Archive for the ‘Blog Tour’ Category

Review: What The Fly Saw – Frankie Y. Bailey

Monday, February 9th, 2015
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Minotaur Books (March 3, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1250048303
ISBN-13: 978-1250048301
Order book here:


Order E-book here:


Hannah McCabe – Detective, Albany Policy Department.
Angus McCabe – Hannah’s father and her sounding board.
Baxter – Hannah’s Partner.


Albany, New York, January 2020 (parallel universe)

A blizzard sweeps up the coast and shuts down the city. When it is over, funeral director Kevin Novak is found dead in the basement of his funeral home. The arrow sticking out of his chest came from his own hunting bow. A loving husband and father and an active member of a local megachurch, Novak had no known enemies. His family and friends say he had been depressed because his best friend died suddenly of a heart attack and Novak blamed himself.

But what does his guilt have to do with his death? Maybe nothing, maybe a lot. Three people — the minister of the megachurch, the psychiatrist who provides counseling to church members, and a medium visiting from the South – say they reached out to Kevin Novak. One of them might know why Novak was murdered. But Detective Hannah McCabe and her partner, Mike Baxter, must sort through lies and evasions as they try to find the killer.

The relationship between the partners is threatened as McCabe deals with a political controversy involving her family, unanswered questions about their last high-profile case, and her own guilt because a young woman died after McCabe failed to act.


Chapter 1

Saturday, January 18, 2020
5:47 AM

After the storm had passed, in the chilly hour before dawn, the last of the “space zombies” found their way back to their nest in the derelict house.

From his command post, the squad leader gave the signal. “Go!”

A black van pulled up in front of the house. Albany PD vice cops wearing protective gear jumped out and stormed up the walk. They used a battering ram to smash open the wooden door.

“Police! Albany PD!”


Their high-powered torches illuminated the grotesque horror movie creatures in the 3-D posters on the walls.

One of the cops ripped down a dangling black plastic replica of the 2012 UFO. He tossed the boomerang-shaped object to the floor.

Hippie freaks, he thought. Ought to make them all go live out in the Mojave Desert and wait for the mother ship to arrive.

He kicked at the nearest mattress on the floor. “Police!” he shouted down at the long-haired occupant. “On your feet!”

Blank eyes in an eerie white-painted face stared up at him.

“Hands up! Hands up!” the cop yelled as the kid stumbled to his feet. He shoved him against the wall and patted him down.

Upstairs, in a bathroom, another cop had found a girl sprawled out, unconscious, on the dirty tile floor beside the toilet. She had vomited in the toilet bowl. Her jeans were stained with urine and feces.

Reaching down, he shook her, and then rolled her onto her side to see her face beneath the mop of dark hair. A nasty bruise on her cheekbone stood out against the streaked white paint. He moved her red scarf aside to feel for a pulse in her throat. The scarf was damp, like her tee shirt and soiled blue jeans.

“Whaddya have?” another cop asked from the doorway.

“Looks like an OD,” the cop inside the bathroom said. “Still breathing, but the wagon had better get here fast.”

“Got it,” the other cop said, touching the comm button on his helmet.

The cop in the bathroom spotted a smear of blood on the corner of the sink. That explained the bruise. She’d banged her face on the sink when she passed out.

Downstairs in the kitchen, cops surveyed the debris of dirty dishes and rotting garbage – and an impressive array of drugs and paraphernalia. One of them lowered her weapon and observed, “With a stash like this, they could have stayed zonked out until the next UFO came to visit.”

Chapter 2

Saturday afternoon
3:17 PM

Funeral director Kevin Novak stared at the Cupid and Psyche bronze clock on his host, Olive Cooper’s mantel. He had allowed himself to become marooned on a conversational island with Paige, Olive’s great niece.

As Paige complained about the conversation and laughter filling the long room — the “rabble babble,” as she put it — Kevin found a name for what he had been feeling for the past forty-eight plus hours. Grief.

He was experiencing first-hand what he had often observed when relatives came into the funeral home after the unexpected death of a loved one. That first stage of grieving the experts described as denial, but he often thought of as amazement and disbelief. The stage of bereavement when family members spoke of their dead loved one in the present tense because they couldn’t yet believe their lives had been ripped apart.

