Name: Linda Pirtle
Hometown: Fort Worth, Texas
Degree: B.A. English; M.Ed Secondary Administration
Career: English Teacher, Administrator
AUTHOR OF THE GAMES WE PLAY
DEADLY DOMINOES WINNER OF THE BEST IN TEXAS AWARD FOR COZY MYSTERIES
CONTACT LINDA PIRTLE FOR SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS
IT IS ONLY NATURAL that I would one day wind up in the literary field. I taught the art of writing and understanding literature for years as an English teacher at St. John, Lancaster, and Ennis high schools.
When I retired from administration, I turned my attention to working with my husband to create and build Caleb and Linda Pirtle, a literary Website devoted to connecting readers with today’s growing population of authors throughout the world. I have served as editor for some great books presently in the marketplace, and a year ago I entered the field as an author myself.
It was a perfect transition. I have long read and reviewed mysteries, and I found myself infatuated with the kinds of cozy hometown mysteries produced by Agatha Christie and Diane Mott Davidson. I am fascinated with dastardly murder mysteries solved by the lady next door who relies solely on intuition, instinct, and intuition.
The amateur detective of any cozy mystery has her flaws and makes more than her share of mistakes, but she tracks down villains simply because she has the dogged determination to keep piecing together the puzzle even when she knows everyone is telling her to quit and go on home.
Last year, I published my first novel The Mah Jongg Murders, set in the mythical small East Texas gated community of Leisure Lake. The location was patterned after Hideaway Lake, where I had lived. My protagonist Lillian Prestridge loves riddles and receives the puzzle of her life when she discovers the body of an unknown woman lying on the edge of the lake near her home.
Three successive murders, including the assassination of one her Mah Jongg friends, baffle the authorities — the county sheriff and the head of security at the lake. But Lillian, along with her Standard White Poodle Eli, follow the subtle clues until she is able to solve the mystery, pinpointing a murder that leaves the entire community in shock and breaking the heart of her son.
The fourth novel in a cozy mystery series that focuses on the games people play is titled Scrabble Secrets. It continues the sinister journey that began when Lillian and her husband Bill settled down to a nice leisurely RV vacation beside the mysterious shores of Caddo Lake in Deadly Dominoes. The lake offers a perfect backdrop for murder, and Lillian finds herself mixed up with a secret militia in a plot to overthrow the government. The conspiracy grows deeper and blacker in Tarot Terrors as Lillian loses her husband to an assassin’s bullet and begins tracking down his killer, guided only by a tarot card reader and a young Navajo girl who still talks to the ghost of her grandfather. Lillian is victimized by murder and mystery and a Deep State political conspiracy with deadly consequences.
Presently, I have joined a dozen other authors and am writing cozy mysteries in a series called the Magnolia Bluff Crime Chronicles. My first is Dewey Decimal Dilemma.
THE DEWEY DECIMAL DILEMMA
Just because it is small and everybody knows everyone’s business, the town isn’t insulated from murder and mayhem. Which begs the questions: Who’s responsible for breaking into houses? How are poodles, ghosts, drug cartels, and Ponzi schemes connected with a serial killer?
Caroline McCluskey, the town’s librarian, routinely catalogues books using the Dewey Decimal system. When a black and white poodle puppy arrives unannounced, she calls him Dewey. His arrival creates a challenge for Caroline. Now, she must catalogue events to identify a serial killer in her town.
No matter how many murders occur, no matter what kinds of mischief the town experiences, some traditions never vary. Come Monday morning, the early-morning group sits at the coffee shop’s round table to solve the world’s problems.
Come Thursday, ladies sit in dim lights with their husbands and/or escorts in LouEllen’s Lounge and listen to romantic melodies.
Come Sunday, all good Christians sit in their pews at either the Presbyterian, Baptist, Methodist, or Catholic sanctuaries to hear the Gospels.
The killer may be among them, singing the loudest. Praying the hardest. In Magnolia Bluff, you never can tell.
THE MAH JONGG MURDERS
LILLIAN PRESTRIDGE and her husband Bill are introduced to Eli, a standard Poodle, and he leads them to the scene of a heinous murder in their normally quiet, gated community in the heart of East Texas.
Lillian lends her investigative instincts to her son Jake, County Sheriff, and his best friend, Grant Perryman, Chief of Security at Leisure Lake, as they try to solve not one murder, but two, in the first of Linda Pirtle’s cozy mysteries: The Mah Jongg Murders.
