Thursday, October 30, 2008

Mystery Door

Thursdays are Mystery Door days! Choose a door. A surprise is waiting for you!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Mystery Author is taking a brief vacation. It will be back next week with new Heartsong authors.

But today, we're exicted to introduce Andromeda Hartley from Greenburg, Tennessee. Andromeda will tell you about Lynette Sowell's wonderfuly cozy mystery, THE WILES OF WATERMELON! Remember, if you want to get to know Andromeda, Belle, CiCi, Leigh, Emily, Ivy - and many more interesting characters, you need to join the
Heartsong Presents: Mysteries! book club. As cold weather approaches, there's nothing warmer than a cozy mystery to chase away the chill.

Last week's winner of Darlene's Franklin's GUNFIGHT AT GRACE GULCH is Brenda! Congratulations, Brenda!

See you next week!


The Wiles of Watermelon

Andromeda Clark here! Um, I mean Andromeda Hartley. Ben and I finally tied the knot and we're just loving married life here in Greenburg, Tennessee. We built a nice farmhouse on old Mrs. Flanders' property and her ever-present gigantic watermelon patch is right across the driveway. I have no idea who takes the trouble to plant them, but everyone in Greenburg knows about the patch and someone's carried on the deceased woman's tradition.

Tennessee River Soaps is thriving and our latest specialty scent is watermelon. I figured with the upcoming Chamber of Commerce sponsored watermelon festival, I should be supportive since I'm on the publicity committee. Ben's boss, Honey Haggerty, roped me into that one. Besides, there's something so summery about watermelon, and I can't get away from the fruit. Momma's trying to teach me how to make pickled watermelon rind and can preserves, too. But it's been hard finding the time or inclination to go across our driveway to the watermelon patch after what happened.

I should explain. We've had buckets of rain here. The most in many years, the weatherman says. Recently the crazy kitten Ben gave me headed straight for the muddiest part of the driveway, and then into the field. If Spot is supposed to get me used to the idea of motherhood, it's not working. I managed to catch up with the little darling in the watermelon patch, and part of me wishes I hadn't. Children can get into worse messes than wayward kittens!

Spot found part of a skeleton, and the police say it's been there a long time. I guess with all the rain we had or something, those remains were bound to turn up.

People just don't keel over and get buried in fields. And now I just don't care to head across to that patch anymore. I'm afraid of what I'll find.

My longsuffering brother-in-law, Jerry, says the remains belong to a young woman, barely out of her teens, early twenties at the most. I'm afraid I know who she is. I'm also afraid a few people in Greenburg won't be happy that the past has returned. And that includes my family.
Find out what Andi Hartley discovers in The Wiles of Watermelon by Lynette Sowell, available now through Heartsong Presents: Mysteries!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Short Story Mystery

Sealed and Delivered by Elizabeth Ludwig

Part 2

Lady Manchester’s heart leapt. “What? It can’t be. That stamp has been in my family for generations.”

“A stamp perhaps, but not this stamp,” Jeffrey said, his voice smug.

Resisting the urge to slap the mockery from his face, Lady Manchester whirled to stare at Rochester. “Charles, what do you have to say to all of this?” She gave an irritated wave toward the stamp in Jeffrey’s hand.

“I-I-” Charles stammered.

“Well don’t just stand there,” Lady Manchester demanded with a stomp of her foot. “Come look.”

Stumbling from his seat, Charles scampered across the room to do her bidding. He fumbled to remove his glasses and puffed on the lenses before clumsily replacing them. The room full of bidders watched every move.

Vultures, Lady Manchester thought. Money grabbing leeches. Too bad she needed every one of them.

Stay tuned next week for Part 3 of Sealed and Delivered.
For Discussion: What secret is Lady Manchester hiding that makes her "desperate" for buyers?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Monday Mystery Theater

The Case:

Mr. Basil was a methodical man who liked to plan things down to the smallest detail. This evening's schedule, for instance, included murdering his shrew of a wife. He would do it as soon as they got home.

While driving back to their house, Mr. Basil made a slight alteration to his plan. He dropped off his wife at the front door, then drove across town to the home of Dean Archway. Afer killing Archway, Basil returned to his own house and proceeded to go through with the scheduled murder of his wife.

The Mystery:

Why did Basil alter his plan and make the detour to kill Archway?

The Clues:

1. Mrs. Basil had her last meal at her favorite restaurant.
2. Basil and Archway had similar tastes in clothing.

The Answer:

Think you know the answer? Fill in the comment box to submit your guess. Winner receives a free Heartsong Presents Mystery!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Special Feature!!


Cleaning lady Belle Blevins dusts off her sleuthing skills when a rash of missing dogs jeopardizes her best friend’s boarding business. Why would anyone go to such extremes to steal a family pet?
When Belle learns the missing animals could possibly be in the hands of dognappers, she trades her vacuum for a detective kit and enters the world of valuable show dogs. Will she win a blue ribbon in the romance category? Or will her curiosity put her on the no-show list for the next round of competition?


Eileen Key, freelance writer and editor, resides in San Antonio, Texas, near her grown children and two wonderful grandchildren. She’s published nine anthology stories, numerous articles and devotionals. Her first mystery novel Dog Gone is from Barbour publishing.
Read more about


A lost show dog would reflect on Ginnie's business and hit my pocketbook. The taxes on my property had jumped significantly. And if Ginnie's revenue was cut, she'd not be able to make the quarterly lease payment in June. I certainly couldn't cover it all. I'd risk losing land that had been in my family for three generations.

While Ginnie placed the phone call, I went to the back door and stepped outside. I ran my fingers lightly over the doorjamb by the knob. No sign of forced entry. No shoe prints. I circled to the front door and two windows. Nothing. A thick black wire caught my eye. "Security cameras." I opened the door and hollered, "Ginnie, the cameras."


"Your security cameras. Let's look at the tapes."

"Of course. They're so new I never thought of them. Where's my mind today?"

Mounted in the top corner of two hallways, black cameras gave a view of all the doggie domains. We could pull the tapes and solve our dilemma. Schotzie could be home by dinnertime.

Ginnie met me underneath a camera. "I can't believe I didn't run to them right off. This one would show more."

I braced an arm against the wall, stood on tiptoes, and peered at the camera to check its angle. It pointed toward the first row of doggie boudoirs. I couldn't see well. "Looks like something is on the lens."

"There's a stool inside the grooming area. Let me get it." Ginnie dragged it to the hallway.

"Steady it and let me climb." I swiveled the camera toward my face once I was high enough to reach it and felt a sticky blob covering the lens. My heart sank. Pinching off a bit, I smelled it. "Ginnie, it's bubblegum."

We checked the camera at the other end of the hallway. More gum. Frustration welled in my chest as I dropped to the floor. "Looks to me like these have been intentionally sabotaged."

She covered her mouth with one hand. "Oh no, this can't be happening." She shivered.

I gripped her arm. "Did you call Sheriff Connors?" At her nod, I guided her down the hall, heartsick. I wondered where Scholander's Pride might be-and who would have gone to such trouble to take her.

The sheriff 's dispatcher had promised to send out a deputy to investigate, and Ginnie and I waited in the kennel's kitchen. Ginnie had purchased a glass-and chrome dinette, a black refrigerator, and matching microwave. Pampered Pooch's lounge offered comfort to its employees, too.

"Coffee?" Ginnie motioned to the pot. "I mean tea. I know you don't drink coffee. See how scrambled my brain is?" She filled two mugs with water and placed them in the microwave. I opened a tea bag and dunked it in the cup she handed me.

"Who had access to the kennel last night?"

"Only Charlie Baker, my evening tech. He left before nine." Ginnie dipped her tea bag up and down and stared into space. "I heard him leave."

I reached for a packet of sweetener and stirred it in. "I thought it was his job to walk the dogs."

"Well, it is, but I enjoy doing it sometimes. Keeps the lonesomes away." She batted her eyelashes and fought tears. "I hate bedtime now that Mitch is gone."Her voice strained, "Two long years of emptiness."

I squeezed her hand. "We'll figure this out, honey." I sipped tea and looked at her over the rim of the cup. "Don't fret. It makes wrinkles around your eyes." And it was giving me a pounding headache.

She fingered her eyelids and smoothed out the crow's-feet, massaging her temples. Ginnie's blond curls and perfect makeup were her trademarks. I must admit, she had a touch of vanity. Often she'd tried to get me "to spruce up a bit," as she called it, but I liked my less-than-perfect look. I could smear on foundation and a dab of lipstick and be out the door faster than she could curl her eyelashes.