It seemed in this state of mind, one went through the usual motions, saying what was expected. But the shell was thin. His was developing cracks. He could tell because he felt no inclination at all to warn Paige Cooper that he had glanced over her shoulder and seen her Great Aunt Olive headed their way and Paige had better shut up. So he must be moving into the next stage: anger.

“Where in the galaxy did Aunt Olive find these people?” Paige said. “Look at them.”

“Some of them are from the church’s community outreach,” Kevin said.

True, Olive’s guest list for this celebration of her life reflected her eccentricities. An odd assortment of guests: old friends, relatives, church members and business associates, and other people who tickled Olive’s fancy or touched her big heart. But they had all cleaned up and put on their best in Olive’s honor.

“It’s freezing in here,” Paige said. She pulled the belt of her hand-knit cardigan tighter and held her hands out toward the fireplace.

“Feels fine to me,” Kevin said.

“It really is annoying we have to come out for this farce when there’s a blizzard on the way. The least Aunt Olive could do is heat this mausoleum. Everyone here except her will come down with pneumonia, and we’ll still have to do this all over again when she finally does kick off.”

“When I finally do ‘kick off’, Paige,” her great aunt said, right behind her. “You may feel free not to attend my funeral. In fact, if you die first – maybe of the pneumonia you expect to catch – you’ll spare us both that annoyance. And for your information, it was your father who insisted on including you in this shindig.”

Paige flushed an unbecoming shade of scarlet. “Aunt Olive, I didn’t mean –”

“I know what you meant. Get yourself a glass of champagne, now you’re actually old enough to drink, and make the best of the situation.” Olive’s sharp gaze fastened on Kevin. “And since you already know you’re going to get to bury me when I’m dead, you can relax and enjoy the party.”

“I always enjoy your parties, Olive,” Kevin said.

“Come with me,” she said. “There’s someone I want you to meet.”

Aware of Paige’s suspicious glare, Kevin smiled in her direction. That would teach the little brat to say funeral directors reminded her of vultures without first checking for one of the species within hearing distance.

Vultures sometimes exacted their petty revenge.

“At your service, Olive,” he said, offering his arm to the woman, who was eighty-five years old and counting and might well live to be a hundred.

“How have you been?” she asked him.

“Fine,” Kevin said. “Never better.”

“Don’t give me that. Anyone who knows you can tell you’re still taking Bob’s death hard.”

“Having your best friend collapse with a heart attack while you’re beating him at tennis and then die on the operating table can have that effect.”

“It’s been over four months since it happened. You should be coping with it by now.”

“I am coping with it.”

“You’re still off-kilter. Not your usual self. That’s why I want you to meet Luanne Woodward.”

“Luanne? That medium or spiritualist or whatever she calls herself that you found somewhere?”

“I didn’t find her ‘somewhere’. She was the featured lecturer at a fundraiser.”

“Lecturer? Don’t you mean ‘performer’?”

“She talked about being a medium and answered questions. She’s an interesting woman. I think you could benefit from talking to her.”

“I don’t believe in that hocus-pocus, Olive.”

“I don’t believe in most of it, either. I’m almost ancient enough to remember the Fox Sisters and their flimflam. But, as I said, Luanne’s interesting. I invited her today so you could meet her.”

Kevin noticed one of Olive’s guests filling his plate high with the urgency of a man who expected the bounty in front of him to disappear. “And do what?” he said in belated response to Olive. “Sign up for her next séance?”

“That might not be a bad idea. Spiritual therapy, so to speak.”

“I get my spiritual therapy at church on Sunday from our minister. You might consider doing the same.”

“At my age, I take what I need from wherever I happen to find it. And the fact you’re going all righteous on me instead of laughing about my eccentricities, as you like to call them, proves you’re off-kilter. We need to get you put to right.”

“Olive, I don’t think a medium and a séance will do the trick.”

“You need an opportunity to confront your feelings.”

“I have confronted my feelings. I confronted them after Bob died. I sought counseling from both Reverend Wyatt and Jonathan Burdett.”

Olive stopped walking and glared at him. “Now, if you want to talk about hocus-pocus, psychiatrists are right up there. You lie on their couch spilling your guts. And they mumble an occasional Freudian pearl of wisdom while they’re thinking about how they intend to spend what they’re charging you.”

“Burdett offers the option of sitting in a comfortable armchair, and, as you well know, his services are free to church members.”

