Prime Crime Editor's Notes - July 2012
Dear Mystery Lover,
Start July off with a bang! These brand spanking new
firework-hot mysteries from Berkley Prime Crime are sure to
be explosive. Plus, follow us on Twitter @penguincozies for more
exciting summer reads!
Our first new release in hardcover this month is MURDER
ON THE HALF SHELF, A Booktown Mystery, by New
York Times bestselling author Lorna Barrett.
Stoneham, New Hampshire, is a haven to bookstores,
including Tricia’s own mystery shop, Haven’t Got
a Clue, but is sadly lacking in bed and breakfasts. Pippa
and Jon Comfort’s Sheer Comfort Inn opens its doors to
the public in a week and the couple has offered some locals
a free night as a trial run.
But what should have been a pleasant overnight stay for
Tricia becomes a nightmare when she makes two startling
discoveries: Pippa’s murdered body in the backyard,
and the fact that her husband Jon is actually Harry Tyler, a
man Tricia loved—and believed dead—for nearly
Now Harry is the prime suspect, but Tricia doesn’t
believe him capable of murder, regardless of her own
feelings toward him. And even though Harry’s led a
life of lies, Tricia’s learning that Pippa had her
share of secrets that some people may have not wanted
And enjoy the delicious recipes included for your eating
Next up, taste test the latest Cupcake Bakery
Mystery in the mass market paperback—RED VELVET
REVENGE—by National Bestselling Author Jenn
It may be summertime, but sales at Fairy Tale Cupcakes are
below zero—and owners Melanie Cooper and Angie DeLaura
are willing to try anything to heat things up. So when local
legend Slim Hazard offers them the chance to sell cupcakes
at the annual Juniper Pass rodeo, they’re determined
to rope in a pretty payday!
But not everyone at the Juniper Pass is as sweet for Fairy
Tale Cupcakes as Slim — including star bull-rider Ty
Stokes. Mel and Angie try to steer clear of the
cowboy’s short fuse, but when his dead body is found
face down in the hay, it’s a whole different rodeo.
With a vengeful murderer on the loose, the ladies are
quickly realizing that while they came to save their
business, they may have to save themselves—and
that’s no bull.
And of course, bake your own goodies with scrumptious
recipes included in the book!
Plant yourself into National Bestselling Author Susan
Wittig Albert’s THE DARLING DAHLIAS AND THE
NAKED LADIES, with our mass market paperback reprint of
the second novel in her new series featuring the ladies of a
garden club in Darling, Alabama (who also dabble in digging
As Darling’s town librarian is fond of saying:
“Naked Ladies is not a respectable name for a
plant.” A lily by any other name would certainly smell
as sweet—and look just as beautiful as the Naked
Ladies decorating Miss Hamer’s lawn...
It seems Miss Hamer’s house may also be home to
naked ladies of a different sort. Rumors sprout that the
elderly recluse’s visiting niece and her friend are
actually the Naughty and Nice Sisters from the Ziegfield
Frolic, known for dancing nearly naked.
When a well-dressed man from Chicago arrives, asking about
the mysterious ladies, the Dahlias begin to suspect it may
be more than modesty that’s causing both women to lie
low. Someone is covering up something sinister...
This edition also includes Southern-Style Depression-Era
Listen up for the first novel in a brand new musical
series—the Glee Club Mysteries—MURDER
FOR CHOIR by Joelle Charbonneau.
Even as a struggling opera singer, Paige Marshall has
never seen anything like the cut throat competition of the
Prospect Glen High School show choir. As their new coach,
she’s getting an icy reception from
championship-hungry students who doubt she can take them to
a first-place trophy. Toughing this gig out may prove harder
than scoring her big break...
Especially now that her best young male singer is
suspected of killing the arrogant coach of Prospect
Glen’s fiercest rival choir. For Paige to clear his
name, she’ll have to sort through a chorus of
suspects—and go note-for-note with a killer
who’ll do anything to knock her out of the spotlight
Read more about this great new series in this
month’s Dear Reader letter from Joelle Charbonneau!
For all you pie lovers out there, prepare for PIES AND
PREJUDICE by Ellery Adams, a mouthwatering new
Charmed Pie Shoppe Mystery.