A car pulled up, and Ginnie popped up to look out the window. "It's Deputy Dawg." A sad smile tugged at her lips. Don Dawson seemed to enter the door behind his protruding belly. He'd earned his nickname with his slow drawl and droopy jowls, but for the many years I'd known him, he'd always proven to be a good friend. I tipped my teacup in his direction and hid my smile as I sipped.

He nodded in my direction. "Morning, Miss Ginnie." He slid his mirrored sunglasses into his pocket. "Coffee smells mighty good." Ginnie pointed to the cabinet, and he grabbed a Styrofoam cup. "Sheriff said to get here quick. What's the trouble?"

"I've lost a dog." Ginnie's forlorn voice sounded childlike.

He sipped his coffee. "Lost him?" He looked around the room as though Schotzie were under the table.

She crossed her arms. "I have searched the premises, Don, and the dog is simply not here."

I spoke up, "What's worse, the security cameras have been disabled." I explained the gum.

"Well, let's take a look-see." He ambled into the hallway and stopped. "Show me around this fancy place." He grinned. "I told my wife you'd opened a hotel for dogs, and she couldn't believe me. I'll get to tell her tonight I took a tour."

"Don, I'll gladly give you a tour, but you're here to help me find a dog." Ginnie practically stomped her tiny size 5 sandal. "Not just any dog, either. A dog worth thousands of dollars."

His eyebrows shot up. "Thousands?"

"Thousands," I echoed. "This is an award-winning show dog. We need to find her." I slid my chair from the table and patted Don on the back. "This way, Deputy."

To read more of DOG GONE be sure to subscibe to:
Heartsong Presents: Mysteries!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Mystery Door

Thursdays are Mystery Door days! Choose a door. A surprise is waiting for you!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Wow! Last week we had 20 entries for our Mystery Author contest! Thanks to everyone who entered. The answer was SANDRA ROBBINS! And the winner of Sandra's book, PEDIGREED BLOODLINES, is Natalia. Congratulations, Natalia!

Today I'm going to introduce another Mystery Author. Remember that you must guess the author, leave a comment, and INCLUDE YOUR E-MAIL ADDRESS. Unfortunately, a few folks didn't leave their contact info, so I couldn't enter them into the drawing. I will draw a winner from all of the correct answers.

Now...for our newest Mystery Author:

Mystery Author – what part of the country do you come from?

I spent the first eighteen years in New England and since then I've lived in the West. Let's just say I've never traveled further west than Utah.

You’ve received quite a few awards and accolades. Tell us about them.
Oddly enough for a fiction writer, my first award came for nonfiction, a story about the time my son was arrested for possession of LSD as a teenager.

A Christian Writers Conference recognized me for perseverance and encouraged me to continue with what felt like an impossible dream.

I once ranked third among new authors in the Heartsong readers poll. My as-yet-unpublished historical suspense story finaled in a contest sponsored by Vintage Romance.

You have two different degrees. What are they?
I earned a Bachelor of Sacred Music from Northeastern Bible College and a Master of Arts in Religious Education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

What is the first name of the protagonist in your Heartsong mystery series?
Her name is Cici.

Okay! Put your guessing caps on, and tell me who the Mystery Author is!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Short Story Mystery

Sealed and Delivered by Elizabeth Ludwig

Part 1

“May I examine the stamp?” Jeffrey Monroe held out his hand, ignoring the gasps of surprised bidders around the room.

“Of course,” Lady Manchester declared, glaring through her spectacles at him. “But it has already been examined—by Charles Rochester.” She pointed at the stamp expert, her jagged eyebrows rising even higher toward her hairline.

Jeffrey dipped his head. “Regardless, I’d still like a look.”

Squaring her shoulders, Lady Manchester glided toward him. The jewels at her neck glittered in the golden light cast by the chandeliers, making her blue eyes even icier by comparison. Chin lifted so she could peer down her nose at him, she placed the rare stamp in his hand.

Jeffrey carried the stamp carefully to the fireplace where the dancing flames cast an orange glow onto the aged paper. Taking his time, he twisted and turned the item, his lips a tight line. Around the room, every eye fixed upon him in fascination.

“Ah,” he said at last, and the bidders echoed after him, “ah.”

Waving his arms with a flourish, he whirled to face Lady Manchester. “It is as I suspected.”

Lady Manchester appeared unphased. Her heavily ringed hand fluttered through the air. “Oh get on with it, Monroe. What is as you suspected?”

