It was a treat to read Chris Norbury’s novel Straight River. It is a mystery that holds your attention as the plot unfolds throughout the book.
Matt Lanier comes home after his father is found dead in a farming accident. Things hadn’t been good with their relationship and Matt feels guilt that perhaps his father’s death could have prevented had he listened to the message from his father and returned his call.
It is easy as a reader to identify with Matt as he ponders the fate of his father and sorts out his feelings about being back home and getting reacquainted with old friends. Many of us find ourselves in the same situation. Mr. Norbury’s interpretation of his character put us into Matt’s head and lets us feel his emotions. Does his past interfere with the conspiracy theory he thinks surrounds his father’s death?
I can’t wait to read his next novel in the series titled Castle Danger. Straight River is well written and an exciting read. Chris Norbury is up there with the best of the best with his writing. He deserves accolades and recognition for his skillful plot twists. This is definitely five stars in my mind.
After his estranged father dies in a farming accident, professional musician Matt Lanier returns to his hometown of Straight River, Minnesota. While he’s settling the estate, an old friend and neighbor asks him for help. Her husband’s recent death was ruled a suicide. She insists it was not. Ownership of her farm hangs in the balance.
The local police are uncooperative, so Matt turns to his ex-wife and a young computer prodigy for assistance. As new information surfaces, Matt suspects the two deaths are connected to a violent conspiracy with national implications. His dilemma: Should he risk his life to protect his friend and hundreds of other farmers from ruin?
About the Author
Chris Norbury is the award-winning author of the suspense-thrillerCastle Danger. His new novel,Straight River, is the prequel toCastle Dangerand the first book of a planned trilogy. The stories feature Matt Lanier, a southern Minnesota farm-kid-turned-professional-musician whose middle-class world is turned upside down by a conspiracy of powerful, ambitious, violent men.
Chris grew up in the Twin Cities and earned a B.S. in Music Education at the University of Minnesota. His essays on wilderness canoeing have been published in theBoundary Waters Journal. A volunteer Big Brother since 2000, Chris donates a portion of all book sales toBig Brothers Big Sisters of Southern Minnesota.During the golf season in Minnesota, he works on perfecting his golf game. It’s an impossible dream but also a good excuse to get out of the office. He lives in Owatonna, MN with his wife and golf clubs.
Today I welcome Delight Delure, former owner of Ella’s Enchanted Forest and current owner of The Pink Percolator to my blog. Delight is one of Granny’s best friends and also is the niece of Jezabelle Jingle of Brilliant, MN. Let’s see what Delight has to say.
Wow, I can’t believe I am actually a guest on a blog. Usually it is Granny that gets that honor. Let me see, what can I tell you about myself?
I was the former owner of Ella’s Enchanted Forest. It was a bistro type experience. I served coffee, tea, my own made up concoctions and goodies to my customers. Trees and plants were a huge part of my business too. I was the go-to place for funerals, weddings and “just because”occasions. I actually had trees growing in my building with the ceiling extended so they could grow and thrive. But all that ended when Granny got me involved in a new investigation of hers. Someone stole my trees and planted them in Granny’s back yard. Then we found out the floor moved down into the underground streets. Gravy, that’s Gile Graves, owner of Graves Funeral Home, thought my building would be the perfect place to relocate his mortuary because when the weather was bad, they could transport the casket to the Mausoleum in the cemetery by way of the underground streets. The city thought so too so they gave me funds to build my own new coffeehouse so Gravy could move to my building.
You can’t miss the Pink Percolator if you drive into Fuchsia. It is shaped like a giant percolator, pink of course, attached to a teapot addition. In the middle is our patio with our whipped cream fountain. It really is a better place for me to create my concoctions.
I have a daughter and her name is Ella. She helps me with the coffee and tea along with falling in love from time to time with various men in this town. My husband is dead but that doesn’t mean I am not looking to replace him. Don’t tell Ella, that might upset her. My Aunt Jezabelle lives in Brilliant. She is more my age but she is still my aunt. I can’t mention her name in front of Granny because they are a little competitive. Jezabelle solves crimes too, and Granny doesn’t always approve of the way she does it. I think Granny is just being ornery and doesn’t want to admit that maybe together the two would be a dynamic duo. Just my opinion.
Folks in Fuchsia are friendly. I know most of what goes on. I eavesdrop on conversations and I have been known to mike a table so Granny and her gang can find out what the men are up to. They seem to think all we should do is knit. The last time Granny held a knitting needle she skewered someone.
I also have a van, although Granny finally added to her car collection with a van so I don’t always have to use my business van to drive us on our escapades. Her van is Fuchsia so it does get noticed, but then no one outside of Fuchsia suspects a group of little old ladies can be cunning and dangerous.
