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N. N. Light's Book Heaven presents Louise Stevens #authorspotlight #cozymystery #cozyanimalmystery #cozyreads #mustread



I’ve always loved reading. I don’t even remember learning how to read... it’s just always been a part of my life. As a child I received an amazing gift from a cousin. Her set of Nancy Drew mysteries. Two glorious shelves in my room lined with yellow spines, arranged in chronological order. A hint of two of my future careers, cozy mystery author and librarian.

 

Mysteries have always been one of my favorite genres. Along with my mom, I read all the classics. Agatha Christie and Ngaio Marsh were two of my faves. And now, I devour cozy mysteries as a reader, and am fortunate enough to write them as an author. Currently I have two cozy series. Port Sunset Mysteries and the Second Act Cozy Mysteries.


The Port Sunset Mysteries are set in a fabulous historic hotel in a fictional Florida Gulf Coast small town. Millie is the assistant general manager of the hotel and solves mysteries with the help of her grandmother Lulu and her group of senior party girls known around town as Lulu’s Crew, and a stalwart corgi named Spud.

 

In my Second Act Cozy Mysteries we head north to New England, when Amanda leaves her big-city career behind to move back to her tiny hometown in the Connecticut hills to pursue her dream of being an author with the help of her childhood besties, who call themselves the Three Musketeers, her fun-loving aunt, and her teenage crush turned grown-up boyfriend. And of course, her attack shih tzu, Fluffy (aka The Beast).

 

Both series are the type of books I love to read. They have an amateur sleuth and her quirky group of family and friends running around their small town solving mysteries. It’s like Nancy Drew with dogs and cocktails.

 

 

 

Title Penthouse, Pools, & Poison

Author Louise Stevens

Genre Cozy Mystery

 

Book Blurb

 

When the obnoxious guest in the penthouse is poisoned beside his private pool, my daily planner is turned upside down. I’m Millie Wentworth, Assistant General Manager of the swanky Gulf Palms Resort and Spa and solving the murder shouldn’t be my job, but the only food found near the body is a charcuterie board sent to the victim by yours truly.

 

The Port Sunset Police are looking my way until a shocking revelation shifts their attention to a friend. Suddenly, cracking the case moves to the top of my to-do list and it’s up to me to find the real killer and clear my friend’s name.

 

Uncovering the truth should be a breeze with me, my pink-haired grandmother, her rescue corgi, and her crew of fun-loving septuagenarian beach bunnies on the case. What could possibly go wrong?

 

Excerpt

 

“What do you have to be nervous about, Ms. Wentworth?” Green narrowed as his gaze as he stared at me intently.

 

          “I’m not nervous because I killed him, or anything,” I stammered, and then realized it was probably what every murderer ever said to the police. “Really, I’m not––”

 

          “We don’t think you killed him, Millie,” Tyler said as he patted me awkwardly on my back.

 

          His superior frowned at him and said in a warning tone, “Officer Johnson.”

 

          “She’s my gram’s best friend’s granddaughter. She wouldn’t kill anyone. My grandmother was actually playing dominoes with her grandmother, and she texted me too about the screaming.” He paused to chuckle. “Nobody gets the jump on Lulu’s Crew. I got my gram’s text before I got the official call to respond to the scene.”

 

          The detective’s cheeks twitched, and it looked to me like he might be grinding his teeth. “In the future, Officer Johnson, please do not tell a witness they are not a suspect.”

 

          “Sorry,” Tyler’s face grew red, and he hung his head.

 

          “Back to your statement, Ms. Wentworth––”

 

          “Please, call me Millie, everyone does.”

 

          He heaved a long-suffering sigh. “Ms. Wentworth, the sooner you complete your statement, the sooner you can go home.”

 

          Okay, so we weren’t going to be on a first-name basis, but at least Tyler had seemed to convince Green I wasn’t a homicidal maniac.

 

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Author Biography

 

Louise Stevens is the author of the Port Sunset Mysteries, and the Second Act Cozy Mystery series. A lover of mysteries since her discovery of Nancy Drew many years ago, she is thrilled to be writing cozy mysteries now. She lives in Maryland with her husband, who also loves a good mystery, in a house packed with books.

 

Louise Stevens is the pen name of contemporary romance author Donna Simonetta.