His lips stretched into a tight smile, Jeffrey let the pregnant air ripen until it was thick enough to cut. Now was the moment. The bidders were ready. Rochester was ready. Even Lady Manchester herself, though she’d never admit it, watched him, her chest rising and falling rapidly. Jeffrey slowly lifted the stamp for everyone in the room to see.

“This, Lady Manchester,” he said, his words slow and pronounced, “is a fake.”

Stay tuned next week for Part 2 of Sealed and Delivered.

For Discussion: What did Jeffrey see that made him declare the stamp a fake?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Monday Mystery Theater

The Case:

After one of her dinner parties, widowed Washington hostess Marcella Stoat dies, seemingly from an Egyptian mummy’s curse. Before her son Ernest can be arrested for her murder, HE dies.

The Mystery:

How did Marcella and Ernest die?

The Clues:

1. Marcella was a heavy drinker with sloppy habits.
2. Ernest was an archaeologist.

The Answer:

Think you know the answer? Fill in the comment box to submit your guess. Winner receives a free Heartsong Presents Mystery!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Special Feature!

Susan Page Davis

Megan Elaine Davis

Jeff Lewis’s hunting lodge is plagued by an intruder who thumps around in the night. Emily Gray and Nate Holman try to help their friend discover who is invading the resort. Things turn more sinister when one of Jeff’s employees is murdered, with Jeff as a suspect. Is the legend of an old lumber baron’s lost treasure behind the crimes? In the midst of the turmoil, Nate proposes to Emily. Their life together begins with unmasking the murderer at Lakeview Lodge.


Susan Page Davis is a native of Maine and author of romantic suspense, historical romance, and children's novels. She's a mother of six, all home schooled until college, and grandmother of five. Most recently she has been writing romantic suspense for Harvest House and Love Inspired Suspense. With her daughter, Megan Elaine Davis, she writes the Blue Heron Lake cozy mystery series for Heartsong Presents: Mysteries. Read more about Susan

Megan Elaine Davis grew up in rural Maine where she was home-schooled with her five siblings. She holds a bachelor of arts degree in Creative Writing from Bob Jones University, and has published poetry, articles, and humorous anecdotes in various publications. Besides writing, she enjoys reading, travel, theater, cooking, and chatting with friends. Her favorite authors are Agatha Christie, Jane Austen, and C. S. Lewis. Homicide at Blue Heron Lake is her first novel. She lives in Maine and will soon become Mrs. John-Mark Cullen, then make her home in England.


Jeff guided the deputy toward the library, and Nate hesitated.
"Oh, come on," Emily whispered. "I want to hear what they say, too."

Nate grinned and tiptoed after the men. He and Emily stopped in the doorway just in time to see Young pick up the pocket knife and put it in an evidence bag.

"Will you check it for fingerprints?" Jeff asked.

"Well, I tell you," Young said, "it's pretty small, and you don't think anything was stolen. Truth is, we probably won't bother."

Emily's lips skewed in a scowl, and Nate slipped his arm around her.

Young smiled at Jeff. "Now, if you had a dead body lying here, that would be different, right Nate?"

"Oh, yeah," Nate said. "We'd send that knife for prints and we might even give the State Police a call."

Young barked a laugh, and even Emily cracked a smile. They all knew that the sheriff's department was not allowed to handle homicides. The Maine State Police took those over except in the state's two largest cities, Portland and Bangor. Baxter, Maine was far too small to have its own police department, let alone a homicide squad.

"I will ask around," Young said. "We have a few known thieves in the area. I'll see if all of them have alibis for tonight, though it's usually pretty hard to prove a guy wasn't in his own bed at 2 a.m."

Jeff's disappointment showed in his hangdog expression. He offered the deputy coffee, but Young turned it down and wished them all a good night as he headed for the door.

"Sorry I couldn't do more, folks, but you scared him off. At least no one was hurt. That's what's important."

"Thanks, Russ," Nate called after him. He turned to face Jeff. "He's right, you know. That burglar will probably never come back."


"Ready to go back to sleep?" Nate asked. They stood at the front window of the comfortable lobby at Lakeview Lodge, watching the police car's taillights disappear down the long driveway.

"I'm so wound up now, I doubt I'll get back to sleep." Emily turned to look at their host. "Why don't you tell us the rest of the story about Alexander Eberhardt, Jeff?"

"All right, but let me get a refill on my coffee. You want more?"