“The church pays his salary, so he’s not free. He’s full of his diplomas and his jargon, that’s what he is.”

“And what about your medium? Is she one-hundred percent jargon free?”

“Not a chance. They all have their language intended to impress, but she’s a hell of a lot more fun then Burdett. So come along and meet her.”

“I suppose it would be a waste of time to say no?”

“Yes, it would. You said you were at my service.”

“Yes, I did say that.”

Not much sleep last night or the night before. His moment of irritation with Paige had given way to weariness. No doubt he would feel the anger later. No chance he’d be able to skip over that stage. Not with the piper to pay.

“Luanne,” Olive said to the plump, blonde woman sipping from a champagne glass as she observed the people around her. “I’d like you to meet Kevin Novak, the friend of mine I was telling you about.”

“I’m so happy to meet you, Mr. Novak,” she said in a Southern drawl that suited her pleasant, round face. Her blue gaze met and held his.

If he believed in such things, Kevin would have sworn she’d looked past his tailored suit and crisp white shirt, straight into his tarnished soul.

He took a step back, and reached out to steady Olive, whose hand rested on his arm.

“Sorry, Olive” he said. “I just remembered something I need to do.”

Luanne Woodward said, “It’s all right, Kevin, honey. You don’t have to run away from me.”

But he did, Kevin thought. He had to run as fast as he could.


A police procedural style mystery is set in an alternative future. This at times threw me a bit off as I’d get so engrossed in the story that I’d forget I was in an alternate world, and then it would mention historical events differently than I remembered. While a great spin on all the detective stories placed in our time period, it could be a bit disconcerting at times. I also found myself confused by some of the technical jargon. I’m still not sure what an Orb is, or why people have them, but everyone does and it’s tied to the individual, almost like a fingerprint it seems. Perhaps if I read her previous novel The Red Queen dies this would all be explained. However, as a reader, I should have that explanation somehow within this novel. Maybe I did though and missed it, but that’s about my only negative.

On the positive, I loved the characters. I loved the relationship between Hannah and her father. He functioned as a kind of Watson to her Holmes The supporting characters were all interesting as well. The plot was tightly woven and like all good mysteries leads you into thinking one person is the killer, only to change the direction when you least expect it.

I enjoyed the story writing, and the style of this author and would definitely pick up more of her work in the future. This has actually enticed me to go out and read her previous entry. Overall a great mystery that will keep the reader involved from the beginning. Pick it up, and drop by and let us know what you thought.

Tour List

02/02/15 Showcase Showcase @ The Book Divas Reads
02/05/15 Guest Post Writers and Authors
02/08/15 Radio Interview Suspense Magazine
02/08/15 Review Literary R&R
02/09/15 Review Rhodes Review
02/11/15 Showcase Ryder Islingtons Blog
02/16/15 Review A Dream Within A Dream
02/17/15 Guest Post Babs Book Bistro
02/18/15 Guest Post Mythical Books
02/19/15 Review Vics Media Room
02/20/15 Review For Life After
02/23/15 Review Carol Wong
02/24/15 Review Bless Their Hearts Mom
02/28/15 Interview Hott Books
03/02/15 Review Booksie’s Blog
03/03/15 Review The Top Shelf
03/04/15 Review Booked on a Feeling
03/10/15 Showcase The Pen & Muse
03/16/15 Review Bunnys Review
03/20/15 Review FictionZeal

About the Author

Frankie Y. Bailey is a mystery writer and a professor in the School of Criminal Justice, University at Albany (SUNY). Her academic research focuses on crime history, popular culture/mass media, and material culture. She has done research and written about topics ranging from local history and women who kill to African American characters in crime and detective fiction. She is currently at work on a book about dress, appearance, and criminal justice. She is the author of two mystery series, featuring crime historian Lizzie Stuart, and Albany police detective Hannah McCabe. Frankie is a past executive vice president of Mystery Writers of America and a past president of Sisters in Crime. A dog lover, she now shares her home with a Maine Coon cat/mix named Harry.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Gina at Partners In Crime Tours for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

Review: Windy City Blues – Marc Krulewitch

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015
Publisher: Alibi (January 6, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: n/a
ISBN-13: 978-n/a
Order e-book here:


Jules Landau – Chicago Private Eye.
Bernie Landau – Jules’ Father and an ex con.
Jimmy Kalijero – Chicago Detective.


