Murder on the Orient Espresso, Available Now
It’s November and Maggy Thorsen, co-owner of the Wisconsin gourmet coffeehouse, Uncommon Grounds, is in South Florida at an annual crime-writers’ conference with her beau, local sheriff Jake Pavlik, who is due to speak as a ‘forensics expert’.
Maggy’s pledge to behave solely as a tourist becomes trickier than she anticipated when the conference’s opening night event turns out to be a re-enactment of Agatha Christie’s classic, Murder on the Orient Express. As Maggy and Jake reluctantly set off on the night train to the Everglades to solve the ‘crime’, it’s clear that, as in the original novel, nothing is quite what it seems. And amidst rumours of careers taken, manuscripts stolen and vows broken, it seems that in the Everglades – as in life – the predator all too often becomes the prey.
I always enjoy my chats with Sandra Balzo, author of the Maggy Thorsen Mysteries series and The Main Street series , and this was no exception —even when I left her hanging on the phone for 17 minutes (what a trooper, she is so patient). She is a warm, talented woman and I thrilled to count her as one of my favorite authors and friends.
Sandy released her latest installment of Maggie Thorsen Murder Mystery “Murder on the Orient Espresso” December 2013 (US) and like Agatha Christie’s “Express”, it,too, takes place on a train with the Florida Everglades as it’s murderous backdrop.
Pushing the Cozy Zone Limits
Murder on the Orient Espresso has more “darkness” than her previous Maggie Thorsen Mystery books, which was refreshingly surprising. I see pictures when I read, and I can sill envision that horrifying scene in the Everglades (no spoilers here). Horrifying probably is an exaggeration. It had more of an “Ewwwww!” factor. No matter your squeamish-level, you’ll enjoy this 8th installment of the Maggie Thorsen series.
The book emulates Murder on the Orient Express with a murder and mystery writers group taking a day jaunt into the everglades. And what is more exciting than having a “Murder” on board. All participants are assigned characters from the original Christie book Murder on the Orient Express. But that is as far as similarities go. As the train chugs into the Everglades, excitement turns to fear as one of the “cast” members is found dead, and the train get stuck in the wilds of the Everglades trapping everyone, including the killer, on board.
Still classified as a “small town cozy murder mystery” Balzo has created another success in Murder on the Orient Espresso. I highly recommend you pick up a book today, You won’t be disappointed.
Balzo does a fantastic job of presenting each character and stringing the clues through to a surprising conclusion.
I hope you enjoy this informal Podcast with Sandra Balzo on her latest release.
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Click below to listen to the (December 1, 2013) Podcast Interview with Sandra Balzo, Author of the Maggie Thorsen Mysteries and Main Street Mysteries.
Sandra Balzo turned to mystery writing after twenty years in corporate public relations, event management and publicity and her newly released novel Triple Shot, is her seventh Maggy Thorsen coffeehouse mystery, and Sandy’s second series, Main Street Mysteries, debuted in April 2011 with Running on Empty. The books, set in the popular vacation destination of North Carolina’s High Country, will alternate with the Maggy Thorsen mysteries. Heaven’s Fire, about a fireworks show gone badly wrong, was released directly to Kindle with excellent reviews.
Balzo’s novels have been nominated for both the Anthony and Macavity awards and received starred reviews from Kirkus and Booklist. In addition to her books about coffee-maven Maggy Thorsen and displaced journalist AnnaLise Griggs, Balzo writes short stories, two of which have been published in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, winning the Macavity, Derringer and Robert L. Fish awards. Those psychological thrillers, along with a third original story, are available on Kindle in The Grass is Always Greener and Other Stories.
Balzo has handled publicity for three Bouchercons (World Mystery Conventions), as well as the International Association of Crime Writers, and has served a national board member of Mystery Writers of America. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, she currently splits her time between Florida and the High Country of North Carolina.
And roots for the Green Bay Packers.
Learn more about Sandy and her work at:
- Barnes & Noble
List of Published Work
- Heavens Fire
- The Grass is Always Greener and Other Stories by Sandra Balzo
Maggy Thorsen series:
- Uncommon Grounds
- Grounds for Murder
- Bean There, Done That
- From the Grounds Up
- Brewed, Crude and Tattooed
- A Cup of Joe
- Triple Shot
Main Street Mysteries
- Running on Empty