big thanks to all of those organizers who put in so much hard work. I worked on two Bouchercon committees and one Left Coast Crime committee and organizing these events is super fun, but is also a ton of work. When you go, be sure and thank a volunteer, or better yet sign up to volunteer yourself. 

I haven't covered all of the conventions here. If I missed one that you know of, add it in below in the comment section. 

- Deborah Lacy

You can find Mystery Playground on Twitter @mysteryplaygnd and on Facebook.

Friday, January 18, 2019

One Taste Too Many & The Paper Plane

Author and former judge, Debra H. Goldstein has a new book out from Kensington Publishing. It's called One Taste Too Many and she's here today to match it with the perfect drink. 

I wish Emily, my twin, was here! Not only is she a gourmet chef, but she has a perfect palate and would know exactly what drink to pair with One Taste Too Many, the debut book in Kensington’s new Sarah Blair cozy mystery series. I’m Sarah Blair, the protagonist, but unlike my twin, for me there’s only one thing scarier than cooking (or mixing a drink) from scratch – murder!

After my divorce, I knew starting over would be messy. But things fell apart completely when my ex was found dead, seemingly poisoned by Emily’s award-winning rhubarb crisp. Now, with RahRah, my Siamese cat, wanted by the woman who broke up my marriage and Emily wanted by the police for murder, I need to figure out the right recipe to crack the case before time runs out. Unfortunately, for a gal whose idea of good china is floral paper plates, catching the real killer and living to tell about it could mean facing a fate worse than death—being in the kitchen!

Because I’m culinary challenged, I asked a group of friends to suggest drinks they’d consider hoisting while reading about me. Their suggestions all go down smoothly, but hit you with a punch: cosmopolitan, lemon drop martini, Long Island Tea, mojito, and the cat’s meow (because I love RahRah).

Even though all of these were great when I tried them, I decided because I am a cook of convenience and am flying high because Kensington, only from January 21 to January 23, is going to run the e-book version of One Taste Too Many for ninety-nine cents ($.99), I’d go with the four ingredient Paper Plane recipe. It’s quite simple:

The Paper Plane:

¾ oz Bourbon
¾ oz Aperol
¾ oz Amaro Nonino Quintessentia
¾ oz Lemon Juice

Shake the four ingredients in a shaker and put a lemon twist on the top

I hope you’ll try a Paper Plane while reading One Taste Too Many in print or on your reader (and don’t forget the Kensington special from January 21-23 on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.)

You can find the Drinks with Reads post for Debra's first novel, Should Have Played Poker here.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Poe Birthday Bash, Jack Reacher Mashups, and Gigi Pandian's Healthy Drinks

Edgar Allen Poe's birthday is this Saturday, and if you're near Richmond, VA you can hop on over to the Poe Museum's Birthday Bash from noon to midnight. It's free for members ($25 a year). If you live close to Baltimore, you can head over to the PoeZella Birthday Bash at Zella's Pizzaria. 

If you're closer to Sullivan's Island, SC, head on over to Poe's Tavern and grab a Poe-themed burger. 

How are you celebrating Poe's birthday?

Reacher Mash-Ups Gone Wild

If Poe isn't your thing and you just want to relax and enjoy best-selling author Lee Child making up fake mashups for Jack Reacher, check out this video of Lee going wild. 

Healthy Drinks with Reads

I'm still on my 2019 health kick, and so I thought I'd share two blasts from the Drinks with Reads past with healthy drink options from author Gigi Pandian. She has two healthy drink recipes to match her novel, Elusive Elixir and a fabulous smoothie called the Green Smoothie Alchemy to match her novel The Accidental Alchemist. Worth checking out. 

More mystery fun next week...

Deborah Lacy

Friday, January 11, 2019

A Welsh Hot Toddy and The Wrong Boy

Welsh Hot Toddies, a deserted beach, and murder. Sounds like a fun afternoon. Author Cathy Ace is our guest today on Drinks with Reads and I am intrigued. 

Cathy is the author of two mystery series - the Cait Morgan and the WISE Equeries Agency novels. She has been a frequent guest on Drinks with Reads, won numerous awards, and she is the Toastmistress for the 2019 Left Coast Crime fan convention to be held March 28-31 in Vancouver, Canada. We'll have more on Left Coast Crime later.

- Deborah Lacy

A Welsh Hot Toddy and The Wrong Boy
By Cathy Ace
Today is National Hot Toddy Day (January 11th 2019 in the USA) – so let’s celebrate! 

