Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Guest Blog by Terrie Farley Moran and Review and Giveaway of Caught Read-Handed - July 7, 2015

Please welcome Terrie Farley Moran to The Qwillery. Caught Read-Handed, the 2nd Read Em and Eat Mystery, is published July 7th by Berkley (Prime Crime).

For me, happiness is returning to a place where I feel cheerful and relaxed. While writing the Agatha Award winning cozy mystery Well Read, Then Dead, I was delighted to immerse myself in the daily activities of the Read ’Em and Eat bookstore and café every bit as much as I loved following along as Sassy Cabot unraveled the murder of a beloved book club member.

Thanks to the good folks at Berkley Prime Crime, in Caught Read-Handed, the next book of the cozy series, we are able, once again, to spend time in the wonderful Gulf Coast island community of Fort Myers Beach, Florida.

You remember the Read ’Em and Eat, don’t you? It is a sun-shiny café, just a block or two from the Gulf of Mexico. And it’s a definite reader’s paradise. Two walls are covered with floor to ceiling shelves overflowing with books of every description. The café tables are dedicated to individual writers, with tabletops laminated over pictures and snippets of poetry and prose. Take a seat at Doctor Seuss and spend a moment reading his happy rhymes. Perhaps you would rather take a poetic step back in time by sitting at the Emily Dickinson table? If you stop in for lunch, you might try a Swiss Family Robinson Cheeseburger. Or perhaps a big bowl of Old Man and the Sea chowder. Too much food? You want a snack instead? Try some Miss Marple Scones or a plate of Harper Lee Hush Puppies with honey butter on the side. And don’t forget to order a glass of sweet tea. Refills are free.

Be as loud as you please. Talk and laugh. Those folks huddled in the book corner are a bit noisy themselves so they won’t mind. Today the members of The Mysterious Madams book club are discussing From Doon with Death. It’s the first Inspector Wexford mystery written by Ruth Rendell. The club chose to read it in honor of Miss Rendell’s recent passing.

You know the Read ’Em and Eat is owned by BFFs Sassy Cabot and Bridgy Mayfield, right? Well, they are about to find out that a volunteer in the local library has been murdered in her own hot tub. And the murder affects them in surprising ways, not the least of which is that the main suspect is the brother of Sassy’s former boss and dear friend. Naturally Sassy and Bridgy want to help prevent the injustice of a man being convicted for a crime that they are very sure he did not commit. And you know nothing can stop Sassy when she sets her mind to a task at hand.

At long last it’s time to while away a lovely summer afternoon with a copy of Caught Read-Handed and a tall glass of sweet tea. Enjoy!

Caught Read-Handed
Read Em and Eat Mystery 2
Berkley (Prime Crime), July 7, 2015
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 304 pages

From the national bestselling author of Well Read, Then Dead comes the second mystery featuring Sassy Cabot and Bridgy Mayfield, who bring Fort Myers Beach, Florida, residents plenty of sinful treats and killer reads at their bookstore café, Read ’Em and Eat.

Happy to help her fellow bibliophiles, Sassy visits the local library with book donations for their annual fundraising sale. Unfortunately, the welcoming readers’ haven is in turmoil as an argument erupts between an ornery patron and new staff member, Tanya Lipscombe—also known as “Tanya Trouble.” She may lack people skills, but everyone is shocked when she’s later found murdered in her own hot tub.

The man last seen arguing with Tanya is soon arrested. But Alan Mersky, a veteran with PTSD, happens to be the brother of Sassy’s former boss—and he’s no murderer. Now it’s up to Sassy and Bridgy to clear Alan’s name and make sure the real killer gets booked.

Includes a recipe for Miss Marple scones!

Jennifer's Review

Caught Read-Handed is the second novel in the Read ‘Em and Eat Mystery series by Terrie Farley Moran. The series follows Sassy Cabot and Bridgy Mayfield, best friends and co-owners of a quaint bookstore café in Fort Myers Beach, Florida. This time around we find Sassy looking into the murder of a flashy and acerbic local socialite, hoping to prove that her former boss’s brother, Alan, a veteran suffering from PTSD, didn’t commit the crime.

Sassy is the book lover of the duo, using her knowledge of literature to decorate the café and keep the bookstore side well stocked, along with running multiple book clubs. She can be impetuous and tenacious when on the trail of a killer. Bridgy is much more refined and laid back, her strong suits are the running of the café, helping their star cook, Miguel, fine tune the menu, and trying to keep her quirky, energetic and overly dramatic, Aunt Ophie, in check. Aunt Ophie is an over-the-top southern belle who brings silliness and love to the girl’s days.

The story is powered greatly by the diverse characters that are introduced throughout the mystery, along with Sassy and Bridgy’s friends, and multiple book club members. On the friend side, we see Cady, Deputy Ryan, and Lieutenant Frank. Cady is an old friend and asset to Sassy’s investigations by giving her information he learns as a local reporter. Deputy Ryan, easy going and fun, also helps Sassy by dropping tidbits her way about the murder. Lieutenant Frank is a new comer to Fort Myers beach. He is strikingly handsome but also very officious and intractable when it comes to police work.

