Cozy Mysteries with a Dash of Romance
Newest Release: The Key to Secrets, the seventh of the Hearts in Hazard series
Debutantes should snare fiancés, not murder them.
When Constable Hector Evans returns to Chalmsley Court, he doesn’t expect the violent crime to be the murder of one of Lord Chalmsley’s guests. His lordship wants a quick resolution, before gossip about the crime’s salacious nature and trap-like killing becomes widespread. With no murder weapon, no identifiable clues, and no eyewitnesses, Hector has little to build a case. He has plenty of suspects, even when he realizes the murderer must be a woman.
Even though other guests could have killed the man, Hector finds himself focusing on the Chalmsley family. Was it compulsive Cordelia? Obsessive Portia? Mad Aunt Beth, who gives him riddling clues as snippets of ballads. Hector would blame George, who grew up tormenting his sisters and torturing small animals, but George left two years ago for a rest-cure in Vienna. He can’t have returned, can he?
Bee Seddars, the girl who broke his heart, is a distraction he doesn’t need, especially as she and her cousins are among those celebrating recent engagements. Bee is as lovely as he once thought her and seemingly the most rational member of the Chalmsley family, but he wonders if a few brief months so many summers ago could possibly give him an understanding of who she is. Hector can’t get her to open up about the Chalmsley family secrets. Unlocking those, he believes, is key to solving the murder. Yet Bee seems to mistrust him—while he thought she was the one who broke the trust between them, since she refused to write him after he was sent away to join the Bow Street Runners.
In his first twelve hours on the case, the murder scene is torched and the victim’s journal is burned. In his second twelve hours, a second fiancé is murdered with the missing weapon. And Hector’s suspect lists remains an ell long and a grief wide.
With madness looking like the strongest motive and only circumstantial evidence to build his case, will Hector find the murderess before she strikes again? Or will he discover his lost love is causing bloody death?
He needs The Key to Secrets at Chalmsley Court.
A cozy mystery of 66,000 words, The Key to Secrets is the seventh entry in the Hearts to Hazard series of Regency mysteries. Each book is a standalone novel, complete unto itself, with loose interconnections of characters.
Constable Hector Evans was first introduced in The Danger to Hearts, the sixth Hearts in Hazards.
The Key to Secrets (see above) and purchase here
The Key for Spies (coming soon)
The Key with Hearts (coming soon)
The Hazards of Secrets (coming 2019)
The Hazards for Spies (coming 2019)
The Hazards with Hearts (coming 2019)
Purchase all M.A. Lee’s books here!
Recent Release: Christmas with Death / Into Death Book 2
Christmas is for miracles, merriment, and murder.
An English country Christmas in 1919 should be a joyful celebration. Isabella Newcombe, however, discovers only petty sniping and bitterness when she and her friends (Cecilia Arkwright and the brothers Madoc and Gawen Tarrant) are invited to Emberley.
They plan to leave before New Year’s Eve, then Isabella and her fiancé Madoc discover the body of a fellow visitor, shot dead and left lying in an ice-skimmed pond.
With multiple motives and suspects, will Scotland Yard solve the crime before Isabella is the murderer’s next target? Will an imperfect murder be impossible to solve?
Here is the joy of working with a great cover design group like Deranged Doctor Design:
- I say artist in Greece, they find images with sketches of Greece.
- I say heroine’s favorite color is periwinkle; they find a place to use it.
- I say set in early 20th century; they find a costumed model with a period-appropriate dress.
- I say beach; they give me a beach with a lovely sunset.
- They actually gave me two cover options, one with a beached boat that had lovely colors . . . but no boat in this book.
Give your cover designer ideas but very little direction. Trust the designer’s aesthetic.
Find a cover designer with your aesthetic; my search took almost two years, which gave me time to focus on other writing. The wait was useful: I published the first three books in the Hearts in Hazard series back to back, which I believe increased their sales.
M.A. Lee’s NonFiction
Think / Pro Planner is available here