Let’s Talk With Maggie Toussaint

Cover Reveal Shrimply Dead
By Maggie Toussaint

A good book cover draws your eye and then encourages you to savor it. Ever since I signed my first book contract, I’ve been asked to make suggestions for the publisher’s cover artist. In nearly every instance, they used my ideas to create the cover.

So when it came time to create the cover for SHRIMPLY DEAD, I put my thinking cap on. I had several points to consider. First, it is book 3 in my Seafood Caper Mysteries, so it should have the series icon prominently displayed. This was easy to check off as the logo is already done, and it’s a matter of pasting it into the new cover image. Second, the cover for Book 3 should match Books 1&2 in the style, color, and font to cement that “branded” feel of the series. Lastly, it should reflect an aspect of the story.

The book cover for SEAS THE DAY was created by a publisher, and broad strokes of color illustrated sea and beach sand, along with a white foam margin between the two. To add to the coastal feel a palmetto tree was added to one side. Book two, SPAWNING SUSPICION, used complementary tones of teal for the water aspect, the same fonts and series logo as the first book, and added a school of small fish.

This new book cover has shades of teal in a beach scene, a palm tree, the same fonts, and series logo. It also incorporates shrimp pink into the color scheme. In addition, a small boiled shrimp is added to the image.

And without further ado, here’s the cover for SHRIMPLY DEAD.

This book releases April 12, 2021, and it’s available for preorder now at the vendors listed below. (The print format of the book will become available for purchase on or before April 12.) Order your digital copy now!

Kindle    Nook    Kobo    iBooks

Here’s the back of the book copy:
When veterinarian and amateur naturalist Jasmine Garr is shot in her yard, residents of Shell Island press caterer River Holloway into investigating the homicide. River dons her amateur sleuth cap and sets out to discover who killed her former catering customer.

Between Jasmine’s estranged cousin, a rival veterinarian, a wild animal trapper, the chicken lady, and a real estate broker, River has plenty of suspects to consider. As she peels back the layers of Jasmine’s life, dangerous secrets come to light.

Jasmine’s orphaned kitty, Iris, along with River’s cat Major, and her husband Pete help River sift through the evidence. At the same time, River recently expanded her catering business. She must service her regular catering clients, plus provide fresh baked goods for Pete’s ice cream shop.

The killer follows River’s every move relishing the thought of another victim. Time is running out. Will River solve the murder before she becomes a cold dish?

To win a print (US only) or ebook copy of SPAWNING SUSPICION, share in a comment below what you like about series mysteries. The winner will be announced on February 11, 2021.

ALSO, while you’re here, enter our Super-Duper Seven Book Giveaway for our anniversary! Yes, we’re celebrating eight years of Booklover’s Bench with a seven book giveaway. One commentor (US only for print books) wins seven new books to read! The contest runs from February 1-18. Don’t delay—enter today! CLICK HERE TO ENTER.


  1. maggietoussaint says

    Thank you, everyone, for entering this book giveaway for SPAWNING SUSPICION. My winner is Mary C. I’ve sent her an email announcing her win. Mary C, you have a week to claim your prize!

  2. Donamae Kutska says

    I like seeing how the characters change and grow. They are like old friends. It’s comforting to visit known characters. Thank you for the chance

    • maggietoussaint says

      Welcome, Donamae! It is comforting for me as a reader and an author to return to familiar story worlds. Good luck in the randomized drawing.

  3. Kristin Schadler says

    Love the cover! So pretty! I love mystery series because it allows us to see the characters change over time and you get to know all their friends and family that you can’t cover in just one book.

    • maggietoussaint says

      Hi Kristin, Thanks for visiting! I also love getting to know a community of people in a book. Sometimes a secondary character means as much to me as the main character.

  4. i love following characters to each new book! thanks for the chance to win! Love your covers!

    • maggietoussaint says

      Hi Amanda’s Mother, I’m so happy you stopped by. Thank you so much for your compliment about the covers. Much appreciated.

  5. I like following the characters through their lives, seeing how things change. You get to know them and feel like they could be real people, or maybe you know someone just like them in real life or can relate to them.

