Friday, January 14, 2022

BLOG TOUR - A Deception Most Deadly


Meet Cassie Gwynne: bookworm, cat lover, reluctant heiress… and determined detective?

Florida, 1883. Cassie Gwynne is looking for a fresh start when she steps off the steamship at Fernandina harbor for the first time. She’s trying hard to be a proper lady, for once. She’s styled her unruly hair, shined her boots, and even purchased a whole new fashionable (or at least fashionably priced) wardrobe. However, she’s certain finding a body is not very ladylike behavior…

While out exploring the beautiful island with her Aunt Flora, Cassie stumbles across the body of Peanut Runkles, town grump and her aunt’s neighbor, lying at the foot of the harbor pilots’ lookout tower. To make matters worse, because Peanut and Flora have been quarreling for years over everything from Flora’s eccentric ideas to her pet pig’s fondness for Peanut’s vegetable patch, Flora is immediately arrested for murder.

Desperate to save the only family she has left, Cassie vows to prove Flora’s innocence and untangle the mystery herself, no matter how much the surly local sheriff disapproves. Cassie’s brilliant mind and nose for a clue lead her on an investigation that takes her all around the island, and even earns her a valiant furry friend in Esy the kitten.

But how does the mysterious ledger Cassie finds hidden in a secret drawer in Peanut’s desk connect to the crime? Cassie is determined to dig up the truth, but can she catch the killer before her time on the island comes to a deadly end?

This warm and witty cozy mystery will transport you to the island city of Fernandina and introduce you to a feisty heroine far before her time! Perfect for fans of Verity Bright, T E Kinsey and Deanna Raybourn.


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Title:   A Deception Most Deadly
Author:  Genevieve Essig
Series:  A Cassie Gynne Mystery #1
Publisher:  Bookouture
Genre:   Cozy Mystery
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   340
Date of Publication:   January 14, 2022
My Rating:   4 Stars

The year is 1883 and Cassie Gynne has just arrived in Florida from New York after her father's death and is about to meet her aunt Flora. Not quite prepared to find the dead body of Peanut Runkles, Cassie is further shocked to find that due to previous quarrels between Flora and Peanut, not only is Flora a prime suspect, she is immediately jailed. Cassie may not know her aunt, but she depends on her gut feeling that her aunt is innocent, and vows to do whatever she can to prove that.

Cassie sticks her nose in whenever and wherever she can, even to the point of sneaking about Peanut's residence. Upon so doing, she finds a curious note in a hidden drawer of his. Could this be the clue she needs to prove her aunt's innocence and be the one to solve the crime? At the same time, how will Cassie avoid the dangerous pitfalls of asking one too many questions? Then considering that the victim had run-ins with more than a few people keep Cassie quite busy, even if it means clashing with those responsible for solving this case at hand.

All while Cassie is working on this, she is also trying to fit into the role of a lady, donning appropriate fashion. This makes this cozy mystery all that more enjoyable. There was a very light flow to this enjoyable story, especially considering how Cassie met her aunt for the very first time. 

What an engaging read to what promises to be quite an enjoyable new series. Meeting Cassie definitely made it easy for me. She is more than likeable, as is her aunt Flora. The fact that they both loved animals and that there was an adorable kitten along for the ride only added to the delightful charm this book had. 

Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.


If you think about it, it makes perfect sense I’d eventually try to be a writer. One need only examine my childhood, as any therapist will tell you, and look for the signs: On family vacations my poor mother, already on her last nerve as my father, the Botany Professor, drove us around winding mountain roads with one eye on the ground vegetation, constantly screamed at me to “stop reading and look at the scenery.” I assigned my books call numbers and insisted my friends “check them out” from my “library” (the fines for late returns were steep but, as it turned out, largely unenforceable). I wrote plays about forest fairies and figures from classical mythology and petitioned for special dispensation so I could stage them on the playground during lunch. My favorite school task was diagramming sentences.

So, when, many years later, I scaled back my other work to spend more time writing, no one really should have been surprised. Concerned for my sanity and financial well-being, maybe, but not surprised. And am I ever glad I did. I am truly blessed, and I make an effort every day to remember that.

What else... I'm half-Chinese and Florida-raised, Yale- and UVA- educated, and Chicago...buffed and polished? In any case, I now proudly call New Orleans home, and when I'm not writing or getting lost down research rabbit holes, I spend my time practicing law, shooting pool, performing operas and musicals, ogling old buildings, acting for film and television, futzing with inventions that address highly specific and possibly only-annoying-to-me problems, traveling, ranting at bartenders about the evils of straws, riding horses, and petting strange cats (though, since we've recently welcomed home a new kitten friend, Musette, I might need to cut back on that last).

Author social media


Instagram: @essigauthor


Twitter: @essigauthor


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