Reviews | Shelly Frome

Read reviews for Fast Times, Big City

5 stars. “I honestly was not expecting such an engrossing read going into this! I do appreciate a good historical mystery, but I’m not that familiar with the 1950s, so I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started ‘Fast Times, Big City.’

Boy, was I surprised to find this would soon become one of my favorite reads of the year so far! This is an electric story about crime, passion and one man’s quest to protect his own family, all set in the buzzing world of New York City in the 1950s.

Bud Palmer is a sports reporter for the Miami Herald. Family means a lot to Bud, especially his sister and his feisty tom-boy of a niece, but when Bud’s mother asks him to check on his uncle while she is on a cruise, Bud is immediately reluctant.

Uncle Rick has a bit of a reputation for being a screw-up. As a private detective, Rick hasn’t had much success and now he’s gotten himself into something that may even get himself killed.

After meeting with Rick, Bud soon learns that his uncle has angered a mobster named Al Escobar who believes that Rick set him up. Something happened during a high-stakes poker game that left a woman that Rick arrived with—a beautiful Marilyn Monroe lookalike—walking away with a briefcase that belongs to Escobar.

Now, Bud has been roped in to traveling to New York to find the blonde and retrieve the briefcase. Of course, he has no idea where to find her, so things get hazardous quickly. Luckily, Bud is a natural investigator, who makes friends quickly even in the mean streets of New York.

‘Fast Times, Big City,’ is a book that you’re going to have to read to believe, I know I had to! This is a top-notch novel that totally transports the reader to another era.”

— Nora, Storeybook Reviews

5 stars. “Shelly Frome’s engrossing mystery book ‘Fast Times, Big City’ transports readers to the turbulent and uncertain late 1950s. The narrative centers on Bud Palmer, a Miami sports columnist whose life unexpectedly changes when he gets entangled in a convoluted scheme. Bud finds himself in a world where everything is up for grabs after being forced to leave his cozy subtropics for the busy streets of Manhattan.

This novel masterfully captures the essence of the era, blending historical authenticity with a gripping narrative. Frome’s writing is both evocative and engaging, drawing readers into the vibrant and sometimes seedy atmosphere of New York City. The characters are well-developed, with Bud’s journey of self-discovery and adaptation to his new surroundings forming the heart of the story.

As Bud navigates through the challenges and dangers of the big city, he encounters a diverse cast of characters, each with their own agendas and secrets. The plot is intricately woven, with twists and turns that keep the reader guessing until the very end. Frome’s attention to detail and skillful storytelling make “Fast Times, Big City” a must-read for fans of mystery and historical fiction alike. Worth my five stars!!”

— Kari, Good Reader

5 stars. “An immersive and exciting novel from the talented author Shelly Frome, ‘Fast Times, Big City,’ has action, mystery and tons of atmosphere!

I have read a few of Frome’s works in the past and I have been more and more impressed by his writing each time. He has such a knack for creating a world that the reader can’t seem to pull themselves away from.

Such is the case with this, his newest novel.

‘Fast Times, Big City,’ revolves around a sports reporter, a poker game gone bad, and a missing briefcase that means life or death for more than one person involved.

Bud Palmer is the sports reporter in question, and he gets called in to pay a visit to his wayward uncle, Rick. Unsurprisingly for Bud, when he finds him, Rick is panicking about a lost poker game and a mobster who is out for his blood.

Bud agrees to meet with the mobster, a man named Al Escobar and soon gets sent on a mission to travel from Florida to New York to retrieve a missing briefcase which was stolen by a Marilyn Monroe lookalike. But things are not so straightforward once Bud gets to New York, and, with limited information about where to find the woman and only two days to do it, he soon realizes that he is going to have to do something drastic if he wants Escobar to leave him and his family alone.

An excellent novel with a satisfying and stunning finish, ‘Fast Times, Big City,’ is a read that I would recommend to anyone who enjoys mystery novels and historical settings. I have yet to read a Shelly Frome book that I didn’t love, and this novel is no exception! I know whatever he releases next is going on my TBR list right away!”

— Gracie, Goodreads

“The best book I have read so far this year! ‘Fast Times, Big City,’ by Shelly Frome is an entirely unexpected little escapade through mid-twentieth century New York City with a witty protagonist and an intriguing mystery at it’s core.

‘Fast Times, Big City,’ is about a man named Bud Palmer, and the difficulties that he faces finding one very specific woman in the huge city. Now, I know what you’re thinking, and no, it’s not like that. Bud is looking for this woman because she stole something– a briefcase, in fact. And no, Bud is not a private investigator, his uncle is. But Uncle Rick is not exactly what you would call talented at his profession.

