Midnight on the Mississippi by Mary Ellis

While on vacation summer, I read Midnight on the Mississippi by Mary Ellis. Mary is a friend of mine and has been writing bestselling novels for years, but this is her first mystery. What a great mystery debut! The atmospheric novel has a clear sense of place, a spunky heroine, and enough twists and turns to keep me guessing. I can’t wait for her next mystery! You should check it out!51QcSg01vHL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_

Summary of the novel:

Midnight on the Mississippi begins the new Secrets of the South Mysteries from bestselling author Mary Ellis. These complex crime dramas follow an investigator’s quest to make the world a better place…solving one case at a time.

New Orleans–Hunter Galen, a stock and securities broker, suspects his business partner, James Nowak, may be involved in embezzling their clients’ money, but he’s reluctant to jeopardize their friendship based on suspicion alone. After James turns up dead, Hunter realizes his unwillingness to confront a problem may have cost James his life.

Nicki Price, a newly minted PI, intends to solve the stockbroker’s murder, recover the missing millions from the client accounts, and establish herself in the career she adores. As she ferrets out fraud and deception at Galen Investments, Hunter’s fiancee, Ashley Menard, rubs Nicki the wrong way. Nicki doesn’t trust the ostentatious woman with an agenda longer than the Mississippi River. Ashley seems to be hiding something, but is Nicki’s growing attraction to Hunter–a suspected murderer–her true reason for disliking Ashley?

As they encounter sophisticated shell games, blackmail, and murder, Nicki and Hunter’s only option is to turn to God as they search for answers, elude lethal danger, and perhaps discover love along the way.


Best Issue of RT Book Reviews EVER!

I’m thrilled to share that I received two wonderful reviews in the September 2013 issue of RT Book Reviews.

The first is a 4 1/2 STAR TOP PICK review for A PLAIN DISAPPEARANCE, the third Appleseed Creek Mystery.

This is what reviewer Patsy Glans writes:

“The third installment of the outstanding Appleseed Creek series is a mystery with twists and turns and an unexpected ending that will keep readers up until the wee hours of the morning. Readers are reunited with characters from the first two books and will meet some new ones. Flower has hit it out of the ballpark with this series and continues to amaze with her knowledge of the Amish way of life.


The second review is a 4 STAR review for MURDER, PLAIN AND SIMPLE, the first Amish Quilt Shop Mystery, which I write as Isabella Alan.

This is what the reviewer writes:

This series starter set in Amish country will delight readers with its details of the community’s culture and lifestyle. The contrast between the simple life and a grisly murder play out nicely in this well-done cozy… the author does a good job of introducing several key players in the community, which develops a strong sense of place, and provides plenty of material for future mysteries.”

Reviews make a huge difference for authors in the success of the novel. From reviews on seller sites like Amazon and B&N to reviews in trade publications like RT Book Reviews, they all help. I want to thank everyone who has been so generous to take the time to read and review my novels over the years.


I have a HUGE giveaway planned to launch SUPER SEPTEMBER. It starts August 6th, release day of PLAINLY MURDER, the e-novella prequel to MURDER, PLAIN AND SIMPLE. Subscribe to my e-newsletter to be one of the first to hear. Trust me, you are going to want to enter this one!  Sign up for my e-newsletter HERE or email me at authoramandaflower@gmail.com


Happy Murder in a Basket Release Day!

Today is release day for my second India Hayes mystery, Murder in a Basket!

Now available at Amazon.com, Five Star, Barnes and Noble & Books-A-Million

If you can’t find the mystery at your favorite bookstore, please ask the shopkeeper to order it. Remember, you can always suggest Murder in a Basket to your local library to purchase so that you and all of your friends can read it!

In Murder in a Basket, college librarian India Hayes thought the worst thing about the Stripling Founders’ Festival was her pink gingham pioneer dress until she discovered the body of a free-spirited basket weaver on the festival grounds. The basket weaver leaves behind an angry blacksmith husband, a confused adopted son, greedy siblings, a dysfunctional artists’ co-op, and a labradoodle with a two-million-dollar trust in his name. Despite the wrath of her college’s provost and protests by handsome police detective Rick Mains, India finds herself playing sleuth as well as foster-owner to the two-million-dollar dog. With her own eccentric family commenting from the sidelines and her Irish-centric landlady as volunteer sidekick, India must discover the truth before she has a permanent canine houseguest or ends up the next victim in the basket weaver’s murder.

What the reviewer are saying…

“. . . this humorous cozy moves at a steady clip, throwing in a monkey wrench or two to put readers off-track. Agatha Award nominee Flower has the chops to make this series last. ”- Library Journal

“Fans of Donna Andrews’ humorous Meg Langslow mysteries will enjoy India and her quirky extended family.” –Booklist

“In Flower’s delightful, clean-as-a-whistle second India Hayes mystery, India, the librarian at Ohio’s Martin College, intends to retrieve the items she left in her face-painting booth at the founders’ festival, but discovers more than she bargained for . . . The satisfying conclusion will leave cozy fans eager for India’s next adventure.” –Publishers Weekly

To celebrate the second India Hayes Mystery, I’m hosting a Super Sale of Agatha Award-Nominated Maid of Murder on Kindle. Now, it’s $2.99!! Click here for the Kindle version.

