Wednesday, November 15, 2017

A Fatal Collection by Mary Ellen Hughes | Blog Tour with Guest Post and Giveaway

A Fatal Collection by Mary Ellen Hughes
Series: A Keepsake Cove Mystery, #1
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Publication Date: November 8, 2017
Publisher: Midnight Ink
Paperback: 264 pages
ISBN-10: 0738752193
ISBN-13: 978-0738752198
E-Book File Size: 2652 KB

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The Blurb

A reunion with Aunt Melodie is music to Callie's ears. But her visit falls flat when Melodie is murdered. 

Callie Reed makes a long overdue visit to her aunt Melodie, who lives in a fairy-tale cottage in quaint Keepsake Cove, home to a bevy of unique collectible shops on Maryland's Eastern Shore. Just as they're beginning to reconnect, Callie discovers her aunt's body on the floor of her music box shop. Grief-stricken, Callie finds she can't accept Melodie's death being called accidental. How could her strong and healthy aunt take such a fatal fall? And why was she there in the middle of the night?

As Callie searches for the truth, signs seem to come from her late aunt through a favorite music box, urging Callie on. Or are they warnings? If Callie isn't careful, she could meet a similar deadly fate amid Melodie's collection.

Blogger's Note:

I really enjoyed A Fatal Collection, y'all. I think you will, also! Stay tuned for my Four-Kitty Review.

The Guest Post

About My Book Settings

As any reader and fiction writer knows, the setting of a story matters. It “sets” the tone of the book in a big way. A mystery set in a western U.S. town will be very different from one set in, say, Boston. So how did I pick the settings for my mysteries.

For my very first mystery, Resort to Murder, I went for the familiar — my home state of Maryland.  I sent my protagonist, Maggie, off on vacation in the Catoctin mountains of western Maryland — a place I could describe and felt very comfortable in. Maggie, unfortunately, wasn’t comfortable for very long. Although the mountain resort she’d booked a room in was lovely, she stumbled across a body on her first visit to the tennis courts. Bummer. But that’s how things go in a mystery.

In A Taste of Death, Maggie went to New Hampshire, a state I haven’t actually visited, though I’ve been to its neighbor, Vermont. Maggie spent her time in New Hampshire at a ski resort, the kind of place I have gone to often enough that describing the atmosphere was a piece of cake, as was coming up with plot points that might only happen in a snowy area. During Maggie’s visit to a town meeting on her first day, there, a man was poisoned. Way to start a vacation, right?

For my next series — the Craft Corner Mysteries — I returned to Maryland but created a fictional town in the southern part. No mountains, but plenty of lovely people interested in arts and crafts which my protagonist, Jo, taught in her shop after losing her husband in a terrible accident.

I enjoyed creating Abbotsville, which combined various aspects of a few towns I’d visited. But of greater importance were the people I put into it. They behaved much as I believed the people in southern Maryland would have, except possibly, for the murders. One stabbed a clown, another electrocuted a developer, and a third poisoned a craft fair vendor. Oh, well, what can you do?

I decided on a change for my next series — the Pickled and Preserved mysteries — and headed to upstate New York, which also gave Marylanders a bit of a respite. Piper opened her pickling shop in a small town surrounded by farm country, very much like what I saw on visits to the area. Her aunt and uncle grew vegetables and fruits that Piper turned into watermelon pickles, brandied cherries and more.

Everything was delicious — until people started getting murdered. But at least the reader could enjoy the sight of feathery dill crops and savor the scents coming from the Christmas tree farm owned by Piper’s boyfriend, Will.

For my latest series — the Keepsake Cove mysteries — I decided to come back to Maryland, but this time to the Eastern Shore. Notice that it’s capitalized? That’s how natives of that part of Maryland want it, since for many years, before the amazing bridge was built over the Chesapeake Bay and made travel easier to that part of the state, the Eastern Shore developed its own culture and an economy based greatly on the fishing industry, including crabs and oysters.

Quaint towns sprang up over the years, and I modeled Mapleton on several of them. But I gave Mapleton a unique section called Keepsake Cove. This section is made up of dozens of shops that each sell a particular kind of collectible: Vintage jewelry, collectible kitchen or sewing items, toys, and my protagonist’s shop — unique music boxes.

The “Cove” as its residents refer to it, has its own, nearby watery cove, similar to many formed from the myriad rivers and creeks running through the Eastern Shore, and its shops have a Dickensian look to them. The streets are decorated beautifully for the seasons, which draws even more collectors as well as tourists who stop by on their way to and from Maryland’s ocean beach. All in all, a very pleasant setting for a book, to my mind.

Pleasant, that is, until someone gets murdered. But then, you expected that, didn’t you?

The Author

About Mary Ellen Hughes

Mary Ellen Hughes is the bestselling author of the Pickled and Preserved Mysteries (Penguin), the Craft Corner Mysteries, and the Maggie Olenski Mysteries, along with several short stories. A Fatal Collection is her debut with Midnight Ink. 

A Wisconsin native, she has lived most of her adult life in Maryland, where she’s set many of her stories. 

            Find Mary Ellen Hughes on the web at

The Giveaway

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


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November 8 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW

November 9 – Island Confidential – INTERVIEW

November 9 – Books,Dreams, Life – SPOTLIGHT

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November 11 – A Blue Million Books - GUEST POST

November 11 – Bookworm Cafe – REVIEW

November 12 – The Power of Words – REVIEW

November 12 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews - REVIEW, INTERVIEW

November 13 – Bea's Book Nook – REVIEW

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November 14 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 15 – Socrates' Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 15 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST

November 16 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW

November 16 – The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW

November 17 – That's What She's Reading – REVIEW

November 17 – Valerie's Musings – REVIEW

November 17 – My Reading Journeys - REVIEW, INTERVIEW

November 18 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

November 18 – Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers – SPOTLIGHT

November 19 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW

November 20 – Melina's Book Blog – REVIEW

November 20 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 21 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

November 21 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW

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