"Not me," said Emily. "But if you have any hot chocolate mix . . ."

"Come on. I'm sure we do."

They fixed their hot drinks in the kitchen and then moved into the snug library, where the burglar had made his getaway. Jeff raked up the embers of last evening's fire and added several sticks of wood. When the fire blazed, he dropped into an overstuffed armchair.

"Well, like I told you, Mr. Eberhardt built this lodge as the barracks for his lumbering crew. I think he had other lumber camps, too, and he made a huge success of it. He was getting along in years, and in 1901, he sold his lumber company. It was in the middle of the logging season. He went from here to Bangor by sleigh in January to close the sale. Supposedly he picked up the payment for the business and the payroll for his last disbursement to his employees before handing the company over to the new owner. There were about forty lumberjacks staying here at the lodge then, working through the winter, and a clerk, several teamsters, and a cook."

"Quite an operation," Nate said.

"Yeah. The story goes that Mr. Eberhardt paid his crews once a month. In winter, the 'boys' would get one day off after payday. They could go into Baxter or Aswontee if they wanted and spend some of their pay. A few would have Mr. Eberhardt send the bulk of their wages home for them the next time he went to Bangor."

"That must have been a rough life." Emily sipped her cocoa and nestled closer to Nate.

"Yeah, they would stay in the lumber camps for six or eight months," Jeff agreed. "They say there was a big storm the day after Mr. Eberhardt left. He had a man with him to drive the sleigh. When the snow started, all the lumberjacks were disappointed, because they figured he would be delayed. If he stayed overnight in Bangor, they wouldn't get their pay on the usual day. But-"

Emily watched him, enthralled by the story. She could easily imagine the big men snowed in by the blizzard, fretting and pacing because the boss was late returning.

Jeff raised his eyebrows and leaned forward. "The next morning, Mr. Eberhardt was found in his bed in the lodge-in the room I sleep in now."

"So he made it through in the sleigh." Nate nodded in satisfaction, and Jeff sat back and let his shoulders droop.

"Well, yeah. Unfortunately, he was dead."

Emily let out a little gasp, trying to work out the puzzle of how the man had died and yet made it safely into his own bed.

"There was no doctor," Jeff said. "André, the man who drove him to Bangor and back, assured the other men that the boss was alive, though fatigued and chilled, when they got in late the previous night. André was as shocked as they were-or so he claimed-when he heard Mr. Eberhardt was dead. The crew didn't know what to think of it, but they probably surmised he had suffered a heart attack after his strenuous trek through the storm."

"It works for me," Nate said.

"Oh, come on." Emily swiveled her head to look at him in disbelief. "That's too pat."

Jeff grinned. "There's more."

"I knew it." Emily settled back to listen.

"The clerk wasn't sure what to do, but he decided to go ahead and pay the men. But when he opened the safe-"

"The money was gone!" Emily laughed, but sobered quickly as Jeff shook his head.

"The payroll was there, enough for each man's wages. But the payment for the business and all Mr. Eberhardt's timber acreage, amounting to about a hundred and forty thousand dollars in cash, was missing."

To read more of Treasure at Blue Heron Lake be sure to subscibe to:
Heartsong Presents: Mysteries!

Other Heartsong Presents Mysteries by Susan Page Davis and Megan Elaine Davis

Homicide at Blue Heron Lake: Emily Gray returns to the lakeside community of Baxter, Maine, expecting a peaceful week in her family's old island cottage. Instead, she and her high school crush, Nate Holman, discover the body of Henry Derbin, an elderly island resident. A few days later, Emily finds another body, buried more than a decade earlier, on Mr. Derbin's land. Can Emily and Nate overcome past hindrances to their romance while digging up clues that will help solve both murders?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Mystery Door

Thursdays are Mystery Door days! Choose a door. A surprise is waiting for you!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


IT'S TIME TO GUESS ANOTHER MYSTERY AUTHOR. CONGRATULATIONS TO BRENDA WHO GUESSED OUR LAST AUTHOR, ELIZABETH LUDIWG. (*Remember - you must post your e-mail address to win our Mystery Author's book! Without it, I have no way to contact you!)


Hello, Mystery Author!

What part of the country do you come from?

I've lived in the South all my life.

A few years ago, you had another job besides being a full time writer. What was it?

I was a school principal.

You didn’t start out writing mysteries. Tell us about that.

I wanted to write historical romance, but I got sidetracked. I discovered I loved writing mysteries. I still have some historical romances I'm working on, though, and hope to sell one.

A certain girl sleuth started you on the road to the mystery genre. Who was it?

I grew up reading Nancy Drew. Her adventiures spawned my love of mysteries.

What is the first name of the main character in your Heartsong mystery?

My main character's first name is Leigh.

Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know. And don’t give away your identity!

I have a degree in music with a major in piano. Through my college piano teacher, I can trace my line of piano teachers back to Beethoven.

Thanks, Mystery Author!

Post your guess as to who our mystery author is, along with your e-mail address, and you could win a copy of this author's latest Heartsong Mystery!

And thanks for playing!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Short Story Mystery

Ride Into the Fog
By Linda Kozar


For a moment, I thought she’d break down, that the tears would come, the wall crumble. But she pulled away. Her eyes moist and fluid, she kissed my cheek. “Bye now.” Kelsey slid into the tattered driver’s seat and put the car in reverse.

“Hey,” I yelled over the sound of the struggling engine, “can we say a prayer together?”

She shook her head. “No time.”

Following the car, I motioned. “Aren’t you going to buckle up?”

“I will, later,” she yelled back.

I blew her a kiss in the same moment she blew me one and tried to smile. The kids waved and said sweet goodbyes in little singsong voices.

The old blue Impala rattled off down the road, a trail of gray fumes in its wake. I ran down the road after it waving at the kids and followed it with my eyes as far as I could see.

Dark now, the opaque fog coiling in, I stood still, fearful of thoughts coming together like puzzle pieces. Maybe they’ll close that old bridge tonight. And I thought of Kelsey’s eyes, blue as sun-jeweled waters. I brushed a tear away.

Tune in next week for a brand new Short Story Mystery!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Monday Mystery Theater

The Case:

Violet is found dead in her home with an envelope in her hand. During their investigation, police discover a bottle at the home of her boyfriend, Dusty. On this and other evidence, they arrest Dusty for Violet’s murder.

The Mystery:

How did Dusty “dust” Violet?

The Clues:

1. What killed Violet was her oversensitivity.
2. The buzz was that Dusty stole the bottle.

The Answer:

Think you know the answer? Fill in the comment box to submit your guess. Winner receives a free Heartsong Presents Mystery!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Agatha Christie, the Queen of Mystery

Special Features part Five:

Agatha Christie's magnum opus was also her most controversial book. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd exploded on the scene in 1926. Critics accused her of breaking the rules set down by the detection club by having the narrator double as the murderer. The readers didn’t mind. According to one statistic I read, Agatha Christie’s book sales are only surpassed by the Bible!

The answer to last week's trivia question is below.

Which character did Dame Agatha Christie name her child after?

Answer: Christie's daughter was names Rosalind, after Shakespeare's heroine.

75 Facts About the Queen of Crime

by John Curran, Editor of the Official Agatha Christie Newsletter

1. According to the Guinness Book of Records, Agatha Christie is the best-selling fiction author of all time with an estimated two billion copies of her books in print. By comparison, around 270 million copies of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books have been sold.

2. Agatha is the most-translated fiction author in the world, according to the UNESCO. Her work has been translated into more than 70 languages. It is often said that she is outsold only by the Bible and Shakespeare.

3. She wrote 80 novels and short story collections and 19 plays. She also wrote two books of poetry, a children's book, and two autobiographical works.

4. Agatha penned six romance novels under the name of Mary Westmacott. This pseudonym remained a secret for almost 20 years until her nom de plume was revealed by the Sunday Times.

5. On average 97 per cent of adults in the UK know of Agatha Christie and one third have read at least one Christie novel; more than half have seen a Christie film.

Interested in reading all 75 facts? CLICK HERE.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008



Hello, Mystery Author!

Hi, Nancy!

What part of the country are you from?
Well, let's see. . .I was born in Michigan but transferred when the plant where my husband worked closed. Now we call Southeast Texas home.

You have a few other talents besides writing. What are they?
Along with writing, I work as a freelance editor and public speaker. I've edited novels for Virginia Smith, Sandra Robbins, and Marcia Gruver, to name a few. I'm also a part-time youth minister (giving a shout out to FBC VERTICAL!!)

What is a “Max’ism?”
Max'isms are spiritual truths I've learned by watching my Dachshund. Don't laugh. Animals can teach us a lot.

