Tag Archives: Mary Sutton

Featured New Book: An Idyllic Place for Murder by Liz Milliron


If you’ve looked around the site since the redesign, you’ll know Liz Milliron’s name. Or, you’ll recognize her real name: Mary Sutton, the head of our non-fiction department and one of our e-book formatters. Mary’s one busy woman! On top of writing and being a West of Mars subcontractor, she also has a day job and a family with needs. And I think there are some pets in there, too, but I’m not 100% certain.

Idyllic Place

She’s here with the first short story in her Laurel Highlands Mystery series. I was thrilled to find a fellow soul sister in Mary, in that on top of everything else, we share a love for Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands. I’m not sure where her love of the area came from, but what’s important here is that Mary shares it.

The story was originally published at Mysterical-E, and she’s got the rights back, so … it was time to let a wider audience know about Jim and Sally. Once you’ve met them, you’ll be glad you did.

So, Mary/Liz… what song reminds you of your book?

I don’t have a particular song in mind for this story. However, thinking of my protagonist, Jim Duncan, always puts me in mind of Bruce Springsteen. Springsteen is classic rock, simple lyrics, just a hard-working every day guy. No punk, no death metal. Just a guy singing about life, usually in a small, working class town. And that’s Duncan, just a guy trying to do a job. He lives in a rural county and likes it. He likes being a cop, being a hard-working guy, doing a job he loves because he wants to do it. And he’s a little working class. But he’s, um, really not lucky in the relationship department. He had a wife he loved and lost her. So if I have to pick a song that represents Jim at this point, it’d be The Boss’s “I’m Going Down.” The song is about a guy who sees a relationship that used to be perfect going down in flames. And that’s pretty much where Jim is in the relationship department – down in flames.

Ahh, Springsteen… I’ve seen him live twice. He truly holds a special place in my heart, and that’s before we get into the really good stories (and the fact that he inspired my own short piece, Keys, which is in Demo Tapes 4).
See? I told you Mary is cool.
Ready for the story’s description?

The Laurel Highlands seem idyllic, but for Trooper First Class Jim Duncan, they’re anything but.

When a young woman from Pittsburgh ends up dead inside a rental cabin Confluence, it’s up to Duncan to find the killer before the event brings unwanted publicity to one of Southwestern Pennsylvania’s most scenic regions. There seems to be a built-in suspect in the local character known as The Creeper, but if Fayette County public defender Sally Castle has anything to say, The Creeper won’t end up in prison without a fight.

Previously published at Mystericale.com, “An Idyllic Place for Murder” is the first story in THE LAUREL HIGHLANDS MYSTERIES series.

This makes me want to read it, and I already have. Don’t be left out.

Get your copy:




And Apple, too!


Author website



Featured New Story: Batter Down by Liz Milliron


As promised, there’s more fun from the Sisters in Crime chapter who are proudly appearing in the Lucky Charms anthology.


This week, I bring you my good friend Liz Milliron, who is known in other circles as Mary Sutton. Split personality? Nah. Just a different name for each genre she writes in. It actually makes sense, even if it makes it hard to find all of her writings in one spot. She’s worth tracking down, no matter her name. I promise (and not just because she handles a lot of the non-fiction editing for West of Mars!).

Now that the introduction’s done, let’s get down to business, shall we? Liz, what song makes you think of your book?

My anthology story, Batter Down (written as Liz Milliron) centers around the death of a player for a fictional independent-league baseball team. And nothing puts me in the mindset, musically, of baseball like John Fogerty’s Centerfield. This is a rocking rendition with Fogerty and Keith Urban. Now, obviously, Fogerty’s classic has nothing to do with murder, but I can’t think about baseball without this song running through my head. In fact, I’m humming the chorus right now, just typing this, and baseball season is only a glimmer on the horizon. The song just seems to capture the magic of baseball for me, hearing the crack of that bat on a warm summer night. And my protagonist, Jim Duncan, has in fact tuned in to the game for that reason – to listen to a little baseball on a summer afternoon, hanging on his boat with his canine buddy, Rizzo. Unfortunately, that’s not really to be. But, because of the baseball connection, it still makes me think of this song.

I have to confess: baseball isn’t one of my favorite sports, but I, too, think of Fogerty’s classic when the subject comes up. Which, since the Pirates did so well last season, has been fairly often.

Want more about the story and the anthology as a whole?

A record-breaking baseball streak takes a deadly twist when star player Johnny Pierce is found dead on the day he was set to break the team’s consecutive-game hitting record. Jim Duncan and Sally Castle team up to figure out if this was a random act of violence – or if Johnny’s streak meant bad news for someone determined to keep him from continuing.

Inside LUCKY CHARMS you’ll find twelve crime tales from the members of the Mary Roberts Rinehart Pittsburgh chapter of Sisters in Crime, Inc. You’ll dig into gritty police procedurals; enjoy a spangle of suspense; tuck into a cozy or two; and thrill to a cool touch of noir. Each story tells a tale of surprising good luck or of good luck gone sour. We invite you to brace yourself for an entertaining read.

You know you need a copy… here’s the links:
Amazon digital

Amazon print


Mystery Lovers

Barnes & Noble digital: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/lucky-charms-pittsburgh-sisters-in-crime/1117388201?ean=9780991051311

Barnes & Noble print


Apple iBooks

And connect with Liz/Mary, too! You’ll be glad you did.