How To Make a Mystery
When you’re writing a mystery series there are three certain elements you always have to tackle. Someone is killed, somebody killed them, somebody has to catch the killer.
Then the fun really begins. I love fish out of water stories. The main character is from out of town, or returning to her hometown, having changed her life and is totally out of her element. On the other side of the coin are the townspeople who don’t know what to make of this new resident. Now we start to have an interesting dynamic.
So I was noodling around with ideas for a new series and came up with an idea for a destination town. And here’s what I came up with for my setting.
When the cannery closed, throwing the whole town out of work, the inhabitants of Celebration Bay, New York decided to throw a party—and invited the whole county. It was so successful they did it the following year, added a strawberry festival and Oktoberfest and a new industry was born—tourism. Now everyday is a holiday in Celebration Bay.
Okay, now I had my town and the town had a history, and already I knew a little something about the people. They’re resilient, they’re inventive, and they enjoy a good party.
So what kind of sleuth would have a hard time fitting into the group?
New York City event planner Liv Montgomery is burned out, sick of the bridezillas, the mad men, the desperate housewives, the anything but sweet sixteens. So the job of event organizer in a small, rural town sounds like just the new lease on life she needs.
Oh boy. Is Liv in for a surprise—and so are the inhabitants. First of all Liv is going to have all sorts of readjustment problems. She left her little black dresses and four inch heels behind and ordered herself a whole new wardrobe from the LL Bean catalogue. But she doesn’t fool anyone when she shows up to work in corduroys and plaid flannels.
Fortunately she has a Westie terrier named Whiskey; the inhabitants may not think much of her wardrobe choices, but they love her dog. Especially her “assistant” Ted Driscoll, a man of a certain age and a mysterious past. He’s teaching Whiskey to sing.
There are Dolly and Fred Hunnicutt. Dolly runs the Apple of My Eye Bakery, and Fred is in charge of traffic for the ongoing festivals. The Zimmerman sisters, Ida and Edna, two retired school teachers, live in the big Victorian house in front of the carriage house that Liv rents from them. Bill Gunnison, the sheriff, who is slow and methodical and suffers sciatica (which will give Liv a good reason to help out with the investigation.)
Charles “Chaz” Bristow is editor of the local paper, a former investigative reporter, turned fisherman. Handsome and lazy, he’s Liv’s sometimes-romantic interest more often annoying as all get out.
And no sleuth can do without a nemesis. Janine was the volunteer event planner before the town hired Liv. She blames Liv for usurping her job. She’s always causing trouble.
But what about the murder? Trust me, everyone in Celebration Bay has an opinion and a theory and are more than willing to ride shot gun (sometimes literally) when Liv starts to investigate.
Hope you’ll drop by and get to know the folks, have a pastry from the Apple and a cup of coffee from the Buttercup Coffee Exchange. Enjoy all the wonderful things in store in Celebration Bay, we’ll watch your back.
Series: A Celebration Bay Mystery (Book 4)
Publisher: Berkley (September 1, 2015)
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Buy: Amazon, Kindle, IndieBound, The Book Depository
The author of Independence Slay invites readers back to Celebration Bay for Halloween festivities with more tricks than treats…
This October in Celebration Bay, you can’t swing a black cat without hitting a haunted house. There are three finalists in the contest for the town’s official Haunted House, and ten thousand dollars will go to the winner, with the rest of the contributions and proceeds funding a new community center. Event coordinator Liv Montgomery has invited her friend Jonathan Preston, the debonair CEO of a philanthropic organization, hoping he will award a grant to the center.
But after the Museum of Yankee Horrors wins first place, the transformed Victorian boarding house is vandalized … and among scattered mannequins of Hester Prynne, Lizzie Borden, and the Headless Horseman, a real dead body is found—one of the contest judges. Now in addition to playing host to Jon, Liv has to play detective and coordinate the clues to unmask a self-appointed judge, jury, and executioner.
Thanks to the publisher, I have one (1) copy of Trick or Deceit to give away.
Giveaway open to residents of the US only.
Giveaway ends on September 28th
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Winner will have 48 hours, from the time of notification to confirm their win or another winner will be chosen.
Shelley Freydont is the author of the Katie McDonald and Lindy Haggerty mystery series, and the upcoming Liv Montgomery, Celebration Bay Festival Mysteries (Berkeley Prime Crime). She has written several romance novels under the pseudonym Gemma Bruce. Her books have been translated into seven languages.
A former professional dancer and choreographer, she most recently worked on the films, Mona Lisa Smile and The Game Plan. Shelley is a member of Sisters-in-Crime, Mystery Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, and Liberty States Fiction Writers.
Celebration Bay Mysteries