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Ballistics at the Ballet (A Musical Murder Mystery) by B. J. Bowen #Spotlight / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour

I am pleased to shine my spotlight on Ballistics at the Ballet
(A Musical Murder Mystery) by B. J. Bowen today!

About Ballistics at the Ballet

Ballistics at the Ballet (A Musical Murder Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Colorado
Camel Press (September 14, 2022)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 248 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1684920329
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1684920327
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09X3M6ZVL

When temperamental conductor Felix Underhayes is killed before a rehearsal of the Nutcracker ballet, everyone realizes the show must go on. At an already crazy time of year, things become more complicated when Emily Wilson’s nephew, percussionist Charlie McRae, is accused of the crime. Emily’s sister, Kathleen, and their mother arrive to help prove Charlie’s innocence, but in spite of their best intentions, their efforts do more to hinder the police investigation than to help. To secure justice for her nephew, can Emily juggle performances and family dynamics, while she dodges a demented killer who wants to silence her?

About B.J. Bowen

B.J. Bowen is a musician and free-lance writer whose love of music was awakened by her mother, who played the flute. After discovering her lips were the wrong shape and failing miserably as a flute player, at the age of eleven Ms. Bowen began studying oboe, and has since performed and recorded on both oboe and English horn with professional symphonies and cham[1]ber groups throughout Mexico and Colorado. Her inspirational articles have appeared in Unity Magazine and Daily Word, and she won Honorable Mention in the 2018 Focus: Eddy Awards for her article, “Letting Go with Grace,” published in Unity Magazine. Drawing on her quirky fellow musicians and orchestral experiences, she created the mystery series, “Musical Murders.” She lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado, with two canine friends, and has a song for any occasion.

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As I opened the stage door, I heard Felix shout, “No!” followed quickly by a shot. My ears rang with the sound. It had to have been close…

A few fraught seconds later the exit door slammed, the ensuing silence broken only by Felix’s moaning. I decided the threat had gone and moved across the entry and down the hallway, toward Felix’s dressing room.

The prima ballerina’s door was closed. Next to it, the premier danseur emerged from his dressing room. “What’s happening?”

“I don’t know.” I crept cautiously forward, the dancer following.

The next door, Felix’s, stood open. He lay on the floor, groaning. And bleeding.

The danseur turned ashen and his chin trembled. “What . . . what . . .”

I spotted a cummerbund hung over a chair. “Take that cummerbund and press it over the wound on Felix’s chest. I’ll call 911.”

I pulled the phone from my pocket. “Send an ambulance and police to Fleisher Hall. A man’s been shot.”

The danseur knelt on one side of Felix, pressing the cummerbund to the conductor’s chest. I knelt on the other, holding Felix’s outstretched arm, his hand in mine. “It’s okay.” I tried to reassure him. “Help will be here soon.”

Felix whispered, “Tell her she’s the only one . . .”

Great Escapes Praise for Ballistics at the Ballet
(A Musical Murder Mystery)

by B. J. Bowen

With its well-conducted amateur investigation, likable characters, and behind-the-scenes look at the iconic ballet, I recommend BALLISTICS AT THE BALLET for cozy mystery readers, especially those interested in the symphony, ballet, The Nutcracker, and stories set during the winter holidays
~Guatamala Paula Loves To Read

If you’re looking for a Christmas cozy that lets you peek behind the theatrical curtain and gives you characters you can cheer for, you’ll want to read Ballistics at the Ballet!
~The Plain Spoken Pen

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Music is Murder: A Musical Murder Mystery by B.J. Bowen #GuestPost / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour

Music is Murder: A Musical Murder Mystery
by B.J. Bowen


I am delighted to welcome Barbara Bowen to Escape to Dollycas today!

