The wreckage of a World War II plane is found in the mountains of Appalachia. It mysteriously crashed in 1943 on its way to a naval base. Inside the plane is a note, written by Annie Tillery’s great-grandmother, Charlotte, who was in love with a fighter pilot. Young Charlotte tested the planes and flew them to naval bases; her fiance flew the planes in battle.
While investigating the crash site, NCIS finds the note in the plane, which they trace to Charlotte and then to her surviving family members, Annie and her mother Carol. The mystery begins. Why did the plane crash, and what does Charlotte’s note mean? Annie and her mother decide to dig into Great Grandmother’s past by way of the aged family attic.
There, they find love letters written by Charlotte and her Navy pilot fiance. There is a code to be broken in those letters and The Mystery of the Lost Avenger to be solved. As they explore, Annie suspects Charlotte’s ghost is reaching out to tell her something, but what? She enlists the help of her boyfriend, newly licensed pilot Ty Egan, but Annie feels she may be the key to her great-grandmother’s top-secret life.”
Cold Coffee Book Review: Good news for all Annie Tillery Mystery Followers. The Mystery Of The Lost Avenger (book 4) is finally here. This book educates young minds using this fictional mystery that involves NCIS investigating the crash site of a World War II plane.
Turns out the pilot was Annie Tillery’s great-grandmother Charlotte who was a test pilot for Grumman and actually flew in battle. Annie, her mother Carol are intrigued by Charlotte’s note and decide to dig through the old family attic to see what they can find out about this mysterious family member. What they discover in the attic only adds to the mystery and soon Annie suspects that Charlotte’s ghost is reaching out to them from beyond the grave with an important message.
Annie’s decides to get her boyfriend Ty Egan who happens to be a pilot involved. Here is their conversation.
“Ty, you won’t believe what Mom has been telling me about a mystery concerning my great-grandmother. Mom, this is your story, and maybe Ty can see something we don’t. Can you fill him in on the details, so far? I’m just hearing this story for the first time, too.”
“Well, let me start with . . .” She shuffled the papers in her lap. “Here’s the letter we received from the Department of the Navy. And here’s a copy of a note we found in the plane. The note is written on some sort of a company form with and identification number on it. The number belonged to Charlotte, my grandmother.”
“I also have a letter from the Naval Crime Investigation Service about the condition of the plane where they found the note, and the pilot they found in the wreckage. There are skeletonized remains of a person whose identity they are trying to confirm. They know who flew the plane when it went missing, but they must confirm that it is that person. It is a woman.”
Mom added a new thought, “You know, it’s ironic. Charlotte did die in a plane crash many years later. She continued to fly recreationally after the war. When I went to Maryland to see if there was any record of her time at Grumman, I found these letters in the house where Charlotte spent her last years.”
Students and young adults of all ages will enjoy The Mystery Of The Lost Avenger. Although a series each book is unique and stands alone with no need to read in a particular sequence.
I, Theodocia McLean endorse The Mystery Of The Lost Avenger and all the books in the Annie Tillery Mysteries by Linda Maria Frank. I purchased this book from print. This review was completed on June 24, 2016.
Amateur sleuth Annie Tillery has been warned to stay away from Nevshehir, Turkey, where she is heading to meet her boyfriend, Ty Egan, and Cedric Zeeks, Ty’s best friend. Intent on helping the two excavate an archeological site where they hope to link human remains to the first African ancestors, Annie does her best to shakes her foreboding feelings as her plane lands in Istanbul and she prepares to embark on her next adventure.
But when a stranger claims he is there to pick her up and then disappears once he sees Ty, Annie is immediately thrown back into worry mode—especially after Ty tells her there is unexplained tension surrounding the dig and she receives a threatening note at the hotel. Still, as the three head to Nevshehir, Annie is buoyed by the excitement surrounding ancient Turkey and the possibility of uncovering secrets. The dig is plagued by accidents and theft, however, and the three friends, assisted by the head archeologist’s twins, must search the ancient city of Istanbul and the caves of fantastic Cappadocia to find who is sabotaging their work.
In this young adult thriller, detective Annie Tillery must once again walk on a dangerous path in an attempt to unravel a complicated mystery and solve the secrets in the fairy chimneys.