A parking cop ends up dead. Jules Landau is pulled into his second murder investigation despite the opinion of his father and his friend. The trail of blood leads him into a plot involving Russian gangsters and local politicians.


This is my second time reading a book by Mr. Krulewitch, and like the first one it didn’t disappoint. He manages so well to capture the dark feel of a dark, depressive area of Chicago. While set in modern times, it captures the whole feel of what the city may have been like under the rule of Capone and his compatriots.

The plot is very well laid out, and logically fits together. The characters are well developed, and as a reader I find myself caring about them and involved in their lives. While some of the mystery aspect is easy to guess, it still keeps you thrilled and reading on until the very last page.

OVerall, a very recommended book, and I look forward to more adventures of Jule Landau. Rated PG-13 for older teens and adults due to language, and violence. For a great weekend thriller though, grab a copy, drop back by and let us know what you thought.

About the Author

Marc Krulewitch grew up in the Chicago suburbs, although his crime novels take place in the Windy City, where he was born and where his family has lived for generations. Maxwell Street Blues is the first in what he hopes to be a long and enduring detective series. His great-grandfather once shared a headline with Al Capone.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Lisa at TLC tours for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

Review: 13 Hollywood Apes – Gil Reavill

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014
Publisher: Alibi (December 16, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: n/a
ISBN-13: 978-n/a
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Layla Remington – LA District Attorney Deputy Detective Investigator.
Rick Stills – Assistant DA, Los Angeles County


During a raging forest fire, 13 apes at a Hollywood Animal Sanctuary are found shot to death. One Ape survives. Layla Remington is assigned to investigate. She will find herself drawn deep into a mystery, as people connected to the sanctuary begin to be killed by Ape attacks.


I had mixed feelings regarding this book. I was torn between the plot and the characterization. The plot I found very interesting. The storyline was consistent, the events seemed realistic, and nothing jumped out at me as being off base. So based on the plot alone, I really liked this book. It was exciting and kept me reading from page 1.

Now the characterization is where I had problems with the book. While the characters were somewhat 3 dimensional, their behaviors didn’t strike me as realistic. One example is the character of Layla. She would just seem to get angry all at once with no build up, and no clear reason on why. It seems the author did that with a few of the female characters. It seems as if it was intended to make the characters seem tough and hard edged, but as the reader, to me it just seemed to stretch a bit. The male characters didn’t seem to strike me like this.

However, that drawback aside, I still found myself enjoying the book. I’d definitely read more in the Layla Remington series to see how the character grows, and how the author grows. For this, I’d recommend it for older audiences and for those fans of thrillers. I’d be interested in seeing the opinions of others out there, so if you read it, drop by and let us know what you thought.

A very interesting side note to this story.  On December 21st, news broke that an Argentinian Court had given Sandra, a Sumatran Orangutan the classification of a non human person, and declared that she has rights and will no longer be held captive in a zoo.  This follows similar rulings in which Dolphins were declared non human persons by the government of India.

About the Author

Gil Reavill is an author, screenwriter, and playwright. Widely featured in magazines, Reavill is the author of Aftermath, Inc.: Cleaning Up After CSI Goes Home, and the co-author of Beyond All Reason: My Life with Susan Smith and the screenplay that became the 2005 film Dirty, starring Cuba Gooding, Jr. He lives in Westchester County, New York, with his wife, Jean Zimmerman, and their daughter.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Lisa at TLC Book Tours for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

Review: Duke City Hit – Max Austin

Thursday, December 11th, 2014
Publisher: Alibi (December 16, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: n/a
ISBN-13: 978-n/a
Order e-book here:


Vic Walters – Hit Man for Hire.
Penny Randall – Vic’s friend and job coordinator.


A hit man finds that someone is arriving at his jobs before he does. When he discovers who the mysterious second gunman is, he’s pulled into a web of lies that will require all his skills to untangle.


This was a fast paced, interesting story. My one complaint is that it ended too soon. I was really enjoying the story and the characters. Luckily for me, the author has said that they will be back in a future book. The characters were well developed and felt like real people, well real people who work at killing other people. But everyone has to have some kind of skills.

The plot was well laid out and by the end of the story, all the pieces fit properly together. One slight drawback is that one of the big twists may have been telegraphed a little too much, and at least to me didn’t come as the big shock that I think it was intended to be. However, that didn’t detract from the overall enjoyment of the book.

