Crooked Lane Books is a recent newcomer to the world of mystery publishing. Founded in 2014, they are committed to publishing high quality mysteries and getting them into the hands of the people who love them the most. Two of their cozy mysteries coming out this spring highlight the talent of two seasoned mystery authors, E.J. Copperman and Maia Chance, each with a new series. Copperman’s Edited Out is the second in “A Mysterious Detective Mystery” featuring a mystery author whose main character may have just come to life, and Chance’s is the first “An Agnes and Effie Mystery” featuring a great aunt and niece who team up to restore an old in to its former glory.
Edited Out by E.J. Copperman
Mystery writer Rachel Goldman has writer’s block: after several entries into the Duffy Madison series, Duffy Madison has appeared before Rachel, seemingly sprung from the air certain he came about when Rachel created him. Now Rachel cannot write a story for the fictional Duffy without worrying about the effects it may have on the living Duffy who is a consultant for the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office missing person’s squad, ironic because the man who claims to be Duffy may actually be a missing person himself. Rachel decides the only way to purge herself of the real Duffy is to uncover Duffy’s past and determine once and for all whether or not he is Damien Mosley who disappeared about the same time Duffy appeared. The unlikely pair heads off to Poughkeepsie from where Damien, and presumably Duffy, hailed, where they interview people from Damien’s past and learn that Duffy cannot be Damien---but if he’s not Damien, who is he? Rachel is a bright young woman with a sardonic streak (which she would say she is entitled to being from New Jersey) and a soft spot for her unlikely sidekick Duffy. Copperman has written a clever mystery in which the plot is mirrored in Rachel’s writing. The idea that Duffy sprang to life from Rachel’s imagination is intriguing and their investigation into Duffy’s identity is sure to provide further engaging adventures for this unlikely duo. Few out there do wry humor better than Copperman.
Bad Housekeeping by Maia Chance
The author of two other mysteries series debuts with this humorous cozy series featuring a one-time, but still glamourous model, Great Aunt Effie, and her niece Agnes, who still harbors anger toward her aunt for suggesting to an agent that Agnes would make a good “husky” model while the girl was still in her teens. Agnes has just been unceremoniously dumped by her boyfriend and kicked out of their apartment, and finds herself back home with her father in Naneda, NY. Agnes has also just been fired from her job at the library where she breaks an artifact that the head of the historical society, Kathleen Todd believes was done on purpose. Effie, who has just inherited the rundown Stagecoach Inn from a cousin is back in town to restore it to its former glory and may have just threatened to wring Kathleen’s neck if Agnes doesn’t get her job back. Unfortunately for Effie (and Kathleen as well), Kathleen is murdered, strangled, and Effie becomes the prime suspect, forcing Agnes and Effie to join together to save each other’s back…but will they be able to do that without killing each other (figuratively) in the process? This over the top cozy is filled with delightful, entertaining characters that will endear themselves to readers and keep them coming back for more.