Sunday, June 5, 2016

Murder by Interview, Review, and Giveaway

I'm happy to welcome Jeanne Quigley back to Cozy Up With Kathy. Jeanne writes the Victoria Walsh Mystery series.  Murder, By George, the second book in the series, was released last month.


Kathy: Veronica and Mark start Murder, By George by attending the town's annual fall flea market. Do enjoy flea markets?

JQ: I confess I am not a flea market person. I’m always ready to hit a book sale, though, with a canvas bag in hand for all those hardcovers and paperbacks I just have to read.


Kathy: Architect Scott Culverson finds a valuable surprise hidden in his inexpensive purchase at the sale. Have you ever made a lucky discovery such as his?

JQ: I’ve never had that luck, but at book sales I’ve discovered authors and characters I’ve come to cherish. I fell in love with Father Tim and the town of Mitford after I bought the first of Jan Karon’s series at a library sale. Karon’s writing strongly influenced my desire to write a series. I also discovered cozy authors MC Beaton, Mary Daheim, and Karen MacInerney at book sales. The used books I’ve purchased may not have high monetary value, but the inspiration and comfort the stories have given me is priceless.


Kathy: Murder, By George deals with an important painting from the 1920s. Do you have a favorite painting style or period?

JQ: My knowledge of art history is limited and my artistic ability hasn’t progressed much beyond stick figure drawings, so I appreciate the talent famous and non-famous artists possess, whatever their style. I marvel at the artistic skill of my sister-in-law Marilyn and niece Shannon and I always enjoy the exhibits my library has of work by local students and residents. I tend to prefer nature scenes to portraits, I suppose because I can imagine I’m there, walking through the woods or plucking the flowers in the fields. I do like van Gogh’s work and the dreamy nature of Chagall’s paintings. Maybe I shouldn’t admit this, but I also love the Dogs Playing Poker series by C.M. Coolidge.


Kathy: Was there a specific inspiration for this story?

JQ: There’s not one specific inspiration, but stories about people discovering Jackson Pollack paintings, original copies of the Declaration of Independence, and centuries’ old Chinese bowls at garage sales gave me the idea for Murder, by George.


Kathy: Are you able to share any future plans for Veronica?

JQ: I’m working on the third book now. My publisher, Five Star, is ending its mystery line, so when I am finished writing, I will have to find a new home for Veronica and friends. Wish me luck!


Kathy: When it comes to writing I understand there are 2 general camps-plotters, who diligently plot their stories, and pansters, who fly by the seat of their pants. Are you a plotter, a panster, or do you fall somewhere in between?

JQ: I fall in between, but I’m working at being a stronger plotter. I don’t start writing until I know the beginning, ending, and have a thread of scenes connecting the two. Once I’m into the story, unplanned scenes and characters introduce themselves and others are eliminated when I realize they don’t work as well on paper as they did in my head. I’d like to get a whole book down in an outline and then (I hope) write like the wind.


Kathy: Will you share any other upcoming books?

JQ: I have a character in mind for a second series. Her name is Robin and she lives in a small town in the Catskills. When I finish the third Veronica Walsh mystery, I plan to spend time developing the idea into a story.

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Review

 Murder, by George by Jeanne Quigley
The Second Veronica Walsh Mystery

Veronica is settling in to her home town of Barton, NY, managing her store and enjoying family and friends. An unexpected art discovery at the local flea market leads to some vicious debates about who the actual owner is, or should be. On the night the painting is to have its own gallery show, the painting and its new owner are late. A search finds the owner dead and the painting gone! Could one of the town's residents vying for ownership have actually killed him? Veronica promises she won't get involved, but when pressed, that promise may not be kept!

I am happy to be walking the streets of Barton once more! Once again Quigley brings us a charming yet intricate mystery. The town of Barton is picture perfect, and the creation of an artist who captured a scene from it is a smart move. I think most people have the dream of finding treasure at a flea market or garage sale. In this case it wasn't a painting unrecognized for its worth, but rather a box with a hidden compartment hiding a recognizable treasure...along with a letter adding even more significance. But, in case anyone gets too envious of Scott and his find-remember it brings him nothing but trouble, arguments from people who say the painting should be theirs and ultimately his murder.

Quigley also deftly handles the issue almost all cozy series face. Our protagonist got into terrible danger by trying to solve the crime in the previous book, yet here she is again, about to do the same thing. In  Murder, by George everyone reminds Victoria about what happened the last time and warn her not to get involved. The intelligent move made is that Victoria agrees wholeheartedly, says it's a matter for the police, and she has no intention of investigating. Of course, with more and more pressure from other friends she eventually does become involved, which, of course, she has to do so or we wouldn't have much of a book! But the original realization and admitting that she has no business getting involved is a pleasant slice of reality.

 Murder, by George is an enjoyable trip to the Adirondacks. The mystery itself is great fun with lots of suspects and possible motives. Veronica Walsh proves once again that she's an intelligent woman; a realistic character who's a pleasure to read.

