New Releases For The Week Of June 26th, 2022–Part 2

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Two-time Lambda Literary Award-winning author Ann McMan introduces readers to a spinster postal investigator for the Winston-Salem Dead Letter Office who finds herself enmeshed in the mystery of solving who is sending undeliverable love letters to the town’s 18th-century hortus medicus.

The year is 1960, and Gunsmoke is the most popular show on TV. Elvis Presley tops the Billboard charts, and a charismatic young senator named John F. Kennedy is running for president. And, in North Carolina, four young Black men sit down at a Woolworth’s lunch counter and demand service.

Enter Esther Jane (EJ) Cloud, a forty-something spinster who manages the Dead Letter Office at the Winston-Salem post office. EJ leads a quiet life in her Old Salem ancestral home and spends her free time volunteering in the town’s 18th-century medicinal garden.

One sunny Spring morning, EJ’s world is turned upside down when she is handed a stack of handwritten letters that have all been addressed to a nonexistent person at the garden. This simple act sets in motion a chain of events that will lead EJ on a life-altering quest to uncover the identity of the mysterious letter writer—and into a surprising, head-on confrontation with the harsh realities of the racial injustice that is as deeply rooted in the life of her community as the ancient herbs cultivated in the Moravian garden.

When EJ is forced to read the letters to look for clues about the anonymous sender, what she discovers are lyrical tales of a forbidden passion that threaten to unravel the simple contours of her unexamined life. EJ’s official quest soon morphs into a journey of self-discovery. Her surprising accomplice on this quest becomes a savvy, street smart ten-year-old wielding an eye patch and a limitless supply of aphorisms. Together, the unlikely duo makes pilgrimages to a tiny town called Paradise to try and crack the case—while ultimately learning better ways to navigate the changing world around them. (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle, Paperback, Audiobook

Samantha Kidd has gotten the swing of sleuthing, but she’s an absolute beginner when it comes to being a spy…

When Samantha Kidd places the winning bid on a mystery trunk from the estate of a sixties pop star, she’s over the moon—until she opens it and discovers more than mod fashions: top secret papers that suggest something more menacing than miniskirts.

Repeated attempts to steal the trunk motivate Samantha to sell it—but not until after she’s removed the questionable items. But when the trunk’s new owner is found dead with the singer’s record in his hand, even Nancy Sinatra’s boots can’t make Samantha walk away. Turning the tables on mods, rockers, and bad guys galore may require a little help from her friends, but if they fail, there’s no room for an encore.

Can Samantha put a spin on the classic sixties spy story, or will the needle drop before she gets into her groove? (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle

In Gone but Not Furgotten, the sixth in Cate Conte’s Cat Café beloved cozy mystery series, Daybreak Island has a killer on the loose…and this villain isn’t afraid to use their claws.

Maddie James has big plans for the summer season at JJ’s House of Purrs. But when her friend, master meditator and Tai Chi teacher Cass Hendricks, brings a potential animal hoarding situation to her attention, Maddie has to refocus her attention on the furry felines who may need a helping paw.

Cass has brought his Zen teachings to Fisherman’s Cove—a tiny, working class town on Daybreak Island—and one of his students, Laurel, has been on the receiving end more than one hissy fit from her neighbors, mostly because of her cats. When Maddie and Cass go to Laurel’s to check out the situation, not only do they find a plethora of cats in need, but also a dead body. Laurel appears to have had an unfortunate accident falling down her stairs, but Maddie gets a sneaking suspicion that something more sinister might be behind her death. When she voices her concerns, she’s horrified that it’s Cass who falls under suspicion.

With Grandpa Leo’s help, Maddie has to dig into the secrets this small community is keeping close to find out why Laurel really died before Cass is put behind bars . . . or the killer strikes again. (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle, Paperback Audiobook

Mud season takes on a whole new meaning in the coastal town of Busman’s Harbor, Maine, when local business owners sling dirt at one another in a heated feud over a proposed pedestrian mall. Vandalism is one thing, but murder means Julia Snowden of the Snowden Family Clambake steps in to clean up the case . . .
 
When Julia spots police cars in front of Lupine Design, she races over. Her sister Livvie works there as a potter. Livvie is unharmed but surrounded by smashed up pottery. The police find the owner Zoey Butterfield digging clay by a nearby bay, but she has no idea who would target her store. Zoey is a vocal advocate for turning four blocks of Main Street into a pedestrian mall on summer weekends. Other shop owners, including her next-door neighbor, are vehemently opposed. Could a small-town fight provoke such destruction? When a murder follows the break-in, it’s up to Julia to dig through the secrets and lies to uncover the truth . . .
 
