Virtual Book Tour
by Author Joy Ann Ribar November 13-24, 2023
As a retired college professor, I welcome new additions to the field of academic mysteries. This cozy mystery adds to the genre with a main character whose esoteric field of study offers a new aspect to sleuthing.
In contrast to the generic college professor often depicted in cozy mysteries, there’s an intriguing depth to the main character L.L. Browning, known to others as Bay. The author portrays Bay as professional, compassionate, and intelligent, traits reflected in the way Bay interacts with many of the characters, although less often with family.
An adversarial relationship between amateur sleuths and law enforcement is often seen in cozy mysteries; that communication pattern is first evident in early interactions, and most notably when Bay decides to willfully ignore the homicide detective’s strict instructions to not discuss details of the investigation with anyone. (Professors do seem to have a passion for charging ahead, right into the action!) As the plot progresses, the relationship between amateur and professional morphs into something more personal and cooperative. This bodes well for the next book in the series.
Family is a continuing thread woven through the plot. The drama appears based on unresolved conflict which influences current relationships and family dynamics. From the start, Bay’s father and sister seem to take it for granted that Bay will adapt her carefully ordered life to accommodate their own needs and desires. The father, Barrett, uses “family” as an emotional cudgel and convinces Bay to shoulder the obligations brought about by the unexpected arrival of her sister, Cass.
On his own, Barrett seems an incomplete, even vague character through the story, while in contrast, the character of Bay’s sister quickly caught my attention, along with her cat, Minerva. I’d like to have seen much more of Minerva; here, she seems more of a prop than a character. Despite that, the names themselves suggest a backstory not yet revealed. What we do learn is that Cass was recently released from prison after serving a three-year sentence for larceny and fraud. Now on parole, Cass moves in, uninvited, with Bay and secures a job in security–surely a surprising occupation for a felon. I hope future books in the series will include Cass and Minerva.
Bay’s unique studies in mythology, enhanced by a colleague’s knowledge of iconography, prove vital in unraveling the tangled web of art, literature, and family. If you enjoy an unusual mystery with an academic flair, this may be a good choice for your own bookshelf!
Praise for The Medusa Murders:
“This first-in-series held me captive on the edge of my seat where I frantically turned the pages of this intricately crafted story, desperate to solve the mystery. And, oh, what a revelation it is!” Laurie Buchanan, author of the Sean McPherson crime thriller novels
“A gritty and intense mystery that grabs you and won’t let go until the end. The personal relationships are complex, just like many in real life, and the familial drama pulls you in.” Kelly Young, author of A Travel Writer mystery series and Haunted and Harassed paranormal mystery series
“Ribar effectively wraps mythology, academia, archeology, and a touch of paranormal phenomena together to produce a more than satisfying read. Looking forward to spending more time with Bay.” Debra H. Goldstein, author of The Sarah Blair Mysteries
“A well-written, fast-paced and vibrant debut novel. A highly recommended new series.” Christine DeSmet, writing coach and author of The Fudge Shop Mystery series and Mischief in Moonstone series
Professor Bay Browning has more snake problems than the Garden of Eden in this twisted mystery. The English Literature instructor is busy preparing for a new semester when a serial killer, known as Medusa, bites her quiet life in the behind. A wild ride ensues when Bay and her grifter sister, Cass, assist a perturbed Detective Downing with the investigation. What else can the sisters do, once they become Medusa’s targets? Will the slithering trail of mythology, art history, and family secrets help them catch a killer before she turns them to stone?
Book Details:Genre: Amateur Sleuth, Mystery, Crime Published by: Wine Glass Press Publication Date: November 2023 Number of Pages: 316 ISBN: 9781959078203 Series: Bay Browning Mysteries, #1 Book Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookShop.org | BookBub | Goodreads
Read an excerpt:
Joy Ann Ribar is an RV author, writing on the road wherever her husband and their Winnebago View wanders. Joy’s cocktail of careers includes news reporter, paralegal, English educator, and aquaponics greenhouse technician, all of which prove useful in penning mysteries. She loves to bake, read, do wine research, and explore nature. Joy’s writing is inspired by Wisconsin’s four distinct seasons, natural beauty, and kind-hearted, but sometimes quirky, people. Joy holds a BA in Journalism from UW-Madison and an MS in Education from UW-Oshkosh. She is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, Blackbird Writers, and Wisconsin Writers Association.
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My thanks to Partners in Crime Tours for a complementary advance copy of this book. Opinions expressed are my own.