Powering the murder mystery side of things is a host of characters, both residents and visitors to Florida. George Mersky was Sassy’s employer in a previous life, and is someone she admired and stayed in touch with. Sassy contacts him as soon as she discovers that the timid recluse that is accused of murdering “Tanya Trouble” is none other than George’s troubled brother, Alan. Regina, George and Alan’s sister, and O’Mally, George’s strong and protective wife, support Sassy’s efforts to find the real killer. Mark and Owen, veterans themselves, try to help out the homeless vet community and are fond of Alan. Other characters that are introduced in connection with the mystery are Barry, the victim’s smarmy husband, his two grown sons, who had no great affection for their snotty step-mom, Elaine, a sometime tutor to one of the sons, and a sometime waitress at the café, and Goddard Swerling, the shark-like attorney hired to defend Alan. Otto, the churlish wrestler, and Cordelia, the fervent environmentalist are also worth mentioning, as they were neighbors of the deceased and were involved in a contentious lawsuit with her at the time of her murder.

Various members of Sassy’s many book clubs make periodic appearances and add humor and charm to the entire storyline. Most notable are Miss Augusta and her new bestie Blondie, both over 70 years old, full of life and not afraid to speak their minds. Maggie, the serene local yoga instructor and her trendy teenage daughter Holly are not only book club members, but also neighbors of the victim. Old Judge Harcourt is cantankerous and set in his ways, but is a beloved patron of the café, and Jocelyn, the pastor’s abrasive wife, work well as foils to the more likeable of the book club members.

The mystery plot unfolds rather slowly, often taking a backseat to the antics of Aunt Ophie, who has taken a shine to one of the handsome veterans, or the drama surrounding Miguel’s precious kitty and a dangerous anaconda snake that recently took up residence in close proximity to the town. Unlike many other books in this genre, there is no romance in this story. This is something that could change in subsequent installments, since there are three potential love interests, the two handsome cops and the loyal reporter, that are already established in the series. Any of them could make a good match for Sassy, although Lieutenant Frank is my pick for the man who could temper Sassy’s impulsive ways. There are many delicious sounding dishes served up in the cafe, but the only recipe provided is for Miss Marple’s Orange Iced Scones. I am hoping that more will be included in the next novel.


Well Read, Then Dead
Read Em and Eat Mystery 1
Berkley (Prime Crime), August 5, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 304 pages

First in a new series!

Nestled in the barrier islands of Florida’s Gulf Coast, Fort Myers Beach is home to Mary “Sassy” Cabot and Bridget Mayfield—owners of the bookstore caféeacute;, Read ’Em and Eat. But when they’re not dishing about books or serving up scones, Sassy and Bridgy are keeping tabs on hard-boiled murder.

Read ’Em and Eat is known for its delicious breakfast and lunch treats, along with quite a colorful clientele. If it’s not Rowena Gustavson loudly debating the merits of the current book club selection, it’s Miss Augusta Maddox lecturing tourists on rumors of sunken treasure among the islands. It’s no wonder Sassy’s favorite is Delia Batson, a regular at the Emily Dickinson table. Augusta’s cousin and best friend Delia is painfully shy—which makes the news of her murder all the more shocking.

No one is more distraught than Augusta, and Sassy wants to help any way she can. But Augusta doesn’t have time for sympathy. She wants Delia’s killer found—and she’s not taking no for an answer. Now Sassy is on the case, and she’d better act fast before there’s any more trouble in paradise.

Includes a buttermilk pie recipe!

About Terrie

Terrie Farley Moran is the author of Well Read, Then Dead, the first cozy mystery in the Read ’Em and Eat series published by Berkley Prime Crime. She also writes short mystery fiction which has been published in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine and various anthologies, including the Mystery Writers of America anthology Crimes by Moonlight. Her work has been short-listed twice for Best American Mystery Stories. Terrie’s website is www.terriefarleymoran.com, and you can find her blogging amid the grand banter of an eclectic group of writers known as the Women of Mystery, at www.womenofmystery.net.

Website  ~  Facebook  ~  Pinterest

The Giveaway

What:  One entrant will win a Mass Market Paperback copy of Caught Read-Handed by Terrie Farley Moran from the publisher. US ONLY

How:  Log into and follow the directions in the Rafflecopter below. Note that comments are moderated.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a US mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59 PM US Eastern Time on July 15, 2015. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules and duration are subject to change.*

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. What a wonderfully detailed review. It is almost as if, while I was writing this book, you and I sat around on a few Saturday nights with Miss Marple Scones and a pitcher of sweet tea and talked about the latest gossip from the Read 'Em and Eat Cafe and Bookstore. Thank you so much. Terrie

  2. A great series and feature. Thanks for this wonderful giveaway. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  3. Thank you for this opportunity. The book sounds very good!! peggyhyndman(at)att(dot)net

  4. a must-read for me!!
    thank you for the giveaway..........