Veteran television writer M.V. Byrne debuts with his first Mitten State Mystery featuring Isabel Puddles, a widowed mother of two grown children who lives in a charming hamlet along Lake Michigan called Gull Harbor, the place she has called home all her life. In the summertime, Isabel shares her hometown with tourists and rich summer residents who flock to Gull Harbor and surrounding Kentwater County for its beautiful freshwater beaches, picturesque farmland, and magnificent old growth forests. But Isabel doesn't mind sharing her little slice of lakeside paradise... much.
The only thing Isabel Puddles loves as much as her quirky hometown, and its cast of eccentric characters, is entertaining her family and friends with her culinary magic, taking long walks through the woods or along the beach with her beloved Jack Russell terrier, Jackpot, and cozying up in her favorite overstuffed chair with a cup of tea and a good murder mystery.
Isabel lives in the same quaint cottage on Gull Lake where she was raised, and where she raised her own children. But money is tight, so to make ends meet, Isabel pursues an assortment of vocations to keep the lights on, the dog fed, and her property taxes paid, including; preserving and selling her famous bread & butter pickles, baking pies for local restaurants, selling antiques, cutting hair, and working part-time at her cousin Freddie's hardware store. But when she takes a side job doing hair and make-up at the local funeral home, Isabel's world is turned upside-down after she discovers a two-inch nail embedded in the skull of a rich, local farmer named Earl Jonasson... It would appear the octogenarian may not have died of a stroke after all.
Isabel has been friends with Mr. Jonasson's daughter, Meg, since grade school, and she has known and admired the Jonasson family for many years. Saddened by Mr. Jonasson's death, she and the rest of the community are later shocked when Meg's brother, Earl Jr., is arrested for his father's murder when his alibi doesn't check out, and a motive begins to surface. But Isabel isn't buying it. She remembers Earl Jr. as a shy, quiet boy whose best friend throughout his childhood was a goat named Oliver. She refuses to believe Meg's little brother is capable of murdering his own father, regardless of his own growing financial difficulties.
As gossip about a lucrative land deal and a hefty life insurance policy begin to spread around the county, the case against Earl Jr. starts to gain momentum. Soon Isabel finds herself conducting her own investigation in an attempt to clear Earl Jr.'s name, and find the actual killer. But she soon learns that real detective work isn't like the Agatha Christie mysteries she's so fond of, when she gets tangled up with some dangerous characters who don't like Isabel Puddles poking around in their business...
Outstanding praise for M.V. Byrne and Meet Isabel Puddles!
"I was very happy to meet Isabel Puddles and I'm sure readers will enjoy making her acquaintance, too. M.V. Byrne's small town sleuth with a big heart sees the possible in impossible, whether she's cooking up a delicious pot roast or solving a devious crime.
__ Leslie Meier, author of Irish Parade Murder
"When you meet the delightfully witty and no-nonsense Isabel Puddles you'll never want her to leave."
__ Lee Hollis, author of Poppy Harmon and the Hung Jury.
"I've met Isabel Puddles and I love her. She's a smart, funny AARPster who can whip up a mean pot roast while solving a diabolical murder. I eagerly turned the pages of this charming, action-packed whodunit. What a fun read!"
__ Laura Levine, author of Death of a Gigolo.
"A charming debut… A captivating cast, and many spells
of laugh-out-loud humor."
__ Kirkus Reviews
“Fans of Garrison Keillor’s tales of Lake Wobegon will be enchanted.”
__ Publisher's Weekly
Born in Lansing, Michigan, where his parents were attending Michigan State University, M.V. (Michael) Byrne grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. But when it was time to choose a college he returned to his home state, and his Spartan roots, where he too attended MSU; a family tradition. There he received his B.A. in Telecommunications with a thematic concentration in Film. Michael was also a member of the MSU crew team, and the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity.
Like the heroine of his new Mitten State Mystery Series, Isabel Puddles, his mother's family has had a summer home along the shores of Lake Michigan for nearly a hundred years. Throughout childhood, Michael spent every summer at the lake with a large, slightly rambunctious but fun loving family of aunts, uncles, and cousins. Michigan, and particularly the coast of Lake Michigan, has always been, and remains, a place near and dear to his heart. And despite a busy career, he still finds time to return to Michigan every summer to spend time with family and friends at "the cottage" his great-grandfather Charlie built.
M.V. Byrne has had a long and varied career in television as both a Writer and Producer, getting his start in New York City as a Page at NBC, working on shows produced at 30 Rock that included; The David Letterman Show, Saturday Night Live, Today, and NBC Nightly News. After moving to Los Angeles and landing his first writing job on E! Entertainment's hit show, Mysteries & Scandals, he went on to write and produce News, Talk, Documentaries, Docudramas, and other unscripted shows for NBC, ABC, CNN, Netflix, History Channel, Discovery, Bravo, Lifetime, History Channel, the Food Network, and MTV Networks. He has also worked as a writer on ABC's Good Morning America, at CNN where he wrote for Nancy Grace, and for Tyra Banks on The Tyra Banks Show.
After years of bouncing between NYC and LA, Michael currently lives in Los Angeles full time where he continues to work as a Writer/Producer in unscripted television, although most recently he is writing on a scripted series for the INSP network called The Wild West Chronicles.