It is just so peachy to have Susan Furlong drop by for a visit today!
Peaches and Scream came out on July 7, the first book in the Georgia Peach Mystery Series!
Pour yourself a glass of sweet tea and let’s enjoy our visit!
Who would be so wicked as to take a bucolic, friendly village, full of charm and quaint shops, and throw in one senseless murder after another? (Think Norman Rockwell meets Ted Bundy.) Well, that’s exactly what cozy mystery writers do. They create an idyllic setting—perhaps a quaint English hamlet, or a southern town nestled in the Appalachian hills—introduce you to a whole host of friendly, likeable town folk and then start killing them off, one by one.
Seems a little demented, huh? Well, not really. First, I’m a small town girl, so setting a mystery in a small town comes naturally to me. And before you jump to all sorts of conclusions about personal vendettas I might be plotting against my own neighbors, let me explain several reasons why a small town makes the perfect setting for a cozy mystery:
• For starters, everyone knows everyone. This makes for plethora of unique dynamics—vicious gossip and hidden secrets—and a lot of fun, familiar interaction between characters.
• Familiarity between characters also creates plenty of personal motivations for murder—greed, jealousy, love affairs gone bad … the possibilities are endless.
• Furthermore, a small town lends itself to a tightly plotted mystery. With limited suspects and a somewhat isolated setting, the reader can easily follow along as the sleuth tracks down the killer.
• And what could be more fun than roaming along with the protagonist through tree-lined streets, in and out of quaint shops, bookstores, lively pubs, flower shops, and restaurants serving delectable local foods… all while tension builds as both reader and sleuth strive to restore justice to a once quiet, peaceful setting.
With my own small town background, I understand the limitations as well as the wonderful possibilities of such a setting. Which is why I injected all sorts of those emotions and characteristics in my latest cozy mystery, Peaches and Scream, where the fictional town of Cays Mill, Georgia, is home to a wide cast of vivid, quirky and endearing characters. People who share not only a past checkered with family feuds and sinister secrets, but a sense of community pride and a commitment to neighbors. That’s why when a murderer strikes in Cays Mill, the stakes are high. Because in a small town, chances are, a friend or neighbor you think you know all-too-well is either the victim … or the murderer.
About Susan Furlong
During her writing career, Susan has worked as an academic writer, freelance writer and novelist. Currently she’s busy working on The Georgia Peach Mysteries. (Berkley Prime Crime/July 2015) She also writes under the pen name Lucy Arlington. To learn more about her writing, visit her website at www.susanfurlong.com
Peaches and Scream
(A Georgia Peach Mystery)
Brand New Series
Setting – Georgia
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (July 7, 2015)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Erica LeBarre
Cover Design by Sarah Oberrender
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
E-Book ASIN: B00Q5DLWSU
In the first Georgia Peach Mystery, when murder threatens her family’s orchard, Nola Harper is ready to pick out the killer and preserve the farm’s reputation…
With suspicions and family tensions heating up faster than a cobbler in the oven, this sweet Georgia peach will have to prune through a list of murder suspects—before she too becomes ripe for the killer’s picking…
We meet the Harper Family in this first Georgia Peach Mystery. Nola Harper left town several years ago and has a very rewarding job helping people in underdeveloped countries. She doesn’t return home very often but her parents have won an exciting trip and have asked her to come home and watch over the family business while they are away. Her brother Ray is a successful lawyer and just doesn’t have the time and her sister is due to have her 3rd child very soon and can’t take care of things on the farm. When she finds out that her parents have been hiding their financial troubles she decides to figure out a way to save the family’s legacy.
As if things weren’t bad enough the morning after Nola’s parents leave she finds the body of a local business man in the orchard. Things are definitely not peachy at the Harper’s homestead. When she finds out her brother-in-law is the main suspect Nola knows she has her hands full. Can she solve a murder and get the farm moving in the right direction before her parents get back? She has to try!
This is an awesome debut. This bushel of characters is diverse and interesting. Seeing Nola reconnect with all the people from her past was fun to read. I truly enjoyed that her best friends in high school quickly become her best friends again. One may like to be a little more than friends but we will have to wait and see. I also enjoyed the way Nola didn’t just barge into the investigation. The sheriff is more than happy to let her brother-in-law rot in jail so Nola just does a little poking around and keeps her ears open. She is new to sleuthing so she does take some things a bit too far but somebody has to find the real killer.
In addition to this fine mystery each chapter starts with a Georgia Belle Fact – “#027 – In the South, we greet one another with bits of juicy gossip, not some ol’ boring Yankee salutation.” There are yummy recipes too!
Susan is off to a delicious start with this series! Cozy lovers you will love this story and all its Southern charm!
Thanks to the people at Penguin I have 2 copies to give away!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.
Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.
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Contest Will End July 30, 2015 at 11:59 PM CST
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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.”