Sunday, August 19, 2018

Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Disappearing Diva - A Guest Post & Giveaway

I'm pleased to welcome Gemma Halliday to Cozy Up With Kathy today.

Thank you so much for having me here to chat about my brand-new Marty Hudson Mystery, SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE CASE OF THE DISAPPEARING DIVA! One thing I have had a lot of readers asked me is how I came up with the idea for this series. Like many avid mystery fans, I grew up reading the classic mystery novels like those from Agatha Christie, Erle Stanley Gardner, and of course Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes series. I knew I wanted to create my own take on Sherlock Holmes, however not being a historical novelist I decided to give it a modern day setting.

My Sherlock Holmes world is actually sent in modern day San Francisco. Having grown up in the area myself, it's somewhere I'm very familiar with, and I love the young, energetic, vibrant feel the tech industry has brought to the city, mixed with the history of the classic Victorian homes, art and culture, and the strong gold rush tenacity the city was built on. While Marty's inherited Victorian home sits at 221 Baker St. in the heart of San Francisco, many of the characters in this series, like Marty's best friend Irene Adler, have jobs that center around the Silicon Valley, the neighbor to the south which is home to start ups, computer prodigies, and some of the latest and greatest innovations.

One of the reasons I wanted to set the story in this world is that between San Francisco and the Silicon Valley you can find just about any sort of odd characters or settings you're looking for. For example in the first book in this series, SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE CASE OF THE BRASH BLONDE, Marty and Irene find themselves running for their lives through Chinatown, visiting a legal marijuana dispensary, and breaking into a yoga studio to find evidence of a killer. In the second installment of Marty's adventures, the recently released SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE CASE OF THE DISAPPEARING DIVA, she and Irene find themselves wrapped up in a missing person case that takes place in the world of opera singers in San Francisco. And, of course, Marty's job as a barista at the Stanford University bookstore Café, has her spending quite a bit of time on the prestigious campus soaking up all sorts of information that helps her in her investigations.

I hope you enjoy taking a literary trip through the City by the Bay as you read SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE CASE OF THE DISAPPEARING DIVA! And please feel free to comment or drop me a line through my website any time. I love hearing from readers!


Gemma has graciously offered an e-copy of SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE CASE OF THE BRASH BLONDE, the first book in the Marty Hudson Mystery series. Simply leave a comment on this post no later than 11:59pm EDT Monday, August 20, 2018 telling us who your favorite classic detective is. Be sure to leave an e-mail address so that I can contact you, should you win.


Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Disappearing Diva (Marty Hudson Mysteries) by Gemma Halliday & Kelly Rey

About the Book

Cozy Mystery 2nd in Series  
Gemma Halliday Publishing (August 14, 2018)  
Print Length: 316 pages 
From #1 Kindle & New York Times bestselling author Gemma Halliday and USA Today bestselling author Kelly Rey comes a story about Sherlock Holmes, two savvy female detectives, and one chance to catch a killer and the hot Dr. Watson at the same time…
If there's one thing Martha "Marty" Hudson can't say no to, it's her best friend Irene Adler. So when Irene's little white lie about a fake detective named Sherlock Holmes turns into a real case from an actual paying client, Marty is all in. But their simple missing person case takes a deadly turn when the missing "person" ends up being a missing corpse.
Rebecca Lowery was an opera singer in life and, according to her sister, who hires the famous detective to find her, a diva with capital D. When her body goes missing after a supposedly accidental fall, Marty & Irene can think of several people who might want the diva to disappear permanently—especially if her missing body is actually hiding evidence of her murder. Is it the boyfriend with a temper and a shady record, the jealous understudy who's now stealing the show, the creepy undertaker with possible ties to the underworld, or the estranged sister herself who now inherits everything?
Marty and Irene aim to find out, even while trying to keep cool around the hot ME, Dr. Watson, and dodging questions from the Irregulars blogger, Wiggins, about the mysterious man behind the name Sherlock Holmes. Will the ladies be able to pull this one off? Or are they in over their heads…and possibly about to take their own final bows?

About the Author

Gemma Halliday is the New York Times, USA Today & #1 Kindle bestselling author of the High Heels Mysteries, the Hollywood Headlines Mysteries, the Jamie Bond Mysteries, the Tahoe Tessie Mysteries, the Marty Hudson Mysteries, and several other works. Gemma's books have received numerous awards, including a Golden Heart, two National Reader's Choice awards, a RONE award, and three RITA nominations. She currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her boyfriend, Jackson Stein, who writes vampire thrillers, and their four children, who are adorably distracting on a daily basis.  