Cold Coffee Book Review: Annie Tillery Mysterys book three ‘Secrets In The Fairy Chimneys’ can be summed up as Indiana Jones meets Nancy Drew with the skills and precision of CSI. A mystery unfolds amidst a mix of ancient history and modern innovation, in an ageless Eastern country where time moves at a camel’s pace.
Dedicated research by author Linda Maria Frank leaves no stone unturned while great description text transports the reader to the streets of Turkey with it mosques and minarets, towers and modern buildings. One of my favorite quotes from the book is “Water droplets plunked into the pool from the vaulted ceiling. After the heat of the bazaar and the street chase, it was deliciously cool. Ornate columns with carved capitals supported the ceiling. The bases were decorated with animal and human figures. There were a few visitors, but the enormity of the space muffled their conversations.”
Strong characters with great dialog brings us to dusty archeological site in one of the oldest towns in human history called Catalhoyuk. Nothing can explain it better than this quote: “We were in a valley of shapes I couldn’t believe were not made by humans, humans with a fabulous imagination. Conical formations called fairy chimneys in various sizes spread away from us in every direction. The color of bleached bones, they sat majestically among the gray-green brush and white claylike soil. The air shimmered from the heat. I could smell the odor of clay mixed with a faint herbal scent that must have come from the brush.”
Cosponsors from Vermont University are looking for a DNA connection between residents of Catalhoyuk and our original nomadic ancestors in Africa. Annie Tillery and her team go to work excavating this archeological site with all its inherit dangers and a mystery brings out the detective in Annie.
From the spell of an Ouija board to a magical balloon ride in the sky nothing is lost as this time and space makes all their senses come alive with amazing black and white graphics that bring the main characters to life.
Students and young adults of all ages will enjoy Annie Tillery Mysteries. Although a series each book is unique and stands alone with no need to read in a particular sequence.
I, Theodocia McLean endorse ‘Secrets In The Fairy Chimneys’ and the Annie Tillery Mysteries by Linda Maria Frank. I purchased this book in Kindle. This review posted on February 5, 2015.
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery
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Seventeen-year-old amateur detective Annie Tillery is at it again. After she wins a series of art lessons at a prestigious art gallery, Annie shows up for her first lesson to find her instructor, Francesca Gabrielli, in a volatile argument with John DiCristiani, the art gallery’s director. He is demanding that she illegally copy art masterpieces. Unwittingly, Annie is about to be drawn into the illicit, treacherous, and unpredictable world of art forgery. When DiCristiani is found murdered in cold blood, Francesca becomes the prime suspect. She calls upon Annie to help solve the crime along with her NYPD detective aunt, Jill Tillery. They must brave the dangers of an international art fraud ring in an attempt to clear Francesca’s name. They discover that the key to solving the case revolves around a mysterious brownstone in Brooklyn whose inhabitants present tantalizing and elusive clues. As Annie and company attempt to stay one step ahead of DiCristiani’s murderer, they escape one deadly trap after another. The stakes are high in the glamorous yet dangerous world of illegal art trafficking. Annie must solve the crime to save her life and that of her friends.
Cold Coffee Book Review: Annie Tillery Mysterys book two Girl with Pencil, Drawing is a spectacular read for students and young adults of all ages. Each book in the Annie Tiller Mystery Series is unique and stands alone with no need to read in a particular sequence.
The story line in ‘Girl with Pencil, Drawing’ by Author Linda Maria Frank draws the young reader into an adventure where young Annie Tillery goes for her first art lesson at a prestigious Art Gallery. With youthful exuberance and an eagerness to advance her drawing skills Annie arrives early. When she enters the studio she overhears a heated argument between two people who turn out to be her Art Instructor Francesca Gabrielli and the Art Gallery Director John DiCristiani.
Annie’s empathy for others and her sleuth personally draws her into a murder mystery when John DiCristiani turns up dead and Francesca Gabrielli is the prime suspect, Annie enlists the help of her Aunt Jill who is a NYPD Detective to help clear her new found friend and art mentor’s name.
With strong characters, flowing dialog and layers of mystery, soon everyone is caught up in a real who-dun-it that involves a long lists of suspects and hidden clues. Twists and turns with all the dangers that come into play when an International Art Fraud has been perpetrated.
