Category: Cosy Mystery

Feature Post: Jorie | the Cosy Horror Girl via #OTBHorrorOctober

Posted Saturday, 18 October, 2014 by jorielov 0 Comments

Horror October 2014

I am quite certain when most of my readers caught sight of the fact I am participating in an event entitled Horror October they did more than a ‘second look’ to see if they had read that statement correctly! I know my personal friends who regularly read this blog might not be as gobsmacked as my dear readers – as they have known me far longer & already know I’m quite a bit quirky! The truth is that I did not realise how much I am in love with aspects of Horror which place me firmly on the fringes of the genre!

The lightbulb moment for me happened quite innocently as I started to read a heap about what everyone had either created for the event last year (where I must admit was disappointed I hadn’t had a blog live to the world in order to participate!) OR were making plans to create for the fortnight this year! One of the ideas was to talk about all the lovely Horror motion pictures &/or tv serials that we fancied. Now. I took stock of that idea, allowed it to percolate inside me head, and realised that if I were to come up with a Top 5 Most Beloved Horror Film list I’d be plumb happy!

I mean, how could it be possible that I could name more than *5!* films for this genre!? I apparently was quite a bit foolishly re missive of realising that Horror by definition grew out of a most decidedly guilty pleasure of mine: Psychological Suspense! Imagine my growing dismay and quick delight (uniquely enough my shock turnt to pride!) in finding that my quick googling of motion pictures (my main focus was on ‘classic’ films) returnt such an alarmingly LONG! query of choices that I decided that I need to scribble in a day where I can blog about quite a heap more than 13 but not quite 40 personal favourites spread between the days of Golden Hollywood & modern cinema! From the silver screen to the small screen, I found a startling array of options for the Cosy Horror Girl I never knew I was!

Let me empathsis that the ONE simple truth in my family was that we were NEVER into Horror; no matter which way to Sunday you asked this of us, we’d always lament the same: sorry, no, not a chance really, horror just isn’t something that floats our boat!

At the very same time, there are elements of the genre knitted within my everyday life & world, from wicked collections I gather as an appreciator of art & artistry of design inasmuch as the fact one of the best parts of being a book blogger for Seventh Star Press (via Tomorrow Comes Media) is the ability to get to know several Indie authors of Horror; most of whom I noted I had things we shared in common, even if at the end of the day, most of their releases I would faint before I could read!

I still remember having to explain why I sent a friend a Halloween card last October *why!* I celebrate Halloween ~ as if being exclusively (previously true) non-Horror meant I would not celebrate one of the most delightfully wicked times of the year! Lest, I even mention the fact I have been a long-term appreciator of the Day of the Dead & everything related to Old Hallow’s Eve since I was quite young! (no trunk or treat for me!)

Let me break-down what I *love!* vs what I do not: Read More

Divider

Posted Saturday, 18 October, 2014 by jorielov in #HorrorOctober, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Bookish Discussions, Cemeteries & Graveyards, Classic Horror, Classical Literature, Cosy Horror, Cosy Horror Suspense, Cosy Mystery, Ghost Story, Ghosts & the Supernatural, Good vs. Evil, Gothic Literature, Gothic Mystery, Hard-Boiled Mystery, Haunting & Ethereal, Horror, Horror-Lite, Indie Book Trade, Library Find, Library Love, Parapsychological Gifts, Parapsychological Suspense, Psychological Suspense, Reading Challenges, Southern Gothic, Supernatural Fiction, Suspense, YA Paranormal &/or Paranormal Romance

Blog Book Tour | “The Monogram Murders” by Sophie Hannah, the next #Poirot #cosy authorised by the Christie estate!

