Monday, March 9, 2009

Monday Mystery Theater


Buzzy’s body is found near his dormitory on a prep school campus. His roommate, Chip, is arrested for the murder.


How and why did Chip bump Buzzy off?


1. Chip had a “relatively” good reason to resent his roommate.
2. Buzzy had the right time, but the wrong story.


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

Monday, March 2, 2009

Monday Mystery Theater


A man is dead in a ring on a sunny afternoon. The man responsible for his death is arrested nearby with a small object in his hand.


Who killed the man? What was the object, and what part did it play in his death?


1. The man was killed in an act of blind rage.
2. Police made a “bull’s”-eye by arresting the perpetrator immediately.


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

Monday, February 23, 2009

Monday Mystery Theater


Something strange was happening on Elm Street. Every day, for three days straight, between 11:30 a.m. and noon, someone broke into the same empty townhouse, triggering a silent alarm. Each time, the police responded quickly, finding no evidence of theft or vandalism. On the fourth day, at 11:30 a.m., a police officer was lying in wait, hoping to catch the intruder when he or she struck—but no one came on that day, or any day after that.


Who was triggering the alarm? Why did it happen at approximately the same time for three days running?


1. The house belonged to a recently murdered man.
2. The mail carrier regularly arrived between 11:00 and 11:30 a.m.


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

Monday, February 16, 2009

Monday Mystery Theater


Jacques dies in the hospital. The doctor who treats him notices something unusual, and reports it to the police. Later, Jacques’ partner Cal is arrested for murder.


How did Jacques die? What did the doctor notice, and why was Cal arrested?


1. Jacques and Cal had been searching for treasure.
2. The doctor made a “timely” discovery.


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

Monday, February 9, 2009

Monday Mystery Theater


The Emperor’s jade cricket box had been stolen from the imperial bedchamber. The chief of guards had narrowed the suspects down to two palace servants. Because neither would confess, the Emperor had decided to execute them both.

Then the court magician intervened. Through his magic arts, he would identify the true thief so that the innocent man could live. The emperor consented to this plan, and gathered both suspects into his courtyard.

The magician asked each servant to cut a stalk of bamboo. He then shoved the two bamboo stalks into the ground, exposing only the upper foot of each stalk. He then said, “Each bamboo now holds the spirit of the man who cut it. At dawn, when we return to this spot, we will know which man stole the box.” He then explained how his magic would work.


What was the magician’s explanation of his magic plan? And how did he identify the guilty servant at dawn?


1. This might have been the original Pinocchio story.
2. The courtyard was left unguarded that night.


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

Friday, February 6, 2009

Fun Friday

This week, Spyglass Lane is showcasing Murder on the Ol' Bunions by S. Dionne Moore. To learn more about the LaTisha Barnhart Mystery Series, check out her website!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Short Story Mystery

Sweet Charity by Elizabeth Ludwig
Special FOUR part series!

Part 4

Charity’s heart turned to ice inside her chest. “Ambrose, I can explain.”

Before she could utter another word, Luisa scrambled from beneath Charity’s heavy skirts. “It was all her fault!” she screamed. “She said she would make her padre fire me, toss me into the streets to beg.”

Clasping her bone-thin hands before her face, Luisa advanced steadily upon Ambrose. “Por favor, Señor,” she pleaded, tears welling in her eyes, “you no let them blame the senoritas death on poor Luisa. Only you can prove what really happened to the lady, to Miss Jasmine.”

For several seconds, Charity was too shocked to speak, and then, all at once, she sensed Luisa’s evil intention. Fear pounded inside her chest. “Luisa, no. You mustn’t.”

Luisa refused to be deterred. She edged closer to Ambrose, her black eyes gleaming. Darting forward, Charity grabbed the wily maid by the wrist and yanked. Turning with a shriek, Luisa’s hand thrust forward and an object, sharp and shiny, scraped down Charity’s arm.

Horror widened Luisa’s eyes as she realized what she’d done. “Oh, my chica, no!” She stared at the object lying on her palm, a silver pin, and then tossed it to the floor with a wail. She leapt forward, just in time to clutch Charity by the shoulders as she slumped to the floor alongside Jasmine.