I invite you to go beyond this headline: “Manhattan Business-Man Found Slain in Chelsea. John DiCristiani, a wealthy business man, whose financial interests reached as far as Hong Kong and Istanbul, was found shot to death in his posh apartment overlooking the Hudson River. Mr. DiCristiani’s body was found by an employee from his Soho gallery. The police questioned the employee, Ms. Francesca Gabrielli, at headquarters, but subsequently released her. Police would only confide that the murder weapon was found at the scene and that all other leads were being investigated. Mr. DiCristiani is survived by a son, Mark, twenty-five, a law student at New York University.”
Learn the ins and out of the art world that include how scientists tests for authenticity in original paintings by world renown artist like Renoir and the lucrative forgeries that make this underworld as treacherous as any international mob association.
Follow the clues, wait for the DNA evidence and sift through the ashes left by an arsonist. Inspire a young reader to discover the innate detective skills of Annie Tillery who is fast becoming the next Nancy Drew. This series should be placed on our schools’ summer reading list.
I, Theodocia McLean endorse ‘Girl with Pencil, Drawing’ and the Annie Tillery Mysteries by Linda Maria Frank. I purchased this book from Kindle.Review completion date March 24, 2015.
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery
Seventeen-year-old Annie Tillery and her Aunt Jill set off for Long Island’s Fire Island for a vacation of surf, sun, and sailing. Annie is happy to leave behind the stress of her relationship with her parents. Aunt Jill, who is an NYPD detective, is mixing her vacation with a case she must keep secret from Annie, who is suspicious nevertheless. Annie finds romance and intrigue when she meets Ty Egan, the nephew of their host on the island. They find themselves in the middle of an eerie adventure when she and Ty investigate the tragic and perplexing story of a local ghost. Annie becomes increasingly uneasy and the investigation turns sinister when Aunt Jill goes missing, the ghost appears, and the troublesome neighbors in the cottage next door become hostile. When they find one of Aunt Jill’s special earrings on the neighbor’s porch, they begin to wonder what she was doing there. Will they find Aunt Jill before it’s too late? In the breathless conclusion to their investigation, Annie and Ty narrowly escape death solving the mystery of The Madonna Ghost.
Cold Coffee Book Review: Come on vacation with Annie Tillery and her Aunt Jill to Long Island’s Fire Island. Stand with Annie on the Ferry and recall what she sees; “Looking out across the Great South Bay, I could see Fire Island in the distance, a long stretch of dunes and scrub pines across the horizon. At the western end of the island, was the black and white striped tower of Fire Island lighthouse, blinking away. Sailboats maneuvered across the dark blue waters of the bay in ballerina fashion, their sails puffed out by the wind like dancers’ gauzy skirts.”
Walk along the boardwalk which “opens onto a broad cement lane where homey little cottages, each with a tiny garden” stretch as far as the eyes can see. Relax with Annie and Aunt Jill in the charm of “Windalee” one of the oldest houses on the island where secret a secret passage was used to smuggle liquor onto Long Island in the twenties. The Long Island coastland has always been the perfect environment for shipwrecks, lost treasure, pirates, bootleggers, drug runners, kidnapping and terrorists.
Learn the history of settlers coming to Long Island as far back as the early 1800s and how Fire Island got its name. Become aware that men, women and children enduring treacherous seas in wooden ships came to Fire Island and some were forced to wade cold ocean water to make it to Bay Shore. Join Annie and TY on their quest to see ‘The Madonna Ghost’ as past accounts and island legend recalls seeing her walking on the Bay Shores in the mist of the salt water air to protect the grave of her infant child who perished while she was trying to make it to shore.
Mystery and suspense develops when Annie discovers that her Aunt Jill, who is a NYPD detective is not really on vacation, but working an active case. Watch Annie’s sleuth abilities interrupt her own vacation when her beloved Aunt Jill is missing and some unscrupulous neighbors beside “Windalle” are on the top of her short list.
Enjoy a youthful budding romance and see for yourself that “Fire Island must indeed be a paradise where dreams come true.”
Annie Tillery Mysterys book two ‘The Madonna Ghost’ is an enjoyable read for students and young adults of all ages. Each book in the Annie Tiller Mystery Series is unique and stands alone with no need to read in a particular sequence. Author Linda Maria Frank uses her own background in forensic science, great research, delightful writing skills, intensive character development and interesting dialog to keep her readers engaged in each one of her mysteries. The Annie Tillery Mystery series should be placed on our schools’ summer reading list.
