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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Rosemary and Crime--Gail Oust Review and Guest Post


Rosemary and Crime
Cozy Mystery
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Minotaur Books (December 17, 2013)
ISBN-13: 978-1250011046

Piper Prescott, a transplanted Yankee living in the South, has got her sass back.  She might be down, but don’t count her out.  “Change of life?” she asks.  Bring it on.  Recently divorced, Piper decides to pursue a dream she’s secretly harbored:  owning her own business.  Spice It Up!, a spice shop in her adopted hometown, Brandywine Creek, Georgia.  But Piper’s grand opening goes awry when the local chef who’s agreed to do a cooking demo is found stabbed.  Not only did Piper find the body, she handled the murder weapon and doesn’t have a witness to her alibi, making the case look like a slam dunk to brand new police Chief Wyatt McBride.  Desperate to uncover the truth—and prove her innocence—Piper enlists the help of her outspoken BFF Reba Mae Johnson to help track down the real culprit.  The pair compile a lengthy list of suspects and work to eliminate them using their own creative brand of sleuthing techniques including stakeouts, breaking and entering, and one very unorthodox chocolate pie.  When Piper narrowly avoids being a victim of a hit-and-run, she knows she’s getting closer to the truth, but can she catch the killer and clear her name before she becomes the next victim?

My Review:

This was a great cozy mystery that kept me guessing till the very end.  Piper is getting ready to open her spice shop, Spice It Up!, when she finds the chef she has scheduled for her opening dead.  Piper h as to do a lot of digging to find the killer and clear her name.  In the meantime, she has to deal with her ex-husband and her daughter, who gets into so trouble on Prom night.  I really enjoyed this book, it was fast paced and kept me involved from the very beginning.  Great job Gail, I look forward to more in this series.

I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.

About This Author
Gail Oust is often accused of flunking retirement. While working as a nurse/vascular technologist, she penned nine historical romances under the pseudonym of Elizabeth Turner. It wasn’t until she and her husband retired to South Carolina that inspiration struck for a mystery. Hearing the words “maybe it’s a dead body” while golfing fired her imagination for writing a cozy. Ever since then, she spends more time on a computer than at a golf course. Author of the Bunco Babe mysteries, she’s currently working on a new Spice Shop mystery series.
Author Links:, Goodreads
Purchase Links:
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Guest blog post by Gail Oust

I’ve heard some writers claim they wanted to write since they were children.  They tell about writing their first book while still in grade school.  Well, I have a confession to make.  I’m a late bloomer.  I didn’t begin writing until my children were in school and a certain birthday was rapidly approaching.  But, as I say, better a late bloomer than a no bloomer.

There weren’t many career choices for girls back when I graduated from high school--or at least not to my limited knowledge.  No one I’d ever heard of in the small town where I grew up had aspirations of becoming a novelist.  Or if they had, they kept their dreams to themselves and went about their daily lives working and raising their families. But one thing my town did have was a library.  Years later, I can still recall the tantalizing musty smell of books and exactly the spot where I’d find Nancy Drew.  I also devoured the Hardy Boys, Trixie Belden, and the Dana Girl mysteries. I loved them all.   Little did I suspect that one day I’d be writing mysteries of my own featuring an amateur sleuth. 

While I harbored a vague someday-I’ll-write-a-book fantasy, my more practical, pragmatic side took charge.  Teachers, nurses, and secretaries seemed to be the most popular jobs for women back then, so I opted for a career in the medical profession.  It wasn’t until after becoming a wife and mother that the idea for actually sitting down and writing a book began to flourish, a fact I blame on the love of reading fostered years ago by a small town library.  My favorite genre at the time was romance.  I remember asking myself:  How hard can it be to write a Harlequin romance?  I soon found out when my manuscript was rejected with a form letter.  About this time, Kathleen Woodiwiss burst on the scene and historical romancea became the hottest ticket in town.  I tried, and eventually succeeded, in having nine historical romances published under the pseudonym of Elizabeth Turner. 

Eventually with our children grown, my husband and I decided to retire somewhere warm, somewhere we could play golf.  The market for historicals had grown soft, so I resigned myself to thinking my writing days were behind me.  Boy, was I wrong!  Hearing the words “maybe it’s a dead body” while playing golf not only fired my imagination but turned it in an entirely different direction.   The Bunco Babe Mysteries, a three book series, was the result.  I’d come full circle and returned to my first love—mysteries.  

I thoroughly enjoyed writing about Kate McCall and her group of women friends who lived in a retirement community for ‘active’ adults and shared a love of the dice game, bunco.  I’m having an equally good time with Piper Prescott who along with friends and acquaintances inhabit the fictional town of Brandywine Creek, Georgia.  In Rosemary and Crime, the first in my new Spice Shop series, Piper, recently dumped in favor of a twenty-something in a short skirt, is about to embark on a career change of her own—from country club wife to business owner.  Finding the body of the chef who agreed to do a cooking demo at the grand opening of Spice It Up! isn’t on Piper’s agenda.  Not only are her fingerprints on what later turns out to be the murder weapon, but her alibi has disappeared without a trace.  Piper, however, isn’t one to   give up easily.  She enlists the help of her BFF and sets out to prove her innocence. 

I can easily identify with a Piper, a woman who isn’t afraid to venture into unfamiliar territory.  I did it when moving from the Midwest to the Deep South.  I did it again when switching from romance to mystery.  Like my son told me, life’s an adventure.  I’m having a ball doing what I love best.





1 comment:

  1. Really want to read this one! I've read her other series!