Rick is a bit of a screw-up, and it is only at the request of his mother who is currently out of the country that Bud agrees to check in on Rick and see how he is doing. It turns out he’s not doing well.

Rick accidentally pissed off a mobster who now wants back the briefcase that he thinks Rick stole. However, the mobster, a man named Escobar, believes that Rick was aided by a woman whose name no one managed to get.

This woman was blonde, beautiful, and looks like a Marilyn Monroe lookalike– and now she’s somewhere in New York City. Bud must travel to New York to find her, get the briefcase back and get back home to Miami in less than 2 days, a feat that strikes him as nearly impossible but that has to be done.

I adored this fun, thrilling novel and wanted more the moment I was done. I will definitely be picking up more of Shelly Frome’s novels to read! ‘Fast Times, Big City,’ was a world in and of itself, and I can’t wait to see what other worlds he has created!”

— Bee Lindy,

“From the warm streets of Miami, to the mean streets of New York City, Shelly Frome’s, ‘Fast Times, Big City,’ takes you through the heart of 1950s America in a way that you’ve never seen before! I love a historical mystery, and I also love Shelly Frome’s writing. A few of his previous books struck me as really well plotted and compelling novels and, I’m pleased to report that this book can go right up there with them. ‘Fast Times, Big City,’ tells the story of one Bud Palmer, a sports reporter who volunteers to help his private investigator uncle get out of a jam and winds up in much hotter water than he could ever have anticipated. Bud discovers that his uncle Rick has accidentally stolen from a mobster named Al Escobar. Bud decides to go to the hotel where Escobar is staying to speak to him about making things right, but Escobar ends up sending Bud on a journey to New York City to find a blonde woman with a briefcase. Escobar believes that this blonde woman was working with Rick, and that now she has absconded with the briefcase. Bud agrees to go, basically realizing that he doesn’t really have a choice and that Escobar may well put his family in danger if he refuses. But things are not so simple once he gets to New York. Bud has to find this woman out of the millions of people living in the city with no more information than the fact that she happens to be Marilyn Monroe lookalike. I found this to be a fantastic read that kept my attention gripped the whole way through. Frome’s writing is impressive, as always, but he really shines with his vivid descriptions of the 1950s setting in this one. So glad I read this!”

— Linda, Goodreads

“‘Fast Times, Big City,’ had me hooked right from the beginning!

The main character, Bud, accidentally gets pressed into assisting a gangster named Escobar as the man is trying to track down a briefcase that has been stolen by a Marilyn Monroe lookalike. Bud only helps because his mother, who is on a Caribbean cruise, begged him to check in on his uncle, her younger brother, Rick.

Well, it turns out that Rick is not doing great. Bud finds him the morning after he has lost a poker game to Escobar and been accused of working with the Marilyn Monroe lookalike to steal the briefcase. Now, the lookalike has fled to New York and Rick lies to Escobar, saying that Bud is his junior associate who knows New York like the back of his hand. So, of course, Bud gets sent to New York.

This story was so funny and an absolute joy to read. The fast-paced dialog of the characters made me feel like I was watching an old Hollywood movie. I recommend this story if you love a good historical setting, a mystery, and witty characters with a fast-moving plot. Having read a few of Frome’s other books, I can say that this is the type of story where his writing truly shines!”

— Suzie, My Tangled Skeins Book Reviews

5 stars. “Fast times, big city says it all as we are treated to not one, but two, and maybe peripherally even three or four major cities, as the action jumps from Miami to New York City to mentions of Havana and even Dublin. And once the action gets rolling, it never stops. But it’s action unlike any that’s ever been mishmashed together before. In a madcap romp involving a runaway nubile starlet and a silver briefcase we have gangsters, mobsters, grifters, beatniks, buskers, beat poets, method actors, hot off the press reporters, precocious kids, wisecracking detectives, smarmy street dealers and meddling families. Along the way we pick up several famous and infamous characters who make an appearance for a scene or two and then reappear later with a more interesting role. Some only have a walk-on and are never seen again. But everything ends up wrapped up neatly with a bow and even sprinkled with some sugar on top at the very end.

I found this to be extremely humorous and tongue-in-cheek and firmly ensconced in New York City and Miami of the Fifties. The scenery, down to the food, clothing, music and art, were so well depicted that I felt like I was along for the ride with Bud. This is truly a unique tale and a must read for those who love a type of noir you don’t find every day.”

