Mystery Aboard

Mysteries, Boats, and Boaters

Two of my favorite mystery authors are boaters. So, what else do they do but set their mysteries aboard? Actually, not only do I love their stories, they inspire me. (Okay, I have a mystery aboard.  Not a series yet, but I’m writing as fast as I can.) So, here they are: Jinx Swartz and Christine Kling.

I Love a Mystery – Historic Mysteries

Three Favorite Historic Mysteries

My favorite books are mysteries, true, but I like to read in several genres. When I find a delightful historic mystery, I’m doubly thrilled. In fact, I so love historical mysteries, I have to showcase three series. 

Laugh Out Loud Mysteries

Two humorous mystery series

A good mystery may keep me up late at night as I follow an exciting story and try to uncover clues that lead me to who-dun-it before the sleuth. If I’m surprised, that’s an added benefit. Nail-biting? You bet. Fear for the safety of a totally imaginary hero or heroine? Oh, way sure! But laugh all the way through until tears flow? Sometimes that’s exactly what I’m looking for. And two of my favorite series fit the bill.

Tamar Myers is one author. Her Pennsylvania Dutch Mysteries (with recipes, even) follow Magdalena Yoder as she solves mysteries while running her own PennDutch Inn. Some books in the series were published twenty years ago, and others more recently. One reviewer of Too Many Crooks Spoil The Broth said, “Part Agatha Christie, part Keystone Kops, with a few tantalizing food stops along the way.” Some titles are: Play It Again, Spam, The Crepes of Wrath, and Custard’s Last Stand. True story: She sold each book on the title alone! Okay, maybe not the first one.

Kaye George is another author who fits the bill. Choke, Broke, and Smoke, are the titles in her Imogene Duckworthy Mysteries. One reviewer said: “Question: If you combined Lucille Ball with Inspector Clouseau, what would you get? Answer: Imogene Duckworthy, amateur PI…” Immy, the amateur sleuth who really wants to be a professional, is one of a kind. She tries her darndest, while the reader wonders how she can possibly succeed, but cheers her every effort anyway. I could add, the reader also enjoys her unexpected detours from those detecting chores.

Both authors have other series as well, series I greatly enjoy, maybe not just when I’m in a silly mood. Do you have a favorite funny mystery or series? I’d love to add to add to my, ahem, overwhelming pile of BTR (books to read).



E-book Links Updated

All of my books are available as paperback and e-book through Amazon, but most are also available in formats for the other e-book readers. Time to pull it all together. Through books2read, it’s possible to give one link for each book. (The Kindle link will also show the paperback site.) Some markets other than Amazon also carry the paperback issues.

I’ll start with the Jo Durbin Series links.

Hidden Body – Prequel novelette, e-book free everywhere

Yesterday’s Body – Book 1

Forgotten Body – Book 2

The Cyd Denlinger Mystery – Death of a Hot Chick  

Cherish – A YA Ghost Mystery

A Knucklehead in 1920s Alaska – The true adventures of a young man

The Deserter and Other Stories – Ten short stories, includes recipes.

Available in paperback and all email formats. This ebook is a free premium for members of Norma’s Chat. Once a month or so, I send a variety of publishing news, links to free mysteries, maybe a recipe, a review, or news of mysteries on sale. Go to the Free Book site for more information, or straight to the Book Funnel link here.


New Short Mystery – Hidden Body

Hidden_ebook-final cover-smallHidden Body, a prequel mystery novelette, is part of the Jo Durbin Mysteries. Jo’s sister is preparing a cottage by Chesapeake Bay for sale. Jo is along to write up the glowing words that will entice buyers to an Open House. When a black cat crosses their path, is it bad luck? Or, just maybe, that cat may lead to solving a mystery.

Did I mention it’s FREE? Available as an e-book at these outlets:

| Kindle | Nook | Kobo | iBookScribdInktera24 symbols |

Death of a Hot Chick

A young widow trying to survive, a ghost with an agenda, and the boat they share.

HotChick-Cover1That’s the elevator pitch for Death of a Hot Chick. What is an elevator pitch, you ask? That’s when an author finds herself in an elevator with an agent and she wants to tell said agent all about her wonderful book before the door opens.

I’m not looking for an agent. I want to tell readers about my mystery and the elevator pitch works for that too. I could tell you more, but instead, I’ll talk about the cover. The boat pictured is real. Some years before I wrote this book, I saw the original Snapdragon. I took pictures and asked the owner if I could place a murder mystery on her boat. She agreed, with one reservation. Not gonna tell you what that one was, but I will tell you, perhaps she should have asked for more.

