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The Backyard Model Mysteries

Model Suspect releases
November 14, 2023

Model Suspect is an award winner! The Model Suspect manuscript received an excellence in mainstream mystery Honorable Mention from the RWA Daphne du Maurier award contest.

Midwest Review says “T.K. Sheffield’s writing is superb! How she introduced and blended so many characters are a work of art. I predict this author’s destined for many great things in the future.”

About Model Suspect, the first book in the Backyard Model small-town mystery series:

Penny-pinching fashionista Melanie Tower is done with the drama of New York City and returns to her Wisconsin hometown to open a craft mall—but is the drama done with her? At the start of the holiday season—her jewelers, bakers, and craftersbusiest time—a social media influencer is found dead in Mels mall, pinned under a vintage door.

Mel immediately becomes a suspect in the holiday mystery. The victim had been committing a crafty crime: shed been recruiting Mels best artists to open a competing store!

Mels cozy life becomes twisted as macramé. To find the killer poser” and prove her innocence, she must attend a week of holiday parties in her quaint village, a town that resembles Galena, Illinois, or the Cotswolds. Mel embraces her inner Midwesterner while polka-ing at the Cheese Ball, judging entries in the Devils vs. Angels Bake-off, and starring in a wacky readerstheater at Midwinters Night at the Library.

Model Suspect is The Devil Wears Prada meets a Wisconsin supper club. Its a Midwest whodunnit, a holiday cozy, a humorous small-town mystery served with a brandy old-fashioned sweet and a side of cheese curds.

Includes a recipe for holiday shortbread cookies. No foul language, sex, or graphic violence.

In the second book, “Pontoon,” Mel is vacationing in Wisconsin’s Northwoods. She is seduced by turtle sundaes, campfires, and a handsome sheriff with a Yooper accent. Truly, who wouldn’t fall in love in that environment?

Then, a businessman is killed, his pontoon cut loose from its dock; he was released like an illegally hooked walleye.

Mel struggles to find the real killer against the backdrop of an unusual competition, the Deliveree, a prize tournament among package-delivery drivers. Can she free her friend and save her relationship with the sheriff?

Both books in The Backyard Model Mysteries are 85-90,000-word traditional mysteries with romantic elements, and they take place during holiday events. The series protagonist, Mel Tower, moves through a character arc of breaking free from a restrictive past to embrace new relationships.