Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Murder at Peacock Mansion ~ ~ ~ Blog Tour* & Review

Lone Star Literary Life Blog Tours

Blue Plate Cafe Mysteries Book 3

Judy Alter

Arson, a bad beating, and a recluse who claims someone is trying to kill her all collide in this third Blue Plate Café Mystery with Kate Chambers. Torn between trying to save David Clinkscales, her old boss and new lover, and curiosity about Edith Aldridge’s story of an attempt on her life, Kate has to remind herself she has a café to run. She nurses a morose David, whose spirit has been hurt as badly as his body, and tries to placate Mrs. Aldridge, who was once accused of murdering her husband but acquitted. One by one, Mrs. Aldridge’s stepchildren enter the picture. Is it coincidence that David is Edith Aldridge’s lawyer? Or that she seems to rely heavily on the private investigator David hires? First the peacocks die…and then the people. Everyone is in danger, and no one knows who to suspect.
 Amazon     B&N    IndieBound

Praise for the author

“Kate Chambers continues to impress. This third book in the Blue Plate Café mysteries opens with two intriguing story lines that intermingle flawlessly and will keep you captivated until the final page.” Terrie Farley Moran, Agatha Award-Winning author of the Read ’Em and Eat cozy mysteries.
“With Murder at Peacock Mansion, the showy feathers of a rich woman's birds aren't enough to save either them or relatives of the recluse who thinks someone's out to get her. Judy Alter, in her third Blue Plate Special mystery, serves up more than chicken-fried chicken as cafe proprietor Kate Chambers fights to save the ones she loves and figure out who the killer is, while keeping herself and her business alive, too.” Edith Maxwell, Agatha-nominated and national bestselling author of the Local Foods Mysteries, the Country Store Mysteries, and the Quaker Midwife Mysteries.

“How did you meet Mr. Aldridge?”

“I was a cocktail waitress at the old Baker Hotel in Dallas. You might say I was Eliza to his Henry Higgins. He taught me to dress, speak, eat properly, even dance—he made a lady out of me, and I was always grateful. But once I was “finished”—his term, not mine—he found other Pygmalion-like subjects. In other words, he cheated on me, including financially, railed that I couldn’t run the house on the reduced budget he gave me.

“I used to lie in bed and listen to him roaming about downstairs, sometimes throwing things—I always hoped it wasn’t the Limoges he’d given his first wife, Alicia—and several times I thought I heard him fall. His best friend at night was a bottle of bourbon.

“One night I woke and realized he hadn’t come upstairs. By then I kept a derringer for self-protection, and this night I grabbed it and put it in my pocket. I found him at the foot of the stairs—he fallen apparently. What I didn’t realize until after I called the police was that he’d been shot too.

This tale was getting more bizarre. I itched to check it out on the Web, but for now I was a captive audience and, I admit, mesmerized by the calm recital of this woman’s life story. “What makes you think his children are trying to kill you now?” After all she’d lived this way for thirty years.

Hall Ways Review:
Murder at Peacock Mansion is a clean, cozy mystery that engages readers immediately with the setting and interesting characters. Despite being the third book in the Blue Plate Café Mysteries, Murder at Peacock Mansion works great as a stand alone book.  There are references to the prior books' events and characters, which will entice readers who haven't read the prior stories to take a look.  

The life of main character Kate Chambers -- and really, the whole book -- circulates around one stability, Kate's small town café and the three squares a day that are served there. Food is a big part of the story, and by the end of the story, readers will be ready to find some of that yummy home cooking for themselves.  Fortunately, author Judy Alter is kind enough to include some of the recipes at the end of the book.
In and out  and around the café, readers meet both the usual and unusual suspects, and the author offers plenty of twists and turns and foils so that readers can't easily figure out whodunit.  The writing flows very naturally, as does the dialogue, but there are some typos that need correction -- which may or may not bother readers. 

Judy Alter has found the right formula and created characters that readers will enjoy visiting again. 

Judy Alter retired from Texas Christian University Press after thirty years, twenty of them as director. At the same time she developed her own writing career, focusing primarily on women of the American West. Now she writes fiction and nonfiction for all ages. She lives in Fort Worth.

Check out these other great blog stops on the tour!

Monday, November 30 - Books and Broomsticks - author interview
Tuesday, December 1 - Book Crazy Gals - promo
Wednesday, December 2 - Bookishjessp promo
Thursday, December 3 - The Page Unbound promo
Friday, December 4 - Missus Gonzo - review
Sunday, December 6 - Texas Book Lover  author interview
Monday, December 7 - Because This is My Life, Y’all review
Tuesday, December 8 - Hall Ways - review
Wednesday, December 9 - Texas Book-aholic - review
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*NOTE FROM KRISTINE at HALL WAYS: Except for the Hall Ways review, the content of this promo post was provided by Lone Star Literary Life Blog Tours.  If you're a Texas blogger interested in joining the ranks of Texas Book Blog Tours, contact Tabatha Pope



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