Soap opera actress Veronica Walsh loves playing the diva and loves her role on the show Days and Nights. When her show is cancelled, she’s devastated. With no other acting prospects on the horizon, she returns to her Adirondack hometown to visit with her mother and old friends. Her mother would be more than happy if she’d help her out in the family bookstore and return home for good.
Wealthy business woman and Veronica’s neighbor, Anna Langdon, has a business proposal to discuss with her. Veronica has no clue what it’s all about but when she goes to her meeting, she discovers Anna’s dead body. Veronica is more than stunned and wonders if it has anything to do with Anna’s attempts at stop a major developer from taking over their small town businesses.
Veronica can’t help but stick her nose in police business and search for the truth behind Anna’s death. With the help of her former co-star, Alex Shelby, and her childhood friend, Mark Burke, the threesome set out to catch themselves a killer without finding themselves to be the next victims.
Jeanne Quigley is a wonderful new voice in the cozy mystery genre. I devoured this book. It has it all – mystery, great characters, and a bit of romance too. I really appreciated that our heroine was an older character. There aren’t many of them around and Veronica was someone I could identify with (although I would never take any dangerous risks, I’m more boring – LOL). The romance was just the right amount – not too much, not too little and very believable.
I feel like I just spent the last couple of days in the Adirondacks. When a book can transport you to its location, its done its job. Needless to say, I will definitely be looking for the next book in this series. Excellent start!
For reading challenges:
2014 Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge
2014 ARC Reading Challenge
2014 My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge
FTC Disclosure: The author 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.
Author Guest Post
Thank you, Yvonne, for the opportunity to introduce your readers to All Things Murder!
Veronica Walsh, the main protagonist of All Things Murder, has received the bulk of attention as I introduce my debut cozy to readers. A winner of two Daytime Emmys, Veronica is an interesting, fun character: an unemployed soap actress who returns to her Adirondack hometown of Barton for some respite only to end up playing amateur sleuth as she tries to solve her neighbor’s murder. However, Veronica, like many great leading ladies, has a fine supporting cast of players who deserve attention. I’d like to introduce you to a few of them today.
I’ll start with Anna Langdon. Veronica’s next-door neighbor, and the cozy’s murder victim, is the real diva of All Things Murder. As the owner of most of the retail buildings in Barton, Anna rules over her tenants with an iron fist. She has no sympathy for struggling business owners, as Veronica learns when she overhears Anna threatening stationery store owner Pauline Weber with eviction. Anna is just as ruthless in her personal life, as she toys with the affections of two men, careless to their feelings.
Though Anna pleases many Bartonites when she thwarts a deal to bring a shopping center to the village, she does irk those who would profit from the deal. When Veronica finds Anna’s bludgeoned body, she has a ready-made list of suspects who wanted Anna dead.
Nancy Walsh is Veronica’s mother. The pair has a wonderful relationship: respectful, loving, teasing. Nancy still manages Orchard Street Books, the bookstore she and her husband opened in the 1960’s. With her only child’s return home, Nancy hopes Veronica will work beside her in the shop, with a view of Veronica one day taking over the family business. Nancy presents her suggestion with a wink; she’s not a meddling mother. So how does someone who minds her own business land in the middle of a murder investigation?
Carol Emerson has been Veronica’s best friend since their kindergarten days. Carol is a sweet, kind woman who is thrilled when her pal returns to Barton. Veronica often visits Carol’s flower shop for girl talk and floral therapy, and the shop becomes Veronica’s headquarters when she starts sleuthing. She discusses clues with Carol, asks for advice, and even receives an important invitation as she weaves her way around buckets of roses and tulips. And when Veronica needs to take a break from the case, Carol gives her a task that helps Veronica deal with the loss of her acting job. Now that’s a best friend.
Mark Burke is another of Veronica’s longtime friends. A history professor at nearby Arden College, he is spending his summer writing a biography of Martin Van Buren. As Veronica happily states, Mark is a gentleman and a scholar. A chance meeting between the two leads to dinner at Mark’s home, where they agree to team-up to solve Anna’s murder. It’s quite obvious Mark enjoys spending time with Veronica, until a surprise visitor starts to demand Veronica’s attention.
That visitor is Alex Shelby, Veronica’s leading man on Days and Nights. The pair has worked together for years; their characters were married three times on the soap. Alex rolls into Barton for a few days’ visit while he is participating in a golf tournament in a nearby town. Alex immediately charms every woman in sight with his suave demeanor and sparkling smile. He is always a bit distracted by himself, though in an endearing way. He insists on assisting Veronica in her search for Anna’s killer; let’s just say he won’t be playing Sherlock Holmes anytime soon.
The Canasta Club. Also known as Myrtle Evans, an acerbic insurance agent who just quit smoking cold turkey; Dotsie Beattie, horsewoman and conspiracy theorist; Sandy Jenkins, a fussbudget housekeeper who drives like Danica Patrick; Ella Griffin, octogenarian and resident grump; and Madeline Griffin, Ella’s younger, perpetually cheerful sister. Though Veronica is at first reluctant to join the zany group, a tip from one of the players just might help her catch Anna’s killer.
These characters are just a few of the endearing and offbeat folks you will encounter on the pages of All Things Murder. I hope you will agree they make for quite a cozy group!
Jeanne Quigley grew up reading mysteries, watching soap operas, and vacationing in the Adirondacks, never imagining these pleasures would be the foundation of her debut novel. Her love of characters—real and fictional—led her to study Sociology and English at the University of Notre Dame. Jeanne has never been a soap star, but she has worked in the music industry and for an education publisher. She lives in Rockland County, New York, where she is writing her second Veronica Walsh Mystery.
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