— DTChantel, Amazon

“Oh, family. Sometimes you love them, sometimes you want to kill them. Such is the case for Bud Palmer, a level-headed sports reporter who, like many of us, has that one relative who keeps getting himself into trouble. But, also like many of us, Bud feels an obligation to help his uncle Rick for the sake of his own mother, Rick’s sister.

In this case, however, helping Rick may be a little more dangerous than Bud is used to. This time, Rick has angered a local gangster who is out for money or blood—whichever comes first. Uncle Rick appears to have accidentally colluded in the thievery of a briefcase from Al Escobar, the gangster, during a poker game.

Now, Al wants the briefcase back, and he’s willing to send Bud all the way to New York City to find the Marilyn Monroe lookalike who apparently stole it. Adding to the pressure, Bud only has two days to find this woman amongst the teeming masses of people in the city.

‘Fast Times, Big City,’ is, at times, both hilarious and totally thrilling!

The plot was well-paced, and the 1950s setting was beautifully done. Shelly Frome seems to have quite the gift for writing immersive historical detail. I couldn’t believe how realistic and well done the setting was, without bogging anything down with too much detail. I am very excited to hear more from this author in the future!”

— Laura, Celtic Lady Reviews

5 stars. “‘Fast Times, Big City,’ by Shelly Frome is a stunning novel that weaves together suspense, mystery and atmosphere against the backdrop of 1950s New York City.

I read this start to finish in just a few hours, since I seemed to be unable to put it down! Frome’s witty characters and engaging mystery were enough to keep me so interested that I bolted right through the book and was left wanting to find more of his work at the end. I’m going to be doing that in my own time, but here is a quick synopsis of ‘Fast Times, Big City,’ that will pique your interest.

Bud Palmer does not expect when he wakes up on a warm Saturday morning in Florida, that he will soon be taking a train across the country at the behest of a known mobster. But as soon as he goes to visit his uncle Rick, Bud realizes that something is wrong.

Rick is all in a tizzy over a bad game of poker and the mobster who was running it. The mobster is named Al Escobar, and, when Bud goes to where the man is staying to see if he can talk him out of hurting his uncle, Escobar instantly recruits Bud to track down a missing briefcase.

The briefcase seems to have disappeared in the hands of a Marilyn Monroe lookalike at the very same time that Rick was playing his poker game. Coincidence? Escobar doesn’t think so. He wants the case back and he wants Bud to find it.

With no information on where he might find the Monroe lookalike aside from the fact that she now seems to be in New York, Bud travels to the Big Apple with no clue where to even start looking for her.

Frome’s writing is divine, I highly recommend this read!”

— Mike Murry, Goodreads

5 stars. “Bud Palmer’s life just got very complicated. He had promised his mother to look after his wayward Uncle Rick, who just ran up a substantial gambling debt with some unsavoury characters in Miami. Rick promises his nephew will make things right by bringing back a silver briefcase stolen by a mob girlfriend, Amy Evans. Amy fled to New York with the briefcase to pursue an acting career, after Uncle Rick said she could be Marilyn Monroe’s younger sister. Thus begins another madcap adventure by Shelly Frome with a plethora of zany characters and enough twists and turns in a complicated plot (all of which I don’t claim to understand) to make your head spin.

We become immersed in the microcosm of life in the 1950’s. The author mixes in many historic characters and events: the Genovese and Gambino crime families, the Irish mobs funding the IRA, Marilyn and her husband Henry Miller, Baptista in Cuba, Che Guevara and the upcoming Cuban revolution. The entire book brings back memories of my long distant early childhood. Admiral TV, Philco radio, Canadian Club whiskey that the adults drank, Studebaker cars and that Olds 98, my dad’s car in which I learned to drive. Then there’s Chock full of Nuts, the heavenly coffee. That jingle is still running through my head as I write this review!
So much is also tied into the movies, since Amy wants to study method acting and follow in the footsteps of Marilyn. His description of the environs of Miami recall Bond’s meeting with Auric Goldfinger at a card game. Then there’s Parrot World, immortalized in my Viewmaster collection from Christmas long ago. Bud and Amy share a scene with Tennessee Williams’ “The Glass Menagerie” and the gentleman caller as did Christopher in “The Sopranos”. The Cuban revolution and the nationalization of casinos play a part just as they did in scenes of Godfather II.

