Friday’s Author and Book Report-Sandra Balzo

Sandy Balzo

Sandy Balzo

Small Towns-Big Crimes. That’s Sandra Balzo. She’s a master of creating small towns and infusing crimes in her stories, which makes it perfect reading for a mystery buff like me. Once I start her books, my family knows immediately that they can forget I exist until I finish the book. She catches me on the first paragraph and keeps me turning the pages.

She is an award-winning author of crime fiction that includes eleven books in two different mystery series. The Maggy Thorsen Mysteries set in Wisconsin and Main Street Murders set in the High Country of North Carolina.

I’ve learned that the film rights for the Maggy Thorsen Coffeehouse Mysteries have been optioned toward development for television film. Garnering starred reviews from Kirkus and Booklist. Balzo’s novels are recommended to readers of Janet Evanovich, Charlaine Harris, Harlan Coben, Joan Hess and Margaret Maron

Hit and Run from her Main Street Murder series releases September 2014.

Hit and Run

Hit and Run

Journalist AnnaLise Griggs’ return to her hometown in North Carolina’s western mountains has led to some unexpected surprises – most notably the discovery that legendary womanizer Dickens Hart is her birth father, and she an heir to Hart’s huge fortune. Founder of the White Tail Lodge – a High Country knock-off of the Playboy concept – Hart now claims he wants to ‘do right’ by his offspring. To that end, he’s invited all his former lovers and potential heirs, including AnnaLise and her own mother, Daisy, to what Hart envisions as a festive Thanksgiving weekend at his sprawling lakeside mansion. But not everyone is in a celebratory mood, and when a body is discovered, AnnaLise is left with the impossible task of identifying a vicious killer.

Murder on the Orient Espresso, a MaggyThorsen Mystery, is her latest release in this series  aboutMaggyThorsen, co-owner of the Wisconsin gourmet coffeehouse, Uncommon Grounds, is in South Florida at an annual crime-writers’ conference with herbeau, local sheriff JakePavlik, who is due to speak as a ‘forensics expert’.Maggy’s pledge to behave solely as a tourist becomes trickier than she anticipated when the conference’s opening night event turns out to be a re-enactment of Agatha Christie’s classic, Murder on the Orient Express. As Maggy and Jake reluctantly set off on the night train to the Everglades to solve the ‘crime’, it’s clear that, as in the original novel, nothing is quite what it seems. And amidst rumors ofcareers taken, manuscripts stolen and vows broken, it seems that in the Everglades – as in life – the predator all too often becomes the prey.

Murder on the Orient Express

Murder on the Orient Express

Sandy turned to mystery writing after twenty years in corporate public relations, event management and publicity in Wisconsin. She currently splits her time between South Florida and the High Country of North Carolina. Her novels have been nominated for both the Anthony and Macavity awards.

By the way, don’t be surprised if you laugh aloud in one of her Maggy Thorsen novels. Sandy has that special way about her writing when you least expect it.

Sandy’s advice to writers is “Never give up”.

Cover test Sandra Balzo greenSouthern Writers ran an interview on Sandy where she talks about her writing, becoming successful and her techniques of writing. For more information go to

To find out more information on Sandy Balzo’s books visit Sandy online at





About Susan Reichert

President of Southern Author Serivces; President of Collierville Christian Writers Group; Retired Editor-in-Chief of Southern Writers Magazine. Southern Author Services promotes and highlights authors and their books. Married with four daughters. Lives in the South.
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