Summer is here and the livin’ is easy…at least that’s what the song says. Actually, my garden is full of weeds, my gutters need cleaning, and the grass out by my barn is halfway to my knees. This gal needs to get busy and stop sipping lemonade in the shade! Hopefully, your yardwork is all caught up and you’re ready to read. The next in my Secrets of the South Mystery collection, Magnolia Moonlight, releases August 1st in both print and electronic versions. This story takes place in Natchez, on the banks of the Mississippi River, and Bay St. Louis, a seaside town on the Gulf of Mexico. Both are in the beautiful state of Mississippi. Remember, although this is third in the series, each story stands alone. In other words, the book will make complete sense even if you haven’t read the first two: Midnight on the Mississippi and What Happened on Beale Street.
Here’s a little bit about the story: When a local Baptist preacher takes his own life, his congregation is quick to believe rumors, but his widow is certain his death was no suicide. When Price Investigations scratch beneath the surface, they discover Reverend Dean was a victim, not a thief. The two new partners uncover an elaborate pyramid to bilk millions from unsuspecting non-profits, thousands of miles from the small town of Natchez where no one is whom they appear to be. I hope you’ll look for Magnolia Moonlight arriving in stores August 1st, available in print and on-line from Harvest House Publishers.
These days, I’m putting the finishing touches on book four of the collection, set in Savannah, Georgia. When a philandering husband turns up dead, these two crack detectives have more suspects than moss-draped oaks in Sunset in Old Savannah. I hope you’ll watch for it coming in March 2017.
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To celebrate my new release, I’m giving away 10 free copies of Magnolia Moonlight on August 15th to newsletter subscribers. If you haven’t already done so, please sign up in the right-hand sidebar.
If you’ve already signed up, don’t worry, you’re entered in the drawing.
I wish all my cherished readers a lovely summer and fun-filled autumn. Take time to walk in the sunshine…or relax in the shade with a glass of lemonade or sweet tea. Curl up in your favorite chaise or hammock…hopefully with a good book!
What Sinister Secrets Lurk in the Shadows of Yesterday?
Natchez, Mississippi—Private Investigator Nate Price and his new wife, Isabelle, need a vacation. Their coworkers generously team up to surprise them with a belated honeymoon…but the happy trip turns sour when Izzy spies her ex-husband, who appears to have taken up his gambling addiction once again.
While the boss is away, Price Investigations remains in the hands of Beth Kirby, a former police officer, and Michael Preston, a former forensic accountant. Hardly a dream team, as Beth resents working with a man who has no experience in his new job.
But Beth and Michael must move past their differences if they hope to uncover the truth behind a beloved Southern preacher’s demise. The preacher’s widow suspects foul play, despite the evidence indicating suicide.
With tension escalating between these investigators and local law enforcement—and new threats arising on all sides—how will Beth, Michael, and Nate hold on to faith and bring the truth to light?
Beth Kirby is an ex-cop turned PI with a past she’d like to forget, and training nerdy accountant Michael Preston is the last thing she wants to do. When their boss, Nate Price, goes on his honeymoon in Bay St. Louis Miss., she and Michael are left to partner up on a case featuring a pastor who committed suicide and embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars from his church. The reverend’s widow, however, believes her husband was murdered and demands the truth be found. Despite her emphatic beliefs, the evidence points in all the wrong places. Meanwhile, Nate’s romantic getaway takes an unexpected turn with the appearance of his wife’s ex-husband. Fearing he may be relapsing into his gambling addiction, Nate does his best to help the struggling man, unaware of his larger problems. While the honeymooners deal with their unwelcome guest, Beth and Michael investigate the suspicious pastor’s death . Ellis’s (What Happened on Beale Street) tightly plotted mystery is exciting and involved. The humorous banter between Beth and Michael keeps the story light, and the growth of their relationship feels natural alongside the more remarkable circumstances of the pastor’s death. A fine balance of suspense and romance. Agent: Mary Sue Seymour, The Seymour Agency (Aug.)
—Publishers Weekly (06/24/16)
A quartet of private detectives has their hands full with cases in two different cities.Natchez private eye Nate Price and his wife, Isabelle (Midnight on the Mississippi, 2015, etc.), are two years behind on a honeymoon until their friends and colleagues chip in and send them to lovely Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, leaving former police officer Beth Kirby and new hire Michael Preston to hold down the office back in Natchez. Beth had wanted to stay as far away from Natchez as possible after falling in love with her former boss earned her a bad reputation in the department. Although she did nothing wrong, her life was made miserable, and her self-esteem is in the cellar. Michael too is suffering after being dumped just before his wedding, and the two get off to a rough start. Beth’s pastor is suspected of stealing money from the church building fund and killing himself when the loss is discovered. His wife, convinced that he’s innocent, hires the agency to prove it. Michael’s accounting expertise comes in handy while tracking down the missing money, and Beth proves that the pastor was murdered despite resistance from the police and ill-will from her former partner. Meanwhile, the Prices’ honeymoon gets derailed when Isabelle sees her ex-husband, Craig, whose gambling ruined their marriage, in Bay St. Louis. Isabelle calls Craig’s second wife, who’s been devastated since Craig told her he was leaving her, a story both women suspect may be false. Isabelle resolves to find out what Craig’s really doing as Beth and Michael slowly begin to trust each other and try to keep their relationship friendly—no more, no less—after their bad experiences while going all out to solve their case. A pleasant cozy, more romance than mystery, with inspirational overtones.
—Kirkus Review (06/30/16)
- Retail Price: 14.99
- Release Date: August 1, 2016
- Page Count: 352
- ISBN-10: 0736961739
- ISBN-13: 978-0-7369-6173-8
Read Chapter One of Magnolia Moonlight
Purchase Your Copy Here
More Books by Mary Ellis
Secrets of the South Mysteries
Civil War Heroines Series
The New Beginnings Series
The Wayne County Series
The Miller Family Series
Novellas and Short Stories