 

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Title Diamonds, Dunes, & Death

Author Louise Stevens

Genre Cozy Mystery

 

Book Blurb

 

I’m Millie Wentworth and I never thought I’d be involved in another murder, but here I am smack dab in the middle of a crime wave at the swanky resort where I’m Assistant General Manager. It started with a major diamond heist and ended with a dead body on the beach.

 

When one of my grandmother Lulu’s group of fun-loving septuagenarian friends is a prime suspect it’s time for Lulu’s Crew, Spud the corgi, and me, to get sleuthing and uncover the real criminals.

 

And because dodging mobsters, international jewel thieves, and solving crimes isn’t stressful enough, my hypercritical parents are in town too. My mother doesn’t approve of Lulu and me in the best of times, and these are decidedly not the best of times. Plus she’s already planning my imaginary wedding to my kinda-sorta boyfriend Scott.

 

All I need to do is catch a murderer plus a jewel thief and survive my parents’ visit. No problem, right?

 

Excerpt

 

“Spud certainly wants to get onto the dunes,” Hannah observed.

 

          I squinted into the mounds of sand, and sea grass, to see if I could see what had him so interested, because Spud was being way more energetic than he usually was. “I think I see a champagne bottle in there. Is it the one you brought down last night?”

 

          Hannah shrugged. “Maybe. I don’t know. We never got to drink it. We kind of had words, and I got mad and left before we opened it. I wish I took it with me when I left because I paid for it. I hope he didn’t just leave it on the beach. What a waste of good champagne.”

 

          “If he did, you can grab it now. It probably warmed up overnight, but you can still chill it and drink it, right?”

 

          Spud yanked on the end of the leash with increased vigor, and since my conversation with Hannah distracted me, he was able to take advantage of a little slack in the leash to pull me onto the dunes. With my customary clumsiness, I stumbled, but his little legs gained speed, and I struggled to regain my footing and trotted behind him. “Jeez, I’ve never seen Spud like this before. What the heck is he trying to get to?”

 

          It was one question, I sincerely wish I’d never learned the answer to, because when I reached the spot where Spud finally stopped, I saw something I’d only seen once before, and been hoping I’d never see again.

 

          A dead body.

 

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Title Sunshine, Selfies, & Smugglers

Author Louise Stevens

Genre Cozy Mystery

 

Book Blurb

 

          Solving mysteries with my fun-loving grandmother Lulu, her friends, and Spud the corgi is my side hustle. By day I’m Millie Wentworth the assistant general manager of the swanky Gulf Palms Resort, so you wouldn’t think sleuthing would be in my skill set. But lately it has been, and since summer is our busy season in Port Sunset I’d hoped it would be murder-free. Is that too much to ask?

 

          Apparently so, because when social influencer Merry Marissa’s yacht cruises into town, we’re suddenly up to our necks in smuggling, stalkers, and slaughter. I have more suspects than the Tipsy Turtle has mai tais. And I’m without my sleuthing team, because Lulu’s Crew are busy going viral to raise money for animal charities.

 

          Can I unravel the mystery and find the killer before Lulu’s Crew and I become the  next victims?

 

Excerpt

 

“I’m no expert, but I don’t think that’s how you do downward dog. What the

ever-loving fudge is she doing?” I watched a woman in a bikini roughly the size of four microchips strung together with dental floss as she posed on all fours on the beach.

 

          “In all fairness it is a doggy position. Just not the yoga one,” Lulu said.

 

          I swatted my grandmother’s arm. “Not helping, Lulu.”

 

          “She’s been doing this the whole time, and whatever it is, it is not yoga.” My BFF Nell was attempting to lead a yoga practice for guests of the Gulf Palms Resort and Spa on the gorgeous Gulf Coast of Florida. “I’m not even sure she’s a hotel guest. She’s being very disruptive. I had to stop the class because people were getting so upset. Can you get her to stop sometime before my morning yoga practice is over?”

 

          Nell was right, as the Assistant General Manager of the hotel it was on me to put an end to this woman’s shenanigans. I pasted on my best professional smile and walked across the powdery white sand. “Excuse me––”

 

          The woman looked directly at the smart phone she had positioned on a tripod with a professional-looking light ring to film whatever the heck it was she was doing. She beamed at the camera and said, “Sorry Merry Maniacs, but my public is interrupting. I’ll be right back to you, my lovelies.” She flashed a peace sign at the camera with a roguish wink and then crawled over to turn off the video recording.

