Sep 122018
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am so happy to welcome Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli to Escape with Dollycas today!

Hi Everyone,

When my agent suggested Little Libraries might make a good topic for a series, I did what I always do, smiled and nodded while thinking: “That’s nuts!  What can I do with Little Library boxes that sit out in front of houses?

They sit there at the curb, one purpose only: to hold borrowable books and make readers happy.   How do I stuff a body into one of those little things?  How do I plant clues?  How do I work up suspense?  How do I stage a final scene with the killer cornering my sleuth: his eyes blood red, a knife in his raised hand, the final thrust within inches…?

I thought up mysteries based on themes in a famous writer’s work., or a style, a book from a series, a character, a setting . . . from shadowy moors with a voice calling from a parked Porsche: “Heathcliff! Where the hell are you?” to a 21st century Scrooge with a murderous ghost hiding in his natural-stone shower.  I looked at writers from Shakespeare: “Out, out, damned spot.  Thy DNA wilt gives me away.”

To:

Edgar Allen Poe:  The Tell-Tale Heart.   My title: What’s That Beating in my Walls.

Joseph Kesselring, the Broadway play of 1941: Arsenic and Old LaceMy title: Batrachtoxin and Spandex

Frances Hodgson Burnett:  The Secret Garden.  My title: Mulch and Murder.

Daphne du Maurier: Rebecca. My title: Hmmm.  Maybe, for that lying, cheating Rebecca:  Sure Glad She’s Dead.

Louise May Alcott:  Little Women.  My title: The Family that Preys Together.

But this is what I’ve settled on so far:

I took bits of Alice in Wonderland, stirred in some whimsical flavoring, committed a couple of murders, threw in a Little Woman with a giant chip on her shoulder, and out popped: A Most Curious Murder.

Then—Emily Dickinson, at long last she’s slipped into my hands.  I used, not her work but her life in their icy Amherst, MA house with sister Lavinia.  I threw in a heap of jealousy, touched a match to it, and came up with: She Stopped for Death.

Then—In Want of a Knife.  This is Jane Austen (believe it or not).  I found what I was looking for in Pride and Prejudice.  I discovered that mothers wanting rich husbands for their daughters are alive and well, in this century, in Bear Falls, Michigan.  Rich husbands might be murderers, or maybe it’s their friends.  It all works out in the end:  some daughters get their men, murderers are duly dispatched, and everyone lives happily ever after.

And now I’m writing: He Went out and Hanged himself.  You’ve got to know that’s Agatha Christie.  This one’s easy.  Ten people isolated in the forests of Upper Michigan.  They disappear—one by one (almost), old sins follow them, and eventually, the dead are unburied for all to see.

And that’s it—so far.   But who knows where this series will take me: Anna Karenin?, Animal Farm?  Maybe Lord of the Flies?

After all, there’s no place like a library.

What a great idea:  Little Libraries!   (I love my agent).

~Elizabeth

Thank you, Elizabeth, for visiting today!

Now let me give you my thoughts on In Want of a Knife.


In Want of A Knife: A Little Library Mystery
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Pennsylvania
Crooked Lane Books (September 11, 2018)
Hardcover: 321 pages
ISBN-10: 1683317378
ISBN-13: 978-1683317371
Kindle ASIN: B078MB5DHT

When they investigate a string of disappearances of young girls, will Jenny Weston and Zoe Zola be dispatched with extreme pride and prejudice?

Amateur sleuth and little librarian Jenny Wilson is set on edge when the police discover a young girl’s body, dressed in an old-fashioned white lace dress, just outside Bear Falls. And when another local girl from town disappears soon after, Jenny and her next-door neighbor, author and little person Zoe Zola, know they have to help the beleaguered police chief.

But first, Jenny and Zoe have new neighbors to meet: A trio of wealthy newcomers from Chicago has just moved into a huge mansion on Lake Michigan. Nathan and Delia Wickley are genial siblings, and Fitzwilliam Dillon, the mansion’s owner, is a Little Person like Zoe. It is a truth universally acknowledged that a rich gentleman seeking to ingratiate himself to his new neighbors will spread a bit of largesse around, and Fitzwilliam is no exception: He has offered two million dollars to Bear Falls. But the townspeople are far from agreed on what to do with the money—and the deliberations are far from peaceful.

But it’ll all come to naught if the missing girl isn’t found, and the culprit identified. And when she ventures alone to a mysterious structure in the woods, Zoe may not live to resolve her romantic dilemmas. Though neither Jenny nor Zoe is particularly placid or even-tempered, love and danger beckon them.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Dora’s daughter Jenny and famous author, Zoe team up in this story after one young girl is found dead on the side of the road and another girl goes missing. The police are doing a huge search and as soon as the amateur sleuths meet their new neighbors they will join the search and meet with the girl’s mother and her friend to see if they can get more insight as to where the girl may have gone.