Posted Friday, 10 October, 2014 by jorielov , , , , , 2 Comments

Parajunkee Designs

Published By: William Morrow (@WmMorrowBks),
an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers (@HarperCollins)
Official Authors Websites: Agatha Christie: Site@QueenOfCrime | Facebook
Sophie Hannah: Site@sophiehannahCB1 

Available Formats: Hardback, Audiobook

Official Page from the Christie Estate: The Monogram Murders

Converse via: #MonogramMurders, #AgathaChristie, #Poirot, & #CosyMystery

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Acquired Book By:

I was selected to be a tour stop on the “The Monogram Murders” virtual book tour through TLC Book Tours. I received a complimentary copy of the book direct from the publisher William Morrow, in exchange for an honest review. This is the first blog tour whereupon a book I was scheduled to review underwent an ’embargo’ and this led me to realising something about the book industry I hadn’t  yet known about beforehand! Certain books have a high expectation of popularity by readers around the time of release, and this is when publishers initiate an ’embargo’ on the book, to hug the reviews & criticisms of a release closer to or shortly after the release date. My journey as a book blogger is constantly expanding my understanding & knowledge of the inter-workings of the publishing industry; for which I am keenly aware and always full of gratitude. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Passionately & Affectionately an Admirer of Agatha Christie:

It is quite curious re-entering a world of Agatha Christie after spending a near full-life away from the pages of her collective works, as I recollect the first time I had sat down with her stories I was quite a young girl. I always was piqued with a rapt fascination for sociological suspense and the mystery of crime. I spent a considerable amount of my elementary years wrapped up in the pages of a mystery of some shape or form; yet whilst I was still consuming Nancy Drew & Hardy Boy mysteries, I had a curious notion of expanding my world view of the genre. I was always a bit open with my leanings in literature with my parents, and imagine my plumb surprise in finding hardback editions of Agatha Christie as gifts the very same year I brought it to their attention I wanted something ‘a bit more I could chew on’ than the regular Nancy Drew? Nothing too mature mind you, but something with a bit more depth? Not that my parents would have given me anything overly brutal to read (as murder, wells, murder is murder you see!) but they knew the time had come along for me to read Christie all the same.

Curling into The Monogram Murders felt as though time had stopped and picked up where I had left off during those curious years where my mind furrowed itself around the angst of the human psyche and the methodologies of investigators who elicited themselves fanciful to understand the criminal mind. I loved the intellectualism of the Christie’s novels and how her main characters were always rather charmingly observant. Keenly aware of their surroundings and picking up on the slightest detail —  it is no wonder at all I would come to belove the mysteries of Columbo! I cut my teeth on this formative style of the craft by warming myself to Miss Marple; Poirot was always the odd duck out to me, as it would take a longer expanse of time for me to entertain his genius.

I think perhaps it was due to the fact I had a close attachment to my great-grandmother and a healthy connection to my grandparents; Miss Marple simply fit into my family as though she were always meant to be there. Decades would go past before I would meet Mr. Monk (of the series Monk), Detective Goren (of the series Law & Order: Criminal Intent), Jesse Stone (of the series Jesse Stone), and Sherlock (of the BBC serial Sherlock) whose attributes extend out of my love of how Doyle and Christie curate their mysteries for the enlightenment of the reader. No, I had Columbo, Jessica Fletcher (of the series Murder, She Wrote) and the Harts (of the series Hart to Hart) to keep me satisfied outside of my Miss Marple stories. There are a heap of other television detectives and mysteries I have enjoyed over the years, but I was attempting to reveal the origins of my love for them rather than chronicle the entire circle of what I have admired.

The electric excitement of being given a new collection of Marple stories or wondering what will befall next for all the lovely characters per each story I was beginning to read – there was a developed passion for Christie’s innate ability to draw out a measure of joy for psychological suspense that parlayed on the human condition and the joy of seeing justice win out over crime.

Blog Book Tour | “The Monogram Murders” by Sophie Hannah, the next #Poirot #cosy authorised by the Christie estate!The Monogram Murders
by Agatha Christie, Sophie Hannah
Source: Publisher via TLC Book Tours

The bestselling novelist of all time.
The world’s most famous detective.
The literary event of the year—an all-new mystery featuring Agatha Christie’s legendary hero Hercule Poirot.

Since the publication of her first novel in 1920, more than two billion copies of Agatha Christie’s books have been sold around the globe. Now, for the first time ever, the guardians of her legacy have approved a brand new novel featuring Dame Agatha’s most beloved creation, Hercule Poirot.