If you love madcap adventures with plenty of zany, interesting characters, this is the book for you. Shelly Frome is a master in his craft!”

— Denise, Goodreads Librarian

5 stars. “What would you do if you have 48 hours to find an anonymous person in the bustling hub of New York City? This is the question that sports reporter Bud Palmer must ask himself after he is recruited by a gangster to find one very specific woman.

Not that this isn’t the type of woman that stands out, of course. The lady is a very beautiful Marilyn Monroe lookalike. But in the book’s setting of the 1950s, that doesn’t necessarily set her apart much.

Bud is only looking for the woman to help his uncle, Rick, who lied about Bud having knowledge of the mean streets of New York City to save his own skin. See, Rick was involved in a poker game that went bad with the gangster, Al Escobar.

Escobar then insisted that Rick retrieve the briefcase, which he was convinced that Rick had given to the blonde. Rick passes the buck to Bud and, thus, Bud ends up on a train to New York City with absolutely zero information about where to find this notorious blonde woman. Oh, and he only has two days to do it before Escobar starts getting impatient.

It’s the kind of mission that makes any reader’s heart race and Shelly Frome brings this dramatic plot to life beautifully.

I found myself sympathizing with Bud’s character most of all, and I loved his caring relationship with his little niece. The whole time, I wanted Bud to find the blonde woman so that he could protect his family and get back home safe. Not every book manages to make me feel so compelled to root for the main character, but this one definitely did!

‘Fast Times, Big City,’ is a one-of-a-kind novel that will make your heart race as you read along—I know mine was!”

— Ellen, Goodreads


Read reviews for Shadow of the Gypsy

“Written in the traditional style of crime fiction, the novel slowly reveals the story behind Josh’s past, which he thought he had left behind when he changed his name and began working at a small town newspaper in the Blue Ridge mountains. But normal life escapes Josh when a gypsy from his past shows up to demand a favor, or else….

The action is paced in this crime fiction, with some suspense but a more relaxing read than a thriller. Zharko, the gypsy in question, is unusual, perhaps a bit stereotypical, even though the author describes him as a rogue gypsy. His character as described and developed fits well into the role of villain.

An enjoyable crime novel.”

— Harvee Lau, Book Dilettante


“‘Shadow of the Gypsy’ by Shelly Frome is an amusingly entertaining crime mystery following the main character Sonny Korda, a.k.a. Josh Barlett, as he tries to elude Zarko, an Eastern European mafia figure from his past.

On the run for his life, Sonny Korda has disassociated himself from anything that resembles his past life. He changed his name to Josh Barlett and moved to a small town in the middle of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The only people that know of Josh’s whereabouts are his mother and childhood sweetheart, Molly, yet somehow, his nightmare has returned. Despite all his efforts, his past has caught up with him. With memories of a traumatic event Josh witnessed as a child haunting his every thought, he must face his fears and protect the women he loves. The only way to ensure their safety is to go to work for Russian mobsters and pay off some debts.

‘Shadow of the Gypsy’ is a fast-paced Mafia-themed crime mystery with enough twists and turns to keep your head spinning. Thugs enforcing dirty deals and perilous events are a constant. A foreboding sense of gloom runs rampant as the reader digs deep into Josh’s childhood. Zharko is a villain you will love to hate. His menacing behavior taunts the reader, asking them to look deeper for the true evil in the story. The Mafia bad guy leaves an impression from page one, foreshadowing dread as the boundaries of good and evil become blurred. Both Josh and Zharko will keep readers on the edge of their seats as they navigate the labyrinth full of endless dangers the characters face.

Shelly Frome’s writing style has the innate ability to lead the reader in one direction and then create a whirlwind of unexpected events, shifting the focus to turn once more. “Shadow of the Gypsy” is an incredible read that had me guessing wrong constantly. The world-building is ominous and creepy enough to keep me up all night wanting more. The characters are well-developed with realistic traits and personalities. Some I adored; some I could not stand.

‘Shadow of the Gypsy’ has all the best traits of a dark mystery with a true crime vibe. If you enjoy books full of intrigue and suspense, this will not disappoint. I highly recommend this book to anyone that likes thrillers that will keep you guessing till the very end.”

Reader Views


Read reviews for Miranda and the D-Day Caper

5 stars. “Miranda Davis just can’t seem to catch a break. Or, rather, she keeps catching breaks, and that’s exactly the problem.

After closing a super tense case in the previous book in the series, Miranda is intent on taking things easy and slow. After all, she’s not really a detective but a real estate agent. So when her cousin Skip, comes to town and tells her that he wants to meet with her, she assumes that her old childhood friend just wants to catch up.

