The Key to Murder


The Key to Murder: A New Orleans Cozy Mystery (The French Quarter Mysteries)
by Jen Pitts

About A Key to Murder

The Key to Murder: A New Orleans Cozy Mystery (The French Quarter Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Independently published (March 4, 2020)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 282 pages
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 979-8615473838
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B084Z13LG4

Samantha thought following a mysterious diary around the French Quarter of New Orleans would be a harmless way to learn about her new hometown until it became about murder.

As the newest resident of Thibodeaux Mansion, West Coast transplant Samantha is looking forward to starting her thirties in a new place. Drawn to New Orleans for its music, food and history, she’s excited to start her future in this unique city. But Samantha is also hopeful she’ll find her past since she was adopted from Louisiana after being orphaned in a hurricane as a toddler.

An anonymous diary, unusual key, and a distinctive doll are left in her furnished apartment and her mostly friendly neighbors all deny leaving the gifts. Samantha, now Sammy to her new friends, can’t believe any of them could be a liar. When the diary leads her to a dead body, Sammy needs to find out what these clues mean and what the murderer is trying to tell her.

Although her best friends Sissy and Andrew are happy to help her with this mystery, her other friends aren’t sure the murder and diary are about Sammy. Not wanting to lose her newfound friendships and possible love interest, Sammy decides she must uncover the answers on her own.

Sammy moved to New Orleans looking for a new future, but is it her past that found her first?

The Key to Murder is the first book in the The French Quarter Mysteries featuring West Coast transplant Samantha Richardson settling into her new hometown, New Orleans. Her neighborhood is full of music, food and history as well as interesting people. Join Sammy as she explores the Big Easy by solving the mysteries of the past and present in this new modern, cozy mystery series.

What have you found in your apartment?

By Samantha Richardson from The Key to Murder

New Orleans is known by other names like the Big Easy and the Crescent City, but I call it home. I didn’t move there until I was thirty, though. It took a long conversation with my best friend and a few martinis for me to admit I could start a new life. With no real career, no boyfriend, and no ties to San Francisco, I had no reason to stay.

So I moved and found myself in a whole new world. Although I’d read books about the city, it didn’t prepare me for the emotions that bubbled up as I walked through the French Quarter neighborhood. And the friendliness of the people especially surprised me.

While apartment hunting in the rain, I took a break inside a lovely cafe. Not only did I find a home, I solved my first mystery. I think my landlord, Libby, would have rented the furnished apartment to me in her building, Thibodeaux Mansion, even if I hadn’t figured out the mystery for her. With our mutual love of coffee and pastries, we hit it off right away.

I moved from San Francisco a few weeks later. Libby handed me my key to my place and I found myself in the middle of another mystery. Have you ever rented a furnished apartment? I was thrilled that I only had to move my clothes, a few mementos, and my books. Honestly, I needed little else. My cooking skills are lacking, so whatever pots and pans were in the kitchen wouldn’t be used often. And since New Orleans has amazing food, I didn’t plan to cook much, anyway. I wanted to find the best  muffaletta and po’ bo sandwiches in the neighborhood. I’d already eaten beignets at a few places during my first visit, so I knew where to get them, along with my new favorite coffee drink, cafe au lait.

After making sure there was a coffeemaker, I went to the bookshelves in the living room. Libby left two shelves open for my books, which was enough for my Nancy Drew books and Agatha Christie novels. The other shelves held books from New Orleans inspired authors like Anne Rice, William Faulkner, and Tennessee Williams.

But there was one red leather-bound book with no title or author name on the spine. When I pulled it out of the shelf, I discovered it wasn’t a book, but a diary. What a surprise! The entries weren’t signed, but from the handwriting and content, it was a woman’s journal. A key added to the mystery of the diary. It didn’t go to the diary as it had no lock. The ornate brass key was on a long chain, but gave no clue to what it opened.

So far, I have found nothing else mysterious in my new home. What would you do if you found a diary and a key? I’m going to follow the riddles in this diary in hopes I’ll discover who wrote it and what the key opens. I hope it will be a fun treasure hunt, or could it be The Key to Murder?

About Jen Pitts


Jen Pitts is a lifelong mystery reader who turned her obsession into writing cozy mysteries of her own. When she isn’t plotting fictional murder and mayhem, she’s chugging coffee, traveling, reading, and enjoying life with her children and husband in the Pacific Northwest.

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  1. This book sounds both fascinating and different which is very appealing. I always love finding new authors and subscribing to Literary Gold has opened my eyes to many. Thank you for the giveaway!


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