By Julie B Cosgrove
I have always loved word puzzles and word games. Scrabble is more often set up on my dining room table than placemats and napkins. I play Words with Friends and Wordle daily. Even as a preteen, I would grab the newspaper section from my Dad so I could be the first to solve the Jumble, then try and find as many words as I could made out of the letters in the posted word of the day.
Back then I was a suspense and mystery buff, too. Still am. I binge out on British mysteries like Death in Paradise, Shakespeare & Hathaway, Father Brown, Vera … just to name a few (they do them so very well), and watch reruns of Diagnosis Murder, Columbo, Murder She Wrote, Psych, Quincy, etc. Since middle school―let’s not discuss how long ago that was―I’ve love reading cozy mysteries, my genre of choice.
So, is it any surprise my wise, older sister asked why I didn’t combine the two and write a cozy mystery series about Wordplay? Gauntlet thrown, how could I say no? Blessings abound, my publisher agreed. Thanks, sis.
I designed Scrub Oak, Texas, complete with the shops and shopkeepers, the police, the churches, and the town folk. It is a great place to visit, so I hope you will. I can honestly say this has been the most fun I have experienced in my writing career journey yet!
Here are brief synopses of the first three Word Play Mysteries…
Word Has It – Not prone to gossip, Wanda keeps herself to herself. But when she hears from her nephew Todd, now a local policeman, that a ring of thieves may be hiding out in the area, she begins to wonder if the old Ferguson place is still abandoned. When words like jewels, woodshed, landing, and evil appear on their weekly word game days after a deadly shooting on the property, she determines it is a sign she and her friends should investigate.
Word Gets Around – Each of the three ladies receive a nonsensical note slipped between the wiper blades of their cars. When the ladies combine the words on a word game board, it spells trouble for one of Betty’s former students, who is now a freelance reporter for the Oakmont County Gazette. Could it be she reported way too much?
In Other Words – Many English words contain the same letters but in different order, like stressed and desserts. After the local store owner is found dead in the alley, the ladies will need their word playing skills to unravel the dual meanings of the graffiti that appears around town before two more people’s games end.
On August 26th, number four releases.
Hang On Every Word – Wanda lands a gig as the word puzzle designer for the local newspaper. Then the answers to her clues end up as crimes. Some merchants wonder if she is feeding the crooks so she can get credit for solving more mysteries. Will her nephew Todd be pressured into arresting his own aunt?
And this is the exciting part – everyone who preorders the book on Amazon by July 1st will get a FREE chapter every Friday emailed to them until it releases. They get a sneak peek before anyone else! Plus, they are put in a drawing to receive a $10 Amazon gift certificate, too.
Details can be found on my website, juliebcosgrove.com .
Here is a sample of what you’ll read…
“No fingerprints were left behind, so he or she wore gloves. He or she knew the tills would be full. These robberies appear to be planned out, as most are. Not spontaneous as if the word puzzles you designed in the newspaper helped them decide who to hit.”
“How long does it take to grab gloves?” She waggled a finger at her nephew. “Pardon me for saying so, but these three all seem like hit and runs, no pun intended. My guess is the burglar lives elsewhere.”
“I hope you’re right. Vicki is an old friend. And Mason seems like a great guy.” He leaned in and brushed her cheek with his lips. “And I’m rather fond of my aunt as well. I don’t want to see any of you handcuffed.” Todd rose, put on his police Stetson, and left her kitchen.
Wanda stared as he closed the door behind him. Did he seriously think she might be involved? Surely not.
Images zipped across her imagination― red flashing lights, squawking highway patrol radios, and herself in handcuffs slammed face down against the hood of her car.
Oh, get a grip.
About Julie B Cosgrove
Freelance writer, award-winning traditionally published author and speaker Julie B Cosgrove leads retreats, workshops, and Bible studies. She writes regularly for several Christian websites and publications.
Julie has won “One of the 50 Writers You should be Reading” in 2015 & 2016 by the nationally syndicated radio The Author Show and is a Grace Award finalist, INSPY semifinalist, and winner of the Best Religious Fiction 2016 winner and Best Cozy Mystery 2017 by the Texas Association of Authors.
But her passion is story-telling and she loves to read mysteries and suspense as well as write them. She currently has three mystery series: The Bunco Biddies Mysteries, The Relatively Seeking Mysteries, and the Wordplay Mysteries.
Hi, Betty Thomason Owens here. I thoroughly enjoyed the first two books of Wordplay Mysteries–Word Has It and Word Gets Around. In Other Words is on my TBR list and I have already preordered Hang On Every Word.
I’m a fan of Julie B Cosgrove. 🙂
I had not previously read many cozy mysteries, but her first book hooked me. The characters are delightful, warm, and charming. Small town candor and innocence abounds. If you’re a mystery reader, I encourage you to give Julie’s books a read. Just good, clean fun!