Boy, is she ever wrong.

It turns out that Skip has gotten mixed up in some very big, very bad criminal dealings. In a panic, he flees from his home with his cat, Duffy and crosses the country to request the help of his cousin. At first, Miranda is reluctant to help at all, deciding that the best course of action is to help Skip find the cat he recently lost and move on. But soon she finds herself knee-deep in a case unlike any she has faced before. One where she must crack a conspiracy from World War II and protect the nation itself.

I have to say, even as a lifelong mystery reader, I did not guess how this one was going to turn out. I found myself happily surprised by the ending, a feat that I can’t say too many other books I’ve read lately have accomplished.

I believe this is the second book in this Miranda Davis series but you don’t need to have read the first book to enjoy this one. Shelly Frome does an excellent job of keeping the reader apprised of any relevant information as you go along.

This was intriguing, highly-entertaining and overall just fun. I had a great time reading it and I’m sure you will too.”

— Bookgirl’s Reviews

“I had such a delightful time reading Shelly Frome’s latest cozy mystery titled Miranda and the D-Day Caper! It did take me until chapter 3 to really get into it, so I would tell you to give it a chance. This may have been more about the current state of our nation than anything to do with the book though – so take that for what it’s worth. I found the characters to be likeable and enjoyable and the plot had plenty of twists and turns that kept me on my toes. There was lots of dialogue which helped draw me into the story. I felt the story was filled with just the right amount of drama and intrigue and I think we all have a ‘Skip’ in our life – so his whimsy often made me smile. Reading this book was enjoyable and I’d absolutely recommend it to a friend!”

— Cristal J. Casavant

“Frome’s novel is a timely one, highlighting a right wing militant group preparing to cause harm to incite political action. I like the heroine, Miranda. She is a quirky but tenacious woman. It takes her a long time to gather the information she needs. Even though her cousin comes to her with a problem he wants her to work on, it takes what seems like ages for him to actually articulate the issue.

The plot is revealed slowly. In fact, it wasn’t until nearly half way through the book that I finally understood what was going on. Part of the reason is Frome’s writing style. His writing does not convey ideas to me as clearly as most authors. Another issue I had was the dialogue. The characters are so quirky that their conversations are not as clear and revealing as I’d like.

This is a novel for readers who like a complex and slowly evolving plot. You’ll enjoy the quirky characters who ultimately make the novel enjoyable.”

— Joan’s Reviews

5 stars. “Whoo-boy, what a read! I have read a couple of Shelly Frome’s books before, so I knew I was in for a whirlwind when I started this one and I was not disappointed. Frome’s style of story telling is exactly the type of thing that I enjoy– fast-paced, quick, witty dialog and smart characters who can actually manage to get themselves out of their own predicaments. I absolutely adored the other books of his that I read and this one was no exception.

I’ve read the previous Miranda Davis book before this one, but it was a while ago and I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to remember the character or the setting very well. Of course, I should never have doubted, Frome’s writing brought it all back instantly.

In this book, Miranda starts out trying to enjoy a simpler life after the end of her last tense case. Unfortunately for her, while she is shopping at the farmer’s market she’s approached by her cousin who turns out to be embroiled in a case of his own. This one involves World War II code breaking, a massive conspiracy and a stolen cat. Miranda agrees to take the case initially to try and help her cousin find his cat, but ends up getting pulled into something much bigger and much more international than one simple purloined feline.

As a mystery, this was pitch-perfect. It kept me guessing the whole way through and at the end of the book, when everything started working itself out, I had one of those beautiful “Ah-ha!” moments that we mystery readers love so much. I highly recommend this book to anyone. It’s a fun ride and one that I won’t be forgetting. I can’t wait to read what Shelly Frome cooks up for his next story!”

— Teddy Rose Reviews

5 stars. “When Skip, an old playmate of Miranda Davis, contacts her and wants to meet under mysterious circumstances, Miranda is baffled. She agrees to meet him at a local tailgate marketplace. It seems that Skip is on the run after accidentally intercepting some coded messages that he thought was all in fun. But when his tabby cat, Duffy, is kidnapped and he is threatened to keep quiet, he remembers that Miranda had some luck in the past solving another case. When Miranda reluctantly looks into the matter, her actions put both Skip and herself in the middle of a conspiracy regarding a crucial senatorial vote on homeland security. Additionally, a celebration in a nearby town comes under fire. Will Miranda solve this mystery and recover Duffy? What will happen at the celebration? Read on to find out how Miranda could be the hero again!

