Monday, April 22, 2019

Location, Location, Location - A Deadly Southern Charm Guest Post & Review

As the President of Murder on Ice, the Western and Central New York chapter of Sisters in Crime I m pleased to welcome several members of the Central Virginia chapter as they talk about their anthology DEADLY SOUTHERN CHARM.

Location, Location, Location – Deadly Southern Charm

The short stories in Deadly Southern Charm were written by Sisters in Crime – Central Virginia members. This is our chapter’s third mystery anthology. The themes change, but all are full of good mysteries that can be read individually or as a collection.

All of the stories had to have a female sleuth and be set somewhere in the southern United States. Our authors and editors are:

Frances Aylor, CFA combines her investing experience and love of travel in her financial thrillers. MONEY GRAB is the first in the series.

Mollie Cox Bryan is the author of cookbooks, articles, essays, poetry, and fiction.  An Agatha Award nominee, she lives in Central Virginia.

Lynn Cahoon is the NYT and USA Today author of the best-selling Tourist Trap, Cat Latimer and Farm-to-Fork mystery series.

J. A. Chalkley is a native Virginian. She is a writer, retired public safety communications officer, and a member of Sisters in Crime.

Stacie Giles, after a career as a political scientist, linguist, and CIA analyst, is now writing historical cozies with a twist.  Her first short story is in honor of her grandfather who was a policeman in Memphis in the 1920s.

Barb Goffman works as a freelance crime-fiction editor to support her short-story habit. She's won the Agatha, Macavity, and Silver Falchion awards for her short stories, and is a twenty-three-time finalist for US crime-writing awards. She lives in Winchester, Virginia.

Libby Hall is a communication analyst with a consulting firm in Richmond, Virginia.  She is also a blogger, freelance writer, wife, and mother of two. 

Bradley Harper is a retired Army pathologist.  Library Journal named his debut novel, A KNIFE IN THE FOG, Debut of the Month for October 2018, and a finalist for the 2019 Edgar Award for Best First Novel by an American Author.

Sherry Harris is the Agatha Award-nominated author of the Sarah Winston Garage Sale mystery series and is the president of Sisters in

Maggie King penned the Hazel Rose Book Group mysteries. Her short stories appear in the Virginia is for Mysteries and 50 Shades of Cabernet anthologies.

Kristin Kisska is a member of International Thriller Writers and James River Writers, and programs chair of the Sisters in Crime – Central Virginia chapter.

Samantha McGraw has a love of mysteries and afternoon tea. She lives in Richmond with her husband and blogs at Tea Cottage

K.L. Murphy is a freelance writer and the author of the Detective Cancini Mysteries.  She lives in Richmond, Virginia, with her husband, four children, and two

Genilee Swope Parente has written the romantic mystery The Fate Series with her mother F. Sharon Swope. The two also have several collections of short stories.

Deb Rolfe primarily writes mystery novels. This is her first published short story. She and her husband enjoy life in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.

Ronald Sterling is the author of six books and draws upon his colorful and varied life experience as a U.S. Airman, saloonkeeper, private detective, realtor, and New Jersey mayor.

S.E. Warwick, in the last century earned a bachelor’s degree in American Studies. Ever since, she has been trying to decipher the American enigma.

Heather Weidner is the author of the Delanie Fitzgerald Mysteries.  She has short stories in the Virginia is for Mysteries series, 50 SHADES OF CABERNET and TO FETCH A THIEF.  She lives in Central Virginia with her husband and Jack Russell terriers.
Our editors are:
Mary Burton is a New York Times, USA Today and Kindle best-selling author.  She is currently working on her latest suspense.

Mary Miley is a historian and writer with 14 nonfiction books and 5 mystery novels to her credit.

The stories in DEADLY SOUTHERN CHARM are all set in the South. Do you have a favorite Southern mystery?

Heather: I love learning about different locales with regional mysteries. My favorite southern ones are by Sherry Harris, Maya Corrigan, and Ellen Byron.

Lynn: You know, I don’t really think of books divided up by regions. Thinking about a few I like, Julie Chase has a fun cozy set in New Orleans. Charlene Harris (of course.) And Laura Child’s scrapbooking mysteries also set in New Orleans.

Mollie: I’m with Lynn on this. I don’t think of books that way. I do love the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris. Also, I love Rita Mae Brown's mysteries.