‘I’m a dead woman, or I shall be soon…’

Hercule Poirot’s quiet supper in a London coffeehouse is interrupted when a young woman confides to him that she is about to be murdered. She is terrified – but begs Poirot not to find and punish her killer. Once she is dead, she insists, justice will have been done.

Later that night, Poirot learns that three guests at a fashionable London Hotel have been murdered, and a cufflink has been placed in each one’s mouth. Could there be a connection with the frightened woman? While Poirot struggles to put together the bizarre pieces of the puzzle, the murderer prepares another hotel bedroom for a fourth victim…

Places to find the book:

Series: ,


Genres: Cosy Mystery


Published by William Morrow

on 9th September, 2014

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 320

The Monogram Cover Reveal via HarperFiction

Inspired to Share: The music alone makes me feel as giddy as a Cheshire cat who has a secret needing to be shared as joy is always doubled when given freely to another! The graphic designer alone should be commended for giving us such a special treat! Oh, I dare not spoilt it for you, dear heart, you must ‘click!’ play & see for yourself! Yes, click – now! Before you read my ruminations of the story itself – champion the moment! Click!

Note to Self: I must secure a British edition of this novel! I fancy the cover art to much not to find a way to acquire a hardback edition that sports it in all it’s glory! Lovely, most lovely I think! And, most decidedly ‘wicked’!

 Authors Biographies:

Dame Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie is the most widely published author of all time, outsold only by the Bible and Shakespeare. Her books have sold more than a billion copies in English and another billion in a hundred foreign languages. She died in 1976.

Sophie Hannah

Internationally bestselling author Sophie Hannah breathes new life into the incomparable detective. In this thrilling tale, Poirot plunges into a mystery set in 1920s London—a diabolically clever puzzle that will test his brilliant skills and baffle and delight longtime Christie fans and new generations of readers discovering him for the first time. Authorized by Christie’s family, and featuring the most iconic detective of all time, this instant Christie classic is sure to be celebrated by mystery lovers the world over.

Listen to an Excerpt of Chapter 1:

The Monogram Murders by Sophie Hannah via HarperAudio_US

Note on the Narrator: I found the rhythmic manner of voicing Poirot to be quite bang-on brilliant in this particular clip from Chapter 1! The manner in which I associated Poirot to ‘sound’ in my own mind’s eye comes across quite smashing as he is fully explored through the narrator’s voice and inclination towards bringing him forward through sound. I even liked how he elected to voice the secondary characters, and etched into this audiobook a tone of story that I felt myself was present all along in the print edition! How wicked it shall be one day to listen to the audiobook whilst re-reading the novel at the very same time! How electric! Champion! I hope you find the same felicity of joy in listening to this excerpt as I had myself!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

On the continuance of Hercules Poirot & the legacy of Agatha Christie therein:

There is a signature of tradition with Agatha Christie novels, as they are the monarch butterfly of eloquence and excellence inside the Cosy Mystery genre – inflecting such a deeply etched prominence as to become beloved by each reader who soaks into her collective works. I, for one, have already revealed how much I am deeply attached to her canon, yet if I were to draw any measure of concern about this after canon prior to reading it, it would have been the same concern I voiced on behalf of Sherlock Holmes. I only wanted to seek out a writer who not only understood the full scope of the written voice of the original writer but could carry forward the principle character in such a way as to be a mirror of reflection infused with new insight, curiosity, and probable continuity.

I am a particular reader of ‘after canons’ as I soak inside certain authors tomes of creative voice outside the original texts yet I shirk away from others. To me, it is simply a question of how I feel whilst I alight in the next continuance of the story that has already formulated such a stronghold in my conscience and heart. There are story-tellers who endear us at such a young age (for me this echoes my passion for Christie) they transform our reasoning to attach ourselves to someone who comes along next. Reading is such a unique sensory experience – we become tangibly connected through the book held in our hands, we viscerally insert ourselves into the footprints of the characters, and we envision the writer’s legacy as the words lift off the page and play out through our imaginations. To me to be passionately connected to the craft of stories and to be open as a reader to encourage new voices to step forward from a generation outside of the original era of the canon, is what endeavours me forward as I wander through literature as a whole.

