If you like cozy mysteries with some magic thrown in or are a fan of New Orleans, The Key to Murder is for you.


The Description

The French Quarter Mysteries: Book 1
Publication Date: March 4, 2020

Samantha thought following a mysterious diary around the French Quarter of New Orleans would be a harmless way to learn about her new hometown until it became about murder.

As the newest resident of Thibodeaux Mansion, West Coast transplant Samantha is looking forward to starting her thirties in a new place. Drawn to New Orleans for its music, food and history, she’s excited to start her future in this unique city. But Samantha is also hopeful she’ll find her past since she was adopted from Louisiana after being orphaned in a hurricane as a toddler.

An anonymous diary, unusual key, and a distinctive doll are left in her furnished apartment and her mostly friendly neighbors all deny leaving the gifts. Samantha, now Sammy to her new friends, can’t believe any of them could be a liar. When the diary leads her to a dead body, Sammy needs to find out what these clues mean and what the murderer is trying to tell her.

Although her best friends Sissy and Andrew are happy to help her with this mystery, her other friends aren’t sure the murder and diary are about Sammy. Not wanting to lose her newfound friendships and possible love interest, Sammy decides she must uncover the answers on her own.

Sammy moved to New Orleans looking for a new future, but is it her past that found her first?

The Key to Murder is the first book in The French Quarter Mysteries featuring West Coast transplant Samantha Richardson settling into her new hometown, New Orleans. Her neighborhood is full of music, food and history as well as interesting people. Join Sammy as she explores the Big Easy by solving the mysteries of the past and present in this new modern, cozy mystery series.

The Review

The Key to Murder is the first book in The French Quarter Mysteries series by Jen Pitts, and it only whets my appetite for more. Lots of New Orleans sights, sounds, magic, places of business, well-known streets, food, and drink left me wanting more. From the first page to the last, I was drawn in with lots of mystery and sleuthing, including clues and a hidden agenda. I didn’t guess whodunnit but not from lack of trying!

Sammy is a transplant from San Francisco. She was adopted at two years old after Hurricane Geoffrey hit Louisiana and didn’t really know any of her history or that of her family. When she moves to New Orleans, part of her thinks that she can reconnect with her roots and find out about her birth family. That all seems to be put on the back burner when she finds murdered bodies before the police do. 

From the first day she moves into Thibodeaux Mansion and meets the new neighbors, she feels accepted, as if she’s making new friends. Strange things happen from the start when she finds a diary and a key. Where will they lead her?

There’s a feeling of magic throughout the book, along with darkness. As Sammy pursues the clues in the diary, she’s not sure what they all mean, but she’s often uneasy and sometimes doubts the actions of her new friends. 

The story had a good flow and was a quick read. There was some closure, but I thought the story would go on a little further. I’m hoping we pick up with the characters we’ve met in the next book in the series, The Gates to the Afterlife. The cover was colorful and gave off a New Orleans vibe with the details of it. 

If you like cozy mysteries with some magic thrown in or are a fan of New Orleans, The Key to Murder is for you.Buy Links

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About The AuthorJen Pitts is a lifelong mystery reader who turned her obsession into writing cozy mysteries of her own. When she isn’t plotting fictional murder and mayhem, she’s chugging coffee, traveling, reading, and enjoying life with her children and husband in the Pacific Northwest.


Blog Tour Schedule

October 20 – Novels Alive – GUEST POST

October 20 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

October 21 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT

October 21 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT

October 22 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

October 22 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT

October 22 – Baroness’ Book Trove – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

October 23 – Nellie’s Book Nook – REVIEW, GUEST POST


October 24 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW,

October 24 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

October 25 – Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST

October 25 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

October 26 – Novels Alive – REVIEW

October 26 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT


JoAnne Weiss
JoAnne Weiss
JoAnne Weiss, nee Montalbano, was born and raised in NYC until moving to CT with her family when she was 16 and she's never left. Married for 41 years with one grown son, she works in an elementary school office where she's been since it opened in 2003. Prior to that, she was an accountant in several corporations before becoming a stay at home mom for 12 years. JoAnne enjoys reading, traveling, spending time with her family, and extended family as well as with friends. She enjoys cooking and rarely uses a recipe the way it was intended but instead uses them and cooking shows to give her new ideas and suggestions. JoAnne has a huge bucket list of places she'd like to visit but has been lucky enough to travel to England, Italy, the Caribbean, Mexico, Canada, and many states in the U.S. including Hawaii, California, Nevada, Arizona, and Maine among others. Some of JoAnne's favorite genres include contemporary romance, chick-lit, romantic suspense, and historical romances including regency and those set in the west. JoAnne is on several author's street teams and enjoys interacting with many of them on Facebook as well as reading their newsletters. She has been lucky enough to meet some of her favorite authors among them Susan Mallery, Debbie Macomber, Nora Roberts, Meg Tilly, Beatriz Williams, and Marie Bostwick. JoAnne took a road trip with her sister in the fall of 2019 and visited Nora Roberts' bookstore in Boonsboro, Maryland for an authors' signing. She hopes to do more of this in the future. JoAnne leaves reviews for all books she reads on Goodreads and her reviews can be found at JoAnne currently reviews for two sites - and Previously she reviewed for which has since closed. Payment is in the form of receiving free books to read and review. Her mantra is too many books and not enough time!


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If you like cozy mysteries with some magic thrown in or are a fan of New Orleans, The Key to Murder is for you.4-STAR REVIEW: THE KEY TO MURDER by Jen Pitts