Monday, July 18, 2022

The Sign of the Calico Quartz by Jan Drexler: Review, Excerpt, and Giveaway!

 The Sign of the Calico Quartz


About The Sign of the Calico Quartz


The Sign of the Calico Quartz (The Sweetbrier Inn Mysteries) 

Cozy Mystery 

1st in Series 

Setting - South Dakota 

Swift Wings Press (May 20, 2022) 

Paperback ‏ : ‎ 276 pages 


Emma Blackwood’s favorite pastime is solving literary murder mysteries…until the body in her living room makes everything a little too real.

When Emma comes to the Black Hills to work at her Aunt Rose’s B&B, the Sweetbrier Inn, she is hoping for a quiet break from the corporate treadmill. But she hadn’t expected murder and intrigue to mar this peaceful setting.

As she wades through too many clues to identify the murderer, she soon finds that the culprit isn’t stopping at only one homicide and may even have placed Emma herself on the list of targets. With the help of her friend Becky, and a deputy sheriff who grudgingly lets them join in on the investigation, Emma tracks down the killer. But will it be in time to save the next victim?

About Jan Drexler

Jan Drexler lives in the Black Hills of South Dakota with her husband, where she enjoys hiking and spending time with her expanding family. She is the author of several historical romance novels, including the award-winning Mattie’s Pledge, and is pleased to be starting a new adventure with a cozy mystery series, The Sweetbrier Inn Mysteries. You can find out more about Jan on her website:

Author Links




Amazon Author Page:

My Thoughts

Emma Blackwood arrives at her Aunt Rose’s Sweetbrier Inn in the Black Hills of South Dakota.  Emma needs a change after the end of a bad relationship.  Emma is upstairs during teatime when she notices that her cat, Tim is out of their suite.  She goes into her suite with her cat and finds a man dead on the floor.  Unfortunately, Emma finds herself at the top of the suspect list.  It soon becomes apparent that someone is framing Emma.  Emma needs to figure out who is behind the murder before she ends up in the poky.  
The Sign of the Calico Quartz by Jan Drexler is the debut of The Sweetbrier Inn Mysteries.  I like Emma’s mysterious Aunt Rose.  She seems to have a unique past.  I enjoyed the lovely descriptions of the Black Hills.  The mystery is interesting.  It is a busy mystery.  There are a handful of suspects, misdirection, and good clues.  I did feel that the solution was a bit obvious.  It was fun following along Emma looked for clues, questioned the inn’s guests, and stumbled upon evidence.  There was more action in the second half that kept the story propelling toward the end.  I was left with a few questions regarding the case when I finished.  I liked Deputy Cal Cooper who was in charge of the case.  He is a nice man who takes his job seriously.  I hope we get to know Emma and Rose more in the next book.  I loved Becky, a baker, who is Emma’s new friend.  Thatcher, Rose’s corgi, is a cutie and helpful as well.  It will be interesting to see what happens next in The Case of the Artist’s Mistake.  The Sign of the Calico Quartz is a charming cozy with the beautiful Black Hills, a cute corgi, a murdered man, scrumptious scones, cagey guests, cowboy Cal, and enquiring Emma.


“This must be Thatcher.” I held the corgi’s smiling face between my hands and rubbed his ears. His tri-color markings included black lines around his eyes that made him look like he was wearing spectacles.

“That dog.” Humorous disgust filled Wil’s voice. “He got out of his crate again. I keep telling Rose that she needs to put a lock on that thing.”

“He’s just a smart puppy.” The dog’s eyes half-closed as I scratched his chest. “And the cutest thing.”

“Cutest brat, you mean.” Wil closed the door and picked up my suitcase. “As long as Rose is at home, he’s fine. But as soon as she walks out the door, he’s a holy terror.”

“He can’t be that bad.” I watched the dog approach the door of Tim’s cat carrier, caution in every step. “It looks like he and Tim might get along.”


“My cat.” I indicated the crate. Thatcher’s nose was stuck through the wire door and his tail was wiggling.

“That dog doesn’t get along with anyone.”

His smile belied his gruff words. It was just a bit crooked. One a girl would die for. I grabbed Tim’s carrier and stood up again, dusting my knees with the other hand to avoid his gaze. Maybe some girls would fall for a grin like that, but it would be a long time before another guy caught my eye, cute as a teen heartthrob or not.

The Sign of the Calico Quartz is available from Amazon* (you can borrow for free if you belong to Kindle Unlimited)You can find Jan Drexler's other novels here.  Now for the giveaway!  You can enter to win  a prize package from Jan Drexler.    You can enter using the Rafflecopter form below or click here to enter (sorry, but US Only).  Leave a comment for an extra entry.  Good Luck!  I appreciate you stopping by today.  I will return tomorrow to share my thoughts on Duty Calls at Goodwill House by Fenella J. Miller which is the third novel in the Goodwill House series.  I hope that you have a happy day.  I am off to work on my summer outdoor decorations. The neighbors have said my yard is not the same without the decorations (inflatables, lights).  So, I went on a hunt for a beach themed inflatable.  I have a fun summer inflatable with Santa in summer shorts with penguin similarly attired with a palm tree that will set atop warm white lights that will represent sand.  I also have palm tree inflatables to stand on each side and some beach balls. I have white and blue lights to wrap around the posts on the patio as well.  I hope the village likes what I came up with for summer.  I will have to start thinking about fall next (Halloween goes up October 1).  Take care, stay cool, and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader 

a Rafflecopter giveaway 

Tour Participants

July 18 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW, EXCERPT 

July 18 – Literary Gold – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

July 19 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

July 19 – Christy's Cozy Corners – GUEST POST

July 20 – ebookaddicts – SPOTLIGHT WITH EXCERPT
July 20 – Maureen's Musings – REVIEW

July 21 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT WITH EXCERPT

July 21 – My Journey Back – RECIPE POST

July 21 – My Reading Journeys – SPOTLIGHT WITH EXCERPT

July 22 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 22 – Ascroft, eh? – GUEST POST

July 23 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT

July 23 – Reading Is My SuperPower - REVIEW

July 24 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST

July 25 – I Read What You Write – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

July 25 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW WITH EXCERPT

July 26 – Baroness Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT
July 26 – Sapphyria's Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

July 27 – Sneaky the Library Cat's Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

*This post contains affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.


  1. Good morning, Kris! Thank you for the fun review and for being the first stop on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour!
    Enjoy your summery day. :-)

  2. Sounds like a great read. Can't wait to read

  3. Great sounding book!

  4. This sounds like a fun read. The Black Hills are pretty country giving you cowboys, gold mines, wide open spaces, and characters to draw from for stories. An inn and a secretive aunt add to the possibilities.

    1. Above comment is by Patricia Barraclough, library pat. AT com cast dot net