Thursday, March 26, 2020


The Henrietta and Inspector Howard Mystery Novels by Michelle Cox - Book Tour + Giveaway

Join Us for this Series Spotlight Tour from Mar 16 to April 3, 2020!

Series Title Henrietta and Inspector Howard by Michelle Cox

Category:  Adult Fiction (18+)

Genre Historical Mystery

Publisher She Writes Press

Release dates:   April 2016; April 2017; April 2018; April 2019; April 2020

Tour dates: Mar 16 to April 3, 2020

Content Rating: R: Books 1-2 do not have any sex scenes,

though there is sexual reference, Books 3-5 do have explicit sex scenes
(tasteful). There is periodic swearing and violence, but not a lot.
There are some dark themes (though not graphic examples) of suicide,
prostitution, mob involvement, rape, drinking, homosexuality.


A GIRL LIKE YOU: Beautiful Henrietta Von Harmon works

as a 26 girl at a corner bar, Poor Pete’s, on Chicago’s northwest side.
It’s 1935, but things still aren’t looking up since the big crash and
her father’s subsequent suicide. Left to care for her antagonistic
mother and seven younger siblings, Henrietta is persuaded to take a job
as a taxi dancer at a local dance hall. Henrietta is just beginning to
enjoy herself, dancing with men for ten cents a dance, when the floor
matron suddenly turns up murdered. The aloof Inspector Clive Howard then
appears on the scene, and Henrietta unwittingly finds herself involved
in unraveling the mystery when she agrees to go undercover for him in a
burlesque theater where he believes the killer lurks.

Even as Henrietta is plunged into Chicago’s grittier underworld, she
struggles to still play the mother “hen” to her younger siblings and
even to the pesky neighborhood boy, Stanley, who believes himself in
love with her and continues to pop up in the most unlikely places,
determined, ironically, to keep Henrietta safe, even from the Inspector
if needs be. Despite his efforts, however, and his penchant for messing
up the Inspector’s investigation, the lovely Henrietta and the
impenetrable Inspector find themselves drawn to each other in most
unsuitable ways. 

A RING OF TRUTH: In this second book of the series, Henrietta and Clive delightfully rewrite Pride and Prejudice―with a hint of mystery!
Newly engaged, Clive and Henrietta now begin the difficult task of
meeting each other’s family. “Difficult” because Clive has neglected to
tell Henrietta that he is in fact the heir to the Howard estate and
fortune, and Henrietta has just discovered that her mother has been
hiding secrets about her past as well. When Clive brings Henrietta to
the family estate to meet his parents, they are less than enthused about
his impoverished intended. Left alone in this extravagant new world
when Clive returns to the city, Henrietta finds herself more at home
with the servants than his family, much to the disapproval of Mrs.
Howard―and soon gets caught up in the disappearance of an elderly
servant’s ring, not realizing that in doing so she has become part of a
bigger, darker plot.

As Clive and Henrietta attempt to discover the truth in the two very
different worlds unraveling around them, they both begin to wonder: Are
they meant for each other after all?

A PROMISE GIVEN: This third book in the Henrietta and

Inspector Howard series provides a delightful romp through the English
countryside and back.

Anxious to be married, Henrietta and Clive push forward with their
wedding plans despite their family differences, made worse now by
Oldrich Exley’s attempts to control the Von Harmons. When the
long-awaited wedding day arrives, there is more unfolding than just
Clive and Henrietta’s vows of love. Stanley and Elsie’s relationship is
sorely tested by the presence of the dashing Lieutenant Harrison
Barnes-Smith and by Henrietta’s friend Rose―a situation that grows
increasingly dark and confused as time goes on.

As Clive and Henrietta begin their honeymoon at Castle Linley, the
Howards’ ancestral estate in England, they encounter a whole new host of
characters, including the eccentric Lord and Lady Linley and Clive’s
mysterious cousin, Wallace. When a man is murdered in the village on the
night of a house party at the Castle, Wallace comes under suspicion―and
Clive and Henrietta are reluctantly drawn into the case, despite
Clive’s anxiety at involving his new bride and Henrietta’s distracting
news from home.

Delicately attempting to work together for the first time, Clive and
Henrietta set out to prove Wallace’s innocence, uncovering as they do so
some rather shocking truths that will shake the Linley name and estate

A VEIL REMOVED: Murder is never far from this sexy couple . . . even during the holidays!

Their honeymoon abruptly ended by the untimely death of Alcott Howard,
Clive and Henrietta return to Highbury, where Clive discovers all is not
as it should be. Increasingly convinced that his father’s death was not
an accident, Clive launches his own investigation, despite his mother’s
belief that he has become “mentally disturbed” with grief. Henrietta
eventually joins forces with Clive on their first real case, which
becomes darker―and deadlier―than they imagined as they get closer to the
truth behind Alcott’s troubled affairs.

Meanwhile, Henrietta’s sister, Elsie, begins, at Henrietta’s
orchestration, to take classes at a women’s college―an attempt to evade
her troubles and prevent any further romantic temptations. When she
meets a bookish German custodian at the school, however, he challenges
her to think for herself . . . even as she discovers some shocking
secrets about his past life.

