Friday, June 18, 2021

Win an audio copy of HISS H FOR HOMICIDE!!!!!

 TANTOR has generously provided us with some complimentary audio copies of HISS H FOR HOMICIDE!  And we're sharing them with you!

They've provided a code to use to download a free audio copy of the book.  We're giving away three!!!!!!

To enter, leave your name and email address in our comments section and tell us what you love about Nick and Nora! Tell us what you don't love, too!  We'll choose three at random to get the code (with instructions) to download your free copy!!!!!!

Contest ends midnight, June 30th!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, June 16, 2021



Here are my cozy reviews for June!


An Alaskan Diner Mystery

Elizabeth Logan

Berkley; MMPB

June 1, 2021

Four and a half paws

When a local prize-winning farmer is murdered at the state fair, Charlie Cook gets called in to help investigate, but she’s shocked to learn the victim is a friend in this latest installment in the Alaskan Diner Mysteries.

Charlie Cooke loves many things, like the Bear Claw Diner, the heated steering wheel of her car, and her orange tabby cat Eggs Benedict. Something she has never loved is the state fair. So when her best friend Annie Jensen begs her for a fair day, she’s reluctant.  But Annie isn’t the only one who wants her to spend a day among farm animals and deep fried food. A vendor has been murdered, and Trooper Graham needs his favorite part-time sleuth to dig up the truth, and Charlie is happy to oblige.

The case grows personal when Charlie learns the victim is Kelly Carson, whom she and Annie were friends with in high school. If Charlie wants to find justice for Kelly, she and Annie will have to work together to weed out the killer.

OK, who wouldn't love a series with a cat named Eggs Benedict?????  We enjoyed the first two in this series, and #3 does not disappoint.  We are hopeful for more!!!!!!  four and a half paws.

Death on the Night of Lost Lizards

Hungarian Tea House Mystery

Julia Buckley

Berkley; MMPB; June 1, 2021

Four Paws

Along with her mother and grandmother, Hana Keller has achieved renown serving tea and cakes with a European flair, but when a local professor is killed, she uncovers a serving of suspects instead…

Hana Keller is getting ready for a lovely holiday season. When she receives a rare tea set as a birthday gift, she decides to host a tea at her apartment for her closest friends. During the cozy get-together, one of Hana's friends gets word that a murderer is on the loose. Hana soon learns that the victim was Sandor Balog, a professor of Hungarian Studies at the local college.

With her growing psychic ability, Hana senses that she is going to be pulled into the investigation of  the professor's death somehow. With her sexy boyfriend Erik on the case, Hana finds the Tea House steeped in suspects. She studies the smiling faces celebrating the season, but the real killer is good at hiding the truth and putting Hana in the hot seat….

Not one of our favorites in this series, but still a good read!

Murder She Wrote: Killing in a Koi Pond

Jessica Fletcher/Terrie Farley Moran

Berkley; Hardcover; June 8, 2021

Four and a half stars

When a friend’s husband dies while Jessica Fletcher is in town visiting, Jessica’s vacation turns into a murder investigation in this latest entry in the long-running USA Today bestselling series.

After traveling to Bethesda for a mystery writers’ conference, Jessica Fletcher decides she’s earned a vacation and takes a train to Columbia, South Carolina, to visit her old college friend Dolores, who has recently married her third husband, Willis Nickens, a wealthy and cutthroat businessman. They’ve moved into an opulent historic home with plenty of space for guests, and Jessica is ready for a week of shopping, gossiping, and relaxing at the grand estate.

But the morning after she arrives, Jessica discovers Willis facedown in the koi pond, and despite what the police think, she’s sure foul play is involved. She hadn’t known Willis long, but it’s clear to her that he didn’t concern himself with making friends. The question isn’t if her friend’s husband was murdered but by whom.

Seems to us a if Jessica goes back to her roots in this one.  The mystery takes on a different tone than those previously written;  however, longtime fans of the series will enjoy!

The Listening House

Mabel Seeley

Berkley; June 8, 2021

Trade paperback - Cover image not available

Down and out in the Depression, Gwynne Dacres moves into a seedy and sinister boarding house, where she exposes deadly secrets in this classic mystery by Mabel Seeley

After losing her copywriting job, young Gwynne Dacres seeks a place to live when she stumbles upon Mrs. Garr's old boarding house. Despite the gruff landlady and an assortment of shifty tenants, Gwynne rents a room for herself. She spends her first few nights at 593 Trent Street tensely awake, the house creaking and groaning as if listening to everything that happens behind its closed doors.