When the going gets tough, Ella Mae LaFaye bakes pie. So
when she catches her husband cheating in New York, she heads
back home to Havenwood, Georgia, where she can drown her
sorrows in fresh fruit filling and flakey crust. But her
pies aren’t just delicious. They’re having
magical effects on the people who eat them—and the
public is hungry for more.
Discovering her hidden talent for enchantment, Ella Mae
makes her own wish come true by opening the Charmed Pie
Shoppe. But with her old nemesis Loralyn Gaynor making
trouble, and her old crush Hugh Dylan making nice, she has
more than pie on her plate. And when Loralyn’s fiancÚ
is found dead—killed with Ella Mae’s rolling
pin—it’ll take all her sweet magic to clear her
And of course, B.Y.O.P. (bake your own pies) with
delicious recipes from inside the book!
Next up, take some fashion tips from this deadly stylish
new novel, CLOAKED IN MALICE, by National Bestselling
Author Annette Blair, part of the Vintage Magic
There’s nothing Maddie loves more than fabulous
vintage clothes, but the visions she gets while touching
them are starting to wear her down. Even so, when a
beautifully dressed girl comes to Vintage Magic in search of
her past, Maddie isn’t about to turn her away,
especially since she bears a striking resemblance to her
good friend Dolly Sweet.
When Maddie touches Paisley Skye’s exquisitely
crafted child’s cloak, the vision she receives is of
the ugliest sort: a decades-old case of kidnapping and
murder. To give herself more time to investigate, Maddie
enlists the help of her FBI Agent boyfriend Nick and takes
Paisley into her own home. But when Dolly suddenly skips
town, Maddie realizes that uncovering the folds of
Paisley’s past will reveal more than one vintage crime...
Be sure to flip through the latest Raven’s Nest
Bookstore Mystery with National Bestselling Author
Allison Kingsley’s A SINISTER SENSE.
The Raven’s Nest Bookstore stocks the best reads in
Finn’s Harbor, Maine—and owner Stephanie Quinn
employs a genuine mind reader in her cousin Clara...
Visions of the future and tuning into people’s
thoughts come naturally to Clara Quinn thanks to her
inherited Quinn Sense. Unfortunately, it offers no insight
into her love life—or lack thereof—especially
where hardware store owner Rick Sanders is concerned. But
even though she’s still nursing a broken heart, Clara
offers Rick a home for his troublesome dog, Tatters.
But Tatters is the least of Rick’s problems when a
dead body is discovered in the back of his truck. The victim
was seen in the hardware store—and bludgeoned to death
with a hammer stolen from there. Clara believes Rick is
innocent, but she’s not sure whether that belief comes
from the Quinn Sense in her head or simply from a desire in
Get your beef fix on with this tasty thriller by Liz
Lipperman—BEEF STOLEN-OFF, A Clueless
Aspiring sportswriter Jordan McAllister never imagined
she’d be a food critic. Yet here in Ranchero, Texas,
that’s exactly what she is. And while she may not know
a flank steak from a filet mignon, she certainly knows how
to rustle up trouble...
As the food columnist for The Ranchero Globe, Jordan
catches the eye of cattle baron Lucas Santana, who invites
her to the Cattleman’s Ball, hoping a positive review
for the ball might boost the county’s sagging beef sales.
To ensure Jordan enjoys herself, Santana sets her up with
a prime cowboy companion for the event—Rusty Morales.
Jordan’s delighted to go with him and two-step the
night away. But instead, she winds up in the emergency room
where her date is DOA.
When Rusty’s mother begs her for help, Jordan knows
she needs to grab the bull by the horns and get to the
bottom of this mystery before she corrals herself into
This edition includes the actual recipes from
Jordan’s food column!
This July from Obsidian we have some truly terrific
mysteries that are perfect to read while you beat the heat
at the beach or on a shady porch with a glass of iced tea!
First up, we have New York Times bestselling author
Victoria Laurie’s new hardcover, LETHAL
OUTLOOK, the tenth installment in the Psychic Eye
Mystery series featuring Abby Cooper, psychic intuitive.
