Tag Archive | murder

The Strong; Silent Type

History is not always pretty. The book I am happy to bring to the blog today is one that takes a serious note. It is one that really not only makes me look at the world of yesteryear, but also at the world of today. Yet, it’s a work of fiction. The Silent Woman takes place in the 1930’s during the build up to World War II. I have had the pleasure of flying to the WWII memorial with several veterans and hearing their stories of the war, the things that transpired up to the war and the unimaginable things that not only affected them, but also their home and family. I can’t imagine.

In The Silent Woman, Terry Lynn Thomas introduces us to a woman, strong in nature, and going through a rough home life. Stuck. Scared. Thank you Terry for bringing Catherine to Booth Talks Books today and introducing her to us and also introducing us to the world of the 1930’s in a way that most don’t know. Let the murderous history lesson begin…

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Citations:  Some information from Ms. Thomas’ research was retrieved from the following website: http://nationalarchives.gov.uk/ as well as the British Newspaper Archive, : https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/

London, 1937:

Catherine Carlisle is trapped in a loveless marriage. She sees no way out… that is until a trusted friend asks her to switch her husband’s papers in a desperate bid to confuse the Germans.

Soon Catherine finds herself caught up in a deadly mixture of espionage and murder. Someone is selling secrets to the other side, and the evidence seems to point right at her.The Silent Woman_FINAL

Can she clear her name before it’s too late?

Cat’s Backstory:

Cat Paxton lost both her parents in an automobile accident in 1917 on her seventeenth birthday. She left her small village in the north of England to live with her Aunt Lydia in London. Aunt Lydia is a successful artist who lives in Bloomsbury. Lydia is open-minded and encourages Cat to grow and be whatever she wants. She tried to expose Cat to the arts and culture. In 1922, Cat and Lydia were at an art exhibition when the black Rolls Royce pulled to the kerb and Benton—movie star handsome—and a gaggle of friends came to the exhibition. Cat was captivated at first sight. Handsome Benton who looked like a movie star, was always in the society columns, and had women throwing themselves at him, was a renowned bachelor. Cat was surprised when he went up to the waiter, took a fresh chilled bottle of champagne and two glasses, and asked Cat to join him on the roof. They spent a delightful evening. After they finished the champagne, they went to a jazz club and then out to breakfast. Cat arrived; back at Lydia’s just as the sun was coming up. Walking on air, drunk on love. Ben proposed two weeks later. Cat said yes.

Fast-forward seventeen years. Cat is thirty-seven years old, childless, with no passion in life. Her marriage had started to die after a series of miscarriages ten years ago. Benton withdrew when Cat lost child after child. Despite his privileged upbringing, Benton Carlisle worked hard. He was a brilliant engineer, the protégé of his firm, where he was working on a scheme to allow airplanes to fly at night. To hide his grief, Benton threw himself into his work. Rather than face his wife, Benton took a mistress and didn’t even bother to hide it. Humiliated, and doing her level best not to show it, Cat puts her best face forward and tries to cope with life in the Carlisle house.

She’s miserable there. Her sister-in-law Isobel takes advantage of Cat’s grief and manages to commandeer the household management duties—which should be rights belong to Cat. While Cat doesn’t hesitate to stand up to Isobel, she finds the tension exhausting. Although Benton’s family is wealthy, and Cat is able to waltz into the finest shops, drop the Carlisle name and get anything she desires, her husband keeps her on a short leash by not giving her any money of her own and forbidding her to get a job. He won’t divorce her—no Carlisle has ever been divorced, so Cat is forced to stay at the Carlisle house, with a husband who doesn’t love her a social climbing sister-in-law who makes Cat’s life miserable at every turn. The Silent Woman finds Cat backed into a corner, desperate to change her life, but not sure how to do so. On a whim, she asks for a sign…and so the story begins.

