New in Town

When my protagonist, Molly Madison, makes her cross country move to Pier Point, CA, the only friend she has in town is her golden retriever, Harlow. Molly’s more at ease with pups than people and, before long, they welcome another dog into the mix. Then, to her surprise, she befriends an eight-year-old math prodigy whose dog desperately needs training–and her first local human friendship begins.

Having moved to a new town last year, I understand some of what Molly is going through–though, unlike her, I didn’t flee my previous hometown to avoid rumors about involvement in a crime. (Thank goodness!) We did however, lose our home to a wildfire in 2017 and, after going through a years-long rebuilding process, moved in at our old address only to decide we were ready for a change.

Though moving during a pandemic has dramatically slowed the process of meeting new people, unlike Molly, I didn’t move cross country and still get to see my friends. (Just not as often.) Honestly, anyone with close friends is fortunate and I sometimes wonder, without a few zigs and zags in my life, would I have met many of the wonderful people I count today as friends? I don’t know, but I hope so.

Though there’s a lot I don’t know, I do know this: when you meet the people you “click” with, hang on to them. Through thick and thin. The various bonds of love and support I’ve been fortunate enough to cultivate have sustained me–through times both easy and tough. I’m damn lucky.

And by the end of A DEADLY BONE TO PICK, Molly is too.

By pegrothschild

My cozy debut, A DEADLY BONE TO PICK, is due out from Berkley Publishing Group in 2022!

I grew up in Los Angeles and have authored two adult mysteries, CLEMENTINE'S SHADOW and ERASING RAMONA, as well as one young adult adventure, PUNISHMENT SUMMER. My short stories, "The Cookie Crumbles" and "The Devil's Blub," were published in the anthologies The Best Laid Plans and Heartbreaks and Half-Truths respectively. My short story, "The Magic Hour," is slated to be published in the upcoming SinC L.A. anthology, Avenging Angelenos. I also illustrated the children's book Angie's Great Big Beautiful Life: Tales of Angie the Rescue Cat.

After losing our home during the 2017 Thomas Fire, my husband and I moved to the beach community of Los Osos along the central coast. When not at my desk or out walking, I can be found in the garden.

22 replies on “New in Town”

I’m almost done reading A Deadly Bone to Pick….almost finished it in one sitting! So well written, Peggy….I was drawn into Molly’s world quickly, there was never a wrong note….such a pleasure! Thank you! Can’t wait for more in this series.


I am really enjoying this book, and hope you’ll continue the series. The story is interesting, the characters colorful, and the backstory intriguing. I love how the answers to unanswered questions unfold. Thank you!

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Enjoyed A Deadly Bone to Pick.
In the acknowledgments, our Howard Rosenberg , of UNR. ?? He would remember the yellow madras pants my daughter wore to class. Lol.

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Hi Judy,

So glad you enjoyed the book. I don’t know about UNR. Howard was the TV critic for the L. A. Times for many years and I know he taught at USC. If it’s the same Howard, let me know and I” ask about the yellow madras pants!


Indeed, a very enjoyable mystery book! I hardly ever read novels, but I was lucky to blindly pluck your book off the library shelf. I couldn’t stop reading it.

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I met you at the Bayside Cafe in Morro Bay when your husband overheard my mother-in-law and me talking about cozy mysteries. I found your book on Amazon and have ordered it. Can’t wait to read it!

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Loved your first Molly Madison novel. Iโ€™ve competed in most AKC sports with my Wirehaired Dachshunds, so could really relate to Molly. Enjoyed the plot and characters as well. Iโ€™ve already requested that my library acquire your second book when it becomes available. You are my new favorite Susan Conant/Holly Winter type author, so please keep writing!

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Thank you, Deborah! I glad you enjoyed Molly and the mystery. And thank you also for requesting book two from your local library. I really appreciate it. Playing Dead will be out in early February. If you’d like your email to be added to my newsletter list (it’s a brief monthly note, with the occasional giveaway), let me know ๐Ÿ˜€
– Peggy


I got your book from the library and thoroughly enjoyed it. As a dog lover and former Angeleno who spent many beautiful summer day vacations on the Central Coast, Los Osos/Morro Bay/Cayucos, I loved the setting and look forward to reading the next one in the series! I took classes with Howard at USC and have fond memories of a Seder at his house. What a small world!!

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I’m so glad you enjoyed the book, Sabine, and WOW–small world indeed! I still get to talk regularly with Howard via Zoom. I’ll have to tell him we connected ๐Ÿ˜€


Just finished A Deadly Bone To Pick. Loved it. Am starting Playing Dead. Looking forward to more Molly Madison and her dogs stories!


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