I have Granny to thank for helping me have faith in myself too. My husband usually made all the decisions. I thought I couldn’t think for myself but with Granny’s help, I know I am a successful delightful woman. I like to giggle. It’s up to you to guess what I might be giggling about. I will tell you it might shock you.
It’s time to go. I need to come up with a new coffee drink. Granny made Mavis a drink, an alcoholic drink with coffee to make her quick blubbering. I need to mimic it but leave out the tequila, or maybe I won’t. Until next time. It’s been fun.
You can find Delight Delure most days in The Pink Percolator and getting in trouble with Granny from the Fuchsia, MN cozy mystery series. Or visiting her aunt in Brilliant in the Brilliant, MN series. Make sure you leave a comment or a tip on a new coffee drink or pastry delicacy that Delight can try.
Granny Bricks A Bandit the sixth book in the Fuchsia, Minnesota Cozy Mystery series is finally here. It’s getting rave reviews but one reader brought up a subject I thought I would address. This fabulous reader felt Granny is a tad more subdued in her new adventure. I thought about the criticism and it might be valid.
Over the next few weeks some of the residents from Fuchsia will visit my blog. Hopefully Wednesdays will be visiting day but remember, Granny says life is to be lived so if something better comes up, my character for the day might follow a different path which leads them to mischief. But for today, here’s Granny.
Hermiony Vidalia Criony Fiddlestadt, yup, that’s my name. My mother was in a rhyming phase when I was born hence Hermiony Criony. At least she put Vidalia in there. My mother loved onions. She especially liked the Vidalia onion and I was the lucky one in my family that was named after an onion. I’m being sarcastic in case you can’t tell. You might guess I am not a lover of onions. Why couldn’t she have named me Cocoa after chocolate. I love chocolate.
I grew up wanting to run with my brothers. We had an apple orchard and I got out there as often as I could. I stopped some apple bandits one day but my mother and father never found out about that. I would have had to do inside chores forever if they would have known.
I always knew I could do anything I set my mind to but life in the time I grew up wasn’t a piece of cake for women’s lib, in fact they probably never heard of it. I didn’t want to disappoint my parents, unlike a few of my siblings who I won’t name here, so I stayed home and became the daughter they always wanted. Ferdinand, my first husband, walked on water with the folks. There wasn’t much I could say when they wanted me to marry him. I caved. My spirit was kind of tromped on but I kept it alive secretly hoping someday I could have a different life. I never let go of the hope.
Then Ferdinand died. How could he leave me with all that responsibility. A part of me secretly felt free when that happened, but I remembered the kids. Ferdinand was a good man but he certainly had an idea of where a woman’s place should be and it wasn’t the same place I thought it should be, but because of the kids I held back. And then he died and I still did things the way I was expected.
My kids grew up. I raised them up in the way they should go and they went Ferdinands way, so now I wonder what would have happened if I would have showed the real me. Between you and me, my kids are kind of boring, always following the rules and doing things the way everyone thinks life should be lived.
Once they were grown I could finally let it all out. I could be me. OK, you’ve got me. At first I kept it hidden. I wasn’t deceitful to my adult kids because I was scared of them, it I felt wasn’t worth the effort to fight with my kids, in fact it was kind of fun to pull the wool over their eyes. Until, that is, they wanted to put me into the wrinkle farm. I knew I had to do something fast and it came to me. I needed a fiance and I found one.
However, my fiance didn’t like my secret life. I was undercover for the city of Fuchsia. He tried to tell me what to do. He told me I drove him crazy like his mother did. I never did meet her but I have a feeling we would have been friends.
Now I have a great group of very quirky friends. I found myself a man that accepts me as I am…maybe. I live in a wacky community that fits my wacky way of thinking. What more could I want?
So I will answer the question. Am I more subdued in Granny Bricks A Bandit? Maybe, or it could just be a ruse for the next book or… happiness has a way of toning me down. Did you notice I’m not as crabby as I was? Did you notice I am not as secretive? It’s also called Angel and Herman, my young grandchildren. I want them to know I’m a little different, and it’s true, all they have to do is look at my house to see that I’m different.
I have to go. The shysters are in trouble and we still haven’t figured out who Roost belongs to. So let’s put it this way. in case you are still wondering about me toning myself down.
You’re on a need to know basis and I don’g know what you need to know because I don’t know what I need to know so how do you expect me to know you need to know what I don’t know.
Leave a question. I might answer.
Granny Bricks A Bandit is also available on Kobo, BarnesandNoble.com, Nook, Walmart E-books, and more. Here’s the link.
