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Friday, August 18, 2017


Once again, you're catching me doing my favorite thing: Announcing a new book by a terrific author!

I met Kate Flora at a Sisters in Crime event and became an instant fan of her as a person. She's a tell-it-like-it-is woman with a huge heart and generous soul. And then to read her books? Wow! Each one is amazing. Whether you're a true crime lover or a mystery seeker, readers are richly rewarded with attention to detail and an unfolding tale that grips from the first words on. 

Read Kate's newest book, Death Warmed Over. Don't worry about getting hooked on her as an author. She has over sixteen titles published and each one is a gem. 

Death Warmed Over:

Thea Kozak is longing for a simpler life. She loves being the trouble-shooter for independent schools, the Jane Wayne they call in when campus crisis strikes, but what she really wants is a home, and more time for her marriage, and for fun. Her dreams of a perfect home are shattered when she finds her realtor, Ginger Stevens, tied to a chair in the living room of her dream home, surrounded by glowing space heaters. Ginger utters five indistinct words before she dies. The house is tainted, and Thea has moved on to managing a drug crisis on the campus of a Connecticut boarding school, when Maine state police drag her into their investigation of Ginger’s death. It seems that Ginger Stevens is the name of a child who died in New Hampshire many years ago. The police have no idea who their victim really is. Her boyfriend has disappeared. Her colleagues know little about her, and her apartment is so sanitized there are few clues.

As she drives through March slush on New England roads, trouble-shooting for her clients, Thea is also searching her memory for small details Ginger might have revealed that could be clues to her identity. A photograph of a former student at a client school may be a clue. So may be that menacing visit from the former boyfriend who claims that Ginger sent Thea a package. As she makes her way through board rooms and alternately coddles and strong-arms wayward headmasters, Thea’s own life may be in danger. But from whom? Strangers in a mysterious truck? Or from her client’s own faculty?

Determined to get justice for Ginger, Thea plays detective until she finally puts the clues together that let her understand the meaning of Ginger’s five final words.

Early reviews are in and are terrific!

“If you like your heroines smart, brave, tough, and exuberantly aware of the possibilities of the human heart, look no further than Thea Kozak.” S.J. Rozan

“Kate Flora does what all the great writers do: she takes you inside unfamiliar territory and makes you feel right at home; you climb in and are along for the whole ride.” Michael Connelly

“I’ll follow Thea Kozak anywhere. She is simply one of the most refreshing and original heroines in mystery fiction today. And Kate Flora is the rare, graceful writer who pays close attention to how long it takes the body and the heart to heal.” Laura Lippman

Kate Flora grew up on a chicken farm in Maine where the Friday afternoon trip to the library was the high point of her week. She dreamed of being able to create the kind of compelling, enchanting worlds of the books she disappeared into every week, but growing up in the era when “help wanted” ads were still sex-segregated, she felt her calling was to go to law school and get the job they told her she couldn’t have.
After law school, Kate worked in the Maine attorney general’s office, protecting battered kids, chasing deadbeat dads, and representing the Human Rights Commission. Those years taught her all a crime writer needs to know about the human propensity to commit horrible acts. After some years in private practice, she decided to give writing a serious try when she quit the law to stay at home for a few years with her young sons. That ‘serious try’ led to ten tenacious and hellacious years in the unpublished writer’s corner, followed, finally, by the sale of her Thea Kozak series.
Kate’s books include nine Thea Kozak mysteries, four gritty Joe Burgess police procedurals, a suspense thriller (written under the name Katharine Clark), and two true crime books, Death Dealer and Finding Amy (co-written with Joseph Loughlin, a Portland, Maine Deputy Police Chief). Finding Amy was a 2007 Edgar nominee as well as a Maine Literary Award finalist, and has been optioned for a movie. Kate’s award-winning short stories have been widely anthologized and Redemption, her third Joe Burgess mystery, won the 2013 Maine Literary Award for Crime Fiction.
She is a founding member of the New England Crime Bake, the region’s annual mystery conference, and the Maine Crime Wave. With two other crime writers, she started Level Best Books, where she worked as an editor and publisher for seven years. She served a term as international president of Sisters in Crime, an organization founded to promote awareness of women writers’ contributions to the mystery field. Currently, she teaches writing and does manuscript critiques for Grub Street in Boston.

