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Sunday, February 1, 2015

Murder, Mayhem, and Bliss by Loulou Harrington









Murder, Mayhem and Bliss (Myrtle Grove Garden Club Mystery Book 1)
Paperback: 240 pages

Publisher: Deadly Niche Press (November 26, 2014)
ISBN-13: 978-1620161418
E-Book File Size: 461 KB
ASIN: B00PFAP65E
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Synopsis:
Nothing much happens in Myrtle Grove, Oklahoma. So when prominent businessman Harry Kerr is discovered face down in his pool shortly after dawn, the breakfast crowd in Jesse Camden’s tea room is buzzing. Recognizing the name, Jesse hurries to her friend Vivian Windsor, Myrtle Grove’s resident oil heiress and great-aunt to Bliss Kerr, widow of the deceased and soon-to-be prime suspect in his suspicious death.
Clearing Bliss and finding the real murderer isn’t what Jesse meant when she offered her assistance. And wrangling an eager band of helpers while chasing a tangle of leads across the countryside, tripping over deputies and evidence along the way, isn’t her first choice for her weekend. But here she is, and here she will be, hearing secrets no one should know, and discovering betrayals no one could live with, until Jesse finds her way through the maze of deceit to uncover the real killer.
 
What I Thought:
This one started kind of slow for me, but towards the middle it picked up.  I liked the characters that are in this book.  It had some humor in it, as this group of eclectic friend, who now call themselves the Myrtle Grove Garden Club really had each other's backs and did some things that had me chuckling.  I figured out who the killer was about halfway through, but it was still a good entertaining read.
 
I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.
 
Bio Photo

About This Author:
A lifelong fan of mysteries and the cozy genre, in particular, Loulou Harrington began her published career in romances and is now happy to be writing what she has always loved to read—a good, old-fashioned mystery. Even better, she has the chance to incorporate her personal love of gardening, cooking, exploring quaint villages and wandering through the great outdoors in her new Myrtle Grove Garden Club mystery series. She sincerely hopes you will enjoy sharing this special world with her.
Loulou Harrington, Author
Myrtle Grove Garden Club mysteries
MURDER, MAYHEM AND BLISS, Book 1
http://www.loulouharrington.com/
Author Links
Blog: http://myrtlegrovemornings.wordpress.com/
or: http://loulouwritescozy.wordpress.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/loulou.harrington
Twitter: https://twitter.com/loulouwrites1
Purchase Links:
Amazon B&N Book Depository

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Guest Post:


First, I like to thank you, Melina, for welcoming me to Melina’s Book Blog, and to say hi to all the readers out there.

 

I’m not really a theme writer. At least I never thought I was. So it took me by surprise when I realized somewhere in the middle of the second book of the Myrtle Grove Garden Club mystery series that I seemed to have a theme developing. And it wasn’t gardening.

 

But if you don’t mind, I’d like to sneak up on this a little more subtly. Because I’m a writer, and that’s what we do. So, to digress, the series I’m writing is about a woman name Jesse who is approaching the big 50. She has returned home after years of being away selfishly pursuing her own life, or as most of us would say, being a normal person. Then her grandfather became ill, and Jesse returned to her ancestral home in Myrtle Grove, Oklahoma, to help her mother care for the grandfather that Jesse was deeply attached to.

 

MURDER, MAYHEM AND BLISS, book one of the cozy series, begins several years after her grandfather’s death, and Jesse has remained with her mother. Together they have started a tea room and an antique shop in the first floor of the Victorian home they inherited from Jesse’s grandfather. She and her mother Sophia have a close relationship, having reached a place age where they appreciate each other as more than just mother and daughter.

 

Also living in Myrtle Grove is Vivian, the mother of Jesse’s childhood friend, who died his senior year of high school. Grief and time formed a bond between Jesse and Vivian that has spanned their adult lives and only grown stronger through the years in spite of their age difference.

