Monday, June 15, 2015

The Burnt Island Burial Ground by Mindy Quigley | Blog Tour with Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway

The Blurb

“We hid the body. The money belonged to everyone, but we stole it for ourselves. You have to help me give it back before it’s too late. If I don’t stop this, that money’s gonna drag us all straight down to hell.”

With these words, whispered to hospital chaplain Lindsay Harding as part of a cryptic confession, the stage is set for another intricately-plotted Mount Moriah mystery. All signs point to a murder, but no one can find any trace of a body. Lindsay’s sure that not all is as it seems, but she’ll need true grit and quick wit to follow a trail back through history to Burnt Island, a remote patch of North Carolina swampland.

Lindsay’s task is complicated by the shifting landscape of her personal life. After pre-wedding jitters jeopardize a relationship that seemed destined to be her best shot at happily-ever-after, Lindsay falls under the spell of a charming stranger. Whether she gets another chance at love will depend on following her heart… and on whether she can keep that heart beating long enough to unlock the mystery of Burnt Island.

The Burnt Island Burial Ground by Mindy Quigley
Series: A Lindsay Harding Mystery, #3
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Little Spot for Stories
Publication Date: June 11, 2015
eBook File Size: 2601 KB
Print Length: 231 pages
(Paperback available, June 2015)


The Review

I read an amazing book recently, y'all — The Burnt Island Burial Ground by Mindy Quigley. Let me tell you a little about it.

The Burnt Island Burial Ground is the third book in the Lindsay Harding Mystery series, following Murder in Mount Moriah (#1) and A Death in Duck (#2). 

Note: The Burnt Island Burial Ground has enough backstory in it to be read as a stand-alone — however, if you also intend to read books one and two, I urge you to read the books in order. By reading them out of order, you are creating spoilers for yourself when you read the earlier books.

Lindsay Harding is a chaplain at Mount Moriah Medical Center, Mount Moriah, NC, where she has worked for the past four years. Mount Moriah is located in the Piedmont region of North Carolina. 

I learned a lot about chaplains in The Burnt Island Burial Ground. In fact, I was surprised to learn how extensive a hospital chaplain's job is. Lindsay and the other chaplains routinely do such duties as offering comfort after motor vehicle accidents to the "injured patients, anxious families, and traumatized first responders," by being (or seeming to be) "a serene presence amidst the whirlwind of tragedy." Because "the demands of patient care could be overwhelming," chaplains are "to see that the hospital's staff didn't burn out under the emotional strain."
I really like Author Mindy Quigley's way with words, for example, in this mini-excerpt from the beginning of The Burnt Island Burial Ground:
Mount  Moriah Medical Center's chapel, a small interior room on the ground floor of the hospital, had been redecorated a few years earlier to transform it from an overtly Christian worship space into someone's idea of "interfaith," which, in this case, meant that the large wooden cross that formerly stood against the wall next to the pulpit had been replaced by a series of ill-conceived, wall-mounted quilts. The hangings were alleged to depict the sun and moon locked in an embrace, embodying, according to a small explanatory plaque, the themes of Hope and Peace. It was never entirely clear why Peace looked almost exactly like an angry pig dancing with an enormous banana. 
As another example, I love the different word pictures that Mindy Quigley paints as she describes Lindsay's hair. Lindsay seems to have a bad hair day almost every day. This makes it difficult to control her hair, which is described In the series in such ways as a blonde afro and a wild mane, and as making her "look like an alpaca in need of shearing."

Here is some more humor from Author Mindy Quigley, in a quote from one of Lindsay's friends. [Who? you may be asking? READ THE BOOK!]
"Enough about death. I'm proud of Lindsay for the work she does, but if you ask me, she's too gloomy for such a young person. Hell, even if she were as ancient as I am, she'd still be too damn gloomy. I forbid the mentioning of death when I'm around. Since I'm the reason for this whole operation, from now on I vote we stick to my approved topics: men, liquor, and men."
Lindsay still bears the scars of her lonely childhood with an emotionally-distant great-aunt, and of nearly being killed twice, which is detailed in books 1 and 2. The second narrow escape is starting to take its toll on her, by way of panic attacks. Despite it all, Lindsay still manages to reach out to strangers who are hurting and in need, befriend them, and run to their rescue without regard for herself. She may be a little foolhardy at times, but she's oh-so-loyal to her friends. Yes, I like Lindsay — a lot. 

