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Cozy Wednesday with Jeanne Quigley – Author of Cast for Murder (Veronica Walsh Mystery) #GuestPost / #Review / #Giveaway


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am so happy to welcome back Jeanne Quigley to Escapes With Dollycas!

Thank you, Lori, for inviting me to introduce the new Veronica Walsh mystery to your readers. Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!

One of the joys of writing is the opportunity it gives me to weave my interests into a story. Years of watching soap operas inspired the creation of Veronica Walsh, the star of my cozy mystery series, and my childhood vacations in the Adirondacks led me to set the series in a fictional town in that beautiful region of New York.

The theater, particularly the work behind-the-scenes, is another longtime fascination of mine. I marvel at how a group of talented people, from the playwright, director, and choreographer to the set designers, musicians, and actors, can transform a bare stage into whatever world the playwright imagined and transport an audience to a 1905 Paris opera house, a bachelor pad in 1960s New York, or the eighteenth century for a fresh take on the life of a Founding Father.

Since I’m not “in” the theater, I incorporated its appeal into the plot of my new mystery, Cast for Murder. In the third cozy starring Veronica Walsh, I staged a production of Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit at the Barton Community Theater, the amateur playhouse in Veronica’s hometown. I assembled a diverse cast of actors, appointed a production manager and stage manager, and handed the directorial reins to the theater’s founder, Gigi Swanson. I even built the actual theater and it took just one paragraph to do it.

Veronica, a retired soap opera actress, slides easily into the part of Coward’s wacky medium, Madame Arcati. Veronica doesn’t care that she’s performing alongside amateurs and won’t be paid (not even scale) for her part, or that she has to venture into the frigid winter nights of Barton to attend rehearsals. She’s out of retirement and acting again!

It’s all fabulous until the backstage drama begins after Veronica finds Gigi shot dead behind the theater. It doesn’t take long for Veronica to assume a second role she’s not as excited to play: amateur sleuth. She’s developed a skill for solving murders and has earned a fame for it she’d rather not have.

Gigi’s murder introduces Veronica to a whole new cast of characters, a lineup of murder suspects who don’t follow a script. Whitney, Gigi’s business partner, assumes the role of diva and plays it to the hilt. There’s Kenny, a former volunteer at the theater who would fit well in the cast of Twelve Angry Men. Julia is the perfect ingénue, all wide eyes, and batting eyelashes. But is it all an act, a guise put on to cover a little case of guilt? Finally, Gigi’s husband, Zach Townsend, is the perfect leading man: tall, dark, and handsome. Is he also a murderer?

Plus there’s a cameo by a real-life Madame Arcati. Does she have the psychic ability to help Veronica solve the murder, or is she only a good reference for Veronica to method act her way through her starring role?

The stage is set for a comic play turned into a murder mystery. Grab a front row seat and enjoy the show!

~Jeanne

Thank you, Jeanne, for stopping by today! 

Now here is my review of Cast for Murder. 

 

Cast for Murder (Veronica Walsh Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – New York
Self Published (February 5, 2018)
Paperback: 256 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1975911867
Kindle ASIN: B079MBKDDN

 

 

Former soap opera actress Veronica Walsh is recovering from her first holiday season in the retail world when she is pulled from retirement to star in a community production of Blithe Spirit. Delighted to play the part of a medium, Veronica must soon also assume the role of amateur sleuth when she finds the play’s director shot dead behind the theater.

Teaming with stage manager Sophie Morrissey, Veronica’s hunt for clues to the murder of Gigi Swanson leads her to a cast of colorful behind-the-scenes characters and a stunning Act Three finale. Will it be a triumph for Veronica, or will the curtain close on more than her career?

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Veronica Walsh has been asked to come out of retirement to play the medium in a local community theater production. It sounds like fun so she accepts only to find the director has been murdered soon after rehearsals begin. She and Sophie, the stage manager, find the body and soon are cast in their own investigation. Will they make it to the final act or will they and the play close early?

Working in community theater the cast and crew get close. This group has been fortunate to find a family so interested in their productions that they have turned an old barn and a nearby building into a theater and office for the group. Of course, it helps that a member of the family is the director. That is until she ends up dead.