Meanwhile, Hitler is in power in Germany. He’s violating all the agreements set out in the Treaty of Versailles and is amassing an army, building planes, and stripping rights away from German Jews, while the powers that be in Britain turn a blind eye. The politicians in power—who hold sway over the newspapers—are not acknowledging the threat in Germany. But Cat’s friend tells her the truth about the status of the world. He asks Cat if she’s interested in serving her country and earning enough money to secure her freedom. All she has to do is switch her husband’s documents. Desperate for a way out, Cat doesn’t hesitate to say yes, catapulting herself into the thick of murderous deception.

Buy The Silent Woman

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Why this time and place?:

When I sent out to write a book, I know I am going to spending hundreds of hours hanging out with the characters and the settings I have created. All the books I’ve written so far (The Sarah Bennett Series, which takes places in 1940s California) and The Silent Woman (Book 1 of the Cat Carlisle Mysteries), take place during the 1930s through the World War II because I am drawn to the socioeconomic and political events of that time. I also want to pay a silent homage to all the brave men and woman who fought in those wars. We are losing the last generation of the WWII veterans, and we must never forget their sacrifice.

1930s Fashion.1

Enter 1930s fashion — for those who could afford to buy clothes. The economy in the UK was still in a shambles.

It’s also very refreshing to hang out in an era that is not so technologically advanced. Think about it, no cell phones, in some cases no house phones, no computers, no Internet. People wrote letters to their friends. The personal column (especially in British newspapers) provides keen insight to the way of thinking of the day, and was the media equivalent of Facebook, Twitter, etc. During my research, I’ve seen ads like this: “To the woman who left her magazine on the bench in Hyde Park: Please come to the same bench tomorrow at noon. I must speak to you!” Doesn’t that make you wonder if they met? What happened? And why was he so anxious to connect with this woman? When I was scouring The London Times before the Lusitania sailed on its fateful journey, I came across an ad in the personals admonishing people to not take that voyage. I still wonder about that.


It’s interesting to look back at the events between the two world wars with the Olympian vantage point of hindsight. I am amazed at the way media controlled the people, and Page 1can’t help but juxtapose that situation over what’s going on in the world politically right now. The powers that be knew that Hitler was building airplanes and conscripting an army, yet they were committed to appeasement because the British economy and the citizens were still recovering from the devastation of World War I. I read newspapers from mid-1936 through June of 1937 and found absolutely no mention of Hitler’s activities in the newspapers. Although there was evidence that the Germans were behind the bombing in Guernica, in April of 1937, it did not make front-page news. Appeasement was the word of the day. We owe a lot to Winston Churchill, of that I am certain. While all of this was happening, he was lambasting Parliament for their complacency. I believe it if weren’t for him, we’d all be speaking German now.

The German Danger.Jewish Virtual Library

Historians are committed to the accurate documentation and preservation of the past, so Headshotwe don’t forgot those lessons. I believe that historical novelists are interested in understanding and sharing how it FEELS to live in the past, and allowing people to experience that feeling through stories.

Please stop by my Facebook page and say hello. I have an author page, but am more active on my personal page.






It’s almost 2018! Time to get some new books to read…

January 2018 Releases!

Well, January 2018 is almost upon us.  To most, this is just another new year, another month, but not to me!  This happens to be not only be my birthday month but I also turn the big 40 and I am ecstatic people! So, I am going to give you the update on releases for January 2018 because…well;  it’s a special month for me.  I plan to get them all to mark the occasion. 

Take a look through this list.  Got a favorite? Comment and let me know!

January 2

Dial M for MouseDial M for Mousse (Emergency Dessert Squad #3) by Laura Bradford

The Emergency Dessert Squad business is booming, with owner and baker Winnie Johnson working overtime to satisfy the emergency cravings of Silver Lake, Ohio. Her latest order, a plate of motivational desserts for an artists’ retreat, is just what she needs to keep her mind off her own relationship woes.

But Winnie’s problems seem like trifles when she discovers the body of retreat owner Sally Dearfield mere inches away from five oh-so-eccentric and viable suspects. Now, this baking detective must uncover the inspiration behind Sally’s murder before another creative genius is iced.