I am an M. E. Bakos fan. I will let you in on a secret. I actually know her in the flesh, not just online. Having said that, those of you that know me and the books I review are aware of the fact I only review books I like. I can’t see any reason to give someone a bad review. If you are reading my reviews know that I give four and five stars and if I don’t like a book, you will never know I read it.
Having got that out of the way Deadly Flip was a book I thoroughly enjoyed reading. This is the second book in the series. A hidden diary, a house flip, a quirky ex-husband, a hunky sheriff and main character who is a great amateur sleuth without becoming annoying, all come together in a mystery which weaves an interesting story with an ending which will surprise you. What more can you want? When a cozy mystery makes me feel that I want to settle in to the community and become a friend of the characters it is a winner with me, and this book does all of that and more. Definitely a Five Star mystery.
About the Author
I have published several short stories in national women’s magazines. My love of mysteries has led to writing cozies. My first mystery short story, “Carpe Diem or Murder at the Carp Fest” appeared in the Festival of Crime, a SINC Anthology. My second, “Perfect Storm. . . Perfect Murder” is in Dark Side of the Loon, also a SINC Anthology.
As an enthusiastic fan of home improvement shows, I have done numerous projects through the years. A fun fact: As an intern with a Minneapolis non-profit housing agency, I researched, wrote and edited a monthly home improvement newsletter.
I am a member of Twin Cities Sisters in Crime, the SINC Guppies Group, and an alumna of the University of Minnesota. DEADLY FLIP is my latest Home Renovator Mystery. FATAL FLIP is my first cozy mystery novel. Published by Cozy Cat Press.
I am a lifelong resident of Minnesota and reside in Minneapolis with my husband Joe Sebesta, and our spoiled Morkie.
Flipping houses can be deadly! Katelyn takes on a home renovation in Hiptown, Minnesota, that “has history . . . a murder” at BFF Myra’s urging. What was she thinking? Besides the young woman being killed by the home’s prior owner, she learns the girl didn’t get the justice she deserved. Because of a double jeopardy ruling, the killer got away with murder! Katelyn finds a hidden diary, foils an intruder, and discovers more secrets while delays and expenses escalate as she renovates the house. Could the victim’s restless spirit be haunting the house, making it the rehab from hell? Can she find peace and justice for the dead woman? To get the renovation back on track, Katelyn, Myra, ex-hubby Eddy (it’s complicated), and handyman Wayne hold a séance and bring in paranormal investigators. Will this finally rid the house of bad karma? To top it off, Eddy is acting just plain weird, and hunky Sheriff Don Williams is a puzzle. Nosy neighbor, Mrs. Gilman, and Boots, the rescue cat, add to the fun in the second Home Renovator Mystery.
Where History Meets Mystery. Dark Side of the Loon is an anthology of short stories by my friends and colleagues from the Twin Cities Sisters In Crime. Alas, I am a part of this organization but…I do not have one of my stories in this book. Why? Because I am very shy about trying to write a short story. I am so wordy I am not sure I could do this but my Sisters and some Brothers in Crime write the perfect stories in the perfect settings.
Dark Side of the Loon highlights historical places and happenings in Minnesota. Fur trappers, pioneers, train robbers and just strange Minnesotans. That is a compliment. We Minnesotans like our quirkiness. Ya, you betcha we do. And this book has it’s quirky Minnesota moments.
I enjoyed each and every story in this book. Yes, I know many of the authors but if you know me, that does not make me leave a good review. If I don’t like something I don’t review it. I would give this anthology five stars not just for the writing but the surprises along the way. At the end of the book I wanted more and more and…more!
This would make a perfect gift or a wonderful book for discussion at a book club or a Sunday summer read or a winter by the fireplace read. It is an all-seasons book.
While you are at it make sure you take time to search out the other books by these authors. I will provide links. Five stars Sisters and Brothers in Crime!
”Minnesota nice” casts a long shadow. Dark emotions and even darker thoughts seep from these murky depths, harvested by writers whose stories take us down in flames, up in smoke, and leave us helplessly entranced by the haunting call of the loon.
Foreword by Ellen Hart, award-winning author of the Jane Lawless and Sophie Greenway series, and MWA Grand Master.
Stories by Lori L. Lake, Marlene Chabot, Michael Allan Mallory, Carol Huss, Marcia Adair, Natalie Fowler, Barbara Merritt Deese, A.W. Powers, Cheryl Lewis, Christine Husom, Cheryl Ullyot, Karl W. Jorgenson, Marcie Rendon, Sherry Roberts, Midge Bubany, M.E. Bakos, Greg Dahlager, T.S. Owen, and Judy Kerr.