Blog Tour, Guest Post: RSVP To Murder

RSVP to Murder by Carol Pouliot Banner

RSVP to Murder

by Carol Pouliot

November 6 – December 1, 2023 Virtual Book Tour


RSVP to Murder by Carol Pouliot

A new twist on the 1930s English country house mystery.

Embarking on their most daring time-travel experiment to date, Depression-era cop Steven Blackwell and his 21st-century partner-in-crime Olivia Watson travel to the Adirondack Mountains for a Christmas party at one of the legendary Great Camps. Their host, a wealthy New York publisher, has planned a weekend filled with holiday activities, but, as the last guest arrives, temperatures plummet and a blizzard hits. Before long, the area is buried in snow, the roads are impassable, and the publisher is poisoned. Unwilling to wait until the local police can arrive, the victim’s widow convinces Steven to launch an unofficial investigation. Soon, a family member goes missing and Steven and Olivia discover a second victim. Trapped with a killer, Steven and Olivia race against the clock before the murderer strikes again.

Praise for RSVP to Murder:

“A classic holiday movie and Agatha Christie novel mashup” ~ Shawn Reilly Simmons, author of the Red Carpet Catering Mystery SeriesRSVP to Murder is Agatha Christie with a time-travel twist. Pouliot supplies us with just what we crave in a great locked-room mystery: a blizzard, closed roads, dead phone lines, roaring fires, and lots of suspects and motives—all set in a luxurious Adirondack Great Camp in 1934. Snap on your seatbelt and travel with Steven and Olivia, you’ll be happy you did!” ~ Tina deBellegarde, Author of The Batavia-on-Hudson Mystery Series. “A Great Camp in the Adirondacks serves up a sumptuous setting of plump armchairs, roaring fireplaces, and the heady scent of Christmas pines—all begging to be settled into with this thumping good vintage whodunit set in the 1930s. Cleverly plotted with plot-twists aplenty and some time-travel to boot, this immersive mystery is a gem.” ~ Laurie Loewenstein, Author of the Dust Bowl Mystery Series “Readers are invited to the glamour of the Thirties, where the rich are putting on the Ritz, until there’s a murder to solve. Join time-travelers Blackwell and Watson in a race to the Racines’ Adirondack Great Camp to catch a killer. A clever…and a thoroughly unique must for fans of the paranormal and historical. RSVP today!” ~ Gabriel Valjan, Author of the Shane Cleary Mysteries series “The Blackwell and Watson Time-Travel Mysteries’ latest installment, RSVP to Murder, combines the thrilling and “timeless” aspects of Jack Finney’s classic TIME AND AGAIN mixed with the wit and charm of a modern, puzzling mystery. Highly recommended for all lovers of time travel, history, romance and wily sleuths.” ~ L.A. Chandlar, Best-selling author of the Art Deco Mystery Series

Book Details:

Genre: Traditional mystery Published by: Level Best Books Publication Date: September 2023 Number of Pages: 305 ISBN: 9781685123857 Series: The Blackwell and Watson Time-Travel Mysteries, #4 Book Links: Amazon | | |

Author Guest Post

Why I Write I’ve always loved words. That’s one of the reasons why I studied languages. I like learning how cultures all over the world express themselves. In college, I focused on poetry and plays, in both French and Spanish. In the theater, in addition to their actions, it’s the way the characters speak and how they say what they say that allows the audience to get to know them. In poetry, it’s all about rhythm, sound, and imagery. The poet is limited in the number of words she can use, so she must pick only the very best words—words that possess the right connotation, words that  create vivid images in the mind of the reader. While teaching, I focused a lot of time working with the kids on vocabulary and offering an immersive French or Spanish environment. I’ve been lucky to have had some interesting experiences in my life, and students are always curious about their teacher. Why not use these escapades to the students’ advantage? So, for decades, I wrote short stories recounting some of my more exciting travel adventures to use in my classroom. I loved telling the stories and the kids always seemed to enjoy listening and reading them. It felt good to offer something of interest to inspire their learning—they didn’t want to miss any details! Fast forward to 5 years after I retired. For years, I’d had a favorite memory kicking around my mind: It was the summer when I was fifteen and had earned a fair amount of money. When my mother took my sister and me back-to-school shopping, I bought something for myself. This was the first time I’d done so and the experience was exhilarating—especially since I bought the sweater in the Addis Company, Syracuse’s answer to Saks Fifth Avenue. I still remember that day as if it were yesterday! I had subscribed to Victoria magazine since its inception. The publication had a monthly feature on the last page called “Chimes,” and it was always a memoir. I had read enough of them to know that my memory would be a perfect fit. I decided to take the plunge and put my thrilling experience into words. As I wrote, I felt a wave of deep contentment wash over me. It was truly a transformative experience, one of the most satisfying things that I’d ever done. I knew at that moment I wanted to spend the rest of my life writing. The editor of Victoria called me the following day and excitedly accepted my story for publication. She also asked me to write more. The following year, they ran my article on a beloved holiday tradition that I share with my sister in their Christmas issue. As much as I enjoyed those experiences, it wasn’t enough—the magazine articles were only 700 words each. I was hungry to write more and more. Once again, I took the plunge and decided to write a mystery. When I created my two main characters, Depression-era cop Steven Blackwell and 21st-century journalist Olivia Watson, I saw their entire story laid out in my mind. It felt like it had always been there but I just hadn’t seen it. RSVP to Murder, the fourth book in my Blackwell and Watson Time-Travel Mysteries, was released this fall. Partners-in-crime Steven and Olivia have just gotten started on their wild ride and have lots more adventures to share. I hope you’ll check them out. They’re an interesting and unexpected pair.

