Friday, July 29, 2022

The Friday Night Mystery Club by Joanna Campbell Slan | Blog Tour with Character Guest Post, Excerpt, and Giveaway


The Friday Night Mystery Club (Friday Night Mystery Club Series) by Joanna Campbell Slan

About The Friday Night Mystery Club


The Friday Night Mystery Club (Friday Night Mystery Club Series)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting - Illinois
Spot On Publishing (September 18, 2021)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 346 pages
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 979-8469766247
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09FFQ5YQB

Decatur, Illinois/1986 - A nasty divorce leaves Cragan Collins with a mountain of bills and her grandmother to support. She takes a job as an ad salesperson for The Gazette. The market is tough, but Cragan finds a mentor in business reporter, Robert Smithson. One icy January day, Robert is found dead in a city park. His murder is dismissed as gay-on-gay crime. Cragan asks The Friday Night Mystery Club to find justice for Robert. Will Cragan's quest for the truth land her on the obituary page?

About the Character Guest Post

The Power of a Good Book 

Written by Cragan Collins, Member of the Friday Night Mystery Club
(aka  Joanna Campbell Slan)

I didn’t know even one of my housemates when I moved into 512 Green Street. As a matter of fact, I’d never lived alone before. I’d gone from home to a dorm to marrying Tim Collins. Like me, Tim was a journalism major. Unlike me, he was already a hot commodity by the time we graduated from college. Tim has that sort of All-American-boy good looks that TV cameras just love. Since he’s a former athlete himself, he speaks with tons of authority. After an internship in the campus TV station, he was scouted by WKRX in Decatur, Illinois. We got married the week after we graduated and immediately rented a nice, brand-new apartment in the same town as Tim’s new job.

Since then, I’d gotten a real education. I learned that my husband was a spend-a-holic who couldn’t control his credit card purchases. I also found out that Tim was cheating on me with… a man. Maybe I could have coped with one of those problems, but two of them? Coming like a double whammy, I filed for divorce. I left our marriage with a single bed, a round oak table and four chairs, and a hunk of burning credit card debt. Rather than drag out my fight with Tim, I decided I’d pay for half of what he’d run up on his Mastercard. Such was the price of freedom.

To keep food on my table and a roof over my head, I found a job selling newspaper advertising. When I saw the classified ad renting an apartment in an older Craftsman-style house that had been divided into a quadruplex, I grabbed my car keys and did a drive-by. I instantly fell in love with the neighborhood, an older area with tons of mature trees and shrubs. A quick tour of the ground-floor apartment followed. I signed the lease then and there.

There is a lot to love about my new life. Selling display ads means I’m out and about every day, calling on customers all around town. Yes, I worry about paying off the debt Tim accumulated, but I’m frugal by nature. Most worrisome of all is the occasional loneliness that threatens to overwhelm me. But there, too, I have had a streak of good luck. I was coming back from the public library with a stack of books when I bumped into Pru Davis, one of my housemates. Pru took one look at the titles I carried and struck up a conversation. We were chatting about mysteries when Zee Johnson stepped out of her place, right across the hall from my apartment. Zee heard the word “mysteries” and joined us in discussing her favorite authors. Suddenly two sets of footsteps echoed down the staircase. We were joined by Rosie Sanchez and her ten-year-old son, Julio. A short conversation later, we discovered none of us had dates for Friday night, and we’d all planned to curl up with a good book. 

Thus began the Friday Night Mystery Club. Sure, I felt lonely upon ending my marriage to Tim. But after moving to 512 Green Street and getting to know my neighbors, my life changed immeasurably for the good.

That’s the power of a good book! 

About the Excerpt

Sadness turned to anger. Who had killed him? And why? Was it because he was gay? Or was it because of his job? I knew that Robert had gotten death threats before. He was a hard-hitting investigative reporter and his beat was area businesses. His work had uncovered fraud, malfeasance, misconduct, and mistreatment of employees. No one wanted to answer the phone when Robert Smithson called.

About Joanna Campbell Slan

Joanna is a New York Times Bestselling, USA Today Bestselling, and Amazon Bestselling author as well as a woman prone to frequent bursts of crafting frenzy, leaving her with burns from her hot glue gun and paint on her clothes. And the mess? Let’s not even go there.

Otherwise, Joanna’s a productive author with more than 80 written projects to her credit. Her non-fiction work includes how to books, a college textbook for public speakers, and books of personal essays (think Chicken Soup for the Soul).

Currently, she writes six fiction series: The Kiki Lowenstein Mystery Series (Agatha Award Finalist, contemporary, St. Louis setting, crafting), the Cara Mia Delgatto Mystery Series (contemporary, Florida setting, DIY and recycling), the Jane Eyre Chronicles (Daphne du Maurier Award Winner, 1830s England, based on Charlotte Brontë’s classic), the Sherlock Holmes Fantasy Thrillers (late 1800s, based on Arthur Conan Doyle’s books), the Tai Chi Mystery Series (featuring a mature female amateur sleuth!) and the Friday Night Mystery Series (set in Decatur, IL in 1986 with a spunky female heroine.)

A former TV talk show host, college teacher, and public relations specialist, Joanna was one of the early Chicken Soup for the Soul contributors. She won a Silver Anvil for her work on the original FarmAid concert to benefit farmers.

In her ongoing quest never to see snow again, Joanna lives with her husband and their Havanese puppy, Jax, on an island off the coast of Florida. You can email her at or visit her website at

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