Tuesday, August 30, 2016


Joyce Ann Brown

Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Self Published
Paperback: 316 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1533367105

The elevator won’t go to the tenth floor, someone is breaking into condos, and the well-heeled Ukrainian renter isn’t paying the rent. 
Beth and Arnie have retired to the building where Beth’s last rental unit is located, and Beth, the klutzy landlady, has declared herself through solving mysteries. Then, her renter is arrested for the murder of the neighbor who fell (was pushed?) from the tenth-story balcony and the dead neighbor’s grandchildren are left with only their wheelchair-ridden grandmother to care for them. Beth feels compelled to help out. 

Are Sylvester’s psycho-cat behaviors providing clues? 
Is the renter actually the killer? Do the break-ins and elevator problem have anything to do with the murder? 
Even Arnie, who has always told Beth to keep her nose out of police business, gets involved—for the sake of the children.

“Don’t tell me. Let me guess. We stopped on the wrong floor—again.”
Beth’s lanky husband, Arnie, his bottom half inside and his top half outside the elevator, held the Open button with one finger while he twisted his head around his grocery sack to see the number above the door in the hallway. He had pressed 10 in the lobby, and the display read 10, but the number in the hall didn’t match.
“It took us to the eighth floor this time,” Arnie said, “and there’s no one here waiting—again.” He pulled his head back inside and punched the 10, none too gently, his irritation emphasizing the wrinkles on his suntanned forehead.
“This has happened every time.” Beth shifted her bulky grocery bag to the other arm and ran her hand through her undisciplined silver-blond curls. “Don’t you think we’d better tell the management? Darn it, I’m getting tired of this.” She bumped her bag with the arm she jerked down to emphasize her words. “Oops.” Arnie caught and stabilized her load before the groceries could fall all over the elevator floor. “Thanks.”
“Sure.” Her husband took Beth’s habitual klutziness in stride.
“This problem has probably been reported,” Arnie said. “We just moved in. We don’t want to start complaining so soon.”
Beth sighed and leaned her small frame back against the wall to relieve the weight of her package. “But this is inconvenient and…and spooky and…”
She glanced through the opening from her new viewpoint just as the doors were about to snap together. With her free hand, she slapped the Open button, and the doors swooshed aside as if this unruly machine was always obedient to her every command. As if.
“Arnie, look. Something’s going on. Half the people in the building are standing in front of a door down there.” She took a step out into the hallway and crooked an index finger at Arnie.
With a skeptical frown, he followed. “Maybe they’re getting ready for an outing or something. We aren’t invited. It’s none of our business.”
“No, it looks like they’re looking at the door. Let’s go see what’s going on. We can explain we’re new to the building and accidentally got off on the wrong floor.”
“Humph. Here, give me your bag. I’m going on up. You can satisfy your curiosity without getting me involved.”
Beth heard snippets of conversations as she neared the cluster of people. “Something needs to be done.” “I’m having double locks installed.” “One of these times, someone will be home, and then what will happen?”
At the edge of the noisy crowd, Beth sidled up to a young teenaged girl who was holding a phone that emitted a constant series of beeps and chirps. Sending and receiving text messages, Beth decided.  She must be telling the world, or at least her sphere of friends, about whatever was happening.
“What’s going on here?” Beth asked.
The kid, her wavy red hair half over her face, glanced sideways at Beth and then back at her phone. Somehow she kept her thumbs busy punching letters while she answered. “Another lock was picked. That old woman’s apartment got robbed.”

This has all the required elements for a cozy mystery, including characters you will care about and want to read more about, plus one large and in-charge cat.
This book also goes deeper giving us extra mysteries and puzzles to solve. 
The added material goes into political intrigue, family dynamics, deep deception and on a lighter note
visiting grandchildren who often seem wiser than their years.

You can read this and enjoy a quick paced cozy mystery about a clue finding cat or you can take your time and appreciate a well written full fledged mystery novel. Be prepared for your pulse to quicken when you think all is safe!

About the Author

Joyce Ann Brown, the author of thePsycho Cat and the Landlady Mysteryseries, set in Kansas City, was a librarian, a landlady, and a Realtor before becoming a short story and novel writer. She also has two mischievous cats.
Her actual tenants have never disappeared, murdered, or been murdered. Nor have any of them found a skeleton in the attic. Joyce has never solved a crime. Moose and Chloe, her cats, haven’t sniffed out a mystery, at least not yet.
Joyce spends her days writing (with a few breaks for tennis, walking, and book clubs) so that Beth, the landlady in the series, and Sylvester, the Psycho Cat, can make up for her real-life lack of excitement in a big way.
Author website with Blog: http://www.joyceannbrown.com

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the review. It's fun to share Psycho Cat and the Landlady Mysteries.


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