Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Blog Tour: Murder at the Maples by Joanne Phillips (Review/Guest Blog/Amazon and E-Book Giveaway!)

Book Details

• Murder at the Maples (A Flora Lively Mystery: Book 1)
• Mirrorball Books (September 16, 2013)
• Genre: Cozy mystery
• Number of Pages: 274

About the Book

A tragic death. A reluctant sleuth. A childhood prank that went horribly wrong.

When Flora Lively inherits her father’s business she’s totally out of her depth. Shakers Removals is in trouble, and manager Marshall isn’t helping one bit – the ex-pat American delights only in winding her up. But Flora has other things on her mind, like Joy: surrogate grandmother and resident of the Maples Retirement Village. When Joy’s pet pug has a brush with death, Flora is pulled into a series of bizarre incidents at the Maples, where fear is starting to take hold.

Could harmless old Mr. Felix really be the boy from Joy’s past, determined to exact his revenge, or is it Joy’s guilty mind playing tricks on her? And what about the Captain’s death? Accidents happen, even to the most careful people, but Flora’s not convinced the old man simply fell down the stairs … Playing detective seemed like a good idea at first, but before long Flora realises the stakes are far higher than either she or Joy imagined.

Full of warmth and humour, this gripping puzzle will appeal to fans of M. C. Beaton and Edie Clare.

My Review

After she inherits her father’s business, British Flora Lively desperately tries to make it a success with the help of her American manager Marshall. She befriends one of the residents of the Maples Retirement Village and finds a surrogate grandmother in Joy. Joy becomes suspicious of things happening at the village and drags Flora in to investigate. When people start dying, Flora realizes that Joy might be onto something and she intends to find out what that something is.

This is the first book in the Flora Lively Mysteries series. It’s an excellent start to a brand new cozy mystery series and a brand new amateur sleuth for readers to fall in love with. It took me a little time to get to know the characters and get involved in the story, but when I did – I truly enjoyed this. It reminded me of a combination of Agatha Christie and Murder, She Wrote. It’s a sweet cozy without sex, blood or gore. There’s even a touch of romance tossed in. It’s a quick read, although I didn’t find the actual mystery to be particularly shocking. I thought it was kind of obvious “whodunit”.

I’m looking forward to continuing with this series.

FTC Disclosure: The author provided me with a copy of this book to review for the blog tour. This did not influence my thoughts and opinions in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.

About the Author

Joanne Phillips lives in Shropshire, England with her husband and young daughter. She’s the author of commercial women’s fiction Can’t Live Without and The Family Trap, and the Flora Lively series of cosy mysteries. Can’t Live Without was an Amazon top 100 bestseller in 2012 and her books regularly appear on category bestseller lists. Joanne blogs about writing and publishing at

Guest Blog

Thanks Yvonne for having me as a guest on your brilliant blog as part of my tour.

Readers and Authors Getting Together

The thing that really excites me about a blog tour is the idea of connecting with new readers around the world. From my base in the UK I can reach out and say hello to the followers of one blog after another – and some of them might even say hello back J

It was a landmark moment for me when I got my first email from a reader. That she’d taken the time to get in touch at all was miraculous to me; that she loved my book was incredible! Since that first lovely lady said hello I’ve been contacted by many readers, via my website or any of the social media sites, and it never fails to bring a big smile to my face. Some simply want to say Hi, others are interested in asking questions about a character or the writing process, some are also writers and have a specific issue they’d like help with. I answer every email or message, and I feel privileged to do so.

My own experience as a reader contacting writers has been a little mixed. In the early days of my author career, as I was just starting to chart the indie route, I got in touch with a few role models and politely asked a question or two. Not many bothered to respond. Of those who did, however, at least three are firm ‘internet friends’ and one of them I’ve met up with in real life. Authors are readers first and foremost, and it helps me to remind myself on a daily basis that without readers there would be no point me firing up my computer at all.

Author Links

Tour Participants

October 7 - My Devotional Thoughts - - Guest Post
October 8 - Traveling With T – Interview
October 9 - Socrates' Book Review Blog – Review, Guest Post
October 10 - readalot – Review
October 11 - Shelley's Book Case – Review
October 12 - Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Review, Guest Post
October 14 -  Queen of All She Reads – Review, Guest Post
October 15 - Chloe Gets A Clue – Interview
October 16 - rantin' ravin' and reading – Review, Guest Post
October 17 - Brooke Blogs  - Review, Interview
October 18 - StoreyBook Reviews - Review
October 20 - A Chick Who Reads – Review
October 21 - THE SELF-TAUGHT COOK – Review
October 22 - Dru's Book Musings – Guest Post

E-Book and Amazon Giveaway!

Now you can win an e-book of Murder at the Maples by Joanne Phillips for your very own. Thanks to the author, I can an e-book to one lucky winner. 

Just a few simple rules...

1) You must fill out the form below (including a valid email address).

2) For an extra entry: Follow this blog

3) For an extra entry: Follow me on Twitter

4) For an extra entry: Follow me on Goodreads

5) For an extra 2 entries: Post this giveaway on your blog.

6) For an extra 2 entries: Tweet about this giveaway.

The giveaway begins on October 9th (midnight est) and ends on October 16th (midnight est).

The winner will be notified by email and has 48 hours to respond, otherwise a new winner will be chosen.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


The author is also giving away a $10 Amazon Gift card.  You can enter to win that, too, by filling out the Rafflecopter below!  Good luck everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Sounds like a interesting new series. Glad you enjoyed it!

  2. This sounds right up my alley. I love British cozies!

  3. Thanks guys, I hope you enjoy it too :) And thanks for hosting me today, Yvonne! Working on the next book very soon so watch out for that next year x

  4. Thanks guys, I hope you enjoy it too :) And thanks for hosting me today, Yvonne! Working on the next book very soon so watch out for that next year x

  5. Oooh another author not yet encountered. Will keep a wee eye out. P.s I am your newest follower.


  6. Sounds like a great read!!
    Thanks for the chance to win!

  7. I love to start at the beginning of a new cozy series. I'm glad this one has a little romance tossed it.


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