Duffy Brown has a new Cozy Series and she is here to tell us all about it!
Small Town or City Slicker?
In Geared for the Grave Evie Bloomfield wants to boost her chances for a promotion so she agrees to leave Chicago and head off to Mackinac Island to help her boss’ dad with his cycle shop.
Mackinac is a real island, an eight-mile chunk of land where Lake Michigan meets Lake Huron. It’s truly beautiful, no cars with horses and bikes a twenty-minute ferry ride from the mainland. When the lakes freeze…or as the islanders call it “the ice makes…there is no ferry, very limited plane service and if the ice is think enough snowmobiles are the way off the place.
So could you live here year-round?
Without cars it’s so quiet and the whole island is a throwback to the 1800s with vintage baseball, parades for every occasion like the Lilac Festival, Horse Festival, Fudge Festival etc. There’s the town gazebo for live music, dressing for dinner at the Grand Hotel, high tea, horse drawn carriages with men in top hats and formal attire and did I mention the no cars thing?
Mackinac is waking up to the clip clop of horses’ hooves on cobblestone and often the whole island cocooned in dense fog with the foghorns moaning out in the harbor. You’ll be in the best shape of you life with having to walk everywhere and the sunset over the Mackinaw Bridge will always take your breath away.
This sound amazing to many of us like and like a death sentence to others. There is no mall! There is no Walmart, big box store of any sort, no free wifi except at Horn’s bar and the library. Often your cell phone won’t work and you’ll be hanging over the end of the pier to get reception for the so important phone call. There are only 500 permanent residents so things get a bit confining in the winter when the way to get around is your snowmobile. Your kids go to a school with sixty other kids…just sixty…and there is no Dollar Store. And it’s reeeeeally cold.
There are bicycles and horses everywhere, festivals galore like the Lilac Festival, Fudge Festival, Jazz, Horse etc. They are all fun and everyone turns out to watch. Brings the whole island together.
So what do you think? Are you a island person or a big city guy or gal? Personally I think I’d fit in perfectly on Mackinac Island. It’s a writer’s heaven and I’ve always wanted my own a snowmobile.
Geared for the Grave
(A Cycle Path Mystery)
New Cozy Series
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (December 2, 2014)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Ben Perini
Cover Design by Diana Kolsky
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
E-Book File Size: 3446 KB
Mackinac Island is a peaceful summer resort town where everyone coasts through the streets on bicycles. But after someone sends a prominent local on her final ride, it’s up to one resourceful visitor to get things running again…
Hoping to shift her chances of a promotion in her favor, Evie Bloomfield heads to Mackinac Island to assist her boss’s father. Rudy Randolph has broken his leg and operating his bike shop, Rudy’s Rides, is too much to handle by himself. But Evie’s good turn only leads to more trouble…
After Evie’s arrival, wealthy resident Bunny Harrington dies in what looks like a freak bike accident. Upon closer inspection, Bunny’s brakes were tampered with, and now the prime suspect in her murder is also Bunny’s number one enemy: Rudy. So if Evie hopes to stay on her boss’s good side, she’ll need to steer Rudy clear of jail. Now she must quickly solve this mystery so she can put the brakes on the real killer’s plan…
I knew Evie was in trouble the minute she got off the ferry and requested a taxi. Seems her boss failed to tell her about all the charm of Mackinac Island, like there are no motor vehicles allowed. From there she gets into every kind of trouble possible including finding Bunny Harrington’s dead body. What looks like a freak bicycle accident is soon ruled a homicide and her boss’s father is the number one suspect.
Evie is a delightful character with her heart in the right place. Yes she came to island to garner favor from her boss in hopes of a promotion but once she meets Rudy and the other residents she is just trying to do the right thing. That isn’t easy because as a “fudgie” she seems to get blamed for everything the goes wrong. I really like the way she used her creativity to breathe new life into Rudy’s Rides all while she is doing her best to keep him out of jail and trying to nudge temporary police chief Nate Sutter in the direction of many other suspects.
Clever characters abound in the new series. In addition to Evie and Rudy we meet Evie’s mother who makes an unexpected trip to Mackinac Island and meets a handsome gentleman with a questionable background. We also meet a man the locals call Jason Bourne because he is a master of disguise and always has briefcase handcuffed to his wrist. Everyone is convinced he is a hit man but I figured out is real occupation quite quickly. You also have Speedy and Huffy, these are people, not pets. They both want Rudy to be guilty so they can add his bike business to their own. They are also high on Evie’s suspect list.
Mackinac Island is a wonderful place to set a mystery series but it is also the setting of another cozy mystery series written by Nancy Coco. Both authors draw on actual events to include in their stories and the Island is a pretty small place. I half expected the protagonist Allie from that series to run into Evie somewhere along the way.
Duffy Brown does give the reader a great mystery to follow and I was totally surprised by the way this one played out. The plot takes some wacky turns and that keeps the pages turning. There is also quite a bit of humor laced throughout the entire story. From Evie’s rash to where they keep the dead body on ice until after the tourists leave and all the little phrases the locals use to keep the “fudgies” in the dark all had me “tee heeing” from the beginning to the end.
This series is off to a wonderful start. -Braking for Bodies is coming in 2015 and -Tandem Demise will follow in 2016. I predict a lot of fun and drama for Evie ahead!
Thanks to the people at Penguin I have 2 copies to give away!
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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.”