I’m so excited to be a stop on the blog tour for author Mary Ellen Hughes and her new release A Vintage Death. This is the second book in her A Keepsake Cove Mysteries Series. I have read this book and thought it was quite good.
A Vintage Death (A Keepsake Cove Mystery)
2nd in Series
Midnight Ink (November 8, 2018)
Paperback: 264 pages
As the new music box store owner and resident of Keepsake Cove, a quaint town full of collectible shops on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Callie Reed is eager to get more involved in her community. She volunteers to plan the Fall street decorations and welcome a visiting author who’s come for a special book signing. But the celebratory mood is cut short when the local B&B owner is found dead, killed by a pair of vintage scissors.
Suspicion is cast on the victim’s estranged wife, Dorothy, who owns Keepsake Cove’s vintage sewing shop. Callie is sure Dorothy is innocent, and the visiting author agrees. Together, they begin their own investigation, only to discover that many people in Keepsake Cove have secrets. Secrets that are worth killing to keep quiet.
The characters are well rounded and well developed. Callie is a smart, caring, loyal woman. When one of her friends is wrongly accused of murder, she does not hesitate to jump in with both feet to find the real culprit. I liked that fact that this time she had the help of a visiting thriller/horror author. That added another level to the mystery solving and I enjoyed that. I really liked finding out what character, Tabitha, Callie shop assistant, was going to be dressed as each day. She is a quirky character and has unusual fashion sense, which was great. And I even felt that Aunt Melody, Callie’s deceased aunt was part of the characters through the magical music box, which I loved.
The writing style flows smoothly and the book is an easy read. The descriptive writing of the author pulled me into the story from the very beginning and pulled me along for a great read. The music box store came to life in my mind and I would love to stop by and check it out.
The mystery was well plotted and carried on well throughout the book. The were plenty of suspects to consider and clues to sift through and the mystery was not easily solved. I kept changing my mind as to who the killer was.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well crafted cozy mystery. With great characters, a whimsical music box store and an intriguing mystery, what’s not to like.
I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book provided by the publisher, Midnight Ink, and NetGalley, which I greatly appreciate.
Mary Ellen Hughes is the bestselling author of the Pickled and Preserved Mysteries (Penguin), the Craft Corner Mysteries, and the Maggie Olenski Mysteries, along with several short stories. A Fatal Collection is her debut with Midnight Ink. A Wisconsin native, she has lived most of her adult life in Maryland, where she’s set many of her stories. Visit her at www.MaryEllenHughes.com.
Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/mehughes13/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/mehughesauthor
When did you know that you wanted to be an author? What things, if any, influenced that decision?
The idea probably crept up on me, as I read more and more books and started to wonder if I could do that, too. Taking a fiction writing class and getting good feedback on my writing motivated me to really work at it.
With so many cozies being written today, what makes your books stand out from the crowd?
I don’t know about any other cozy that has a music box that might be haunted. In my Keepsake Cove mysteries, Callie Reed’s late aunt seems to communicate through her favorite music box, which suddenly plays on its own at strategic times.
Do you work from an outline or plot or do you just see where the characters take you?
I make a loose outline that helps to keep me on track. But if new and better ideas come up as I write, I’m willing to take a few turns.
Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you do anything special to get those reviews?
I do read my reviews but don’t respond to them, except sometimes thanking a professional critic. My publisher sends out Advance Reader Copies for reviews, and I might occasionally suggest to readers that writing a customer review can be very helpful. But ultimately it’s up to them.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Start writing much sooner! Think of all the books I might have written if I’d started years earlier.
Do you think that the cover plays an important part in someone buying your book(s)? Who designs your book covers?
I think the cover can play a very big part in a book’s sales. It gives the reader an instant idea of the kind of book it is—funny, serious, historical, etc.
My publishers have designed all the book covers, or rather, their illustrators have. I’m asked for input, but they’ve always come up with great ones.
Please give us an insight into your main characters. What do you think makes them special?
In A Vintage Death, Callie Reed has inherited her aunt’s music box shop in Keepsake Cove, a town filled with various keepsake and collectible shops. She’s settled in and come to know her fellow shopkeepers. When one of them, the owner of a vintage sewing shop is suspected of the murder of her estranged husband, Callie jumps in to help the older woman.
Since poking into a murder investigation puts her in real danger from the actual murderer—who is watching her every move—Callie’s willingness to do that because of her concern for an innocent, vulnerable woman makes her pretty special.
She’s also smart enough to ultimately bring the real murderer out of hiding, someone who might have gotten away with a terrible crime.
What have you learned about yourself since becoming an author?
That if I persevere, I can get through the occasional, dreaded writer’s block and come up with a darned good story.
Do you write full-time or part-time?
My actual writing is part time, probably four hours a day. The other side of writing—promoting and such—can easily fill the rest of the day.
What do your plans for future projects include?
The third book of the Keepsake Cove series – A Curio Killing—is in the works and should be coming out in November, 2019.
What do you think the hardest part of writing is? What is the easiest?
For me, the hardest part of writing a book is the beginning. Exactly where to start is a tough decision. On the other side, I love the endings, where you tie up all the clues you’ve been dropping along the way. It’s like the end of a roller coaster, rushing down the track, and just as much fun.
What type of books do you like to read? Who are some of your favorite authors?
I read all over the place, according to what I can get my hands on that looks interesting. My favorites include classics like Jane Austen (how I wish she’d been able to write more!) all the way to Stephen King (love his later mysteries.). I also enjoy biographies and history.
What is the one thing you would like your readers to know about you?
That I’m trying my best to produce a book that they’ll really enjoy.
Do you have anything specific you would like to say to your readers?
Thank you so much for reading my books and for sometimes commenting on them. Your feedback and online reviews mean a lot and help me become a better writer.
How can readers discover more about you and your work?
To enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway, click on the link below:
November 7 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
November 7 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
November 7 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
November 7 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – GUEST POST
November 8 – The Book Diva’s Reads – GUEST POST
November 8 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, Sissy, & Too! – SPOTLIGHT
November 8 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
November 9 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
November 9 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW
November 9 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
November 9 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT
November 10 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
November 10 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
November 10 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
November 10 – Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST
November 11 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW
November 11 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
November 11 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT*
November 12 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
November 12 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW
November 12 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
November 13 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
November 13 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW
November 13 – The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW
November 14 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT
November 14 – Jane Reads – REVIEW, GUEST POST
November 14 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
November 15 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
November 15 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
November 15 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW
November 16 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
November 16 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
November 16 – Here’s How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT