Saturday, September 26, 2015

Cozy mystery authors at the Redondo Beach Public Library

One of the umpteen mailing lists I am on is for the Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore.  I was really sad when their Redondo Beach location closed, but they have graciously continued to have get-togethers that link readers and authors and the Redondo Beach public library generously provides a venue, so I was delighted to discover that there was going to be a meeting while I was in town and available to attend.  Even more fun, one of my elderly friends, a play-aunt, agreed to come with me. 

I was a little apprehensive because I hadn't been to this library before, and of course, despite the fact that we left what I considered more than early enough, we ran into problems with traffic...both on the freeway and on the streets!  Despite this, we were virtually the first to arrive...which, of course, made me nervous because it meant I couldn't skulk in the back.  It turns out my play-aunt (a former teacher) prefers the front row--so we compromised by sitting in the second one, lol.

I was delighted to discover that four different authors were presenting their books and were going to talk about the cozy mystery genre as well.  Another cozy mystery author also joined the audience during the presentation, so I had the pleasure of meeting all five of them!

They discussed some of the common elements, including a small-town setting, a non-graphic murder, a unifying theme such as a handicraft, cooking, or a profession, and discovered that they all had heroines who had either just broken off a relationship or were recovering from a failed one. Several of the authors have animals who also feature prominently in the stories, which is always a wonderful bonus for me.

I have several cozy mystery authors who I have been following for years, so it was fun to have some of the elements that characterize the genre pointed out and I was delighted to learn about new titles to add to the TBR mountain!  I had the opportunity to chat with Linda O. Johnston in the Writerspace chatroom earlier in the week, but the rest of these fun ladies were new to me. 

This the panel who spoke:  Ellen Byron, Diana Vallere, Linda O. Johnston, and Marty Wingate.  Some of their books are featured below (with links to AMZ, I am an affiliate, so, if you purchase them through the link, I will get a very small percentage)

Bite the Biscuit (A Barkery & Biscuits Mystery)

Knock on Wood (A Superstition Mystery)

Linda O. Johnston

Between a Rock and a Hard Place: A Potting Shed Mystery (Potting Shed Mystery series Book 3)

Marty Wingate

Crushed Velvet (A Material Witness Mystery)

Pillow Stalk (A Madison Night Mystery Book 1)
(very cute pun on Doris Day and her movies)

Diana Vallere
(she also provided tape measures for the audience!)

Plantation Shudders: A Cajun Country Mystery

Ellen Byron

Ellen's swag:

And, guess what?  It turns out they were holding a drawing for a door prize, which was a basket including everything ranging from a cupcake-shaped pincushion to tote bags to an alligator cookie cutter...and guess who won?

What a surprise!

I also had the opportunity to meet the lovely Connie Archer

Ladle to the Grave (A Soup Lover's Mystery)

What a great day!

And don't forget, if you want a chance to win a set of historical romance books by Meredith Duran (U.S. residents only), leave a comment at this link by the end of 9/30/2015 (Pacific time)


  1. It sounds like you had a lot of fun. Thank you so much for sharing your day with us and the pictures. Those are great! Congrats on winning the door prize. How awesome is that?!? :)

    1. It was a lovely surprise, Crystal! I was really startled when they called my name and I had fun divvying up the basket with my play-aunt! Thanks for visiting!

  2. Thanks so much for coming! I'm so glad I know you now. Great site and great post! Hope to catch up at another event soon.

    1. Thanks for the compliments, Ellen, it was delightful to meet you and the other authors. I appreciate you taking the time to visit!

  3. Thank you for highlighting our day in Redondo! Congrats on winning the basket of goodies. We all were thrilled that a fan of cozy mysteries was the winner! (and p.s.: curses on traffic. I experienced it too!)

    1. Traffic is a sad state of life in L.A., but silly me, I had hoped it would be a little better on a Saturday, lol. Thanks again for all of the creative contributions to the basket!

  4. Delighted that you came and that I got to meet you in person! Thanks for chatting with me, too, and for posting all you did about us and our talk.

    1. Great to meet you, Linda! I look forward to chatting with you at Writerspace again soon!

  5. Thanks for this lovely post! So happy to meet you - hope you enjoyed that shortbread.

    1. Such a yummy contribution to the gift basket, Marty, thank you so much! I really enjoyed listening to your excerpt!