Thank you for inviting me, Audra. By the way I thoroughly enjoyed your Hitchhiker book. Very clever. Of my nine books in print, three are cozy mysteries:
Mortal Coil uses the nursing home setting where the Ponytail Perp runs loose until…The subplot is driven by a behind-the-scenes scandal of greed and neglect—most writers favorite motives.
Kill Fee shows that even a friendly duplicate bridge game can lead to murder. (Although bridge players have been known to feel the urge. In the 1930s, a wife was indicted for the murder of her partner. The judge let her off. He was a bridge player.)
Penny, heroine and bridge director, looks for love in all the wrong places. Penny’s beloved bird, Bilgewater, the foul-mouthed fowl, the bad beaked bird is a crime-solving reprobate from a seaside barroom.
Medium Rare takes Penny from Kill Fee and turns her into the perfect sleuth to find who killed the Medium with a mission. She “knew all” about the crazy office staff. Fearing one of her coworkers at a local hospice had done the deed; our heroine is thrust into yet another mystery, to find the killer of her psychic friend.
What’s the recipe for a good cozy mystery?
I’m so glad you didn’t say formula. There are certain characteristics that feed into that genre: less blood, more humor, contained scene space such as a town or a venue. (They make good plays, easy to present.)
After that, the story can break out into a full-fledged romance with bodies dropping or in my Mortal Coil a more humorous overview. In Kill Fee, a Mynah bird solves the crimes. The sequel to the award-winning Kill Fee is Medium Rare also a funny story set in a hospice office. The bird, Bilgewater stays at home, and the mascot, a “Mrs.” Kermit, Croakette, the biker babe, nurse doll, bathing beauty with golf ball sized…top… acts as a stress reliever for the staff.
Where did you draw inspiration for your latest mystery?
Would you believe that Medium Rare is actually true? Some of the romantic machinations are made up, but the psychic, although she was not a murder victim, nor from Cassadaga, FL, was drawn from life. I still have her voice on tape with my readings from the time I worked with Hospice. I used her distinctive way of speaking.
If they were to make a movie of your latest book, who would you want to play the lead roles, and why?
Croakette would have to play herself. The doll, Croakette, was real. When I left Hospice, she was given to me. Reese Witherspoon would make a perfect Penny.
Tell us about your latest novel in 25 words or less.
My recent novel is not a mystery. Daughters of the Sea is an intrigue based on Polynesian legends. Although it’s advertised as a paranormal because of the parallel time factor, it’s all plausible. Just close your eyes and you’re in Tahiti.
Jan 3, Morning After Midnight, a Southern story about unsettled times (60s and 70s) and dysfunctional families. Young lovers must rethink their values and find love between the States. Available from http://bit.ly/176pOum.
THIS or THAT?
Miss Marple or J.B. Fletcher?
JB Fletcher - Charming
CSI or Law & Order?
CSI - Forensic science is fascinating
Conspiracy Theory or Whodunit?
Motive is essential, whodunit.
Hound of the Baskervilles or Murders in the Rue Morgue?
You had me at Edgar Allen Poe.
Where can we learn more about your books?
Check out http://www.MuseitUppublishing,com, Amazon.com, B&N.com, www.champagnebooks.com
and most of the popular e-vendors.
Visit my Web site at www.books-jepainter.com
http://bit.ly/17GtxDh for Bewildering Stories, my bio takes you to nine flash fiction stories.
I blog for The Writers Vineyard, every fourth Monday, See Dec 30 and Jan. 27…et all
January 1, I’m featuring our visit to Pompeii.