I love to write about writers, artists, interesting people and places, but every once in a while I toot my own horn and talk about my latest books. Many of you have already read Cuckoo Clock Caper and I have heard from you--thank you for your kind words.
At this moment I have a 96,000-word story standing by, ready for publication. Unfortunately it does not fit the format regulations at Cozy Cat Press, so I will be publishing "Beetles In the Boxcar" on Kindle in a week or two. In the meantime I am one-third of the way through book number six.
If you would like to read more Josephine adventures just go to Amazon and type in "Joyce Oroz." Thanks for listening!
Book review by Robert Walch at the Salinas Californian
Local connection: A retired muralist and commercial artist, Joyce Oroz lives in Aromas. This is the fourth suspense novel in the Josephine Stuart series. The story is set primarily in Santa Cruz County and Moss Landing.
Content: Fifty-year-old muralist Josie Stuart’s life becomes somewhat complicated when a neighbor’s home mysteriously burns down and he ends up moving in with her. Emmett Hooley’s sister dies in the blaze and the 90-year-old clockmaker has no place to go, so Josie extends a helping hand.
Besides getting the old man back on his feet, Josie is also determined to discover who set Emmett’s house on fire and caused his sister’s death. As she delves into his past and meets his family and friends, the inquisitive artist discovers that her house guest is not only quite wealthy but he has also made a name for himself in the world of cuckoo clocks.
As the novel unfolds, the reader also follows the progress of a commission the artist is working on in Moss Landing. While she and her assistants are re-creating the Parthenon on the sidewall of a new art gallery, Josie encounters some really bad modern art. Josie marvels that anyone would want to hang the bizarre canvasses on their walls, let along pay big bucks for them. This situation, like other seemingly random events in the story, percolates for a while and then becomes an important element in the final solution to what happened the night Emmett’s house went up in flames.
Perhaps the author’s reliance on “coincidence” and how certain pieces of the puzzle finally come together will bother some readers, but those who continue to follow this series won’t mind too much. The number of mysteries in this series now attests to the fact that Josie Stuart has a loyal following of fans willing to overlook a few plot quirks because this Aromas amateur sleuth is such a beguiling lady.
Quote: “I took a deep breath and submerged myself. Murky water stung my eyes as I searched for Solow. I saw movement and swam deeper toward a shadow dog with his leash wrapped up in a submerged bicycle. There was no time to think about how a bicycle ends up in the drink, along with rusted steel bed springs and some other weird stuff. I went straight to my poor sweet dog and unhooked his leash,” (Note: that “other weird stuff” is important as you’ll see as the story races towards its conclusion!)
Here is a quote from my friend and editor, Tomi Edmiston:
"Josephine's unquenchable thirst for the truth leads her on another rollicking trail of adventures, or should I say "misadventures." When one of her neighbor's house explodes and goes up in flames, Josephine, true to her nature, becomes a mole digging beneath the surface to uncover what she suspects are unscrupulous, murderous acts. Her sleuthing takes her far afield from her usual Aromas and Moss Landing, California, terrain into the middle of a desolate Arizona desert to attend a Cuckoo Clock Convention and all the dangers that abound thereof. Josephine has that uncanny ability to bring closure to a seemingly innocent but murderous incident. We can only hope that someday, she can do the same for her love life with that charming, handsome man in her life. A delightful read with lots of adventure; devoid of unnecessary x-rated scenes and vulgar language."