I am excited to welcome Linda Crowder as my Special Guest Today!
I love reading cozy mysteries. I started with Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys, worked my way up to Cherry Ames, Student Nurse then hit the jackpot with Agatha Christie. I also enjoy reading Lilian Jackson Braun, Rita Mae Brown, Steve Demaree and Debora Garner. Cozies often feature ordinary people who, when they find themselves in the middle of a crime spree, take matters into their own hands instead of waiting for the police to solve the case.
Reading cozies is a great escape from the gritty reality of everyday life. There’s a little danger, a little romance, a little humor and a great puzzle to solve. What you won’t find in a cozy is gore, graphic sex or strings of profanity and that’s another reason I love to read them.
Part of the charm of a cozy is identifying with the characters and trying to guess who the murderer might be before the author reveals it. Have you ever wondered if you have what it takes to star in your own cozy mystery? Let’s find out!
1. When taking a walk, you stumble across the body of a man. Quick, what is the first thing you do?
a. Run away, screaming at the top of your lungs.
b. Step away from the body to avoid contaminating the scene and calmly call 9-1-1.
c. Check the body for clues, one of which you absently put in your pocket, thinking it has nothing to do with the murder.
2. When told by the police to keep your nose out of the investigation, what do you do?
a. Pack a suitcase, them go visit your mother out of state until the murderer is behind bars.
b. Agree to comply, then go back to work, trying to forget the horror of finding a body.
c. Promise to comply, but spy on the person you think is the killer when you see them acting suspicious.
3. Who do you turn to when you need help breaking into the suspected murderer’s office?
a. Are you kidding? I’m staying out of town until the murderer is behind bars!
b. I would never break into someone’s home or office. I’d leave it to the police, who would have a search warrant.
c. My BFF, of course! If she can’t come, I’d drag along my reluctant husband (or boyfriend or ex-boyfriend – you get the idea).
4. What kind of job do you have?
a. Job? Who cares about jobs when there’s a murderer loose? I’ll get a new one when I get home.
b. I work in an office, Monday through Friday, 8am to 5pm with an hour off for lunch at Noon.
c. I own a specialty shop with really wonderful a clerk who always watches the store for me when I have to rush off to pursue a clue.
5. How many pets do you have and what kind?
a. I have a goldfish. I brought him with me to my mother’s house.
b. I don’t have pets. They are such a big responsibility.
c. I have an amazing cat who always knows who the murderer is before I do. If only she could talk!
6. The murderer is onto you! He’s got you cornered and is threatening to kill you! What do you do?
a. OMG – this is why I left town! How did he know where to find me? I’m gonna faint!
b. Thank goodness I kept up my Karate training until I reached black belt. That murderer doesn’t stand a chance.
c. Keeping my phone out of sight, I secretly dial my BFF. I trick the murderer into confessing, while my BFF listens and alerts the police. They break in just as the murderer finishes confessing and grabs for me!
How’d you do? If your answers were mostly:
A. Congratulations! You are perfect for a cozy. You’ll offer comic relief as a minor character who needs to be constantly reassured by the heroine, who becomes increasingly annoyed with your drama as the story progresses. You have a heart of gold and an endearing charm that might eventually win your way into the inner circle. Since the growth of characters from one book to the next is a hallmark of a cozy mystery series, you might find yourself out of the minors by the time you get to the third or fourth book.
B. Congratulations! You are perfect for a cozy. You’ll be an invaluable right arm to the wacky, impulsive heroine, keeping her from getting into too much trouble on the way to solving the murder. Depending on gender, you will be the BFF or reluctant romantic partner who injects the voice of reason, only to have the heroine sweep it away with a wave of her hand. With your devotion to her, plus your common sense and self-defense skills, you’ll be keeping her safe for many installments to come.
C. Congratulations! You are perfect for a cozy. You’ll be just the right mix of strong will and sweetness to track down a killer while keeping yourself out of his clutches. You’re going to have to rely on quick thinking friends and your own resourcefulness to get out of trouble, but you’ll always make it home safe to your wise and wonderful fur baby. You’re going to need a hefty helping of luck, because in a cozy series, dead bodies are going to pop up wherever you go and you don’t want to be the next victim!
Linda grew up in Loveland, Colorado, the youngest of six children. She moved with her parents to California when she was 16 and spent the next 16 years of her life in the Bay Area before moving home to Colorado and finally to Wyoming.
In her writing, Linda draws from her vast and varied experience with people facing domestic violence, hunger, homelessness, mental illness and suicide. Her nonfiction is full of practical strategies and her fictional characters leap off the page with all the nuances, strengths and frailties that draw readers to her work.
Her current projects include the third Jake and Emma Mystery, “Justice for Katie,” now out and a new edition of “Life Isn’t Just Luck” to give readers even more real-world advice and activities. Linda is also working on a series of inspirational short stories and exploring a humorous new series called “It’s a Gift” about a young woman determined to make the most of every day of her life.
Follow Linda on Twitter https://twitter.com/LJCrowder
Check out her Author Site www.lindajcrowder.com for news and snippets of upcoming books.
Find her on Facebook – She loves to share books she’s read and recommends and she enjoys chatting with readers. www.facebook.com/lindajcrowderauthor
I am a bit behind on my reading due to my son’s death but was able to read the first two Jake and Emma Mysteries and plan to get to the third book as soon as I can.
Too Cute To Kill (A Jake and Emma Mystery Book 1)
Setting – Wyoming
Print Length: 137 pages
In this short, cozy mystery, Jake and Emma Rand discovered each other after they both left painful first marriages. Their idyllic life together in the shadow of Casper Mountain is shattered when they stumble across the frozen body of a woman after an early blizzard. When the police investigation stalls, Jake and Emma set out to unravel the puzzle of who she is and how she met her lonely fate. What they uncover will rock this small western town to its core.
A nice short mystery to kick off this series. I like Jake and Emma. They are so in love it was almost sad to see the murderer leave the body at their wonderful place. They work together to catch the culprit, I was surprised by the outcome but it did make sense. There are still some questions to be answered though…
Main Street Murder (A Jake and Emma Mystery Book 2)
Setting – Wyoming
Print Length: 191 pages
Accidental detectives Jake and Emma Rand are back in their second adventure. Spring is coming to their home in the shadow of Casper Mountain and Emma can’t wait to see tulips and daffodils crowd out the snow that has covered her flower beds all winter. Then the May Day Blizzard hits, trapping the citizens of Casper, Wyoming in their homes, closing roads and shutting down highways out of town.
When murder strikes in spite of the snow, Detective Matt Joyner of the Casper Police Department quickly turns up the heat on his prime suspect – Emma’s friend, Kristy Castle! As Casper celebrates the annual Summer Solstice Parade and Rodeo, Jake and Emma fight to prove Kristy’s innocence. She’s hiding a terrible secret, but is she a killer?
I read this right after the first book in the series and they really flowed right together. That final snowstorm of the year had me shivering as we were having freezing rain here.
This time we meet more residents of Caspar and the plot was even more developed with the longer length of the story. There were plenty of twists too. I was very impressed with the author’s storytelling from book 1 to book 2. She really breathes life into both her characters and setting. She also sets us up to read book 3, Justice for Katie. I am thankful I do not have to wait like others did for this installment. I will be reading it just as soon as I can squeeze it in.
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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.”