 

Additional inhabitants of the series are co-workers, ex-husbands and wives of ex-husbands, all of whom form an eclectic mix that revolves around Jesse, who is their hub. As the first book unfolds, these people are drawn together, eventually forming what is almost an extended family. In the second book, MURDER MOST THORNY (which hasn’t been released yet), more people are brought into the fold like stray sheep and added to the growing core of friends, whose ages range from 19 to 70+ and whose lifestyles vary from college-student waitress to oil heiress.

 

And somewhere along the way it occurred to me that Jesse, who once left home to pursue her own life and returned out of duty, had changed. When Vivian’s niece lost her husband to a tragic accident—or was it murder—Jesse rushed in to help and the rest of the group quickly followed. Partly out of curiosity, maybe a little out of boredom (after all Myrtle Grove is a small town where nothing much ever happens), but mainly out of friendship, practically everyone Jesse knew insisted on getting involved.

 

Over and over, it kept showing up in the first book and then the second—a theme. Friendship. Generous, persistent, encompassing friendship. Sometimes cantankerous, sometimes a little sarcastic, but there. When something bad happened to one of them, everyone came forward to help fix it. Without stopping to question or hesitate, they were just there. And together, they solved the problem. Okay, mainly it was Jesse, but everyone else helped, and that’s what counts.

 

So, without intending to be, apparently I am a theme writer. And friendship and family, or extended family, is a big part of that theme. And I guess that’s not such a bad thing because, really, the world can be a very lonely place without friends. And don’t friends just kind of fit with “cozy”? I think they do.

 

Thank you all for taking time out of your day to spend with me. I want to remind you to sign up for the weeklong Gift Box Giveaway. It’s a pre-Valentine’s Day theme, with a recipe for a fantastic chocolate-cherry cake, complete with the chocolates (for the cake, okay—maybe a few extras) an autographed print copy of MURDER, MAYHEM AND BLISS, plus a pair of crystal stemware wine (or water, if you prefer) glasses, and a beautiful, vintage etched-glass cake plate. And good luck!

 


17 comments:

  1. MURDER, MAYHEM AND BLISS sounds like a great book. I am looking forward to reading it. Thank you for the giveaway.

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    Replies
    1. I don't know if you need my email address but here it is:
      myrifraf(at)gmail(dot)com

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    2. Thank you, Jen. I hope you enjoy it, and good luck on the giveaway.

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  2. This sounds like a great read~I love the tea room and antique shop set in an old Victorian. That's my favorite style of house. Thank you for the chance to win a copy of your book, Murder, Mayhem and Bliss plus the great prize package! woodrumbetty@gmail.com

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    Replies
    1. Hi, Betty, thanks for the note. I enjoy writing about these things, too. And good luck.

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  3. This sounds like a really good book. I will have to check out your books. I love to find a new author to read. Have a great week!

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    1. Thanks, Gail. Hope you enjoy the read, and have a great week yourself.

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  4. Sounds like a good book. I love the outdoors and the cozy little villages with a bit of murder thrown in!
    sallycootie@gmail.com

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  5. II don't think I've read a cozy set in Oklahoma---so I'd better try this one. Thanks for the contest.
    suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

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    1. Hi, Sue. I especially enjoy the area of Oklahoma my series is set in. There is a lot of variety. I hope you'll check it out, and good luck with the contest.

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  6. This sounds like a great cozy read! I loved the post - it's nice to learn more about the author's thoughts behind the story.

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    1. Thank you, Brooke. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. I enjoyed writing it, and actually learned a little something while I was doing it.

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  7. Thank you, Melina, for hosting me today. I enjoyed being here and appreciate your making me feel welcome. I had a lovely time.

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  8. I'm so glad to hear about book 2, as I really enjoyed Murder, Mayhem and Bliss! :O)

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  9. This sounds like a great book and I love the cover! Thank you for the contest! woodrumbetty@gmail.com

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