Thursday, 15 November 2018

The Secluded Village Murders by Shelly Frome - Blog Tour, Extract & Guest Book Review

Publication Date:  1 September 2018
Genre:  English Cozy Mystery

Written in the style of a classic English Mystery with a contemporary young American woman as the amateur sleuth. Entertaining. Keeps you guessing until the end.
From a small secluded village in Connecticut to the English Countryside, readers are taken on a roller coaster of events and quirky characters as amateur sleuth Emily Ryder tries to solve a murder that everyone thinks was an accident.
For tour guide Emily Ryder, the turning point came on that fatal early morning when her beloved mentor met an untimely death. It’s labeled as an accident and Trooper Dave Roberts is more interested in Emily than in any suspicions over Chris Cooper’s death. For Emily, if Chris hadn’t been the Village Planner and the only man standing in the way of the development of an apartment and entertainment complex in their quaint village of Lydfield, Connecticut, she might have believed it was an accident, but too many pieces didn’t fit.
As Emily heads across the pond for a prescheduled tour of Lydfield’s sister village, Lydfield-in-the-Moor… she discovers that the murderer may be closer than she thought.
Note: This book is a  totally revamped version of “The Twinning Murders” with a different publisher.  It is quite different from ‘The Twinning Murders’.  You should enjoy this book even more!  


Every winter, when the snow starts falling and the nights get longer, I like to shift my reading attention to mysteries. In particular, mysteries that I stumble upon because I find that I enjoy the story more if I don't know what's coming.
'Secluded Village Murders' by Shelly Frome is about a woman named Emily who works as a tour guide in a small, quaint New England town. One rainy day as Emily is driving, she witnesses a man fall off of a roof to his death. The man turns out to be her friend and mentor, Cooper. As the only witness to the fall, Emily believes that there is more to the story than just an old man losing his footing and begins her own investigation. She believes that Cooper was murdered.
Mysteries that take place in a small town (especially ones with a B&B) and that don't involve a lot of bloodshed, often fall into a genre called 'Cozy Mysteries.' Mysteries where everything is easy and nice and the reader knows that it will have a good pay off in the end. But, in this case I honestly can't say that this book falls into that category despite having all the markers for it.
Emily's desperation to get to the truth and strength of character provided a more serious and compelling story for me than most Cozy Mysteries usually do. As I read along, I really wanted her to be proven right and make her case and I kept guessing as to how the ending was going to play out. All the stars for this great book. I hope I get to read more by the Shelly Frome soon. I want to see what other twists and turns he has in store!

Just then, Oliver  returned with a new  stick. Just as
quickly, the man yanked it out of Oliver’s mouth and
pitched it out of sight. The fog hung a tad lower, cloaking
everything in the near distance. Clueless, Oliver took off,
this time heading south toward the far reaches of the
meadow where the ground sloped down again, falling
away to the Village Green.
The point man’s eyes hardened as more droplets ran
down his face. “Look, I appreciate how you’re jerking me
around and how you don’t back down even though we’re
alone up here. So seeing you’re about to go futzing off to
England and we’re both pressed for time, how about
getting off it while I maybe do something for you?”
Oliver returned stick-less as the drizzle picked up.
Tired of this game, Emily said, “Okay, mister, let’s have it.”
“Okay. We’re talking here about ratcheting the grand list—
lower taxes, new fire trucks, snow plows, and all the
infrastructure la-di-da. So talk to me. Give me the skinny
on this Cooper guy before things get outta hand.”
Getting testier by the minute, Emily gave him nothing.
“What do you think, I got nothing better to do? Here, you
want my card? Will that do it for you?” He no sooner
reached for his wallet when a cell phone jangled. He put
the wallet away, pulled his cell out of his outer pocket, and
turned his back.
The man’s raspy voice cut off the protests at the other end.
“Okay, okay, I hear you. Yeah, yeah, I’ll take care of it. I
set it up, didn’t I?”
Muffling his voice, he walked further away. The only
other words Emily could make out were, “All right, already. I
gotcha. Right away.”
“Great reception up here,” he said, returning. “Another plus.
Think about it. A hundred and twenty townhouses that
can’t miss no matter what. Toss in a clubhouse, pools,
recreation facilities, and whatever.” Fumbling inside his
raincoat, he pulled out a brochure. “Twenty-two exterior
looks, and that’s for openers. They got lawyers, experts,
and an eye to grab up enough land to keep ’em going for
the next twenty years.”
“I’m still waiting for an answer. What exactly are you up to?”
His cocky grin slid away. “Well, I ain’t waiting no more.”
With that, he turned on his heels and scurried across the
waist-high grass that could accommodate anything the  
GDC could come up with.
“Hold it,” Emily said.
“Look, I’m under the gun, gotta step on it. Besides, I’ve had
it up to here with the wet and the turkeys and the attitude.
Enough already.”
“And what’s your name anyway?”
The raspy voice called back as it tailed off in the gauzy
whiteness. “Doc! Okay? Just make it Doc!”
Emily held still. As her old soccer coach used to point out,
one of her failings was confusing motion with action. But
how could she ignore his threatening words in that harsh,
Lower East Side tone? Before I make my move . . . things
get out of hand . . . I’ll take care of it right away . . . I set it
up, didn’t I?
There was something else, come to think of it. A few days ago, when she’d returned from her latest tour, apparently a hot plate had been left on that almost burned down Chris’s greenhouse. Something bothersome about the incident, but she couldn’t put her finger on it. All she knew was that something was wrong.
Emily headed back to the crest of the trail with Oliver in
tow. She worked her way down, dodging the glistening
roots, tightening her hood as the water dripped from the
overarching branches. She reached the bottom just as
Will’s red pickup pulled into the driveway. The second his
lanky form appeared out of the cab, Oliver leaped up and
smeared Will’s Levi’s jacket with his muddy paws, spun
around, and smashed through the hinged flap of the back
As laid-back as ever, even though the rain was pelting his
face, Will said, “What was that all about? On, no, don’t tell
me. Did he take off again?”
Emily ducked under the overhang of the cottage. “Sorry,
I’ve got something I’ve got to look into.”
Will shrugged and ambled over to the B&B. Calling
across the yard, he asked, “Sure you don’t want some hot
coffee and an omelet? I can do it with chili or asparagus.”
At any other time, she would have liked nothing better
than to take a break and find out how his work was going.
She’d only known him for a short while, dropped in for
coffee once or twice, and he couldn’t be that much older,
maybe in his mid-thirties, and you never know. But at this
moment, that was out of the question.

About Shelly FromeSecluded Village Murders by Shelly Frome

Shelly Frome is a member of Mystery Writers of America, a professor of dramatic arts emeritus at the University of Connecticut, a former professional actor, and a writer of crime novels and books on theater and film. He is also the film columnist for Southern Writers Magazine and writes monthly profiles for Gannett Media.
His fiction includes Sun Dance for Andy Horn, Lilac Moon, Twilight of the Drifter, The Twinning MurdersTinseltown Riff, and Murder Run. Among his works of nonfiction are The Actors Studio and texts on the art and craft of screenwriting and writing for the stage. He lives in Black Mountain, North Carolina.

Buy Secluded Village Murders by Shelly Frome

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