The little instances of knowing your wrapped inside the comfy cosy world of a Christie novel came thundering back to me as I reached page 2 of The Monogram Murders, as Christie has such a knack for giving us a level of suspense and sense of place that bespoke to a different era. I loved curling inside her stories for this one particular reason because she was lamenting her observational narratives in such a traditional voice of fiction, it begged to become an addiction. Read More

Divider

Posted Friday, 10 October, 2014 by jorielov in After the Canon, Audiobook Excerpt, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book | Novel Excerpt, Book Trailer, Bookish Films, Classic Mystery, Classical Literature, Cosy Mystery, Crime Fiction, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Debut in United States, Detective Fiction, Fly in the Ointment, French Literature, Historical Fiction, Inspired By Author OR Book, Library Love, London, Sequel Authors, Sociological Behavior, Soundcloud, Story in Diary-Style Format, TLC Book Tours, Writing Style & Voice

+Blog Book Tour+ Blade of the Samurai (Book 2 of the Shinobi Mystery series) by Susan Spann

Posted Monday, 1 September, 2014 by jorielov , , , , , , 4 Comments

Parajunkee Designs

Blade of the Samurai by Susan Spann

Published By: Minotaur Books (@MinotaurBooks), (a Thomas Donne book) 15 July, 2014
imprints of St. Martin’s Publishing Group, which is now a part of MacMillian Publishers
Official Author Websites: Site | @SusanSpann | Blog
Available Formats: Hardcover & Ebook Page Count: 304

Converse via: #ShinobiMystery#ShinobiMysteries OR #BladeOfTheSamurai


Katana

Acquired Book By:

I was selected to be a tour stop on the “Blade of the Samurai” virtual book tour through TLC Book Tours. I opted to receive the first novel of the Shinobi mystery series to formulate a better impression about where the series began and where the series is continuing in this sequel. I received a complimentary hardback copy of the “Blade of the Samurai” direct from the author Susan Spann, in exchange for an honest review. However, I received a complimentary hardback copy of “Claws of the Cat” without obligation to post a review or comment on its behalf. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein on either novel. I elected to post this review for my own edification as much as my enjoyment for the introduction to a new series I will be in full support of watching grow through successive installments!

Inspired to Read: 

I personally always have a preference of reading serial fiction in ‘order’ of the established series, and I can go to great lengths to sort out the order of series too! This is especially true for the Elm Creek series (by Jennifer Chiaverini) and the Aunt Dimity series (by Nancy Atherton)! When I first started to research this novel going on tour this Summer (referencing Blade), I discovered that it is the type of series where you could ‘side step’ from the opening bits of the series, but I had feeling you’d miss quite a heap in doing so! Therefore, I was instantly inspired to read Claws ahead of Blade, and thus took up the offer to receive Claws with Blade for the tour! I simply love having a good footing into the momentum of how the key characters interact, what motivates them, and how the series expands by relieving more of their internal natures as much as a clue into their outward lives outside of their investigations (especially for cosies!).

On my connection to Ms. Spann:

I started visiting the chats hosted by @LitChat in the latter months of 2013, as it was around the time of the conference at The Betsy in which I started to cross paths with regular chatters, amongst whom were Natalia Sylvester (début novelist of “Chasing the Sun”) and Susan Spann. I am unsure which month I first started to notice Ms. Spann as a friendly presence who always reminded me of myself — someone who provided cheerful commentary, engaging questions for each visiting guest author, and a wicked knowledge base on a variety of topics. Generally speaking, I always click-over to read a person’s Twitter profile, but whilst engaged in those #LitChat(s) I felt like it was this magical rendezvous for the bookish and those who are attuned to bookish culture.