Praise for Shucked Apart
 
“An intelligent, well-plotted page-turner with likeable characters and a doozy of an ending. Highly recommended.”
Suspense Magazine (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle, Paperback

The proprietor of a fairy garden and tea shop in Carmel-by-the-Sea, Courtney Kelly has an occasional side gig as a sleuth—with a sprinkling of magical assistance. . . .

Courtney has thrown a few fairy garden parties—for kids. But if a local socialite is willing to dip into her trust fund for an old sorority sister’s fortieth birthday bash, Courtney will be there with bells on. To make the job even more appealing, a famous actress, Farrah Lawson, is flying in for the occasion, and there’s nothing like a celebrity cameo to raise a business’s profile.
 
Now Courtney has less than two weeks to paint a mural, hang up tinkling windchimes, plan party games, and conjure up all the details. While she works her magic, the hostess and her girlfriends head off for an indulgent spa day—which leads to a fateful facial for Farrah, followed by her mysterious death. Could the kindhearted eyebrow waxer who Farrah berated in public really be the killer, as the police suspect? Courtney thinks otherwise, and with the help of her imaginative sleuth fairy, sets out to dig up the truth behind this puzzling murder . . .
 
Praise for Daryl Wood Gerber’s A Sprinkling of Murder
 
“Enchanting series launch from Agatha Award winner Gerber. . . . Cozy fans will wish upon a star for more.”
Publishers Weekly

“A winner. . . . Fans of Laura Childs’ work will enjoy.”
Booklist (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle, Paperback, Audiobook

The witches in Sweet Mountain Meadows are bursting with jubilant anticipation. Samhain has arrived, and Daisy’s excited to learn that this year also marks the 100th anniversary of their coven. The old inn where they’ve decided to gather for this auspicious occasion is charmingly perfect, even if it’s quite possibly haunted by a disgruntled miner’s ghost.

The evening is everything Daisy could hope for, until one of the inn’s employees is found dead, and everything begins to unravel. She’s shocked to learn there’s a murderer in their midst and that it could be one of her coven sisters. Worse, some start whispering that Gideon’s the one who’s brought death to their doorstep, and Daisy doesn’t know how to stop the rumors.

If that wasn’t enough, Gideon’s haunting past makes him question his relationship with Daisy. When he disappears, Daisy’s heartbroken and struggles to focus on the investigation. Luckily, her friends are around to bolster her, and they have some creative ideas to reunite the couple. But will it be enough to bring Gideon back and help her solve the murder?

Mysterious Midlife is the seventh book in the Sweet Mountain Witches Paranormal Women’s Fiction Cozy Mystery series. If you like the thrill of solving a murder, enjoy a sweet romance, and believe that life begins at forty, you’ll love this series.

Grab your copy today!

Note: Does not contain gore, swearing, or adult-situations. (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle

Looking for a fresh start, advice columnist Sissy Yoder heads to small-town Yoder, Kansas, to help in her aunt’s café. But when a milkman is murdered, the newcomer becomes the prime suspect . . .

After Sissy’s rodeo cowboy boyfriend turns out to be more of a rodeo clown, she packs a bag; picks up her Yorkshire terrier Duke; and leaves Tulsa, Oklahoma, bound for her parents’ former hometown. There are still plenty of Yoders in Yoder, Kansas, including Sissy’s aunt Bethel, who owns the Sunflower Café but recently broke her leg. It’s a homecoming of sorts as Sissy arrives to help in the café and reunite with her pregnant cousin Lizzie. Plus she can continue to secretly write her newspaper advice column as seventy-year-old “Aunt Bess.” But it’s Sissy who could use some advice when she finds the milk deliveryman out behind the café with a knife in his back. As the sheriff’s prime suspect, it’s up to Sissy to catch the backstabber herself—before someone else gets creamed . . . (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle, Paperback Audiobook

He’s snarky, but ever since Jameson became Isabella’s familiar, he’s had her back.

Now it’s time for her to return the favor.


She promised to rescue his sister from a fraternity stronghold. The only problem is, she’ll need help from her sorority.

That’s right, the women who hate her.

In a desperate attempt to get the witches to work together, Hope asked a highly-regarded witch, Inanna, to train Isabella and her group.

Isabella’s pretty sure the Geneva Convention was violated in her training but it doesn’t matter. Inanna was found dead on the library steps.

The warning is clear, but a promise is a promise. Isabella can’t back down, even if she has to go it alone.

When a friend is kidnapped in retaliation, can she finally convince everyone to work together? (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle