Join cozy mystery authors V.M. Burns, Ellen Byron, Abby Collette, and Daryl Wood Gerber along with Back Room host Karen Dionne for an evening of great conversation!
V.M. Burns was born and raised in South Bend, Indiana. She graduated from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science and Urban Studies. Valerie later went on to get a Master of Science in Administration from the University of Notre Dame and a Master of Fine Arts in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University.
By day Valerie is an Operations Manager at a call center for an appliance manufacturer. At night, Valerie writes cozy mysteries, children’s books and screenplays.
Valerie currently lives in Eastern Tennessee with her three poodles (Cash, Kensington and Chloe). Visit her website at www.vmburns.com.
Ellen Byron (Maria DiRico)’s Cajun Country Mysteries have won the Agatha award for Best Contemporary Novel and multiple Lefty awards for Best Humorous Mystery. Her new Catering Hall Mystery series, written as Maria DiRico, launched with Here Comes the Body, and is inspired by her real life.
Ellen is an award-winning playwright, and non-award-winning TV writer of comedies like Wings, Just Shoot Me, and Fairly Odd Parents. She has written over two hundred articles for national magazines but considers her most impressive credit working as a cater-waiter for Martha Stewart.
Learn more at www.ellenbyron.com.
Wall Street Journal bestselling author Abby Collette loves a good mystery. Born and raised in Cleveland, it’s even a mystery to her why she has yet to move to a warmer place. Author of the two Southern cozy mystery series Logan Dickerson Mysteries featuring a second-generation archaeologist and a nonagenarian who is always digging up trouble, and the Romaine Wilder Mysteries, set in East Texas, it pairs a medical examiner and her feisty auntie who owns a funeral home and is always ready to solve a whodunnit.
Visit her website at www.abbycollette.com.
Daryl Wood Gerber is the Agatha Award-winning, nationally bestselling author of of The Fairy Garden Mysteries, featuring a fairy garden shop owner in charming Carmel, California, The French Bistro Mysteries, featuring a former chef who is now an up-and-coming bistro owner in Napa Valley, and The Cookbook Nook Mysteries, featuring an admitted foodie and owner of a cookbook store in picturesque coastal California. Under the pen name Avery Aames, Daryl writes the Agatha Award-winning, nationally bestselling The Cheese Shop Mysteries set in fictional Providence, Ohio. Daryl also writes suspense novels, including the Aspen Adams books and standalones, which have garnered terrific reviews.
Prior to her career as a novelist, Daryl wrote screenplays and created the format for the popular TV sitcom Out of this World. A fun tidbit for mystery buffs, Daryl was also an actress and co-starred on Murder, She Wrote, as well as other TV shows. Daryl is originally from the Bay Area and graduated from Stanford University. She loves to cook, read, golf, swim, and garden. She also likes adventure and has been known to jump out of a perfectly good airplane. Visit her at www.darylwoodgerber.com.
Karen Dionne is the USA Today and #1 internationally bestselling author of the award-winning psychological suspense novel The Marsh King’s Daughter published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons in the US and in 25 other countries and The Wicked Sister (August 2020), also from G.P. Putnam’s Sons. The Marsh King’s Daughter was named a 2018 Michigan Notable Book, took home the Barry and the Crimson Scribe Awards for Best Novel, and was chosen as one of the best books of 2017 by iBooks, Hudson Booksellers, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, The Irish Independent, The Florida Sun-Sentinel, Library Journal, Shelf Awareness and many other booksellers and reviewers and is in development as a major motion picture.
In a starred review, Publishers Weekly calls The Wicked Sister “A devastating, magic realism–dusted psychological thriller . . . Dionne paints a haunting portrait of a family hurtling toward the tragic destiny they can foresee but are powerless to stop.” Visit Karen at www.karen-dionne.com
Samantha Washington has long dreamed of owning a mystery bookstore. And as she prepares for the grand opening, she’s realizing another dream–penning a cozy mystery set in England between the wars. While Samantha hires employees and stocks her shelves, her imagination also gets to work as her heroine, Lady Penelope Marsh, long-overshadowed by her beautiful sister Daphne, refuses to lose the besotted Victor Carlston to her sibling’s charms. When one of Daphne’s suitors is murdered in a maze, Penelope steps in to solve the labyrinthine puzzle and win Victor.
In the meantime, however, the unimaginable happens in real life. A shady realtor turns up dead in Samantha’s backyard, and the police suspect her–after all, she might know a thing or two about murder. Aided by her feisty grandmother and an ensemble of enthusiastic retirees, Samantha is determined to close the case before she opens her store. But will she live to conclude her own story when the killer has a revised ending in mind?
Purchase The Plot is Murder from an independent bookstore near you.
Purchase The Plot is Murder online at www.bookshop.org.
In the second installment of Maria DiRico’s new Catering Hall Mystery series, Mia Carina is back in the borough of Queens, in charge of the family catering hall Belle View Banquet Manor, and keeping her nonna company. But some events–like murder at a shower–are not the kind you can schedule…
Mia’s newly pregnant friend Nicole plans to hold a shower at Belle View–but Nicole also has to attend one that her competitive (and mysteriously rich) stepmother, Tina, is throwing at the fanciest place in Queens. It’s a good chance for Mia to snoop on a competitor, especially since doing a search for “how to run a catering hall” can get you only so far.
Mia tags along at the lavish party, but the ambience suffers at Nicole’s Belle View shower when a fight breaks out–and then, oddly, a long-missing and valuable stolen painting is unwrapped by the mom-to-be. Tina is clearly shocked to see it. But not as shocked as Mia is when, soon afterward, she spots the lifeless body of a party guest floating in the marina . . .
Purchase Long Island Iced Tina from an independent bookstore near you.
Purchase Long Island Iced Tina online at www.bookshop.org.
Bronwyn Crewse is delighted that Crewse Creamery, the ice cream shop her family has owned for decades, is restored to its former glory and serving sweet frozen treats to happy customers in the picturesque small town of Chagrin Falls, Ohio. But when a big city developer comes to town intent on building a mall, a killer with a frozen heart takes him out.
After literally stumbling across the body, one of Win’s closest friends becomes the prime suspect, and to make things worse, Win’s aunt has come to town with the intention of taking command of Crewse Creamery. Even though Win has a rocky road ahead to help her friend and keep her ice cream shop, it’ll take more than a sprinkle of murder to stop her from solving the crime and saving the day.
Purchase A Game of Cones from an independent bookstore near you.
Purchase A Game of Cones online at www.bookshop.org.
Since childhood, Courtney has loved fairies. After her mother died when Courtney was ten, she lost touch with that feeling of magic. A year ago, at age twenty-nine, she rediscovered it when she left her father’s landscaping business to spread her wings and start a fairy garden business and teashop in beautiful Carmel, California. At Open Your Imagination, she teaches garden design and sells everything from fairy figurines to tinkling wind chimes. Now she’s starting a book club tea.
But the light of the magical world she’s created inside her shop is darkened one night when she discovers neighboring dog-grooming business owner Mick Watkins dead beside her patio fountain. To make matters worse, the police suspect Courtney of the crime. To clear her name and find the real killer, Courtney will have to wing it. But she’s about to get a little help from an unexpected source . . .
Purchase Letters from Home from an independent bookstore near you.
Purchase Letters from Home online at www.bookshop.org.
The Wicked Sister by Karen Dionne
From the bestselling and award-winning author of The Marsh King’s Daughter comes a startling novel of psychological suspense as two generations of sisters try to unravel their tangled relationships between nature and nurture, guilt and betrayal, love and evil.
You have been cut off from society for fifteen years, shut away in a mental hospital in self-imposed exile as punishment for the terrible thing you did when you were a child.
But what if nothing about your past is as it seems? And if you didn’t accidentally shoot and kill your mother, then whoever did is still out there. Waiting for you.
Purchase The Wicked Sister at an independent bookstore near you.
Purchase The Wicked Sister online at www.bookshop.org.