Sassy and Bridgy meet Ellery Queen


Did you ever wonder about the first day Sassy Cabot and Bridgy Mayfield arrived in Fort Myers Beach? Were they excited to begin their new lives? Were they exhausted from a long day of travel from Brooklyn to Florida? Most likely excitement and exhaustion are to be expected. But murder? Who expects murder? And yet…

I am delighted to tell you the short story “A Killing at the Beausoleil,” prequel to Well Read, Then Dead and Caught Read-Handed has been published in the November 2015 issue of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, available now. And I am greatly honored to join the authors who have stories in this stellar edition of EQMM, including Carolyn Hart and Brendan DuBois who have both been generous enough to give the Read ‘Em and Eat series excellent blurbs.


Caught Read-Handed gets around

Well it’s been nearly a month since Caught Read-Handed was released. I am so pleased that friends have been sending me pictures showing the book on it’s travels.

Thanks Karen Kenyon

Thanks Karen Kenyon

Thanks Laura Bradford

Thanks Laura Bradford

Thanks Tommy Ragusa

Thanks Tommy Ragusa

Thanks Karen Owen

Thanks Karen Owen

I cannot tell you how happy it makes me to have friends and readers send these great pictures to me on Facebook. So if you have a picture, please find me there and I will post it on the website.

Well Read, Then Dead, Agatha Award, Best First Novel

I am delighted to let you know that at this years’s Malice Domestic conference Well Read, Then Dead won the  Agatha Award for Best First Novel. The Agatha Banquet is always a joyful event and for me this year was especially grand. Here is a picture of Fan Guest of Honor Bill Starck presenting me with the coveted Agatha teapot.


The memory of the evening will last a lifetime and so will the gratitude I feel at knowing that so many readers love Well Read, Then Dead as much as I do.



Large Print, Large News



I am delighted to announce that  Wheeler Publishing has released the Large Print edition of Well Read, Then Dead.

As my poor eyes have aged (along with the rest of me) I find myself taking large print books out of the lending library more and more frequently, so I am delighted to finally have a copy of Well Read, Then Dead that I can read without wearing my eye glasses.

And I, as well as everyone with aging eyes like mine, would be delighted if you let your local librarian know that you’d love to see a copy of Well Read, Then Dead on the Large Print book shelves.

Caught Read-Handed, July 2015


From the national bestselling author of Well Read, Then Dead comes the second mystery featuring Sassy Cabot and Bridgy Mayfield, who bring Fort Myers Beach, Florida, residents plenty of sinful treats and killer reads at their bookstore café, Read ’Em and Eat.

Happy to help her fellow bibliophiles, Sassy visits the local library with book donations for the annual fundraising sale. Unfortunately, the welcoming readers’ haven is in turmoil as an argument erupts between an ornery patron and new library volunteer, Tanya Lipscome—also known as “Tanya Trouble.”

She may lack people skills, but everyone is shocked when Tanya is later found murdered in her own hot tub. The man last seen arguing with her is soon arrested. But Alan Mersky, a veteran with PTSD, happens to be the brother of Sassy’s former boss—and he’s no murderer. Now it’s up to Sassy and Bridgy to clear Alan’s name and make sure the real killer gets booked.

Includes a recipe for Miss Marple scones!


Well Read, Then Dead Nominated for Agatha Award

I am delighted to tell anyone who will listen (and even those folks who are tired of hearing it) that Well Read, Then Dead has been nominated for the Agatha Award for Best First Novel, alongside Circle of Influence by Annette Dashofy, Tagged for Death by Sherry Harris, Finding Sky by Susan O’Brien and Murder Strikes a Pose by Tracy Weber. One of the five finalists will be awarded the famous teapot at the Agatha Banquet to be held at Malice Domestic on Saturday May 2, 2015.

And here is the definition of the Agatha Awards directly from the Malice website:

The Agatha Awards honor the “traditional mystery.” That is to say, books best typified by the works of Agatha Christie as well as others. For our purposes, the genre is loosely defined as mysteries that:

  • contain no explicit sex
  • contain no excessive gore or gratuitous violence

Materials generally classified as “hard-boiled” are not appropriate.

So, you might ask, how does an Agatha nominee celebrate her good fortune? Well for one thing, she makes a delicious ice cream pie, complete with brownie bits and buttercream frosting. The grandkids pronounced it delicious. You can see the remnants here:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And then we decided to pitch a tent on grandma’s patio. Well, in that activity there will be no awards for grandma. After about an hour I was politely dismissed and the kids did a much better job without me—so there.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

When all is said and done, apart from occasional forays in the kitchen, it appears I am more useful at the computer keyboard than anywhere else.

A Day at the Fort Myers Beach Library

Recently I had the opportunity to speak to some fascinating folks at the glorious Fort Myers Beach public library. fmblib2

In September 1955 a group of volunteers opened the first library on Estero Island in this tiny cottage. I can well imagine that if eight or ten visitors showed up at the same time to browse through the latest offerings, there would not be enough room inside the building for them all. To put the era in a literary context, the New York Times best seller list for late September that year included: AUNTIE MAME by Patrick Dennis, THE MAN IN THE GRAY FLANNEL SUIT by Sloan Wilson, and NO TIME FOR SERGEANTS, by Mac Hyman. fmblibbldg

Through the years the volunteer library grew until today it is a stunning three story building complete with an impressive collection and a very homey atmosphere filled with an outstanding collection of art. For example, the elevator is glass and a local artist painted fabulous underwater designs on the shaft. I could ride up and down the elevator all day feeling as if I were on snorkeling adventure.fmblibelev

My friend Denise and I stopped for lunch at the café on the third floor where, along with chicken salad and walnut sandwiches, we had a gorgeous view of the Gulf of Mexico. We were greeted by Library Director Dr. Leroy Hommerding who showed us to a community room where some local residents and I had a lively conversation about Fort Myers Beach, the fictitious Read ’Em and Eat Café and Book Corner (setting of WELL READ,THEN DEAD) and, since there were a number of other writers in the room, we spent a fair amount of time talking about the process of writing. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAll in all I had a grand time. How could I go wrong  having splendid conversation with readers and writers in such an inviting setting? And as a parting tidbit, I can tell you that the community library (under a fictional name) plays a prominent role in CAUGHT READ-HANDED, the next book in the Read ’Em and Eat series.