MAID OF MURDER is released today!

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Borders should have copies of Maid of Murder available on July 7, 2010.

India Hayes, a college librarian and reluctant bridesmaid, is thrown into the role of amateur sleuth as she hunts down the person who murdered her childhood friend and framed her brother for the crime.

When bride-to-be Olivia turns up dead in the Martin College fountain and the evidence points to India’s brother Mark, India must unmask the real culprit while juggling a furious Mother of the Bride, an annoying Maid of Honor, a set of hippie-generation parents, a police detective who is showing a marked liking for her, and a provost itching to fire someone, anyone—maybe even a smart-mouthed librarian.

“The first bud in a new series that fans of Donna Andrews’s lighthearted Meg Langslow mysteries will be eager to see bloom.”-Kirkus Reviews (April 15, 2010)

“Flower’s breezy debut introduces a quirky heroine… will appeal to cozy fans.” -Publishers Weekly (April 12, 2010)

“Author Amanda Flower juggles it all with style and charm, making this a most welcome debut.” -Gillian Roberts, author of the Amanda Pepper Mysteries

MAID OF MURDER: An India Hayes Mystery
Publisher: Five Star Mystery, Gale/Cengage Learning
ISBN: 978-1-59414-864-4
Release: June 16, 2010
Coming in LARGE PRINT September 2010 from Thorndike Press
Large Print ISBN: 978-1-4104-2976-6

Ten Clues You Might be a Library Geek

  1. You keep researching a reference question long after the patron has left the building.
  2. You use the phrase “Boolean operator” in everyday speech.
  3. You know what OCLC does… you know OCLC exists.
  4. You have trouble remembering facts because you know where to look them up.
  5. Cutter numbers make perfect sense to you.
  6. You find the smell of old books comforting.
  7. You “circ” things.
  8. You know you can weed indoors.
  9. You know a periodical and serial aren’t always the same thing.
  10. Your first thought after getting great reviews for your debut novel in Publishers Weekly and Kirkus Reviews is, “I’m going to be searchable in Ebscohost!”

Publishers Weekly And Kirkus Reviews Give Maid of Murder Great Reviews

Publishers Weekly Review. (April 12, 2010)

This title will publish in June 2010


Maid of Murder: An India Hayes Mystery Amanda Flower Five Star, $25.95 (282p) ISBN 978-1-59414-864-4

Flower’s breezy debut introduces a quirky heroine—India Hayes, a librarian at Martin College in Stripling, Ohio, who’s also an artist. India agrees, yet again, to be a bridesmaid, this time for her childhood friend, Olivia Blocken, for whom her brother, Mark, an assistant professor at Martin, still carries a torch. After Olivia left Stripling for college elsewhere, Mark suffered a breakdown and buried himself in mathematics. Not wanting to upset Mark, India doesn’t tell him she’s a bridesmaid in his lost love’s wedding. When someone pushes Olivia to her death in the college fountain and Mark becomes the most likely murder suspect, India turns amateur sleuth in an effort to prove her brother’s innocence. Warring cats and distinctive characters, like India’s “everything Irish” landlady and her bizarre ’60s activist parents, will appeal to cozy fans. (June)



Kirkus Review. (April 15, 2010)


Author: Flower, Amanda

Some tales of murdered brides are pretty grim. Not this one.

Martin College librarian India Hayes is surprised when her childhood friend Olivia Blocken asks her to be a bridesmaid. She’s even more surprised at the horrifying bridesmaid’s dress her old friend has picked out. The pair’s friendship has been cool ever since Olivia dumped India’s math-whiz brother Mark in high school, but India feels a sense of duty to Olivia despite that dress. She also knows that, as a bridesmaid, she has a way to keep Mark away from the wedding—an important office, as he’s never really gotten over his feelings for Olivia. When Olivia is murdered days before her nuptials, Mark is the obvious suspect—obvious to everyone except India, who’s certain that her brother would never hurt a fly. As the Blocken family pushes hard for Mark’s arrest, India turns amateur sleuth in pursuit of evidence that will convince Detective Rich Mains of her brother’s innocence. Added to this are the complexities India has to deal with in her family: her liberal parents, throwbacks from the ’60s who want to stage a demonstration; her pregnant sister Carmen, who’s a bundle of combustible hormones; and Mark, who may be his own worst enemy.

The first bud in a new series that fans of Donna Andrews’s lighthearted Meg Langslow mysteries will be eager to see bloom.