Publisher: Brandt Street Press (November 8, 2016)
Category: Cozy Mystery, Women Sleuths
Tour Date: March & April, 2017
Available in: Print & ebook, 256 Pages
Then she saw it – a sheet of paper in the mailbox, underneath the mail. It was white with large black letters and said LEAVE IT ALONE.
Mrs. B has a quiet life, and she likes it that way. Morning pinochle games at St. Mary’s Senior Center. Afternoon lunches with Myrtle, Anne and Rose. Peaceful evenings with a cup of coffee and the classic movie channel.
But one day she wakes to a phone call, which leads to consequences she could never have foreseen. Secrets snowball and threaten to change the neighborhood of Burchfield forever. Someone has to make things right. It’s up to Mrs. B.
What I Thought:
This was a book that reminded me a little of Jessica Fletcher in Murder She Wrote. Mrs. B. is a very charming character and I found this an endearing book. It was well written and flowed well and the plot was very believable. Mrs. B has a pretty ordinary life for a senior citizen. But when there becomes a mystery to solve, Mrs. B shows she is no ordinary senior citizen, she in tenacious in solving the mystery.
I received a complimentary copy of this book.
Praise for Question of Devotion by Anita Kulina“If you can picture Columbo when he’s retired, and spending more time in church and the kitchen, and Polish, and wearing a babushka, you have a sense of the down-home detective that Anita Kulina has created. I love Mrs. B!”-Brian O’Neill, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist and author of The Paris of Appalachia
“A Question of Devotion is a comforting snapshot of an aging population, where the way of life is still bound by churches, neighborhoods, and countries of origin. Its heroine, Mrs. B, is not just an old woman living out her twilight years at the senior center, but an able detective engaged in solving a mystery as cozy as cocoa and afghans on a cold Western Pennsylvania day.”-Kathryn Miller Haines, author of the Rosie Winter Mysteries and the Iris Anderson Mysteries
About Anita KulinaLike most people who love to write, Anita Kulina has been telling stories since she was old enough to hold a pen. Her first publication was in the letters-to-the-editor column of Adventure Comics #341. Nowadays, much of her work centers on the rich and colorful lives of Pittsburgh’s working poor. Since Anita spent much of her life in those ranks, it’s a subject dear to her heart.
Her book Millhunks and Renegades won her the Achievement in Literature award from the community of Hazelwood in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She is currently at work on the next two Mrs. B books.
Buy Question of Devotion by Anita KulinaAmazon
Melina’s Book Blog Guest Post
There’s nothing I love more than an old lady detective.
My first, and this won’t surprise you, was Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple. At home in sweet little murderous St. Mary Mead, Miss Marple ran circles around the constable du jour from her cozy seat in the victim’s parlor. There was something about this woman that grabbed me. She knew so much, not because she’d been to college or had traveled the world (though she occasionally went on a vacation funded by her nephew Raymond). No, she could solve the crime because she had lived a long life and she had paid attention.
Jessica Fletcher, Angela Lansbury’s character on Murder She Wrote, was another favorite. We all joke that we’d never want to visit Cabot Cove, which was apparently the most deadly town in the world. But we all wanted to meet Jessica. We all wanted to be friends with this woman who didn’t let advancing age get to her, who kept writing and traveling and still had enough energy to solve crimes in her spare time.
I love Simon Brett’s Fethering Mysteries, but Carol Seddon and Jude Nichols, though retired, are comparatively young, and not as much fun for me as his quirky Mrs. Pargeter, who isn’t afraid to ask her late husband’s criminal friends to help her out of a pickle every now and then.
I suppose this is why, when I decided to write a mystery, I created Mrs. B.
Mrs. B combines a lot of these characteristics, but she’s definitely her own person. Like Jessica Fletcher, Mrs. B is a widow. Like Miss Marple, Mrs. B leads a fairly quiet life. Like Mrs. Pargeter, Mrs. B has people in her world who have been involved in criminal activity. Like Carol Seddon and Jude Nichols, Mrs. B isn’t afraid to enjoy her senior years.
But Burchfield is nothing like St. Mary Mead or Cabot Cove or Fethering. Burchfield is a poor neighborhood in a big city, though it feels like a small town to its residents, most of whom have lived there all their lives. Everyone in Burchfield seems to know everyone else, and knows everything about them, the good and the bad.
In Burchfield people are judged by their friendship and loyalty, not by their car or their clothes. Life is a struggle sometimes, but when you’re surrounded by people who know you and care about you, struggle is always surmountable.
So Mrs. B still lives in the little house she and her late husband Albert bought before their kids were born. She plays pinochle in the morning at the senior center in the basement of St. Mary’s Church, and has lunch every day with her best friends, Myrtle, Anne and Rose. She looks forward to letters from her daughter. She used to have dinner watching the classic movie channel, but new neighbors moved in across the street, and they’re slowly becoming a part of Mrs. B’s life.
And when Myrtle comes to Mrs. B for help, of course Mrs. B says “yes.” That’s what friends are for.