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The three authors bring us an anthology with a cozy mystery holiday story from each of their popular series. Although I have Austin and Reinhart’s books on my Kindle TBR, I haven’t had a chance to read them yet. I have read one of Walker’s books from this series, which I loved.
I will review this book by the individual stories.
Diners Keepers, Losers Weepers by Terri L. Austin
(From her “A Rose Strickland Mystery” series)
It’s a few days before Christmas when waitress Rose Strickland heads to Memphis with her friends from Ma’s Diner to visit Graceland. Nobody is as excited as Ma when she sees dozens of Elvis impersonators, but the group isn’t happy when their hotel reservations are given away and they wind up in a seedy motel. When one of the Elvis impersonators is found dead, Rose is curious and starts snooping around. She discovers missing jewels and a very hot impersonator who keeps showing up. Rose is determined to find the killer and get home before the first Christmas gift is unwrapped.
This was a fun, quick read with quite a bit of humor thrown into the mix. I enjoyed it very much and loved Rose playing detective with her friends. I immediately fell in love with the characters in this book. Terri Austin has the perfect writing style for a cozy mystery. She keeps the reader’s attention from start to finish. I really need to read the other books in her series. I already know this is a series I will love with beloved characters.
Quick Sketch by Larissa Reinhart
(From her “A Cherry Tucker Mystery” series)
Sketch artist Cherry Tucker and her poker playing boyfriend Todd pay a visit to Memphis to lend Todd’s cousin a helping hand. His cousin lost his savings and now there will be no Christmas for his family. Cherry and Todd suspect he was cheated and will do whatever they can to save Christmas. They stay in the seedy Heartache Motel and put together an elaborate sting operation, but they are clueless as to who can be trusted. If they don’t play this right, they could be spending the holidays in jail.
Yet another series I have in my TBR, but haven’t read yet. I liked the characters very much. They are perfect for a mystery series. Although I liked Cherry and Todd immediately, I think this is one story I would have appreciated it even more if I had read the earlier books. The storyline was interesting and flowed smoothly, but I really wanted to know more about the characters. So, I will be adding this series to my list too.
Dateline Memphis by LynDee Walker
(From her “A Headlines in Heels Mystery” series)
Nichelle Clarke is on her way home for the Christmas holidays but makes one quick stop along her way. She visits Graceland in hopes of getting her mother a Christmas gift there. The one thing she never expects is to find herself in a police lockdown at Graceland. An expensive jeweled belt worn by Elvis has gone missing. Being a crime reporter, Nichelle doesn’t know if this is good luck or bad. Of course it means her Christmas celebration could be delayed, but it also puts her on the inside track to huge news headlines. She decides to lend a helping hand in the investigation but she stumbles upon an intriguing twist.
This is the second book in this series I’ve read and I loved catching up with Nichelle. I still need to read the first book in this series, but this was a quick story that had my interest until the end. Nichelle is a character that I already love and care about.
A great introduction to these three authors and their series. It gives the readers a nice taste of what to look forward to in each one of them and introduces characters the readers will find both interesting and captivating. I thought these story written with the backdrop of Graceland, complete with wacky Elvis impersonators, was fun and made for several hours of enjoyment. A very unique idea.
FTC Disclosure: The publisher provided me with a copy of this book to review for this blog tour. This did not influence my thoughts and opinions in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.
I'd like to welcome Terri L. Austin, Larissa Reinhart and LynnDee Walker to Socrates' Book Reviews and Socrates' Cozy Cafe...
I have just one question...this is for all three authors (I hope that's okay.)
We love just one question!! Thanks so much for having us on Socrates Book Reviews, Yvonne. And happy holidays to your readers!
How do you decide on a setting for your books?
LynDee: My Headlines in High Heels novels were just always set in Richmond. I love the city, and from the moment Nichelle first popped into my head, she was here. For Heartache Motel, we chose Memphis because we wanted something sort of central to all three heroines, with a tourist attraction that would get them all there. I've been to Graceland, and writing about Elvis at Christmas seemed like so much fun! I might have begged a little. I don't remember. Girls?
Larissa: For HEARTACHE MOTEL, that setting grew from Terri, LynDee, and I joking around. We were tossing out ideas on how to get our characters (Rose Strickland, Nichelle Clarke, and Cherry Tucker) together, just for the heck of it. Graceland came up as a tourist destination that they all might visit. Somehow Graceland morphed into a dive motel with Elvis impersonators and drag queens. A more fertile ground for crooks.
My Cherry Tucker mysteries are set in the fictional Forks County, Georgia where Cherry‘s hometown of Halo resides. I’m originally from a small town, so that’s in my wheelhouse. I’ve also lived in Georgia for fifteen years, so that came naturally, too.
Terri: I'm from the Midwest, so I know the heartland pretty well. My Rose Strickland Mystery series is set in a fictional town that sort of loosely represents my metro area. I like the fictional setting because I can make Rose's universe my own. *rubbing hands together maniacally*
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