Knight Light

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Claudia Riess and her mystery by novel, Knight Light.

Author’s description

On March 24, 1946, World Chess Champion, Alexander Alekhine, is found dead in his hotel room in Estoril, Portugal.  The cause of death remains mired in controversy when, three-quarters of a century later, a letter of his that could rock the art world is unearthed in a routine home renovation in upstate New York.  The letter is addressed to a person of international repute and offers information about art works looted during the German occupation of Paris.
When the young man in possession of the letter is brutally murdered, his mentor, art history professor Harrison Wheatley and Harrison’s sleuthing partner, art magazine editor Erika Shawn, hurl themselves into the dual mission of tracking down both the killer and the looted art.
The hunt takes the couple to far flung locations, and as the stakes rise along with the murder count, it looks like the denouement will take place far from the comforts of home.

About the Author

Claudia Riess is a Vassar graduate who’s worked in the editorial departments of The New Yorker and Holt, Rinehart and Winston.  She is author of the Art History Mystery Series published by Level Best Books and includes: “Stolen Light,”* “False Light” and “Knight Light.” She is also author of “Semblance of Guilt” and “Love and Other Hazards.”

“Knight Light,” the third novel in her Art History Mystery Series, released February 23, 2021, follows the series amateur sleuths Erika Shawn, art magazine editor and Harrison Wheatley, art history professor, as they tackle the sinister world of art crime that tests both their courage- and love-under-fire.

Find the Author

Website —
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Buy the Book

Amazon buy link:

Yes, there is a giveaway

The author will be awarding a $50 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

My Favorite Excerpt

The door to the master bedroom was wide open, yet seeing the tableau of nanny and infant locked in a look he read as mutual devotion, Harrison felt obliged to rap on the door before disturbing the scene.

Kate was standing in profile, cradling Lucas in her arms.  She had on a form-fitting tank top and tights, and her mop of flaxen hair was reined into a high pony tail.  When she broke gaze with Lucas to look toward Harrison, her expression bore the remnants of affection.  “Ready, Daddy?” she asked, looping him into their orbit.

“Absolutely,” he said, striding toward them.

As Kate handed Lucas to him, Harrison was moved by the tenderness of her movements, the glimmer of regret in her relinquishment.  Unlike Kate, he held Lucas at arm’s length, wary of the soiled diaper.  Carrying him to the changing table—the infant surprisingly unperturbed by the awkward means of transport—it suddenly occurred to Harrison that a woman like Kate would make an agreeable match for his son.  Beautiful, intelligent, caring, what more could a father wish for?  It was not until Lucas had been placed on the changing table and began wriggling in protest did Harrison realize the hilarious prematurity of the notion, along with his own libidinous detachment from it.  Equally amusing.

He could not help but grin as he un-velcroed Lucas’s diaper.  Kate, meanwhile, rushed to his side to hand him a baby wipe from the shelf under the table. “Let me do it,” he said, as their hands brushed against each other at the wipe’s retrieval.  Kate whisked away her hand, with a smile inadequately masking unease.

What was she thinking? That he was about to make an Arnold Schwarzenegger move on her?  Think again.  He admired her body the way he admired Renoir’s Bather.  Skin deep.  He wiped down Lucas’s bottom and deposited the soiled items into the bin designed for that purpose.  With one hand on Lucas’s belly to stabilize him, he reached with the other for a fresh diaper on the lowest shelf of the changing table.  Kate stood right next to him, her hands poised above Lucas like a priest about to deliver a benediction, in case she had to come to the infant’s rescue.

Erika stepped into the room.  “How’s it going?” she asked evenly, not quite as impressed by the tableau before her as Harrison had been of his.

“Going great,” Kate answered.  On such a fair complexion, even the tiniest blush was visible.

“Your husband’s doing just fine,” she said, stepping away from her charge, considering the critical stage of Mission Diaper had passed.

“When expectations are low, every minor advance is a major victory,” Harrison said, struggling with the diaper alignment.

“Let me help you,” Erika said, coming near.

“He doesn’t want to be helped,” Kate said with a little laugh.  “Take it from me.”

Take it from you? Erika sniped within.  “You’re right,” she said, straining to be her better self.