Since Death of a Hot Chick is now available for all e-readers, as well as in paperback, I want to show them all in one place. Do check them out.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kindle | Nook | Kobo | iBook | BAM | 24symbols |


New Mystery – Forgotten Body

Forgotten_ebook final cover-small sampleMy new mystery has been published! Forgotten Body is the second in the Jo Durbin Mystery Series. Since it was in the running for a Kindle Scout book, I decided to offer the ebook free for five days. After all, if it had been a Kindle Scout book, everyone who nominated it would have received a free ebook. Well, I’m going one better. Anyone who wants it, can have a free book. (Of course, I won’t mind if a lot of readers decide to post a review.)

Do you remember Jo Durbin from the prequel (also new), Hidden Body, or the first volume, Yesterday’s Body? She’s the fifty-something woman who, looking to revitalize a journalist career going south, takes unusual steps. In Hidden Body, she was merely going along with her real estate salesman sister Sylvie to write up a glowing review of a cottage for sale. (Did that black cat mean bad luck? Or, did the cat help the sisters find the villain?) In Yesterday’s Body, Jo lived as a bag lady, planning to write up her experiences and maybe make big bucks. As a bag lady, she tried all the tricks the homeless might use—sleep in the park, use someone else’s keys, even take a part-time job. (We know plans in a mystery never work out.)

Here’s the short version of my blurb for Forgotten Body: Jo Durbin, embedded reporter, covers a reenactment of America’s forgotten War of 1812. Piece of cake. Action, faux dead bodies, pretend battles, and everyday lives of the RVers (Workampers)—all fodder for her pen. Except there’s a real body, forgotten in the grass.

With the victim’s checkered past, suspects multiply. When children are endangered, Jo follows a figment of her imagination despite any help or hindrance from her sister, a friend, and the man who wants to be more than a friend.

And here’s the Amazon link, free for the first five days.

How Jo Changed

I have a new cover for my first book, Yesterday’s Body. Inside the book, my amateur sleuth is just the same. On the cover, she’s changed.

The first cover was done by the small publisher, Wings ePress. Then, after my contract with them was up, I self-published with a cover by my daughter, Donna Hedricks. Now, since I’m about to publish a sequel, I wanted them to match. So. . . a new cover, by Karen Phillips. But let’s face it. Jo’s image has changed.

First Cover

First Cover









Second Cover

Second Cover









Third Cover

Third Cover










Of course, I must admit, there’s not much of Jo on the third cover. But they all have the yellow cat.

Nominee – Kindle Scout

Forgotten_ebook final coverThere are a lot of good books listed on Kindle Scout for readers to nominate. Forgotten Body is mine. It’s a good deal for readers as well as authors. The program lists each accepted book for thirty days, then gives readers the opportunity to nominate their favorites. Best part—when a book is chosen for publication by Kindle Scout, all those who nominated that title get it free (as an e-book) shortly before publication.

The program is good for authors too as they receive an advance and a favorable contract.

My blurb: Jo Durbin, embedded reporter, covers a reenactment of America’s forgotten War of 1812. Piece of cake. Action, faux dead bodies, pretend battles, and everyday lives of the RVers (Workampers)—all fodder for her pen. Except there’s a real body, forgotten in the grass. With the victim’s checkered past, suspects multiply. When children are endangered, Jo follows a figment of her imagination despite any help or hindrance from her sister, a friend, and the man who wants to be more than a friend.


It’s Bazaar Time

11-19 christmas-bazaarI’m gearing up to sell my books at a local Christmas bazaar. Books will be in the minority of products. There will be sewn lovelies, cut felt hangings, hand-made jewelry, paintings, and a variety of decorated items wanting to be under someone’s Christmas tree. There will be commercial booths with candy and goodies galore that may not last until Christmas. (I know, any I buy will suffer that fate.)

Ah, but books? One can partake of their delights and still gift them to others. (That’s what often happen to my holiday purchases. However, one must hold the book only partially open so as not to crack the spine, definitely not dog-ear any pages, and never read while eating anything sticky.)

And after the bazaar? Will I count my money, always assuming I actually sell a few books instead of buying others’ goodies. Well, hopefully. But I’ll go back to promoting my book that is currently available for nomination at Kindle Scout. (You knew I wouldn’t miss that opportunity right now.)

That taken care of, I wonder how many of you participate in Holiday Bazaars. Or, do you suffer (like me), with ambivalent thoughts of—what? It isn’t even Thanksgiving yet.