“Why you did not let me finish him? Only the doctor, with his skills, could have proven our guilt. No one else would ever have known!”

Charity groaned as the curare she and Luisa had used to coat the pin entered her bloodstream. It would only be moments now, until she joined Jasmine in deadly repose. As two men from the crowd took Luisa into custody, Charity stretched her hand toward Ambrose, pleading.

With tears streaming down his face, Ambrose hunched next to Charity’s side. “Why, beloved? What possessed you to do such an evil thing?”

Smiling, Charity let her eyelids slip closed. “I could never let that vixen, Jasmine, sink her claws into you, my darling. I would have done anything to keep her from taking you from me.” She paused to draw a final shuddering breath then exhaled one last word on a sigh. “Anything. . .”

Stay tuned next week for a brand new Short Story Mystery!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Monday Mystery Theater


A man’s body floats ashore on a New Jersey beach. No one ever identifies it.


How and why did he die?


1. The man was a German.
2. The man’s demise occurred just before World War II.


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

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Special Feature!!

Worth It's Weight in Old
K.D. Hays

PAINTINGS SLASHED. . . FURNITURE BROKEN . . . SOMEONE IS WREAKING HAVOC AT THE BLUE MOON ART & ANTIQUES GALLERY.Fledgling private investigator Karen Maxwell goes undercover as a salesclerk to find out who’s behind the vandalism—and why. She learns little from Vicki, a friendly clerk who, aside from her designer clothes and sports car, seems interested only in rearranging pictures to display them to maximum advantage. Eric, the shop’s surly, tight-lipped porter, would run her over with a hand truck before he’d answer any questions. The guilt may even lay with the shop owners themselves, despite the fact that they’re the ones who hired her.Karen’s investigation seems to be going nowhere. . .just like her once-promising relationship with Brian, the handsome blacksmith who could sweep her off her feet in a minute—if he’d ever take a break from working with the church youth group. If Karen can’t crack the case soon, she may find herself busted back to plain and old office manager, and her dreams of a career as a private investigator—and a life with Brian—as old and busted as the Blue Moon’s vandalized antiques.

About the Author

Like my heroine, I am a "soccer mom" living in an old town that has become a suburb of Baltimore. But unlike my heroine, I am still happily married, active in my church, and visit every historical site I can manage. It took me almost 35 years to realize that I'd always wanted to be a writer. During those years, I worked at a variety of different jobs, serving as everything from a bookkeeper and preschool teaching assistant to newspaper columnist, hostess in a hospitality suite at Nascar races, and corporate attorney for a pest control company. Being a mom is best the job of all, but I have to say that writing books runs a close second.

And now an excerpt . . .
I found myself smiling back. “I’m here to see Mr. Photopoulos. For a job interview. I’m Karen Maxwell.”
She reached out to shake my hand. Her grip was firm and sure, just like everything else about her. “I’m Vicki Bourbonnais, nice to meet you.” Then she waved me in as if she were inviting me into her home. “Come right in. I’ll tell them you’re here.” I wondered if she was related to the owners.
But her pale, lightly freckled features and petite figure bore no resemblance to the dark coloring and large frame of George Photopoulos, owner of the Blue Moon. He was in the back of the store, bent over, examining the underside of a large, ornate cabinet.
I hung back. No one wants to meet someone with their rear end first.
“Mr. P?” Vicki announced with perfect perky flight attendant intonation. “Karen Maxwell is here to see you.”

“Ah, she is? Good.” His voice boomed as he waved toward a door in the corner. “Send her back to the office.”

Vicki led the way with gestures that made me feel I should be stowing my tray table for takeoff. From the showroom floor, we entered a dark, narrow space with a ceiling that stretched to unfathomable, unlit heights. The only light came from a series of small, wrought-iron wall sconces with battered paper shades. Most of the room was taken up by a scruffy tweed sofa and massive old desks stacked with paper.