Frances: While traveling in Hilton Head a number of years ago, I visited a local bookstore selling mysteries by Kathryn Wall. She’s a Northerner who retired to South Carolina’s Low Country and has written 13 books in her series featuring financial planner Bay Tanner. The first one I read was In for a Penny, and I’ve been hooked ever since.

As an author, do you have a favorite quote from one of your books or stories?

Heather: This is my favorite quote from my story, “Art Attack” in Deadly Southern Charm. “I love that goblet,” Ilsa said. “It’s irresistible to a specific type of man—the greedy and dishonest sort who see its legend as a challenge…"

Lynn: For me, this quote from Cat Latimer, female protagonist of A Story to Kill, Book 1 of the Cat Latimer series, sums up my love of writing and being an author quite nicely.  “I love this office. I always wanted to write here. Not grade papers, not work on lesson plans, just write the stories in my head.”

Frances: This is from “The Girl in the Airport” in Deadly Southern Charm: The storm system had hit Atlanta around three o’clock that afternoon, part of a wide mass of squalls that muscled in from the Atlantic and quickly smothered the entire East Coast. Powerful winds slammed against the airport terminal as churning black clouds dumped torrential rains onto the tarmac. The “on time” flight notices on the departure board flipped to “delayed” – first one, then three, then all the rest, succumbing one after another like helpless victims of a particularly contagious strain of flu.

DEADLY SOUTHERN CHARM is an anthology that features female protagonists. Who is your favorite fictional female character? Why?

Mollie: Definitely Eve in the JD Robb “In Death” series. Talk about a strong female character!

Heather: I like mysteries with strong female protagonists. Nancy Drew was my first favorite sleuth. She was young, smart, and had the freedom to solve crimes that the adults couldn’t. She was my gateway sleuth to other mysteries.

Lynn: I really loved following Diana Bishop’s character in A Discovery of Witches. The book is part mystery, part romance, definitely paranormal, and part historical. Diana is the character I want to be when I grow up – a researching academic with a magic problem.

Frances: A current favorite is Ruth Galloway, a forensic archeologist in a mystery series by British writer Elly Griffiths. Ruth is a very approachable character. She’s smart, career-oriented and professionally competent, but struggles in her personal life to live up to the expectations of her family.




Deadly Southern Charm is a keep-you-up-at-night collection loaded with well-crafted characters and perfect plotting by some of today’s best mystery writers. Brava!
USA Today and NYT Best-selling author, Ellery Adams 

Deliciously devious and absolutely delightful, these marvelous stories will keep you captivated! Sweeter than sweet tea on the surface, but with smartly sinister secrets only a true southern writer can provide.  What a joy to read!

Hank Phillippi Ryan best-selling Agatha and Mary Higgins Clark Awards winner

This collection of short crime fiction charms even as the stories immerse you in murder, revenge, and deadly deeds. Set all over the south, from Virginia to North and South Carolina, in Atlanta, Memphis, and New Orleans, the stories by eighteen authors engage and entertain with rich imagery and dialog from the region - and nefarious plots, too. Pour a glass of sweet tea and settle in on the porch swing for a fabulous read.

Edith Maxwell, Agatha and Macavity Awards nominee

This can’t-put-it-down collection of mystery short stories is flavored with the oft-eerie ambiance of the South, where the most genteel manners may hide a dark and murderous intent. Enjoy Deadly Southern Charm with a Mint Julep in hand – a strong one. 

Ellen Byron, USA Today best-selling author, Agatha and Daphne Awards nominee and Lefty winner



DEADLY SOUTHERN CHARM is a collection of short stories showcasing the dark underside of the South, what's hidden beneath that Southern charm and gentility. There's strength, there's vengeance, and there's murder.

The short stories found here are quite brief, you can easily enjoy them like bon bons, popping one into your mouth before bed, although perhaps keeping a nightlight on as you close the book. There are a range of styles here as well, some cozy, some definitely not, but certainly something for everyone.

One of my favorite stories was "Cayce's Treasures" by Lynn Cahoon which provided a strong set of characters richly developed in such a short space of time. "Keepsakes" by J. A. Chalkley provided an intense atmosphere along with an unexpected ending leaving me with a chill.

DEADLY SOUTHERN CHARM brings together a variety of quick reads that ooze Southern sweetness dipped in venom.

1 comment:

  1. I'll second the motion that J. A. Chalkley's story took full advantage of the delicious deviousness of the southern mystique--well done, Judy. Thanks for getting the word out about Deadly Southern Charm. Let's applaud the value of cozy (and all) mystery reviewers. Writers need to reach readers, and reviewers make much of that possible.