Saturday, October 1, 2016



In a charming cozy mystery series debut, Leslie Nagel’s irrepressible small-town heroine finds that her fellow mystery book club members may be taking their Agatha Christie a bit too literally—and murder a bit too lightly.

Charley Carpenter has poured heart and soul into her clothing store, Old Hat Vintage Fashions. She’ll do anything to make it a success—even join the stuffy Agathas Book Club in order to cultivate customers among Oakwood, Ohio’s wealthy elite. 

Although mixing with the most influential women in town has its advantages, Charley finds the endless gossip a high price to pay. But after two women with close ties to the Agathas are brutally murdered, everyone falls under threat—and suspicion. When key evidence indicates that both murders are the work of the same hand, Charley realizes that the killer has arranged each corpse in perfect imitation of crime scenes from the Club’s murder mystery reading list. She uses her membership in the Club to convince Detective Marcus Trenault to use her as an inside informant. Not that he could stop her anyway.

Intelligent, fearless, and every bit as stubborn as Marc is, Charley soon learns the Agathas aren’t the only ones with secrets to protect. Passions explode as she and Marc must race against time to prevent another murder. And if Charley’s not careful, she may find herself becoming the killer’s next plot twist.


Leslie, is writing your dream job?

Absolutely. I’ve wanted to write a novel since I was ten years old.

What is the worst job you’ve ever had? What did it teach you?

Ladies’ Locker room attendant. I scrubbed toilets and cleaned golf shoes at a country club one summer. I learned that people in uniforms performing mundane tasks are invisible to the wealthy. Oh, the gossip I picked up that summer.

What do you wish you’d done differently when you first started the publishing process?

I wish I’d done my homework. I was a marketing executive for over ten years, so I understand the value of doing market research before trying to develop a product. So why didn’t I check out basic market guidelines like expected word count or genre guidelines? I have no clue. What I do know is that failing to have a plan before I began caused me countless hours of revision and restructuring before my novel was saleable.

What’s more important – characters or plot?

I write cozy mysteries, so of course plot is the most important aspect. Readers expect to trace those clues to a satisfying solution to the puzzle. If they can’t, then I haven’t kept my side of the bargain.

How often do you read?
I always have an audio book going in the car and at least two books open on my iPad. I finish a book a week on average.

How do you feel about Facebook?
In this election season, I find all the political rantings tiresome. It’s social media, people. In general, however, I like the connectivity. My high school class has a page, and seeing everyone’s kids and grandkids is a lot of fun.

What’s one thing you never leave the house without?


What do you love about where you live?

I’ve sprinkled fictional dead bodies all over my hometown, but it’s actually lovely and peaceful. People look out for one another, keep an eye on their kids, care about the school, the parks, the library. Oakwood is a jewel.

What’s your favorite fast food?

Subway tuna salad with guacamole and all the veggies. And I do mean ALL.

What’s your least favorite chore?

I hate ironing. It’s so pointless. The moment you put on the shirt, it’s wrinkled.

Do you procrastinate?

What’s one thing that drives you crazy?

When people say they’ll do a thing and then fail to follow through, I’m ready to do violence. If you don’t want to participate, simply say so.

What is the most daring thing you've done?

It’s a tie between white water rafting down the New River and getting married.

Who is your favorite fictional character?

Sherlock Holmes. He’s such an ass. But as my mother says, it ain’t bragging if it’s true.

Describe yourself in 5 words.

Organized, layered, active, sympathetic, caffeinated.

I love the last one! What’s your favorite song?

"Life On Mars" by David Bowie.

Do you have a favorite book?

The entire Lord of the Rings Trilogy. I’ve read them all over a dozen times.

What are you working on now?

I’ve nearly finished Book Two in the Oakwood Mystery Series. It centers around a crumbling old mansion in the woods of west Oakwood, a couple of greedy heirs eager to tear it down, and the seemingly unrelated death of the auctioneer who managed the estate sale. Throw a teenage drug ring into the mix, and amateur detective Charley Carpenter will definitely have her hands full.


Leslie Nagel is a writer and teacher of writing at a local community college. Her debut novel, The Book Club Murders, is the first in the Oakwood Mystery Series. Leslie lives in the all too real city of Oakwood, Ohio, where murders are rare but great stories lie thick on the ground. After the written word, her passions include her husband, her son and daughter, hiking, tennis and strong black coffee, not necessarily in that order.

Connect with Leslie:
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Blog  |   Facebook  |   Twitter  |   Goodreads

Buy the book:
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