Tuesday, November 6, 2018



For tour guide Emily Ryder, the turning point came on that fatal early morning when her beloved mentor met an untimely death. It's labeled as an accident and Trooper Dave Roberts is more interested in Emily than in any suspicions over Chris Cooper's death. For Emily, if Chris hadn't been the Village Planner and the only man standing in the way of the development of an apartment and entertainment complex in their quaint village of Lydfield, Connecticut, she might have believed it was an accident, but too many pieces didn't fit.

As Emily heads across the pond for a prescheduled tour of Lydfield's sister village, Lydfield-in-the-Moor, she discovers that the murderer may be closer than she thought.

Book Details:

Title: The Secluded Village Murders

Author: Shelly Frome

Genre: Cozy mystery

Publisher: BQB Publishing (September 1st 2018)

Print length: 339 pages

On tour with: Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours


Q: Shelly, what’s the story behind the title of your book?
The secluded villages are, in point of fact, the sister villages of Litchfield, Connecticut and Litchfield, U.K. As it happens, at one time they exchanged visits and my late wife covered the festivities for the regional Connecticut paper.

Q: Where did you grow up?
I spent my formative years in Miami, Florida.

Q: What’s your favorite memory?
My favorite memory is seeing my wife for the first time on the grounds of the Green Mountain Theater in Vermont.

Q: What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned?
To put aside everything people have tried to foist on me and trust my inner voice and experience.

Q: What do you love about where you live?
Surrounded by and nestled in the Blue Ridge.

Q: What is the most daring thing you've done?
Taking off for the Mexican border in an unknown roommate’s MG as he tells me he’s on parole after holding up the same New Mexican town Billy Kid escaped from holding a saw-offed shotgun.

Q: Yikes! What’s one thing you wish your younger writer self knew?
That I had the makings of an incurable storyteller.

Q: What makes you nervous?
Some upcoming trial or cause for tribulation.

Q: What makes you excited?
A prospect that might have untold possibilities.

Q: Who are you?
A former New York starving actor and a professor emeritus of dramatic arts at the University of Connecticut.

Q: If you could only save one thing from your house, what would it be?
My goldendoodle Baxter.

Q: What’s one of your favorite quotes?
“All art is the result of having been in danger. Of going as far as one can go and beyond.” -Rilke

Q: What’s your favorite line from a book?
“The world breaks everyone. Some are strong in the broken places.” Hemingway

Q: Is your book based on real events?
The attempt of a rapacious developer from New Jersey to destroy a verdant high meadow adjacent to my home in order to build a condo complex.

Q: Who are your favorite authors?
Hemingway, Mark Twain, Harper Lee, James Lee Burke, Ray Bradbury, P.D. James.

Q: What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received about your writing?
When crime writer Donald Westlake declared that my Hollywood novel Tinseltown Riff was captivating.

Q: What’s the worst thing someone has said about your writing?
Someone said my saga centering on a drifter was pretentious. Since I had put my whole heart and soul into it, I finally just discarded the notion.

Q: What are you working on now?
A crime story with the working title Miranda and the D-Day Caper.


Picking up speed, she passed the rows of Victorian houses with their pilastered front porches and attached shutters in homage to last century’s Colonial Revival. She’d grown up here, always lived here except for college and her transatlantic jaunts. But at this moment, her village might as well be a scattering of old photos.
Before she knew it, the rain was beating down harder, her wiper blades barely able to keep up. Among the nagging questions flitting through her mind was how could Miranda Shaw have suddenly gotten wind of her leaking roof? Or did somebody just put her up to it, to get Chris rushing pell- mell in the rain so he would...
Emily eased her foot off the pedal, barely able to see through the downpour. She switched the wipers on high and kept her eyes on the road, intent on avoiding an accident.
Minutes later, she pulled into Miranda Shaw’s place at a slow but steady crawl. As she reached the circular drive, straining her eyes through the thwacking blades, she peered up two stories above the stone archway.
There she caught sight of the familiar gangly figure climbing higher toward the peak of an eight-sided turret. At a point where the grayish-blue slate, copper flashing, and a mullioned window merged, the figure suddenly became a shuddering blur.
Emily honked her horn, blasting as loud as she could. But it was too late. The figure flopped over and slid down the turret, glanced off the aluminum ladder and toppled like a broken doll.
Excerpt from The Secluded Village Murders by Shelly Frome.  Copyright © 2018 by Shelly Frome. Reproduced with permission from Shelly Frome. All rights reserved.


Shelly Frome is a member of Mystery Writers of America, a professor of dramatic arts emeritus at the University of Connecticut, a former professional actor, a writer of crime novels and books on theater and film. He is also a features writer for Gannett Media. His fiction includes Sun Dance for Andy Horn, Lilac Moon, Twilight of the Drifter, Tinseltown Riff, and Murder Run. Among his works of non-fiction are The Actors Studio and texts on the art and craft of screenwriting and writing for the stage. Moon Games is his latest foray into the world of crime and the amateur sleuth. He lives in Black Mountain, North Carolina.

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