Scones and Scoundrels (Highland Bookshop Mystery #2) by Molly MacRaescones_scroudrels

Inversgail, on the west coast of the Scottish Highlands, welcomes home native daughter and best-selling environmental writer Daphne Wood. Known as the icon of ecology, Daphne will spend three months as the author in residence for the Inversgail schools. Janet Marsh and her business partners at Yon Bonnie Books are looking forward to hosting a gala book signing for her. Daphne, who hasn’t set foot in Scotland in thirty years, is . . . eccentric. She lives in the Canadian wilderness, in a cabin she built herself, with only her dog for a companion, and her people skills have developed a few rough-hewn edges. She and the dog (which she insists on bringing with her) cause problems for the school, the library, and the bookshop even before they get to Inversgail. Then, on the misty night they arrive, a young man—an American who’d spent a night in the B&B above Yon Bonnie Books—is found dead outside a pub.

Janaury 8

Pre-Meditated Murder (Downward Dog Mystery #5) by Tracy Weber51SXakIdRfL

Yoga instructor Kate Davidson is ready to marry her boyfriend Michael, so she’s disappointed when a special dinner doesn’t end with a proposal. But disappointment turns to dismay and outrage as she learns the real problem: Michael is already married and his green card-seeking wife is…


January 9

many_a_twistMany a Twist (County Cork Mystery #6) by Sheila Connolly

Pub owner Maura Donovan hasn’t seen her mother for over twenty years, so when she suddenly shows up in Maura’s pub, Maura’s not sure what to expect. Her mother is trying to find a life for herself back home and has taken up a position working with the new owners of the Crann Mor hotel just outside Skibbereen. Until her new boss is found dead in the gardens, dumped down the hillside behind the hotel.

Now, trying to rekindle the relationship they’ve lost, Maura must investigate in order to clear her mother’s name. It’s not so easy though, as long-time residents of County Cork, including the families of her employee Mick, and the family of the deceased hotel owner, have bottled deep dark family secrets not meant to be uncorked. And someone will kill to keep them that way.


The Hostess with the Ghostess (Haunted Guesthouse Mystery Series #9) by E.J. Copperman

Things are never quiet for long at the Haunted Guesthouse. Right as Alison Kerby finally gets some peace, long-time deceased Paul Harrison’s recently murdered brother, Richard, shows up looking for the ghostly detective. But Paul has left for parts unknown months ago. The only thing is, she doesn’t know how to find him. And she’s going to need to because Richard’s isn’t the only murder still left unsolved.

As she searches for Paul, Alison discovers that Richard, who was a lawyer, was working a case about a woman accused of murdering her stepfather. It quickly becomes clear that Richard was getting too close to the truth, and was forcibly kept quiet. Now as Alison continues her investigation, she gets a creeping sensation that the murderer doesn’t appreciate her snooping around. And if she doesn’t stop, she’ll be next.

January 30th

Biscuits and Slashed Browns (A Country Store Mystery) by Maddie DayBiscuits and slashed browns

As Robbie arranges a breakfast-themed cook-off at Pans ‘N Pancakes, visitors pour into Brown County for the annual maple extravaganza. Unfortunately, that includes Professor Connolly, a know-it-all academic from Boston who makes enemies everywhere he goes—and this time, bad manners prove deadly. Soon after clashing with several scientists at a maple tree panel, the professor is found dead outside a sugar shack, stabbed to death by a local restaurateur’s knife. When an innocent woman gets dragged into the investigation and a biologist mysteriously disappears, Robbie drops her winning maple biscuits to search for answers. But can she help police crack the case before another victim is caught in a sticky situation with a killer?

Did I miss one of your favorites because it’s an author I haven’t met yet? Well, comment and introduce me to them!  I love getting to know new authors I haven’t been yapping with online already.  

Comment away and enjoy this amazing list of January books kicking off 2018 in style!