“Mrs. P?” Vicki called as she walked in. “Karen Maxwell is here to meet with you and Mr. P.”

At first, I had no idea who she was talking to. All I could see were piles of paper and books. Then, from behind one of the piles, a woman appeared suddenly, her face and hair as dark as that of her husband, but her facial features were small and pointed, where his were large and blunt. “We’re glad you’re here, Mrs. Maxwell,” she said, her voice harsh and raspy, but friendly nevertheless.

I tried not to cringe. I hate being called Mrs. Maxwell, since I’ve been divorced for five years. I am simply Ms. Maxwell unless I decide to go back to using my always-mispronounced maiden name. Of course, the more important issue was her obvious relief at seeing me. It was vitally important for the employees to think I was just another one of them. “Yes, I understand you’ve been shorthanded lately,” I said quickly, hoping Vicki believed the explanation. “And that you need someone to help so you and Mr. Photopoulos can work on some other projects.”

She opened her mouth to say something else but closed it again when Mr. Photopoulos lumbered into the room, instantly filling it with his presence.

“Er, thanks, Vicki,” his voice rumbled. “You can go back out front now.”

With a smile and a gesture that almost looked like a curtsey, Vicki disappeared.

Mr. Photopoulos closed the door behind her with great deliberation, testing it to see if it had latched. Then he put his ear to the door as if to listen for her retreating footsteps. He motioned for me to sit down on a spindly wooden chair while he sank into a cracked leather armchair. “Okay, Mrs. Maxwell.” His voice dropped to a raspy whisper. “What do you need to know before you start?”

“Well, start by telling me,” I whispered back, “if we really need to whisper.” I glanced at the exposed stone walls on two sides of the room. The other two walls were old plaster and seemed solid enough to prevent the transmission of much sound.

“No, we don’t,” Mrs. Photopoulos said flatly.

Mr. Photopoulos looked a little sheepish.

I pulled a pad of paper and pen out of my bag. “So, tell me why you called us.”

Mr. Photopoulos frowned. “I told your brother—that was your brother I talked to, wasn’t it?”

“Yes,” I nodded. “You talked to him when you first called a few weeks back. But I want to hear the whole story directly from you.” Clients often remembered information they hadn’t mentioned the first time around. And I didn’t always trust Dave’s notes. He has a dangerous tendency to spill food on the important details.

“Well,” Mr. Photopoulos’s voice began to drop in volume again, “we think that it might be possible that there’s a chance that—”

“One of our employees is damaging the merchandise,” Mrs. Photopoulos cut in. “Deliberately. On purpose.”

“Why?” I left my question as vague as possible to see what they’d give me.

“We don’t care why,” she snapped back. “We just want it stopped. It’s costing us a fortune.”

Mr. Photopoulos looked thoughtful. “Might be a way to make money outta it.”

“How can we make money selling damaged goods?” his wife demanded shrilly.

“Not us.” He waved his massive arm toward the showroom. “The person doing the damaging. Might be making money off it somehow.”

After looking at them each in turn for a moment to see if they would reveal anything else, I continued my questioning. “So why do you think merchandise is being damaged deliberately? Tell me what has happened.”

Mr. Photopoulos resettled himself in his chair, which creaked faintly in protest. “Well, it started a while back.”

“October 2,” his wife interjected.

“Some furniture arrived from an estate sale in Glyndon. There was a wonderful Shaker-style dining set. But two of the chairs had broken legs.” He shook his head. “They weren’t like that when I purchased the set.”

“Couldn’t they have been damaged by whoever packed up and moved the furniture?”

“Yes. But it’s our guy who brought it down for us.”

“Eric, one of our porters.” Mrs. Photopoulos added.

“So do you think Eric is damaging merchandise?”

“Maybe. The next thing we noticed was a tall clock. A piece of molding was chipped off and the case was dented.”

“An accident?”


Mrs. Photopoulos leaned forward. “But then we had artwork getting damaged.”

