Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Debbie Wiley | The Ultimate Lady of Mystery
Author Guest / July 12, 2021

I fell in love with mysteries at an early age. Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden, and the Hardy Boys were my first foray into the genre. Then I discovered Phyllis Whitney’s young adult mysteries, Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple mysteries changed my world. Hercule Poirot bragged about using “the little gray cells” while both he and Sherlock Holmes carefully observed the tiniest details and made brilliant observations around those details. Miss Marple, on the other hand, listened to town gossip and used her years of wisdom about human nature to deduce what others missed. All three of them shrewdly found the solutions to murders that stumped even the cleverest of inspectors. I devoured all sorts of mysteries and thrillers, trying to astutely deduce the murderer just as my fictional favorites of Miss Marple, Hercule Poirot, and Sherlock Holmes had done. Recently, while driving back and forth to South Carolina, I listened to several of Agatha Christie’s stories as produced by the BBC, including POIROT’S FINEST CASES and MORE FROM MISS MARPLE’S CASEBOOK. My love for all things Agatha Christie re-ignited, and what a joy for me to…

Daisy Bateman | Top 5 Destination Mysteries For Your Armchair Travel Needs
Author Guest / September 14, 2020

Looking for an escape? Cozy Mystery author Daisy Bateman shares her Top 5 Destination mysteries so you can travel from the comfort from your own home… which we all need right now!  *** Gaudy Night by Dorothy Sayers Harriet Vane, Sayers’s mystery-writer love interest for her hero Lord Peter Whimsey, returns to visit her old college at Oxford, only to find that the place is being plagued by a prankster whose attacks are growing in seriousness. Called on to help, she reaches out to Lord Peter, and together they unravel who is out to bring down the tight-knit community of female scholars. Less a mystery than a thinly-veiled contemplation of the author’s own artistic life and choices, there is plenty of time for exploration of the “city of dreaming spires,” with its famous architecture, to say nothing of a classic scene of punting on the River Thames. Scot Free by Catriona McPherson Most people wouldn’t consider California’s Central Valley a vacation destination, especially in the height of summer, when temperatures can easily reach triple digits (but it’s a dry heat!). One of them is Lexy Campbell, recently transplanted from Scotland to the fictional Valley town of Cuento and even more…

Debbie Wiley | Spooky Halloween Reads
Author Guest / October 24, 2019

October is the month when it’s fun to be scared! Halloween movies play on the tv stations, while readers turn to Halloween, creepy or paranormal themed books to get into the mood for October 31. For me, October is always the time to pull out a Stephen King book as his stories set the perfect atmosphere for an eerie October night. I’ve also discovered a few other reads this October that are perfect for the season. Here are some of my recommendations for creepy October reads this Halloween season: DIABHAL by Kathleen Kaufman is a deliciously dark occult thriller focusing on a matriarchal cult called The Society. Things go awry when 10-year-old Ceit Robertson’s mother is attacked by restless spirits called Sluagh and she’s placed in a foster home called MacLaren Hall. While the story itself is fictional, MacLaren Hall isn’t and has a disturbing history that only serves to heighten the creepy atmosphere Kathleen Kaufman creates.  DIABHAL is the kind of book that you can’t put down even as you wonder what will happen next- it’s classic horror at its finest! A.J. Hackwith puts a whole new diabolical spin on libraries in THE LIBRARY OF THE UNWRITTEN! Claire is…

Miranda Owen | A Killer POV
Author Guest / July 8, 2019

You can read more about Fresh Fiction Senior Reviewer Miranda Owen and her reviews here! “But sometimes, the things you wanted most were the things that would destroy you.” Cynthia Eden, BOUND IN SIN In general, I’m a cozy mystery kind of a girl. I don’t usually go for movies or books that promise “high suspense.” That’s usually a turn-off for me. If a book has dog tags or a pistol on the cover the odds are that it’s probably not for me. Likewise, a film trailer or poster with some intense music or describing how the hero/heroine has a limited amount of time to defuse a bomb, rescue so-and-so, or recover the lost jewel of blah blah blah does nothing for me. I like scary movies, but usually with the violence that is cheesy and obviously fake rather than what I think of as “torture porn” – gratuitous torture scenes that don’t further the story or have us learn anything new about the baddies and generally just stick in my head like some toxic sludge that resurfaces even years later. There are, of course, exceptions to every rule. I do read some mysteries and some romances with a few…