Save Our Cozies


REVIEW: Of Murder And Men by Lynn Cahoon


It has been a question posed by many readers year after year as an author releases a book, “Can a next in series be better than the previous books?” Yes, heavens yes! And, the first two books in the Cat Latimer Mystery series were amazing in their own right. Of Murder and Men went to a different level however. If you have been following Cat, Shauna, Seth, Uncle Pete and the crew then you are going to love this next serving at the Warm Springs Writers Retreat.

Where do I even begin with this one; wow. Shauna has begun dating this gentleman, Kevin, who we know Cat does NOT approve of because he’s rather…well, rude. They are now engaged and surprise, he ends up dead. Shauna becomes the main suspect because, well, read the book. She looks pretty guilty if you ask me. This entire plot weaves through the book but it’s not the only one. No, Lynn didn’t make it that simple.

The death of Cat’s ex-husband, Michael finally makes its huge debut and things get ugly and strange. Was Michael part of the Aspen Hills mob? Was he Dante’s enemy? What does the college have to do with this and why do they want his papers so bad? Why does Cat have a secret compartment in her desk she can’t get in to? Who is sending these Carnations?

We finally get all the answers we have been so desperately looking for; the answers that Lynn has been making us salivate for in the past two books. All of the clues dropped finally make sense, so much so that you might want to go back and reread the first two books again. Oh Lynn, you sneaky lady! No wonder I love reading her books. She’s brilliant.

So, we not only have the mystery of Shauna’s fiancé’s death, Michael’s unsolved death, but we also have all these new retreat guests. Let’s not forget that this book revolves around a writer’s retreat with authors who, in their quirkiness, bring their own mystique to the story. Once again, Cat hasn’t done background checks on these folks and we really don’t know what these people are up to. Oh Cat, why? Are they innocent writers or are they hiding secrets? Honestly, you’ll have to read the book to find out, but it’s so well woven in the story that it will hit you out of the blue and make you wonder why you didn’t see that coming.

Both Cat and Shauna are not who they once were in the first book and I love the direction Lynn is taking them. I love Uncle Pete too! He pops in at just the right occasion to enhance what needs to be added as far as drawing out the emotions and personality from both Cat and Shauna. I also adored the retreat members in the book, especially Shirley. She is a hoot!

Of Murder and Men is so well written with characters that have developed at a great rate in an atmosphere that is so believable that it is for sure my favorite in the series. Get it for yourself as a gift for Christmas and for your friends who love cozy mysteries. No…even better, get they whole series. It needs to be read together in my opinion to get the full effect. Don’t cheat yourself readers. Amazing Lynn. Your best yet.

Buy: Of Murder And Men


Buy: The Cat Latimer Series


If you enjoyed this review, leave me a comment below!  I love hearing feedback.  if you love Lynn, tell me what you’ve read of hers. I love to chat about the authors. 


Ghosting in Charleston; The Five Amigos Halloween

sheryl halloween amigosI missed a fantastic couple of haunted history tours in town this week. Seriously, the photos they have been posting online have looked amazing! If you know me and have been following me, you know I love my paranormal research, stories and shows. The deceased dwelling amongst the living fascinates me.

Haunted homes have always been my favorite. When I speak of haunted homes, I don’t mean the kind that have people dressed up in it. I mean ones with spirits of those who have passed on inside. There are so many of these in the south where I live that it’s almost impossible to step into a historical home and it not be inhabited by someone that used to live there.

Weather you believe in spirits or not, the subject is fascinating to so many people and makes a fantastic subject for writers. I can think of no better person than Lori Robert’s book, Cries in the Night, to breathe life into a fiction book that seems so realistic. Carly and Austin Tabor experience the real deal in their newly purchased fixer upper home in Denver. From apparitions disrupting their daily living to objects moving on their own, the Taylors can’t seem to live a normal life.

To try and get down to the reasoning behind the hauntings, they delve into historical research and even hire a reliable medium, Delaney Warrick, to figure out the reasoning behind the disturbances from the spirits themselves. Often times, hauntings are caused lori-robertsby spirits attaching themselves to objects or even when their bodily remains are left on the premises. Could this be the issue with the Taylor’s home?