The new neighbors, wealthy people from Chicago, are not very well received. The owner of the new mansion on the lake, Fitzwilliam Dillon, is a Little Person like Zoe and treats her horribly. His two friends aren’t much better, but this group is offering the town two million dollars to invest in something that all residents will benefit from, so the Zoe and the rest of the greeting committee try to bite their tongues until they leave the mansion. Dora agrees to take on Fitz and his friends while Jenny and Zoe do all they can to save the girl who is missing.

Little Librarian Dora takes a bit of a backseat in this story. Jenny and Zoe shine as the trek through the woods searching for any clue that may lead them to the missing girl. They think her friend may have information but he is out of town with his father. The police want all the help they can get and encourage Jenny and Zoe to reach out to this young man as soon as he gets home. I missed the way Jenny and Dora worked together, but really enjoyed the way Zoe cast everything aside, okay, she really doesn’t like the topic of her new book, but she really stepped up this time especially when she has to take 2 steps to everyone else’s 1 and traveling through that woods was hard. The author did an excellent job of making me feel like I was there every step of the way.

Readers were also treated to a complex mystery. First, they had to decide if and how the two teenagers were connected and that wasn’t easy. Suspects were determined by the result. Truthfully the whole thing came down to Zoe and Jenny’s determination that the woods was key. The story is broken into eight parts. I love this author’s writing style. The story had a slow build, each section got a little more intense. By the time I reached Part 8, my heart was beating fast and I could not read the pages fast enough.  Like in the last book a psychological element is brought to light as the mystery is solved.

The subplot of Zoe’s book brought the necessary humor to the story. Her take Pride and Prejudice and the women Jane Austen had created crack me up time and time again. I agreed with her but I do enjoy the escape I get when reading an Austen book.

Jenny’s romantic life is in flux in this book but by the end, things take a turn. No spoilers, you have to read the book.

This is another wonderful book from Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli. Her lead characters are genuine and women whose lives I have become invested in. Each stop to Bear Falls has been very interesting and entertaining. I am excited for more books in this series.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli lives in Mancelona, MI. She has published ten novels, one work of non-fiction, and several short stories, which have been produced onstage, read on NPR, and published in several newspapers. For many years she taught writing at the International Women’s Writing Guild summer program at Skidmore College and currently teaches at Northwestern Michigan College.
She loves hearing from readers. Contact me at my website: www.elizabethbuzzelli.com where Emily Kincaid, Deputy Dolly, and she all blog.

Also by this Author

Written as Elizabeth Lee

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Click Here For Entry Form

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher on NetGalley. 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.”

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Jan 122017
 

She Stopped for Death: A Little Library Mystery
by Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli

Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Michigan
Crooked Lane Books (January 10, 2017)
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683310136
Kindle ASIN: B01IRS85CG

 

 

Jenny Weston and her mother, Dora, have been receiving strange midnight visits. Bear Falls’s own elusive and highly secretive poet, Emily Sutton, has lived her life cloistered away with her sister in a house at the edge of Pewee Swamp. But now, Emily’s started leaving scraps of poetry in Dora’s Little Library, and Dora makes it her mission to befriend the sheltered woman.

Meanwhile Zoe Zola, almost famous author, Little Person, and the Weston’s quirky next-door neighbor, is hard at work on a new book, this one about the inner life of Emily Dickinson. And once again, Zoe’s literary work starts making uncanny connections with the events in her own world as Emily Sutton reemerges into society. But Zoe begins to suspect things aren’t anywhere near normal at Emily’s swamp house or in the lives of the people she claims have abandoned her…until looking further into the poet’s half-truths leads Zoe and Jenny to a horrible murder.

The chaos surrounding the ensuing investigation grows even more hectic with Emily’s increasingly erratic behavior, the arrival of a young woman searching for her missing poet uncle, and yet another betrayal in Jenny’s love life.

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Like the first book in the series, Murder Most Curious, this mystery was curious. A reclusive poet, Emily Sutton has left her home in the Pewee Swamp to visit Dora’s Little Library and left some of her new poetry. Meanwhile another town resident is planning an event to honor the poet and is thrilled to learn that Emily wants to attend and do a reading. Dora with the help of Zoe and Jenny is determined to help the poet get out in the world again but Zoe has a bad feeling about her. She starts to do a little investigating and she and Jenny make a horrific discovery.

I really like the relationship between Jenny and her mom and love the way they have included Zoe in their little family group. Zoe doesn’t always make that easy. They were also very accepting of Emily and even welcome another visitor into their home midway through the story. They seem to be genuine individuals with the ability to truly empathize with others around them.

A twisted tangle of events take place in the story. This author has a real unique imagination that turned this story upside down. I was drawn deeper and and deeper into the mystery as I swiped each page. Such great writing, a complex mystery that brings a real psychological element to what otherwise is considered a cozy mystery. There are some very suspenseful moments that had me on the edge of my seat.