Many Musings, Mostly Musical: The Origin Story

By B.J. Bowen

My cozy series, Musical Murder Mysteries, began twenty-five years ago. I was a professional musician and had loved cozy mysteries for years. A symphony orchestra seemed a perfect setting for a mystery, with its intrigue, and air of elegance. At that time, I wasn’t expecting to write seriously, but wanted to let off steam and escape to a different world. I once saw a list of a hundred professions, ranked by the most satisfaction experienced by its employees. Symphony musicians were number seventy-six, just above prison guards at seventy-seven; writers were above that, but I don’t remember exactly where.

When I had the opportunity, I joined a writer’s group. I was awed by the other writers! They were imaginative problem solvers, able to think up twists and turns, while teaching the basics of writing by example. They also taught diligence. You had to have a certain number of pages written, or you couldn’t participate.

When that group disbanded, missing my fellow writers, I put Music is Murder in a drawer and forgot it.

Then the symphony folded, and I had to find another job. The manuscript, when I thought of it, seemed to belong to another life.

It wasn’t until twenty years later, when I quit work to take care of my mother, who had dementia, that I took up writing again. I figured I’d sell the novel and write more to make my living. No problem, right?

After a few rejections, I began to study professional writing. First off, at 25,000 words, my “opus” was way too short. Secondly, writing wouldn’t pay unless you had a following, a publisher or the willingness to self-publish, and were very prolific. And, most importantly, marketing had changed in the era of Facebook, Twitter, and ebooks.

But writing kept me sane. I could go into a world of my own creation and escape monitoring medications, dodging mail scams, and changing the diapers of the woman who had changed mine. So I kept going, expanding the novel: developing the characters, giving them life and backstories, escalating suspense.

Then I found my current writing group. Recommended by a friend and consisting of published writers led by a former English teacher, they encouraged me, nurtured me, and were my friends. I kept at it. They helped me shape up the manuscript, begin to understand modern marketing, and find an agent, who helped me find a publisher.

So, how did the series develop? Playing in the symphony was a place to start. Working out the problems I wrote my characters into forced me to find solutions and gave me an alternate reality. Encouragement from others kept me going and contributed in no small way.

How do your accomplishments find life? Answer in the comments. I’m curious about your responses and look forward to reading your answers.

Thank you, Barbara, for visiting today! 

Keep reading to learn more about Music is Murder!


More About Music Is Murder

Music is Murder: A Musical Murder Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher: Camel Press (June 8, 2021)
Paperback: 242 pages
ISBN-10: 1942078161
ISBN-13: 978-1942078166

When a symphony musician is murdered—bashed with her own bassoon—flute player Emily Wilson becomes the prime suspect. To save herself and secure justice for her murdered friend, she must find the killer.


In the close-knit, unforgiving environment of the symphony orchestra Emily makes her way through the tender egos and warped relationships of her fellow musicians to find tantalizing clues. Blackmail, the victim’s abusive ex-boyfriend, an angry neighbor, and a shifty Symphony Board member all lead her to feel she is on the right track.


With the dogged Lieutenant Gordon on her trail, she must flee from the police so she can continue her search. She unexpectedly finds a loyal female friend and the possibility of a new man in her life. But she must learn to trust again after her failed and abusive marriage. With time running out, will she be able to evade the lieutenant, face her personal demons, and clear her name?


About B.J. Bowen

Barbara Bowen is a freelance writer. She was a finalist and Honorable Mention in the 2018 Focus: Eddy Awards for her article, “Letting Go with Grace,” published in Unity Magazine. Ms. Bowen is also an accomplished professional oboist who played with the Colorado Springs Symphony for nineteen years.

Drawing on her quirky fellow musicians and orchestral experiences, she created the mystery series, “Musical Murders.” The first is “Music is Murder” (Release date, 6-9-21). The second is “Ballistics at the Ballet” (Release date TBA) The third is “Fireworks on the Fourth” (Release date TBA).

She is a member of Sisters in Crime, lives in Colorado with two canine friends, and has a stock of musical puns and a song for any occasion. Contact Barbara at: or

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