Falling out of an airplane can really knock the wind out
of you, so while she recovers from her latest adventure,
psychic intuitive Abby Cooper decides to return to her roots
and start seeing clients again. Of course she’s also
hiding from the stress of her impending nuptials to Dutch
Rivers and her sister Cat, who is in town organizing the
wedding--and Abby’s life. So when a mysterious woman
with a secret alias drops by and asks Abby to help her solve
a missing person’s case, Abby’s more than ready
to dive into the dilemma.
The missing person is a young mother, whose family has
been frantic with worry. When Abby shows up at their home
with her sidekick, Candice, the missing woman’s family
refuses to believe in psychics. To make matters worse, a
grave misunderstanding occurs, and the family begins to
suspect that Abby harbors romantic feelings for the
woman’s husband and might be to blame for their
daughter’s disappearance! The outlook for
Abby’s future might seem bleak, but with a potential
killer in her sights Abby is determined to keep her eyes
wide open until the missing are found.
Check out this month’s Author Q&A with Victoria
Laurie to read more about her and the Psychic Eye series!
Next up, we have New York Times extended list
bestselling author Juliet Blackwell’s IN A
WITCH’S WARDROBE, the fourth mass market book in
the Witchcraft Mystery series. The series focuses on
a young witch, Lily Ivory, who runs a vintage clothing store
in San Francisco.
In this book Lily is taking a much-needed break from
running her successful vintage clothing store, Aunt Cora's
Closet, to attend the art deco ball at Oakland’s
historic Paramount Theater. But when a young woman at the
event falls under a mysterious sleeping sickness and cannot
be revived, Lily senses a curse was placed on the
Before Lily can help solve the woman’s magical
ailment, she’s asked to assist in the investigation
into a string of poisonings in the local Wiccan community.
She’s gained the trust of members of the local covens
by supporting women’s charities through her clothing
store. But soon she suspects that one of her new
acquaintances might not be so well intentioned and could
very well be dabbling in dark magic and deadly botany...
Also, in mass market paperback, we have PLOTTING AT THE
PTA, the third book in Laura Alden’s
mystery series featuring Beth Kennedy, a PTA mother and
Single mother and children's bookstore owner Beth Kennedy
has a lot on her plate. She's organizing a PTA project where
seniors tell their life stories to elementary school
students, and her son Oliver is turning into an A plus
autobiographer. Her daughter Jenna is still the star goalie
on the Rynwood hockey team, and life seems a full as it can
Then disaster strikes. As Beth is dropping off books to a
longtime customer, she learns the customer is dead. She was
killed by bee stings. But what could bees be doing out so
unseasonably early in Wisconsin--and wouldn't the murder
victim, who was deathly allergic, know to avoid them. Looks
like this PTA member will be putting the P in persistent to
find the killer.
Finally, in mass market paperback, we have Penny
Warner’s HOW TO DINE ON KILLER WINE, the
fifth book in the Party Planning Mystery
series—which is always great fun.
Presley Parker is practically drooling with excitement
over her latest even-planning job—a wine-and-food
tasting party in the famous Napa Valley Wine Country.
Up-and-coming winemakers, Rob and his wife Ann Marie, are
making a splash in the vineyard marketplace with their
inexpensive but hearty merlot and they’re inviting
other nearby winemakers to toast their success. And the
whole Killer Party gang is invited—including
Presley’s mother who will be reuniting with an old
paramour and her hunky beau, Brad. A relaxing and romantic
weekend of taking in the sights in scenic Napa Valley?
Presley will say cheers to that!
But there’s more than wine tasting and spa
treatments in store for Presley when she arrives at the
vineyard. It seems that Rob and Ann’s business is
being threatened by an environmental activist and lawyer,
who is accusing them of polluting the wildlife habitat in
Napa Valley and is threatening to sue. But the party goes
off without a hitch—until the following morning when
the environmentalist is found the dead under one of the
cocktail tables. Mounting evidence points to Bob and Ann,
Presley steps up to clear her clients, and wines and dines
the suspects until she finds out who popped the
Thanks so much for joining us. We hope you enjoy the
books—and don’t forget your sunblock!!!