What will you like? Interesting, with tons of excitement, mystery, deep intrigue and an underline mystery to keep track of. Very unique characters and of course, an awesome tabby cat to worry about! An exciting storyline that gets involved with political undertones. All this excitement in an easy to read manner that is spiked with lots of details and description to keep you in the mix of the excitement. You definitely can feel the tension and hear the cats meow. Excellent read, another one in my growing library.”

— Donnadee’s Corner

5 stars. “I have previously read and enjoyed books by Shelly Frome in the past and Miranda and the D-Day Caper is no different. I loved catching up with Miranda whom I had met in an earlier book. It had twists and turns that I did not expect. I love reading a mystery that is not predictable and this fits right into that. I thought it was a fun, great, and entertaining read.

I am giving Miranda and the D-Day Caper five plus stars. I highly recommend it for mystery lovers. I am looking forward to more by this author in the future.”

— Amybooksy, Locks, Hooks and Books

5 stars. “‘Miranda and the D-Day Caper’ was an action-packed, fun, and fast-paced novel that will leave you on the edge of your seat with excitement. I absolutely loved the writing school of Shelly Frome, and the manner to which this novel has such an ‘old school’ vibe with a trendy underlying plotline, you will find yourself not wanting to be torn away from ‘Miranda and the D-Day Caper’. If you are ready for the fun adventure that will take you on a historical, and exciting adventure, be sure to not miss out on this one! I am most certainly looking forward to more from this very talented author.”

— Amy Koller,

5 stars. “Miranda and the D-Day Caper by Shelly Frome is a sleuthing mystery story. Miranda Davis is a realtor. Her cousin Skip has turned up in town and she needs to deal with him. Babbling about conspiracy theories, Skip is on the run, his beloved cat has been abducted and he has nowhere else to go. Miranda doesn’t quite believe what Skip is telling her at first but her initial impressions prove to be wrong. Miranda gets onboard and together they try to figure out the conspiracy threatening the USA, even though the powers-that-be are intent on shutting them down. Skip and Miranda are heading straight into danger – can they save the day before their worst fears come true?

Miranda and the D-Day Caper by Shelly Frome is a sleuthing mystery set against a political backdrop of conspiracy theories and a plot to destroy the country. It has everything – good-old-fashioned mystery, a political thriller, humor, and plenty of suspense. It’s descriptive and well-written, with a smooth flowing plot and some great characters that are well-developed and relatable. It is an intricate story, and there is plenty going on with lots of twists and turns. At first, there seem to be lots of threads but believe me when I say that they all tie together very neatly. You won’t fail to be hooked by this story that seems more than just fiction, a story that draws you into its web and keeps you there until the end. If you love mystery stories and political intrigue, then you will love this story.”

— Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers’ Favorite

“This novel shines in its depiction of life in the mountains of North Carolina. Readers familiar with the area around Asheville will love the realistic descriptions of the city and its environs, including cameos by local institutions ranging from the Biltmore Estate to Black Mountain’s Blue Ridge Biscuit Company. Miranda is a spunky, no-nonsense protagonist who audiences will root for as she takes decisive action to make sure Skip’s job—and her small town—remain safe.

Takeaway: This mystery combines modern political intrigue and Blue Ridge Mountain life with WWII nostalgia.

Great for fans of: Rita Mae Brown’s Mrs. Murphy series, Maddie Day’s Country Store Mysteries series.”


5 stars. “An exciting and thrilling mystery! Keeps you on the edge of your seat.

As a small-town realtor unravels the mystery of violent plots and conspiracies, she navigates the complexities of today’s politics using codes of World War II strategies, all to protect her cousin.  Shelly Frome’s book ‘Miranda and the D-Day Caper’ is a thrilling mystery that takes unexpected twists and turns as the truth is uncovered and the race is on to prevent a tragic event with national implications. A fantastic modern tale with a nostalgic feel.”

— Jana Zinser, author of The Children’s Train and Fly Like a Bird


“In Frome’s suspenseful sequel to 2018’s Moon Games, North Carolina real estate agent Miranda Davis receives a surprise visit from Skip, her cousin from New York, weeks after he sent her an email stating that he’d run across a press report about Miranda having cracked a cold case. Skip is feeling anxious about developments following a stint as a fill-in radio host. While making fun of right-wing pundit Russ Matthews, he jokingly suggested he knew about a plot based in Hoboken, N.J., a lie modeled on Matthews’s fearmongering. To Skip’s shock, that bit elicited hostile calls threatening him if he revealed more, which has led him to believe he accidentally stumbled on a terrorist plot. That belief is strengthened when his beloved cat is snatched. Miranda, though skeptical that something serious is going on, agrees to help. The plot takes numerous satisfying twists. Fans of spunky female leads will look forward to seeing more of Miranda.”