What’s the first name of the main character in your Heartsong Mystery?
Her name is Casey.

What is her job?
Casey is a part-time sleuth, full-time website designer and lover of Brandy Purcell crime novels.

Finally, you wrote your Heartsong Mystery with a co-author. Can you tell us something about her that most people don’t know? (Don’t give us her name!)
(Laughing) Something no one else that could be dangerous! How about this--my co-author is a snake charmer (read her blog to learn more).

Thanks, Mystery Author!

If you would like to win a copy of this Mystery Author's newest Heartsong cozy mystery, leave a comment (with your e-mail address), and we'll announce the winner next week!

Thanks to everyone who reads Spyglass Lane. Please tell your friends about us!


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Short Story Mystery

Ride Into the Fog
By Linda Kozar


I held onto the door handle. “Please Kels, don’t go. We could--we could take the kids to the zoo tomorrow. How about it?”

She peeled my hands off the handle and took them in hers. “Marcy, you know you have to work tomorrow. Besides, we’ve already overstayed our welcome with you.”

“But you only got here yesterday. One day, that’s all. It’s nothing.”

She laughed. “Say goodbye to the kids Marcy.”

She opened the door and threw in a diaper bag. The kids surrounded the car, scented with sun and play, glistening hair clinging to their heads. My brow still crinkled in disapproval at her, I stared down at Shay and softened. He was the oldest, the one who’d seen the most. Things a child shouldn’t see.
Tall and thin for his age; he seemed older than seven years, guarded, yet vulnerable. My heart went out to him. “Shay!” I wrapped my arms around him and gave him a big bear squeeze. “Your Aunt Marcy loves you!”

The freckled face smiled back at me. For a moment, he reminded me of Kelsey, the way she used to be. I lifted him up and planted a kiss on his cheek, then turned to the others; Amy, Tammy, the twins Bobby and Trace and the baby, little Marce-- my namesake. I lingered longest with her and nibbled on her tiny ear until she giggled.

“Time to go!” Kelsey ordered.

We fastened seat belts and car seats in her old blue Impala and she leaned in to start the chugging engine off. A gray cloud of noxious smoke from the exhaust blew out. I coughed. Her eyes met mine as if longing to tell me something, mouth moving as if to speak, but nothing.

I broke the silence. “Kels, I. . .”

She interrupted. “I love you Marcy, always have. You are my truest friend in the world. The only one.”

Tears swelled and overflowed my eyes. “I-I love you too.” I reached over to her and pressed a wad of money into her right hand.

“What this for?”

I shrugged. “It’s to help you start a new life, if you chose.” I closed her fist around it with my hands.

With surprising force, she pushed the wad of money back into my hands. “Keep it, Marcy. Keep it! I wo--, I don’t need your money,” she corrected.

“Don’t be proud, Kelsey!” I fired back, annoyed. “You know you’re going to need it! If not for you, then take it for them.” I pointed toward the kids, their tiny faces turned toward us, hanging on every word.

“My answer is NO. And you know how stubborn I am. I don’t need it and I won’t take it from you. Not now. Not ever.” Her features set in stone, I knew it was pointless to argue. Why upset the kids? They’d certainly been through enough.

We fell into each other’s arms and clung, trembling. I spoke what was in my heart. “I’m so sad all this happened to you. I-I wish your life with him had been better, happier.”

Tune in next week for Part 3 of Ride Into the Fog

Monday, October 6, 2008

Monday Mystery Theater

The Case:

Willie is found dead in a field. His wife is arrested when a sock belonging to Willie is examined, along with a container of starch belonging to his wife.

The Mystery:

How did Willie’s wife waste him?

The Clues:

1. The sock was not part of a pair.
2. Willie’s last landing wasn’t exactly a breeze.

The Answer:

Think you know the answer? Fill in the comment box to submit your guess. Winner receives a free Heartsong Presents Mystery!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Agatha Christie and Sherlock Holmes

Special Features, Part 4

Guess which famous author was a big Conan Doyle fan? Dame Agatha Christie, the Queen of the Mystery! A very shy child, kept out of school by her mother, she invented whole communities of people to keep her company. During World War !, she worked as a nurse, eventually assigned to the hospital dispensary. Poor gal was so nervous she’d make a mistake and poison a patient! Perhaps to get the worry out of her system, she concocted a total of 83 poisonings in her books. She was very much impressed by Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes. She admitted writing in the Holmes tradition by featuring an eccentric detective and a straight laced assistant.