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Jeanne is graciously offering an advanced readers copy to one lucky reader. Simply leave a comment on this blog post giving us your thoughts on flea markets and/or lucky finds no later than 11:59 pm EDT Monday, June 6, 2016. Be sure to leave an e-mail address so that I may contact you should you win. Sorry, US addresses only.

38 comments:

  1. The book looks great, love a good mystery, thanks for the chance :)
    jslbrown2009 at aol dot com

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  2. I hope you enjoy the book, Lisa. Good luck in the giveaway!

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  3. Looks like I have discovered a new series! Thanks for the giveaway.

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  4. Every Saturday morning we check Craig's list for garage/yard sales. I love them!

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    1. I hope you've made some great finds, Misty!

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  5. This book sounds captivating and special. I would love to find treasures but am pleased with unique discoveries I locate a neighborhood garage sales. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Hi, Traveler. It's always fun to get something cool and different for just a few bucks. You sometimes wonder how someone could have parted with it!

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  6. This series is intriguing. I haven't been to a flea market but I go to a few local garage sales which are interesting, although not extraordinary. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    1. Hi Petite. Garage sales are usually loaded with toys, out-of-style clothes, and wobbly furniture, aren't they? I guess people are holding onto the "good" stuff or auctioning it off online.

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  7. I'm not much of a flea market person. I will tag along to a flea market if someone else wants to go, but I have never been lucky enough to find a valuable treasure at a flea market.

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  8. I'm not much of a flea market person. I will tag along to a flea market if someone else wants to go, but I have never been lucky enough to find a valuable treasure at a flea market.

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    1. Hi, Dianne. I wonder if people who go to flea markets every weekend ever set up a table at one and sell all the stuff they bought at other sales!

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  9. I love flea markets and garage sales. I have found some great deals.

    Kit3247(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. Great, Rita! With all this talk, I'm getting an itch to check out a garage sale next weekend and see what I find!

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  10. Thank you for introducing me to a "new-to-me" author. The book sounds like a great. I love flea markets and garage sales but have never run across a lucky find. Thank you for this chance.
    peggyhyndman(at)att(dot)net

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    1. Good luck in the giveaway, Peggy!

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  11. I love finding new authors and their books. Your blog has provided that for me today. Going to garage sales and flea markets are some of my favorite activities. My husband always chides me that if I'm going to bring home other peoples stuff I need to get rid of some of mine. lol! robeader53@yahoo.com

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    1. I hope you like the series, Robin! I feel like your husband does when I bring home a few books bought at a sale. I need to get rid of some to make room for the new, but it's hard to let go!

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  12. I love flea markets - we used to have a good one about 40 minutes from where I live, but it's no longer there. I'm on the hunt for a good one. We love shopping at Goodwill stores though, always looking for a treasure. :)

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    1. Hi, Brooke. Good luck with your Goodwill hunting. Bad pun?

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  13. I love flea markets and garage sales. One fun find was an old Betty Crocker cooky book just like my grandma had.
    JHolden955 (at)gmail (dot)com

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    1. Hi, Holden. I found a 1950's Betty Crocker cookbook in my mother's kitchen cabinet a few months ago. It's fun to look through it and see what were popular recipes back then.

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    2. I love finding old cookbooks!

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    3. I take particular interest in the cookie recipes, Kathy. They went through a lot of shortening back in the 50's!

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  14. I love flea markets and garage sales. One fun find was an old Betty Crocker cooky book just like my grandma had.
    JHolden955 (at)gmail (dot)com

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  15. There is nothing better than finding an old treasure at a thrift store. I'm loving to repaint & make things my own.
    I loved the first book in this series & have been eagerly awaiting the next installment.

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    1. Forgot my email.
      bpwoodfield@gmail.com

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    2. It must be very satisfying to restore an old treasure to its former glory and add a touch of your own, Pamela!

      I hope you enjoy Murder, by George as much as you did All Things Murder!

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  16. I go to yard sales every Friday and Saturday in the spring and summer. I have found some really great books.

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    1. Hi, Becky. That's a little adventure every weekend; you never know what you will find. Sounds like fun!

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  17. I enjoy going to flea markets and garage sales. I've found some good books and several pieces made of colored glass which I collect. I suppose there could be some valuable items at these places but I wouldn't know it if there was! lol Thank you for the giveaway!
    mittens0831 at aol dot com

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    1. Hi, Carol. Flea markets/garage sales are great places for collectors. The thrill of the "hunt" and of discovery is very exciting!

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  18. I enjoy flea Markets but rarely get to go to one. Set up for a few. You can find some neat things. Some are better than others. Garage sales can be fun too.

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    1. Hi, Nancy. It seems that flea markets/garage sales are great places for socializing. I think I need to start going to sales; I've missed out on a lot of fun :)

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  19. Congratulations Lisa Brown! Random.org picker your comment to win, so be on the lookout for an e-mail from me!

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  20. Congratulations, Lisa! Thank you, everyone, for entering the giveaway.

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