To read more of Worth It's Weight in old be sure to subscribe to Heartsong Mysteries

Other Heartsong Mysteries by K.D. Hays:
George Washington Stepped Here
Karen Maxwell, a divorced mother of two, is struggling to balance her life as a soccer mom with her need to have a life of her own. After working as a bookkeeper in her brother's private investigation firm for years, she finally gets the chance to go undercover and handle a case on her own. Her first assignment is to find out who has stolen the local historical society's greatest treasure. Along the way she makes some new friends, one of whom is very attractive, unmarried, and unfortunately a prime suspect in the case.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Fun Friday

This week, Spyglass Lane is showcasing Miss Aggie's Gone Missing by Frances Devine. Check out all of the books in the Misadventure of Miss Aggie Mystery Series!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Short Story Mystery

Sweet Charity by Elizabeth Ludwig
Special FOUR part series!

Part 3

“Ouch!” Jasmine’s lips parted in surprise. Her eyes widened and then, soft as a whisper, she slipped from Charity’s embrace to the floor.

“Jasmine? Are you all right?” Charity backed away from Jasmine’s limp form—far enough so everyone in the room could see her hands were empty. Among the guests, gasps and questions clamored.

“Jasmine?” Concern colored Ambrose’s voice as he knelt at Jasmine’s side. He touched her cheek, his brow furrowing. After a moment, his fingers went to her neck where he checked for a pulse. Jerking his head to the puzzled crowd he ordered, “Someone fetch my bag!”

Footsteps pounded the floor as someone, Charity didn’t see who, ran to obey. Curious, she inched forward, despite Luisa’s warning earlier, before they’d left her room. Death sharpened Jasmine’s pale features, made her even more beautiful in repose. Jealousy unfurled in Charity’s stomach like a banner.

“Is she—will she be all right?” she asked, as though she did not already know the answer.

Instead of answering, Ambrose stared at the floor, toward a spot near Charity’s feet. He stretched his hand forward. She backed away, but Ambrose followed, fingers reaching. Finally, he snatched at her skirt and raised the hem high. His head lifted and anguish filled his face. “Charity,” he groaned, “what have you done?”

For Discussion: What did Ambrose see that made him suspect Charity of murder?

Stay tuned next week for Part 4 of Sweet Charity.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Monday Mystery Theater


Mimi McKay, a cut-throat Hollywood gossip columnist, is found dead in the water.


Who murdered Mimi, how, and why?


1. Mimi had a late appointment for a massage and whirlpool.
2. The whirlpool attendant was found unconscious.


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

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Treasure Under Finny's Nose
by Dana Mentink

It’s the 150th anniversary of the wreck of the Triton, a ship that foundered off the coast of Finny, California. A team of college students arrives to fi lm a documentary, and a pregnant Ruth is pressed into service. She must reenact the life of survivor Indigo
Orson, a woman who managed the perils of gold rush California by disguising herself as a man. Indigo’s writing reveals there was treasure aboard the Triton, a treasure shrouded in secrecy.
While her beloved husband, Monk, is away, Ruth stumbles on the body of one of the film crew. His death turns out to be the furthest thing from an accident. Adding to the chaos, Ruth’s estranged son arrives and Monk’s niece faces heartbreak at the hands of Finny’s police detective. Faced with murder, mayhem, and mommyhood, Ruth had better find some answers fast.

About the Author

DANA MENTINK enjoys writing in many different capacities. Her three book mystery series, beginning with Trouble Up Finny’s Nose, debuted in 2008 with Heartsong Presents Mysteries. She also writes for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense line. She enjoyed contributing to Tyndale’s Life Savors for Women and writing a traffic safety storybook for twenty local elementary schools.

Dana spent her college years competing in speech and debate tournaments all around the country. Besides writing, she busies herself teaching Sunday school, taste testing for the National Food Lab and freelancing for a local newspaper, covering stories about everything from bees to burrowing owls. When she’s not working on inspirational suspense for Harlequin, or cozy mysteries for Barbour Books, she is a cookbook reviewer for the newspaper.A former teacher, Dana enjoys life in the Golden State, living out her passion to write. Dana’s husband works for the fire department. They met doing a dinner theater production of the Velveteen rabbit. Long time California residents, they enjoy regular trips to Yosemite and the gorgeous Monterey Bay area. They have two daughters.