The book is definitely for older teens and adults due to the violent tone of the book as well as some strong language. Overall though, it was a very enjoyable story that I look forward to following up in future books.

About the Author

Max Austin is the pseudonym of writer Steve Brewer. He lives in Duke City (Albuquerque), New Mexico.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Lisa at TLC Book Tours for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

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Review: Dangerous Denial – Amy Ray

Thursday, November 20th, 2014
Paperback: 212 pages
Publisher: Barking Rain Press; First edition (April 9, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 193546096X
ISBN-13: 978-1935460961
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BK Hartshaw – A young woman from a broken family.
Lenny Mayhew – A violent, oppressive scumbag.
Trevor Mayhew – Lenny’s son, an abused, mentally scarred young man.


Two people from two different worlds find themselves on a collision course headed towards tragedy.


This was a rather interesting book. It switches back and forth between two different families, the Mayhews and the Hartshaws. The reader sees Lenny as a young, troubled man with a propensity towards criminal activity. We see BK dealing with her broken family, and a mother bent towards social climbing more than being a responsible parent. The book follows through Lenny’s life, up through the birth of his son Trevor, where it then diverts and we begin seeing the story from Trevors angle. BK we follow her life from childhood up to being a young woman.

There’s a lot of intensity in this book, and the author does a great job of building the stress levels until the final act. Along the way there are twists and surprises. The writing style is very fluid, and reads easily. The characters are interesting and well designed.

I’d rate it for older teens and adults due to the nature of the story and some scenes that may cause trigger effects. For those looking for a good weekend story though, give this a shot. Be sure to drop back by and let us know what you thought.

About the Author

Dangerous Denial is Amy Ray’s first published novel. Early in 2015, she will have a short story published in Love Free or Die, the fourth book in the New Hampshire Pulp Fiction anthology series.
Before embarking on a writing career, Amy owned an old fashioned five and dime store where, in addition to regular priced merchandise, she had a display of items that actually retailed for five or ten cents each. She lives near the short but picturesque seacoast in New Hampshire with her husband and daughter. In her spare time she enjoys packing boxes for Operation Christmas Child, reading, knitting, and tap dancing.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Trish at TLC Book Tours for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

Review: My Thinning Years: Starving the Gay Within – Jon Derek Croteau

Thursday, September 25th, 2014
Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Hazelden (September 9, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 161649509X
ISBN-13: 978-1616495091
Order book here:


Order E-book here:


A memoir of Jon Derek Croteau, about coming to terms with his sexuality, and how trying to live with it caused him to have an eating disorder.


This was a very powerful story. The reader is given the opportunity to look through the eyes of a young gay man as he grows up being different. This story is a no holds barred, warts and all tale of parental rejection.

The tale covers his life beginning when he was a child in pre-school. While all the other boys played with trucks and cars, he wanted to play with the girls and the dresser full of clothes. When he was caught, his father removed him from the school, placed him in another, and spent the next years trying to force him to be a man through various sports.

All though was not bleak. He had a supportive mother, siblings, and friends. Something that sadly a lot of those in the LGBT community lack. One darker aspect of dealing with his sexuality was he developed an eating disorder. Partly over his sexuality, and partly over a father who constantly reminded him that he was fat, or that he’d get fat.

Overall, it’s a memorable story of life, and one that all those who support the LGBT community should read, and those who don’t support the community should read it, just to see the damage they can do to a person’s psyche. I’d recommend it to any older teen and adult readers due to subject matter, but it’s a definite recommendation.

About the Author

Jon Derek Croteau is on a mission to make a difference, a mission he has pursued since his childhood. He uses every moment to learn more about the world in order to contribute to those who are in need, disenfranchised, or impacted by discrimination. He is a champion of equal rights and effective leadership. This has led him to advocate, teach, write, advise and support people, places, and ideas that enhance the lives of others. As a husband, brother, uncle, and friend, he shares his love, life and mission with his family and friends from whom he draws support and inspiration.

Jon is a senior partner at Witt/Kieffer, an expert in leadership solutions for major institutions, and a respected author of books, essays, poetry, and short stories. He has written numerous academic articles and has contributed to many other publications.