In this way, it wasn’t until I learnt of Blade of the Samurai was going on tour through TLC Book Tours (the touring company I am hosting for this Interview & my forthcoming book review) I had decided to discover a bit more about her! In so doing, I learnt who she was ‘behind the curtain’ so to speak! I always considered her one of my ‘friends in the twitterverse’ but I never disclosed this to her until I was on the blog tour! Such serendipity as the tour has brought us a bit closer and I am grateful that Twitter is a social-positive method of reaching past our distances in geography to connect to people who share a passion for the written word.

I am disclosing this, to assure you that I can formulate an honest opinion, even though I have interacted with Spann through our respective love & passion of reading inside the twitterverse whilst attending #LitChat; I treat each book as a ‘new experience’, whether I personally know the author OR whether I am reading a book by them for the first time.

A lovely surprise arrived within the pages of the book: 

Ms. Spann offered to send me a bookmark with the novels, as her husband had kindly designed two special editions to celebrate the series thus far along! Imagine my pure delight in finding I had received a “Blade of the Samurai” bookmark with my parcel of Shinobi mysteries! She tweeted me this picture as a ‘teaser’ and I must say, it hardly does the bookmark justice, as they are ‘slimline’ markers with the featured ‘cover art’ images per each book cover in the series. This one is a close-up on the hilt of the sword and the rolled blue & white paper; overlaid with the title and subtitle of ‘A Shinobi Mystery’. Eek. For a girl who is wholly giddy about a new cosy historical mystery series having read the first and fallen in love with it head over foot – this small gift will forevermore make me happy to use as I read each newly published installment!

Cleverly on the opposite side is a full listing of the series in print & the one title scheduled to be in print: “Flask of the Drunken Master” for July 2015! Incredibly next Summer will give me a new adventure for two of my favourite cosy investigators, whose charming method of fighting crime is nearly being indifferent to the request to solve them! Indifferent in the way that only a priest and ninja can elect to reveal as their own preferences of how to occupy their days are quite different from each other. I love how they simply ‘fall into’ a scene of a crime or are handed an offer to investigate nearly as if by accidental acquaintance. It is such a curious method of how a mystery can alight in your life and path, that I love seeing who they are connected too which will lead to a new case!

+Blog Book Tour+ Blade of the Samurai (Book 2 of the Shinobi Mystery series) by Susan SpannBlade of the Samurai
by Susan Spann
Source: Author via TLC Book Tours

June 1565: Master ninja Hiro Hattori receives a pre-dawn visit from Kazu, a fellow shinobi working undercover at the shogunate. Hours before, the shogun’s cousin, Saburo, was stabbed to death in the shogun’s palace. The murder weapon: Kazu’s personal dagger. Kazu says he’s innocent, and begs for Hiro’s help, but his story gives Hiro reason to doubt the young shinobi’s claims.

When the shogun summons Hiro and Father Mateo, the Portuguese Jesuit priest under Hiro’s protection, to find the killer, Hiro finds himself forced to choose between friendship and personal honor. . .

The investigation reveals a plot to assassinate the shogun and overthrow the ruling Ashikaga clan. With Lord Oda’s enemy forces approaching Kyoto, and the murderer poised to strike again, Hiro must use his assassin’s skills to reveal the killer’s identity and protect the shogun at any cost. Kazu, now trapped in the city, still refuses to explain his whereabouts at the time of the murder. But a suspicious shogunate maid, Saburo’s wife, and the shogun’s stable master also had reasons to want Saburo dead. With the shogun demanding the murderer’s head before Lord Oda reaches the city, Hiro and Father Mateo must produce the killer in time . . . or die in his place.

