Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Murder and Mint Tea #MFRWHooks #BWLAuthor #Cozy mystery #Maine coon cat #Murder #Mint Tea



The authors at #MFRWHooks here   http://mfrwbookhooks.blogspot.com  have some great excerpts for you to read. Mine is from the first book of the series and is available at $1.49 permanently

BLURB:

 Katherine is a retired nurse and a retired church organist. The small Hudson River village where she lives in her Victorian “Painted Lady” makes her the neighborhood matriarch. Along with her Maine Coon Cat Robespierre, she guards friends and families.


When amoral Rachel moves into the first floor apartment of Katherine’s house, trouble erupts. The murder weapon is one she recognizes and makes her fear for her friends and family. Finding the killer becomes her goal.

Editorial Review
Murder and Mint Tea is a gem in its genre, combining the voice of a classic American whodunit with that of a traditional British detective novel. Murder She Wrote meets Miss Marple in a beautifully crafted tale that makes the reader want to reach into the pages and dispense justice to the villainess themselves. ~ Writer Gail Roughton
Reviewed in the United States on December 24, 2019
Verified Purchase
Yes, the book unfolds slowly, exactly as you can imagine such events happening. A glamorous young divorced woman and her children, boy and girl, move into a friendly, safe, pleasant neighborhood and rent the downstairs of a lovely old house. Pretty quickly, the landlady, a retired nurse with deep roots in her community, learns that her renters, foisted off on her by a trusted friend of her son, are trouble. Not the daughter, who both brother and mother treat as a live-in slave, but the boy, who is malicious and aggressive. Bit by bit, Mrs. Miller realizes that she has not one but two sociopaths living downstairs, because the mother proves to be a toxic personality. Plenty of creepy crawlies as you read, and piece by piece the true crime aspects of this "it could happen here" story unfolds. What I liked best about the book were the well-observed and true to life characters as well as the unsettling description of the unraveling of what has been a nearly idyllic neighborhood. I also loved the fact that Mrs. Miller is a mature woman and that her wisdom and her insights do have impact upon setting the world to rights again.

Reviewed in the United States on May 17, 2018
Verified Purchase
Mrs. Katherine Miller spends her days enjoying her friends and family and she's anxious for a new tenant in her downstairs apartment. Her son, Andrew, has found a woman with two children who will sign a year's lease.
The woman, Rachel, turns out to be loud, obnoxious, neglectful of her children, and seductive to any man in her vicinity.
Katherine worries about the woman's abused daughter and takes Susie under her wing.
This is more a slice of life story than a mystery. The murder happens nearly at the end of the novel, and the perpetrator surprised me.
I enjoyed the different characters in the neighborhood and Katherine is kind and good-hearted. She should have been more assertive with nasty Rachel. The woman threatened her several times, and Katherine should have reported her to the authorities for that and the obvious child abuse, which might have gotten Rachel evicted.
Of course, that would have ruined the ending. A good read for a rainy day.


EXCERPT:

     As usual I woke around sin, showered and dressed for my walk.  The ache in my leg told me rain was on the way.  Robespierre met me in the kitchen and butted my leg until I cleaned his bowl and fed him.  At six thirty, fortified with a cup of mint tea, I lifted my cane, glanced at the cloud-darkened sky and left the apartment.

     On the porch I stared at the sky.  Would I complete the walk before it rained?  I glanced at the roses at the end of the porch.  A scrap of white fluttered.  Curiosity sent me across the porch.

     I reached for the ragged scrap of cloth and gasped.  When I looked over the railing acid rose in my throat.  I swallowed several times.  Rachel’s body sprawled among the bushes.  Her arms and legs curved awkwardly.  I hurried down the steps and around the porch.  Even if I hadn’t been a nurse I would have recognized death.

     On the ground several feet from her body I saw the knife.  The blood on the blade seemed duller than the splotch of red on the bodice of her white dress.  I bent to study the knife.  The distinctive ivory bands on the black handle identified it as one of the knives Bob and Sarah had given as gifts last Christmas.

     A rush of thoughts arose and threatened to engulf me.  I heard voices crying for Rachel’s death.

     “Someday you’ll end up dead and there’ll be too many suspects for an arrest.”

     “I wait for her.  I have the knife.”

     “You’ll be sorry, sorry, sorry.”

     “I hate her.  I wish she was dead.”

     “How about the Orient Express method?”

     What should I do?  The voices of my friends and loved ones brought my protective instincts to play.  The possibility someone I knew had ended Rachel’s life was strong.  Once again I saw Tim slice the air with the knife.  The day the Rodgers had moved in I had placed one of the knives on the tray of food.  Neither had been returned.  With a sudden thought I knew even Susie could have wielded the knife.

     I pulled a tissue from my pocket and wrapped it around the knife.  After grasping the tissue I turned my back on Rachel, crossed the lawn and walked to the river.

     I sat on the bench and stared at the tissue wrapped knife.  Rachel was dead.  Even in death she retained the power to destroy.  Without the knife could the police prove a case against anyone?  I walked down the steps to the shore.  With a wide swing I hurled the knife and watched the white tissue and its burden vanish.

     After washing my hands I waved them dry.  A misting rain began.  She’s dead.  Maybe there will be peace.  I turned and began the walk home.


3 comments:

Lisabet Sarai said...

A Maine Coon cat name Robespierre! How perfect!

Ed Hoornaert said...

That's quite an unwelcome discovery!

Maggie Blackbird said...

This sounds intriguing but the text is getting cut off in the post.