Cries in the Night is a book that is a must read for those who love the paranormal and history. As someone who has experienced many episodes with the paranormal, I can tell you that this piece of fiction hit the nail on the head for realism. It’s beautifully written, respectfully written and the characters are believable and relatable.

I really hope Mrs. Roberts plans to write a follow up to this because her writing in the Parastorical is next to none.

Cries In The Night


Have you ever had a paranormal experience? Hve you seen spirits of those who have passed on?  Leave a comment below and let me know! 

Then, check out what the other Amigos have been reading!


The Karens






I Am Haunted by Seven Sisters

Yes, I am haunted by Seven Sisters. 

My mind floats off to thoughts of Carrie Jo, Muncie, Calpurnia, and shall I even say sheryl halloween amigosJeremiah?  What can I honestly say about M.L. Bullock’s Seven Sister’s series? One must read them from book one, all the way to book six to truly grasp the amazing richness that is the life of Carrie Jo Jardine. I listened to all six on Audible and her journey captivated me.

Some would want to label this a paracozy, but it goes beyond that. CJ describes herself as a “dream catcher.” She can go to sleep in a location, fall asleep after reading something or after holding an object and be taken back in time to see; no live the history of the location or object. This can really be neat if you’re looking at it from the outside, but Carrie Jo’s experiences can be and do become downright scary and disturbing.

CJ has been hired by Mobile Alabama’s most eligible bachelor, Ashland Stuart, for the assignment of restoring the antebellum, Seven Sisters, back to it’s former glory. From paint details, to furniture placement, down to the amazing gardens, CJ is there to make sure everything is perfect to the finest detail. Unbeknownst to them, she is able to get things exactly as they were because she can see Seven Sister from the past and all who lived in and visited it. She learns of the abuse, love scorned and family secrets that some still are willing to kill for from beyond the grave.

I was lost in this series. I loved meeting the homeowners, those who worked there and learning about the darker side to this beautiful plantation home. Each of them seem as old friends each time I hear and speak their names from book to book. I was drawn to keep reading and couldn’t stop, mourning when the story would end and having to wait for the next in the series. I am drawn to the fictitious Seven Sisters as much as Carrie Jo is.

Are the friends and family of Carrie Jo safe? Is CJ safe from them and the ghosts that haunt Seven Sisters in her mind? Each book takes darker twists and turns to reveal a murderous plot and the scandals are too numerous to keep up with.  You’ll want to read all the books to get a full picture of the depth of stories that Seven Sisters has hidden within.

I often feel like I rattle on when I talk about this series because I love it so much. I am invested in these characters and they are a part of me now. It has elements of mystery, history, the supernatural and a storyline that keeps me wanting more. As I said, I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the books on Audible, but either format you get them in is sure to get you hooked. You’ll soon pine to return to Seven Sisters too.

Seven Sisters CollectionLink to the collection:  Seven Sister Collection


About the Author, M.L. Bullock

ML Bullock Portrait

As a kid, I never wanted to be a superhero but I would have traded all my Barbies to be Nancy Drew. That love for mysteries and a total obsession with ghost stories is what led me to become a writer. I just love a mystery!

I’m a true blue Southern girl who loves living on the Gulf Coast. When I’m not playing the trumpet or hanging out with the people I love, I’m probably daydreaming.


Here is the upcoming release list for the rest of 2017. And yes, we get to RETURN to Seven Sisters. Who wants to go with me? The Roses of Mobile is out now for when you finish up with this Seven Sisters Series. Can you tell I am excited?