Ms. Quigley has created quite a cast of characters for this story. The Townsend family owns the Gold and Country Club. A converted barn on the property is used for not only theatre productions, but weddings, bar and bat mitzvahs and other large parties. It sounds like a beautiful building. Gigi Swanson’s in-laws own the place and when she is murdered, her husband and his parents become murder suspects and so does Veronica and other members of the cast. These characters continue to evolve throughout the story as Veronica digs into them and their backgrounds as she tries to find the killer.

The mystery was so well plotted, it left me guessing right up to the end. I did like that Veronica reported back to the police anything she found out. This doesn’t happen often in this genre. Clues led them both on a very surprising path but Veronica found herself right in the line of fire.

The flow of the story had a slow build as suspects were eliminated but the tension took hold as the real killer was revealed. Someone I had ruled out earlier. Nicely played, Ms. Quigley.

The author has penned an excellent mystery with just a touch of romance. Her relationship with Mark is moving at a nice pace.

For me, a “perfect escape”.

This book can be read on its own but it’s more fun if you get to know Veronica from the beginning.

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

 

About the Author

Jeanne Quigley grew up reading mysteries, watching soap operas, and vacationing in the Adirondacks, never imagining these pleasures would be the inspiration for her Veronica Walsh cozy mysteries (All Things Murder; Murder, by George; Cast for Murder). Unlike the fictional Veronica, Jeanne has never been a soap opera star, but she has worked in the music industry and for an education publisher. She lives in Rockland County, New York and is a member of the Sisters in Crime. Readers can visit Jeanne at jeannequigley.wordpress.com.


Thanks to the author I have 1 copy to give away!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Leave a comment for the author for 5 Bonus Entries.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End February 28, 2018, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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.”

Posted in Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Guest Posts Reviews 2016 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday with Jeanne Quigley – Author of Murder, By George – #Review / #Giveaway

cozy wednesday 2013 640
Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am so happy to welcome Jeanne back to Escapes With Dollycas!

All_Things_Murder_-_Jeanne_Quigley

Thank you, Lori, for the opportunity to share the second Veronica Walsh Mystery, Murder, by George, with your readers. Happy Cozy Wednesday, everyone!

One person’s trash is another person’s treasure. The hope held in the adage has many spending their weekends scouring yard sales and flea markets for great deals. Shoppers leave with their arms filled with used clothing, books, toys, and other assorted goods that cost a small fraction of their original price. Usually, the treasure is in the eye of the buyer, to paraphrase another expression. Occasionally, though, someone will spend a few dollars on an item whose true value is in the thousands or even millions. Unsuspecting buyers have walked away from rummage sales with such priceless bounty as a 1,000-year-old Chinese bowl, Coca Cola stock shares, Andy Warhol sketches, and an original copy of the Declaration of Independence. These amazing real-life stories served as inspiration for Murder, by George.

The fictional million-dollar object is a painting by a renowned artist; its lucky new owner is Scott Culverson, a young architect who pays ten dollars for a vintage wood box at a flea market in the village of Barton, New York. Scott discovers the painting in a hidden drawer when the box is knocked from his grasp. According to an enclosed letter written by the artist, George Bradshaw, the painting is a wedding present to his unrequited love.

murder by georgeIt’s a spectacular find and Scott is soon making plans on how to spend his good fortune. He has student loans to pay off and a blueprint for a dream house. He’d love to start a collection of expensive wines and contribute a chunk of money to Barton, his new hometown. His girlfriend also wants a treat in the form of a Tiffany diamond ring.

It all sounds swell, doesn’t it? Remember, though, this is a cozy mystery, not a romance or feel-good story. There must be tension, sinister characters, and murder.
The conflict starts at the flea market, with the man who sold Scott the box and the family of the antique’s original owner arguing and threatening lawsuits as they stake their claims to the painting. The artist’s daughter and grandchildren join the fight that evening at a local restaurant, demanding Scott hand over the canvas, now!