 

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Title Cabanas, Cupids, & Corpses

Author Louise Stevens

Genre Cozy Mystery

 

Book Blurb

 

It’s Valentine’s Day in Port Sunset and romance, fun, and murder are in the air. Yep, murder. I’m Millie Wentworth the assistant General Manager of the Gulf Palms Resort. And since our sleepy beach town comes with a body count to rival any big city, I’m an amateur sleuth on the side.

 

The hotel is hosting a Masquerade Ball and half the attendees are dressed as Cupid. When someone is shot through the heart with a bow and arrow there is no shortage of suspects since Cupids are everywhere. And the victim was so awful lots of people had reason to do her in...seriously...LOTS. Including me.

 

As usual Detective Green’s laser focus is aimed at the wrong suspects. When my fun-loving grandmother Lulu, Spud the corgi, and I discover another body we need to find the real murderer pronto. Can we catch the killer Cupid before they strike again?

 

Excerpt

 

The woman ran out of the house towards us. “Hey you!”

 

          Lulu and I both turned to look behind us.

 

          The woman shook her head violently from side to side. “I mean you two. With the dog. I need help in here.”

 

          Spud strained at the end of his leash toward the gate in the rusty fence, but Lulu held firm.

 

          My emotions were torn. If the woman was in serious need of assistance, I would never turn my back on her. But she looked as shady as the house, and I worried this was some sort of scam.

 

          Lulu narrowed her eyes. “What sort of help?’

 

          It seemed as though my grandmother shared my suspicions, and I was relieved she didn’t want to charge into a potentially dangerous situation. Although two women with a dog didn’t seem like a good choice as mugging victims. Maybe the woman really was in trouble.

 

          She ran her hand through her messy hair, which had as much gray as red in it. Her hand shook. “Big help. My neighbor was supposed to take me to the store to get smokes, but he didn’t show up, so I came over to check on him.” Her voice quavered, and she burst into tears. “I think he’s dead.”

 

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Title The Slay’s the Thing

Author Louise Stevens

Genre Cozy Mystery

 

Book Blurb

 

I’m Amanda Seldon, and I knew it would be a change to leave my soul-sucking corporate career and move back to my sleepy hometown to pursue my dream of being an author. But I never suspected it would literally be murder.

 

I thought working part-time at a summer stock theater was the perfect way to earn some cash. Until someone gets killed and the police chief suspects me. The cherry on top is the chief’s brother is my childhood crush, and I don’t want to be wearing an orange jumpsuit when we meet again. I set out to find the murderer with my two best friends, fun-loving aunt, and my anxious rescue dog. No problem, right? We’ve all read plenty of mysteries, and Fluffy is an attack shih tzu.

 

It’s the second act of my life, and in a play that’s when the exciting stuff happens. Exciting is fine, but will I be a free woman when the curtain goes down?

 

Excerpt

 

On the stage, my dog made a beeline for the very spot I wanted to avoid. The one where we had found the body. Who knew Fluffy was such a little ghoul?

 

          “Not that way, Fluff. We need to get to the stage door on the other side of the stage.” I tugged gently on her leash, but she continued to sniff the wooden floorboards.

 

          While I debated how I could juggle everything else I carried to try to pick her up like a furry football and make a break for the stage door, she finally stopped sniffing and lifted her head.

 

          “That’s a good girl, Fluff, let’s go home.” I turned and walked toward the other side of the stage, but stopped short when the leash pulled taut and wouldn’t let me go any further.

 

          I looked back at my dog, only to find her staring fixedly up into the rafters over my head. She growled low in her throat. My gaze nervously flicked in the direction she was peering, and I caught a glimpse of a shadow up above.

 

          Someone was in the rafters.

 

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3 Comments


Judith Sterling
Judith Sterling
Jun 22

I loved all of these mysteries!

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Donna Simonetta
Donna Simonetta
Jun 21

Thank you so much for featuring the cozy mysteries I write under the pen name Louise Stevens! I really appreciate it! And don't my covers look pretty all together in your graphic! Happy Friday!

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N. N. Light
N. N. Light
Jun 21

Thank you, Louise, for sharing your writing journey and books with our readers!

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