Guest Post/Virtual Tour with Giveaway ~ The Tulip Shirt Murders by Heather Weidner

Why Setting is Important to the Story – I Write Where I Know

Thank you so much for letting me visit today. For years, when I listen to other authors talk about writing, their advice is to write what you know. I’d like to change that a little to write where you know. I think setting is important to your work. It defines your characters, their styles, their habits, and even their dialect. I want my readers to get a glimpse into the landscape where my characters live.

My husband and I (and our two crazy Jack Russell terriers) have called this region home since 1991. I’m a transplant from Virginia Beach, but I love the Central Virginia area. The region with its mix of rural, suburbia, and urban neighborhoods is a great place to live and write novels. I work in downtown Richmond on a hill above the former Tredegar Ironworks with one of the best views in RVA. This region is home to the state capital, but in many ways, it’s still a close-knit community. And I’m excited to share the big city/small town feel of the area with my readers.

The location gives me a lot of freedom to develop my mysteries in a world with trees, cows, farmland, suburbia, skyscrapers, and the mighty James River.  My sleuth, Delanie Fitzgerald, is a spunky private investigator with a knack for getting in and out of humorous situations. She lives in a quaint Sears and Roebuck catalog bungalow that fits her quirky style. While there are some catalog homes in the Hopewell and Chesterfield, I took the liberty of moving one to the Winterpock area my private eye. From 1908 to 1940, the homes were originally ordered and delivered by rail to the owners who assembled them on their property. Delanie’s home is the Yates model, and new, the price ranged from $1,812 to $2,058 in 1938.

 The Tulip Shirt Murders is the second novel in my Delanie Fitzgerald mystery series. Both books are set in Central Virginia. I use real sites in my work. In The Tulip Shirt Murders, Delanie visits Bon Air, Carytown, Farmville, Goochland, Mechanicsville, Monroe Park, Maymont, Virginia Commonwealth University, the Poe Museum, and Short Pump. If you’ve been to Virginia, you’ll recognize place and street names. My stories are set where I’m from.

If a murder or crime happens at a location, I usually make up that place name. I don’t want to tie a real site to a crime. At the end of my books, I include a list of the places or sites that are real for readers who aren’t familiar with the area.

My short stories are also set in Virginia. The idea for “Spring Cleaning” (Virginia is for Mysteries Volume II 2016) came when we moved our offices at work. The moving company brought in large rolling bins for packing, and that gave me idea for some office spring cleaning when I realized the bin could hold a body. This story is set under the neon star on Mill Mountain in Roanoke.

Sometimes, I get ideas for crimes and capers from real cases, but I usually take liberties with the details. In my short story, "Washed up," (Virginia is for Mysteries 2014) a beat-up suitcase washes up on Chick's Beach near the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, and it's filled with some mysterious contents. I thought it would be interesting for beachgoers to find something old and sinister in an unexpected place.

My story, “Par for the Course” (50 Shades of Cabernet) is set on a golf course that overlooks the James River. The granite cliffs and the river that snakes through downtown is real, but I made u the golf course because a wealthy grandmother and granddaughter have a disagreement, and they learn that the grape doesn’t fall far from the vine.

I think place is key to the story. It helps the author paint a richer picture of the characters and their behaviors. And it’s a great way to showcase some of my favorite places.

File Size: 694 KB
Series: The Delanie Fitzgerald Mysteries
Publisher: Sandpiper Productions
Publication Date: November 8, 2017
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Buy: Kindle


Private investigator Delanie Fitzgerald, and her computer hacker partner, Duncan Reynolds, are back for more sleuthing in The Tulip Shirt Murders. When a local music producer hires the duo to find out who is bootlegging his artists’ CDs, Delanie uncovers more than just copyright thieves. And if chasing bootleggers isn’t bad enough, local strip club owner and resident sleaze, Chaz Smith, pops back into Delanie’s life with more requests. The police have their man in a gruesome murder, but the loud-mouthed strip club owner thinks there is more to the open and shut case. Delanie and Duncan link a series of killings with no common threads. And they must put the rest of the missing pieces together before someone else is murdered.

The Tulip Shirt Murders is a fast-paced mystery that appeals to readers who like a strong female sleuth with a knack for getting herself in and out of humorous situations such as larping and trading elbow jabs with roller derby queens.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Heather Weidner’s short stories appear in the Virginia is for Mysteries series and 50 Shades of Cabernet. She is a member of Sisters in Crime – Central Virginia, Guppies, Lethal Ladies Write, and James River Writers. The Tulip Shirt Murders is her second novel in her Delanie Fitzgerald series.

Originally from Virginia Beach, Heather has been a mystery fan since Scooby Doo and Nancy Drew. She lives in Central Virginia with her husband and a pair of Jack Russell terriers.

Heather earned her BA in English from Virginia Wesleyan College and her MA in American literature from the University of Richmond. Through the years, she has been a technical writer, editor, college professor, software tester, and IT manager. She blogs regularly with the Lethal Ladies and Pens, Paws, and Claws.

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Tour Schedule

December 11 – Lori's Reading Corner – GUEST POST

December 12 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

December 12 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT

December 13 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

December 13 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

December 14 – Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers – SPOTLIGHT

December 14 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

December 15 – Ceticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

December 16 – Brooke Blogs – CHARACTER GUEST POST

December 17 – Varietats – REVIEW

December 18 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT

December 19 – Cozy Up With Kathy – INTERVIEW

December 20 – Cassidy's Bookshelves – REVIEW







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  1. Mary Preston says:

    I do enjoy a cozy mystery.

  2. Della Williamson says:

    It does look like a great read. Thank you. Amazon and I both love you

  3. Thank you for the introduction of The Tulip Shirt Murders on your blog.  It looks like a great mystery and I'm sure it will be on my list to need to read.  

  4. Another new-to-me author.  I'm just dipping my toe into cozy mysteries.  I like them!  This one sounds really good.

  5. i enjoying reading mysteries, my favorite gender of book. Thanks for the give away.

  6. Dianne Casey says:

    This is a new author and series to me.  I liked the description of the book anf would enjoy reading. 

  7. Thank you so much for letting me stop by and visit today. Happy reading! 

  8. Becky Richardson says:

    Have added The Tulip Shirt Murders to my TBR list and can't wait to read it!

  9. Looks like an interesting book.
    Thanks for the contest. 

  10. Sounds like a intersting book. 

  11. I love that your mystery has a musical subplot. I still only buy CDs-I refuse to buy downloads. I love supporting my favorite artists, plus I love the tangible quality of the cases and booklets! 

  12. Last day. 
    Thanks for the contest. 

  13. This is a new author for me! It sounds like this is a book I'd enjoy sharing with my sister.


  1. […] 11 – Lori’s Reading Corner – GUEST POST December 12 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST December 12 – Books,Dreams,Life […]

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