Praise for Death of a Toy Soldier:
“This well-turned mystery…is filled with interesting characters, old-fashioned lore, and a million puns.”
“Details about the antique and vintage toy business frame this cozy mystery, which is narrated by the charming Liz and offers a satisfying portrait of a close father-daughter relationship."
“This holiday-themed tale gets Early’s fresh cozy series off to a lively start.”
Library Journal, Killer Holidays Feature
“A mystery lover’s delight and a solidly entertaining read from cover to cover.”
Midwest Book Review
“The characters are captivating, the plot is well-constructed, the mix of crime and laughter is balanced. Cozy mystery fans have been presented with a charming gift for themselves and their mystery-reading friends this Christmas season. Don’t miss it!”
“Liz McCall, the resourceful amateur sleuth at the heart of Death of a Toy Soldier, finds herself playing a deadly game of whodunit after a murder in her family’s vintage toy shop. This first-in-series from Barbara Early is an engaging romp sprinkled with humor, warmth, and romance. An absolutely delightful cozy mystery!”
Julie Hyzy, New York Times bestselling author of the Manor House mysteries and the White House Chef mysteries
“I was hooked on page one of Death of a Toy Soldier, the first book in Barbara Early’s delightful new Vintage Toyshop Mystery series, and the fun and suspense didn’t let up until the very last sentence. The cozy hometown setting and a lovable cast of characters add to the story’s charm and the fascinating world of vintage toys offers a unique backdrop for a smart and savvy protagonist to solve a complex mystery that will keep readers guessing late into the night.”
Kate Carlisle, New York Times bestselling author of the Bibliophile mysteries
“A vintage toyshop set in a winter wonderland with friends we wish we had makes for a fun and heartfelt read beginning to end.”
Duffy Brown, national bestselling author of the Consignment Shop mysteries
“What’s a gal to do when her retired police chief dad won’t stop playing cop? Well, help him, of course! Add to the mix a vintage toy shop, a cast of memorable characters, a murder and a séance…well, it’s hard to tell where the fun stops and the sleuthing begins. One thing’s for sure, you’ll be wanting to read more!”
Erika Chase, aka Linda Wiken, national bestselling author of the Ashton Corners Book Club mysteries
Just in time for the holiday season comes this heartwarming series launch from Early (Bloom and Doom and two other Bridal Bouquet Shop mysteries written as Beverly Allen). In a village in western New York, retired police chief Hank McCall and his 30-something daughter, Liz, run a vintage toy shop. But their efforts are hampered by Hank’s insistence on checking out local crime scenes and his joy in making dreadful puns. The former leaves his daughter fretting about his safety—and the latter may make the reader wince. Liz runs interference for Hank, putting her in conflict with the new chief of police, who appears to have taken a shine to her. Meanwhile, a man who brings in some old toys to be valued ends up dead in the shop, the toys missing. Since the store alarm never sounded, Hank becomes a suspect in the man’s murder. Naturally, the McCalls stir the pot by investigating. The characters can be whiny at times, but cozy fans should be satisfied. (Oct.)
After writing the "Bridal Bouquet Shop Mystery" series (Floral Depravity) as Beverly Allen, Early launches a new series set in East Aurora, NY. When her father retires as police chief, Liz McCall returns home to help him open a vintage toy shop and keep an eye on him since he seems to forget he isn't the police chief anymore. The McCalls are hoping for a successful holiday season, but then a man turns up dead in the shop with a lawn dart through his chest. Now Liz and her dad need to find the culprit and get back to business. VERDICT This holiday-themed tale gets Early's fresh cozy series off to a lively start.
A retired police chief still has a nose for crime.When an injury forced Hank McCall to retire, he sank his savings into Well Played, a vintage toy and game shop in East Aurora, New York. His daughter, Liz, who lives with him over the shop, helps run it along with other family members. Soon after a nameless man brings in some antique toys to be appraised, his body is found in the shop, killed by a lawn dart. Unfortunately, a blow to the head has left Hank, who was present at the time, with no recollection of what happened, so new police chief Ken Young has to consider him a suspect. Hank and Liz start sleuthing in an attempt to find the real killer even though Hank can’t be certain that he’s innocent. The dead man, a home health aid separated from his wife and eight children, was very religious and apparently trustworthy, but the vintage toys he wanted appraised seem to have been stolen from one of his clients, Sy DuPont, a grouchy old man whose family was squabbling over his possessions even before his recent death. It’s a major shock to them to find that the very young woman he recently married is interested in his house only because she thinks it’s haunted. Both the new chief and Liz’s old boyfriend Jack Wallace take a romantic interest in Liz—but Jack, a nephew of Sy DuPont, is interested in the case as well. Armed with gossip and inside information from Hank’s old friends and years of information collected by Sy’s next-door neighbors, a pair of snoopy spinsters, Liz begins to build a list of suspects in the hope of clearing her dad’s name.This well-turned mystery, first in a new cozy series, is filled with interesting characters, old-fashioned gaming lore, and a million puns.