Cozy Wednesday with Ada Madison (Special Giveaway too!)

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! I found out last year Ada Madison was a pseudonym for Camille Minichino and we connected on Facebook very quickly. What did we do before Facebook and the internet? We would never have gotten to know our favorite authors and the only way we were able to tell them we loved their work was to send them a letter through the publisher. I am so happy to be able to send them messages, email them with questions, or just tweet to the world that we love their books. I am so glad I was able to connect with Camille and find out what a truly special woman she is and I am so happy she could take time to visit here today.

Welcome Camille!

I am happy to be here!!

Escape with Camille


The title of the new Dollycas site got me thinking – what does it take for me to escape into a good book?

I’ve come up with two criteria for starters:

1. The setting must hold my interest. The author has to take me to the city, domestic or international, in a way that convinces me she’s been there. If I come across phrases that have been ripped from tour guides and brochures, such as “San Francisco has extraordinary vistas and innovative sightseeing buses,” I’ll toss the book aside.

Even if the setting is fictional, it must have characteristics that make it unique and appropriate for the story, whether it’s a boardwalk or a monument to Machiavelli.

I’ve tried to make my fictional town of Lincoln Point  (The Miniature Mysteries by Margaret Grace) memorable for its devotion to Old Abe, with Lincoln quotes etched into public buildings, streets named after him and his friends, a reenactment of a Lincoln-Douglas debate every year, and even a Mary Todd Lincoln Ball on her birthday in December. (Not all in the same book!)

A small New England college is the setting for my newest series (The Professor Sophie Knowles Mysteries by Ada Madison). College events, like reunions and graduations provide the background for the stories. In the latest, “The Probability of Murder” the stacks in the campus library are the site of murder and mayhem.

2. Character names. Those of us who write mysteries and hang around with mystery writers form a kind of inner circle of connections. Not only do we all know more or less the same booksellers, agents, and editors, we know each others’ families. If I find an author’s cousin in a work of fiction, I pull back, taken out of the story. Oh, right, I think, this is a nod to XX’s family. So much for escaping.

The worst  case of this: Recently, I was reading a novel with a reporter as amateur sleuth. On the back flap, I learned that the author lives in New York with his wife, the poet—let’s call her Penelope Jones.

About one third of the way into this very well written novel, the protagonist meets a woman in a bar. The woman is reading a book of poetry by—wait for it—Penelope Jones. They read a few lines aloud and have a conversation about how great Jones’s poetry is.

What? A commercial in the middle of my escape fiction?

I’m sure the author made points with his wife and his in-laws for his humorous little plug, but, for me, it simply took me out of the fictional world and into the real life of the author. I closed the book and never opened it again. I guessed that by end of the book, the murder might be solved, but not before Penelope Jones received the Robert Frost Prize for her poetry.

What takes you out of a story? Would you have continued to read the reporter-and-wife’s story?

Let me know here and be eligible for a math-related prize!


What a perfect post for my blog!! I would hate the little plug too, but I really believe the setting is key to escaping into a book, whether it be an island, small town or even a prison, if the author reveals the setting correctly the escape is magical and easy. Thank you so much Camille!!

Camille is offering 3 math prizes so be sure to leave a comment to answer her questions. Check out the book giveaway after my review of Ada’s latest!

 About This  Author

Camille Minichino is a retired physicist turned writer.

As Camille Minichino, she’s the author of the Periodic Table Mysteries. As Margaret Grace, she writes the Miniature Mysteries, based on her lifelong hobby. “Mix-up in Miniature” will be released April 2. As Ada Madison, she writes the academic mysteries featuring Professor Sophie Knowles, college math teacher. “The Probability of Murder” was released March 6. Check out her blog!

Soon, every aspect of her life will be a mystery series. 

The Probability of Murder
(Professor Sophie Knowles)

Second in the Series

Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Lisa French
Cover Design by Lesley Worrell

Dr. Sophie Knowles is a rare college professor who has a way of making the most complex math problems fun for her students. She hosts weekly parties celebrating famous scientists and mathematicians. They are quite popular with the students.

The fun quickly ends when Charlotte Crocker, Sophie’s friend and college librarian, is found dead in the stacks. Everyone loved Charlotte until it was learned that her entire life was just a web of lies. Sophie can’t believe the woman she knew had such a checkered past. So instead of grabbing a couple of days away with her boyfriend Bruce, she needs to do her own homework and formulate a plan to catch the killer before there are any more deductions of students or staff. She is on her own as Bruce takes off on a ice mountain climb, so she has to worry about him too!!

Dollycas Thoughts
College campuses are full of big, old buildings full of mystery. They are also full of plenty of suspects. Sophie is very distracted in this story by events involving her boyfriend but it doesn’t stop her from working her way through the clues to solve the problems doing her best to catch the culprit. The author combines both situations is a very exciting and entertaining way.