Trivia Question:
Which character did Dame Agatha Christie name her child after?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


Last week's winner of our Mystery Author contest is...TINA RUSSO! She guessed that the Mystery Author was...ME! Tina will get copies of IN THE DEAD OF WINTER, BYE,BYE BERTIE, and FOR WHOM THE WEDDING BELL TOLLS! Thanks for playing, Tina!

There is no Mystery Author today. Instead, we have a great column by Mary Connealy, a wonderful author and a super person. You will enjoy what she has to tell you about her upcoming cozy mysteries.

Mystery Author will return next week!


I am too afraid of MICE!!!!!!!!!!

Why would a person lie about a thing like that?

Just because I’m bringing this misunderstood phobia out of the shadows, does not mean I should be mocked.

Some may read Of Mice…and Murder and see the humor, mystery and drama. But for those of us who are musophobes (look it up, I can’t do EVERYTHING for you) this is an intense, life and death struggle.

You know, I decided at a very young age (too young to be deciding anything) while pondering eternal things like heaven and … well…NOT heaven, to avoid four letter words.

I gave considerable thought to whether instead of eternal darkness, or a lake of fire, I might possibly end up in a room full of mice.

God knows each of us, you know. God knows what our definition of NOT heaven might be.

The worst of that youthful pondering was the horrifying thought that maybe, talking eternity to
adjust after all, I might actually get so I didn’t mind being in a room full of mice.

That makes me really sad.

But I’ve made my peace with God and accepted Jesus as my personal savior, mice being the
least of that decision, so I don’t dwell on that much anymore.

In Of Mice…and Murder my heroine Carrie is afraid of mice. Nothing else. She’s a very brave woman, but mice…….EEEEEEEEKKKKKKKKK!!!!!!!

In book two of the Maxie Mouse Mystery Series, Pride and Pestilence, my heroine is a shy insomniac bookworm. Hello, borrowing from my life again!

Yes, I am a shy, insomniac bookworm, musophobe. My life between the pages of a book. And yes, when I meet people they inevitably say, “You’re not shy.”

But it’s all internal. I know how to behave myself in public, but inside I’m a squirming, twitching, overly sensitive, lunatic. All my reactions are to go home, go pull the covers over my head, better yet, go write. Have both sides of the conversation myself. Create COOL tough, bold women. Exactly NOT like me.

Or read books with those same cool, tough, bold women. Now THAT’S living.

So then, book three in the Maxie Mouse Mystery Series—The Miceman Cometh. What part of that is me?

The heroine in that is a genius who’s so caught up in her studying and thinking that she’s detached from the world. She tends to fall over her feet and say the wrong thing and her clothes are always a mess because she doesn’t notice.

Okay, except for the genius part, that’s me.

And it’s all set in small town Nebraska. Now THAT’S me. That’s the world I know.

In book #1 Of Mice…and Murder, the small town newspaper, I actually worked at one. The horrible, hilarious typos, we did that. You know there are a LOT of words in a newspaper. It’s seriously hard to get every SINGLE one of them right. The really funny mess-ups, I can’t even write them here, too awful.

Book #2 Pride and Pestilence Melnik builds a new library. This is inspired by the beautiful new library our town just built and how much work and fund raising and community support it took to get done.

Book #3 The Miceman Cometh is the effort (continued from the earlier books) to energize tiny (fictional) Melnik, Nebraska. Small towns struggle all the time to grow and provide services and keep folks in town to shop. But then if the town does grow, as it’s growing in Melnik, you have the dreaded newcomers, who don’t fit in. And who don’t understand how small towns work. They bring their weird big city ways and odd lifestyles. Small towns are pretty resistant to change, even as their in the midst of proclaiming all their changing and growing.

So get a peek of Mary-the-Lunatic within the pages of the Maxie Mouse Mysteries, and a really nice, if somewhat exaggerated, look at life in a small Nebraska town.

The basic rule of small town life

Everybody knows

That’s it.
The best thing and the worst thing about a small town is the same thing.
Everybody knows
If you need help, have a death, lose a job, are sick or injured, everybody knows. They’re at your door with food and lawnmowers and company and even cash.

If you mess up, humiliate yourself, get caught in some outrageous act (you ALWAYS get caught) everybody knows.

Welcome to Melnik
There is no escape