    • maggietoussaint says

      HI Alicia, so glad you stopped by to share your thoughts on reading series books. I love getting to know series characters too.

  6. Thank you for offering the opportunity to win one of your books! One of the best parts about cozy series is that you get to know the characters. It is like visiting your favorite vacation spot and you know who all the regulars are.

    • maggietoussaint says

      I totally agree with you chefcondie. There’s such a vacay feel to cozies, not just because of the setting but because of the warmth of the characters. Thanks for stopping in!

  7. I enjoy reading how the characters grow, change and learn.

    • maggietoussaint says

      Thanks for visiting our Booklover’s Bench site, Mary, where readers are winners! I also love those things about series mysteries.

  8. Kaye George says

    I’m so hungry for seafood right now! I wonder why. GREAT covers!!

    • maggietoussaint says

      Thanks, Kaye! I LOVE seafood, so that was the easy part of writing this series, LOL. I am so glad readers enjoy this series.

  9. Rita Pierrottie says

    When you read a series, the main character along with the anchoring characters become friends that you visit with. When you read a stand alone book, you’re always saying goodbye and having to meet new people.

    • Rita Pierrottie says

      BTW I like the cover. 👏🎉

    • maggietoussaint says

      I never thought of a standalone as a quick helloe-goodbye moment but that’s perfect. I enjoy series mysteries the same way I like to shop in my fav stores. It feels comfy. And supercharged you like the cover!

  10. Nancy Timmerman says

    I enjoyed “”Seas the Day!” I like reading a mystery series because you get to know the characters and also get to know the author a bit too! 😉 As the reader, you feel like your part of the scene. Have a great day!

    • maggietoussaint says

      Thanks, Nancy! I’m so glad you enjoyed Seas the Day. Like you, I always become immersed in the stories I read. I have a favorite author that I emulate. I read her books once for fun, then I turn right around and read them for craft, as in how’d she do this or that. But it isn’t long before I’m sucked into the story again and can’t see the seams or the story glue. Sigh. One day I’ll be a fulltime reader again, but for now I’m having a LOT of fun crafting my own story worlds and finding justice in situations where it seems impossible to attain. Can you tell I’ve always been an “escapist” kind of reader?

  11. What a fun cover, Maggie! Of course, I’m a sucker for anything with a palm tree and water! Love that series logo, too!

    • maggietoussaint says

      Thanks, Terry! I feel the same way about palms and water. They are images of home and always draw my eye.

  12. Maggie, the cover for SHRIMPLY is great — the color scheme, while not “loud”, is far more vibrant here. The series logo is fab and I love the baby shrimp addition. For me, it is vital that a series protag continues to learn and grow and change over the course of the series. Nothing worse than it’s book 42 and the character still keeps a gun in a cookie jar and hasn’t learned to shot it, or even learned the first thing about personal self-defense…or men. (Sorry, pet peeve talking!).

  13. Maggie, I love the covers for this series!

    • maggietoussaint says

      Thank you, Lois. Coming from someone with your keen eye for color and design, that means a lot to me because, though I love colors, I have to fake the design part most of the time. I’m fortunate to have a very good graphic artist friend who always gives me great advice. Happy February to you!

  14. cherylhollon says

    I love your new cover, especially the little boiled shrimp. I’m always looking at series themes and how color, font, spacing brings a reader to explore the inside of a book. Congratulations on your newest success.

    • maggietoussaint says

      Thank you, Cheryl! I have boiled shrimp last night for dinner, so it is a frequent flyer here. Your science/engineering background makes you naturally curious about how something works–I have the same trait peppered with lots of how can I do that! I want to wish you a great running start on your upcoming release as well.

  15. I’m enjoying this series. Makes my mouth water for seafood. Very clever titles. I like the color hues in this latest cover. What do I like about series mysteries? I love following the main character, her relationships and romantic interests and how her life develops.

    • maggietoussaint says

      You are sweet, Nancy. I adore seafood (except for a few things!), but shrimp, fish, crabs, clams, and lobster are my jam. I enjoyed reading your loves about series mysteries. I also look for character growth.