Cozy Wednesday with Nanci Rathbun – Author of Truth Kills (Giveaway too!)

cozy wednesday 2013 640Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am super excited today to Welcome Nanci Rathbun.
She is a new cozy author from Wisconsin and her story is set not too far from where I live.


Writing Truth Kills and seeing it published is a dream realized in my life.  I began writing short stories several years ago and then decided to try my hand at what I most love to read – mystery novels.  Truth Kills is the result.

My protagonist, Angelina Bonaparte (Bo-nah-par-tay, please, Angie is Sicilian-American and doesn’t appreciate Napoleon’s attempts to Gallicize the name), is a fifty-something private investigator and former librarian.  Don’t make the mistake of thinking that Angie is the typical senior sleuth.  There’s sexy lingerie underneath her professional clothes.  She loves research and believes that her background in library science makes her uniquely qualified as a P.I.  Her ex-husband was a cheater and her work puts her in contact with people who lie and manipulate to escape the consequences of their actions.  Small wonder she finds it hard to trust!

truth_kills_coverHer clientele is fairly run-of-the-mill: small businesses who want background checks on employees, spouses who wonder if their partner is cheating, people who seek to locate someone.  As a result of dogging a cheating husband, Angie is drawn into the murder investigation of his girlfriend.  Milwaukee homicide detective Ted Wukowski is not happy with Angie’s involvement.  They seem to clash at every turn, Wukowski demanding that she leave the case to the police, Angie determined to challenge his assumption that the philandering husband is the killer.

Dana_Andrews_in_LauraDuring a chance encounter at the gym, Wukowski’s partner, cracks a joke and Wukowski smiles.  Angie’s reaction is instant.  “It transformed the man.  An absolute metamorphosis.  From rod-up-the-rear, Joe Friday, ‘just the facts’ ice-man to crinkly-eyed, genuine human being, good-looking in a Dana Andrews tough-guy way.  I stared.  I looked him up and down.  I appreciated his face and body for the first time.  I started to blush, and hoped they would put it down to post-exercise blood flow.”  The romantic undercurrents begin to flow.

Mitchell Park Domes

I enjoyed putting local Milwaukee landmarks into the story – places like the Pfister Hotel and Ma Fisher’s restaurant, The Domes and Gesu church.  Characters like Mrs. Lembke, whose South Side patois is endearingly reminiscent of many older Polish-Americans in Milwaukee, also make the setting into more than just a casual reference.  I hope Milwaukee comes across as a character itself in the book.  Angie wouldn’t be at home anywhere else.

The Pfister Hotel
The Pfister Hotel
Milw skyline
Milwaukee Skyline

As for me, I raised two wonderful children, Leah and Matt, and I’ve had several careers.  After I retired from AT&T, I felt called to ordained ministry.  I received a Masters of Divinity from the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary the year I turned sixty.  Despite the aphorism, old dogs can learn new tricks!  Although I loved serving as an associate pastor at Fox River Congregational Church in Pewaukee, Wisconsin, I missed being close to my granddaughters in Tennessee.  In January of 2013, I moved to Murfreesboro Tennessee so that I could be a bigger part of their lives.

I hope potential readers won’t be put off by thinking that Truth Kills must belong in the category of Christian fiction.  It doesn’t.  I chose to write about a character who turned away from faith and who struggles at times with spiritual questions about life and death, because I had those same doubts and even antipathy to faith, for more than a decade.  I decline to provide simplistic responses to what are very deep and very human concerns.

My greatest joy is to read a review that says the characters are real (character is paramount for me), the plot is engaging and not obvious (after all, mystery readers want a mystery!), and the setting is evocative.  I’ve had a few of those and it’s fueled me to continue writing.  I plan to finish revisions on my second Angie novel, Cash Kills, and see it published this spring.  Meanwhile, to all my readers, may your mysteries be exciting and fulfilling.


To find out more about Nanci visit her webpage here.

Truth Kills:
An Angelina Bonaparte Mystery

New Series
Cozy Mystery
Published by Cozy Cat Press (July 26, 2013)’
Trade Paperback: 250 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1939816139
E-Book File Size: 485 KB




Librarian-turned-private-investigator Angelina Bonaparte is a woman on a mission: to uncover deception.

