Skip to content

Deadly Valentines… cozy mysteries for your Valentine week.

February 4, 2017

I don’t know about you, but I love a read with a theme, and holidays offer some of the best themes. Parties, dressing up, gifts… lots of opportunity for fun, love, and mystery.

So for this upcoming Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d put together a selection of Valentine-themed cozy mysteries for you to try.

deadly-valentineMy first pick is Deadly Valentine by Carolyn Hart. This is book 6 in her Death on Demand series. In it, mystery bookstore owner, Annie Laurance, gets an invitation to her neighbor’s Valentine Day masked ball. … a masked ball. Need I say more? You know all kinds of fun and trouble will come with that. As I said, this is book 6 in the series. You can start right here if you haven’t read any of the other Death on Demand books, but I think once you do, you’ll want to go back and read more. It is one of my favorite cozy mystery series.

Valentine Murder by Leslie Meier finds main character Lucy Stone baking Valentine-themed cupcakes for her kids. But while the kids may have a fun sugar-packed holiday, Lucy’s is a lot less sweet. She arrives at her first board meeting of the newly-renovated library and discovers the librarian dead in the basement. Soon she is one of just a handful of suspects. Not how she’d wanted to spend her day. (Valentine Murder is book 5 in the Lucy Stone Mystery Series.)

In Death of a Chocoholic by Lee Hollis,  food columnist Hayley Powell has given up on Valentine’s Day and romance. She just wants to dive into the box of gourmet chocolates gifted to her by chocolatier Bessie Winthrop. However, when Bessie turns up dead in her kitchen Hayley is convinced the “heart attack” was not from natural causes. (Book 4 in the Hayley Powell Food and Cocktails Mystery Series.)

Dusty Deals Mystery Holiday Novella, Lucy and the Valentine Verdict

Chocolate too rich for you? What about some cheese this Valentine’s Day? Agatha Award Winner As Gouda as Dead by Avery Aames offers love and murder. Cheese shop owner Charlotte Bessette is all geared up for her wedding, but when a body is found on her fiancee’s farm, things get just a tad off track. Not that Charlotte is going to let a killer ruin her perfect day.

And, finally, if you haven’t read it, I’ve put my own Valentine’s Day cozy mystery novella on sale for the month. Lucy and the Valentine Verdict takes Lucy and Peter on a Valentine murder mystery weekend with Kiska coming along for the ride. Get it for only 99¢.
Barnes & Noble | Amazon | Smashwords

Have a favorite to add? List it in the comments!

99 Cent Cozy Mystery Book BUNDLES

January 11, 2017

I was wandering around Amazon today and found three cozy mystery book bundles for 99 cents each. One for $1.99. And, of course, I wanted to share. 🙂

Hope there’s something great in this batch.

99 cents 99 cents
99 cents $1.99

Free & Bargain Cozy Mystery eBooks!

January 9, 2017

I love a bargain. I’m guessing you do too. 🙂 If so check out the books below. And I’d love to hear if you enjoy them! Let me know in the comments.

Click on the covers to go to Amazon. (Many should be the same price at other booksellers.)

All free or 99 cents at time of posting. Things change… check price before you buy.

Who Would You Cast as Lucy in a Movie

May 31, 2016

I’ve joined Wattpad. Not familiar with it? It’s a site where writers, both professional and amateur, share their writing for free.

Right now I’m sharing the first book in the Dusty Deals Mystery Series, Loose Screw and they have this fun feature where you can “cast” your characters.

So, what do you think? Who should play Lucy? Peter? Rhonda? And, of course, Betty?

I’d love to hear your ideas.

Oh, and check out my place at Wattpad.

3-Book Bundle on Sale for 99 Cents!

May 27, 2016

To celebrate the release of book 5 in the Dusty Deals Mystery Series (Loose Lips), I’ve put the 3-book bundle of the first three volumes on sale for only 99 cents!

This is a great deal that I’ve only offered once before.

You can get it now at most booksellers.

Amazon| Barnes & Noble |iTunes | Google Play |Smashwords | Kobo

In other news… uh Book 5 is FINALLY out. If you missed that announcement, you must not be signed up for my newsletter. Time to fix that! 😉

But here are the deets…


A mystery is brewing in Helena, Montana, and amateur sleuth Lucy Mathews is in the center of it… again.

An ex-reporter turned antiques shop owner, Lucy prides herself on being a true and loyal friend. So, when she discovers a new coffee kiosk is stealing business from a friend she is determined to help.

But, things are never that simple. At least not for Lucy.

The “Cuties” running the kiosk are a tad too cute for a group of do-gooding ladies. Kiska, Lucy’s Alaskan malamute, downs a bakery’s worth of cupcakes. And no one seems willing to help Lucy get the collectibles she needs to win the upcoming downtown window decorating contest.

Then, of course, just when Lucy thinks she can’t take any more… she lands on top of yet another dead body.

And this time more than one of Lucy’s friends is at the top of the suspect list.

Murder, antiques, romance. How will Lucy balance it all?

Amazon | iTunes | Smashwords|Google Play | Kobo |
Barnes & Noble

Hope you enjoy it!

April Winners!

May 15, 2014

The New to You Book winner is Dawn Frazier! Congrats, Dawn. You win a backlist title from Lynn Cahoon.

And the monthly winner of a $5 Amazon Gift Card is… Brooke Boos! Congrats, Brooke and thanks for subscribing to my newsletter.

Want to be entered to win a prize this month? Leave a comment on this month’s New to You Book Interview and sign up for my newsletter. (Resign up if you have before.)

New To You Book: Cozy Mystery, Deadly Ties

May 15, 2014

Welcome to  Susan Holmes, author of Deadly Ties, A Waterside Kennels Mystery, today’s New to You Book pick!

What is your book about?

Set in a boarding kennel, Deadly Ties is an amateur sleuth’s tale of family, friendship, and betrayal in an Ozark mountain community where ties run deep and grudges can linger for a lifetime.

What type of reader would your book appeal to most?

Deadly Ties Cozy dog mysteryAnyone who enjoys mystery or suspense fiction without graphic violence or explicit sex. The book will appeal to readers who like to solve puzzles, enjoy regional mysteries, and like to see dogs as part of the story.

Who is the main character? What does he or she want or what is his or her biggest struggle to over come?

Maggie Porter returns to her Eagle Cove and her childhood home in the Ozark Mountains determined to reopen the family dog business. She’s gambled everything she owns to make her boarding kennel and dog training business successful. She’s prepared for long hours, hard labor, and even record high temperatures as the region bakes in a summer-long drought. What she doesn’t expect, though, is the trouble that follows when a gossip-loving employee turns up dead, holding an heirloom locket belonging to Maggie’s mother.

What movies or other books would you compare your book to and why?

What an intriguing question! I think that’s one best answered by readers. You can read the first five chapters free on my website.

What plot line drives the story?

Deadly Ties has multiple plot lines woven through the story, and all of them come back to the land and its people. When Maggie starts investigating her employee’s death—ruled accidental by the authorities—she finds herself the target of anonymous threats and mysterious break-ins. And when a security crisis puts everything she loves at risk, she’s convinced the death was no accident.

The locket, the threats, and the break-ins all appear connected to Maggie’s mother, who left Eagle Cove twenty years ago. Determined to discover the truth, Maggie must track her reclusive mother through the world of fine art to unravel the mystery.

As the region sizzles in record heat and drought, a “Treasures of the Ozarks” advertising campaign disrupts her quest for answers even as it breathes new life old treasure legends and brings out tourists and treasure hunters alike. With her loyal dogs at her side—a champion Labrador Retriever, an aging Cocker Spaniel, and a Beagle retired from federal service—Maggie must dig for the truth. Along the way she learns that everyone has something to hide, and some secrets are worth killing for.

How is your book different than other books in the same genre?

I do push the traditional definition of a cozy, though, by introducing more suspense, more villainy than you might see in a typical light-hearted, whimsical romp. My characters—including the dogs!—are good, bad, and sometimes both. That might be why my work has been called “a cozy with an edge.” Whatever you call it, the book is the sort you finish with a sense of satisfaction. Mystery solved, justice served, and the villains get their comeuppance

Does your book have romance in it? If so how important is it to the story?

Maggie finds herself attracted to a neighbor, Zak, a military veteran and single dad with an adorable young daughter, Claire, who desperately wants a dog of her own. There’s definite interest on both sides, although Maggie has too much on her mind to let herself get involved. Fortunately, Zak is persistent and I think we’ll see romance bloom in the series—assuming miscellaneous villains leave everyone in peace for a little while!Is your book part of a series? If so what are the other books (in order) in the series and will there be more?

Is your book part of a series? If so what are the other books (in order) in the series and will there be more?

Deadly Ties is the first in the Waterside Kennel series. The second is due out later this year, with several more already in the works.

Here’s a peek at book #2: After the trouble she had over the summer, all Maggie wants is a quiet life. Alas, that’s not to be. First, an abrasive community member launches a campaign to enact a “dangerous dog” ordinance which could force Maggie out of business—or into jail.

When he’s found dead near the kennel, some have their own reasons for wanting to pin the murder on Maggie herself. Under a cloud of suspicion and with her home and business at risk, she sets out to clear her name and finds herself caught in a murderous land feud that could tear the mountain community apart.

If your book is part of a series, what makes it a series?

Stories of families, feuds, and Ozark legends run through the series. Readers come to know the region as Maggie creates a life for herself in a place where her family lived for generations. An eclectic cast of characters are on hand from one book to the next, lending a hand when Maggie gets into trouble—which happens far more often than she’d like!

This is a regional mystery series. While Hogan County, Eagle Cove, and Waterside Kennels exist only in my imagination and within the pages of each book, they’re set among the very real backdrop of the Ozarks and northwest Arkansas. Each book will feature the village of Eureka Springs and will include current events and issues impacting the region.

If your book is part of a series, should readers read the books in order?

While later books in the series don’t contain any obvious spoilers (I won’t, for example, identify book #1 villains by name in later books), readers might enjoy being part of Maggie’s adventures from the start. You could, however, pick up the series at any point.

Where can readers get your book and when?

Deadly Ties is available now from retailers everywhere. You can get a paperback copy from Independent Booksellers and Amazon & B&N. Ebook versions are available for your favorite device: Kindle, Nook, Kobo, & Sony.

Is there anything else you would like readers to know about your book?

The book was inspired by the joyful adventures of 18 years with my beloved spaniel Alix. While writing the series I’ve joined Search and Rescue exercises, ventured through caves, forests and fields, and into dog parks, vet clinics, and kennels. I work closely with dog trainers, kennel owners, and veterinarians to create an environment dog lovers are sure to recognize and appreciate. In fact, dog lovers have praised the accuracy of all dog-related details in the series.


Find Susan at her web site , at goodreads or on Facebook! Get your own copy of Deadly Ties at Amazon now.

To be entered to win a trade paperback copy of Deadly Ties just leave a comment below by May 31, 2014 U.S. central time.