A CHILD LOST: A spiritualist, an insane asylum, a lost little girl . . .

When Clive, anxious to distract a depressed Henrietta, begs Sergeant
Frank Davis for a case, he is assigned to investigating a seemingly
boring affair: a spiritualist woman operating in an abandoned
schoolhouse on the edge of town who is suspected of robbing people of
their valuables. What begins as an open and shut case becomes more
complicated, however, when Henrietta―much to Clive’s dismay―begins to
believe the spiritualist's strange ramblings.

Meanwhile, Elsie begs Clive and Henrietta to help her and the object of
her budding love, Gunther, locate the whereabouts of one Liesel
Klinkhammer, the German woman Gunther has traveled to America to find
and the mother of the little girl, Anna, whom he has brought along with
him. The search leads them to Dunning Asylum, where they discover some
terrible truths about Liesel. When the child, Anna, is herself
mistakenly admitted to the asylum after an epileptic fit, Clive and
Henrietta return to Dunning to retrieve her. This time, however,
Henrietta begins to suspect that something darker may be happening. When
Clive doesn’t believe her, she decides to take matters into her own
hands . . . with horrifying results.

Release Date: April 28, 2020!
PREORDER NOW: Barnes & Noble ~ Apple iBooks

IndieBound ~
Google Store

The True Story Behind The Henrietta and Inspector Howard Series . . .

When I decided to write a murder mystery, thinking this would somehow be appealing to an agent (don’t laugh), I found myself struggling for a kernel of an idea to get the story started.  In desperation, I finally turned to my stack of stories that I had collected from my days working in a nursing home on Chicago’s NW side and eventually chose to model my heroine, Henrietta Von Harmon, on one of the residents whom I had the fortune to have met.  Almost daily, Adeline Schneider would remind me that once upon a time “I had a man-stopping body and a personality to go with it!

Adeline Schneider was one of those residents who still had a lot of life in her despite her eighty-one years.  She loved to follow me around the nursing home, telling me stories about her colorful life in Chicago in the 1930s and ‘40s as a drop-dead gorgeous bombshell.  I borrowed much of her details and then crafted a story around it, having to invent the murder, the circumstances, and, of course, the handsome inspector . . .

But here are the bits that are true:

*Family History: Adeline’s father, Lester Von Freudenthal, was originally from Alscace-Lorraine where he (like Henrietta’s father, Leslie Von Harmon) claimed the family had been aristocratic barons, thus the “Von” in their name. Also true (as in the novel): Adeline's great-grandfather eloped to Chicago with his bride and settled in Logan Square.

*Jobs: All of the jobs listed in the novel are real jobs that Adeline herself worked at.  Her extreme beauty got her jobs when the rest of the country was out of work during the Great Depression.  Like, Henrietta, however, Adeline was virtuous and was constantly getting fired for slapping an owner or a manager for trying to feel her up.

*Neighborhood Boys: Like Henrietta, who is dogged throughout the novel by the love-struck Stanley Dubowski, Adeline told me about the little rag-tag band of neighborhood boys who used to follow her.  They knew that she was a “nice girl” and often therefore waited by the El station for her to get off from her late-night jobs so that they could follow her home at a distance to make sure that no harm befell her.

*Burlesque: At nineteen years old, Adeline saw an ad in a Chicago paper for an usherette at a burlesque theater and went to audition.  Like in the book, the line of eager women wrapped around the block. Many of the novel’s details about Henrietta’s audition are taken exactly from Adeline's experience, including having to show off her legs and bottom on stage in order to get the job. As in the novel, the theater maintained a strict “no touching” policy between the girls and the crowd, with burly ushers doubling as bouncers to throw out any man that crossed the line. Girls were required to go to the bathroom in pairs for safety’s sake.

*Lesbians: Adeline soon discovered that most of the usherettes or dancers at the theater were lesbians. Though she did not share their sexual orientation and warded off their initial advances, she was eventually befriended by them. One of them, Didi, became her best friend and protector and tried to shield her from some of the more risqué situations that were occurring at the “lesbian parties” Adeline was subsequently invited to, which, she said, were boring because “everyone just sat around and made out.”


Michelle Cox is the author of the multiple award-winning Henrietta and
Inspector Howard series as well as "Novel Notes of Local Lore," a weekly
blog dedicated to Chicago's forgotten residents. She suspects she may
have once lived in the 1930s and, having yet to discover a handy time
machine lying around, has resorted to writing about the era as a way of
getting herself back there. Coincidentally, her books have been praised
by Kirkus, Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, Booklist and many others,
so she might be on to something. Unbeknownst to most, Michelle hoards
board games she doesn't have time to play and is, not surprisingly,
addicted to period dramas and big band music. Also marmalade.

Connect with the Author:


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Apr 3 - My Chaotic Ramblings - series spotlight / author interview / giveaway



  1. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful fun and sexy series.

  2. Thanks for spotlighting my series, Jazzy! So excited to be featured by you! Hope you enjoy!


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