I, Theodocia Mclean endorse ‘The Madonna Ghost’ and the Annie Tillery Mysteries by Linda Maria Frank. I purchased this book from Kindle. Review completion date March 27, 2015.
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery
Cold Coffee Press Spotlight Interview With Author Linda Maria Frank
Message from Author: Hello, fellow mystery lovers. As a teacher of forensic science for almost 20 years, I decided to create mysteries around the science I found most interesting. I also wanted to create a smart, edgy, young female detective to solve my cases. The result was Annie Tillery. I like to call my books “Nancy Drew meets CSI”. My books capture, not only my love of mystery and science, but those things I found most exciting in life; sailing, falling in love, and my fascination with New York City.
Currently, I am living on Long Island and working hard to promote my books. The third Annie Tillery mystery will revolve around another topic I find fascinating, and that is archeology. It takes place in Turkey. Stay tuned for more thrilling and dangerous adventures for Annie and that oh-so-sexy Ty.
After many years in the teaching profession, Linda Maria Frank, the author of Annie Tillery Mysteries, has launched a new career. Inspired by a childhood passion for the Nancy Drew series and the popular television series, CSI, she successfully married an appealing heroine (Annie Tillery) with gripping story plots to create these new fiction books for mystery readers.
THE MADONNA GHOST has earned the distinctive “Editor’s Choice” and “Rising Star” awards. As a result of this book, Frank is included in the Authors Show 2013 Edition of “50 Great Writers You Should be Reading”. GIRL WITH PENCIL DRAWING, the second book in the series, ramps up the adventure and suspense. Annie stays one step ahead of the bad guys by the skin of her teeth. The third Annie Tillery Mystery, SECRETS IN THE FAIRY CHIMNEYS, takes Annie to Turkey where caves, treasure pirates and saboteurs threaten to close down the archeological dig where she and her friends are working to unlock the secrets in the oldest town ever discovered.
Continuing her passion for her former career in education, she has put lesson plans for her books on her website, www.lindamaria.com, and other teacher websites. Her conviction is that you can make your child a life-long reader by introducing them to exciting fiction that will provoke them to ask questions about the world they live in, or would like to know about.
Before venturing into writing, Frank’s first love was teaching science, her assignments ranging from Middle School to graduate level courses at Hofstra and Adelphi Universities. She was the science chairperson for the last five years of her career at Seaford, L.I. Schools. She was awarded teacher of the year in Seaford High School in 1989. She won an award from the American Association of University Women for her ability to inspire young women to pursue careers in science.
At Hofstra University she taught courses in forensic Science and Biotechnology at Hostra College, as well as Science Methods courses in the School of Education. It was the Forensic Science courses that gave her the story lines for her heroine, Annie, who is based on a composite of former beloved students.
She recently retired from Adelphi University where she supervised science student teachers. To quote, “Writing, publishing, and marketing books is a full time job, and it’s time to change careers.”
Today she collaborates with children’s author, Karen Bonnet, to do presentations about their books and their journeys in self-publishing. Linda and Karen give a portion of the proceeds from their books to the Interfaith Nutritional Network, and are planning a series of programs for the Boys and Girl Club.
She also collaborates with author, Lois W. Stern, on a project called Tales2Inspire, a writing contest, an anthology of inspiring stories, and a marketing platform where authors help authors.
Presently Frank is involved in a project at LTV in East Hampton called “The Writer’s Dream”, an interview show where authors discuss the many different aspects of the profession. The show is aired on Cablevision 20.
Her ultimate goals are: to find an agent who will present my books to TV or film, to find venues to present my books and programs, and to organize book fairs as events for non-profit organizations to raise money.
What makes you proud to be a writer from greater NYC? Being a writer in the greater NYC area is a challenge due to the competitive environment. There are many writers here in my little town of Massapequa Park. Long Island is proud to have many writers’ groups, organizations and Meet-ups. (My Meet-up is called FABLE of Massapequa Park). To have written, published and become active in marketing my Annie Tillery Mystery series is an accomplishment alone, and it is a second career. It’s been a great learning experience for me, as well as a teaching opportunity by way of sharing my experiences with others, both young students and other writers. I do a workshop on the ins and outs of self-publishing with another author. It’s called “So You Want to Write a Story”.
