Thursday, November 14, 2013

Mayhem at the Orient Express by Kylie Logan (Review, Interview and Giveaway!)

Cozy Mystery


Penguin Group (USA) LLC

Release Date:
June 2013

New Yorker Bea Cartwright leaves the big city life behind when she opens a bed & breakfast inn in the small town of South Bass, an island on Lake Erie. When she gets into a legal battle with two of her neighbors, the judge orders the three women to attend a book discussion at the local library, which happens to be run by his wife.

None of the women are too thrilled with the punishment but they have no choice. Their first book discussion is about Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie. Ironically, their favorite Chinese restaurant is called Orient Express. The only thing the women agree on is that the orange chicken is delicious. Things take a real turn for the worst when they go to pick up their order and find the nice restaurant owner, Peter Chan, dead. Obviously someone didn’t think Chan was all that nice. Using their reading discussion as motivation, the ladies run their own investigation.

Their small island is hit with a huge snow storm leaving most of the island without electricity. The only place with any heat is Bea’s B&B, thanks to her generator. It doesn’t take long before her inn is full, including the very sexy local bar owner.  However, the ladies can’t help but wonder if they are snowbound with a killer. 

I loved this book from page one. It starts out with a cat named Jerry Garcia and his bad bathroom habits, which are ruining Bea’s pansies. How much fun to be sentenced to join a book club? This is a very clever idea for a mystery series which has huge cast of quirky characters. I love quirky :) The setting is perfect for a cozy mystery. It’s fast-paced and the story took more twists and turns than a rollercoaster along with a touch of romance. I will definitely keep reading this series. I’m looking forward to the next one.

For reading challenges:
Where are you reading? challenge (Ohio)

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

Interview with Kylie Logan

I’d like to welcome cozy mystery author Kylie Logan to the Socrates’ Book Review Blog and Socrates’ Cozy CafĂ©.  Kylie is the author of two cozy mystery series the “A League of Literary Ladies Mysteries” and “Chili Cook-off Mysteries”.

Let the interview begin…

1) Who is the greatest influence in your writing career?

Wow, that’s a tough question because there have been so many writers who’ve influenced my career. Tolkein, Austen, Conan Doyle, Christie, etc., etc., etc. All the classics have influenced me because that’s what I grew up reading. As for more current authors, I love the work of Elizabeth Peters/Barbara Michaels. I’d say her books are the ones that taught me that a book can be funny and intelligent all at the same time.

2) How do you juggle two different mystery series?

Actually, I’m juggling a little more than that! I write the Button Box mysteries (book #4, “Buttoned Up” comes out in December 2013), the League of Literary Ladies mysteries (book #2, “A Tale of Two Biddies,” hits store shelves in February 2014) and the Chili Cook-Off mysteries. Book #1 of that series (“Chili Con Carnage” came out in October, book #2 comes out in August of next year.) In addition, I’m going to be starting a new series, but we’ll leave discussion of that one to another day!

As far as how I juggle it all . . . writing is my fulltime job. I write all day, every day, Monday through Friday and sometimes on weekends if I need to. I always keep an eye on deadlines and I work on only one book at a time. I don’t worry about the next one until the one I’m working on is finished, then I move on to the next and the next and the next.

PS—as Casey Daniels, I also write the Pepper Martin mysteries. There have been nine books in that series so far. The newest is “Supernatural Born Killers.” Hoping to put a Pepper e-novella online early in 2014.

3) How long does it take for you to write a book?

Oh, how I wish I had more time between books! But right now, I’m writing a book in about 3 months.

4) Do you outline your books? Do you know what’s going to happen or do you figure it out along the way?

I do outline and for me, it’s vital. I’ll take weeks to outline a book and when I’m done, I have the basics divided into chapters. I don’t always know how something is going to happen, but I know when it needs to happen. An outline guides me through the book and assures me that the big reveal at the end of the mystery makes sense—to the characters, to readers and to me!

5) Do you do any research for your books?

Every book requires some kind of research. My Button Box mysteries, for instance, are heavy on button lore and history. So I’m always researching that. Each of the League books is based on the classic book the ladies in the League are reading, so there’s that research and reading to take care of. Even the Chili Cook-Off books (light, funny and fast moving) require some kind of research, not only into chili cooking, but into the location of each book (Taos in the first book, Las Vegas in the second), and the details of the mystery. Lucky for me, I love doing research so none of this is a chore!

6) Do you have any favorite authors or books?

As mentioned above, I love the classics and the books of Elizabeth Peters/Barbara Michaels. I also adore the Flavia de Luce series by Alan Bradley. If you haven’t read them, do yourself a favor and give them a try. They’re mysteries, and the heroine is an 11-year-old chemistry genius, but these are not kids stories. Great writing, great atmosphere, and I love Flavia.

7) Why mysteries? Do you write any other genres?

I actually began my career writing historical romance. I’ve also written contemporary romance, YA and one book for children. I like mysteries because they give me a chance to indulge my penchant for twisty-turny plots. I love the puzzle of a mystery and the chance to examine characters’ motivations and hidden lives.

8) Where do you do your writing? Can you describe the setting for us?

I have a room in the house that is my office. Describe it? Right now if I did, you’d run screaming! Oh, how it needs to be cleaned! It’s pretty much a regular office except that three walls are painted purple and the other is bright orange (want to guess what my favorite holiday is?). I also have an officemate, a canary named Conrad, who keeps me company and sings beautifully. I have framed covers of my books hanging on the walls and a piano in one corner of the room. It really needs to go; I need more room in here!

9) Do you have any other books coming out? Can you tell us anything about them?

I think I’ve mentioned them above, but here goes:

December: “Buttoned Up”
February: “A Tale of Two Biddies”
August: “Death by Devil’s Breath”
October: “The Legend of Sleepy Harlow”

There will be more after, but that’s too much for my brain to handle at the moment!

Thank you so much for visiting us at the Socrates’ Book Review Blog and Socrates’ Cozy Cafe!

Thank you! Let me mention that readers can find me, a list of my books and a list of my pen names (I’ve been a bunch of people) at:


How would you like to win a copy of Mayhem at the Orient Express by Kylie Logan? Thanks to the publisher, I have one paperback copy to giveaway to one lucky winner. 

Just a few simple rules...

1) You must fill out the form below.

2)  US Residents Only

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

4) For an extra entry: Follow this blog

5) For an extra entry: Follow me on Twitter

6) For an extra entry: Follow me on Goodreads

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

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

The giveaway begins on November 14th (midnight est) and ends on November 21st (midnight est).

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

Good luck!

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  1. How do you choose your pen names?
    Do you feel like you become a character in the book as you are writing it?

  2. What an interesting sentence---to have to participate in a book group. That doesn't sound like punishment to me!!

  3. I think it's amazing how you can write the different series . This book sounds fantastic. Looking forward to reading it.
    Barbara Thompson

  4. How important is place (setting) to your story development?

  5. This looks like a cute book. Thanks for hosting the giveaway!

  6. Sounds like a good start to a fun cozy series. I'm already a fan of another cozy series set at a B&B on an island...

  7. Wonderful interview! This book has been on my TBR, it sounds like a fabulous start to a series. :)

  8. This sounds like such a delightful mystery! It's been on my radar for a while now. I loved reading your interview, particularly the parts about your writing process and how you work.

  9. This sounds like a great series! I'd love to start reading it!
    Thank you for the giveaway!

  10. congrats to Kylie & continued success!!
    thank you for the giveaway!!!


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