Read an excerpt:

Chapter 1

December 31, 1902 New York City, New York
She was marrying the wrong man. With a silk-gloved hand, Margery Belleville lifted the bottom of her wedding gown and peeked around the heavy, carved doors into the nave of St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Several hundred guests—ladies in expensive finery, wool coats trimmed with ermine and fancy hats with brims reaching out over their shoulders, and tuxedoed men in black silk top hats—awaited the wedding of the decade. St. Patrick’s reminded Margery of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris with its Gothic-style pointed arches and rich stained-glass windows set in lacey webs. The soaring, vaulted ceiling, lit by crystal chandeliers suspended on long rope-like cables, rose hundreds of feet in the air. Light from the chandeliers reached into the far corners of the church and mingled with the glow of candles twinkling in wrought-iron stands. Inhaling the scent of balsam fir from the many holiday decorations, Margery gazed down the long center aisle, where she would soon walk with her father. Margery stepped back into the vestibule, her pure-white gown rustling softly as she moved. She was, at least, happy her parents had allowed her the choice of her wedding dress, if not the groom. Margery and her mother had searched in several shops, nearly deciding to have the dress custom made when they came upon this elegant, sleek gown. The moment Margery laid eyes on it, she knew it was the one. The high neckline draped in soft folds beneath her chin, flattering her face. The form-fitting bodice hugged her curves, yet avoided the dreaded hourglass silhouette, with its yards of smooth satin skirt billowing around her. Margery’s unadorned veil revealed topaz eyes and soft lips, but covered her rich auburn hair and cascaded down her back. This was the gown of a modern, independent woman. If only her life matched the dress. His conversation with the bishop finished, Anthony Belleville joined his daughter. “Are you ready, my dear?” The organ began Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March,” and a rumble echoed throughout the nave as the guests stood and turned toward the back of the cathedral. Trembling, Margery took her father’s arm. He must have felt her shaking because her father leaned over and, to Margery’s astonishment, whispered, “I know he’s not your first choice. But you will be well cared for and you know Gil adores you. I don’t know which man has captured your heart, but you won’t lack for anything with Gilbert Racine. The publishing empire he’s going to inherit will provide a comfortable, even pampered, life. He’s the best choice to keep you in the style your mother and I have provided. I can’t bear the thought that you would ever lack for anything, my dearest daughter.” Margery was further shocked when her father wiped a tear from his eye. It was at that moment when Margery Belleville, soon to be Margery Racine, accepted her fate. She would be a good wife for her successful businessman husband. She would provide him with children and a well-run home. She’d bury her feelings deep inside, lock them away in a cupboard, and throw away the key. She could not marry the man she loved. But she might grow to love the man she married. Margery forced a smile and reached up to give her father a kiss on the cheek. “I’ll be alright, Papa. Gil will be a good husband.” She patted his hand. Straightening her spine, Margery gave a sharp nod of her head. “I’m ready.” *** Excerpt from RSVP to Murder by Carol Pouliot. Copyright 2023 by Carol Pouliot. Reproduced with permission from Carol Pouliot. All rights reserved.

Author Bio:

Carol Pouliot
A former language teacher and business owner, Carol Pouliot writes the acclaimed Blackwell and Watson Time-Travel Mysteries, traditional police procedurals with a seemingly impossible relationship between Depression-era cop Steven Blackwell and 21st-century journalist Olivia Watson. With their fast pace and unexpected twists and turns, the books have earned praise from readers and mystery authors alike. Carol is a founding member of Sleuths and Sidekicks, Co-chair of the Murderous March Mystery Conference, and President of her Sisters in Crime chapter. When not writing, Carol can be found packing her suitcase and reaching for her passport for her next travel adventure.

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