Blade of the Samurai is a complex mystery that will transport readers to a thrilling and unforgettable adventure in sixteenth-century Japan.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Also by this author: Author Q&A : Susan Spann (on behalf of her Shinobi mysteries), Claws of the Cat, Flask of the Drunken Master, Interview with Susan Spann (FLASK), The Ninja's Daughter, Author Interview (Hiro Hattori Novels), Betrayal at Iga

Series: Shinobi Mystery, Hiro Hattori


Also in this series: Claws of the Cat, Flask of the Drunken Master, The Ninja's Daughter, Betrayal at Iga, Trial on Mount Koya, (Interview) Trial on Mount Koya


Genres: Cosy Historical Mystery, Crime Fiction, Hard-Boiled Mystery, Historical Thriller Suspense, Japanese Fiction, Martial Art History, Suspense, World Religions


Published by A Thomas Donne Book

on 15 July, 2014

Format: Hardcover Edition

Pages: 304

Author Biography:

Susan Spann Susan Spann is a transactional publishing attorney and the author of the Shinobi Mysteries, featuring ninja detective Hiro Hattori and his Portuguese Jesuit sidekick, Father Mateo. Her début novel, CLAWS OF THE CAT (Minotaur Books, 2013), was named a Library Journal Mystery Debut of the Month. Susan has a degree in Asian Studies from Tufts University, where she studied Chinese and Japanese language, history, and culture. Her hobbies include cooking, traditional archery, martial arts, and horseback riding. She lives in northern California with her husband, son, two cats, and an aquarium full of seahorses.

Precursor to Blade: Claws of the Cat: {Book One}

Claws of the Cat by Susan SpannI could not stop reading Claws of the Cat once I found myself inside this beautiful world of Feudal Japan! I simply devoured the story, daring my eyes to read further and faster, yet wanting to take a pause to allow the scenery and the words to sink in to my conscience. This is a story of honour as much as it is a story of supposition without the ability to see past a suspicion. The fact that there is a cheeky and beloved cat, er, kitten in the household of where Father Mateo and Hiro keep their residence gave me an added joy! The very, very last scene of the novel left me in a happy smile as even though I do not understand Portuguese I recognised a ‘cognate’ of Spanish! The humour of that reply was not lost on my eyes! I love the pace of the novel, because Claws is set to have an expanse of time envelope the community, giving you the chance to know the layout and the rituals of their beliefs. There is a clever balance between Japanese spirituality, Zen Buddhism, Christianity, and a few others in-between all three. I love writers who find a way to etch a spiritual presence as part of the make-up of a character’s mind. If you appreciate crime fiction that allows you to work through the muddling puzzle as it starts to unravell and thread through the needling of proof – you will findClaws of the Cat most enjoyable to read!
– quoted from my book review of Claws of the Cat

  Katana  

Resuming where Claws left off:

As soon as I opened the pages of Blade of the Samurai, I felt as though time had stopped moving forward as I greeted Hiro and his kitten Gato as though only a few hours had transpired between visiting with them! I am still mirthfully enjoying a cheeky chuckle over the origins of his kitten’s name! Even his dear friend Kazu returns in the opening pages, which is quite wonderful considering that I had enjoyed observing their close friendship in Claws. I was hoping he might come back in successive novels in this series of the Shinobi mysteries, and thankfully, I did not have very long to wait!

I believe Hiro has grown a bit through his close companionship with the Priest, as although he is classically trained and carries on his shinobi heritage well, there are parts of his being that are being reasoned a bit outside of his traditional view and beliefs. If not, I daresay he would not work well alongside Father Mateo, as the Priest holds law, truth, and justice to such high accords. In this way, I appreciate the way Hiro is being conveyed and how his differences under Father Mateo’s influence of friendship continue to show how unique of man he is when projected against his peers. Even in consideration of other shinobi, Hiro tends to walk a line between two cultures and two distinct ways of living through practice of conviction. Read More

Divider

Posted Monday, 1 September, 2014 by jorielov in #LitChat, 16th Century, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book | Novel Excerpt, Book Cover | Notation on Design, Bookish Discussions, Bout of Books, Clever Turns of Phrase, Cosy Mystery, Crime Fiction, Cultural & Religious Traditions, Equality In Literature, Geographically Specific, Green-Minded Publishers, Hard-Boiled Mystery, Historical Fiction, Historical Thriller Suspense, Japan, Japanese Fiction, Martial Art History, Martial Arts, Passionate Researcher, Psychological Suspense, Scribd, Suspense, TLC Book Tours, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event, Wordsmiths & Palettes of Sage, World Religions