Thank you, Beth, for inviting me to guest at Murder by Type as part of my month-long virtual tour to celebrate the release of Death By Killer Mop Doll. This book is the second in my Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries and was released just a few days ago.
In Assault With a Deadly Glue Gun, I introduced Anastasia Pollack, recent widow, magazine crafts editor, and reluctant amateur sleuth. After discovering the dead body of the fashion editor, murdered with her glue gun, Anastasia is forced to figure out whodunit to clear her name. At the same time, she’s dodging her dead husband’s loan shark who’s demanding the 50 grand he’s owed — or else.
In Death By Killer Mop Doll, Anastasia is roped into an unpaid gig for a revamped morning TV show. Before the glue is dry on her mop doll, the studio is trashed, a member of the production team is murdered with Anastasia’s knitting needle (are you sensing a pattern here?), a blackmail plot is uncovered, and Anastasia lands directly in the killer’s unforgiving crosshairs.
Along with Anastasia, come her normal teenage sons (if any teenage boy can really be considered “normal”) and a motley crew of dysfunctional relatives and pets. There’s Ralph, the Shakespeare quoting parrot Anastasia inherited from her great-aunt Penelope Periwinkle; Lucille, her die-hard, old-school communist mother-in-law who never has a kind word for anyone except her bulldog Manifesto; her mother, who claims to descend from Russian royalty; and Catherine the Great, Mama’s corpulent white Persian cat with an attitude befitting her namesake.
Thank goodness for hunky tenant Zachary Barnes, who may or may not be attached to one of those cloak-and-dagger government alphabet agencies. Or he could just be the photojournalist he claims to be. The jury is still out on that one.
In case you haven’t figured it out by now, I write humorous amateur sleuth mysteries. Here’s what critics have said about them:
“Crafty cozies don’t get any better than this hilarious confection…Anastasia is as deadpan droll as Tina Fey’s Liz Lemon…” — Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Winston has hit a home run with this hilarious, laugh-until-your-sides-hurt tale. Oddball characters, uproariously funny situations, and a heroine with a strong sense of irony will delight fans of Janet Evanovich, Jess Lourey, and Kathleen Bacus. May this be the first of many in Winston’s Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series.” — Booklist, starred review
“North Jersey’s more mature answer to Stephanie Plum. Funny, gutsy and determined, Anastasia has a bright future in the planned series.” –Kirkus Reviews
Want to read more? You can find excerpts of both books at my website: http://www.loiswinston.com. And check out Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers, Anastasia’s blog, at http://www.anastasiapollack.blogspot.com.
And in case you’re wondering what a mop doll is, I’ve included a photo of one take at Bouchercon in September. For anyone attending The American Library Association’s Mid-Winter conference January 20-24 in Dallas, Midnight Ink will be raffling off this hand-crafted mop doll during the opening reception Friday evening. Librarians and reviewers in attendance are encouraged to stop by the Midnight Ink booth #1459 to register for the drawing.
In addition, as part of my blog tour, I’m giving away 5 signed copies of Death By Killer Mop Doll. Post a comment to any of the blogs on the tour to enter. The full tour schedule can be found at my website, http://www.loiswinston.com, and the Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers blog, http://www.anastasiapollack.blogspot.com. I’m also giving away 3 copies of Death By Killer Mop Doll on Goodreads, http://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/15173-death-by-killer-mop-doll