Author of the Week: Joyce Oroz

This week Joyce Oroz holds the title of Author of the Week! Two cozy mysteries of hers Cozy Cat Press has published are Cuckoo Clock Caper and Roller Rubout. Both mysteries are Josephine Stuart Mysteries. 

Cuckoo Clock Caper: A Josephine Stuart Mystery follows Josephine Stuart, a muralist in Aromas, California. One night she's awoken by an explosion. When she goes to find out what happens, she finds her neighbors house has caught on fire and something has blown up. She worries the elderly brother and sister who live there have been caught in the blast, until the next morning. She finds Emmett Hooley asleep on her couch; he had been in the shed behind his house when the blast went off where he builds cuckoo clocks. Jo takes him under her wing until they get confirmation of his sister, Hilda's, death. The evidence points to arson, and Jo helps Emmett compile a list of possible suspects. When Jo follows Emmett to a cuckoo clock convention, their attempts to find Hilda's killer puts them both in danger. 

Here's an excerpt! Click the picture to read more! 

     "The explosion shook my bed, rattled the windows and sent books crashing into a heap on the floor. I leaped out of my bed, tripped over the books and stumbled down the dark hall. A smaller second explosion pushed me off balance. My shoulder hit the wall. I staggered through the kitchen on wobbly legs and gazed out the living room window facing west.
     "There were ten homes west of my old adobe, each on five acres of grassland sprinkled with oak trees, wild lilac and poison oak. I knew by the red sky that a neighbor was in trouble." 

Josephine Stuart solves another mystery in Roller Rubout: A Josephine Stuart Mystery. This time Jo is a witness to a hit and run. Mario Portello is run over by a black sedan while at his desk at Ralph's Roller Rink. Jo happened to be painting a mural at the rink and believes there was intent behind the crash. The police believe it was caused by an octogenarian with bi-focal vision and a lead foot. Mario is a hard guy to like, and his family and acquaintances are not too fond of him. Josephine must look beyond the dislike to find a real motive for murder. 

Check out this excerpt and click the picture to read more!

"The crashing noises were deafening behind me as I sprinted twenty yards to the back door, still gripping a drippy stir stick in my white-knuckled fist. I looked over my shoulder in time to see the vehicle backing through a massive hole in the wall, back to daylight, sidewalks and unsuspecting pedestrians. I heard the tires squeal and smelled rubber." 

     Joyce Oroz is a retired muralist and commercial artist, so it's no surprise Josephine takes after her! Oroz says, "Writing is like painting a series of pictures without the messy paint." When not writing mysteries Joyce Oroz posts on her blog, you can read it here:
     She began her writing career writing children's books and worked her way up to her first 400 page mystery novel, Secure the Ranch. She mainly writes about the things she loves: painting, animals, relationships, California, and mystery and adventure. Her ambition is to speed up the heartbeats, raise some hairs on the back of necks, and make people laugh. 

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