Friday, November 15, 2013

Blog Tour: A Secondhand Murder by Lesley A. Diehl (Review/Interview/Book Giveaway!)

A Secondhand Murder

by Lesley Diehl

on Tour October 1 - November 30, 2013

Book Details:

Genre: Cozy Mystery
Published by: Camel Press
Publication Date: 9/15/2013
Number of Pages: 260
ISBN: 978-1-60381-935-0
Purchase Links:


Spunky and outspoken Eve Appel moves from Connecticut to rural Florida intent on starting a new life, free of drama, and more importantly, her soon-to-be ex-husband. The rural Florida town of Sabal Bay, situated only an hour from West Palm, proves to be the perfect spot for her consignment store. Thanks to the recent economic downturn, Florida’s society matrons need a place to discreetly sell their stuff and pick up expensive-looking bargains. But Eve’s life, and her business with it, is turned upside down when a wealthy customer is found stabbed to death in a fitting room. As accusations fly and business slows, Eve decides to take things into her own hands. With the help of an unlikely bunch of friends—including her estranged ex, her best friend, a handsome private eye, and a charming mafia don—she struggles to find answers and save lives. Through a maze of distorted half-truths, dramatic cover-ups, and unrequited passions, Eve learns just how far the wealthy will go to regain what they have lost. A Secondhand Murder is Book 1 of the Eve Appel Mysteries Series.

Read an excerpt:

It was still early so I strode back into the restaurant, indicated to the hostess I wanted a booth and ordered the breakfast buffet. Anger paired with disbelief gave me a hearty appetite. Returning to my booth after loading my plate with eggs, bacon, pancakes, pastries and a slice of toast, I noticed someone had joined me for breakfast. He was seated with his back to me as I approached the booth but I recognized the sun-streaked hair curling over his collar. My favorite PI. I almost dropped my plate.

“Hi.” I tried for nonchalant but sounded more like a hormone-addled teenager.

“Saw you come in. I guess you had an early morning chitchat with the local gendarmes.”

“To be continued this afternoon at the station.”

“Fingerprints?” He stirred a packet of sugar into his coffee.

“Nope.” The tingle in my tummy was more than simple hunger for food. I tried to satisfy it by stuffing a large forkful of pancake into my mouth. I nodded and swallowed. “Like anyone would be dumb enough to leave their prints.”
“Certainly, we know you’re smart.”

“I had no reason to kill Mrs. Sanders. That would be like killing the golden goose.”

“You didn’t like her very much, did you?”

I dropped my fork on the plate. “What do you mean? I hardly knew the woman.”

“So you say, but my sources indicate that’s not the whole story.” He stared at me. Last night I thought those azure eyes looked inviting. Now they looked more like ice. He smiled.

“You said you were investigating Mrs. Sanders. Sounds like you’re trying to nose into my affairs. Why?”

“Don’t get mad. I’m not accusing you of murder, you know.” He took a sip of coffee.

“I’m not mad.” I was a little miffed, peeved even, but not really mad. Okay, I was mad.

“Oh yes you are, and when you get angry, you stick your chin out and turn your head ever so slightly to the right. Your cheek twitches, probably from clenching your teeth. Did you know that?”

I had lost my appetite. I grabbed my purse and slid out of the booth. “I don’t recall inviting you to join me for breakfast. I just remembered I have an important appointment.”

“That would be ...?” He also stood.

“That would be none of your business.”

I stalked out of the restaurant, then remembered as I approached my car that I had forgotten to pay my bill. Damn. Now I’d have to go back in there and face him again. I gritted my teeth, stuck out my chin and slammed through the door. He turned from the counter, credit card in hand.

“Don’t worry about it. I got it. Your treat next time.”

“There won’t be a next time.” I spun around and pushed open the door. By the time he reached his car, I was already starting my engine, wondering what the man knew about Mrs. Sanders and me.

My Review

Eve Appel is separated from her husband and diving into a new business with her friend Madeleine in the small rural Florida town of Sabal Bay.  Their new consignment shop gives some of the wealthy matrons a chance to inconspicuously get rid of their stuff in this bad economic climate.  Opening day gets off to a rocky start when Eve discovers the dead body of one of those wealthy matrons in a dressing room.

When Eve is immediately accused of murder, she jumps right in to try and figure out who really did the crime.  With suspicion turned her way, her new shop suffers since nobody wants to set foot in a crime scene.  Along with Madeleine and several of their friends, including the local cop, a hunky P.I., Eve’s soon-to-be ex-husband, and her lively grandmother, Eve goes in search of a killer.

She has no idea what she’s getting into but before she knows it, not only is her own life in danger but so is everyone she cares about.  Eve won’t let that stop her, though.  She is determined to find out who did this and who is threatening her loved ones.

This book has a great cast of characters.  Each one comes on strong even though this is just the first book.  I didn’t need any time at all to get to know the characters.  Eve and her grandmother are my favorites.  The grandmother is a bit reminiscent of Stephanie Plum’s grandmother from the Janet Evanovich series.  Humor, adventure, mystery and romance are all blended together to make this a fun few hours of reading.  The book kept me guessing until the end - I kept changing my mind who the killer was and I guessed wrong.  LOL - This was a good thing.  I enjoyed this one.

