"Tiny House, Big Heartache" By M.Z. Potts: Review/Giveaway

Review by Kathleen Costa

Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win an ebook copy of the book and a link to purchase it.

Forty-eight-year-old Hannah Huntsford has been divorced for a decade, and working as a private detective for twenty years in Treasure Trove, Georgia. Her boss, Ryan Gaffney, is much more than that; he is her mentor, close friend, and a bit of a father figure. Her long-time best friend Daphne Zellerback is a local hard-hitting reporter as well as a great sounding board, source of information, and partner in criminal consumption of pastries. Her fur-buddy is a cat named Mittens, and she collects ticket stubs from concerts she “wishes” she had attended. Good job, good friends, good fur companion, and good luck living in a tiny house. 

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Tiny House, Big Heartache Earns 5/5 EKGs…Engaging & Clever!

Hannah’s luck had been running pretty good; she loves her tiny house, enjoys her job, and is dating the hunky detective Tyler O’Connor. But, luck can go from good to bad in an instant. Although she survived being a hostage in an horrific mini-mart robbery, the after effects are real, and even her BFF, who was reporting on the stand-off, finds the event still an emotional wound. Now, racing to the hospital, Hannah’s fears are getting the best of her and she’s praying for a little bit of luck…Ryan, her longtime friend and boss, has had a heart attack, and his survival is in jeopardy.

Elsewhere…Therapist Kelly McTavish has a successful practice with a diverse clientele, including Sheila Riverton, who is still struggling from her ordeal as a hostage in the same robbery as Hannah. But one patient, Eric Metzger, is suffering from severe emotional issues surrounding the death of his mother, but the relationship has taken a creepy turn toward the obsessive. Kelly has begun to fear for her safety, and therefore, makes the decision to send Eric to another therapist.

The Nightmare…Eric never mentioned during his therapy sessions he had been seeing his mother’s image, hearing her voice, and responding to her ever since her death, so reality for him had already been fractured, and his therapist spurning his advances and pawning him off onto another professional is the last of the last straws. His plan will put lives in danger, and not even his mother’s voice of reason effects his resolve...Kelly will be his!

Big Favorite! M.Z. Potts’ (Meredith Potts) fourth book in her Southern Midlife Treasure Trove Mystery series is an engaging page-turner with many intense emotions. Although the story is written with a third-person narrative, there are several stories being told: Hannah and Ryan, Daphne and Sheila, Kelly and Eric, Eric and his mom. Each chapter is titled with a location to prepare readers for whose story is the focus. Journalistic integrity is raised with the issue of a “hard-nosed reporter instincts” vs. promises made to a regretful interviewee. Mental health issues are quite a hot-button topic nowadays, and Meredith provided a frank discussion and then ramped up the intensity with a murder, a hostage, and another stand off. Yet, good luck is had by most, not all, and a few personal issues need a fifth book. Definitely a “big” contender for Best of 2022!

Southern Midlife Treasure Trove Cozy Mystery

There’s nothing “tiny” about M.Z. Potts’ Southern Midlife Treasure Trove Mystery series only “big” topics and entertainment. There is more than one case on which Hannah finds herself relying on her PI skills, stakeout patience, and evasion techniques from the typical cheating husbands and distraught wives to the more dangerous criminal offenses and suspicious deaths, but through the series certain events are revisited finding the aftermath is complicated. Friendships are strengthen, romances adjust and evolve, perceptions are questioned, and moving forward can still have obstacles, and although doing what’s right is a question with which each character is confronted, personal safety is risky. Surprise new favorite!

Book One: Tiny House, Big Mystery (January, 2022) earns 5/5 Big Beginnings!

It was a long shot that Lady Luck would be smiling on Hannah since they hadn’t been on friendly terms for awhile, but she had three chances to win free and clear one of the tiny houses up for raffle. Tired of living in an apartment, she was crossing more than her fingers. And the winner is…

Treasure Trove has blended the past with the present. It is known for its antique shops all along Main Street and, now, as the headquarters of the big tech company Zeggnix Corporation. But, the murder of one of Hannah’s friends, Eric Bellingham, who it is rumored was stabbed while wearing a Zeggnix virtual reality headset, is upsetting. From clients pleading for help to clients wanting payback, from curious VR experiences to successful stakeouts, from a threatening stalker to a handsome detective, from haunting memories to perilous predicaments, this story was very entertaining with a clever mystery, ample debate about VR, well-defined multigenerational characters, a surprising arrest, and a “tiny” bit of luck for the future.