Where to buy? Click through here!

Friday, August 11, 2017

BOOK REVIEW: Heron Island by R.A. Harold

Heron Island by R.A. Harold is a meticulously researched and lushly written turn-of-the-century murder mystery set on an island in Vermont.

The back cover description sums up the book best: "Widowed Rough Rider Dade Wyatt longs to cast off his shadowed past and retreat to a quiet life as a security operative for paper tycoon Warren Dodge. But when plans to host Wyatt’s old commander Teddy Roosevelt on Dodge's idyllic Vermont island are imperiled by a guest’s death, Wyatt descends into a maelstrom of poverty, anarchy and class war to safeguard the President and catch a killer."

Real life historical figures like Teddy Roosevelt, Vermont Lieutenant Governor Nelson Fisk and William Seward Webb populate a cast of richly drawn characters. Fictional Wyatt is helped by a Creole manservant as Wyatt draws upon his considerable deduction skills to solve a murder. 

Harold achieves what few authors can. She brings to life the history and social tensions of a period of time, then weaves motive and opportunity around the norms of that day. Her settings are detailed, characters fittingly drawn, and story moves at a pace indicative of high-society--carefully, with measured steps.

Summer is the perfect time to transport yourself to another era by becoming engrossed in this book. You will come away thoroughly entertained and have a greater understanding of American history

Robbie Harold, Author
Roberta (Robbie) Harold is a novelist, poet and non-fiction writer from Montpelier, Vermont. As R.A. Harold, she is the author of two historical mysteries, Heron Island, set in Vermont, and its sequel, Murdered Sleep, set in Washington, DC. Murdered Sleep won the 2015 Genre Fiction award from the Independent Publishers of New England (IPNE). Her work has been published in Vermont Life, Hunger Mountain, Synezoma, and South Carolina Review. A 2001 graduate of Middlebury College’s Bread Loaf School of English, she won its Robert Haiduke Poetry Prize in 1999. She is a frequent contributor of articles and reviews to the Montpelier Bridge and is active in community theater. She is currently at work on two new novels, neither of them mysteries (except, at this point, to herself).

Tuesday, August 8, 2017


Yippee!!! One of my favorite things in life is to announce a new book written by one of my writer pals. 

Today's launch is Bruce Robert Coffin's latest book, Beneath the Depths. I met Bruce at Crime Bake, a writer's conference here in Massachusetts, and became an instant fan. Do you want realistic Maine settings and a detective who really knows his stuff? Do yourself a favor and read this book! (And while you're at it, pick up his first novel, Among the Shadows. You'll be glad you did!)


In this latest gripping mystery from bestselling author Bruce Robert Coffin,
Detective Sergeant John Byron is back--and ready to prove that no one on his beat is above the law.

When the body of prominent Portland attorney Paul Ramsey turns up in the bottom of Casco Bay, following his loss of a multimillion dollar civil trial, Byron knows it's no accidental drowning. Golden boy Ramsey had a dark side--and Byron believes the key to solving his murder lies in uncovering those secrets someone wanted buried along with him.

With the brilliant Detective Diane Joyner by his side, Byron takes on Ramsey's former employer, the powerhouse law firm of Newman, Branch & DeWitt. But delving further into the troubled waters of Ramsey's past only serves to lengthen the list of suspects--unleashing a perfect storm of corruption, betrayal, and murder that only Byron can stop. If he's not too late.


Bruce Robert Coffin is a former detective sergeant with more than twenty-seven years in law enforcement. At the time of his retirement, from the Portland, Maine police department, he supervised all homicide and violent crime investigations for Maine’s largest city. Following the terror attacks of September 11th, Bruce spent four years working counter-terrorism with the FBI, earning the Director’s Award, the highest honor a non-agent can receive.

He is the bestselling author of Among the Shadows, the debut novel in the Detective Byron Mystery Series. The second novel in this series, Beneath the Depths, will be released on August 8, 2017.

His short fiction appears in several anthologies, including 2016 Best American Mystery Stories.

Bruce is a member of the Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance. He lives and writes in Maine.