THE WRONG BOY is set on the Welsh coast, where I grew up and where the wintry rain is frequent and often horizontal…so a warming beverage is just what’s needed on a winter afternoon. THE WRONG BOY is also something of an increasingly chilling read – so have one of these drinks to hand, and settle in for a book that’s been described as a "…suspense-packed page turner…the ending is a stunner…" by Hallie Ephron, NY Times bestselling author of ‘You’ll Never Know Dear’, and as “…about as cozy as a cornered snake. Told in a rising chorus of authentic voices, the story is deft and disturbing, creepingly claustrophobic, and with a grip that tightens to a choke-hold before its shattering conclusion…" by Catriona McPherson, multi-award-winning author of ‘Go To My Grave’.

A “hot toddy” is part of a genre of beverages, but has twists…rather like THE WRONG BOY itself, which is a tale of psychological suspense, with a splash of domestic thriller, featuring a setting dripping with mythical overtones.  

A toddy generally includes: some sort of spirit base, usually whiskey; a splash of hot water; some sweetener, such as honey or sugar; and any combination of woody spices, the most popular being cloves, but cinnamon and anise are also popular choices. The proportions can be adjusted to taste, and – because they allow for personal choices to be made when it comes to exact ingredients – I’m using Penderyn Dragon Myth single malt whisky in this recipe to make sure the drink is truly Welsh (Penderyn is the only whisky distiller in Wales, more info here.) and – when you read the book – you’ll see why it’s the perfect accompaniment for curling up with The Wrong Boy.

Here’s the recipe – feel free to adapt.

  • Add 2 ounces of Penderyn Dragon Myth single malt whisky and 1 teaspoon of honey to a heat-safe glass.  
  • Heat 2 ounces of water to a near-boil and pour into glass.
  • Stir until the honey is dissolved. (Add a bit of orange marmalade at this point if you like…I do!)
  • Insert a few cloves into an orange wedge, squeeze it in and leave in the glass. 

Garnish with a thin slice of lemon.  

NOTE: the first sip will be HOT – take care! 

You can find out more about Cathy’s new book THE WRONG BOY, as well as her eight Cait Morgan Mysteries, four WISE Enquiries Agency Mysteries and two collections of short stories and novellas (which include the back-stories of all her characters) at her website

You can connect with Cathy on Facebook and on Twitter @AceCathy. You can find Mystery Playground on Twitter @mysteryplaygrnd and on Facebook. You can also follow the blog by clicking the link on the upper right-hand corner of this webpage. 

The photograph in the background is courtesy of, and copyrighted by, ©Emma Mugford; it is the original of the photo used on the cover of the book. 

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Brooklyn Nine-Nine is Baaaaaack!

Crushed. I was crushed when FOX deep-sixed my favorite half-hour comedy show - Andy Samberg's Brooklyn Nine-Nine. But it has been rescued by NBC and it starts again tonight at 9/8c. If you need a little refresher, NBC has a great series recap here

And here's the series trailer. 

I'm so happy that this funny show is back on the air. Thank you, NBC for rescuing a classic. I think we all need more laughter in our lives. 

- Deborah Lacy

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Review: The Last Lie by Alex Lake

Kerry Hammond is here today to review a new mystery by British author Alex Lake.

Alex Lake is the author of four mystery novels. His latest, The Last Lie, was released on December 31, 2018, in Trade Paperback by HarperCollins. Lake’s novels are all standalone psychological thrillers, so I didn’t hesitate to pick up his latest to see what it was all about. I was not disappointed.

The Last Lie is a story of marital bliss, at least for one party. Claire Daniels is madly in love with her husband Alfie. He is everything she’s ever wanted, he dotes on her, and could not be a better husband. Alfie, on the other hand, can’t stand Claire and dreams of being free of her. When the conversation turns to starting a family, everything starts to spiral out of control. What follows is a fast paced back and forth that could never have a happy ending.

The book drew me in immediately and I found it hard to put it down to get any sleep. The pace was perfect and the author managed to switch gears just when I thought I knew where the story was going. The characters he has created are fascinating, the dialogue realistic, and the plot fast paced. If Lake’s other novels are as good as this one, I’ve got some reading to do!

This book was provided to Mystery Playground by the publisher. The review was fair and completely independent.

You can always find Mystery Playground on Twitter @mysteryplaygrnd and on Facebook. You can also follow the blog by clicking the link on the upper right-hand corner of this webpage. 

Monday, January 7, 2019

Starting the New Year with Mystery Playground

Happy 2019! I thought I'd start the New Year off right and talk about a change we're making to Mystery Playground this year. In addition to Kerry Hammond and me (Deborah Lacy), we've added a new regular blogger & reviewer, TK Starr. She'll be joining us starting later in the month, so look out for her byline. Sharon Long, Pat Hernas and Janet Kuchler will continue to be on assignment. 

Of course, we'll still be doing Drinks with Reads on Fridays and covering our favorite authors, TV shows, mysteries, thrillers, short stories and books from all sides. We'll be adding more coverage on audio books, different TV shows, and speakeasies around the country.

You can always find Mystery Playground on Twitter @mysteryplaygrnd and on Facebook. You can also follow the blog by clicking the link on the upper right-hand corner of this webpage. 

