What readers are saying about STUCK

Stuck_postit Six months after its publication, here’s a sample of reviews for STUCK, book two of The Penningtons Investigate!

A Life Through Books: “Humor along with mystery and intrigue really make for a wonderfully written and fun to read novel!”

Texas Book Nook: “Fun, addictive, and full of surprises.”

Cyn: “STUCK, the second mystery in The Penningtons Investigate series, is just as wonderful as the first! The professor-sleuths Lyssa and Kyle are well-developed and engaging. The setting is sharply drawn, and the mystery unfolds at a steady pace, with myriad twists and turns to keep you guessing.”

Novel News Network: “A very suspenseful novel.  Definitely fast paced.”

Valerie’s Musings: “I would definitely highly recommend this series to other cozy mystery enthusiasts!”

Erika K: “Lyssa and Kyle are a sweet couple, each with their own strengths, which makes them a good investigative team, and STUCK an enjoyable story.”

The Indie Express: “A Smooth moving plot with a mystery that kept me flipping pages to the very end. Great Suspense and Mystery. Definitely kept me guessing.”

My Reading Addiction: “I loved the balance between the lives and personalities of the characters and the mystery they were dealing with.”

Books Are Love: “A fun mystery that captures you from the beginning and puts you in the story wanting to solve it alongside Lyssa, her husband and friends.”

On a Reading Bender: “Light and Fun, C.T. Collier’s novel STUCK will have readers captivated by her characters.”

Momma and Her Stories: “C.T. Collier does a great job of creating a Mystery that keeps the reader invested and guessing.”

Many thanks to all my readers! I love hearing your feedback and your experience of the Penningtons’ adventures!

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Go Gethsemane! (academic mystery)

Gethsemane Brown has gumption, moxie, and spunk, and she needs all three to solve the Murder in G Major. Alexia Gordon’s debut mystery takes us to the southwest coast of Ireland where Gethsemane, an award-winning musician, is challenged with shaping up the orchestra of a local school in time to win back a coveted trophy. She wouldn’t attempt this impossible job except her dream job, conductor of the Cork Philharmonic, was snatched from her grip by someone’s girlfriend. Can it get any worse? Yes, her temporary home is haunted by the ghost of a famous musician who wants her to find out who murdered him. Only someone like Gethsemane can marshall all the talent at her disposal to win the day. With a few tears and more than a few belts of bourbon, she succeeds against all odds. I love this new heroine and can’t wait for the next Gethsemane Brown Mystery!

The Corpse with the Ruby Lips (academic mystery)

Gosh, I thought I knew every academic mystery author! Imagine my delight when my editor called my attention to Canadian author Cathy Ace and her dual-sleuth academic mystery series. Former police detective, Bud Anderson, and psychology professor, Cait Morgan, solve crimes together in wonderful locations around the globe. Most recent in the series is The Corpse with the Ruby Lips, set in Budapest. Since I visited Budapest just over a year ago, I was happy to start there with the Cait Morgan Mysteries. Any needed background appeared just in time, and I admired the way Ace handled the history and culture of the city as integral to the story. Best of all was the dialogue between Bud and Cait as they problem solve together, disagree with one another, and express their deep caring as a newly married couple. This series is a keeper, and I know I’ll enjoy the locales the books before Budapest.

A Side Order of Murder (academic mystery)

Nancy Skopin’s sixth Nikki Hunter PI mystery, A Side Order of Murder, deals with the deadly results when a physics professor involves a small hand-picked group of students in controversial research. Nikki is hired by one of the students who’s sure his professor’s death was not suicide and who fears someone is also trying to kill him. (Hint: the technology wizardry reminded me of the more recent version of the Manchurian Candidate.) Nikki leads the student on a thrilling race for their lives that combines Outward-Bound pedagogy with old-fashioned do-or-die. Side Order is a lean, fast-paced plot featuring a timid student who grows into a resourceful confident man on Nikki’s watch. While the rest of the series may not be academic, I’ll be reading every book!

Peter Lovesey’s Academic Mysteries

Peter Lovesey has written two academic mysteries, one featuring Peter Diamond, The Last Detective, the other featuring Sergeant Cribb, Swing, Swing Together. In both cases, I marveled at the plot twists, and I enjoyed the ongoing tension generated by the personality of each detective.

What a master Lovesey is of leading the reader to absolute certainty that each suspect in turn must be the killer. I failed to guess the correct identity both times. And that little added mystery concerning each title’s meaning? He reveals it only the end, both times, and it feels like the cherry on top of the hot-fudge sundae.

Full revision underway

Writing mysteries feels like driving a coach with four feisty horses under my reins: my two sleuths, Kyle and Lyssa; the killer; and the victim. Letting each of them have their heads would mean disaster, but they’re the force that propels the story. My job is to keep them working together. No wonder my hands hurt all the time!

notes-for-revisionThis photo shows book two of The Penningtons Investigate, obviously a work in progress. The 20 chapters are drafted, and I’ve just done a critical read-through and chapter-by-chapter analysis, noting flaws, missed opportunities, development of the character arcs (his, hers, and theirs), progress of the investigation, and so on. I didn’t do that for book one, but my wonderful editor did.

I humbly learn with each book.

The plan is to have the full revision in the hands of my wonderful editor and my beta readers by year’s end. I’ll bet your process is different, isn’t it? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Friday Features C. T. Collier Unexpected Discoveries

C.D. Hersh

Friday Features

Welcomes

C. T. Collier

Unexpected Discoveries

Although I love the Internet and enjoy spending hours in a library doing research, there’s no substitute for traveling to a location when the goal is to learn about the values, the land, and the sights and sounds of someone’s home country. I couldn’t write a hero into my book without understanding where he came from, how his thinking differed from mine, what he saw outside his window and on his journey, and why he loved his homeland.

The Penningtons Investigate, my new mystery series, features a sleuthing couple: a luxury-loving Brit, Kyle Pennington, who owns an estate on the north coast of Cornwall and his bride, economics professor Lyssa. To better understand Kyle, I made a trip to Cornwall and the south west of England just before writing the series. My time in Cornwall convinced me Kyle would never make his…

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