Tag Archives: Restaurant critic reviews hotel food enemies

#HobbyCareerPassion: Brenda Whiteside with A Passion to Solve Crime & New Release: Candy, Cigarettes, and Murder ~ #CozyMystery #AHAgrp #Blog

Welcome to my weekly feature where authors share about the hobbies, careers, or passions of their characters.

I’m pleased to introduce today’s guest, Nicole Earp…

A Passion to Solve Crime

Brenda Whiteside having chocolate martinis with her sister

Hi, my name is Nicole Earp, but everyone calls me Nic. I’m half of the Chocolate Martini Sisters. Thank you, Alicia, for having me on your blog today to talk about my hobby or career passion. I love the word passion, don’t you? It implies such deep feelings about whatever spins your top.

I’m a freelance travel author. My articles appear in travel magazines and on various online sites. I love to visit out of the way places around the western United States and write about my experiences. Most recently, I was lucky enough to do a series of articles about train travel. Riding the rail was great fun.

I dabble in candle making too, but most recently I’ve discovered a new passion—sleuthing with my sister Em. Solving murder mysteries that seem to fall in our laps is great fun. Oh, please don’t take that wrong. The poor souls who meet their demise at the hands of others is a sad state of affairs. Em and I both love seeing justice done for them. And we’re quite good at following the clues to do just that. Chief Homicide Detective Ben Guthrie isn’t fully appreciative of our talents. But honestly, I think the crimes are solved so much quicker with the Chocolate Martini Sisters on the caper.

I hope you’ll join us in Wyatt, Arizona at the historical Dulce Inn and Azul Saloon to follow the clues and the fun. At the end, we’ll toast with a chocolate martini.

It’s a birthday weekend with the gift of murder.

Recently widowed, Emma Banefield looks forward to a getaway birthday weekend with her free-wheeling sister, Nicole Earp, sipping chocolate martinis at the peaceful, historic Dulce Inn. When a rude stranger, a nasty food critic, and a madhouse of temperamental artists greet them, all hope for a tranquil weekend evaporates faster than dew on a hot desert morning.

Overlooking the riotous atmosphere is doubly hard after Em discovers the body of a hotel guest, and a second murder affects Nic personally. Now, entrenched in a caper that pits them against a surly detective, they cozy up to a hotel staff hiding dangerous secrets to uncover clues to the killer.

Using their smarts and love of all-things mystery, will the Chocolate Martini Sisters solve the crime ahead of the obstinate Chief Detective or find themselves trapped in the middle of a third murder?


“I was thinking, Em, if Shaw is a nasty food critic, and I have no doubt he is, we could do an Internet search. Check out who he’s trashed.” She plucked her phone from her bag.

Her sister frowned. “Or we could relax and enjoy what’s left of our sister holiday, at least for a few hours.” She stood. “Let’s walk across to the art fair in the park. I could use a break from murder and mayhem.”

“Great idea. Maybe I could find something for Chloe for her birthday.” The mention of her daughter brought Liam to mind. She wanted to ask Em if she’d heard from her son, but supposed that if she had, she would’ve mentioned it. Best leave it alone or her sister would start worrying again. She glanced out the window. “I need to get a hat before we go. I don’t see a cloud in the sky.” She slung her purse over her shoulder and stood. “I’ll make a quick run upstairs. You want to go, or can I get you anything?”

“No. I’ll stroll around the lobby while you run upstairs.”

“Ha. You’re still sleuthing in spite of being tired of the drama. Or is it Chief Homicide Detective Guthrie you hope to run into?” She elbowed her sister as they left the restaurant and entered the lobby.

“Get your stupid hat and meet me out front.” Em’s lighthearted gleam downplayed her feigned grousing. “And hurry or I’ll leave without you.”

She chuckled and hurried through the lobby, dodging guests ambling amongst the exhibition pieces. While waiting for the elevator, she surveyed the activity. A brittle air had settled over the stately room and charged the lobby with a tense ambiance. News of the murder must have already spread like a brush fire over the Bradshaw Mountains. Guests whispered furtively to one another, the gist of which appeared to have nothing to do with the art they perused.

Penelope was nowhere to be seen. Another employee and Stonewell, heads together, manned the front desk. An office door opened. Ramirez stuck his head out, glanced about, then ducked back inside. Who or what did he seek? Jillian’s office door was closed. Detective Guthrie could very likely have commandeered her space for interviewing guests and employees. Would he have a docket of suspects by the end of the day? The elevator dinged. Nic smiled. Would his list match the Chocolate Martini Sisters’ litany of suspects?

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About the authors:

Joyce Proell is the award-winning author of Amaryllis, Eliza and the Cady Delafield mysteries: A Deadly Truth, A Burning Truth and A Wicked Truth. Along with her husband and little dog, Nellie, she lives in Minnesota in her very own little house on the prairie. She loves to hear from readers.

Visit her website at http://www.joyceproell.com or


Brenda Whiteside is the award-winning author of romantic suspense, romance, and cozy mystery. After living in six states and two countries—so far—she and her husband have settled in Central Arizona. They admit to being gypsies at heart and won’t discount the possibility of another move. They share their home with a rescue dog named Amigo. While FDW fishes, Brenda writes.

Visit Brenda at https://www.brendawhiteside.com or https://www.facebook.com/BrendaWhitesideAuthor


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