Author of the Week: Barbara Jean Coast

This week we have a slightly longer blog posting as our author this week is Barbara Jean Coast-- the pseudonym of two authors-- the author of mysteries Strangled by Silk: A Poppy Cove Mystery, Death of a Beauty Queen: A Poppy Cove Mystery, and their newest mystery A Nate to Remember: A Poppy Cove Mystery.   

Photo taken from Barbara Jean Coast's Facebook page

Photo taken from Barbara Jean Coast's Facebook page

Strangled by Silk is set in 1957 and centers around two young California women, Daphne and Margot, who own a dress shop called poppy cove. One day one of their top clients, Constance Stearns-Montgomery, is strangled to death with a silk scarf at the opening ceremonies for her new girls' academy. Now Daphne and Margot are determine to solve the crime, which isn't too surprising as Margot's significant other is the town's cop, and Daphne is a master at flirting and extracting information from unsuspecting men. However, they must solve this murder while planning their fall fashion show. Can they do it all?

Check out this excerpt: 

"Jake!" she excitedly hissed as she grabbed his arm. "Get that picture!" There was Tinsletown's supposedly most eligible bachelor with his wife and two daughters, looking very domesticated and--well--plain. "I'd heard that he wasn't the marrying kind. Things really have changed since I left town," she sighed. So intent on getting her story of the year, Loretta almost ran into Daphne. "Sorry Daphne. I didn't see you there. Do you have any idea where Constance is?"

Death of a Beauty Queen Margot and Daphne are producing a high society fashion show, in which Nora Burbank is participating in. Nora steals the show in a designer gown and custom-made necklace created by local jeweler Isaac Mendelson. However Issac's apprentice Efrem Goldberg sometimes uses the necklace without anyone's knowledge. Nora is able to keep the gown and necklace after the show, but come Monday morning Efrem arrives at Poppy Cove convinced that the necklace had been switched for the replica. Then Nora is found dead in her bed with the necklace missing. Can Margot and Daphne solve this murder and find the original necklace? 

Check out this excerpt: 

"She wasn't the only one. As Nora walked around the tables, audible oohs and aahs could be heard from the crowd, which was mainly made up of Mendelson's and Poppy Cove's clientele. Elaine Stinson, the pleasant and discreet mayor's wife, leaned over to her companions at her table, smiling and murmuring approval. Nancy Lewis, the social climbing wife of the manager of the First Bank of Santa Lucia, snapped at her daughter Barbara, telling her to pay attention and sit up straight, in the meantime preening towards the flashing camera of Jake Moore, a Santa Lucia times photographer who'd positioned himself near their table under the guidance of Loretta Simpson, the paper's Society Editor."

In A Nate to Remember things are going well for Margot and Daphne. Their business is growing, as Hollywood starlets are becoming customers and attracting national attention to their business. Even their love lives are growing. However, a walk with their boyfriends along the beach after and art show might change their luck. An unidentified man's body if found with a gunshot wound through his heart on the beach's shore. It's discovered that this dead man is actually Margot's ex-husband. Margot's hidden secrets are surprising, but it gets even worse when it's discovered that Margot's hidden handgun has gone missing, making her a suspect. Now Daphne must come to terms about her friend's secrets, and decides to have her own secret adventure. Will Margot be able to prove her innocence, while her friend is determined to become less innocent? 

Check out this excerpt: 

"Right. Well, good to meet you, Adonis. Detective Tom Malone, Santa Lucia Police Department." The striking handsome friend of Dan's, and Margot's main squeeze, stepped in to remind everyone that he had the power to keep it all friendly. Even is his plaid madras shirt and chinos, he cut a commanding figure."

Barabara Jean Coast is the pseudonym of authors Andrea Taylor and Heather Shkuratoff. 

Heather grew up in a household full of talented crafters and sewers, and so Heather developed skills to become a dressmaker and designer, which helps gives her characters details and charm they wouldn't have otherwise. She currently lives in Kelowna, BC, Canada, but spends a lot of time in California researching for her and Andrea's novels, and doing her best to live like Barbara Jean. 

Andrea had always imagined herself as a detective and writing adventurous stories. She also lives in Kelowna, BC, Canada, but travels to California to research for her novels. Andrea has also published freelance articles about fashion, current events, and childcare. She blogs on Wordpress about creativity and poetry, as well as researching for her own literary novels. 

Heather Shkuratoff

Heather Shkuratoff

Andrea Taylor 

Andrea Taylor 

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