Retired soap opera actress and amateur sleuth Veronica Walsh witnesses the scenes at the flea market and Hearth. That’s helpful when Scott is stabbed to death two nights later and the painting is stolen. Veronica has a ready-made list of suspects, including Scott’s adversary, the contractor who provided the shove that broke the box and revealed the painting, and Regina Quinn, a Barton newcomer and great-niece of two of Veronica’s dear friends. Veronica must also contend with a feisty hairdresser, sassy employees, and a conspiracy theorist septuagenarian as she tracks down Scott’s killer.

In a bit of foreshadowing, when leaving the flea market Veronica murmurs how glad she is she didn’t buy the vintage box. At least in fiction, the trash-to-treasure fantasy is best left to daydreams.

~Jeanne

About The Author

Jeanne Quigley grew up reading mysteries, watching soap operas, and vacationing in the Adirondacks, never imagining these pleasures would inspire the Veronica Walsh cozy mystery series. Jeanne’s love of characters—real and fictional—led her to study Sociology and English at the University of Notre Dame. Jeanne has never been a soap star, but she has worked in the music industry and for an education publisher. She resides in Rockland County, New York and is a member of the Sisters in Crime.

Find out more about Jeanne on her website here.

Follow her on GoodReads and Like her page on Facebook.

murder by george
Murder, By George
(A Veronica Walsh Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – New York
Five Star Publishing (May 18, 2016)
Hardcover: 268 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1432831431
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

 

Retired soap opera actress Veronica Walsh leads a fulfilling second act in her Adirondack hometown of Barton. Her boutique, All Things, is thriving and she enjoys a romance with Professor Mark Burke. She has neither the time nor the desire to be an amateur sleuth.

Trouble finds her when architect Scott Culverson buys a vintage box at the village’s annual flea market and discovers a valuable painting and love letter inside a locked drawer. The awe over the masterpiece, a 1920’s portrait of Barton’s main street, turns to rage when a fierce argument ensues. The box’s seller insists the painting was not included in the sale, while Ella and Madeline Griffin, whose mother received the painting as a wedding present, demand that Scott return the painting to their family. The artist’s daughter, the formidable Leona Bradshaw Kendall, later joins the battle over Orchard Street.

When Scott is stabbed to death and the painting and letter stolen, the Griffin sisters ask Veronica to help clear suspicion from their hot-tempered great-niece, Regina. Despite a vow to stay out of the investigation, Veronica’s loyalty to her friends draws her into the case.

Veronica crosses paths with a shady contractor, brassy hairdresser, overwrought lawyer, and adoring Czech housekeeper as she searches for both killer and work of art. Whom can Veronica trust, and who will lead her to the brink of death?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

In this follow up to All Things Murder, Veronica finds herself caught up in another fine mystery. A relaxing day at a local flea market get very interesting when a masterpiece is found in a vintage box. Things go from interesting to scary when the box buyer is found dead and the box contents missing. When Veronica is asked to investigate and rule out one of the suspects, she tries to find someone with more to gain by the death, but she soon has way to many suspects. Just who actually killed to get their prize? Veronica is determined to find out but she may not survive the challenge.

There are a lot of characters in this story and it first it was hard to keep track of them all. This did get easier as the story continued. The characters all had different ways they were connected to the painting. Some were very brusque in their demeanor and others weren’t quite as blunt. They all believed they were entitled to the painting and/or the letter.  I seriously had a hard time figuring out the killer. In my mind they all could have done it.

As a soap opera fan I really enjoy the character of Veronica Walsh. She is very successful in her retirement. Her store seems to be doing well and her relationship with Professor Mark Burke is moving in the right direction. I really liked the way their romance was written. Not too much to take away from the mystery, a perfect amount so we get to know these characters better.

The flow of the story was not as smooth in couple of places but I think that was because so many characters being suspect in my mind as well as Veronica’s. We both seemed to be second guessing ourselves and not ruling anyone out. This made the mystery plot good but just a little stilted a times.

I love the setting, Barton sounds like a wonderful place to visit. I hope to travel there again soon.

enjoyable 2016

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

GIVEAWAY

The author is giving away an Advance Reader Copy and I will give away my copy too! 

Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Leave a comment for Jeanne for 5 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End June 1, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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.”