- The Alto Wore Tweed. Hopkinsville, KY: St. James Music Press, 2002.
- The Baritone Wore Chiffon. Hopkinsville, KY: St. James Music Press, 2004.
- The Tenor Wore Tapshoes. Hopkinsville, KY: St. James Music Press, 2005.
- The Soprano Wore Falsettos. Hopkinsville, KY: St. James Music Press, 2006.
- The Bass Wore Scales. Hopkinsville, KY: St. James Music Press, 2006.
- The Mezzo Wore Mink. Hopkinsville, KY: St. James Music Press, 2008.
- The Diva Wore Diamonds. Hopkinsville, KY: St. James Music Press, 2009.
- The Organist Wore Pumps. Tryon, NC: SJMP Books, 2010.
- The Countertenor Wore Garlic. Tryon, NC: SJMP Books, 2011.
- The Treble Wore Trouble. Tryon, NC: SJMP Books, 2012.
Hayden Konig, the main character in this series, is one busy man. He’s the police detective in the fictional little North Carolina mountain town of St. Germaine. He’s also the choirmaster and organist at the local Episcopal church, St. Barnabas, and an aspiring mystery writer. Hayden pecks out his novels on Raymond Chandler’s 1939 Underwood No. 5 typewriter, something he bought at an auction at Christie’s. It was quite a splurge. Hayden thought it would provide inspiration, but he soon finds that his little town gives him more material than he can use. Over the course of the series, Hayden encounters civic clubs battling over who’ll have the prime time for the living creche display, nudity at a nearby church camp, a missing gorilla, diamonds in the town’s time capsule, a chicken known as Binny Hen the Scripture Chicken who selects passages from the Bible, an assortment of flaky and funny townsfolk, and dead bodies that turn up in the choir loft with unsettling frequency.
April Springs, North Carolina is Suzanne Hart’s hometown, so she is not about to leave it when her marriage breaks up. Suzanne moves back in with her mother and buys the donut shop in the heart of downtown. There trouble finds her. First, a body is left outside the shop early one morning, then someone dies after eating one of Suzanne’s donuts. Even when Suzanne has no apparent connection to the murder, the local police chief suspects her. Continually feeling that she has to clear her name, Suzanne wades into any number of mysteries in her town. Along the way, readers get to know an endearing cast of characters, including Suzanne’s mother, ex-husband, Max, her best friend, Grace, and George, a retired policeman who helps Suzanne. Even Suzanne’s nemesis, Police Chief Martin, is gently portrayed in this cozy mystery series.
As a bonus to readers, each book includes recipes for some of the baked goods mentioned in the novel. Sweet!
Glory, North Carolina, might seem like the typical quiet Southern town, but much happens there to keep life interesting. While many who grew up in Glory could not wait to move to bigger cities like Raleigh or Atlanta after their high school graduation, some find themselves back home after a few years away. Two siblings, Mark and Roxie Treymayne, returned after their mother’s illness. Although they planned to be back just temporarily, they have found reasons to stay. Mark and Roxie have discovered worthwhile careers at Roxie’s new newspaper business, The Glory Examiner, and entertainment in antics of a group of local geriatric crime-hunters. Most exciting for the siblings, though, is the fact that they have both found passionate, loving relationships–Mark with Susan, a reporter and Roxie with Nick, the sheriff. As it turns out, you can go home again.
Cat Hood and Lily Cameron have been best friends for as long as they can remember. Although they occasionally argue about matters such as women, the two are always supportive of each other. For example, Cat helped Lily get her business, Girls with Hammers, started, and Lily celebrates Cat’s literary achievements. Although being a lesbian is not always easy in rural Galway, North Carolina, the pair stand by each other with compassion and honesty. Their friends and families, though ever changing, also provide Cat and Lily with guidance, respect, and love.
- Witch Way to Murder. New York: Avon, 2005.
- Charmed to Death. New York: Avon, 2006.
- The Trouble with Witches. New York: Avon, 2006.
- Witch Hunt. New York: Avon, 2007.
