Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Murder on the Orient Espresso by Sandra Balzo

Murder on the Orient Espresso--the eighth Maggy Thorsen Coffeehouse Mystery--is now out in the UK and will be released December 1st in the US.  This installment takes the Wisconsin coffeehouse owner and her sheriff boyfriend to South Florida to attend a fictional writers’ conference, only to have the opening night’s reenactment of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express go very wrong.

Publishers Weekly: Balzo’s exciting eighth mystery featuring Brookhills, Wis., coffeehouse maven Maggy Thorsen (after 2011’s Triple Shot) takes Maggy and her beau, Sheriff Jake Pavlik, to South Florida, where they join a group of mystery writers on a train outing billed as “Murder on the Orient Espresso.” Maggy looks forward to an easy ride, since her only job is to prepare and serve special coffee to the writers and their guests while Jake lectures about forensics. Unfortunately, a series of career crises, stolen manuscripts, and personal antagonisms builds to a real murder. When the train becomes stranded in the python-infested depths of the Everglades, with communication cut off and deadly predators both inside and out, Maggy must keep the passengers calm and the killer from striking again while Jake sets off to try to find help. It will take more than hot espresso to save this trip, but readers will be happy to jump on board.

Booklist: The Maggy Thorsen series, with its coffee-themed titles (Grounds for Murder; Bean There, Done That; Triple Shot; etc.), reaches book number eight. Maggy, amateur sleuth and co-owner of a Wisconsin coffee shop, is in Florida attending a conference for crime writers in the company of her sheriff-boyfriend, Jake, who’s a speaker at the conference. When a reenactment of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express turns deadly, Maggy is determined to get to the bottom of things, even if it means putting her own safety at risk. In keeping with its lighthearted title, the book is an appealing, gentle mystery, a cozy with a shot of Christie. Needless to say, the book will be a hit with series fans, but readers of similarly themed novels from writers such as Mary Daheim (the Bed-and-Breakfast mysteries) or Kerry Greenwood (the Corinna Chapman series) should also be steered in Maggy’s direction.

Murder on the Orient Espresso, Balzo, Sandra (Author), Dec 2013. 208 p. Severn, hardcover, $27.95. (9780727883117)
The book launch for Murder on the Orient Espresso is  Friday the Thirteenth (of December).  They'll be having espresso martinis and handing out info on South Florida's very REAL mystery-writers conference, Sleuthfest. If you're in the area stop by
Murder on the Orient Espresso Book Launch
Friday, December 13, 7 p.m. 
  Murder on the Beach Mystery Bookstore
273 NE 2nd Avenue
Delray Beach, FL  33444
Phone: 561-279-7790

Sandra Balzo is an award-winning author of crime fiction, including ten books in two different mystery series from Severn House--the Wisconsin-based Maggy Thorsen Mysteries and Main Street Murders, set in the High Country of North Carolina and featuring journalist AnnaLise Griggs.  Balzo's books have garnered starred reviews from Kirkus and Booklist, while being recommended to readers of Janet Evanovich, Charlaine Harris, Mary Daheim, Joan Hess and Margaret Maron. A Wisconsin native, Sandy now splits her time between South Florida and North Carolina.

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