Literally Dead

ISBN: 9781940795379

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Literally Dead
Book 2 of the Empty Nest Mystery Series

An homage to Dashell Hammet’s Thin Man movies with a modern day spin on Nick and Nora Charles

After her last disastrous episode as an amateur sleuth, Gracie Elliott is back. The budding romance writer has spent the past year crafting her first novel. Her hard work and determination pay off when her manuscript wins the Cream of the Crop award, a contest for unpublished writers, sponsored by the Society of American Romance Authors. First place entitles her to attend the organization’s annual conference, normally open only to published authors.

With husband Blake in tow, a starry-eyed Gracie experiences the ultimate fan-girl moment upon entering the hotel. Her favorite authors are everywhere. However, within minutes she learns Lovinia Darling, the Queen of Romance, is hardly the embodiment of the sweet heroines she creates. Gracie realizes she’s stepped into a romance vipers’ den of backstabbing, deceit, and plagiarism, but she finds a friend and mentor in bestselling author Paisley Prentiss.

Hours later, when Gracie discovers Lovinia’s body in the hotel stairwell, a victim of an apparent fall, Gracie is not convinced her death was an accident. Too many other authors had reason to want Lovinia dead. Ignoring Blake’s advice to “let the police handle it,” Gracie, aided by Paisley, begins her own investigation into the death. Romance has never been so deadly.


This was an enjoyable little whodunit that saw Gracie Elliott winning a writing award and having a body land near her. What looks like an accident turns out to be more once Gracie sets her mind that a murder has occurred. The author gives us an inside look at the publishing industry as well as telling a story of deceit and betrayal. With a multitude of suspects and a few surprising twists, this was nicely done and I like how the characters were portrayed in their respective roles. I love the relationship between Gracie and her husband with their witty repartee which adds to the telling of this tale.—Dru Ann Love, Dru’s Book Musings

“Literally Dead is a well-crafted mystery that will delight and entertain cozy fans, as well as (give) a backstage look at what can happen at a high-powered publishing conference. I can’t wait to see what trouble Gracie will get herself into next. I loved this book. Literally!”Susan Santangelo, Suspense Magazine  

“The mystery was put together very well… I thoroughly enjoy the humor she adds to her cozy mysteries.” — A Date with a Book

“The writing conference, with its range of characters, was the perfect backdrop for the story and it was nearly as fun to learn about the behind-the-scenes of the writing and publishing world as it was to read the book”.I Read What You Write

“I loved this book so much I really couldn't put it down. The concept was brilliant and the characters were funny, quirky, mean and backstabbing. …Get ready for a fun and exciting cozy mystery that will keep you on your toes and give you a behind the scenes of the author world.”Texas Book-aholic