Volunteering and philanthropy have been at the core of Jon’s mission. Along with his husband, he is the co-founder of the Jayne A. Iarrobino Scholarship for Leadership and Promise at Emerson College, The Alan K. Gaynor Prize Fund at Boston University, and is an advocate for The Trevor Project’s, Friends of Trevor. He has volunteered for Camp Hope in Quito, Ecuador, has served as a Big Brother and a mentor for Point Foundation, and is a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council at Boston University School of Education.

Jon is Executive Producer of Singer/Songwriter Will Dailey’s New Album National Throat. Get it today!

His memoir, My Thinning Years: Starving the Gay Within, will be published by Hazelden Publishing September 9, 2014.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Lisa at TLC Book tours for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

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Giveaway – Remains of Innocence – J.A. Jance

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

Thanks to Gina at Partners in Crime Tours I”m able to offer my readers 1 paperback copy of this book. To enter, follow these simple rules:

1) One Entry if you’re a follower [You can follow through Google Friend connect to the right, you can also sign up to follow through Twitter or Facebook].
2) An Additonal Entry if you blog about this contest.
3) An Additonal Entry if you’re a new follower.
4) One entry each for posting on facebook and/or twitter.
5) Must leave a comment letting me know how you follow me, blog link to this post, facebook/twitter link, etc.
6) Contest will continue until 9/17/2014.
7) This giveaway is open to residents of US only. No PO Box addresses (street mailing only).

See our review here.

1 people like this post.

Giveaway – Murder Strikes a Pose – Tracy Weber

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

Thanks to Gina at Partners in Crime Tours I’m able to offer my readers 1 printed copy of this book. To enter, follow these simple rules:

1) One Entry if you’re a follower [You can follow through Google Friend connect to the right, you can also sign up to follow through Twitter or Facebook].
2) An Additonal Entry if you blog about this contest.
3) An Additonal Entry if you’re a new follower.
4) One entry each for posting on facebook and/or twitter.
5) Must leave a comment letting me know how you follow me, blog link to this post, facebook/twitter link, etc.
6) Contest will continue until 9/10/2014.
7) This giveaway is open to residents of US only. No PO Box addresses (street mailing only).

See our review here.

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Review: Murder Strikes a Pose – Tracy weber

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: MIDNIGHT INK (January 8, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0738739685
ISBN-13: 978-0738739687
Order book here:


Order E-book here:


Kate Davidson – Yoga instructor and amateur detective.
George – Homeless man.
Bella – Georges’ Dog.


A woman who owns a yoga studio is pulled into a murder investigation when a homeless man is murdered.


I found this to be a very entertaining mystery. The characters were interesting, the plot was just intricate enough to keep the pace going, and for a debut mystery I thought the author did a really good job. There was the twists and turns in the main plot, as well as a secondary plot involving Kate’s friend and her friends husband.

This is an author whose next work I would be glad to look at. If this debut is any indication, I think she’ll do well in the mystery field. I would rate it about PG-13 due to language, situations, etc.

Overall though, I found the story enjoyable and for a lighthearted, cozy style mystery, and a good weekend read, pick up a copy of Murder Strikes a Pose and be sure to drop by and let us know what you thought.

Enter a giveaway here:

Giveaway: Murder Strikes a Pose by Tracy Weber

About the Author

Tracy Weber is a certified yoga teacher and the founder of Whole Life Yoga, an award-winning yoga studio in Seattle, where she currently lives with her husband, Marc, and German shepherd, Tasha.

She loves sharing her passion for yoga and animals in any form possible. Tracy is a member of the Pacific Northwest Writers Association, Dog Writers Association of America, and Sisters in Crime.

When she’s not writing, she spends her time teaching yoga, walking Tasha, and sipping Blackthorn cider at her favorite ale house. Murder Strikes a Pose is her debut novel.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Gina at Partners in Crime for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

1 people like this post.

Interview: Tracy Weber – Murder Strikes a Pose

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Rhodes Review: When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

Tracy Weber: The idea came to me on a rainy evening about three years ago, while in the middle of a brutal workout at my favorite health club. I was pedaling away, reading a Susan Conant novel to distract myself from the evil exercise bike, when a quote from Black Ribbon about crazy dog people made me burst out loud laughing. I knew I’d found my author soul mate. Someone who truly got me.

