Thursday, October 9, 2014

Blog Tour: Lost Under A Ladder by Linda O. Johnston (Review, Guest Post, Giveaway)

About the Book

Lost Under a Ladder by Linda O. Johnston (A Superstition Mystery, #1)
Genre:  Cozy Mystery
Publisher: MIDNIGHT INK (October 8, 2014)
ISBN-13: 978-0738740775

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Is it luck or is it . . . Destiny?

Are superstitions real? Rory Chasen doesn't think so--until her beloved fiance walks under a ladder and is killed by a car five minutes later. Needing closure, Rory takes her dog Pluckie to a town called Destiny, where superstitions are a way of life.

Rory's visit to Destiny takes an unexpected turn when Pluckie saves the life of Martha, the owner of the Lucky Dog Boutique. To show her gratitude, Martha offers Rory a job at the pet store. But when Martha becomes the prime suspect in the murder of the local bookshop owner, Rory refuses to believe that she would do it. Rory is convinced the real killer still roams Destiny's streets, and she must uncover the truth before Martha is hauled off to jail.

My Review

What an unusual premise for a cozy…a whole town based on superstitions. The stores are all appropriately named, such as the Lucky Dog Boutique, the Shamrock Steakhouse, Wish Upon A Star Children’s Shop and the Apple A Day Diner.

When Rory Chasen’s fiancé is killed after walking under a ladder, Rory decides to pay a visit to Destiny, California. It’s the perfect place for her to do research on superstitions. She isn’t much of a believer in these type of things, but she can’t help wonder if there’s something to it and if superstition could possibly be the cause of her fiance’s death. She quickly learns that life in Destiny is much different than her life in LA.

As Rory, along with her dog Pluckie, walk through town, her dog is very interested in the Lucky Dog Boutique and drags Rory into the store. Rory never expects to find the store’s owner, Martha, unconscious. She calls for help and the paramedics arrive quickly. Martha wakes up, but the doctors put her on bed rest. She is in desperate need for someone to run her Lucky Dog Boutique while she recovers. Although they are strangers, she begs Rory to stay in town and help her out. Being an assistant manager at a mega pet store back home, Rory reluctantly agrees.

The action doesn’t stop there. Rory pays a visit to the Broken Mirror Bookstore and discovers an author, who wrote all about Destiny’s superstitions, has been murdered. It’s been one thing after the other since she arrived in this quaint town, but now her boss, Martha, is being accused of the murder. Rory isn’t buying it and she’s intent to find out who the real killer is and discovers there’s a whole town of suspects who wanted to see this author dead.

Toss in a handsome detective and you have a delightful, enchanting start of a brand new cozy mystery series. Rory is a strong character and it shows when she jumps right in to handle running the store, the two employees and Martha’s nephew who wants the store for himself. Nothing scared off Rory. The only problem I did have with the story was her reason for going to Destiny. Her fiancé was killed after walking under a ladder, but investigating superstitions seemed a bit strange. However, I quickly got over that and just sat back and enjoyed the ride. It was a great ride!

The story is fast-paced and a quick read. I haven’t read this author’s work before, although I do want to read her Pet-Sitter Mystery series. I like the author’s flair for storytelling. Her dialogue is smooth and her characters are well developed. I’m looking forward to reading more in this series and catching up with the Pet-Sitter mysteries too.

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

Cats and Superstitions

Today is Thursday, and that means it's Cat Thursday here on Socrates Book Reviews, right?

I'm delighted to be here as part of my Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour to let people know about my new Superstition Mystery series that begins this month with LOST UNDER A LADDER. And there are a number of superstitions that involve cats!

In LOST UNDER A LADDER, Rory Chasen arrives in Destiny, California, with her black and white dog Pluckie. Destiny is a town that's all about superstitions, and Rory is there to learn about one in particular. Her fiancé recently died shortly after walking under a ladder. Did that cause his death?

As soon as they arrive, Pluckie insists that Rory enter the back room of the Lucky Dog Boutique. They find its owner Martha ill, lying on the ground, but she's alert enough to say she'll be fine since black and white dogs are good luck. Martha soon convinces Rory to stay for a while to manage the Lucky Dog Boutique while she gets well since Rory's job back home was as an assistant manager at a chain pet supply store. And when Martha's accused of a murder, Rory has to help clear her new and needy friend.

There are a lot of superstition-related things going on in Destiny. The shops, which cater to tourists, have names like Black Cat Inn, Broken Mirror Bookstore, Beware-of-Bubbles Coffee Shop, Shamrock Steakhouse, Apple-A-Day Cafe, Heads-Up Penny Gift Shop, and even Break-A-Leg Theater.

You won't be surprised to learn that a black cat is spotted often in Destiny, and people try to avoid allowing it to cross their paths. Is it one very busy cat? More than one?

By the way, in some cultures black cats are good luck. In fact, even if it's bad luck to have one cross your path, it's good luck to receive one as a gift. Cats can be omens of what's going on in the weather, and it may be good luck to bring a cat to your wedding.

So... Happy Cat Thursday to you, and my fingers are crossed that you'll take a look at LOST UNDER A LADDER. By the way, I believe it'll be good luck for you to read the Superstition Mysteries!

About the Author

Linda O. Johnston’s first published fiction appeared in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine and won the Robert L. Fish Memorial Award for Best First Mystery Short Story of the year. Since then, Linda, a former lawyer who is now a full-time writer, has published more short stories, novellas, and 37 romance and mystery novels, including the Pet Rescue Mystery Series, a spinoff from her Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime, plus Harlequin Romantic Suspense as well as the Alpha Force paranormal romance miniseries for Harlequin Nocturne.

Her latest cozy mystery series, the Superstition Mysteries from Midnight Ink, kicks off in October 2014 with LOST UNDER A LADDER. Linda believes that reading the Superstition Mysteries will bring good luck!

Author Links


Purchase Links

Tour Participants

September 29 – Mochas, Mysteries and Meows - Review, Interview
September 30 – Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf - Guest Post
October 1 – The Bookwyrm’s Hoard - Review
October 2 – Books-n-Kisses – Review
October 3 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – Guest Post
October 3 – readalot blog – Review
October 4 – StoreyBook Reviews – Review, Guest Post
October 5 – deal sharing aunt – Interview
October 6 – Shelley’s Book Case – Review
October 7 – Brooke Blogs – Guest Post
October 7 – Kaisy Daisy’s Corner – Review
October 8 – Back Porchervations – Review, Interview
October 9 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – Review, Guest Post
October 10 – Chloe Gets A Clue – Interview
October 11 – Community Bookstop – Review
October 12 – rantin’ ravin’ and reading – Review, Guest Post

Tour-Wide Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I like the sound of this one; I'll need to put it on m y wishlist.

  2. Great review. I agree that a town full of superstitions sounds interesting. Thanks.

  3. Already added this to my TBR pile.

  4. I think it will be fun to learn about superstitions---I'm sure I can pick up a few mor that I'll have to worry about.
    Thanks for the contest.

  5. cannot wait to read this book!!
    thank you for the giveaway!!!

  6. I have to add this to my TBR pile!
    It sounds like a lot of fun.


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