- The Witch Is Dead. New York: Avon, 2007.
- The Witch’s Grave. New York: Avon, 2009.
- The Seventh Witch. New York: Avon, 2010.
Small-town librarian Ophelia Jensen and her grandmother, Abby, have special gifts: they are both witches with psychic powers. Although Ophelia would rather forget about her abilities, they come in handy when people are in danger. Over the past few years, the duo has helped to save their neighbors in usually sleepy Summerset, Iowa, and a missing teenager in an isolated part of Minnesota, all while trying to understand their supernatural powers. Although Ophelia struggles with her mysticism, her grandmother assists her with each case to show her how important their magick is.
Of interest to readers of this blog is the seventh novel in the “Ophelia and Abby Mystery” series, titled The Seventh Witch. Ophelia, Abby, and other family members have traveled to their homestead in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina for Great-Aunt Mary’s 100th birthday party. Unfortunately, the celebration is overshadowed by some decades-old land battles with other local witches as well as a rogue family member. As Ophelia begins to uncover family secrets and good witch/bad witch battles, she realizes that she must save someone dear to her from danger who is at the center of the contention – Abby!
Tommi Poag is a cheerful fifty-something woman who is trying the make it on her own after her husband leaves her for a younger woman. After decades as homemaker, she now works for a small insurance agency and lives in a little condo in Greensboro, North Carolina. Because Tommi has a big heart and curious nature, she quickly gets involved in the troubles of others. It turns out that Tommi is a good, if unorthodox, investigator. Her investigations cause her to bump into her ex, but Tommi is making new friends as she solves crimes large and small.
Ben Perkins is comfortable in his position at Where There’s Soap, the family-run soap-making business. He works with his mother and siblings, and he gets to know his clients in Harper’s Landing, North Carolina well. However, strange events happen in this quiet town, and they all have connections to the Perkins family. Ben’s relatives trust him to get to the bottom of all of these mysteries, which usually have potential to affect them and the store negatively. As he juggles clearing the Perkins family name and solving the crimes, Ben looks for love. Although content with his life, shake-ups keep things interesting for Ben and the reader.
With a setting as unusual as a lighthouse in the mountains of North Carolina, it is not surprising that strange things happen there. The lighthouse is the focal point of Hatteras West Inn, the hotel run by Alex Winston in Elkton Falls. Although Alex would like to keep the atmosphere quaint at the inn, a series of murders has given the destination some undesired attention. Along with his friend and housekeeper, Elise, Alex must get to the bottom of the mysteries occurring at Hatteras West if he is to stay in business. With bizarre guests and a police force that is not interested in his input, Alex’s quick wit allows him to solve the cases and to save the inn’s reputation.
Harrison Black pays close attention to detail. After taking over At Wick’s End, a candle making shop in Micah’s Ridge, North Carolina, Harrison finds his inner-Agatha Christie. Odd deaths begin to occur and, in his opinion, they do not add up. When the police rule them accidents or suicides, Harrison decides to do a little investigating of his own. His determination to set things straight results in justice for all parties. When Harrison is suspected of killing a fellow proprietor, he must use his powers of observation to prove his innocence and to protect his name.
Loganton, North Carolina seems like a quiet mountain town. Folks here have known each other for generations, the downtown is still recognizable to people who return after twenty years away, and the police force consists of just three officers. There are plenty of good people in the town, including the fire chief, the pharmacist, the county sheriff, and Granny Annie, who owns the local dinner. All these people–and more–are touched by growing drug use in the town. The meth trade is a particular scourge, causing teenagers to steal from their employers, friends to betray friends, and the loss of the beloved downtown theater in a meth lab explosion.
In the books in this series, a woman is endangered when she comes in contact with the drug trade in the town. Each woman is young (in her late twenties), a woman of accomplishment and faith, but also a person who is vulnerable to gossip and suspicion because of something in her past. Faith, and the assistance of a good man, help the heroine to survive a difficult time and move into a better future. Some characters from earlier books in the series appear in later books, and readers of the series come to feel that they know this little town and its inhabitants.