If math was not your favorite or best subject there is no need to be afraid of this series. Being a mathematics professor you may think Sophie takes a very analytical approach to solving the crime, but she is more of an emotional solver when it comes to finding this murderer. She is also very open to having pizza with the Bruce’s friend, Detective Virgil Mitchell to pump him for information.

This is a fun, captivating cozy to escape into today!!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent


Thanks to the folks at Berkley Prime Crime
I have 2 copies of this book to give away!!

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Leave a comment for Ada (Camille) for 5 Bonus Entries and
enter her special giveaway.

If you publicize the giveaway anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End March 21, 2012 at 11:59 PM CST
Winners Will Be Chosen By
Winners Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here.

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.”

34 thoughts on “Cozy Wednesday with Ada Madison (Special Giveaway too!)

  1. Wow, I thought I would be intimidated with all the math. I am totally not a math person. lol But I don’t think that matters here. I love your answers.

  2. A couple things really turn me off in reading a cozy–
    1-Using an actual place for the setting and getting the description of that location all wrong.
    2-A dragging, slow plot.

  3. While I admit to flunking algebra (3x) and geometry (but give me a stack of frozen food and I can pack a freezer) I do love mysteries based on the probabilities of math. Using it to solve mysteries that way even made it as a CBS tv show.

    I’d love to win a copy of your book since the Brooklyn Public Library in its infinite wisdom has not seen fit to stock it, and my book budget is non existent this year.

  4. I loved the show Numb3rs! And your flunking math has more to do with your teachers (bad!) than you. Anyone who reads and loves mysteries can certainly learn math if it’s presented properly.

  5. What takes you out of a story?
    introducing facts in a documentary style! completely destroys story flow & covers are shut!
    Would you have continued to read the reporter-and-wife’s story? oh yah!

    thanks for the inside view 🙂 looking fwd to your new reads….

  6. I don’t like the idea of a little plug in someone’s book but I would have finished it. I need to know how things end.
    Math was never my favorite subject in school but that wouldn’t stop me from enjoying this story!

  7. I was a math major and love math, so I am sure I would enjoy this series.
    If I had really been into the story, the imbedded “advertisement” would probably not have bothered me. But a couple of things do annoy me. If the language gets really gross, or if the book has obvious grammatical or typographical errors, I might put the book down. Thanks for the giveaway.

  8. Welcome to Camille!

    I tend to read the back flap info and acknowledgements first too. If that type of thing happened to me, I know darn well it would make me crazy! Commercial indeed! 🙂

    Another thing that takes me out of a story is poor editing. Good old spell correct will leave the word on, for instance, when it should be only. (had that one recently!) That type of thing always trips me up!

    I think I will have to go back and read The Square Root of Murder while I wait to win the new one! I went to a small college and always like stories set in that setting.

    Thanks for the chance to win!

  9. Thanks for visiting, holdenj! The setting, the fictional Henley College, is coincidentally similar to a college in Boston where I taught — minus the crimes, of course!

  10. Ada – this looks like a good series. I can’t wait to try it, it will definately be added to my list. Thank you for the chance to win

  11. thank you so much for the giveaway. my daughter is a member of a reading club and when they read a book she brings me the book to read it.

  12. I also loved to watch Numbers. I don’t think I ever missed an episode.

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

  13. I would continue reading the book if the story was good. I don’t like stories that are slow in the beginning and have been known to put it down and try again later. Sometimes I am just not into the story or language gets so bad I will put the book down. I also skip and skim pages to see if it will get better. lol
    Would love to win your book. Thanks for stopping by to chat and share with us.

  14. There are a couple of things that stop me dead in the middle of a story. One is the obvious use of a spell checker when you get such peculiar sentences like “The woman was bear” when the context implies that the woman was unclothed. I also become annoyed when the author attempts to use terms that he doesn’t actually know the meaning of. I recently read a book with a nautical setting. The author kept using the phrase ‘weigh anchor’ when the ship was entering port. The correct term would be ‘drop anchor’ because ‘weigh’ anchor means to pull up the anchor and leave port. There were several other terms that the author used incorrectly and it truly stopped me short and detracted from the flow of the story.
    I would really love to win your book. I enjoy math problems, although anything past basic trig stymies me.

  15. Too many details takes me out of the story. I tend to get distracted. However, I will finish every book I start, even if it is bad.

  16. I try always to have an “expert” read my manuscript if I’ve introduced a character doing something I don’t know enough about. People are very generous that way; you just have to ask!

    I must say there was a time when I would finish every book, no matter what, but not anymore. There are too many out there to try!

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