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Posted By Susan Bernhardt

During a recent interview, I was asked why my Kay Driscoll cozy mysteries revolved around holidays.

I have many happy memories of holidays at home growing up. I came from a large family where holidays were important, each having its own special traditions. Holidays add something special, a kind of spark to a mystery. They are much anticipated times of the year, during which unexpected things might happen.

The Ginseng Conspiracy (A Kay Driscoll Mystery Book 1) takes place during Halloween, a holiday I loved as a child going trick-or-treating with my friends. I still celebrate this fun holiday by going to an annual witches' tea, witches' night out with friends, and to Halloween parties. And I love doling out treats to the little ghosts, goblins, space aliens, and princesses of the neighborhood.

The Ginseng Conspiracy Blurb: On her way to attend a Halloween Ball, Kay Driscoll, a newcomer to town, witnesses the murder of a local professor. When the official coroner's report rules the cause of death to be accidental and the community accepts the judgement, Kay decides to uncover the truth for herself. Through her personal investigations, Kay exposes a complex conspiracy, woven deep within the thriving local ginseng industry, that involves some of the more prominent figures and families of Sudbury Falls.

With her new friends, the free-spirited herbalist Deirdre and the untamed modern woman Elizabeth, Kay discusses new clues over tea and pastries at Sweet Marissa's Patisserie, their crime-fighting headquarters. As Kay gets closer to the heart of the conspiracy, additional murders happen in quick succession. Before long, Kay learns that the villains are gunning for her, too. Phil, her musically talented but preoccupied husband, determined to keep her safe, withholds from her the one thing she needs most: the truth.

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“Another holiday, another murder. At least no one got murdered at Thanksgiving dinner! How did I end up, in the season of peace and goodwill toward men, investigating another homicide?” ~~Kay Driscoll in Murder Under the Tree (A Kay Driscoll Mystery Book 2)

When I was a child, the Christmas holidays began on St. Nicholas Day, December 6th. Before I went to bed the evening of the 5th, I would search for my longest stocking I could find ;) and would lay it out for St. Nicholas to come that night to fill it with candy, fruit, and peanuts. This continued throughout my childhood until my first year in college when I received a letter on December 6th from my parents containing a paper stocking with cash inside for a St. Nicholas Day treat.

In Murder Under the Tree (A Kay Driscoll Mystery Book 2) Kay is immersed in a winter wonderland of activities: A Christmas tea where a murder occurs, Christmas shopping with best friends, Deirdre and Elizabeth, lots of celebrations and lots of investigations.

Murder Under the Tree Blurb: While Kay attends a Christmas tea at Hawthorne Hills Retirement Home, a beloved caretaker dies from an allergic reaction to peanuts. When the official coroner's report rules the cause of death to be accidental, a small group of residents suspect foul play and call upon Kay to investigate.

Kay uncovers sinister plots of fraud, revenge, and corruption at the Home. During this season of peace on earth, good will to men, additional murders occur. Despite multiple attempts on her life, and with the support once again of her best friends, Elizabeth and Deirdre, Kay continues her quest for bringing justice for the victims.

Kay's first Christmas in Sudbury Falls is an unforgettable one, with equal amounts of celebration and danger. 'Tis the season to be sleuthing!




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Susan Bernhardt


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