Monday, August 4, 2014

Cozy Mystery Blog Tour: Author Guest Post, Review & Giveaway: Taken In (Southern Sewing Circle Mystery #9) by Elizabeth Lynn Casey

When a trip to the Big Apple ends in murder, the sewing circle searches for a killer who’s rotten to the core. . .

Winning an appearance on a top-rated, New York based morning show means the trip of a lifetime for librarian Tori Sinclair and the Sweet Briar Ladies Society Sewing Circle. Anxious to experience Manhattan with her friends, Tori is less than excited when fellow member Dixie Dunn opts to use the vacation as an opportunity to rendezvous with a man she met online.

Still, Tori never imagined her friend would be taken in by a con man specializing in scamming vulnerable older women—or that Dixie would be arrested for his murder.

Now, as the sewing circle goes up against Gotham’s elite to prove Dixie’s innocence, they will have to unravel tangled secrets and alibis, patch together a mess of clues, and put a clever killer in the city’s hottest spotlight.

Hanging Up My Hostess Hat
by Elizabeth Lynn Casey, author of the Southern Sewing Circle Mysteries

For the first eight books in the Southern Sewing Circle Mysteries, I have been a guest in Sweet Briar, South Carolina.  Yes, I created the outline of the town, but the series' characters helped bring it to life... 

Tori Sinclair showed me (and my readers) her vision for a children's room at the Sweet Briar Public Library, taking me along as she painted storybook scenes on the walls and solicited the help of her friends to make costumes for the costume trunk.  

Debbie Calhoun showed me (and my readers) her bakery - teasing me with the many mouthwatering desserts she features in her glass-fronted display case each and every day.  

Rose Winters showed me (and my readers) her prized flower garden and her sewing room - giving us a behind-the-scenes look at the things that matter to this beloved matriarch of the Sweet Briar Ladies Society Sewing Circle.  

And the list goes on, each character doing their part to bring the town of Sweet Briar alive for me - the non-resident.  

So it seemed only police (Leona Elkin would be so proud) to invite the Sweet Briar gang into my world for a little while in the series' latest installment, Taken In.  

In this new tale, the ladies travel to New York City as guests of the syndicated talk show, Taped with Melly and Kenneth (yes, it's a spoof on Live with Kelly and Michael).  Margaret Louise has won an essay contest on friendship and the crew gets an all-expense paid trip to the Big Apple.  

Which means, it was supposed to be my turn to play hostess... 

Or so I thought.

Once again, the ladies took over and showed me New York City in a way I'd never seen it before - through the eyes of women who could best be described as fish-out-of-water in the big city.  Suddenly, instead of averting my eyes from the person singing for money on the subway, they became an entertainer... The cupcakes I find myself salivating over every time I'm in the city seemed dinky in Margaret Louise's eyes... And the hustle and bustle that excites me was often daunting to these women who know the family tree of everyone they pass back home. 

Oh, and did I mention the fact that I threw a murder charge at one of them while they were visiting?  

Yeah, I kind of thought I might have skipped that part.  

For what it's worth, though, they did enjoy the zoo... 

Elizabeth Lynn Casey is the national bestselling author of the Southern Sewing Circle Mysteries.  Taken In, the ninth book in the series, is available Tuesday, August 5th.  To learn more about the series (or to read the first chapter of Taken In), visit her website.  

I've been a fan of this series from the get go.  I love the setting and the coziness of the town.  I've loved getting to know each and every one of characters - feeling right at home amongst them.  And I've loved the murderous predicaments they've all found themselves in.  But the camaraderie between the ladies is what makes the story so much fun!  

When I found out that the ladies would be taking a trip (and to NYC of all places!), I was so excited to see them outside of their element.  Having traveled from small town USA to the Big Apple before, I knew exactly how they felt when they arrived.  It's overwhelming and there are so many things that weren't what you expected them to be.  But the awe of the big city is there - and being able to witness the mesmerizing wonderment of the girls as they experience something new was so exciting!  

Of course there's usual sleuthing (my favorite!) and a few laughs, as well as a great mystery that keeps you engaged and guessing.  This is a wonderful series and I can't wait for others to fall in love with the ladies of the Southern Sewing Circle.  

Rating: 5 stars 

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  All conclusions reached are my own.  

Thanks to the awesome ladies at Penguin, I have 1 paperback copy of Taken In by Elizabeth Lynn Casey to give away to one of my lucky readers!  Just enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win, and be sure to keep checking back for more awesome giveaways!

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