Murder at First Pitch follows Madeline and her pursuit to clear her brothers name after he’s accused of murder. What was the inspiration for the setup to this thrilling story?
As with most cozy mysteries, there is some sort of incident that directly affects the main character and their choices. I knew I wanted to make it a family connection since the ballpark and family business was the center of the book. I also think it gave Madeline a way to realize just how much the ballpark and the team were important to her.
Madeline is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind her character?
Family is one of the most important things in Madeline’s life. Even after thinking she was going to make a career outside of the family baseball business and having to rethink things, she realizes that her place is with her family. The team had been such a large fixture in her life, and by returning, she becomes closer to her family and friends. Her career is still important to her, but she realizes that she needs both the career and her ballpark family in order to be happy.
Why did you want to write this story, and series, within the baseball culture?
I’m first and foremost a huge Boston Red Sox fan. I’m a baseball person through and through. When I was beginning my journey to be a mystery writer, I thought about all the things I enjoyed, and what I would be most interested in staging some. I hit on baseball (no pun intended) as the perfect location. There are so many sports fans who aren’t represented currently in the cozy mystery market, so I wanted to share my baseball love.
It’s a love letter to my Grandpa Asselin, who got me into baseball on the radio many summers and to my Grandma Asselin who was obsessed with mysteries.
This is the first book in your Ball Park Mystery series. What can readers expect in book two?
Book Two will continue to explore Madeline’s new job and the ballpark events. The readers will visit another fictional ballpark in Salem, MA and meet more people from the neighborhood. I hope to introduce more real-life Abington businesses and residents in honor of my hometown. Madeline and Davis will continue to grow closer, and of course, another set of crimes. Stay tuned!
32-year-old Madeline Boucher’s Grandfather instilled a love in the Boston Red Sox into her from an early age and increased that love by purchasing a local Independent League Baseball team, the Abington Armadillos.
After losing her corporate job in Boston, Madeline realizes her best option is to join the family baseball business. As the new “Social Media Director” for the team, Madeline attends her first business function and witnesses an argument between her brother Ben, and a strange man.
A few days later when walking the ballpark during her early morning hours, she finds the body of a man beaten to death with a baseball bat in the Visitor’s Dugout. It was the man her brother was arguing with at the party. Madeline is concerned that her brother would be considered a suspect. Through the local Detectives and Davis – the head of security for the ballpark she learns the victim is Christopher Dailey, a local baseball scout and prior felon.
When her brother is arrested and taken to the police station, she realizes she needs to figure out who the real culprit is, so her brother doesn’t take the fall for something she knows he didn’t do.
Jim Riley’s book, Murder in the Atchafalya, is the story of treasury agent, Kristi Blocker who bravely delves into the swamps of Louisiana to solve the murders of her two fellow agents. Things go bottom side up relatively quickly for Kristi. Some villainous figures force her hand, and she defends herself. Subsequently, she flees deeper into the unfamiliar bayou. She finds herself literally up a tree in order to survive the elements and alligators. Lucky for Kristi, Federal Agent, Hawk Theriot shows up on the scene none too soon.
The book begins with Kristi looking for answers about the murdered agents. As quick as a blink, tables turn and turn back as there is a power struggle between the agent and a man who could be involved in the murders. Quick-witted Kristi proves over and over that she will never give up without a fight, and she can generally outsmart anyone in her path. With a new teammate in Agent Theriot, the pair seems like an unstoppable duo.
This is a great book that will keep readers interested from the very first page. The agents always have tough and dangerous work to do. It feels like there is danger around every corner. Tackling, gunslinging, and dodging bullets paired with the already dangerous Louisiana bayou compounds the hazard. This builds the excitement level and keeps things interesting. There is hardly a dull moment. All of these things make the book a real page-turner with the makings of an action movie. I did notice a few (very few) errors in the book. Over all, though, it was very well-written, exciting, and an enjoyable read.
Readers will likely notice the good vs. evil sort of theme that is prominent in age old tales present in Atchafalaya. Our hero figures are met early in the book as they are fighting the forces of evil from the jump. We are thrown into the good guys fighting the bad, and the bad fighting back. The main characters are likeable, and there are corrupt, menacing characters that readers will love to hate. It doesn’t hurt that the agents are smart, capable, tough, and charismatic.
I also love the use of local color in the book. I can just see the store called T-Bob’s Grocery that is frequently mentioned. The language of the Louisiana natives, as well as their customs and cuisine are present throughout the book. Hawk shops for crawfish and shrimp boudin in the store, helping to bring that undeniable Louisiana basin feel.
