Saturday, July 14, 2018



An Imajin Qwickies® Mystery/Crime Novella

Big mysteries often come in small packages . . .

When curmudgeonly private detective Betty Grape visits a young friend, who is housesitting in a remote village in England for Christmas vacation, something seems out of place. Her friend, Catia, is visibly nervous. Is she worried about the young men in the decrepit caravan in next door’s back garden? Or is Catia involved in the disappearance of the homeowner’s invalid wife?

As an American, Betty discovers the locals are full of friendly gossip but taciturn about solid facts. Though they are determined to keep Betty from butting in on their territory, she blunders through the social morass of narrow-minded foreigners and their broad Dorset accents. Can she unravel the tight knots of this mystery? Will she find the perpetrator under thickly thatched rooves or behind floral chintz curtains?

Book Details

Title: Tied Up With Strings

Author: Madeline McEwen

Genre: Cozy mystery

Series: A Serebral Seniors Mystery, book 1

Publisher: Imajin Qwickies, An imprint of Imajin Books (December 11, 2017)

Print Length: 85 pages

On tour with: Great Escapes Book Tours


Against her will, Betty Grape, a widow, resides at the Serebral Senior retirement home, where her presence is tolerated by the other residents. However, Alzheimer’s is gradually stealing her dear friend, Arlene Spate.

Despite her curmudgeonly exterior, Betty has a soft spot for waifs and strays, including Pete Palmer, her sleuthing partner, and his ward, an autistic young man. Together, all three tackle major crimes against manners and minor misdemeanors against humanity.


Betty, how did you first meet Madeline?

In the yard, or “garden,” as she insists on calling that wasteland at the back of her house.

Want to dish about her?
This is an excellent question and goes to the heart of the issue. My writer wouldn’t understand this question because she is a Brit and I am an American. She claims to be a citizen, but I think you have to understand the language thoroughly, and she, obviously, doesn’t.

Why do you think that your life has ended up being in a book?
Because the woman [writer] is a busybody. She spends far too much time interfering in other people’s lives. She should use that imagination for something more productive.

If you could rewrite anything in your book, what would it be?
Ditch the romance.

What would you do i
f you had a free day?
Learn to pilot a hot air balloon, preferably solo.

Tell us about your best friend.

Basically, we’re opposites. She’s a beauty with a tender heart. Her friendship makes me a better person. I can’t contemplate living here without her, even though she drives me batty.

What’s the best trait Madeline has given you? What’s the worst?
She forces me to be patient and kind, when I am neither. My worst trait is impulsivity—I just have to jump in.

What aspect of Madeline’s writing style do you like best?
Her humor—but she’s an acquired taste.

If your story were a movie, who would play you?
Ideally, Dame Maggie Smith because of her wit, although she’s another darned Brit. Possibly, Dame Helen Mirren, but she’s too good looking, although she’s better at accents. Overall, I think I’d have to choose Meryl Steep because she was fantastic in Florence Foster Jenkins.

If you could be “adopted” by another writer, who would you choose?
M.C. Beaton, Colin Cotterill or Sue Townsend, basically anyone but her, and far funnier.

Will you encourage Madeline to write a sequel?
I have. She has a few lined up, but with the summer vacation around the corner, productivity will take a hit.


Madeline McEwen is an ex-pat from the UK, bi-focaled and technically challenged. She and her significant other manage their four offspring, one major and three minors, two autistic, two neurotypical, plus a time-share with Alzheimer's. In her free time, she walks the canines and chases the felines with her nose in a book and her fingers on a keyboard.

Connect with Madeline:

Website  |  Blog  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon

Buy the book:
Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble