Friday, July 11, 2014

Six Things About Grace and Manor House Mysteries {+ Giveaway}

9780425259672_medium_Grace_Against_the_ClockI’m thrilled to welcome award-winning author Julie Hyzy here today to talk about GRACE AGAINST THE CLOCK, the last release in her Manor House Mystery series.

This enjoyable cozy murder mystery is the fifth installment in Julie’s delightful series. Thanks to Julie and the lovely Danielle at Penguin Group, I have a print copy of GRACE AGAINST THE CLOCK to giveaway in celebration of its release. Please see the end of the post for more details.

First, here’s a brief synopsis of Grace’s latest adventure ….

        When Marshfield Manor hosts a charity event, Grace Wheaton, the mansion’s curator and manager, is happy to lend a helping hand—until a killer makes an unwanted donation…
        With the town clock in desperate need of repair, local lawyer Joyce Swedburg and her ex-husband, Dr. Leland Keay, are trying to put their differences aside to organize a benefit at Marshfield Manor to raise money to restore the beautiful timepiece. While Grace appreciates the opportunity to support such a good cause, the tension between the unhappy exes is giving her the urge to put both of the organizers in time out.
        But after Leland collapses on stage during the festivities, poisoned, Grace suspects there was more going on behind the scenes. Now, she’s in a race to catch a ticked off murderer, and, if she’s going to prevent anyone else from getting hurt, every second will count…

Julie joins us now to share a little quiz about ‘Six things you may not know about Grace and the Manor House Mystery series.’ Welcome, Julie.

Where has the time gone? My fifth Manor House mystery, Grace Against the Clock, debuted July 1, 2014, and I’m both amazed and enthralled by the warm reception Grace and her friends at Marshfield have received. 

Whether you’ve read one, two, four, or none of the prior titles, you may have fun taking the following quiz. No worries, we won’t keep score. This is simply a chance for me to share a little behind-the-book trivia with you:

1. When writing the first book in the series, Grace Under Pressure, I knew I’d have to come up with suitable name for the magnificent estate where Grace would work and ultimately find family. What is Marshfield’s name an homage to?
a) A defunct sports team
b) A department store
c) A street in Chicago
d) A wide meadow I used to visit as a child.

2. In Grace Interrupted, we meet a little tuxedo kitten for the first time—Bootsie. Grace wants nothing more than to adopt the bundle of fur. But there’s a problem. What is it?
a) Grace is allergic
b) Bootsie’s owners reclaim their pet
c) Grace can’t have pets in her building
d) Grace’s lifestyle can’t accommodate a pet
BONUS: What’s Bootsie’s gender?

3. In Grace Among Thieves, two priceless antiques play a key role in the story. What are they? (Pick two)
a) An original American flag from revolutionary war times
b) Five Picasso originals
c) A jewel encrusted tiara
d) A World War II sword

4. In Grace Takes Off, Grace and Bennett visit Florence, Italy. While there, Bennett begins to suspect that his elderly friend’s treasures are being systematically stolen and replaced with fakes. Bennett first notices something amiss (and points it out to Grace) on what piece of artwork:
a) A Picasso sculpture of a skull
b) An oil painting from Renoir
c) A Ming dynasty vase
d) A fresco transported from Milan

5. Grace Against the Clock was written and almost complete before being assigned a permanent title. Believe it or not, the first version had no clock in it whatsoever. Here’s the question: The book opens with a fundraiser for renovating the town clock. What was the original purpose of the fundraiser in the manuscript’s pre-title-change version?
a) A women’s shelter
b) Streets and Sanitation in Emberstowne
c) The local hospital
d) The local food pantry

6. Grace’s personal issues, beginning with the loss of her mother and her subsequent discovery of other possible family connections, is based (loosely) on what other story?
a) Jane Eyre
b) The LaPlace-Dutz Saga
c) Anne of Green Gables
d) Pollyanna

Ready? Answers below. If you get all the answers correct—Woo-hoo! We must have met in person, because some of this information doesn’t appear in any of the books. Smile


          1. b – department store. I named Marshfield after the former (and beloved) Marshall Field’s, whose flagship store was on State Street in Chicago, and where I spent many a lunch hour when I was working in the city.
          2. a – Grace is allergic to cats. As am I—something I didn’t realize until our daughters adopted sister cats. BONUS: Bootsie is female.
          3. c and d
          4. a
           5. c
          6. b – My mother was raised as a LaPlace, but her real father was Joe Dutz, a fact we didn’t discover until shortly after my mother passed away and her sister spilled family secrets.

Thanks for taking the quiz! I hope you enjoyed and that you learned a little more about Grace and the gang. If you’re new to the series, I hope this quiz piqued your interest.

Julie, thanks for joining us and sharing this look at Grace. It was fun remembering things from the earlier books.

Now for those of you who aren’t familiar with Julie, here’s a brief background.

Author Julie Hyzy
Anthony and Barry Award winner Julie Hyzy is the New York Times bestselling author of the White House Chef Mystery series featuring the intrepid Olivia (Ollie) Paras, and the Manor House Mystery series featuring mansion curator Grace Wheaton.

For more on Julie and her writing, visit her website and blog, as well as connect with her on Facebook.


This giveaway is for one print copy of GRACE AGAINST THE CLOCK. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will end Friday, July 18. 

To enter, just click on the Rafflecopter widget below and following the instructions. The widget may take a few seconds to load, so please be patient. The winner from this giveaway will have 72 hours to respond after being contacted or another winner will be selected. The email will have ‘Thoughts in Progress Julie Hyzy’s Tour’ in the subject line, just so you know what to watch for (in case it goes into your spam folder).

Thanks so much for stopping by today. Did you enjoy the quiz? How did you do on it?

*This post contains affiliate links. a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Julie, thanks again for stopping by. It's always fun to learn more about the characters we love. Wishing you much success.

  2. Got a couple right. Grace Under Pressure - that's also a Rush album!
    And I'm going to start counting cats on covers. Or rather I should count the covers without cats, as all the cool mysteries have them on the cover.
    Congratulations, Julie.

    1. Alex, I had forgot about that album. Thanks for the reminder. I'm curious to see how your count goes.

  3. I have not as yet read anything by this author but I would love to—thanks for the opportunity to win one of her books!

    skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

    1. skkorman, good luck. This is a charming series I think you'd enjoy reading.

  4. I haven't read her books, but I did get the one about Bootsie right. Thank God I'm not allergic to cats.

    1. Diane, I feel sorry for anyone who's allergic to cats (or dogs). They're missing out on so much.

  5. I got 2 right without guessing, another 2 with guessing! How fun would it be to have Ollie visit Marshfield Manor?!?


    1. Karen, now Ollie visiting Marshfield Manor would be intriguing.

  6. Mason - Thanks for hosting Julie.

    Julie - Congratulations on the 5th Manor House Mystery. I think that setting is terrific for a cosy series. I wish you much success with this release.

  7. I have not read any books by this author, the story line looks great and would be enjoyable to read. Thank you for the chance to win.

    1. Lisa, good luck. It's a delightful series to follow.

  8. I enjoyed learning about this book and the author. Thanks for this feature. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  9. oh, noes, the paint is spilt....

    1. Dez, just image what caused that to happen. :)

  10. I love this series and really enjoyed Julie's post and quiz! I kind of figured out the Marshfield one on my own, but the other tidbits are quite interesting too. Can't wait to read it, thanks for the chance to win!

    1. Holdenj, this is such a fun series. It's easy to get lost in it.

  11. I haven't read any books by this author.

    1. Charlotte, hope you try this series. It's fun.

  12. Oh, these all look so good! I want to read all of them. Love the cover!

  13. Forgot to add, Mason, I mention your blog in my scheduled post for this Monday if you want to stop by :)

    1. Karen, I'll definitely stop by and check it out. You're sweet to mention Thoughts in Progress. Thanks.

  14. The quiz was lots of fun. A really interesting interview there!! Ronnalord(at)msn(dot)com

    1. Ronna, I thought the quiz was a lot of fun and a cute way to remember the books. Julie did an excellent job.

  15. I SO want to read this book...and love the cover!

    Patricia T.

    1. Rafflecopter didn't update my comment entry (10), showed 104, then I logged out and it went back to 94. Tried, again..same thing.

    2. Pat, I'm not sure what's going on with the Rafflecopter widget. You can try again anytime before the deadline to see if it will take your information or you can email the information to me at

      So sorry for the inconvenience.

    3. Thanks...will try again, later.

  16. Guess there was just a updated...gotta "love" technology!

  17. I haven't read this series.

  18. I have yet to read any of the books in this series (tho I do have them in my TBR pile!!)....however, I took the quiz & surprisingly, I guessed 4 out of 5 correctly!! LOL!!!

  19. I need to start with Grace Under Pressure.

    lag110 at mchsi dot com


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.