Riley made a fan of me. I really enjoyed getting to know the characters, and would love to see where they go from here. I enjoyed Riley’s writing style and the southern influence that crept in. I highly recommend it.
Pages: 209 | ASIN: B084SPW5G6
Murder at First Pitch by Nicole Asselin is a story about a woman named Madeline Boucher who loves baseball based on early memories from her grandfather. Unfortunately, Madeline loses her job and has to figure out different options. Joining in on the family business as the new social media director for their baseball business, Madeline witnesses a horrible fight between her brother and another man who she has never met. A few days later, the body of this man is found when Madeline is walking through the park in the early morning.
Murder at First Pitch is a suspenseful read with a steady pace that keeps you consistently engaged. Just from the title, you know that you are in for a mystery. Readers get to know Madeline and who she is. Character development hit the mark and I felt like I could connect with her character. We all want to have the best career and sometimes the choices we’re given are not great. However, this new job is something that she has wanted to do for most of her life. Madeline is in a constant swirl of emotion. There is no time for a rest in her situation and you can feel that.
Nicole Asselin pays close attention to detail as she writes sharp, believable, dialogue. Asselin brings readers into the world of baseball but not hitting you over the head with it.
To anyone who reads this book, pay very close attention to all the clues. Some clues are subtle and slipped bast me. I was even trying to figure out some of the clues to solve the mystery. Asselin never gives anything away.
Readers looking for an absorbing mystery story won’t be disappointed. If you enjoy baseball then you’ll have an added bonus of baseball nostalgia flavoring the story, but don’t worry if you’re not a fan, the mystery is more than enough.
Pages: 188 | ASIN: B07TDGL668
The Perfect Sister follows a woman desperately trying to uncover the truth after her sister is killed and the suspected murderer may be innocent. What was the inspiration for the setup to this thrilling novel?
The novel takes place in my hometown of Rochester, NY and is based upon a true event involving a corrupt group of men who tried to gain a political monopoly over the city in 1904. I not only had easy access to the research, but the setting is in my back yard.
Katherine is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some ideas that guided her character development?
I wrote many of my books during a difficult marriage. They were my therapy. I could easily relate to her timid, browbeaten character while her father, in essence, represented my spouse’s behavior. Finding the strength within oneself is especially difficult when someone close to you is constantly critical.
I enjoyed the mystery at the heart of this novel. Did you plan it before writing or did it develop organically while writing?
With all my novels, I gather research around a true event, then begin building the plot as I go. It’s mostly the characters that move the story along as it depends upon how they would react in each scene or given situation and what they would do next.
What is the next novel that you are working on and when will it be available?
I have completed seven novels with the fifth one releasing in March 2020. The others available on Amazon and those forthcoming consist of medieval, western, suspense, thriller, and two murder mysteries.
After a beautiful socialite is murdered, her timid spinster sister must shed her fears and play a deadly game with corrupt politicians to prove the killer’s innocence. Rochester, New York 1904.
Katherine Mansford knows her father wishes she had died instead of her sister. She wishes that too. Lorraine was perfect…beautiful, sophisticated and engaged to a prominent lawyer. But she told Katherine a secret before her death, one that forces her to do the unthinkable…lie to her father and the sheriff.
On the day of the funeral, Katherine escapes to her secluded cabin down the beach only to discover Michael Johnston, the accused killer – her sister’s lover – hiding there. He insists he’s innocent and she begins to doubt his guilt; and her sister’s innocence.
As Katherine ventures on her own to seek the truth about Lorraine, she and Michael are dragged into a dangerous and vicious plot against her father and the city.
The events in room 201 of the Red Cove Travel Inn, in Fleetham, were about to turn the small, sleepy, Texas town into a hotbed of police activity. When local prostitute, Tessie Johanan, is found brutally murdered, it leaves Sheriff Robert Binder and Detective Alison Chaney with a gruesome mystery to solve. With no obvious motive, scarcely any clues, and even few suspects, criminal profiler Aaron Duncan is called in to help identify the killer. As all the evidence begins to build against him, “Little Sammy” soon finds himself under close scrutiny. Being intellectually disabled and the town’s drunk, Sammy has little going for him by way of defense. Did ‘Little Sammy’ kill Tessie in a drunken stupor? Or are the police holding the wrong man?