And now an excerpt. . .

       The birds swarmed back and forth, playing tag with the waves. They kept away from the few able bodied birds that poked in the sand. It made her sad, that her birds knew instinctively that they were not part of that wild flock anymore. She wondered if they felt a pang when they saw their able bodied brothers fly away on graceful wings. Did they realize they were forever earth bound?
       She walked carefully around the slick boulders, keeping an eye on Franklin. He was her delicate bird, after losing an eye and a foot to a cat. The vet had fashioned him a little plastic tube that slipped on his leg to protect his stump and help with balance. He despised having the contraption put on, but it helped him keep up or at least out of the way of the others.
       Looking back she saw Alva with his plastic shovel, digging for treasure. The image brought back the words of Isabel Ortiz. As she watched the gray waves scour the sand, she wondered what it had been like for the servant woman to cling to the wreckage and watch the people die all around her. All those people and their possessions, lost to the arms of an angry ocean.
       Franklin hobbled ahead and disappeared around yet another jagged rock.
       “Don’t go too far,” Ruth scolded. “I’m in no position to attempt a water rescue.”
       She edged around the obstruction.
       Franklin poked his slender beak in a pile of slippery black kelp.
       Ruth took another glance at the oddly shaped mound of seaweed.
       Her mouth went dry.
       “Alva,” she called in a shaky voice. “Can you come here for a second?”
       He trotted over, still holding onto the bucket. “Good news. I found a can opener. Ain’t that handy? You just never know when you’re gonna need a can opener. It don’t seem hardly rusted at all. Wonder why someone threw it away?”
       She pointed. “Take a look over there, Alva. Is that what I think it is?”
       The old man squinted, mashing a fist into his eyes before he peered again. “Well, would you look at that. It ain’t no sea monster.” He patted his pockets.
       Ruth fought hard against the bile that rose in her throat. It took all her strength of will to contain the scream that coalesced inside her. After a moment, she got her vocal chords to cooperate. “Alva, I think you better call the police.”
       “Who me? I ain’t got a phone, Sweet Cheeks.” He found the pencil and notebook. “I gotta add this to my report.” He licked the pencil point and began to write with relish. “Saturday. Seven fifty- five. We found ourselves a body.”

To read more of Treasure Under Finny's Nose be sure to subscribe to Heartsong Mysteries

Other Heartsong Mysteries by Dana:

Fog Over Finny's Nose
The worm business is thriving for vermi-culturist Ruth Budge. . . until a disembodied toe turns up on the golf course, and members of a strange cult begin to infiltrate the quiet seaside town of Finny, California.
Life is already crazy for forty-seven-year-old Ruth, juggling the needs of her worm farm, her new spouse, and a platoon of crippled seabirds bequeathed to her by her dead husband. Then there’s the insanity swirling around the first ever Finny Fog Festival and the discovery of a bizarre diary from one of the town’s seediest ancestors.
Things go from misty to murderous as a man plummets to his death from an exploding hot air balloon. Is the craziness a byproduct of the festival or a decades-old curse unearthed in the antique diary? Ruth had better find out fast or her worms won’t be the only things six feet under.

Trouble Up Finny's Nose

Dead bodies in the fountain? The discovery of her late husband's secret novel? Come join Ruth Budge in the not so quiet town of Finny, California where trouble doesn't stay buried for long.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Fun Friday

This week, Spyglass Lane is showcasing Fudge Laced Felonies by Cynthia Hickey. To learn more about the Summer Meadows Mystery series, check out her website!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Mystery Door

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

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Riding Off Into the Sunset

When we started Mystery Author up again after the first of the year, I titled the first column "Mystery Author Rides Again." Unfortunately, the ride was shorter than I expected.