“There we are!” Harrison declared, as he stuck closed the second pair of diaper flaps.  “A little awry, but good as new.”

Lucas, who had been intermittently releasing grunted complaints, suddenly launched a full-throated protest.

Kate started for the bedroom door.  “You’ll want your privacy,” she said.  “I’ll be in my room studying.  Call me whenever, okay?”  Without asking, she knew to shut the door on her way out.

Erika lifted Lucas from the changing table and immediately his cries became anticipatory.  She sat down in the rocking chair and raised her shirt, then snapped open one of the panels of her nursing bra and held Lucas to her breast.  “Kate’s a wonder, isn’t she?” she tested.

Harrison assumed the question was rhetorical and didn’t respond to it.  Besides, looking at her prompted a response to a thought he had had earlier, about certain forms of admiration being only skin deep. He approached the rocking chair and dropped to one knee before her.

She was nonplussed.  “Are you going to propose again?”

He didn’t answer that question either.  He slid his hands along her outer thighs, stopping when he reached her hips.  He held her there, just like that, saying nothing for a moment, just looking.  “To the bone,” he said finally.

She knew it was a declaration of love, but it seemed to have come from out of the blue.  No matter.  Its sincerity put her needling questions to rest.

Thank you!

Claudia Riess  — we appreciate your sharing your book Knight Light with us! Best of luck with sales, and with all of your future writing.

Murder with Strings Attached

Today it is my pleasure to welcome Mark Reutlinger and his crime caper novel, Murder with Strings Attached.

Author’s description

Sometimes even the most carefully conceived burglary can take an unexpected turn. Florence Palmer has her eye on concert violinist Aaron Levy’s priceless violin. Unfortunately, she finds it’s already been stolen. Her surprise doubles when the virtuoso she’d planned to burgle offers to hire her to help him steal it back. But they’re not the only ones looking for the missing violin. When Flo inadvertently becomes the prime suspect in a case of murder, she and Aaron need to clear her name. Will they find the real killer and get the violin back to its rightful owner without anyone else, especially themselves, being killed?

About the Author

MARK REUTLINGER is an attorney and former law professor. He now writes novels in which the law is frequently broken, including his “Mrs. Kaplan” cozy mystery series (MRS. KAPLAN AND THE MATZOH BALL OF DEATH and A PAIN IN THE TUCHIS) and the political thrillers MADE IN CHINA and SISTER-IN-LAW: VIOLATION, SEDUCTION, AND THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES (under the pen name M. R. Morgan). MURDER WITH STRINGS ATTACHED is his latest novel. He is also a reviewer for the New York Journal of Books.

Mark and his wife Analee live in University Place, Washington, where in addition to reading and writing he plays clarinet with the Tacoma Concert Band and enjoys tennis, biking, exotic cars, model railroading, and various arts and crafts. He has no idea where he finds the time for it all.

Find the Author

Visit Mark at and

Buy the Book

Barnes &Noble:

Yes, there is a giveaway

The author will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

My Favorite Excerpt

I was going to use my “one phone call” (assuming a person really gets one and that’s not just something they say in the movies) to call Aaron, but I didn’t have to bother. Almost as soon as I arrived at the police station, Aaron, who obviously had been watching developments and following the police car I was in, walked in and inquired how I might be released. Given the relatively minor nature of the charge, despite what they might actually suspect, and my clean record, despite all the burglaries they were thankfully unaware of, bail was set according to a standard schedule rather than my having to wait to see a judge the next day.

I don’t know how much it cost Aaron to bail me out, but of course whatever it was, he could well afford it; and besides, he owed it to me. After all, I was really just his employee, and surely posting bail is a standard employee benefit.

When all the necessary papers had been signed and funds transferred, Aaron and I walked out into the sunshine that I’d been afraid I wouldn’t be seeing for quite a while.

On the way to Aaron’s car, I gave him a hug and a little kiss on the cheek and thanked him for extricating me from the pokey and doing it so quickly. He looked a bit embarrassed by that, but he cleared his throat and said in his best businesslike manner:

“Okay, so why’d you shoot him, and where’d you put the violin?”

Thank you!

Mark Reutlinger — we appreciate your sharing your book Murder with Strings Attached with us! Best of luck with sales, and with all of your future writing.