Sartoris Literary Group
The women of the Thursday Morning Breakfast Club are shocked to discover one of their own with bruises caused by her husband. The women are ready to rally around Claire, but when her husband turns up dead and Claire confesses, they don’t know what to think. The leader of the club, Lillie Mae Harris, doesn’t believe for one moment that Claire killed her husband and she intends to prove it. They just have to figure out who she is protecting.
With the help of the other women of the club, as well as local police officer, Charlie Warren, Lillie Mae conducts her own investigation. Things take a really nasty turn when another dead body shows up and one of their own members is attacked.
The race is on to find a killer before more people are hurt or murdered.
This is a fast-paced read with a wide variety of characters. I must admit that I figured out who did it way before the end of the story. I still enjoyed reading the book and seeing how Lillie Mae cracked this case. My one problem is that the police encouraged Lillie Mae and her group to be involved in the investigation. Although it’s a very small town, it just seemed odd to me that the police would risk the well-being of civilians.
It’s well-written and a good, solid start to a new cozy series. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens in the next book.
FTC Disclosure: The author provided me with a copy of this book to review. This did not influence my thoughts and opinions in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.
For reading challenge:
2013 Where Are You Reading Challenge? (Maryland)
For reading challenge:
2013 Where Are You Reading Challenge? (Maryland)
Author Guest Post
Why Setting Is Important To The Thursday Morning Breakfast (and Murder) Club Series?
Mount Penn, the setting of Thursday Morning Breakfast (and Murder) Club, is a primary character in this series of mysteries. An idyllic oasis in the middle of our hectic modern life, it has a touch of yesterday with a spice of today. Straddling the Maryland Pennsylvania border, the Mason-Dixon Line- the community merges the influences of both the north and the south – it’s people are pragmatic with a touch of grace and warmth.
It’s the merging, the coming together, despite lots of differences, that makes Mount Penn and its amazing residents special. Our modern world is divisive. Pushed by the media, we, as people, often focus on our differences rather than our similarities. This is a determined effort to keep us apart. A divided- people is much weaker than a united people. In Mount Penn, it’s the characters’ differences that make them endearing. The ladies of the breakfast club accept each others’ quirks – the reason, I believe, despite their ages, they are healthy and strong. That, and the fact, they all have gardens and eat lots of non-processed foods.
Mount Penn does have a real life model – Pen Mar, Maryland. I chose to make the series setting fictional, because I wanted to have the freedom to make the changes in the location that worked best for my books. That said, Pen Mar, Maryland, a small hamlet situated on the same spot as Mount Penn, on the eastern slope of the Appalachians, not far from Camp David, has a rich history. This same history influences my fictional town of Mount Penn.
On the path to Gettysburg during the civil war, Pen Mar was once the site of a spectacular railroad resort in the late 19th , early 20th century. Huge hotels abounded in the mountains, servicing dignitaries and industrialists from around the world. A grand amusement park and dance pavilion stood in what is now the Pen Mar Park, where the trailhead to the Appalachian Trail is located. It was with the advent of the automobile, and Henry Ford’s determination that everyone own a Model-T, that this grand resort came to an end. As the railroad tracks around the country were destroyed, the railroad resorts died with them. This history, forgotten by many who now live in this small community, is still imbedded in its personality.
Although Mount Penn, like Pen Mar, is spectacularly beautiful, with its grand mountain foliage and amazing views of the valley below, it is also a town of people who care about each other, offering casseroles, pies, and coffee at every turn. The ladies of the breakfast club look out for each other, worry about each other, and love each other as if part of the same family. They are a community.
I love close knit communities, so I set my books in one. I believe we’re moving away from them in our very busy modern lives. Relationships in cyberspace have replaced relationships down the street. I’m guilty of my own complaint. I, too, love having friends all over the world, and Facebook, Goodreads, and Twitter have given me far more pleasure than I ever dreamed they would. But I miss the small town community I grew up in, and even the city based community where I raised my two sons. I miss sitting outside with friends and neighbors in the evening, sharing conversation, or tapping on a neighbor’s door to ask for a stick of butter. I don’t do any of those things in my urban community in south Florida.
Mount Penn is the best of all communities. People still accept and enjoy and love each other, despite their differences. In fact it’s often these differences that make my characters so lovable. The Thursday morning ladies automatically assume they have most things in common with each other, and they do, although there’s plenty they disagree about, too. I want my readers to feel a part of this community when they read my book, and maybe, yearn to visit it again when they finish the last page.
Liz Stauffer’s debut mystery novel Thursday Morning Breakfast (and Murder) Club, published by Sartoris Literary Group, was released on June 28, 2013.
Things are not always what they seem in Liz Stauffer’s fast paced book of murder, mystery, and intrigue. When the "breakfast club" ladies of idyllic Mount Penn see bruises on Clare Ballard's pretty face, they suspect her hot-headed husband of abusing her, but the truth is much more complicated. When violence disrupts this Appalachian village's lazy routine, the ladies, led by the irascible Lillie Mae Harris, jump feet first into danger as bodies appear, neighbors disappear, and Clare is arrested for murder. Follow Lillie Mae and the other "breakfast club" ladies, who, armed with casseroles and pastries, help the police uncover the deep secrets this town hides beneath its perfect facade.
After some thirty years writing everything from political encyclopedias to software manuals, I retired from corporate life to write fiction, travel, and play on the beach. Since that time, I’ve traveled extensively throughout the United States and the world. I live most of the year in Hollywood, Florida, with my two doggie best friends, Mattie and Jakey, where I own and manage a vacation rental business.
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