Welcome to my stop on the Blog Tour for Dressed Up 4 Murder. As you know, I don’t often participate in tours unless I have read the book and review it. My exception to that is if it is a series that I read and enjoy. Please scroll down for a guest post from the authors, as well as to enter the giveaway and find other blogs to visit on the tour.
Dressed Up 4 Murder (Sophie Kimball Mystery #6) by J.C. Eaton
6th in Series
Publisher: Kensington (February 25, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
About the Book: Last one standing is the winner . . .
The holiday season has arrived and bookkeeper/amateur sleuth, Sophie “Phee” Kimball, would love nothing more than to enjoy the comforts of her new home with her detective boyfriend near Arizona’s Sun City West. Instead, her mother Harriet wants to showcase her chiweenie-chihuahua-dachshund Streetman in the Precious Pooches Holiday Extravaganza costume events. The festivities begin in October and end on St. Patrick’s Day—with the winner starring in the St. Pat’s Day parade. But things quickly turn an awful shade of green when Streetman uncovers a dead body under a tarp-covered grill in the neighbor’s yard.
The victim is Cameron Tully, a seafood distributor working out of Phoenix, who died from ingesting a toxic sago palm leaf. Before the police can even find a motive and suspect, another Precious Pooch owner nearly dies from the same poison. With Harriet believing someone’s targeting her and Streetman because of the costume contests, Phee will need a potful of Irish luck to sniff out a killer . . .
Ann I. Goldfarb: New York native Ann I. Goldfarb spent most of her life in education, first as a classroom teacher and later as a middle school principal and professional staff developer. Writing as J. C. Eaton, along with her husband, James Clapp, they have authored the Sophie Kimball Mysteries (Kensington), The Wine Trail Mysteries (Kensington Lyrical Underground), and the Marcie Rayner Mysteries (Camel). In addition, Ann has nine published YA time travel mysteries under her own name.
James E. Clapp: When James E. Clapp retired as the tasting room manager for a large upstate New York winery, he never imagined he’d be co-authoring cozy mysteries with his wife, Ann I. Goldfarb. Non-fiction in the form of informational brochures and workshop materials treating the winery industry were his forte along with an extensive background and experience in construction that started with his service in the U.S. Navy and included vocational school classroom teaching. Visit the website at www.jceatonmysteries.com and the blog at www.jceatonauthor.com. Other sites: www.facebook.com/JCEatonauthor/ and www.timetravelmysteries.com
Picking the poison in Dressed Up 4 Murder by Ann I. Goldfarb and James E. Clapp, writing as J.C. Eaton
In the Sophie Kimball Mystery series alone, we’ve knocked off our victims all sorts of ways ranging from allergies to bee stings to blunt force trauma and even strangulation. So, when we wrote Dressed Up 4 Murder, we figured it was time to introduce poison as the weapon of choice.
One would think that picking out a poison to do someone in wouldn’t be all that difficult. After all, Agatha Christie pulled it off in most of her novels, and it seemed to be the norm on every other television crime show. However, we didn’t want to settle for just any poison. Well, Ann did, but Jim thought otherwise.
While Ann was happy to settle for something commonplace like arsenic, Jim was adamant we use a lesser known toxin. That started us on the great debate – household poisons and industrial ones vs. plant and animal poisons. We’d find ourselves talking about poisons when we least expected it. Like at the breakfast table.
“What are the ingredients in that cereal?”
“Whole grain, oats, corn starch, salt, sugar, and tripotassium phosphate.”
“What was the last one? Sounds poisonous. Maybe we can use it.”
“It’s not poisonous or Kellogg, General Mills, and Post would be out of business.”
We realized we knew very little about poisons (thankfully) and had to do something about it.
So, we did what every other self-respecting author did – we began an internet search.
Yikes! Does anyone have any idea what’s out there? It was mind-boggling. Still, we were undaunted. Finally it occurred to us that someone must have written a handy-dandy book about poisons and sure enough we were right. We got our hands on a neat little guidebook but Jim still couldn’t find the right poison. He wanted something that would be commonplace in Arizona, where the series takes place and something no one else would think of.
We resigned ourselves to selecting a known toxin when someone at our dog park told us about the Sago Palm, a small decorative palm tree that’s used by most landscapers in the southwest.
“Don’t let your dog go near that thing. Every part of the plant is poisonous,” the guy said.
“Really! The plant’s poisonous?” Jim couldn’t contain his excitement.
Hopefully the guy in the park thought Jim was concerned and not ecstatic. As soon as we got home, we googled the Sago Palm and learned that the guy was right. From its seeds to its leaves and stalks, that gorgeous plant can kill you.
Finally! We had our murder weapon. Now all we needed to do was find a way to introduce it. We came up with a plot whose twists and turns had more than one victim succumbing to the deadly plant – and more than one motive for murder.
We set it against a backdrop of doggie park pet costume contests for the holidays and some hanky-panky going on at neighboring seafood restaurants. Streetman, the neurotic Chiweenie, took center stage in Dressed Up 4 Murder but rest assured, we kept him away from those leafy ferns.
Messing with poisons is a tricky deal but now that we’ve gotten our feet wet, who knows what we’ll come up with next. Meanwhile, watch out for the Sago Palm, no matter how beautiful it looks. If you must plant a palm tree on your property, stick to one that won’t kill you.
I hope you enjoyed this guest post from the authors, I know I did.
Enter for a chance to win a print copy of Dressed Up 4 Murder (Sophie Kimball Mystery) by J.C. Eaton (U.S. Only)
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