This is the fourth book in the Warramunga series. We follow ex-army officer Jamie Munro, and his friend Jack O’Brien aka Jacko, an intelligent half aborigine as they go on a critical operation in Yangtze. Jamie Munro is his usual self. He is skilled, has a sharp eye and always ready to take risks. Jacko, on the other hand, is good at drawing plans and strategizing. The pair leads others as they head out to investigate and help stop an opium smuggling operation that is taking place around the Yangtze River.
The journey towards Yangtze River is risky. Not everyone supports Munro’s mission and this calls for attacks from criminals and other bad guys. Their junk boat gets attacked by bandits, the team gets shot at, and they sustain injuries and endure all forms or threats. Their grief does not end there as they encounter hostile people who constantly torment and harm them. They also come into contact with environmental hazards that slow their operations. Being the men they are, the two forge on with vigor. I like how they cooperated to finish set goals even when there were so many obstacles ahead of them.
Greg Kater is a deftly draws draws his characters, especially Jacko and Munro. It is great seeing how Jack can spot Munro’s weaknesses and vice versa. There can never be a Jamie Munro without Jacko. Colonel Cook was another great character. The man was not in action all the time but his wit and tactics came in handy. I enjoyed his conversations and loved every minute he held meetings with his people. Having Colonel Cook in charge meant that everyone was in capable hands.
Greg Kater has written an exciting military thriller that is packed with drama, intense action, perilous adventure, and peppered with some wild scenes. The plot thickens with every new move the main characters take. Reading Conflict on the Yangtze gives one the impression of being part of the action. I love the compelling the plot and the twists that kept me guessing. Fans of military action adventure stories will find plenty to love.
Pages: 362 | ASIN: B07TXR4MSF
The Perfect Sister by Gail Meath is the story of a young woman who desperately wants to protect the reputation and dignity of the sister she has recently lost to murder. Katherine wants to keep her secrets secret while figuring out the details of the crime. She gets swept up and is determined to prove the innocence of the man everyone else thinks is guilty.
Meath writes in a way that makes Katherine’s predicament relatable. She is devastated over the loss of her sister, but her father doesn’t make things better. She knows she was not her father’s favorite. She knows that her father would rather have lost her than her sister. She is made to feel deeply flawed and imperfect in comparison to Lorraine. Katherine knows her sister was a wonderful person, but she also knows that she wasn’t perfect and had things to hide.
Meath also gives us insight to a man who is presumed guilty instead of innocent. Michael plays an opposite role to the man Lorraine was to be married off to. Michael has worked hard to keep and grow his family farm. He definitely doesn’t fit into the affluent crowd that the sisters run with. None of this diminishes his character, but it makes him an easy target for the wealthy to pin sins on.
I think that everyone can relate to these characters in one way or another because everyone knows what loss feels like and what it feels like to be viewed as “less than”. Meath’s well-developed characters and fascinating plot will reel readers in from the very first page. I can’t relate to being rich. I can’t relate to being involved somehow in a murder. I can, however, relate to the farm life. I think there is some facet that virtually everyone can relate to within these pages.
The time period makes the story even more fascinating for me. It is set in 1904. Life was so different. Modern forensics would have likely exonerated Michael almost immediately. They didn’t have that luxury. They wouldn’t just believe his word either because of his social status. These things set the scene for a story that is even more mysterious and daunting.
Meath writes in a way that lures you in. The Perfect Sister is a real page-turner from the jump. The characters are so interesting, and the story is complex. Meath weaves together a story that is multi-layered without muddying the plot. I’d love to read more about these characters in different books.
Pages: 326 | ASIN: B07ZZHTCBX
Can you guess who murders who in this intense psychological thriller that includes romance, sex, and infidelity? In the small peaceful town of Riverpark, N.J., can Police Chief Art Bleier and Sergeant Sid Serble solve the first murder ever committed in their jurisdiction with no forensics evidence found. There’s many interesting characters in the book and each one has their own story. You will laugh and you will cry as you get to know each one personally. The close friendships between the main characters starts in high school where (3) couples find love and romance, but eventually part after graduation to embark on their own journeys into adulthood. Two leave Riverpark, only to eventually return and find new love with a different member of their once very close group. Who in the group feels compelled to murder one of their own? It’s a mystery that is not revealed until later in the book. The suspense builds as the gruesome murder is committed and shocks the community and the entire nation as well. The explosive conclusion of the story will leave the readers surprised, saddened, and emotionally spent.
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