Author Links:


Purchase Links: Amazon B & N iBooks Kobo Smashwords

Friday, August 17, 2018

To Bead or Not to Bead - A Spotlight & Giveaway

To Bead or Not to Bead (Glass Bead Mystery Series) by Janice Peacock

About the Book

Cozy Mystery 4th in Series  
Vetrai Press (June 29, 2018) 
Print Length: 187 pages 
When a wealthy theater owner is killed by a falling art glass chandelier, glass beadmaker Jax O’Connell’s boyfriend, Detective Zachary Grant, quickly determines it was no accident. Jax and her friend Tessa try to carry on with a charity fashion gala at the theater, but with only a few days before the big event, they have to scramble to keep things from falling apart. The emcee quits, and to make matters worse, Tessa’s daughters are suspects in the murder. As the chaos unfolds, Jax discovers new suspects at every turn, including an edgy glass blower, an agoraphobic socialite, and a hunky former-cop-turned-actor. Can Jax piece together the clues to find the killer and uncover the dark secrets behind the victim’s family or will it be curtains for her?

About the Author

Janice Peacock decided to write her first mystery novel after working in a glass studio full of colorful artists who didn’t always get along. They reminded her of the odd, and often humorous, characters in the murder mystery books she loved to read. Inspired by that experience, she combined her two passions and wrote High Strung: A Glass Bead Mystery, the first book in a new cozy mystery series featuring glass beadmaker Jax O’Connell.

When Janice Peacock isn’t writing about glass artists who are amateur detectives, she makes glass beads using a torch, designs one-of-a-kind jewelry and makes sculptures using hot glass. An award-winning artist, her work has been exhibited internationally and is in the permanent collections of several museums. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, two cats, and seven chickens. She has a studio full of beads...lots and lots of beads.  

Author Links:
Webpage –
Facebook –
GoodReads –
@JanPeac on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest

Purchase Link: Amazon B&N

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Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Currently Reading...

I'm currently reading The Chairman's Toys by Graham Reed. This book is a standalone mystery which was released last month.

Jake Constable has given up his drug dealing ways and is trying to keep on the straight and narrow. Well, perhaps somewhat curvy and wide. He's been house sitting for the wealthy in Vancouver and gets talked into throwing a party at one of the fantastic mansions. The party gets out of hand, drugs are freely flowing, and the homeowner returns unexpectedly. Oh, and there's a dead body in the bathroom. Although the homeowner pretty much lets him off the hook, Jake still has to answer to his ex-wife, who got him the job. His former business partner, with whom he did not part on the best of terms, seems to be back in the picture, as well as the Chinese government. The curvy and wide has just gotten wider!

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Crust No One - Spotlight

Today I'd like to shine a spotlight on another book patiently waiting on my TBR pile. Crust No One by Winnie Archer is the second book in the Bread Shop Mystery series. I really enjoyed the first book, Kneaded to Death (you can see my review here), bought the second...but haven't read it yet.

From the back cover:

Business is booming at Yeast of Eden. But with a deadly mystery taking over the seaside town of Santa Sofia, the Mexican bread shop can't possibly leaven a killer's appetite...

For once, Ivy Culpeper feels fulfilled. An apprenticeship at Yeast of Eden has opened her world to time-honored baking techniques under owner Olaya Solis's guidance-as well as the freshest small-town gossip, courtesy of chatty regulars known as the Blackbird Ladies. Ivy even begins accepting that she and restaurateur Miguel Baptista may never again rekindle their romance-despite the undeniable tension between them...

But she's tied to Miguel again when his trusted produce supplier goes missing. Old Hank Riviera's financial troubles would make anyone consider running away forever. And with his relationship woes, there are plenty of people who might want to see Hank disappear. As Ivy, with the help of her octogenarian sidekick, turns to the loose-lipped Blackbird Ladies for leads, she soon finds herself caught in a web of lies stickier than a batch of Olaya's popular pastries...

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Murder, She Reported - Review


The First Murder, She Reported Mystery

It's Manhattan in 1938 and Elizabeth Adams believes there's more to life than hosting parties and looking for a "suitable" husband. While her parents are aghast, Elizabeth is happy to be working at a newspaper, although being a Girl Friday isn't exactly what she had in mind. But her time in the Wellesley photography club pays off when Elizabeth fills in as a photographer for veteran reporter Ralph Kaminsky. Their trip cover to a high society debut turns into a crime story when the "It" girl finds her stepmother shot to death in the ladies room. As Elizabeth and Kaminsky pursue the story will they scoop the news, or will Elizabeth face social ruin...or worse?