Publishers Weekly


Read reviews for The Secluded Village Murders

5 stars. “I’m glad I didn’t know that Shelly Frome is male before I read this book. I have sort of a prejudice against male writers trying to get inside female heads and making the character believable. Female writers trying to get inside male heads gives me almost the same shudders, but not quite.

Therefore, I was surprised when I went to review this book and there’s a photo of the author! A professor no less. While there wasn’t quite the kind of female introspection in this story as in stories written by females, I thought it was the stiff-upper-lip type of British through processing. I like that writing style so didn’t think much of it. That’s the only difference I can tell.

If you don’t like British style humor, or British style mysteries, then you won’t like this book. The humor comes from the characters, and they are quirky, and they are wonderfully developed. I’ve met people just like these, and it was clear from the outset that Frome understands elderly people very well. After seeing his photo, I now know why. There is a great small town flavor about this story with all the small town secrets and busybodiness, too. It is a wonderful combination.

The story drags in a few places, but don’t skip them because you’ll miss some important clues. One thing I like about this book is the reader is given all the clues necessary to solve the mystery. Another thing I liked is that I figured it out, but not too early.

A most satisfying read.”

— Gina Burgess, Upon Reflection blog

5 stars. “I really enjoyed this British cozy with the twist of having a young American as the amateur sleuth. The characters were well written, the setting sounded divine and the story had plenty of twists and turns.”

—Mary Nickell for NetGalley

“In The Secluded Village Murders, author Shelly Frome weaves an intriguing cozy mystery that follows the amateur sleuth adventures of tour guide Emily Ryder as she tries to solve the murder of Chris Cooper, her beloved mentor / father figure.

Emily is making final preparations for a guided tour to the United Kingdom with the eccentric elderly Curtis siblings Harriet, Silas, and Prudence that includes a “twinning” fete between their hometown of Lydfield, Connecticut and it’s sister village Lydfield-in-the-Moor, United Kingdom. But a few days before she departs for the UK, Emily witnesses Chris Cooper’s fatal fall from a slate roof during a rainstorm. Chris owned a roofing business and was the head of Lydfield’s Planning Commission, and he was being pressured to approve the development of a piece of land next door to Emily’s mom’s B&B and the Curtis’ property by the Gordon Development Corporation. The developers want to buy Emily’s mom’s B&B and the Curtis property, but there is resistance, so the developers result to using pressure tactics. When Emily tells State Trooper Dave Roberts that she thinks Chris’ death is the result of murder instead of a fall accident, he doesn’t buy it, so Emily enlists the help of Babs Maroon, a features reporter for the County Times, and Will Farrow, the B&B handyman to investigate the murder while she is in the United Kingdom. Can Emily and friends solve the murder mystery and get justice for her beloved mentor while she’s across the pond?

The Secluded Village Murders is an entertaining story that has enough quirky characters, intrigue, suspense, humor, and drama that easily draws the reader into Emily’s amateur sleuth adventure. This cozy mystery is full of devious plot twists and turns that will easily keep you guessing. Emily tries to juggle her responsibility to provide the guided tour for her clients while dealing with the murder mystery back at home, but she finds herself being challenged and pulled in a lot of directions, and being thwarted by some dangerous people who want to stop her from revealing the truth at any cost. The author provides the reader with many clues along the way, but you have to stay on your toes, or you will find yourself a bit confused with all the twists and turns until Emily’s determination to expose the truth behind the murder mystery is finally revealed and solved.

The Secluded Village Murders is an intriguing whodunit tale that cozy mystery fans will want to add to their reading list.”

—Kathleen Anderson, Jersey Girl Book Reviews

“This book is about Emily Ryder, a guided tour guide. She takes a group to England, Lydfield-in-the-Moor to do what is called twinning, with Lydfield, CT and attend a fete that celebrates the two villages. While trying to get the next trip organized with elderly siblings, a mentor of hers, Chris, is badly injured and later dies, after falling off the roof of a house that had just had some work done on it.

