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Thursday, April 4, 2013

Review and Interview of J. J. Cook's That Old Flame of Mine

Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade Mysteries

By J.J. Cook

That Old Flame of Mine
Berkley Prime Crime

April 2013

ISBN – 978-0425252048

Set in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, J. J. Cook’s thrilling new mystery series features Fire Chief Stella Griffin, who solves crime with the help of her predecessor, who just happens to be a ghost…
After knocking the lights out of her boyfriend when she catches him cheating on her, Chicago fire fighter Stella Griffin hops on her Harley and heads for Sweet Pepper, Tennessee, where she ends up becoming the small town’s fire chief. When her dear friend Tory Lambert dies after her gingerbread-style house is set ablaze, Stella suspects arson and foul play.

As Stella investigates, she gets help from a most unlikely source—the ghost of Eric Gamlyn, Sweet Pepper’s old fire chief. And if that isn’t enough to rattle her, attractive police officer John Trump seems to have taken an interest in her. But Stella’s got to stay focused if she hopes to smoke out a killer before her own life is extinguished.

My Review:
Wow!  What a great mystery.  All I could do was hang on for the ride.  This cozy kept me guessing till the end, and then, Wham!  I had no idea.  Then to top it off, it leaves off with a big cliffhanger.  I absolutely cannot wait till the next book in this series comes out.  
Stella comes to Sweet Pepper as acting Fire Chief to get the Fire Brigade up and going again.  She finds out some surprising things in Sweet Pepper and to top it off, she is sharing her house with a Ghost!  I just loved this.
J. J. Cook, this was an absolute hit with me!  Like I said, I can't wait till the next book comes out!  Great job!
I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review. 


Joyce and Jim Lavene write as themselves, J.J. Cook, and Ellie Grant. They write award-winning, bestselling mystery fiction. They have written and published more than 60 novels for Harlequin, Berkley, Amazon and Gallery Books along with hundreds of non-fiction articles for national and regional publications. They live in rural North Carolina with their family. Visit them at


Q. What were your inspirations for writing this series?


A. We were most inspired by our local volunteer firefighters. They are pulled away from their families and their lives at a moment’s notice for no pay. They risk their lives for the good of their community. We thought it would be fun to write about all the training they go through and how they could solve mysteries.


Q. Tentively, how many books do you have planned for this series?


A. Ten. We have the first three books written as well as a short novella, Hero’s Journey. The first book, That Old Flame of Mine, is out in April. The second, Playing with Fire, will be out January 2014 and the novella will be out in December 2013.


Q. This book is set in the Smoky Mountains; do you like to visit this area?


A. We have vacationed there many times. We love the mountains – their peace and serenity. It’s fun to go there and imagine Stella and her friends living and working there. We use photos we’ve taken there as a base for our stories.


Q. What is your favorite part of the country?


A. That would be hard to say. We love the mountains, but we also love the coast. We were both born in the south and raised in the Chicago area. Having southern mothers and northern fathers gives us a weird perspective on life.


Q. What is your favorite Cozy Mystery Series?


A. We like so many! We follow authors Casey Daniels, M.C. Beaton, and others. We really enjoy cozy mysteries with a paranormal element.


Q. What is the first Cozy Mystery you remember reading?


A. Probably Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys.


Q. Who is your favorite Cozy Mystery author, other than yourself and your pseudonyms? 


A. We also enjoy Sheila Connolly, Nancy Martin, and Patricia Sprinkle.


Thanks for having us here today!





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