Cozy Wednesday with Jean Flowers – Author of Addressed to Kill #GuestPost / #Giveaway @BerkleyMystery

I am so happy to welcome Jean Flowers aka Camille Minichino to Escape With Dollycas today!!
Her new book was released on July 25!

Reading in Order, or Not
(Guest Post provided by publicist.)

My newest series, the Postmistress Mysteries, debuted in November 2015 with DEATH TAKES PRIORITY, followed by CANCELLED BY MURDER. The third in the series, ADDRESSED TO KILL is now out (July 2017).

Here’s a question I know I’ll be getting at bookstores and other events: Can I read this one without reading the first and second?

I’ve never understood why some think reading in order is important in a series. I imagine these readers at a party, being introduced to someone new, discussing shared experiences, really hitting it off.

“Let’s be friends,” the new person says.

“Sorry,” says the in-order reader. “We can’t be friends because I didn’t know you as an infant. I don’t know your full life story, your parents, et cetera.”

The way it usually works in real-life friendship is that you can start it at any age, with people of any age. As the relationship grows, each person’s backstory is revealed, not necessarily in chronological order.

It’s the same for me with characters in a book. If I happen upon book four of a series and it looks interesting, I’ll read it, then decide if I want to know more about the protagonist—what brought her to this point, what other adventures she’s had, what she’s learned from them. I’ll then pick up either earlier or later books, depending on what’s available.

Of course, it’s different for a trilogy or other format where the story is deliberately set up in a certain order and the last line in book one connects to the first line in book two. Even then, a “prequel” might be introduced to reveal pre-prehistory.

It’s also sometimes different for tv shows, where it’s hard to understand an episode unless you’ve seen the “previously on”s.

But each book in a mystery series should stand on its own, with relatable characters and a story that has a satisfying conclusion. If you’ve started with book five of a series and have no idea about the motivation of a character, or if you feel you’re missing something, it’s the author’s fault. Every book should be a standalone.

Many people, especially writers, read the ending of a book before they finish, wanting to know how the author leads up to the denouement. Talk about reading out of order!

As a more or less reasonable segue: I once received a nasty email from a reader, railing at me for a casual remark in one of my books, that revealed the ending to “Murder on the Orient Express.” The person called me “thoughtless,” and guilty of “ruining the experience” of reading the 75-year-old Agatha Christie classic.

At what point does it become okay to discuss an ending? Or to tell a reader of the second book in a series what happens in the fourth?

Do high school students not know ahead of time that Romeo and Juliet die at the end (oops, spoiler)? Do adult film fans not know that Anthony Hopkins’s mother’s corpse is in the house on the hill? That Ilse chooses her husband over Rick?

I’d better close before I get another nasty SPOILER! email.

~Jean (Camille)

Thank you Camille for visiting today!!

Addressed to Kill (A Postmistress Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Massachusetts
Release Date – July 25, 2017
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425279120
Kindle ASIN: B01M8PU7NR

Love is in the air for postmaster Cassie Miller and the residents of North Ashcot, Massachusetts. Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and the town is gearing up for a special dinner dance at the senior center. With the local musical group performing at the dance displaced from their regular practice location, Cassie is all too happy to host them during off-hours at the post office.

But not everything is coming up roses. When one of the musicians, Dennis Somerville, is found shot in his home, rumors swirl over who might have wanted him dead. Cassie must determine if there is a link between a string of recent break-ins and Dennis’s murder before another victim winds up with more than a broken heart.

About the Author

Camille received her Ph.D. in physics from Fordham University, New York City. She is currently on the faculty of Golden Gate University, San Francisco and teaches writing throughout the Bay Area. Camille is Past President and a member of NorCal Mystery Writers of America, NorCal Sisters in Crime, and the California Writers Club.

Camille has published over 20 novels and many short stories and nonfiction articles.

As Camille Minichino, she’s published Periodic Table Mysteries, featuring retired physicist GLORIA LAMERINO.

As Margaret Grace, she writes the Miniature Mysteries, featuring miniaturist GERALDINE PORTER and her 11-year-old granddaughter, Maddie. The 9th in the series, MATRIMONY IN MINIATURE was released in September 2016.

As Ada Madison, she’s published the Professor Sophie Knowles Mysteries, featuring college professor SOPHIE KNOWLES.

As Jean Flowers, Camille writes The Postmistress Mysteries. The third in the series, ADDRESSED TO KILL, will be released in July 2017.

A stand-alone, KILLER IN THE CLOISTER, is available on Kindle and CreateSpace.

The nonfiction book, HOW TO LIVE WITH AN ENGINEER, is available on Kindle and Createspace. Contact:

Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
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24 thoughts on “Cozy Wednesday with Jean Flowers – Author of Addressed to Kill #GuestPost / #Giveaway @BerkleyMystery

  1. I really enjoyed learning more about Jean/Camille and what other books she’s written, thank you for the giveaway!

  2. I am not the type of person to read a series in order (other than LOTR when I was young and I started with The Hobbit). I always pick up one and read from there. I like your way of thinking on that.

  3. Hi Jean, I’m so glad to see this new series. I’m looking forward to reading this. And thank you Lori for such a wonderful site and reviews. I just love this site and all that you do.

  4. I really enjoyed the post by Jean/Camille. I agree that all books in a series should be a stand alone book. “Addressed to Kill” sounds like a great read, looking forward to reading the book and the series.

  5. I like reading series in order, but I agree that it works to read the one where you’re at and see if you want to go backwards.

  6. With mysteries, I find that it’s not necessary to start at the beginning of the series, however I still do it most of the time.

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