Sunday, May 28, 2017



In this irresistible cozy mystery from the USA Today bestselling author of The Book Club Murders, amateur sleuth Charley Carpenter fights to avenge a crime that hits far too close to home.

Mulbridge House stood, silent and decaying, deep in the woods at the heart of Oakwood, Ohio, long before the passing of Augusta Mulbridge. Yet suddenly everyone in town seems to have a stake in its fate: the greedy heirs, eager to tear it down for a tidy profit; the local preservationists, determined to maintain it as an historic site; the angry neighbors, staunchly opposed to the construction of a modern subdivision. Even Charley Carpenter is forced to admit that her beloved shop, Old Hat Vintage Fashions, could use an infusion of the estate’s treasures.

The clock is ticking. The wrecking ball is ready to swing. All that stands between Mulbridge House and oblivion is one final vote. That, and murder . . .

The trouble begins when Charley walks into auctioneer Calvin Prescott’s office to find her cherished family friend crumpled on the floor. Detective Marcus Trenault quickly connects his death to a string of increasingly violent burglaries plaguing Oakwood. But when Charley uncovers a link to a massive land swindle worth millions, not to mention a drug ring operating out of the manor’s abandoned outbuildings, that theory crumbles faster than Mulbridge House. Now Charley’s racing to catch a killer before everything falls apart.


A few of your favorite things:  Books, my sweet old kitty, afghans, pansies, my collection of coffee mugs, friends that don’t judge.
Things you need to throw out:
  Sweaters and bell bottom slacks from the Reagan administration, all those freebie glass vases from every flower arrangement I’ve ever received. Except the square one. That one can stay.

Things you need in order to write:  SILENCE. And Post-it® notes. And coffee.
Things that hamper your writing:   Social Media. Sometimes I lock my phone in my car to keep from checking every five minutes. I’m not proud of it.

Things you never want to run out of:  Post-it® notes. I practically eat them for breakfast. Some women keep lipsticks and tissues in every purse and bag; I have packs of sticky notes for jotting ideas, cool names, whatever comes to mind. I use them for every step of the writing process, particularly revising and editing. When I outline a new story, I have this ridiculous color coding system, and I post at least 50 notes across a mirror in my hall bathroom, moving them and making faces at myself until I get a framework that gets me to the keyboard.
Things you wish you’d never bought:  A Chimenea. That thing was an absolute albatross. Too heavy to move, it scarred my wood deck, and it was impossible to arrange seating without incinerating someone. I had to give it away to get rid of it.

Words that describe you:  Organized, maternal, sympathetic, creative, busy.
Words that describe you but you wish they didn’t: Obsessive, restless, talky, impatient.

Favorite foods:  Coffee (technically not a food, deal with it), chocolate, pizza. Anything with gratuitous amounts of cheese, actually.
Things that make you want to throw up:  Escargots, calves’ liver, squid, and okra. With okra it’s a texture issue. Hairy when raw, and gooey when it’s cooked. Even Southerners only eat it battered and fried within an inch of its life.

Favorite music or song:  Absolutely anything by David Bowie or Aerosmith, the earlier the better (barring that heinous song from the asteroid movie. “Don’t Want To Miss A Thing”—I’d happily miss that one.
Music that make your ears bleed:  9-Inch Nails type-stuff, and Jazz. I am simply not hip enough to figure it out.

Favorite beverage:  Coffee (You will already know this if you’ve been paying attention.)

Something that gives you a pickle face:  Moscato. It’s that fizzy white wine everyone keeps pushing at parties. Just, NO.

Something you wish you could do:  Cartwheels.
Something you wish you’d never learned to do:  Smoke. I quit many years ago, but seriously. What on earth was I thinking? Oh. Right. I WASN’T.

Things you’d walk a mile for:  My children and husband. Without shoes, over glass.
Things that make you want to run screaming from the room:  “Toppers,” and other people’s travel photos after about 6-8 of them. A few is fine. Any more is delusional. No one cares what you guys had for dinner.

Things to say to an author:  “I paid full price for your last book.”

Things to say to an author if you want to be fictionally killed off in their next book: “I thought you’d be thinner in person.”

People you’d like to invite to dinner (living):  Michele Obama, Stephen King, Jimmy Kimmel. He is just too cute.

People you’d cancel dinner on:  Brad Pitt. No man-whores.

Favorite things to do:  Write, read anything with a happy ending, sleep late, play tennis, gab on the phone with my daughter about nothing.

Things you’d run through a fire wearing gasoline pants to get out of doing:  Ironing. Absolutely the most pointless task of all time. Also, I’d be fine without ever taking a standardized test again. Or running a school fundraiser.

Best thing you’ve ever done:  Marrying my high school sweetheart. He is an absolute champ.

Biggest mistake:  Not pursuing a career in teaching, because my father told me there was no money in it. Fortunately, the champ from the previous entry encouraged me to return to school in my forties, get my MS in Education, and switch careers to teaching college English.

Most daring thing you’ve ever done: Quarter mile zipline over the New River in West Virginia. My screams echo to this day.

Something you chickened out from doing: Asking Rod Stewart for his autograph. On a trip to Paris in 1983, we spotted him at a nearby table. He looked kind of contemplative but approachable, and all I had to do was walk over there and say hello. But . . . Rod Stewart, you know? By the time I got up the nerve, he’d paid his check and left. Brush with greatness: denied.


Leslie Nagel is the USA Today bestselling author of The Book Club Murders, the first novel in the Oakwood Mystery series. She lives in the real city of Oakwood, Ohio, where she teaches writing at a local community college. After the written word, her passions include her husband, her son and daughter, hiking, tennis, and strong black coffee, not necessarily in that order.

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