Angie has plenty of experience with lying, cheating and cover-ups – and not just because of her former husband. Working as a P.I. means tracking down deadbeats and exposing unfaithful spouses. Now she’s been asked by a betrayed wife to prove her cheating husband innocent of the murder of his lover. Angie’s heart tells her to let the skunk rot in prison, but her head convinces her that adultery is not grounds for incarceration.

The investigation introduces Angie to police detective Ted Wukowski. He is a cop that has come to believe woman have no place near a murder investigation so of course sparks of all kinds fly between the two. Maybe together they can not only catch the killer but work out a few of their own personal issues as well.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I love Angie Bo-nah-par-tay!!  She is my kind of sleuth! A feisty, 50 something woman, who can transform herself from a professional career woman to a bag lady in minutes if it helps her solve the case. She isn’t afraid to go dumpster diving or to throw her Sicilian family connections around either. She is flawed and real with some trust issues due to a “BOZO” of an  ex-husband, but she is strong, opinionated, and a woman to be reckoned with.

I cannot believe this is the author’s first stab at writing mysteries. She has nailed the cozy mystery genre perfectly. Her plot lines are tight, her characters are genuine and have depth while still leaving them room to grow. Her setting is one close to my heart and she shows the fantastic side of the city but also the grittier underside.  She also adds the exact right amounts of humor and romance.

Told from Angie’s point of view the story unfolds effortlessly and was extremely hard to put down. While fast paced in places it evolves slowly as Angie contemplates the clues, her next move, and just how much she should share with Detective Wukowski.

This was a fun read. The next installment, Cash Kills, can’t be released soon enough for me.

a perfect escape


Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Thanks to the author I have 3 Kindle copies to give away!

Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
Email to receive book required.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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 Nanci for 5 Bonus Entries !

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End February 5, 2014 at 11:59 PM CST
Winners Will Be Chosen By
Winners Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.


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.”

28 thoughts on “Cozy Wednesday with Nanci Rathbun – Author of Truth Kills (Giveaway too!)

  1. TBR’d on GoodReads. I have just recently ‘discovered’ the cozy mystery genre (although I have been reading them for years). I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to see a book with a *ahem* ‘mature’ heroine!

  2. Added to Goodreads. This one sounds like a lot of fun. I’m looking forward to reading it 😉 Congrats on your first novel, Nanci!

    1. Thanks, Megan. It was rather like going through pregnancy, labor and delivery. Once it’s in your hands, it’s the most wonderful feeling!

    1. Libby, you are absolutely correct. Angie would HATE being called “senior.” In the book, I refer to her as a “woman of a certain age,” which is the French way of politely saying “not a youngster.” To be honest, I wrote the info for the blog while recovering from a nasty virus, and I was trying to distinguish Angie from the large number of (really) senior sleuths in the genre today – whom I love, BTW. I honestly don’t know how I could have said that, about Angie and I’m glad you called me on it.

  3. Thanks I just love the story line of this book. And I am 63 and do not feel insulted. It a book

  4. I like the sound of this one, Angie sounds like someone that will be a lot of fun to read. Added it to my Goodreads list.

  5. I love reading cozies. Sleuth sounds like an interesting woman. I have lived in Milwaukee almost all my life and have been to Ma Fishers, the Domes, Gesu, and the Pfister Hotel. At age 40 left Milwaukee for a suburb only twelve miles away 🙂

    1. Linda, perhaps you would want to enter the giveaway contest anyway. If you win, the book could be a gift or even a donation to your local library. I hope you enjoy Truth Kills.

  6. Sounds marvelous. Love the librarian turned PI character. Hooray for us older folks. Not all heroines have to be young and nubile.

    1. Irene, you’re so right about age. Youthful bodies are attractive, but so is life experience and maturity.

  7. In error entered this one twice. I hope the system just ignores the second entry. Sorry . Thanks for the giveaway. I had already commented the other day. I live outside of Milwaukee now but for 40 years lived in Milwaukee

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