Mystery Author was a feature for Heartsong mystery authors, but the publisher who produced these wonderful mysteries has decided to discontinue the line. The authors who were a part of this great club are sad to see it end, but we understand that sometimes tough decisions must be made. So many great things were accomplished through the club. All of us have picked up new readers - and that's a super blessing!

Today will be my last post on Spyglass Lane as Mystery Author rides off into the sunset. Thanks to everyone who participated. It was fun, wasn't it? Please take the time to check out your favorite Heartsong mystery authors on their various Web sites. Almost all of us have blogs or Web sites and would love to hear from you. Cindy Hickey and I are over on Mainly Mystery. Stop by and say "Hello!" We have interviews, giveaways, and lots of fun. And if you have a few minutes, let your favorite Heartsong authors know how much you've appreciated their books. It will mean a lot to them!

Our very last winner on Mystery Author is Abi, who rightly guessed that last week's author was K.D. Hays. She will receive a copy of Kate's latest Heartsong mystery: "Worth Its Weight in Old."

Thanks again to all of you. May God bless you abundantly - even above what you can ask or think.


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Short Story Mystery

Sweet Charity by Elizabeth Ludwig
Special FOUR part series!

Part 2

Charity’s gown rustled softly as she descended the grand staircase of her family’s plantation home. She looked beautiful thanks to Luisa’s careful ministrations. The admiring gasps of her guests proved that. Still, it was one pair of eyes she sought, one adoring smile—those belonging to her fiancé, Dr. Ambrose Washburn.

“Why, Charity Merriweather. You are a vision.”

Charity froze at the sound of her rival’s voice. Her hand gripping the rail tightly, she let her foot settle on the bottom step and turned to face Jasmine. She stood next to Charity’s beloved Ambrose, her fingers curled possessively about his arm.

Rage streaked through Charity, but she forced a smile. “As are you, dear Jasmine.”

Jasmine’s fan fluttered coyly. She dipped her head, her raven curls gleaming in the candlelight. “Nonsense. What am I compared to you in all your. . .” she indicated the mountainous yards of Charity’s voluminous gown with a tip of her fan, “splendor?”

Titters from a few of Charity’s so-called friends set her blood to boiling. Any misgivings she’d had about the plan she and Luisa concocted in her bedchamber fled, replaced by icy determination.

She took a step forward, her mind focused on one sole purpose—disposing of Jasmine McDrew once and for all.
For Discussion: What plan has Charity cooked up for Jasmine?
Stay tuned next week for Part 3 of Sweet Charity.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Monday Mystery Theater


Eileen was happy! Today was her wedding anniversary. To celebrate, she and her husband Bobby went for a long ride in the country, followed by a picnic on a secluded riverbank. Sometime during the meal, Eileen returned to the car, retrieved Bobby’s revolver from the glove compartment and fired four slugs into her startled husband.


What made Eileen kill her husband?


1. Eileen smelled a rat.
2. The blanket couldn’t quite “cover up” Bobby’s activities.


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

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Special Feature!!

Kitty Litter Killer
Candice Miller Speare

About the Author

CANDICE SPEARE lives in Maryland surrounded by corn fields and cattle. She writes for Heartsong Presents: Mysteries. Her first book, Murder in the Milk Case, came out in January 2008. The two other books in the series will follow in the following months. Candice is also the content review for Heartsong's cozy mysteries, working closely with editor Susan Downs. Besides plotting fictional murder and mayhem, she is an amateur photographer and fiddles with digital images. She also enjoys exercise--well, mostly. Rumors of her eccentricities are true.

To read more of Kitty Litter Killer subscribe to Heartsong Mysteries

Other Heartsong Mysteries by Candice:

Band Room Bash

None of the kids at Four Oaks High School like cold, beautiful Ms. Georgia Winters, the new English teacher. But that shouldn't be a reason to murder her, right? Or is it. . . Trish Cunningham and oldest stepson, Tommy, find Georgia dead in the band room with her head bashed in. The suspect list grows and the charges might be assault with a deadly. . .bassoon. Then again, maybe not. Once again, Trish pulls out her notebook to collect clues. But Detective Eric Scott, who is suffering his own personal issues with Trish's best friend, Abbie, pointedly asks Trish to butt out. Despite Detective Scott's warnings, she jumps in as usual and finds herself embroiled in a mystery that has its roots in thwarted love and revenge. The finale could be Trish's swan song.

