Of Cats and Cozies.. Guest post & #Giveaway by Toni Lotempio

Most of the mysteries on my bookshelf, I confess, are cozy mysteries.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with the genre, cozies are a subgenre of crime fiction where the crime and the detection takes place in a small town.  Remember the old Murder She Wrote series? That’s a good example of a cozy.  The detectives in such stories are nearly always amateurs (cue JB Fletcher) sometimes retired lawmen or women. The majority of the detectives are of the female persuasion, and often hold jobs that bring them into contact with the other residents of their town.  More often than not they’ll have a contact on the local police force who’ll help them out with a clue or two.
The killers aren’t usually hard boiled serial killer types, and once unmasked, are most often taken into custody with little or no violence. If there is violence, it happens off-screen…no grisly murder scenes depicted in any cozies! Foul language is also kept to a minimum.  The murders are generally members of or related to someone in the town wherein the murder occurs and the motives – greed, jealousy, revenge – often are deep rooted. 
Cozies frequently revolve around a theme – for example, Diane Mott Davidson’s revolves around cooking, Parnell Hall’s around crossword puzzles, Monica Ferris’ needlework…you get the idea.  Animal lovers are also well represented, as well, which brings me to my cozy mystery series, debuting in December from Berkley Prime Crime…..think Jessica Fletcher with a cat and you’ve got it!
My series is the Nick and Nora mystery series.  Nora is Nora Charles, ex-crime reporter turned restaraunt entrepreneur.  She’s returned after a 12 year absence from reporting on crime in Chicago back to her hometown of Cruz, California, to take over her deceased mother’s sandwich shop.  Shortly thereafter, Nora finds a surprise waiting outside her door – a stocky, black and white cat.  She takes the cat in and names him Nick (after Nick Charles, the Thin Man, of course).  She later finds out that the cat did in fact belong to a PI, Nick Atkins, who is currently MIA – she also finds out that Nick has many talents, among them the ability to spell out words with Scrabble tiles – plus, he’s got a nose for scenting out crime.
Here’s the teaser, taken from the back of the book:
Nora Charles doesn’t believe in fate, even if she is a crime reporter who shares a name with a character from The Thin Man. In fact, she’s moving back to Cruz, California, to have a quieter life. But after finding an online magazine eager for material, and a stray cat named Nick with a talent for detection, Nora’s not just reporting crimes again. She’s uncovering them…
Back in her hometown, Nora reconnects with old friends and makes some new ones, like Nick, the charming feline who seems determined to be her cat. But not everything about Cruz is friendly. Writing for a local online magazine, Nora investigates the curious death of socialite Lola Grainger. Though it was deemed an accident, Nora suspects foul play. And it seems that her cat does too. 

Apparently, Nick used to belong to a P.I. who disappeared while investigating Lola Grainger’s death. The coincidence is spooky, but not as spooky as the clues Nick spells out for her with Scrabble letters—clues that lead her down an increasingly dangerous path. Whether fate put her on this case or not, solving it will take all of Nora’s wits, and maybe a few of Nick’s nine lives. 
In Book 2, CLAWS FOR ALARM, Nora’s investigation into the disappearance of Nick’s former owner takes a backseat when her sister is accused of murdering her art professor.  Nora  attempts to clear her sister’s  name (with Nick’s help of course) and finds herself questioning a plethora of suspects. And, of course, complicating things is the homicide detective, who just happens to be a guy from Nora’s past….
And in the most recent, CRIME AND CATNIP, Nick and Nora undertake finding a wealthy woman’s missing niece.  It’s not long before Nora realizes that the girl’s disappearance could also be tied to another interesting MIA, this one closer to home….Nick the cat’s former owner, PI Nick Atkins.
I hope you’ll join Nick and Nora on some of their adventures, but even if a crime solving cat isn’t your cup of tea, I’m sure that there are many other cozies out there that are.  Sample the genre today – I think you’ll be very pleasantly surprised!

Cozy Mystery
Date Published: December 6, 2016 
Publisher: Penguin/Berkley Prime Crime

 photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png

Purchase Links

While catering a gala for the Cruz Museum, Nora Charles agrees to look into the disappearance of director Violet Crenshaw’s niece, a case previously undertaken by her frisky feline friend Nick’s former owner, a private eye whose whereabouts are also currently unknown.

As Nora and her curious cat Nick pull at the string of clues, they begin to unravel a twisted tale of coded messages, theft, false identities, murder, and international espionage. Nora dares to hope that the labyrinth of leads will not only help them locate the missing young woman, but also solve the disappearance of the detective. That’s if Nora can stay alive long enough to find him...

About the Author

While Toni Lotempio does not commit – or solve – murders in real life, she has no trouble doing it on paper. Her lifelong love of mysteries began early on when she was introduced to her first Nancy Drew mystery at age 10 – The Secret in the Old Attic.  She (and ROCCO, albeit he’s uncredited) pen the Nick and Nora mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime – and the just released Cat Rescue Mysteries from Crooked Lane!  The first volume, Purr M for Murder is out now! She, Rocco and company make their home in Clifton, New Jersey, just twenty minutes from the Big Apple – New York. Catch up with them at www.catsbooksmorecats.blogspot.com or at www.tclotempio.net

Contact Links


Reading Addiction Blog Tours

1 comment:


If you are on this blog/site you are certifying that you are 18 years or older or of legal age to view adult content where you live. Though we do host YA books there may be some adult content on this blog as we do host adult books as well. If you are not 18+ (or of legal age where you live) please leave this blog now.

Disclaimer and Disclosures

Please note that you will see some affiliate links around the blog. I am an affiliate of MyMemories.com, The Book Depository, The News in Books and Amazon.com. If you use my links and then purchase from them I will receive a small amount of money.

Also in accordance with the current FTC disclosure rules for bloggers and reviewers, the books you see reviewed on Full Moon Bites are either purchased by us or received from the publisher, author or a book review site such as NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Getting the book for free will NEVER affect our review.

The images you see on this site have been obtained with permission from the author, publisher or were purchased by Full Moon Bites. We do not hold any claim or copyright on them and if you wish them taken down please contact us and it will be removed immediately.

For more information on our disclaimers and disclosures please visit HERE.