A chain of chilling events leads to the gruesome discovery of a mutilated body in the basement kitchen, dead of unknown circumstances. Was it an accident or murder? Under the red-black brick façade of the old house on Trent Street, Gwynne uncovers a myriad of secrets, blackmail, corruption, and clues of a wicked past. As she closes in on the truth, the cold, pale hands of death reach for Gwynne in the night…

This reminded me of one of those old 1940's Noir mysteries!  Definitely a good read!

Little Black Book

Kate Carlisle

Bibliophile Mysteries

Berkley/Hardcover/June 29, 2021

Five Stars

San Francisco book-restoration expert Brooklyn Wainwright is on the case when a rare edition of Rebecca leads to murder in this latest installment of the New York Times bestselling Bibliophile Mystery series.

Brooklyn and her hunky husband, security expert Derek Stone, have just returned from a delightful trip to Dharma, where the construction of their new home away from home is well underway, when a little black book arrives in the mail from Scotland. The book is a rare British first edition of Rebecca, and there’s no return address on the package. The day after the book arrives, Claire Quinn shows up at Brooklyn and Derek’s home. Brooklyn met Claire when the two women worked as expert appraisers on the television show This Old Attic. Brooklyn appraised books on the show and Claire’s expertise was in antique British weaponry, but they bonded over their shared love of gothic novels.
Claire reveals that during a recent trip to Scotland she discovered her beloved aunt was missing and her home had been ransacked. Among her aunt’s belongings, Claire found the receipt for the package that wound up with Brooklyn and Derek. Claire believes both her own life and her aunt’s are in danger and worries that her past may be coming back to haunt her.
But just as Brooklyn and Derek begin to investigate, a man who Claire thinks was following her is found murdered, stabbed with a priceless jeweled dagger. With a death on their doorstep, Brooklyn and Derek page through the little black book, where they discover clues that will take them to the shadows of a medieval Scottish castle on the shores of Loch Ness. Under the watchful gaze of a mysterious laird and the irascible villagers who are suspicious of the strangers in their midst, Brooklyn and Derek must decode the secrets in Rebecca to keep their friend’s past from destroying their future....

It took us awhile to find this series and, we admit, weren't entranced at first....but now we are die hard fans of Brooklyn, Derek, and their friends!  Each mystery is better than the last, and this one is no exception!  We are defintely looking forward to more!  Five Paws!!!!!!!!






This book was originally published by Midnight Ink, and discontinued after publication of book one when MI ended their fiction line.  Fortunately, Beyond the Page has picked up the series for books 1-4!!!!!!!!

When her TV series is canceled, struggling actress Shell McMillan considers it a blessing in disguise. A beloved aunt who recently died left her a pet shop in her will, and she sees it as the perfect chance to walk away from Hollywood and make a fresh start in the sleepy town of Fox Hollow.

But adjusting to small-town life won’t be easy, as Shell realizes when the head of the museum board is found murdered not long after Shell had a very public argument with her. And when the new kid in town is fingered for the crime, she’ll have to rely on her own wit and pluck and the kindness of strangers to get herself off the hook.

Desperate to exonerate herself and catch the real culprit, Shell begins digging into the lives of the local residents, and she quickly discovers that the victim had no shortage of enemies. As the suspect list grows and time runs short, Shell and her cats will have to claw their way out of danger—and it’s meow or never . . .

“A buoyant start to a new series . . . Fans of feline mysteries will relish The Time for Murder Is Meow’s pet shop framework in this story of finding one’s second act.” —Foreword Reviews

Unfortunately, we cannot review the human's work for obvious reasons LOL.  But feel free to check out what others think on Amazon, GoodReads and Barnes and Noble!!!!!!!

Want to win a paper copy of the new TIME FOR MURDER IS MEOW?

Leave your name and email addy in our comments section.  One winner will be chosen at random. US entries only please.  Contest ends  midnight, June 28

Tuesday, June 15, 2021




Berkley - Trade Paperback - $14.95

Melissa Larsen

Suspense, horror, power, control, voyeurism, and sexual politics all blend together in a tale that’s deliciously creepy with what Publishers Weekly has called a “knockout punch of a surprise ending.”  

Already named by Bustle and Barnes & Noble’s blog as one of their most anticipated debuts of 2021, Melissa Larsen proves to be a compelling new voice in suspense fiction. 


In the wake of her father's death, Betty doesn't allow herself to mourn. Instead, she pushes away her mother, breaks up with her boyfriend, and leaves everything behind to move to New York City crashing on her old friend Sophia and Sophia’s boyfriend Ben’s, couch. Sophia and Ben introduce Betty to their friend and indie filmmaker darling Anthony Marino, whose previous movie is a favorite of Betty’s. She starstruck by Anthony and, while slightly afraid of him, completely captivated by him as well. When he offers her the chance to play the leading role in his latest project, a loose re-make of Cape Fear, she jumps at the opportunity.