Murder in the Milkcase

When mommy and wife Trish Cunningham finds the body of pharmacist Jim Bob Jenkins behind the two-percent milk, she knows she's having a bad day. Worse, she's a suspect in the case. Sleuthing to exonerate herself from murder charges, she shakes up a murderer who has nothing to lose by killing anyone in the way including Trish.

Friday, January 16, 2009

End of the Line for Barbour Cozy Mysteries

I received a sad bit of news this week. Due to financial pressures, Barbour has made the difficult decision to cancel its cozy mystery line. What does this mean for cozy mystery readers? Check out the following article posted by Rebecca Germany, Senior Editor at Barbour Publishing:

2008 was the season for the cozy mystery romance at Barbour. We spent 2 years planning for our new book club. We built a strong team of managing editor and authors who worked hard on both content and marketing of the books. Then we launched the club early 2008 based on strong initial membership drives.
All was going well until our early fall membership drive (traditionally a strong time for adding new members) hit at the same time as the news from Wall Street about the financial crisis. The membership drive had the worst response that we have ever experienced or even heard of in the industry. At that point, to save the club would have required major investment dollars. By the end of 2008, we knew that the national financial climate would not allow for a marketing gamble on something that was still new and unproven.

2008 was a pretty good year overall for Barbour, but with 2009 looking to be a hard one for retailers, we know we have to tighten our belt and keep our money where we are confident it can give us the most return. So, for that reason, we will be closing the Heartsong Presents Mystery Romance Club. We have a couple more shipments that will go out, then books we have contracted will be used in other ways. Most likely they will go into 3-in-1 collections like Cozy in Kansas and Alibis in Arkansas. These 2 books released in late fall 2008 and had very good sales showings over Christmas. We hope you cozy mystery lovers out there will look for these books and support your author friends by buying them.

To read the complete article, check out The Edit Cafe.
We here at Spyglass Lane have enjoyed introducing you to these fun-filled mysteries, and we look forward to many successful ventures at Barbour Publishing. As the weeks roll on, you will continue to see fun games and puzzles posted. When the job queue expires, we'll bid you farewell. Until then, continue to enjoy all the Heartsong Presents Mysteries books have to offer!

Fun Friday

This week, Spyglass Lane is showcasing Kitty Litter Killer by Candice Miller Speare. To learn more about the Trish Cunningham Mystery Series, check out her website!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Mystery Door

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

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Time for another Mystery Author! Congratulations to "Reborn Butterfly" who wins a signed copy of Dana Mentink's newest book, TREASURE UNDER FINNY'S NOSE!

Here the the clues for our next author. Remember, you must leave a comment, along with your e-mail address to be entered into our drawing for a copy of our Mystery Author's latest Heartsong mystery novel.

Here goes!

Welcome, Mystery Author! Where do you hail from?

I’m from Chicago originally, but I’ve lived in Maryland for the last 16 years, so I consider both to be “home.” Fortunately, my favorite baseball and football teams play in different leagues so I can be loyal to all of them.

How many books have you written (and had published) in the Heartsong Mystery book club?

I have two books out in the book club. I guess if I give you the titles, that makes it pretty easy to guess who I am...

Tell us something you like to do besides writing.

I have one hobby that would be a dead giveaway to anyone who read my first book, so I’ll skip that one. I’m going to say jumping rope with my daughter. (That won’t come into play until the third book, so it’s not much of a hint!)

In three words, can you describe the romance in your latest Heartsong mystery novel?

Theatrical (meaning that a lot of it takes place in a theater during play practice)

Describe one item on the cover of your most recent Heartsong mystery.

A grandfather clock

Do you have a hint you’d like to drop to our readers?

I think my books may be the only ones that don’t involve murders.

Thanks, Mystery Author!