MURDER, SHE REPORTED shows the dichotomy of New York City in 1938.The effects of the stock market crash and the possibility of war color this world, imbuing it with a sense of gravitas. Yet there is still a sense of style and glamour. Its inhabitants struggling not only to make do, but to flourish. Elizabeth "Biz" Adams is the perfect protagonist straddling both worlds, that of the haves and the have nots. She's a wealthy young woman who has drive and ambition and is open to new things is a world coming to terms with itself. Author, Peg Cochran skillfully brings Biz out of her comfort zone and we witness Biz's reactions as her world grows. The relationship between Biz and Kaminsky is wonderful, the veteran reporter and the new kid. And what a character Kaminsky is! His drive, street smarts, and fun idiosyncrasies make him a joy to read. And I'm not just saying that because he has a variation of my last name! He and Biz make a great duo.

I love the historical detail. The description of the Waldorf Hotel, the Chock full o'Nuts, and the various foods and fashion of the time really paint a picture in my mind and I feel as if I'm there. I'd love to try the Stork Club Cocktail!

MURDER, SHE REPORTED is a fantastic start to a new series. It opens a window to the past and creates a mystery that is timeless.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Death on the Menu - Review


DEATH ON THE MENU by Lucy Burdette
The Eighth Key West Food Critic Mystery

Key West is abuzz with excitement as the Harry S. Truman Little White House hosts a Havana/Key West Conference. Hayley Snow is thrilled to help her mom whose newly founded catering company was chosen to cater the event. Unfortunately, the buzz is not all positive and the island is on high alert with increased security. Hayley is determined to help her mom succeed despite warnings from her boyfriend, Detective Nathan Bransford to stay away from the conference. As the conference begins tensions that are already running high spike when Ernest Hemingway's Nobel Prize medal goes missing. Will the delicious food calm the crowd or is death on the menu?

I'm delighted to be back in Key West. Lucy Burdette's evocative prose makes me feel that I am actually on the key and part of the action. I can sense the tension, feel the ocean air, and see the sights. If only I could taste the food!

In DEATH ON THE MENU Lucy Burdette looks into the difficult reality of US relations with Cuba, illustrating various opinions and beliefs without judgement. The cultural and political issues are a part of the mystery and add substance to the plot without detracting from it. The other prime component that truly adds depth is character development and relationships. As the series progresses we see the characters change and grow. This eighth Key West Food Critic has Hayley pursuing serious introspection as she tries to mirror her own relationship to those of her family and friends.

DEATH ON THE MENU is a delicious addition to the Key West Food Critic Mystery series filled with cultural relevance and delectable food.


Death on the Menu: A Key West Food Critic Mystery by Lucy Burdette

About the Book

Cozy Mystery 8th in Series 
Crooked Lane Books (August 7, 2018) 
Hardcover: 295 Pages 
When a killer strikes just before flan time, beloved food critic Hayley Snow is forced to sniff out the killer before someone else bites the dust.
Hayley Snow, fiery food critic for Key Zest magazine, has just landed a ticket to one of the most prestigious events in Key West: a high-brow three-day conference at the Harry Truman Little White House. Even though she’ll be working the event helping her mother’s fledgling catering business, there’s plenty of spicy gossip to go around. But just before her mother’s decadent flan is put to the test, Key West’s most prized possession, Hemingway’s Nobel prize gold medal for The Old Man and the Sea, is discovered stolen from its case.
Unsavory suspicions point to Gabriel, a family friend and one of the new busboys working the event, who mysteriously goes missing moments later. Anxious to clear his name, Gabriel’s family enlists Hayley to help find him, but right as they begin their search, his body is found stabbed to death in the storeroom.
Hayley has no shortage of suspects to interrogate and very little time before the killer adds another victim to the menu in national bestselling author Lucy Burdette’s delectable eighth Key West Food Critic mystery, Death on the Menu.

About the Author

Courtesy Carol Tedesco

Clinical psychologist Lucy Burdette (aka Roberta Isleib) has published 16 mysteries, including the latest in the Key West food critic series, DEATH ON THE MENU (Crooked Lane Books, August 2018.) Her books and stories have been short-listed for Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity awards. She's a member of Mystery Writers of America and a past president of Sisters in Crime. She blogs at Jungle Red Writers and shares her love for food with the culinary writers at Mystery Lovers Kitchen She lives in Madison CT and Key West FL. Read more at

Author Links:


Purchase Links: Amazon B&N IndieBound BookBub Kobo

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Midnight Snacks are Murder - An interview and Giveaway

I'd like to welcome Libby Klein to the blog today. Libby writes the Poppy McAllister Mystery series. Midnight Snacks are Murder is the second book in the series and was released July 31, 2018.