Oh, and Author Mindy Quigley puts Lindsay in another life-or-death situation in The Burnt Island Burial Ground. Thinking that she's doomed, Lindsay prays — that her body be found quickly, and that her friends and loved ones be taken care of and find happiness. It's not Lindsay's time to go, though, because a most unexpected but very welcomed rescuer appears. This is a great climax! [And no, that's not a spoiler about the rescuer. It's the Lindsay Harding Mystery series  — of course Lindsay survives!] I love the ending! Here's the last sentence: 
"You, Lindsay Harding, are an unforgettable firebrand."
I really enjoyed The Burnt Island Burial Ground by Mindy Quigley, and recommend it to all fans of cozy mysteries, especially those who like spunky, sassy, strong, Southern heroinesThe Burnt Island Burial Ground has earned the top rating of Five Kitties! 

Five out of five kitties
 Note:  I received a complimentary copy of The Burnt Island Burial Ground in exchange for my honest review. 
All opinions shared are 100% my own.

Follow the tour, to read other reviews, plus Guest Posts and an Author Interview!

Click here to read an EXCERPT of The Burnt Island Burial Ground on Mindy Quigley's website.

The Guest Post

Of Fish and Bicycles

“A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.” – quote attributed to Gloria Steinem

You may be wondering why I, a writer of light-hearted cozy mysteries, would begin a blog post using a quote from Gloria Steinem, a hard-hitting feminist intellectual and writer of much-lauded essays. Let’s face it. Cozy mysteries are not known for being full of firebrand feminism. Many cozies are obsessed with shopping, primping, and traditionally female domains, like yarn shops and cute cafes. Yes, they often feature strong, gutsy heroines, but these same women are often “rescued” — both literally and figuratively — by a male character, usually a P.I. or policeman. Often, a cozy heroine spends the series cycling back and forth between two love interests: a bad boy and a safer, more solid choice.

On the surface, my books follow this model of romance. My heroine, small-town hospital chaplain Lindsay Harding, has a disastrous history with men, but, at the end of the first book, she is safely in the arms of her cop boyfriend, Warren. A rival for her affections is introduced briefly in the second book, and romantic tension comes to the fore in book three. That book, The Burnt Island Burial Ground, ends without completely resolving the question of Lindsay’s relationships, and I’ve had many readers ask, “So, who’s she going to end up with?”

Now, I’m delighted — over the moon, in fact — that readers care enough about Lindsay and the other characters to be anxious to know which suitor will be her happily-ever-after hero. The natural expectation is that once that question is resolved, the series will have reached a satisfactory conclusion. But really, that’s never been what Lindsay’s relationships are about for me. And, since I invented Lindsay, I think I can answer on her behalf: she doesn’t think marriage is the be-all, end-all destiny of every fulfilled woman. After all, can any of us married folk say that the important questions in our lives — who we are, why we’re here, what we’re going to do with our time on Earth — were answered once and for all the moment we got hitched? Or that marriage itself doesn’t affect our ongoing quest to find answers?

Maybe there are some women out there who believe their stories stopped the moment they said their vows. Maybe those women have spent the ensuing, post-nuptial years like Cinderella, in the arms of their beloveds, happily waving from their balconies, all their worldly cares behind them. Good for them.

But I don’t think that’s the case for any woman this side of Disneyland. (And I mean old-school Disney movies, by the way, not the newer incarnations which paint a more complex portrait of women’s romantic lives). And certainly for Lindsay Harding, whose terrible childhood left many scars on her psyche, it seems unrealistic that any man could provide a storybook ending that sweeps away all her insecurities and self-destructive tendencies. I certainly wouldn’t want to be the guy who’s expected to solve all of a troubled woman’s deep-seated problems, especially not with the tools available to most storybook heroes — a strong pair of arms and nuclear levels of manliness.

So who does she end up with? Spoiler alert: The arc of Lindsay’s life is about her figuring herself out and finding contentment. When Lindsay feels safe in her own arms, that will be her happily ever after.

The Author

About Mindy Quigley

Historian by training, globe-trotting university project manager by necessity, and fiction writer by the skin of her teeth, Mindy Quigley has had a colorful career.

She has won a number of awards for her short stories, including the 2013 Bloody Scotland prize. Her non-fiction writing includes an academic article co-authored with the researcher who created Dolly the Sheep. More recently, she was project manager of the Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic, a research clinic founded in Scotland by the author J.K. Rowling. Her work as the coordinator of a pastoral services program at the Duke University Medical Center provided the inspiration for her bestselling Reverend Lindsay Harding mystery series.

She lives in Blacksburg, Virginia, USA, with her Civil War history professor husband, their daughter, and their miniature Schnauzer.

Find her on the web at

The Giveaway

Mindy will award one set of the Lindsay Harding Mystery Series (3 paperback books)
and five Audio Editions of A Murder in Mount Moriah (Book #1)
to six randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour.

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