Short Story Mystery

Sweet Charity by Elizabeth Ludwig
Special FOUR part series!

Part 1

“Jasmine McDrew is a man-stealing, gossip-spreading flirt, and I hate her.”

Charity jabbed a hairpin into her voluminous curls, followed quickly by a second, and then a third.

“Now, Meez Charity, why you do not let me finish your hair?” Lit by the flicker of candles, the bronze face of Charity’s maid, Luisa, appeared even warmer as she peered at Charity in the mirror. She reached up and wound one of Charity’s blond curls around her stubby finger. “You will only ruin what I’ve worked so hard over, chica.”

Charity twisted to glare at her maid. Though balanced precariously on a footstool, she still barely came to Charity’s shoulder. “I can’t help it, Luisa. I just know Jasmine has set her cap for my Ambrose. I’ll do anything to stop her from sinking her claws into him. Anything!”

Cooing in Venezuelan, Luisa gently pried a pin from Charity’s fingers and proceeded to insert it properly in Charity’s hair. “There.” She patted the last lock into place and stood back to admire her handiwork. “You are muy bonita. Why you worry about that devilish Jasmine McDrew, anyway? She is like a weed next to you. The doctor, Señor Ambrose, would be a fool to look at anyone else.”

Charity’s heart melted at the mention of her fiancé. Tonight was supposed to be their night, when they celebrated their engagement with loved ones and friends at her family’s plantation home. Instead, here she sat worrying once again about that vile, fiancé-grabbing Jasmine.

Her fingers curled into fists. She meant what she’d said to Luisa. She would do anything to stop Jasmine from getting her hands on Ambrose.


Stay tuned next week for Part 2 of Sweet Charity.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Monday Mystery Theater


Swami Morishi was on a hunger strike until his followers could raise two million dollars to pay off the mortgage on their cult compound.

Even into the third week of his fast, the Swami kept to his routine. He would meditate in the mornings, then meet privately with Michelle, his second-in-command, to work on any business. He would then teach in the afternoons and in the evenings tour the compound.

One night, right after his tour of the kitchen, the Swami collapsed. Michelle was called from her cabin and rushed to the scene. By the time the ambulance arrived, the Swami was already dead.

Michelle took over the cult leadership until a week later when she was arrested for murder. The Swami had been poisoned with cyanide.


How did Michelle poison a man who had sworn not to eat anything?


1. The Swami followed a deadly routine.
2. In some cases the cure is worse than the disease.


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

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Special Feature !!

Another Hour to Kill
Anita Higman

Bailey has survived the mysteries of Volstead Manor, but her latest threats are more ominous than ever. Did her neighbor B.J. die of natural causes? Or was he murdered? And why does the new neighbor, Vlad Tepes, seem to always be watching her?While searching for a lost treasure and planning a wedding the size of an amusement park, Bailey must discover what monster is still lurking in the neighborhood. Will she unravel the puzzle in time, or will Bailey merely provide the villain with Another Hour to Kill?

About the Author

ANITA HIGMAN hopes to give her audience a "Gasp and a Giggle" when they read her mysteries. She's the award-winning author of nineteen books. Anita has a B.A. in speech communication, and she's a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. Anita enjoys hiking with her family, visiting show caves, and cooking brunch for her friends.

To read Another Hour to Kill be sure to subscribe to: Heartsong Presents Mysteries

Other Heartsong Mysteries by Anita:

Another Stab at Life

She has nowhere to go, except the dilapidated mansion she's just inherited from her Granny Minna. Unfortunately, Bailey discovers the house has a history as shadowy as its hidden passages and finds the neighborhood overflowing with some rather quirky folks. Bailey suddenly feels like she's trapped inside the pages of a gothic novel - but with a comedic twist. In order to honor her grandmother's wishes and stay at Volstead Manor Bailey must unravel a string of mysteries and secrets, which all seem determined to stay happily ever buried.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Fun Friday

This week, Spyglass Lane is showcasing George Washington Stepped Here by K.D. Hayes. Check out all the books in The Karen Maxwell Mystery Series!