A shady developer is trying to get her to get her mother to sell property and issues threats because Emily refuses. She is ‘working’ with Will and his dog Oliver, there is a state trooper who doesn’t believe that her mentor died under suspicious circumstances, but handyman Will agrees with her t hat something is not right. Her friend Babs who is a sassy reporter who keeps pushing Emily for a story. Then there is Emily’s mom who is trying to keep her B&B afloat.

With all of the characters in the book, I got a kick out of the arguing siblings. The trip to England was a bit more exciting to the story, as there was another murder and then when Emily’s life is in danger it becomes a page turner. All in all I enjoyed this book, reminded me more of a British mystery than just a mystery that takes place in America.

I think that I would love to see a sequel or ongoing series with Emily Ryder and her adventures as a guided tour guide. Maybe it is in the works? If you love a good mystery, I think you would enjoy this one.”

—Kathleen Kelly for NetGalley

“This is a classic British mystery in the great tradition of British mysteries. Emily owns and runs a village Bed and breakfast with her Mom. in a small English village that is charming. Emily does not want to sell the bed and breakfast her family owns but developers want it sold and they want the land it is on. Then Emily’s best friend falls from a house he re-roofed. He sadly passes away. Emily thinks he was murdered and she begins to look into his death and possible suspects within the development company.

Soon after when on a tour with her community members one person ends up dead on the tour. The local police do not seem concerned and do not think its murder. Emily does not agree. Now she knows both deaths were probably murder.
As she grows closer to the truth through her own investigation, she is in danger and the true motive behind these heinous crimes will be reveled.

This had a very lovely setting, nice characters and a good plot. I enjoyed this new mystery and look forward to further work by this author.”

—Cozy Cat Reviews

“I love a good mystery and this certainly fit the bill! This book pulled me in right from the start and didn’t let go all the way through. I even shoved some work aside so I could finish it today but it was worth it. The story is about a woman named Emily Ryder, a tour guide who witnesses her friend fall to his death off of a roof one rainy morning. Emily urges the police to investigate the death as a murder because of the suspicious circumstances surrounding the fall but they don’t want to listen and want to close the case and label it an accident.

I really appreciated Emily as a character and her intelligence, intuitiveness and determination made me root for her throughout the novel. I loved that she trusted her instincts about the case and was willing to fight for what she believed in. The mystery was also very compelling. Unlike some mysteries I have read in the past, I really felt like the author put a lot of forethought into not only the motive and means of the killing but little clues that could be left along the way for the reader to potentially pick up on. I appreciate a mystery author that trusts the reader’s intelligence and ability to work things out on their own.

Not many books these days seem to leave me in a state of awe but this one has me not only wanting to re-read it again, but chomping a the bit for more by the same author! I’m very happy to see that this seems to be the beginning of a series. I’d highly recommend reading this book. If you love suspense, intrigue, great writing and a good mystery, then this is the book for you!”

—Katy, Storeybook Reviews

“It is a British Mystery about Emily Ryder, a tour guide, who witnesses the suspicious death of her friend. Too bad I don’t have more time to read a good book quicker.”

— Adriana B for NetGalley

5 stars. “Although written by an American Professor Emeritus, THE SECLUDED VILLAGE MURDERS reminds me so much of the delightful British village cosies popularized by the Grande Dame Agatha Christie, and still continued by a variety of subsequent authors. Emily lives in Lychfield, Connecticut, and runs a travel business which involves ferrying American tourists to the British Isles for exploration and adventure, including to Lychfield’s English “Twin City,” Lychfield-on-the-Moors. Just before she leaves, her oldest friend falls from the roof of an empty house, which she observes, and is convinced that was not an accident, but purposefully caused. No one, including the local state trooper, believes her. Everyone in the community seems enrapt with the potential new subdivision development, which will effectively destroy a wonderful scenic area untampered since colonial times.Emily goes on to England, but she never gives up, no matter what obstacles fall into (or are tossed into) her path.”

— Mallory Haws for NetGalley

“The Secluded Village Murders by Shelly Frome was a unique take on an old fashioned mystery. Crossing the Atlantic between two “twin” villages, it follows Emily the tour guide as she is trying to figure out who killed her beloved mentor and friend while also trying to keep her tourers safe and on track. Add in Doc, who seems to be following her and an English police officer who is more interested in his tea than his job as well as an American officer with a crush on Emily that won’t let him do his job correctly. All in all, a zany cast of characters. I enjoyed it. Read it while recovering from a procedure and it was fun.”

— Tina Klag for NetGalley