Self-Published Saturday (SPS) is my effort to help self-published and indie authors with the heavy task of marketing their books. Self-published authors have to do it all, from cover design to marketing and more. This is my effort to take a bit of that load and help promote their books on a Saturday. This week, Saturday got away from me because life happens, so I’m actually putting SPS up on a Sunday today. The spirit of SPS is the same, Saturday or Sunday. Please share these books on your social media, so all of your followers can see these great books as well. Today’s first review is of Songbird, a wonderful cozy historical mystery by Gail Meath set in New York City, 1923.
Following the review is a short Q&A with the author, Gail Meath.
I am the editor of this particular book. I wanted to make sure you had full knowledge of that before you read my review. My review is honest and my opinions are my own. This was my first editing adventure, and I want to thank Gail Meath for allowing me the opportunity. I am planning to start freelance editing next year and am doing a few editing jobs right now free of charge in order to gain experience. So let me know if need any help!
Normally I come up with a paragraph describing the book on my own. But Gail Meath’s description is so good I couldn’t possibly come up with anything better, and it’s so clever I wanted to share it with you. So here is the book description written by Gail Meath.
Meet Jax Diamond, a sharp, sophisticated, skilled, no-nonsense private detective. Or is he? Glued to his side is his canine partner, Ace, a fierce and unrelenting German Shepherd whose mere presence terrorizes criminals into submission. Well, maybe not.
But the two of them are a whole lot smarter than they look. And they have their hands full when a playwright’s death is declared natural causes, and his new manuscript worth a million bucks is missing.
Laura Graystone, a beautiful rising Broadway star, is dragged into the heart of their investigation, and she’s none too happy about it. Especially when danger first strikes, and she needs to rely on her own ingenuity to save their hides.
Join Jax, Laura and Ace on a fun yet deadly ride during the Roaring Twenties that takes twists and turns, and a race against time to find the real murderer before he/she/they stop them permanently.
This is a fantasically fun cozy mystery set in 1923 New York. The characters don’t just jump off the page, they pull you into their world. Jax’s sidekick, Ace, the wonderfully charming German Shepherd, will make his way into your heart in no time. The setting in 1923 New York City is well described and transports us back to that place and time. The portrayal of Coney Island makes you feel as if you are there, hanging on for dear life in the Steeplechase or winning a prize in the baseball toss. The mystery is so well done, with puzzles and red herrings that will keep you guessing. The main characters are complex and interesting. Jax, private investigator and former cop, has his own secrets to keep, and Laura’s talents are revealed to expand way beyond singing.
There is a sweet romance, but the complex and fascinating mystery is the star of the show, along with the lovable Ace. I highly recommend this book, the first in the Jax Diamond Mysteries series, to all mystery fans and to anyone who loves reading about our canine friends.
I received a free copy of this book from the author. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.
Songbird will be released November 11, 2021.
Q&A WITH GAIL MEATH
Songbird is a fun cozy mystery, and a little more lighthearted than your complex and wonderful previous historical novels, such as Agustina De Aragon and Countess Jacqueline. Where did you get the inspiration for Songbird?
A while back, I found and fell in love with the cover, and I knew that I had to write a book around it. Over the summer, I had so much fun researching the Roaring Twenties era; the story just became a reflection of how I envisioned life on Broadway back then. And it was a nice break from writing about the struggles of war.
The series is set in 1923 in New York City. Did you face any challenges in setting a mystery during this time and place?
Choosing New York City made research easier than other places since it is one of the largest cities. And I found tons of information regarding historical restaurants, speakeasies, theaters, etc. There was so much more I wanted to include in the book, but I didn’t want to distract from the story.
Your description of Coney Island is fascinating and the rides sound like deadly fun. Seriously, I’m not sure how anyone survived some of these rides. Was there a lot of research material available for 1923 Coney Island?
Like the rest the city, there was a great deal of research, but none of the articles tells you more about the Coney Island Amusement Park than the video I found. It is a hoot! Note from Bonnie: Please check out the link here of old 1920s Coney Island rides. You won’t want to miss it, and you will also be wondering how anyone survived! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Wz5vZmU8Dc&t=47s
One of your main characters is a German Shepherd, and he is delightful! Was it challenging to make an animal a major part of the story, and do you have any dogs yourself?
I am an avid animal lover and have a little Boston Terrier now. Years ago, as soon as I married and moved to the country, I adopted Gretchen, the most beautiful, loyal and loving friend I’ve ever had. She even saved my son’s life once. She is still sorely missed, so it was very easy and fun finding a place for her as Ace in this book.
Was Gretchen a German Shepherd?
Yes, Gretchen was a shepherd, and she looked just like the pic I have of Ace under the covers in the book.
It appears there will be a sequel to Songbird. Can you confirm that?
BLACKSTONE, Jax Diamond Mysteries – Book 2, should be ready in March and takes place in New England, but I’m not done with BROADWAY yet (Book 3)
Thank you Gail, for another great interview and for answering my questions today on short notice!
I love this cover. You instantly know you are in the 1920’s, and Ace and Jax are represented by the cards in the left corner. Very well done. The cover was done before the book, which is unusual, but as Gail stated above, it served as inspiration for the story.
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