I went home, looked her up on the web, and stumbled across a site about cozy mysteries. As I read about hundreds of other wonderful cozy series, I began to wonder: What would happen if a yoga teacher with a crazy dog like mine got mixed up in murder? Kate Davidson and Bella popped into my head a few days later. The rest is history.

Rhodes Review: What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

Tracy Weber: I’m lucky. I own my own business, so I’m able to work any eighteen hours a day I want. Seriously, sometimes it feels that way. My writing ebbs and flows based on the other competing priorities of my life. Sometimes several weeks will go by without my having time to write a word. Other times I write nonstop. I’m most creative late at night, which drives my husband crazy. Most weeks I probably dedicate thirty hours or more to fiction writing. Blogs and other writing are on top of that.

Rhodes Review: As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

Tracy Weber: It varied over time. First, I wanted to be a horse rancher. Then a veterinarian. By the time I left for college, I was going to be a doctor. I ended up with a Chemical Engineering degree. Twenty years later, I owned a yoga studio. Now I write mysteries. No wonder my husband says I have career ADD!

Rhodes Review: Which of your characters is most/least like you, and in what way(s)?

Tracy Weber: On the surface, Kate and I are a lot alike. We both own yoga studios in Seattle, are vertically challenged, have body image issues, and are head-over-heals in love with a ginormous German shepherd. But personality-wise, I’m closer to Rene. A plotter, a trickster, a conniver, but completely loyal to my friends. At least that’s what I tell myself.

Rhodes Review: Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?

Tracy Weber: Write what you love. You may not become famous. You may never even get published. But you’ll spend your days immersed in your passions. What could be better than that?

Rhodes Review: What inspired you to write Murder Strikes a Pose?

Tracy Weber: Wow. So many things. I’ve talked about Susan Conant, yoga, and my certifiably crazy dog obsession in other blogs. Those three things together definitely inspired me to write this series. My tag line says it perfectly: “Yoga, dogs, and murder. What could be more fun?”

My dog, Tasha, has some of the same issues as Bella. She’s huge, not always perfectly-well behaved, and she has a variety of expensive health conditions, yet I adore her to a fault. Living with Tasha has changed my life, in every way for the better. At the same time, she gets me into some pretty funny situations sometimes. My yoga students have been putting up with my “Tasha stories” for years now, so writing them down seemed like a no-brainer.

A human inspired the plot of Murder Strikes a Pose, however. A homeless lady used to hang out near the entrance to my neighborhood grocery store, and she always had a large Rottweiler mix in a crate next to her. Over time, I got to know them both, and I asked her about the crate. She told me that the Rottweiler would sometimes lunge at other dogs that walked by on the sidewalk. The crate—which she stored behind the building at night—allowed her to keep the dog with her, in spite of its reactivity.

The lady (I’m so sorry I never learned her name!) adored that dog and went to great lengths to take care of it, in spite of her own financial issues and living conditions. She was as dedicated to her pet as most people are to their children.

I started to wonder: What if her dog had Tasha’s illnesses as well as its behavior issues? What would she do? What could she do? That’s when Bella and George formed in my head. I want to be clear: George is not that woman—not even close. He has alcoholism and many other issues that she did not have. But like her, he knows the joy and heartache that come from deep love for an imperfect creature.

Unfortunately, she disappeared from the neighborhood long before I wrote the first draft of Murder Strikes a Pose. I haven’t seen her almost two years, so I’ll probably never know what she would have thought about being my muse. I hope she would have felt complimented.

Rhodes Review: What was your favorite part of the book?

Tracy Weber: It’s not one specific part or scene, but I loved seeing Kate grow and learn to love herself by learning to love Bella. I completely believe that love transforms us, when we are willing to allow it to. And no love is more pure than that of a human and an animal. We enter into a relationship with animals in which we know the ultimate outcome. Most animals’ lives are significantly shorter than ours. And yet, if we allow ourselves, we can find a beauty and self-sacrifice in that relationship that is at the same time deeper and more meaningful than almost any other. Kate fights that depth with every cell of her commitment-wary soul. And yet ultimately, that is what saves her. We should all be so lucky.

Rhodes Review: What are your favorite authors/books?

Tracy Weber: I adore light-hearted, dog-related mysteries, above all. Susan Conant, Laurien Berenson, Sheila Boneham, and Waverly Curtis are some of my favorites. I also love a good legal thriller, though I haven’t read one in awhile.