KAREN’S KILLER BOOK BENCH: Welcome to Karen’s Killer Book Bench where readers can discover talented new authors and take a peek inside their wonderful books. This is not an age-filtered site so all book peeks are PG-13 or better. Come back and visit often. Happy reading!
A Santa Fe Café Mystery
By ANN MYERS
Holly, jolly, and downright deadly—the third Santa Fe Café mystery unwraps surprises both naughty and nice . . . It’s the most picturesque time of theyear in Santa Fe, and Chef Rita Lafitte of Tres Amigas Café hopes the twinkling lights and tasty holiday treats will charm her visiting mom. Rita is also planning fun activities, such as watching her teenage daughter, Celia, perform in an outdoor Christmas play.
What she doesn’t plan for is murder.
Rita discovers a dead actor during the premier performance but vows to keep clear of the case. Sleuthing would upset her mom. Besides, there’s already a prime suspect, caught red-handed in his bloodied Santa suit. However, when the accused Santa’s wife begs for assistance—and points out that Celia and other performers could be in danger—Rita can’t say no. With the help of her elderly boss, Flori, and her coterie of rogue knitters, Rita strives to salvage her mother’s vacation, unmask a murderer, and stop this festive season from turning even more fatal.
A Santa Fe Café Mystery
By ANN MYERS
Mom stopped mid-stroll, thumping one hand to her chest, gripping a hip-high adobe wall with the other. “I need to catch my breath, Rita,” she declared, rather accusatorily.
I murmured, “Of course,” and issued my best good-daughter sympathetic smile. I did, truly, sympathize. At seven thousand feet above sea level, Santa Fe, New Mexico, can literally take your breath away, and my mother had flown in only a few hours earlier from the midwestern lowlands. Adjusting to high altitudes takes time. About a week, the experts say, although I’ve called Santa Fe home for over three years and still blame the paltry oxygen when I pant through my morning jog and puff under overladen burrito platters at Tres Amigas Café, where I’m a chef and co-amiga. I’ve even postulated that the thin air makes my thighs look larger. Lack of atmospheric compression that unscientifically tested theory goes. The more likely culprit is my steady diet of cheesy chiles rellenos, blue corn waffles, green chile cheeseburgers, and other New Mexican delicacies.
Mom took deep breaths beside me. I wasn’t too worried. If Mom was at risk of anything, it was overacting. I strongly suspected she was making a point, something she likes to do indirectly and with drama. Things Mom doesn’t like? High altitudes, dry climates, hot chiles, and disturbance of her holiday routine. I knew she wasn’t thrilled to spend Christmas away from home. My goal was to win her over, and lucky for me, I had Santa Fe’s holiday charm on my side.
I leaned against the wall, enjoying the warmth of solar-heated adobe against my back. A group of carolers strolled by, harmonizing a bilingual version of “Feliz Navidad.” String lights and pine boughs decorated the porticos along Palace Avenue, and piñon smoke perfumed the air. To my eyes, the self-proclaimed “City Different” looked as pretty as a Christmas card. Once Mom got over the initial shock of leaving her comfort zone, she’d come around. I hoped . . .
Mom reached for a water bottle in her dual-holstered hip pack. “Hydration,” she said, repeating a caution she’d first raised nearly two decades ago, when I embarked for culinary school in Denver and its mere mile-high elevation. In between sips, she reminded me that proper water intake was the key to fending off altitude-induced illnesses ranging from headaches to poor judgment.
She tilted her chin up and assessed me through narrowed eyes. “You’re not drinking enough, Rita. I can tell. Your cheeks look dry. Your hands too. And your hair . . .” Mom made tsk-tsk sounds. “Perhaps a trim would keep it from getting so staticky. You do look awfully cute when it’s short.”
I patted my shoulder-length locks, recently cut into loose layers that emphasized my natural staticky waves. I could use a drink. A tart margarita on the rocks with extra salt would do. My mouth watered. Behave, I chastised myself. It wasn’t even two in the afternoon, way too early for tequila. Plus, I loved my mother and her cute silver-flecked pixie cut. Most of all, I was delighted that she’d come to visit me and my teenage daughter, Celia. It was nice of Mom. No, more than nice. The visit bordered on maternal sacrifice.
Meet Author Ann Myers…
Ann Myers writes the Santa Fe Café Mysteries. The first book in the series, Bread of the Dead (2015), introduced café chef and reluctant amateur sleuth, Rita Lafitte. Rita and her friends stir up more trouble in Cinco de Mayhem (March 2016) and Feliz Navidead (October 25, 2016). Ann lives with her husband and extra-large house cat in southern Colorado, where she enjoys cooking, crafts, and cozy mysteries.
Links to Ann’s website, blog, books, etc.
Feliz Navidead: http://amzn.to/2g4nBQt
Please stop by and say hi or catch up on book news on my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AnnMyers.writer/
I also have some recipes and photos at http://www.annmyersbooks.com/
And you can find my books at
Or order from your favorite local bookstore. A shout-out to some of my favorite indie booksellers: From My Shelf Books and Gifts (http://www.wellsborobookstore.com/, Wellsboro), Hooked on Books (http://hookedonbooksco.com/, Colorado Springs), Garcia Street Books (http://garciastreetbooks.com/, Santa Fe), and Tattered Cover (http://www.tatteredcover.com/, Denver).
**SPECIAL GIVEAWAY**: Ann is giving away a copy of one of her books (Bread of the Dead, Cinco de Mayhem, or Feliz Navidead, winner’s choice) to one lucky reader who comments on her Author Peek Interview or Killer Book Bench blogs. Good luck!
Thanks, Ann, for sharing your book with us!
Don’t miss the chance to read this book!