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First Edition Murder by @TessaKelly123 is a Backlist Bonanza pick #cozymystery #freebie #giveaway


Author: Tessa Kelly

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Book Blurb:

Something borrowed. Something blue. Someone’s dead.

For Sandie James, working at her sister’s bakery is a way to pay off college debt while her literature degree collects dust, but a last-minute wedding booking wasn’t on the menu. Now she and her sister have no time to spare to pull off their biggest job yet.

It seems to be going well until their dad crashes the reception and picks a fight with a guest. When that guest is later found dead and their dad is standing over the victim, the bang-up job they believed they could do takes an ugly turn.

Her dad may be a lot of things, but a murderer isn’t one of them, and Sandie aims to prove it. Especially if she can get a little help from Marlowe, the family’s springer spaniel, who is all too eager to leap into the thick of things.

As rumors breed fear and fear turns to finger-pointing, it’s a race against time to clear her dad’s name and find the killer before the killer finds her.



Whoever said weddings are a joyous occasion never catered one in high heels and an evening gown.

I winced behind the extravagant buffet table in my silver stilettos and threw a cheerless glance across Luce della Vita’s main dining room. The newlywed Mrs. David Sorrento, and the reason for my current suffering, wore a strapless white sequin and lace ball gown with a daring neckline and a lengthy train.

Marrying for the second time at forty-one, Angela’s first wedding took place at City Hall when she was three months pregnant with her daughter, Kimberly. In Angela’s own words, this time was her first “real” wedding. Her opportunity to sparkle.

The only thing that stopped her from taking the reception out of Cobble Hill, our cozy little corner of Brooklyn, and ritzing it up at the Manhattan Four Seasons, was her fiancé’s insistence on setting a budget. David saw no excuse for wasting a fortune at someone else’s establishment when his restaurant could provide the perfect venue. It took some arm twisting for Angela to agree to settle for a humbler location, but she was adamant that everything should be as “fancy-schmancy” as she could make it, and that included the wait staff.

Over the course of a week, the entire first floor and rooftop of Luce della Vita had been scrubbed clean of its laid-back neighborhood vibe and transformed into something barely recognizable. Hanging installations of white flower garlands with twinkling lights covered every inch of wall space and hundreds of pillar candles in tall glass cylinders accentuated the lavish centerpieces on every table.

At any other time, I wouldn’t begrudge Angela her dream wedding or grumble about having to wear heels and the flowy dark-blue halter dress another caterer lent me on short notice, but after three hours of dashing up and down the restaurant stairs with wine bottles, I wanted to say addio forever to all evening wear. Still, the reception wasn’t likely to wind up anytime soon. I had to resign myself to another two to three hours of glamorous misery.

At least I could give my tired feet a small break.

The guests, drinks in hand, milled around by the champagne fountain; the bruschetta and crab cakes I was serving had less allure now than an hour ago. Which meant, no one would notice if I took off my shoes for a few minutes.

I slipped out of my stilettos and wiggled my aching toes on the cool floor. What a relief. The polished wood felt like heaven under my feet.

“Sandie, it’s almost time to cut the cake!” My older sister nudged me as she hurried past in her slim black gown, carrying a tray of prosciutto, and goat cheese stuffed figs. “Go around the room and see that everyone has a dessert plate. And please, put your shoes back on! The last thing I need is a fight with Angela.” She dashed into the kitchen in the back, and I stifled a groan.

At thirty-eight, petite and dark-haired, Katherine was as tireless as she’d been at twenty—and with feet made of steel, apparently. Her heels, even higher than mine, hadn’t stopped her from flying around the place all evening.

Of course, Kathy was used to being on her feet. She must’ve given up sitting fifteen years ago when she opened her bakery down the street. These days she was a well-known baker with clients all over the neighborhood, and even several in Manhattan. She didn’t usually cater weddings but agreed to help out as a favor to Angela and David after Luce della Vita’s chef fell ill at the last minute.

The carrot that had roped me in was Angela’s promise of double pay. As a recent Master’s in English graduate with the rent looming in five days and zero news from the ninety-eight job applications I’d sent out, I couldn’t afford to be picky about work.

All things considered, I was lucky. Most of my former classmates were in the same boat as me, with no successful siblings to give them a job. The only problem was that baking and catering had nothing to do with my career aspirations.

“Hey, Sandie-rella! You heard your sister: get those glass slippers back on.”

I whirled around to face Sonny, Luce della Vita’s landlord and David’s silent business partner. He was also Angela’s ex-husband, and the only guest at the wedding who hadn’t bothered to put on a tie or to shave for the occasion.

In his fifties and looking not a day over sixty, Sonny’s sloppy appearance was nothing new. Given the special occasion, though, I wondered if the missing tie was meant as a silent protest against the wedding.

According to Kathy’s nosier customers, Sonny hadn’t taken it well when David and his ex-wife suddenly became an item. This, and the fact that David was to be the new stepfather to Angela and Sonny’s nineteen-year-old daughter, had been the subject of much gossip at the bakery lately. Angela, of course, seemed blissfully unaware of this gossip as she floated among her tipsy guests through the candlelit fairyland she’d worked so hard to create.

Sonny leaned toward me, invading my comfort zone. “I’ve got an idea, Sandie-rella. Why don’t I make like Prince Charming and put those babies on for ya?”

I did my best to keep from smiling as I rolled my eyes. “Try that and you’ll find yourself very un-charming with a black eye.”

“Ahh, you’re breaking an old man’s heart. I only wanted to help!”

He made a pouting face, though his eyes expressed a sentiment that was anything but heartbreak.

“Thanks, Sonny. I think I’ll manage.”

I slipped into my shoes again, instantly growing two inches taller than Sonny. My eyes fell on his wife, alone at a table at the back of the room. Lauren hadn’t moved from her spot all evening, and the plate of food in front of her looked untouched.

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Praise for First Edition Murder

“Tessa has developed an interesting and exciting plot to go with a great group of characters making this hard to put down.” –jr

“Tessa Kelly has me hooked! The depth of her characters is amazing and the story is so interesting. I was surprised at the outcome.” —Vicki W

“This book held my attention to the very end! Entertaining plot with likable characters. It was a whodunnit that I was unable to guess whodunnit.” —libraryreader

“Marlowe, the springer spaniel, is so cute.” - Sylvia

Giveaway –

Enter to win a $20 Amazon US or Amazon Canada gift card

Open Internationally. You must have an active Amazon US or CA account to win.

Runs August 23 – August 31, 2022.

Winner will be drawn on September 1, 2022.

Author Biography:

As a former teacher with a degree in French, I spent several years living in an uptown Brooklyn neighborhood, frequenting its many cafes and coffee houses and getting to know it from the inside out. During my undergraduate years, I also worked at a small bakery, much like the one depicted in my novels, where I developed a lifelong fondness for cheesecake brownies.

When not writing, I love to be outdoors exploring hiking trails and often wandering off the beaten path. Some of my other passions include baking, learning foreign languages, and experimenting with natural plant dyes.

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