Book Two: Tiny House, Big Murder (January, 2022) earns 5/5 Garden Gnomes!

There’s no limit on luck. Hannah had it when she won the tiny house and now is enjoying glorious sunsets, “picnic pals,” and a budding friendship with her neighbor, Detective O’Connor. But, luck is fleeting…A blood-curdling scream. A body on the ground. A menacing shadow. An attempt on her life. Just another day in the life of a private eye, except how will she deal with the nightmares? Hannah is a material witness, and invaluable to the detective as they work well as a team, professionally and personally. Clever, but needed a bit more nail-biting predicaments.

But, PI work can be complicated. Case One…Wendy Thurman‘s luck is MIA. She suspects her husband of infidelity, but instead of finding him in the arms of another woman, Hannah discovers another addiction. Case Two…Larry McFarland is suspicious of his eighteen-year-old stepson, an opinion his wife does not share. He wants Hannah to find proof his stepson really is the “punk” he believes him to be, and not heeding any of Hannah’s what-if warnings, she sets to some professional stalking. The clients aren’t shocked, but the after math of the revelations is incomplete.

Book Three: Tiny House, Big Trouble (May, 2022) earns 5/5 Lottery Tickets!

Wrong place, wrong time is the definition of bad luck, and too often a negative by-product of Hannah being a private detective, but she just went to the corner store for a snack to take home when a masked man armed with a gun demanded “Empty the register!” But, it didn’t end quietly…A cop just happened to arrive at that moment. The gunman decided to retreat, than fight. And Hannah and the young clerk, Sheila Riverton, are hostages surrounded by an army of police.

A Few Hours Before…Hannah, and her boss Ryan, struggle with the usual reactions to their findings; shock, devastation, and anger don’t make for a rewarding day in the life of a PI. Daphne struggles with the age-old dilemma to find a balance between her career as a television reporter, one she’s worked hard to get, and the love life she has finally found with Mike. Tyler’s first struggle of the day is dealing with Kristina, the local donut pusher, playing matchmaker between him and Hannah, even his older sister makes a big deal about him finding someone, but right now, the life of a detective is more guns than roses. Sheila struggles with her roommate’s boyfriend eating her last croissant, a co-worker raving about vacation she herself haven’t had, and a boss expecting her to smile...all day long. Craig O’Malley is a powder keg struggling with an ex-wife demanding the child support yet to arrive, a near empty bank account, a landlord threatening eviction, no drugs to be found, and family refuses to help.

Everyone collides at the Everly Street Gas Station negotiating with a desperate man whose “in quickly and out with the money” plan has ended in a stand-off with the police. Cleverly organized with before, during, and after insights into the characters’ mindset, fears, and hopes to make it out alive. Desperate. Deadlines. Daring.

Be a Big Fan of M.Z. Potts!

M.Z. Potts is an alternate pen name for Meredith Potts who also writes the delightfully caffeinated Daily Buzz series, engaging Hope Hadley series, and the entertaining Majestic Cove series. She also writes the two series, Chloe Cook Cozy Mysteries and the Arcane Academy Slayers, under the name Kayla Michelle.

Website: Meredith Potts, Author

Amazon Author Page: Meredith Potts

To enter to win an ebook copy of Tiny House, Big Heartache (the winner can get either a mobi, ePub, or pdf file of the book but it will not have the cover image) , simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "tiny,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen September 10, 2022. US residents only and you must be 18 or older to enter. If entering via comment please include your email address so we can contact you. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section in Kings River Life and in our mystery category here on KRL News & Reviews. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. And check out our new mystery podcast which features mystery short stories and first chapters read by local actors! A new episode goes up next week.

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Kathleen Costa is a long-time resident of the Central Valley, and although born in Idaho, she considers herself a “California Girl.” Graduating from CSU-Sacramento, she is a 35+ year veteran teacher having taught in grades 1-8 in schools from Sacramento to Los Angeles to Stockton to Lodi. Currently Kathleen is enjoying her retirement revitalizing hobbies along with exploring writing, reading for pleasure, and spending 24/7 with her husband.
Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. This sounds really good. Thanks for the chance. ckmbeg (at) gmail (dot) com

  2. Tiny houses sound good, but certainly wouldn't hold all my books! Count me in the drawing!

  3. We have a winner!
    Lorie Ham


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