Saturday, February 09, 2008

Death of a Six-Foot Teddy Bear

I read an article in THE WRITER magazine not long ago that said it was a bad idea to read while you were working on your own book. The writer of the article had some valid arguments: Your work will be unintentionally influenced by what you're reading; You will be constantly dragged out of your own setting; You will place unrealistic goals on your writing that it is not meant to achieve.

I agree with all that, but I can't imagine going 3-6 months without reading a good book. Since I am always working on my own project, that means I can never read again. Sorry, ain't gonna happen, my friend.

In fact I just finished a delightful mystery by Sharon Dunn that I would like to share here with you. I'm probably a little biased since I love a good cozy, (I think a book must include a cat in peril to qualify as a cozy.) I couldn't resist the premise of the Bargain Hunters Series, and I love characters whom I can relate to. Death of a Six-Foot Teddy Bear has it all: murder, humor, red herrings, and surprises at every turn.

If you haven't read Death of a Garage Sale Newbie, the first installment in the Bargain Hunters mysteries, you'll have no trouble catching up with the characters. If you are a fan of series mysteries, you must add the Bargain Hunters books to your reading lists. I look forward to plenty more by this author.

For brevity's sake, I am posting the synopsis and reviews from a major bookselling site. Hope no one minds. Read and enjoy, then rush out and find the book. I'm sure you'll love it.

Another murder mystery for the Bargain Hunters Network–only this time, one of them is a suspect!

Ginger and her husband, Earl, are in for a wild ride in Calamity, Nevada, along with the other BHN ladies–college student Kindra, mother-of-four Suzanne, and sassy senior Arleta. They came to town for the Invention Expo and some outlet shopping, but instead they endure lost luggage, broken air conditioning, and a long line of people angry at hotel owner Dustin Clydell. With the Invention Expo and the Squirrel Lovers’ convention both in town, the Wind-Up Hotel has somehow overbooked.

Before the night is over, a man has been found dead in a teddy bear costume, the Invention Expo has been canceled, Binky the water-skiing squirrel has gone missing…and the authorities want to talk to one of the BHN ladies! What else could possibly go wrong?

Once again, the Bargain Hunters Network swings into sleuth mode to solve the murder–and this time, clear one of their own. Along the way, Ginger discovers something even better than a bargain.

Kirkus Reviews
When a mixed bag of bargain-hunting friends head for Calamity, Nev., they don't expect murder as an added attraction. Ginger Salinski plans on shopping and helping her husband Earl at the Invention Expo, which is being held in the Wind-Up Hotel, along with the Squirrel Lovers' convention. When she arrives with friends Arleta, Kindra and Suzanne, they find no air conditioning, only one of their two reserved rooms and Dustin Clydell, a greedy hotelier who's sold Earl's convention booth to a higher bidder. Dustin's charm has somehow failed to impress his ex-wives or his son Xabier, an actor dismayed to find the job his father promised him involves walking around in a teddy bear costume. Someone steals the hotel guests' jewelry, and Ginger loses her cat, who'd been stalking Binky, the water-skiing squirrel. When Clydell is found dead in the teddy bear costume, the ladies are forced to help Ginger, whose fight with Clydell over Earl's booth has made her a suspect along with two of Clydell's ex-wives. The gals chase the jewel thief and try to figure which of Clydell's many enemies did him in. Their shopping skills and faith in God lead them to the answer. The ladies of the Bargain Hunters Network (Death of a Garage-Sale Newbie, 2007, etc.) are a pleasant bunch of do-gooders stranded in a mystery that would benefit from divine intervention.

Sharon Dunn is the author of Death of a Garage Sale Newbie, book one in the Bargain Hunters Mysteries, and the Ruby Taylor mystery novels including Sassy Cinderella, which was voted Book of the Year by American Christian Fiction Writers. She earned a BA in television production and a master’s in history. Sharon lives with her husband of twenty years, three children, two cats, and lots of dust bunnies.

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