What or who inspired you to become a writer? The inspiration to write this series comes from my teaching days. I enjoyed exploring the world of science with my students. In particular, it was a pet project of mine to encourage my female students to peruse science careers, for which I won an award from the American Assn. of University Women. When I started writing and creating the character of Annie Tillery, I drew from the characteristics of my female students. Secondly, I love the field of forensic science which I taught for over twenty years. And who of American adult women didn’t love Nancy Drew?
When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? The first two books were written when I took a writing course. I really didn’t know how to write a book, so I took a course in novel writing. My mentor said they were good, but it would take time to get them traditionally published. I put them aside. When self-publishing became a recognized entity, I decided to publish, picked a company, and in 2010 had my first published book.
Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? My parents were well educated, encouraged higher education, and fostered a love of reading. The schools I went to and the friends I had aimed for intellectually challenging careers. My first writing pieces were all about my life at home and the warm nurturing environment it provided.
Do you come up with your title before or after you write the manuscript? The first two books, The Madonna Ghost, and Girl with Pencil Drawing had titles from the start. Secrets in the Fairy Chimneys came to me at the very end of writing the book. I am writing book #4 and it has a working title for the purpose of filing, but I think this one will have to come after I have done significant work on the book.
Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? My genre is often listed as either YA mystery or Children’s Mystery. I am more comfortable with Mysteries for Girls of Any Age, because that is where I find my audience. The plots are intricate enough for adult readers, as is the CSI science. My heroine is 17 going on 19 as the books progress, and that’s what makes the series for young readers.
What was your inspiration, spark or light bulb moment that inspired you to write the book that you are seeking promotion for? I love archaeology. I read an article about an archaeological dig in Turkey. I thought, what a great setting for a mystery. I researched the area of Turkey which, by the way, has the weirdest landscape, and I went from there, even visiting Turkey.
What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? When my book club, Seaford Bookies, comprised of my teacher contemporaries, read my first book, The Madonna Ghost, and one of them said, “I love Annie”, I believed there was no greater reward. They continue to read and purchase my books. Who better to know a great teen girl than the teachers who spent their lives teaching, guiding and nurturing them?
Have you had a negative experience in your writing career? If so please explain how it could have been avoided? A fellow author said he knew an agent, and would I like him to give her one of my books. Of course I said yes. Her opening comment to me was, “I didn’t really read your book, but . . .” Her comments were the exact opposite of any reader comments I had received. Lesson: Never ask an agent for a favor. Their time is too precious to give you a comment based on actually reading your book. You must approach and agent in the proscribed professional way laid out on their websites. Breaches of this protocol are not well received.
What has been your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? Having the first copy of The Madonna Ghost sent to me in the mail, opening the package and holding it in my hand. I had just completed medical procedures for a bout with cancer, and this was very sweet indeed.
Have you had a negative experience in your publishing journey? If so please explain how it could have been avoided? I have had to argue some points with editors about plot elements and science which they are not too up on, but otherwise, it’s been a good experience. The self-publishing companies offer many marketing packages for very steep prices. I tried one of the promotions that came with my publishing package and it was not effective.
What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Search the internet for free help with your writing. Join a writing circle. If one doesn’t suit your needs, try another one. There are lots out there. When your manuscript is done, get the best professional editor you can afford.
Who is your favorite author and why? Don’t laugh. Charles Dickens. His stories are rich with, not only language, but plot twists. His characters are masterpieces of humanity. The social themes of his stories are cogent today. He has crafted wonderful, colorful stories.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with us? I would like to see more books written where girls are smart, strong, courageous, and independent.
I do a workshop on “Daydreaming”, because I think it is important to know the things you really love, and will lead you on a road to what you really want to be in life. Take your favorite daydream, and take baby steps to make it happen. Research it. Find out how to accomplish your dream. And soon, “wishing or rather, daydreaming, will make it so.”
Linda writes Great Teen Mystery Books – Where Nancy Drew Meets CSI
Do you love a Mystery? How about a Ghost Story? Grab some pure entertainment!
Enter the world of “Nancy Drew Meets CSI” and follow new girl detective, Annie Tillery, as she navigates her way through intriguing plots with good forensic science, narrowly escaping the dangers that keep those pages turning.
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