Upcoming Books for 2017

M.L. Bullock on Amazon

All the Summer Roses (Return to Seven Sisters 2)
Halloween Screams: A Halloween Horror Short Story Collection
Beyond Seven Sisters (Seven Sisters 8)
The Belles of Desire, Mississippi (The Belles of Desire 1)
The Ghost Lights of Forrest Field (Gulf Coast Paranormal 6)
The Ghost of Jeopardy Belle (The Belles of Desire 2)
The Haunting of Joanna Storm
Christmas at Idlewood (Idlewood 5)
Christmas at Seven Sisters (Seven Sisters 7)
Loxley’s Cradle (The Belles of Desire 3)
The Disappearance of Joanna Storm (The Joanna Storm Series 2)


Do you have a favorite book to read leading up to Halloween?  Check out what the other Amigos suggest!Click below to see what the Karens, Lisa and Mary picked for week four.

What did the other AMIGOS pick? Find out now!


The Karens







It’s This Amiga’s Party, Gonna Fall If I Want To!


Nothing says “It’s Fall Folks” like group retreats, cooler weather and a good gathering around a fire pit.   Okay, well, if you are reading Vicki Fee, it might be a bunch of naked witches dancing around a fire pit, but who’s keeping up, right? It’s FALL guys and dolls!It's Your Party Cover

The best part of fall is the beginning of ghost hunting season. Yes, there is a season. Have you tried to book a tour at Waverly Hills lately? Good luck on that. If you don’t go out looking for the spirits of the dead, you should know that fall is when people usually think about it. There are so many places to go here in the Southern United States; abandoned buildings, old sanatoriums, historical buildings and don’t get me started on the amazing cemeteries. No need to wait for Halloween. Let fall begin! It’s Your Party, Die If You Want To encompasses all things Fall in my book (wasn’t that ingenious?), throws it into a nice mystery and achieves it so well for this southern gal.

Clue2Liv and Di live in the heart of Dixie and are getting ready for an amazing time together. From the first visit to a haunted cemetery to the ending with an interesting Clue game that ends with hunting down the murderer, Vicki keeps the reader engaged with well-rounded characters throughout the book. I couldn’t keep up with who was truly crazy and who was just acting the part.

Three is my favorite number so it’s no wonder that Vickie’s book ended up as my third pick for fall. Book your ghost hunt, murder mystery luncheon and take this book with you. Liv and Di will be like having your close friends traveling with you. Don’t do fall without them.  Click HERE to buy your own copy!



What did the other AMIGOS pick?  Find out now!


The Karens







July Explodes with Mystery!


I love summer.  That usually means relaxing by the pool, going to the beach or at least vacationing somewhere for at least one weekend.  And with those weekends come a chance to read some amazing authors.  There are so many great cozies out this month. In cases like this, I wish I could clone myself so I could read them all. But alas, I am only one reader.

Do you have any particulars you are excited about? I know I do!  Take a look at this great list for the month of July.  If you know of others, feel free to post them in the comment section below.  I am always looking for new and interesting mysteries. 

Happy July, happy reading and….don’t forget to leave a review for the books you read.  A sentence or two mean the world to the guys and dolls who’s works we read. 

Allyson K. Abbott: A Toast to Murder
Lorraine Bartlett: A Basket Full of Bargains
Laura Bradford: 30 Second Death
Lynn Cahoon: Killer Party
Laurie Cass: Wrong Side of the Paw
Peg Cochran: Sowed to Death
Gary Corby: Death on Delos
Kathi Daley: Camp Carter
Kathi Daley: Second Look
Lindsey Davis: The Third Nero
Mary Feliz: Dead Storage
Jean Flowers: Addressed To Kill
Alexia Gordon:Death In D Minor
Victoria Hamilton: Muffin to Fear
Joan Hess  & Elizabeth Peters: The Painted Queen
Victoria Laurie: A Panicked Premonition
Mary Marks: Knot What You Think
Alyssa Maxwell: Murder at Chateau Sur Mer
Catriona McPherson: Dandy Gilver and a Spot of Toil and Trouble
Sandra Orchard: Over Maya Dead Body
J.R. Ripley :To Kill a Hummingbird
Denise Swanson: Lions and Tigers and Murder, Oh My