Now that we've gotten some of the business sorted, I wanted to share with you some of my favorite mystery and book-related gifts that I received this holiday season. 

First off is The 2018 Best American Mystery Stories, edited by Louise Penny and stories curated by Series Editor, Otto Penzler, and the Book Lovers Candle by Frostbeard Studios.

I enjoy writing short stories and it's my dream to be selected for this anthology - BUT my dream will have to wait. None of my stories were chosen, but a friend of Mystery Playground -- Paul Marks -- did have his excellent story "Winward" selected. And another friend, John M. Floyd, had his excellent story "Gun Work" selected. Their stories join those of Joyce Carol Oates, Lee Child, Charlaine Harris, James Lee Burke, Michael Connelly, and others. It's an awesome anthology and if you get a chance, take a read. 

Kerry Hammond, a good friend, short story writer, and fellow MP blogger, gave me this ceramic vase shaped like a book. It's so cute that I decided to put it on my desk for pens so I can see it every day. The box said there were other book vases and sizes, but mine is clearly the best. 

Ok, I may have bought the Barnes & Noble Happy Socks with books all over them for myself, but you deserve to know that these socks exist, so I'm including it. 

I also received this mystery novel called the 71/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle. It's different than anything I've read. Here's the description from the back of the book:

There are three rules of Blackheath House:
  1. Evelyn Hardcastle will be murdered at 11:00 p.m.
  2. There are eight days, and eight witnesses for you to inhabit.
  3. We will only let you escape once you tell us the name of the killer.
Understood? Then let's begin... Evelyn Hardcastle will die. She will die every day until Aiden Bishop can identify her killer and break the cycle. But every time the day begins again, Aiden wakes up in the body of a different guest. Some of his hosts are helpful, and others only operate on a need to know basis.
I've just started this book, so I'll let you know what I think some future Monday. The excellent bookmark that you see with it also came from Kerry Hammond. 

Just a note to authors:

If you are an author and have a traditionally published book that you'd like one of us to review or your an author who'd like to guest on Drinks with Reads, the best way to contact us is by sending a message to us on the Mystery Playground Facebook page. 

Hope everyone has a happy and healthy 2019! 

Deborah Lacy

Friday, January 4, 2019

Murder on Cape Cod, A Wine Spritzer & A Giveaway

Need a hint of summer to get you through the winter? Maddie Day (the nome de plume of Author Edith Maxwell) has the perfect solution with her cozy mystery novel, Murder on Cape Cod and A Summer Wine Spritzer. Don't forget to comment on the post because Edith will pick one lucky winner at random to receive a free signed copy of the book (US residents only).  I can feel the heat of the sun already.

Summer is busy season for Mackenzie “Mac” Almeida’s bicycle shop, nestled in the seaside hamlet of Westham, Massachusetts. She’s expecting an influx of tourists at Mac’s Bikes; instead she discovers the body of Jake Lacey, and her brother soon becomes a suspect. Mac’s only experience with murder investigations is limited to the cozy mysteries she reads with her local book group, the Cozy Capers. To clear her brother’s name, Mac has to summon help from her book group co-investigators. For a small town, Westham is teeming with possible killers, and this is one mystery where Mac is hoping for anything but a surprise ending.
Cape Cod, with its iconic beaches, inland ponds, and tourist towns, is a favorite with visitors. But the flat sandy soil is also prime cranberry-growing terrain. I included this refreshing light cranberry spritzer in Murder on Cape Cod, a favorite of Mac’s to enjoy while relaxing at home.

Cape Cod Wine Spritzer 
Adjust proportions up or down depending on sweetness and degree of alcohol you like in your spritzer.

6 ounces Pinot Grigio 
4 ounces cranberry juice (I used an all-juice cranberry-apple mix but you can also use cranberry juice cocktail)
1 tablespoon Grenadine syrup
1/4 lime, squeezed
Lime seltzer

Combine ingredients in large bowl wine glass. Add ice cubes and top up with seltzer. Easy to adjust up or down on the juice and Grenadine to make it more or less sweet, and the seltzer to dilute it.
Murder on Cape Cod is available exclusively in paperback from Barnes & Noble for the first year, then it will be re-released on all platforms and formats. I’m happy to send one commenter here a signed copy of the book!

Agatha- and Macavity-nominated Edith Maxwell writes the Quaker Midwife Mysteries, the Local Foods Mysteries, and award-winning short crime fiction. As Maddie Day she writes the Country Store Mysteries and the Cozy Capers Book Group Mysteries. Maxwell lives north of Boston with her beau and two elderly cats, and gardens and cooks when she isn’t killing people on the page or wasting time on Facebook. Please find her there, at edithmaxwell.com, on Instagram, and at the Wicked Authors blog and at killercharacters.com.