The coolest little town you’ve never heard of
by LynDee Walker
Cozy mystery: to readers, the words often evoke a specific set of expectations. An amateur sleuth, usually a woman, who is nosy by nature and finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation. She often has an interesting day job, lives in a small town, and has some sort of connection to the police department.
My Headlines in High Heels mystery series fits many of those, but the idyllic village setting was skipped over in favor of my adopted hometown of Richmond, Virginia. I’ve been asked why, and the truth is I can’t say: I love the city, and from the first moment Nichelle popped into my head, she was just there. Richmond was as much a part of the story as her shoes, and I never considered changing that.
But that’s not to say I don’t adore small towns. I grew up in a fairly large city, but in Texas, you can point a car in any direction and find a charming little burg complete with a square and maybe even a mercantile shop or soda fountain.
My husband and I have a favorite of these, one we discovered by accident on our last weekend getaway before we became parents. I bet you’ve never heard of it, but if you ever make it to Texas Hill Country, put it on your “must go” list: welcome to Gruene (pronounced “Green”), y’all.
Way back in the long long ago before there were children in our house, my darling and I were big fans of the weekend getaway (we still are, but they’re more complicated. And more expensive). Paging through an issue of Southern Living, I found a write-up on a charming little B&B in the Texas Hill Country that featured individual cabins spaced around the property. I called Darling and he said we must go.
So we did. And the place was every bit as charming as the magazine proclaimed it. But the best find was yet to come. As we were exploring the square in the nearby town of Wimberley, a shopkeeper asked if we were planning to eat at the Grist Mill.
She laughed at our blank expressions and gave us directions to the next town over, where we found the biggest restaurant I’ve ever seen. Several stories tall, it’s in an old cotton mill with tables out on the terrace overlooking the Guadalupe River. They have literally hundreds of tables, y’all, and the food is so good they had an hour wait the first night we went. Worth every second. To this day, it’s the best chicken fried steak I’ve ever eaten.
Wandering the square after dinner, we came upon Gruene Hall, which is another of the town’s local claims to fame. Because so many musicians live in the Hill Country, you can often stumble onto a big-name show with a small town feel. The venue is lovely and rustic, and not so large that you’d have trouble seeing the stage from anywhere in the room.
What else can you ask for from a vacation? Lovely location, great accommodations, amazing food, and top notch entertainment. All hidden along the banks of the Guadalupe River in central Texas.
If you go, have a lemonade and some cheesecake for me.
About This Author
LynDee Walker’s award-winning journalistic work has appeared in newspapers and magazines across the nation.
Her debut novel, FRONT PAGE FATALITY, is an amazon and Barnes & Noble #1 bestseller, and was nominated for the Agatha Award for Best First Novel. DEVIL IN THE DEADLINE is the fourth in LynDee’s Headlines in High Heels mystery series. The fifth arrives October 2015.
LynDee adores her family, her readers, and enchiladas. She often works out tricky plot points while walking off the enchiladas. She lives in Richmond, Virginia, where she is either playing with her children, working on her next novel, or admiring beautiful shoes she can’t wear.
Devil in the Deadline
A Headlines in High Heels Mystery
Henery Press (January 6, 2015)
Paperback: 268 pages
E-Book ASIN: B00ODQS5TU
When the Richmond police offer an exclusive in exchange for help with a case, nothing—not even a costume party—stops crime reporter Nichelle Clarke from making Manolo tracks to the crime scene. The hunt leads her to a televangelist’s compound in the Virginia countryside where the Reverend may be more interested in fat stacks of cash than he is saving wayward souls.
With two sexy guys tangled up in Nichelle’s story—and in her heart—work and love are on a crash course for disaster. Pressure pours in from every corner, including a faceless new competitor that means the deadline is always five minutes ago. As secrets threaten and the truth becomes her lifeline, Nichelle must unmask the killer and nail down the story before she’s snared in the carefully-constructed web.
Nichelle Clarke is a crime reporter with excellent taste in fine footwear and she doesn’t let those high heels hold her back when she needs to climb to the latest crime scene. The scene she finds is just ghastly and almost beyond words. But her new competition, a blogger, has no problem putting all the gruesome details out there. The big question is where is she getting her information. Nichelle is supposed to have an exclusive agreement with the cops! for her help in the investigation. That investigation puts Nichelle’s life in danger but she will do anything to get the story and catch a killer. It doesn’t hurt that she has her old high school boyfriend, now ATF Agent Kyle and a hunk like Joey with his questionable underworld ties watching her back, but can they keep her safe this time?
This entire series is absolutely awesome. Each story is just full of action, thrills, romance and humor too! LynDee Walker just keeps topping herself!
I love the characters! Nicey is such a strong woman and she is always on a deadline. This time she receives help from a very unlikely person. She also never knows when bad-boy Joey (no last name) will appear but his kisses never fail to curl her toes. Kyle is still interested in rekindling their romance and while she knows his last name and he would offer her a more stable life there is just no toe curling. But he isn’t giving up. I also like her editor at the paper. He seems like a man with common sense in an industry that is changing on a daily basis. He fights hard for his job and for Nichelle and makes an excellent sounding board for her.
The plot is fantastic. The crime seems to be pure evil and the twists really add to the suspense. We also learn more about Nichelle and the story ends with quite a cliffhanger. LynDee Walker’s journalist’s skills shine and have made her an excellent mystery writer.
January 14 – deal sharing aunt – Interview
January 15 – Musings and Ramblings – Review
January 16 – MysteriesEtc – Review
January 17 – off
January 18 – off
January 19 – Back Porchervations – Review
January 20 – Teresa Trent Author Site – Review, Interview
January 21 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Guest Post (Cozy Wednesday)
January 22 – Queen of All She Reads – Review
January 23 – Jane Reads – Review
January 24 – Babs Book Bistro – Interview
January 25 – off
January 26 – Shelley’s Book Case – Review
January 27 – Chloe Gets A Clue – Interview
January 28 – A Chick Who Reads – Review
January 29 – readalot – Review
January 30 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Interview
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”