The four of them head to Anthony’s family’s cabin off the coast of Maine for several weeks to shoot the film. Betty starts to get more apprehensive about what she’s gotten herself into. She continuously finds herself pulled under Anthony’s alluring spell, but there’s no real script, or at least one that Betty’s not privy to. Anthony gives her a new identity, Lola, and a radical makeover to fit the part. But Betty tells herself that this is exactly what she's been looking for: the chance to reinvent herself. That is, until she meets Sammy, the island’s caretaker, and Betty realizes just how little she knows about the movie and its director and is certainly in over her head.


Shutter releases today!  Get your copy at: Amazon,Barnes and Noble.

About the


Melissa Larsen has an M.F.A. from Columbia University and a B.A. from NYU's Gallatin School of Individualized Study. She has interned and worked extensively in publishing. She lives in San Francisco, and Shutter is her first novel.

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Anniversary Time - TC and her agent, Josh Getzler!

Meow!  Today marks 10 years that the human, better known as T. C. Lotempio, signed with her literary agent, Josh Getzler!!!!!!!!  Josh is responsible for getting the Nick and Nora mysteries into print (both incarnations) as well as the Cat Rescue Mysteries and both incarnations of the Pet Shop Mysteries!  And, we hope, more to come!!!!!  The Human has a few words to say about her lovely agent!

Thanks ROCCO!

Getting started as a writer isn't easy.  You need, first of all, a good manuscript.  Then,  more often than not, you need a good agent, someone who knows what they're doing, who to contact, what houses are right for your novel, etc.  

I had to kiss a lot of frogs before I found my prince, but find him I did!  Ten years ago I sent Josh 50 pages of a novel about an allergic vampire slayer.  He read it, loved it, and signed me on as a client on June 3, 2011.  To date we have yet to sell that manuscript, but we did go on to sell three other series:  the Nick and Nora mysteries, the Cat Rescue mysteries, and the Pet Shop mysteries (recently re-released as Urban Tails Pet Shop Mysteries.) And here's how it all happened:

2011:  I send out 100 queries on my manuscript, SLAY ME ONCE.  Two agents offer repreentation.  I sign with Josh and his new agency, Hannigan Salky Getzler, on June 3, 2011.

January 14, 2013:  After a rewrite and Hurricane Katrina wreaks havoc, MEOW IF ITS MURDER, the first Nick and Nora, sells to Penguin!

December 2, 2014:  the first Nick and Nora is published.

2015/2016 - We shop around PURR M FOR MURDER, and it's finally published (after rewrite) by Crooked Lane.

2017/2018 - I write a story about a former actress, Shell McMillan.  Shell had many professions before she finally became a pet store owner and Midnight Ink bought the book in February of 2018.

2020 - We find a home for Nick and Nora and the Pet Shop mysteries at Beyond the Page!  They are publishing Nick and Nora 4-7 and Pet Shop 1-4.  And who knows, maybe more!

I have high hopes that Josh will continue to sell my manuscripts - hopefully, the two he's got right now LOL.  and there might be some other things up his sleeve, who knows???????   I look forward to another ten years with him!  (Oh, and I never thought Josh would be a cat person...but as you can see from the photo above, he's been converted!)

And who knows....he just  might sell that allergic vampire series someday!!!!!!!!

In honor of our anniversary, Josh has agreed to do ROCCO's Fast Five!

How do you get out of a bad mood?


I go out for a run with my wife. We've been running for around 3 years, and during Covid it turned into the thing that kept us from losing our minds. And with three (pretty grown-up) kids, a dog, and a cat with us in our apartment, it was one of the only ways the two of us had time alone together! It makes us happy, and lets us be together and solve the problems of the world.   
What hobby/interest are you a little obsessed with?
I play drums, and get really relaxed and zen behind the drum set, even though I'm more academic than emotional about my playing. I just like doing something very different with my brain, and it makes me incredibly happy, even when I'm not very good.
On what topic do you feel qualified to give advice
Baseball (ROCCO's note:  we should mention that Josh formerly owned a farm baseball team, the Staten Island Yankees!  So the man knows his baseball!!!!)
What was your best family vacation?
The northwest coast of Costa Rica for Passover a few years ago. It was gorgeous, relaxed, and a very different environment from where we usually hang out.
If you could live anywhere other than NYC, where would it be?
London, without any question; then Rome, then DC. I could live in any of those cities like a native in very short order. But I will never leave NY (except maybe for a sabbatical in London when the kids are out of the house...) 

Happy Anniversary, Josh and TC!

In honor of our anniversary, I'll give away a signed print edition of the Purr M for Murder paperback recently released by Harlequin.  Leave your name and email address in our comments section below to enter.  Contest closes midnight, June 10.  US entries only, please.