This is the first book in the series and it’s already off to a great start.

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 Interview

I'd like to welcome author Lesley A. Diehl to Socrates' Book Review Blog and Socrates' Cozy Cafe. Welcome, Lesley!

o 1. What made you decide to write mysteries?

It was an easy choice to write mysteries rather than any other genre because I’ve been a mystery reader since I was a child. Like most girls, I loved Nancy Drew, but I found all her books were checked out of the library when she became all the rage in our school. I found another series by Carolyn Keene featuring a pair of sisters, the Dana girls. I devoured those until the Nancy Drew books were freed up. Soon after that I graduated to Agatha Christie and, when I’d gone through all our small library offered, I then read my way through the other mysteries the library held. When I retired, I decided I’d recapture my youthful love of writing and I began my first mystery. It was really awful, but I’ve learned the art and craft of the mystery and now I find writing them just bone satisfying

o 2. Do you have any favorite authors or books?

I love anything written my Elizabeth George. She is an expert at developing characters with psychological depth. I also adore anything British from Martha Grimes to P. D. James to all the British mysteries on PBS or the British comedies. For a grittier read, I’m a fan of Lee Child, Robert Parker, Harlan Coben, but I also read cozy mysteries such as those written by Susan Wittig Albert and Mary Daheim. I guess if it’s a mystery, I’ll read it.

o 3. How long does it take you to write a complete book?

I used to do a book in a year, including all critiques from my critique partner and my rewrites, but I’m getting faster probably because now I’m using an outline (which I violate daily). I can complete a book in six months, something my publishers are glad of.

o 4. How did you feel when you first found out you were going to be published?

That was in 2010 when I signed with my first publisher. I think I was in a state of shock for several weeks and then it hit me: I had a lot of hard work ahead of me marketing and promoting my book. At that time I thought I knew what this meant, but I was in for an awakening when I realized the business side of writing takes almost as much time as does the actual writing. To this day, however, holding in my hand my newest book is a wonderful feeling. I love eBooks, but that tactile feel of the book knowing it’s mine is a real high.

o 5. What is your favorite setting to write about?

All my books are set in the country whether that is upstate New York in the hills and river valleys there or in rural Florida with its herds of cows, fields filled with palm trees or the swamps inhabited by alligators and birds. I grew up on a dairy farm in Illinois, so the country is in my blood. I can’t imagine setting my cozy mysteries in a city. I have nightmares about getting lost in cities, although I do love occasionally taking in the great restaurants, the theater and the noises and smells of the urban landscape.

This year my husband and I decided to get real “Farmer Brown” about our summer in upstate New York. We usually plant a garden and this year, as usual, we planted a cucumber plant that took over almost one sixth of the garden. So we canned pickles, dill, kosher dill and spicy dill. We also did strawberry jam and applesauce, then dried some apples. So guess what people are getting as holiday gifts from us this year? So do you prefer your dill pickles kosher or spicy? You can see that a country gal lives inside me. It’s coming out in my writing as well as my daily life. Gosh, I hope we don’t have to buy more land to raise corn next year.

Author Bio:

Lesley retired from her life as a professor of psychology and reclaimed her country roots by moving to a small cottage in the Butternut River Valley in upstate New York. In the winter she migrates to old Florida--cowboys, scrub palmetto, and open fields of grazing cattle, a place where spurs still jingle in the post office. Back north, she devotes her afternoons to writing and, when the sun sets, relaxing on the bank of her trout stream, sipping tea or a local microbrew.

Catch Up With the Author:

E-Book Giveaway

Thanks to author Lesley A. Diehl and Partners in Crime Tours, I can offer one e-book of A Secondhand Murder to one lucky winner. 

Just a few simple rules...

1) You must fill out the form below.

2)  For one entry:  Leave a comment for the author.

3) For an extra entry: Follow this blog

4) For an extra entry: Follow me on Twitter

5) For an extra entry: Follow me on Goodreads

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

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

The giveaway begins on November 15th (midnight est) and ends on November 22nd (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


  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about this first in series mystery, and the great Q&A with the author!

  2. Sounds like a good book. Thanks for the review and giveaway!

  3. Great interview. This Book sounds marvellous. Looking forward to reading it. Thank you for the chance of winning this giveaway and please enter my name.
    Barbara Thompson

  4. Great interview...and I'm adding this book to my list. I have read Dumpster Dying by this author.

  5. Sounds like a fun one, especially if it reminded you of the Janet Evanovich series. Nice post!

  6. Sounds like fun, and great interview! Lesley, you're one of the first people I've come across who knows about the Dana Girls books. I enjoyed those, too -- though I liked the Nancy Drew books better.

  7. I love thrift stores---never buy clothes at full price any mor4---and I love cozy mysteries so I'm sure to like this book.


Thank you for stopping by and visiting my blog! I always love reading comments and getting to know my readers!

After some careful consideration, I've decided to become an award-free blog. Although I appreciate and am honored by each and every award I've received, your comments and friendship are enough award for me. Thank you all so much for your thoughtfulness.

Due to way too many spam comments, I disabled the Anonymous User comments. We'll see if this works, otherwise I'll have to go back to word verification.