A BOOK BY ANY OTHER NAME…
One of my favorite parts of the pre-writing process is brainstorming book titles. I like series titles to work well together, so I usually come up with titles for a few stories at once. When I started working on the Movie Club Mysteries, I knew the titles should achieve two goals: first, they had to riff off classic movie titles, and second, they had to give some clue as to the crimes committed in the books.
At the planning stage of the Movie Club Mysteries, I wanted my protagonist to have a connection to a café, but not be a typical culinary sleuth, and wanted Maggie to share at least one of my hobbies. I toyed with the idea of indulging my love of board games in the series, and I did that in the form of the Unplugged Gamers club that’s run by Maggie’s friend, Lenny. I also wanted to set the series in Ireland, where I’m from, but I didn’t want to cram everything into the title. For Maggie’s main hobby, I chose to make her a classic movie buff. A lot of people like the classics, and even if they haven’t seen a particular old movie, they’ve probably heard of it. I felt it was a more accessible hobby for my protagonist to have than complex strategy games that appeal to a niche audience.
Dial P For Poison gets its name from the Hitchcock movie, Dial M For Murder, starring Grace Kelly. In the movie, the telephone plays a big role in both planning and executing the murder. In Dial P For Poison, poison is the murder weapon—delivered in a delicious cocktail. I’ve included the cocktail recipe at the back of the book, minus the fatal ingredient!
The second book in the series, The Postman Always Dies Twice, was influenced by the novel and movie, The Postman Always Rings Twice. In the case of the movie and novel, the title is a non sequitur—there is no postman. In The Postman Always Dies Twice, there really is a postman, and he really does die twice—sort of!
How to Marry a Millionaire, starring Marilyn Monroe, Betty Grable, and Lauren Bacall, influenced the title of Book 3 of the Movie Club Mysteries, How to Murder a Millionaire. In the book, the murder victim is a wealthy hotel investor who owns the majority share of the Whisper Island Hotel. When he’s discovered dead, mayhem ensues, and Maggie and her friends have to solve the crime before the murderer strikes again.
In addition to the three novel-length mysteries, I’ve written a serial that’s connected to the series. It will be an exclusive read for my mailing list subscribers, and the first episode will be sent on the 18th of April. To Hatch a Thief gets its title from To Catch a Thief, starring Cary Grant and Grace Kelly. My story is a mystery involving the disappearance of a valuable necklace. Maggie is hired to help find it, but the investigation doesn’t go according to plan.
I’m looking forward to sharing Maggie’s adventures with readers! Dial P For Poison will be published on the 13th of April, and The Postman Always Dies Twice will be released a week later on the 20th of April. The third book in the series, How to Murder a Millionaire, will be out in June.
Series: Movie Club Mysteries, Book 1
Publisher: Beaverstone Press (March 29, 2017)
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Movies. Muffins. Murder.
Maggie Doyle moved to Ireland to escape her cheating ex and crumbling career in the San Francisco PD. When the most hated woman on Whisper Island is poisoned at her aunt’s Movie Theater Café, Maggie and her rock-hard muffins are hurled into the investigation.
With the help of her UFO-enthusiast friend, a nun, and a feral puppy, Maggie is determined to clear her aunt’s name. Can she catch the murderer before they strike again? Or will her terrible baking skills burn down the café first?
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USA Today bestselling author Zara Keane grew up in Dublin, Ireland, but spent her summers in a small town very similar to the fictitious Ballybeg.
She currently lives in Switzerland with her family. When she’s not writing or wrestling small people, she drinks far too much coffee, and tries—with occasional success—to resist the siren call of Swiss chocolate.
April 13 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT
April 13 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY
April 14 – Books,Dreams,Life – INTERVIEW
April 15 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVIEW, GIVEAWAY
April 15 – Lori’s Reading Corner – GUEST POST
April 16 – Readeropolis – INTERVIEW
April 17 – Carole’s Book Corner – REVIEW
April 17 – T’s Stuff – SPOTLIGHT
April 18 – Book Babble – REVIEW
April 18 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – GUEST POST
April 19 – My Journey Back – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY
April 19 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
April 20 – Author Annette Drake’s blog – INTERVIEW
April 21- Cozy Up With Kathy – INTERVIEW
April 22 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY
April 23 – A Blue Million Books – CHARACTER GUEST POST
April 24 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT
April 25 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW
April 26 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY