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Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/588711 Code: SY32Q
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ABOUT THE BOOK:
Hoping for a romantic honeymoon at an Arizona dude ranch, hairstylist Marla Vail and her husband Dalton arrive to find a series of mishaps plaguing the resort. A nearby ghost town is suffering similar problems. Is it mere coincidence that Dalton’s Uncle Raymond owns both properties? When Raymond asks for their help in finding the culprit, Marla and Dalton eagerly accept. Then news of a local forest ranger’s death raises the stakes.
With sleuthing more natural to Marla than horseback riding, she delves into the investigation. But as she digs deeper, she discovers skeletons in the family closet. Someone means to drive Raymond out of business, and the reason may be linked to his past misdeeds. Raymond isn’t the only one with secrets. The trail leads Marla from an environmental activist group to saguaro poachers to water rights proponents to an abandoned copper mine beneath the ghost town. She’d better saddle up, rein in the clues, and find the killer before she becomes the next spirit inhabiting the haunted hillside.
Nancy J. Cohen writes the humorous Bad Hair Day Mysteries featuring hairdresser Marla Vail, who solves crimes with wit and style under the sultry Florida sun. Titles in this series have made the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association bestseller list. Nancy is also the author of Writing the Cozy Mystery, a valuable instructional guide on how to write a winning whodunit. Her imaginative romances, including the Drift Lords series, have proven popular with fans as well. A featured speaker at libraries, conferences, and community events, Nancy is listed in Contemporary Authors, Poets & Writers, and Who’s Who in U.S. Writers, Editors, & Poets. When not busy writing, she enjoys fine dining, theme parks, cruising, and outlet shopping.
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“Peril by Ponytail ropes in the reader in Nancy J. Cohen’s captivating new tale, which deftly braids together deadly secrets under the sand, long hidden resentments, and romance on the range.”—Ellen Byerrum, Author of the Crime of Fashion Mysteries
“Another winner from talented author Nancy J. Cohen. Saddle up and come along for a great read!”—Maggie Toussaint, author of the Dreamwalker Mysteries
“As usual, it’s just a matter of time before Marla risks life and limb to help her husband solve a case that’s bigger than either of them anticipated.” —Kirkus Reviews
“This is a good addition to Cohen’s long-running series. The heroine is in fine form and … the slight bit of paranormal activity adds a nice touch.” —RT Book Reviews
“Nancy J. Cohen once again delivers a delightful cozy mystery with the latest escapades of Marla and her partner Dalton.” —Night Owl Reviews
“I have never read a book with more twists and turns. There was so much happening, I was on the edge of my seat and biting my nails.” —Mary’s Reviews
“A great addition to a wonderful cozy series.” Ana Kurland’s Reviews
I have so much fun editing this series. I adore Vinnie Esposito. I root for her. I laugh at her antics. She gets into trouble. A lot. But she is always doing the right thing. I am always on her side. And that’s important when it comes to the relationship between the reader and the heroine/hero. We have to connect with the heroine in order to follow along on her journey. No matter what the journey is. Otherwise we won’t be able to get through the book. We have to like the heroine too. We have to be able to understand her, and her motives. And a great writer, like J.M. Griffin, enables us to do that.
I hope you enjoy reading Death Gone Awry as much as I did.
Here’s what it’s about:
Vinnie Esposito Series (Book 6)
This is what Vinnie Esposito knows: When you see a guy floating in the water, you jump in and save him. You don’t stop to ask if he’s connected to the mob. Unfortunately for Vinnie, he is. And now she’s in trouble. Again.
Her boyfriend, hunky State Trooper Marcus Richmond, is fed up with Vinnie’s misadventures, not to mention that every mobster in town seems to know who she is. At least Vinnie knows she can rely on her best friend Lola Trapezi to whip up some delicious dinner at her deli. She also knows Lola is always ready to help, even if it means getting into some hot water herself.
Everything Vinnie knows and doesn’t know—including how she really feels about her sexy friend and upstairs tenant FBI Agent Aaron Grant, and whether her dad really is connected to the mob—is all up in the air. And what Vinnie doesn’t know, might just get her killed.
Cheers! and Happy Reading.
Have you ever wondered, really wondered, what the difference is between regular mysteries and those well-loved cozies? For years, I read as many mystery novels as I could get my greedy little hands on, but my favorite ones were cozy mysteries.
A mystery is like a puzzle. The pieces are scattered here and there, until bit by bit, they slowly come together to take shape and form, and whammo, you have the complete picture.
Take Jessica Fletcher for instance. She lives in the small seaside village of Cabot Cove on the coast of Maine and is an amateur sleuth. She becomes embroiled in the least likely situations and never takes the sheriff’s word for anything. She knows his idea of the guilty party is far from accurate and sets out to prove it by linking pieces of the puzzle together as they present themselves.
Most cozies take place in a small town where people are friendly, except the killer, of course. Many of the residents also have something to hide, which is a perfect ingredient when whipping up a cozy mystery because we need more than one suspect, right?
The cozy mystery usually has a well-educated, female, amateur sleuth, unless he’s Hercule Poirot, Inspector Barnaby, or Inspector Lynley, that is. The town is generally small, and the story has a theme. (I have a cupcake theme in one of my own series, an Italian family and their histrionics in another, and then there’s the artist with visions theme in the third series. Humor runs throughout each of these series, since it’s important to find humor in life, no matter how dastardly it becomes.) Often times there are cat, dogs, or some pet or other that is crucial to the plot. Animal lovers enjoy it when their favorite type of pet is included in the story.
In the Vinnie Esposito cozy mystery series, my heroine lives in a small Rhode Island village. She’s nosier than any person should ever be, which in turn leads her to discover someone has been murdered and she needs to find culprit. Her Italian father insists she mind her own business, find a husband, have a slew of kids, and settle down, which results in an ongoing clash of wills. There’s a stray cat that wanders in from time to time, who manages to help out when need be. I also write the Faerie Cake cozy that includes faeries and cupcakes. (People love food themed stories.)
I digress . . . Let’s get back to the differences between regular mysteries and cozies. Besides the small town and an amateur sleuth, there is little to no sex in a cozy, or it takes place behind closed doors. That alone gives the reader something special to imagine. Cozies don’t tend to be gory, other than a stabbing or conk on the head with a blunt instrument, the description of the death is brief. For those who don’t like blood and guts, that really counts.
Many cozies are in series form. Why? Because the audience enjoys following their favorite character through the ins and outs of finding who committed the crime. At the end of every cozy mystery, the killer is found, explanations are made and all is again well in the quiet, peace loving, town where people greet each other in the local diner, neighbors talk over fences to each other, and the story’s pacing has moved quickly. I enjoy a fast read, a page turner, a story where I can relate to the characters, with an ending that will surprise the daylights out of me. Don’t you?