Liz S. Andrews

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Liz S. Andrews is a native of East Tennessee and was blessed to grow up near the Great Smoky Mountains, the playground of her childhood and adolescence. She holds a doctorate, with a professional background in English literature and higher education. When she's not writing, she enjoys reading, cooking, playing piano, gardening, and hiking with her dog, Scout, a golden retriever/labrador mix. She currently resides in Western Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh.



BY Liz S. Andrews • POSTED ON June 12, 2022

Andrews’ sleuthing whiskey-maker investigates some bookish murders in this fourth mystery novel in a series.

Spring has come to Notchey Creek, Tennessee, and local distiller Harley Henrickson is taking in the seasonal splendor of the town’s Antiques and Blooms Festival. The festival’s great find turns out to be a signed first edition of the classic Charlotte Brontë novel Jane Eyre; one of Notchey Creek’s resident book appraisers values its worth at “hundreds of thousands” of dollars. The owner, Suzanne Clare, is wealthy, attractive, and new in town—and from what Harley hears from vague local gossip, she has a reputation for being “trouble.” Before long, a woman who was watching the appraisal is found stabbed to death behind a dumpster. Then Suzanne is found murdered, and the copy of Jane Eyre that was in her possession is missing. Police suspect it’s a case of burglary got awry, but Harley isn’t so sure. Harley’s good friend, a rich local rock star known as Beau Arson, is revealed to have a troubled past with the murder victim and becomes a prime suspect in her death. Harley must closely read the clues to solve this literary mystery. Andrews’ novel is a loving ode to books and the people who love them, and her prose has the warm feel of a well-worn hardback, as when she lushly describes the library at one of the town’s gothic mansions: “Dark oak paneling, bifurcated by rows of antique books, formed a panoply of vintage color, which climbed from the black-and-white ornamental tile floor to the high plaster ceiling.” Indeed, the novel is steeped in atmosphere, creating in Notchey Creek a kind of Appalachian version of Agatha Christie’s St. Mary Mead, complete with a 300-pound pet pig, and readers will be happy to wander through it. Some may find the vast cast to be a bit too crowded, but once there are murders to solve, they’ll find the novel to be a brisk ride.

A charming, book-centric whodunit.

Pub Date: June 12, 2022

ISBN: 979-8829134976

Page count: 282pp

Publisher: Self

Review Posted Online: Aug. 16, 2022



BY Liz S. Andrews • POSTED ON Jan. 27, 2021

A Tennessee whiskey distiller puts her sleuth hat on again in this third installment of a mystery series.

Notchey Creek has seen a lot of drama for a little Appalachian town, and 26-year-old whiskey distiller Harley Henrickson has been in the thick of it, investigating murders and solving mysteries while inventing cocktails. Now, with Valentine’s Day celebrations afoot, several kinds of trouble are stirring up. Harley discovers a burned-out car with a body inside; the sheriff thinks it’s an accidental death, but she’s not so sure. Other conflicts include blackmail, romantic rivalries, and a messy divorce between Ryan and Jessica Westlake, two of the town’s wealthiest residents. Then there’s Ryan’s rumored affair with Bethany Carmichael, 26, who writes devastating reviews of local establishments for the Notchey Creek Telephone, a newspaper owned by Ryan. Jane Merriman blames her husband’s fatal stroke on Bethany’s scathing column, which led to their restaurant’s failure. The latest victims of Bethany’s vitriol are Harley’s best friend, Tina Rizchek, also 26, and her bakery/cafe, Tina’s Treats. When Bethany dies from eating a poisoned cupcake, Tina is the chief suspect—but given the reviewer’s reputation, not the only one. Although it’s a tangled web, Harley is the woman to unravel it. In her latest series entry, Andrews again does a fine job of keeping the mystery’s solution in suspense until the end while offering a charmingly folksy setting and eccentric characters. Harley’s great-uncle and his friend, for example, hope to attract bidders at a bachelor auction by highlighting such skills as “Can pee the alphabet in snow.” The more colorful aspects of Harley’s life (like her fashionista pet pig) are given depth by her intelligent, determined sleuthing as well as romantic yearnings complicated by self-doubts from a painful childhood.

Another twisty, entertaining entry in this cozy series featuring an appealing investigator.

Pub Date: Jan. 27, 2021

ISBN: 979-8-70-114726-1

Page count: 320pp

Publisher: Self

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2021


Murder Comes to Notchey Creek

"Andrews mixes up a tasty cocktail out of appealing ingredients." - Kirkus Reviews A nerdy whiskey distiller's life is upended when a famous rockstar moves to town and murders start occurring. It's Halloween in Notchey Creek, Tennessee, and whiskey distiller Harley Henrickson is preparing for the town's autumn harvest festival. Harley lives a quiet life of books and hard work, an introvert who is dismissed by many as the town nerd. Her life is changed when she and her best friend, Tina Rizchek, discover a disoriented stranger in the ditch, mumbling about a lost boy. When the man disappears into the woods, Harley is left with many unanswered questions. Who was the mysterious man, and what happened to the boy? As she digs deeper, she discovers the stranger, in reality, was no stranger at all, and had ties to many highly-esteemed citizens in town. When one of those citizens, a wealthy history professor, is murdered on Halloween night, Harley decides to investigate. What she discovers is a multitude of secrets, lies, and sins, dating back decades, and revolving around a rockstar who has chosen Notchey Creek as his new home. Includes drink recipes. *This book was formerly titled The Mist Rises Over Notchey Creek

The Ghosts of Notchey Creek

"A deftly constructed and thoroughly enjoyable small-town murder mystery with a Christmas twist." --Kirkus Reviews A dead body in the woods and ghostly encounters at Briarcliffe have Harley Henrickson searching for answers in the town's tragic history. It's the holiday season in Notchey Creek, and Harley Henrickson is busy mixing yuletide cocktails at her store, Smoky Mountain Spirits. There is snow on the ground, holiday music in the air, and wreathes on every lamppost. Everything seems perfect for the town’s biggest event of the year, the Small Town Christmas Festival. Even Harley’s pet pig, Matilda, is feeling festive, wearing the Elf on the Shelf costume Aunt Wilma bought for her. But not all is merry and bright in this little mountain town. Harley senses something eerie in the air, and it all points to Notchey Creek's oldest and most beautiful home—Briarcliffe. No sooner has rock star Beau Arson settled into Briarcliffe Mansion, than a self-righteous ghost hunter arrives in town, telling macabre tales about Beau’s new home. According to legend, a young woman by the name of Margaret Reed hanged herself in the woods behind Briarcliffe on Christmas Day, over a century ago. To make matters worse, Beau has been experiencing ghostly encounters at night, seeking to drive him from his family’s home. When Harley finds the body of a mysterious woman in the woods near Briarcliffe, and then a wealthy antiques dealer is murdered, she decides to investigate. Can Harley intervene before a century of lies, greed, and passion destroy Beau Arson’s new life—the past he’s just only come to know? Includes drink recipes.
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