A Cozy Christmas at Brooke Blogs is a celebration of wonderful cozy mystery authors and their books. Stop by daily from 12/11/16 through 12/25/16 for special posts and be sure to enter the grand prize giveaway. Curl up and get cozy this holiday season!
Death of a Toy Soldier by Barbara Early
Vintage Toy Shop Mystery #1
Crooked Lane Books
October 11, 2016
Liz McCall grew up in a playful winter wonderland but it was never her dream to manage her father’s vintage toyshop. However, after he sank his entire police pension into the business, someone needed to help him turn his dreams into reality—and keep him from sneaking off to patrol the not-so-mean streets of East Aurora, NY.
The mood goes from nice to naughty when a nervous man, who was trying to have his antique toys appraised, is found in the shop with a lawn dart through his chest. Suddenly, Liz’s business plan is plunged into deep freeze, while she and her father find themselves toying with a cold-blooded killer who’s playing for keeps.
Now, it looks like Christmas might be cancelled for the neighborhood kids if Liz can’t wrap up the case in Barbara Early’s delightful debut Death of a Toy Soldier.
Do you remember that favorite toy from your childhood? Can you picture it?
That nostalgia comes alive on every visit to a vintage toyshop or toy show. Fingers point. There’s a gasp of recognition. Then someone says, “I had that!” or “I remember that! I had almost forgotten,” followed by smiles and laughter. It’s often that nostalgia that inspires collectors, even more than the monetary value of toys. In fact, toy collecting isn’t the most expensive hobby to start. Even if most of us don’t have hidden treasures buried in our basements or attics, there are many values to be had, even if the goal is just to keep a box of interesting toys for visiting grandkids.
I’ve visited a few toy shows and amassed a small collection since starting the Vintage Toyshop series—although for economy sake, I still like to keep the bulk of my “collection” on Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/barbearly/vintage-and-antique-toys/
But it was for the love of toys such as these that Hank McCall, the fictional former chief of police in my series, started a vintage toyshop when he retired. He roped in his daughter, Liz McCall, to manage the place. Making a go of a small business certainly isn’t child’s play. And when you add a murder to the mix, Hank dives right in and Liz has to up her game to keep up with them. I hope readers have as much fun with the series as I’ve had writing it.
About Barbara Early
Barbara Early (A.K.A. Beverly Allen) grew up buried in the snowy suburbs of Buffalo, NY, where she developed a love for all things sedentary: reading, writing, classic movies, and Facebook Scrabble. She holds a degree in Electrical Engineering, but her penchant for the creative caused her to run away screaming from the pocket-protector set.
She taught secondary English and science for several years before home schooling her daughter successfully through high school. Barbara cooks up cozy mysteries with a healthy dose of comedy and sometimes a splash of romance.
When not reading or writing, she enjoys cooking, crafts, home-improvement projects, and spending time with her husband and daughter.
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