I can’t wait for the next installment. Watch this author, I expect many fantastic stories are headed our way.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

I received this book for review from NetGalley and I am sorry I do not have a copy to giveaway.

About The Author

Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli (aka Elizabeth Lee) is a Michigan based novelist whose 12th book is due out in 2016. She teaches fiction writing at Northern Michigan College and has written for the NORTHERN EXPRESS, the ROMEO OBSERVER, the DETROIT NEWS, and the RECORD-EAGLE. She is a member of the Author’s Guild, International Association of crime Writers, Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers’ of America, Michigan Writers, and Detroit Working Writers and has three mystery series out, or about to be published.

In the Emily Kincaid series her novel DEAD DOGS AND ENGLISHMEN was chosen one of the best mysteries of 2012 by Kirkus Reviews. A new series (written as Elizabeth Lee) is now out with the third: NUTS AND BURIED (based in Texas)  released in November from Berkley Publishers. Another series, beginning with A MOST CURIOUS MURDER, (Crooked Lane Publishers) and now SHE STOPPED FOR DEATH.


Written as Elizabeth Lee

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher on NetGalley. 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.”

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Jul 282016
 
A MOST CURIOUS MURDER
A Most Curious Murder:
A Little Library Mystery

Cozy Mystery
New Series
Setting – Michigan
Crooked Lane Books (July 12, 2016)
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1629536064
E-Book ASIN: B01H082F02
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Jenny Weston moves home to Bear Falls, Michigan, to nurse her bruised ego back to health after a bitter divorce. But the idyllic vision of her charming hometown crumbles when her mother’s Little Library is destroyed.

The next-door neighbor, Zoe Zola, a little person and Lewis Carroll enthusiast, suspects local curmudgeon Adam Cane, but when he’s found dead in Zoe’s fairy garden, all roads lead back to her. Jenny, however, believes Zoe is innocent, so the two women team up to find the true culprit, investigating the richest family in Bear Falls, interrogating a few odd townspeople, and delving into long, hidden transgressions–until Adam Cane isn’t the only body in town, and they have an even bigger mystery to solve.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This story was an absolute treasure.

Jenny Weston reeling from an awful divorce arrived back home in Bear Falls to find her mother’s Little Library has been chopped to bits and books have have been ripped apart. The Little Library was built by Jenny’s dad for his librarian wife because little Bear Falls doesn’t have a public library and she wanted to share her joy of reading. He built it to look like just like their home and put it up shortly before he was killed in a car accident.

The first person Jenny meets is Zoe Zola who she finds lamenting about the Little Library’s destruction. Zoe just happens to be an author herself, a Lewis Carroll enthusiast, and a little person, who takes a bit of getting used to. She thinks she knows who did the dastardly deed but when the man is found dead and Zoe becomes the prime suspect, all thoughts turn to proving her innocence. Things continue to roll out of control as another man is found murdered and so many more questions arise.

I started reading this book and could not put it down. I loved the uniqueness of Zoe. She may be of small stature but she has a huge heart and a very uplifting point of view and special way of thinking. Jenny’s mom has a good friend in Zoe and as the book continued Jenny and she were quickly becoming “almost friends”.

I enjoyed the small town setting and the way the residents pulled together to help Jenny’s mother, Dora, replace her loss. It was interesting the Jenny reconnecting with high school friends she really didn’t want to and found her life was better having left town when she did.  She also meets someone new in town that just may help her start to heal her aching heart.

The drama was multifaceted as well. The main plot and subplots blended perfectly. They are complex, curious, and at times comical.

The best part of the whole thing was the author’s writing style. At times I felt like we were going down the rabbit hole ourselves and it was such a fun adventure. Words, words, words, suitcase words, words that need to be unpacked and understood and that would lead you to the answers you seek or they could lead you nowhere, but totally entertaining.

Loved, Loved, Loved, this story!! It is fresh and different! Alice in Wonderland fans, this is a book for you!

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli (aka Elizabeth Lee) is a Michigan based novelist whose 12th book is due out in 2016. She teaches fiction writing at Northern Michigan College and has written for the NORTHERN EXPRESS, the ROMEO OBSERVER, the DETROIT NEWS, and the RECORD-EAGLE. She is a member of the Author’s Guild, International Association of crime Writers, Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers’ of America, Michigan Writers, and Detroit Working Writers and has three mystery series out, or about to be published.

In the Emily Kincaid series her novel DEAD DOGS AND ENGLISHMEN was chosen one of the best mysteries of 2012 by Kirkus Reviews. A new series (written as Elizabeth Lee) is now out with the third: NUTS AND BURIED (based in Texas)  released in November from Berkley Publishers. Another series, beginning with A MOST CURIOUS MURDER, (Crooked Lane Publishers) out now, 2016, with the second: SHE STOPPED FOR DEATH.coming in January 2017.


Written as Elizabeth Lee

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher on NetGalley. 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.”

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