Kathy: In Midnight Snacks are Murder Aunt Ginny is sleepwalking. Were you ever a sleepwalker? Or do you know someone who sleepwalks?

LK: The answer to both is yes. When I was little, I was on a sleepover, and the next morning they told me that I’d been wandering around the house in the middle of the night trying to get out the front door, muttering that I had to go home. I don’t remember any of it. Who knows how many other times I’d done it? When my daughter was very little she was a sleepwalker. She would come down the stairs looking drugged up and spouting nonsense. It was horror movie level terrifying! It can also be very dangerous. I had a friend in high school who would sleepwalk regularly. One night he yelled SHAZAAM! And threw himself down a flight of stairs. I’m sorry, but that’s just hilarious.

Kathy: Poppy McAllister has a gluten-free baking business. What's the most challenging things about a gluten-free diet?

LK: Eating out is hard. Especially eating out with other people. No one wants to be the guy who can’t go to two dozen different places because they don’t have a gluten free menu. I hate seeing my friends jump through hoops to find a safe restaurant for me when I know they really want to go to the fancy new “Gluten Palooza” in town. Then there is always the risk that the waitstaff is wrong about your order being gluten free, or there will be cross contamination in the kitchen. And inevitably, there will be something on the menu that sounds amazing that doesn’t come gluten free and once again I’ll be stuck with a salad – hold the croutons.

Kathy: You include recipes in your books. Do you enjoy cooking? What's your favorite dish to make?

LK: I like to cook, but I love to bake. I have a couple of recipes that I make all the time, gluten free chocolate chip cookies and brownies, but I really like trying new things and making up recipes. One of my very favorites is in Midnight Snacks Are Murder. There is a recipe for Gluten Free Honey Maple Pecan Shortbread that will knock your socks off! It’s so good I make it for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Kathy: What first drew you to cozy mysteries?

LK: Cozies have all the elements I love in a good book. A little humor, a little romance, a quirky cast of characters, and of course – a mystery to solve. I love a series so when one book ends you don’t have to say goodbye because another one is coming to pick up where you left off. And of course, I love that they’re able to tell a good story without having to use a lot of sex, profanity and violence to do it.

Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?

LK: Not yet, but one day I’d like to write some Chick-Lit and Christian Fiction.

Kathy: Tell us about your series.

The Poppy McAllister Mysteries are about a plus sized widow in her early forties who gets suckered by her best friend into attending their 25th reunion in Cape May, or as she calls it, Beach Hell. At the reunion, she faces off against the bullies who made their lives miserable all through high school. One of the bullies ends up dead, then the other bully arrests Poppy for the murder. Through a twist of bad luck, Poppy ends up staying in Cape May to re-build her life and start over with her Aunt Ginny, who might be certifiably crazy, and her black smoke Persian, Sir Figaro Newton, who is certifiably naughty.

Kathy: Do you have a favorite character? If so, who and why?

LK: My favorite character is Aunt Ginny. She’s based on my grandmother and she’s so much fun to write. Aunt Ginny always knows just what to say and do… then does the opposite. She keeps me laughing the whole time I’m writing. And of course, I love Figaro. He’s based on my real life cat and his naughtiness is not made up.

Kathy: Did you have a specific inspiration for your series?

LK: I wanted to write something that encourages women to accept themselves for who they are no matter what may be their past, their age or their size. Your past choices don’t have to define you. You can make decisions today to change your life.

Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?

LK: I wanted the tens of dollars that come rolling in when you’re a published author. Then I can retire to a ramshackle cabin in the woods and take up my dream of panhandling for loose change... I think I wanted the acceptance that what I had written was good enough to be published.

Kathy: If you could have a dinner party and invite 4 authors, living or dead, in any genre, who would you invite?

LK: Tina Fey, Oscar Wilde, Jane Austen and Agatha Christie

Kathy: What are you currently reading?

LK: Jude Deveraux’s As You Wish.

Kathy: Will you share any of your hobbies or interests with us?

LK: I love baking, cats, coffee – thank God for commas, right? I watch way too much TV. I love to travel!

Kathy: Name 4 items you always have in your fridge or pantry.

LK: Coconut oil, Almond flour, Homemade Vanilla, and Bacon.

Kathy: Do you have plans for future books either in your current series or a new series?

LK: The Poppy McAllister mysteries will have at least five books. The next in the series is Restaurant Weeks Are Murder, coming out March 2019.

Kathy: What's your favorite thing about being an author?

LK: I love getting fan mail, and hearing from people who loved my books and say they meant a lot to them.

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