Creating Separation Between Mystery Series
How I make each series I write unique.
My editor wrote to me with comment on a novel, and at the end she said something that I treasure. She wrote: “It also occurred to me, not for the first time, that you do an excellent job of maintaining the distinct voices and feels for each series you write. They are all individually charming, funny, and heartfelt but in their own unique ways.”
I hope that’s true for readers, too. But it’s not always easy, and it is purposely done. I write three series. As Victoria Hamilton I write the Vintage Kitchen Mysteries and the Merry Muffin Mysteries. As Amanda Cooper I write the Teapot Collector Mysteries. The individuality of each series starts with the main character, my heroine, the protagonist who is an amateur sleuth.
The Vintage Kitchen Mysteries feature Jaymie Leighton, a young woman in her early thirties. She is a small town girl who has made a conscious decision to stay in Queensville, Michigan because she’d rather have roots than wings. She reads romance novels, but is completely realistic about love, she’s smart, compassionate and she loves animals. I used her love of her small town and her deep knowledge of the area in much the same way that Agatha Christie used small town knowledge to craft Miss Jane Marple’s village wisdom. Miss Marple always had seen or heard of an individual who acted a certain way, and she made comparisons. Jaymie uses her knowledge of people like that, though she doesn't always draw from her village life experience.
The Teapot Collector Mysteries I write as Amanda Cooper feature Sophie Taylor, a rich kid who had everything handed to her, except what she wanted, which was a career as a chef. Her wealthy parents were dead set against it, but she made her own way and started a restaurant in New York at an unbelievably young age. It failed, and that changed her. She lost some of her confidence, retreated to Gracious Grove, New York and her Nana’s tearoom, where she helps her grandmother by cooking and serving. She is not book smart, but she does know people. Waitresses are great observers of humanity, and Sophie worked waitressing and bussing tables to make money for culinary school. Her personality forms the lighthearted, fast moving pace of the teapot mysteries, and her persistence and refusal to be beaten is what makes her an effective amateur sleuth.
And then there is the Merry Muffin Mysteries and my most complex heroine. Almost forty, Merry Wynter has suffered loss after loss in her life, her beloved grandmother and mother dying within six months of each other, and then the love of her life, her husband, fashion photographer Miguel Paradiso, died in a tragic crash as he drove to a shoot. Though the tragedies in her life made her who she is in some ways, it is her husband and friends who really changed her. With her husband she traveled the world, and from her best friend, Pish Lincoln, she came to appreciate classical music, fine wine, opera… and the depth of love one can receive from the best kind of friends. When she inherited a true American castle from her late great uncle Melvyn Wynter and moved to weird small town Autumn Vale, New York, she was thrust into the maelstrom, in a way, of a small town with plenty of problems. Wary but willing, it is her love of humanity and her willingness to see beyond a person’s abilities or disabilities, quirks and eccentricities that makes her a good sleuth.
So it is through my heroines that I have found the path to creating the individuality that I am happy to say is a hallmark of my series. I hope readers feel that’s true!
Series: A Merry Muffin Mystery (Book 3)
Publisher: Berkley (July 7, 2015)
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Buy: Amazon, Kindle, IndieBound, The Book Depository
From the national bestselling author of Muffin but Murder, baker Merry Wynter returns with a fresh tray of muffins and a case that has authorities stumped…
They say one’s home is one’s castle, but when it comes to Wynter Castle, Merry would like it to belong to someone else. But until a buyer bites, she could use some extra dough, so she decides to take in renters. The idea pans out, and Merry’s able to find a handful of tenants eager to live in a real castle. The only problem is most of them are crumby, tea-swilling old biddies.
The Legion of Horrible Ladies, as Merry calls them, is led by the terribly nasty—and fabulously wealthy—Cleta Sanson. The abrasive Englishwoman keeps everyone whipped into a frenzy—until she meets an embarrassing end behind a locked door. Evidence reveals that Cleta was murdered, yet no one is privy to how the deed was done. Merry knows she must quickly find the killer before another of her guests gets greased…
Thanks to the publisher, I have one (1) copy of Death of an English Muffin to give away.
Giveaway open to residents of the US only.
Giveaway ends on July 17th
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Winner will have 48 hours, from the time of notification to confirm their win or another winner will be chosen.
She now happily writes about vintage kitchenand dead bodies for Berkley Prime Crime in the Vintage KitchenMysteries and (soon-to-be-announced) another cozy series. Besides writing about murder and mayhem and blogging at Killer Characters, Victoria loves collecting vintage kitchen wares and old cookbooks, as well as teapots and teacups.
Victoria also enjoys crafting, especially cross stitch and crocheting.
Merry Muffin Mystery
Vintage Kitchen Mysteries
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