Saturday, April 21, 2012

Review and Giveaway:A Killer Read

A Killer Read (Ashton Corners Book Club Mystery - Book 1) by Erika Chase

Publication Date: April 3, 2012
Publisher: Penguin USA
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Pages: Paperback, 304pp.
ISBN-13: 978-0425247037
ISBN: 0425247031

(Received for an honest review from Berkley Prime Crime)

Erika Chase on the WEB: facebook, twitter, webpage, blog,

Excerpt from A Killer Read


No one thought much of the stranger who stopped by the Ashton Corners Mystery Readers meeting. But when he killed himself moments later, Lizzie Turner finds herself in the midst of a dangerous murder mystery...

Reading specialist and mystery book lover Lizzie Turner was excited for the first meeting of the Ashton Corners Mystery Readers and Cheese Straws Society hosted in Molly Mathew's old Southern mansion. But she didn't expect the gathering to become the scene of an actual murder. A stranger has been shot - and nobody knows who the victim is, or how Molly's antique gun came to be used as the murder weapon.

As the plot becomes all too real, the police chief - Lizzie's former high school crush - steps in to investigate. Then Lizzie begins finding mysterious manuscript chapters in her mailbox, and Molly surfaces as the next name on the killer's list.


The first book in a new Southern cozy series, A Killer Read is just what the mystery lover ordered. Erika Chase introduces readers to the quaint town of Ashton Corners and to literacy advocate, Lizzie Turner. Chase's engaging characters and great sense of story lend and old school flavor to this book, that readers won't be able to turn down. She has a knack for dropping clues that allows the reader to feel like they are part of the whodunit and solving the crime right along with the heroine. 

Erika Chase who was once upon a time Linda Wiken, a mystery bookstore owner has written a great first book in a new series. Chase sets the scene for the series with a Mystery Readers Book Club. Book clubs are something that has always interested me and I thought this was a great backdrop for this book. A Killer Read uses the book club as a plot element to get the reader focused on the kind of people who are investigating this crime. If you think about it... WE, are mystery readers... WE are book club members... WE are exactly who this book is about.

Lizzie Turner is a character after my own heart. I have tried very hard over the years to introduce young adults and children to reading. As a way of escape from their everyday lives, as a way to educate themselves about people they may never meet or places they may never visit. As pure enjoyment! And having a heroine who introduces literature to young at risk teens sat very well with me. I felt like I knew what she was facing, the struggles and the victories. Obviously this is a character others can identify with, readers, teachers even those who learned about reading from someone who took the time to show them the way. 

Lizzie is also very inquisitive. She is observant and she thinks things through.
All good qualities for a first class amateur sleuth. She doesn't sell the police short either, as some cozy heroes and heroines do. She understands they have their place and working together they can figure things out a lot quicker than if they are at odds. Of course it helps if the love interest in the book, just happens to be an old high school sweetheart. I liked the relationship that Chase is starting to develop with these two. It rings true and could provide a lot of good moments for the future of the series.

This one definitely needs no grace in the plot department. Usually the first book in a series gets a little bogged down by the details. But Chase was able to make all the introductions, set the scene and still give the reader a well thought out plot that was interesting. I liked the manuscript showing up in the mailbox and the tie-ins to Lizzie's father and her past. There is a lot of potential with this series and the first book was by far a killer read!

A Killer Read is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

Erika writes the Ashton Corners Book Club mysteries for Penguin/Berkley Prime Crime.  In a parallel life Erika Chase is also known as Linda Wiken. A former mystery bookstore owner (Prime Crime Books in Ottawa, ON, Canada), Linda is also a short story writer. She is a member of those dangerous dames, The Ladies' Killing Circle.

Her short stories have appeared in the seven Ladies’ Killing Circle anthologies (three of which she co-edited), and in the magazines Mysterious Intent and Over My Dead Body. She has been short-listed for an Arthur Ellis Award, Best Short Story, from Crime Writers of Canada.

Before life in the world of mystery, she worked as an advertising copywriter, radio producer, journalist and community education worker.  Besides writing and reading mysteries, her other passion is choral singing and she is a member of two choirs.

She shares her house with Keesha and Mojo, her two Siamese cats. Actually, they allow her to live there.


The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway of one copy of A Killer Read by Erika Chase.

~You must be a GFC follow or an E-mail subscriber to participate.
~U.S. addresses only.
~Deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST May 5th.

1. Please leave a comment in appreciation to the author on this post, not the form.
2.Please fill out the FORM.


holdenj said...

Wishing Erika continued success, I always enjoy a good Southern cozy and love the name of their book group.!

lag123 said...

I love Southern Cozies and this is a new one!

lag110 at mchsi dot com

cyn209 said...

love getting in on a new cozy from the very start!! thank you for the giveaway!!!

Linda Kish said...

This sounds like the start of a really good series. And, I understand the comment about her cats allowing her to live with them. It made me laugh.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

GW said...

Love reading mysteries

GW said...

Love reading mysteries

GW said...

Love reading mysteries

GW said...

Love reading mysteries

Unknown said...

I love reading mysteries. Thanks for the giveaway.

Mary (mkdmom) said...

This series sounds like it'll be a winner. Great to see a high review for a 1st book in a series. With so many new series out there, I'm getting very picky about which ones I'm going to start and a great review helps me decide. Thanks!

Angela - Bookaunt said...

I love cozies especially ones that have to do with books. I can't wait to read this.

griperang at embarqmail dot com

bn100 said...

The characters and book sound good.

Sue Farrell said...

Cozies are my very favorite books---and even the cover screams cozy on this one. I'd really like to read it.

Theresa N. said...

Sounds like a great read.
Theresa N

Karen B said...

Your review has convinced me that this is a book/series not to be missed! Added to wishlist!

Martha Lawson said...

I will be definitely putting this one on the wish list. It sounds really great!

mamabunny13 said...

This sounds like a good start to a new series!

Renee said...

I love a good book club! I can't wait to read this one!