The first in an ulta-charming new “quozy” mystery series starring Ben Rosencrantz, a queer 30-something English professor (and closet scifi fan) who’s returned to his hometown of Salt Lake City to run his family’s board game shop in the trendy Sugar House neighborhood – a community hotspot for players of all ages…and for killer collectors!
Back in his hometown of Sugar House running his family’s board game shop and café, Ben Rosencrantz just can’t seem to get his life to pass go, much less collect $200. Once he was a happily married English professor in Seattle. Now he’s a divorced caregiver, looking after his ill father and a Chihuahua named Beans while still figuring out the rules of retail management. At least the town has become more LGBTQ+ friendly than when Ben was a teenager—and that flower shop owner, Ezra McCaslin, enjoys flirting with him.
But despite his usual clientele of gamers, Ben is barely earning enough to keep the store running and stay on top of his father’s medical bills. Then a local toy and game collector named Clive offers him a winning strategy—to purchase a turn-of-the-twentieth-century edition of The Landlord’s Game, the realty and taxation game that inspired Monopoly, at a tenth of the rare edition’s true value. Suspicious of Clive’s shady, low-priced deal, Ben turns the offer down.
Then Clive turns up dead at the front door of Ben’s and a backpack full of $100 bills appears on his doorstep. Now Ben is the #1 suspect in Clive’s death, and unless he and Ezra can prove his innocence and find the real killer, he’ll go to jail for murder—and no amount of double dice rolls will set him free . . .
About the Author
CJ Connor (he/they) is the author of queer romances and cozy mysteries, including the Board Game Shop Mystery series. Active in both the writing and LGBTQIA+ communities, they are a mentor for Author Mentor Match, an EBSCO NoveList advisor, and a member of the Utah League of Writers. They are also the co-leader of a LGBTQIA employee affinity group and a contributor for Book Riot. When they are not writing, CJ Connor can be found perusing art museums, listening to angsty folk music, stress knitting, and attending weekly gatherings for board game enthusiasts with their husband, an amateur board game designer. They live in the Salt Lake City area with their dog, Yoda. Visit CJ Connor online at CJConnorWrites.com.
Praise for Board to Death by CJ Connor
"The game is most certainly afoot in this delightfully queer cozy (quozy?) mystery. [...] Board to Death had me dusting off my board game collection and reinstituting family game night. I can't wait to read more from C.J. Connor!" —Olivia Blacke, author of Killer Content
"Witty dialogue, tight plotting, and a charming lead make CJ Connor’s Board to Death the best debut cozy I’ve ever read. Connor makes the high stakes, obsession-fueled world of rare board games come to life—and English professor-turned-games dealer Ben Rosencrantz is a hero you’ll want to follow for many years to come. A great mystery but so much more than that. This is a sensational novel.” —Zac Bissonnette, author of A Killing in Costumes
"With a winsome reluctant hero at the heart of the story, Board to Death is an entertaining mystery imbued with delightful geek and game culture, set in a dicey, nuanced Salt Lake City." —Jennifer J. Chow, Agatha and Lefty Award-nominated author of Death by Bubble Tea
"Peppered with fun facts about board game history, this quozy is filled with witty banter and a community of wonderfully diverse characters. This book sets the stage for a great series." —Vivien Chien, author of the Noodle Shop mysteries
"Featuring an effortlessly diverse cast, authentic anxiety rep, and a chihuahua who will steal your heart, CJ Connor's debut is a delightfully gay and geeky game of murder." —Misha Popp, author of the Pies Before Guys mystery series