Reviewed By Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers’ Favorite
The Mah Jongg Murders by Linda Pirtle is a murder mystery. Lillian Prestridge lives an easy life with her husband, Bill, in their gated community home, but that is all about to change. One morning, she sees a beautiful standard poodle, apparently ownerless and covered in blood. He wants Lillian to follow him and so she does, discovering a body.
Lillian decides to get involved in the investigation and offers to help the county sheriff, her son Jake, solve the murder. Joining them is the Chief of Security at Leisure Lake, Grant Perryman, and between them, they work hard to solve the murder. Then another body is found and life becomes more difficult for all of them.
Can Lillian catch the murderer or is she about to become a victim? The Mah Jongg Murders by Linda G. Pirtle is an intriguing story, written in such a way that I just had to keep on reading it. It is one of those stories that dictates how you read it, with a real need to know what is going to happen next.
Every time I decided to put the book down and leave it, something else would happen that meant I couldn’t! This an excellent book, one of the best murder mystery stories I have read for a while.
Both the story and characters are believable and the characters incredibly likable. They are all very well developed and the way they are written allows you to get to know them throughout the story. This is a good thing because the story ended with lots of questions that could well be answered in the next book.
Great read, definitely looking forward to the next one!
2018 BEST OF TEXAS BOOK AWARD
FOR COZY MYSTERY
IN LINDA PIRTLE’S The Mah Jongg Murders, the death of Lillian’s Mah Jongg partner prompted Lillian’s desire to seek refuge in a new environment. Caddo Lake, with cypress and ancient oaks dripping with Spanish moss, provides the perfect backdrop for murder.
Lillian Prestridge and her husband Bill leave the security of their gated community in the heart of East Texas. Lillian looks forward to a peaceful vacation in their brand new RV.
Their first stop is Caddo Lake in the Cypress basin of northeast Texas. Caddo Lake has existed from time eternal and is home to unusual events, including its violent origin. Lillian is puzzled by but ignores the warning: “You’d better be careful. Crazy things have been happening out at that RV Park at Caddo Lake.”
Lillian delves into solving the strange events – an explosion and murders. Who is the person or persons leaving dominoes and curses on the bodies of one murder victim after another? And what does the explosion have to do with the game of dominoes or murder?
2019 BEST OF TEXAS BOOK AWARD
FOR COZY MYSTERY
IN A CROWDED Santa Fe Plaza, Lillian meets an elderly Navajo chieftain whose booth displays the most brilliant silver/turquoise jewelry she has ever seen. She suddenly hears a commotion and turns to see tourists running frantically. What’s wrong? When she looks back to the chieftain, he has vanished, but lying on the table is a small box addressed to “Miss Curiosity.”
How did he know the nickname her husband gave her?
Her old college friend Simon Townsend, a government agent, has surreptitiously slipped an object to her husband, and now Bill lies dead on the sidewalk. It’s the beginning of one tragic moment after another. Warnings. Threats. Kidnapping. And death.
Lillian does not believe in coincidences or predictions. But with the help of her standard poodle, Eli, and her son, Grant, an FBI agent, Lillian begins her own quest and faces the biggest challenge of her life: Bringing to justice those responsible for the death of her beloved Bill.
Award-winning Cozy Mystery author, Linda Pirtle introduces three new characters in Tarot Terrors: Madame Sophia, who reads tarot cards and predicts Lillian will find Bill’s killer in Pagosa Springs, Colorado; Sammie Nightingale, a young red-haired Navajo woman who has just completed a vision quest; and Sammie’s Uncle Jack Darling O’Toole, who runs the Pagosa Springs Trading Post. Who’s guilty? Who’s innocent? And what secrets do they have to hide?
Lillian soon learns that a well-intentioned mission of mercy can become a dangerous escapade.
Whom can they trust?
The semi-truck driver who gives advice about where to spend the night?
The lead councilman of a Canadian Indian Reserve whose agents are assign to drive them home via the Native-American Underground Railroad?
Who else is familiar with the route?
Their journey presents one hazard after another – vandalism to Lillian’s new motorhome, kidnapping, gunshots, wrestling with an old enemy of Sophia, not to mention a blinding blizzard and icy highways.