Funny how complicated life is until you’re in danger; then it’s all too simple.
Preston Endicott, Jr. was hated by most of his staff at Endicott Publishing, at least until he turned up dead in his locked executive office. Taylor Browning, the new mystery editor at the book publishing house, sees plenty of possible perps right in the office suite. But his employees were hardly the only people to count as suspects. His ex-wife wasn’t a fan either. Dominique Boucher, their bestselling author, just submitted her latest manuscript. It’s a locked-room mystery with a similar story line to the real life puzzle. About the only non-suspect is Taylor’s Abyssinian cat, Oscar who manages to get in enough trouble on the domestic front.
Taylor doesn’t know who to trust and discovers her own life is in jeopardy. One thing is certain. She can’t edit her way out of this one!
by G G Collins (Copyright 2017)
Recently I watched “The Farthest: Voyager in Space.” Actually I’ll admit to seeing it three times. (Read my review here on Parallel Universe https://paralleluniverseatlarge.wordpress.com/2017/08/27/review-the-farthest/ . The late Carl Sagan played an important role in the Voyager project. If you haven’t seen it, it is playing on PBS.
While writing “Lemurian Medium” I went to the NASA website and looked at photos taken by Voyager to describe the planets as Reluctant Medium Rachel Blackstone took an astral journey to save a kidnapped friend.
Doing the research for this novel was quite fun. I ran across some notable people, namely Carl Sagan and Benjamin Franklin who both apparently believed in the possible existence of extraterrestrial life.
I wanted something lighthearted to occur during Rachel’s escape as it was quite tense at times. When she burst onto the astral plane she discovered it wasn’t the same plane she arrived on. But this level had a twist. There was a celestial cocktail party going on!
As she observed the varied types of aliens in all shapes and sizes, drinking colorful cocktails in odd vessels, and then she spied some humans like herself. There was Sagan and Franklin talking with beings from other worlds.
I wanted to honor them in some small way. Sagan was of hero of mine. Through him I became interested in the cosmos because he made it accessible. Cheers!
Cheryl Wright is featuring A Blog a Day for the month of July 2017. Reluctant Medium at Large in Santa Fe is scheduled for July 29th. Check out the variety and scope of the blogs she has chosen. Click on the photo above for a direct link to her blog, Plucking of My Heartstrings.
And don’t miss her Musical Mondays! Cheryl chooses a word or theme and adds songs that have these traits. And then, you can vote on your favorite, add additional songs or just chat about music. Join the fun!
Follow Cheryl on Twitter: @PluknHrtStrings
Mystery cozies were originally just called mysteries. Even before Agatha Christie, there was Mary Roberts Rinehart. She introduced the “had I but known” device. I devoured Rinehart’s books but soon attacked Christie’s as well. But I owe it all to a book by Shirley Jackson entitled We Have Always Lived in the Castle. The ending blew me away and it was my introduction to mysteries.
Cozies, a term introduced during the 1980s, have a few things in common. The murder happens “off screen” and is usually poison, a simple wallop to the head with say a candlestick or a clean shot without a lot of blood. Please no hollow R.I.P bullets, a .22 will do nicely.
These murders happened to people and in places where, well, these things just don’t happen: a mansion, bookstore or in my case a book publisher who specializes in mysteries. Did you see that coming? Often the sleuth is an amateur, although they can be a promising amateur.
In the early days, the emphasis was on the puzzle and the suspects. And everyone was and is suspect. The cats, recipes and delving into characters backgrounds and careers is a more modern concept. And if there is romance, it’s discreet. Like those kisses from the early movies that only allowed a 3-second kiss. And please, no bedroom scene unless you only see the lights go off from outside.
But here’s where I got into trouble; swearing! I admit it. I curse. And frankly, I don’t see how a someone who kills people would not use profanity. “Excuse me,” the killer said. “I’m going to cut your blankety-blank throat now.” Really?
Okay, I get it. Cozies are about having fun with murder. Someone gets the axe and we spend the rest of the book drinking tea, petting cats and maybe do a little baking until the perp is identified and all’s well with the world again.
My first cozy is due out in October 2017. I’m having a ball writing the Dead Editor File. But I’ve had a really difficult time, er, not cussing. I’ve even got my protagonist trying not to, you know; swear.
However, there is nothing I can do about her Abyssinian cat, Oscar. I’ve had the pleasure of sharing my life with an Aby, and believe me he could let loose with the four letter words; in Cat of course. He lives on in Oscar. Oscar is known to leave “surprises” for Taylor when he isn’t fed on time or in the way he’s grown accustom to dining.
So I’ll be washing my mouth out with soap and tossing quarters in the “swear jar” before the book is complete as I try to think of clever ways to not write well, you know.
And when I use the term “dang it,” well I think you’ll know what I was thinking. It’s the cozy way.
By G G Collins (Copyright 2017)
Museum Hill Mountain Spirit Dancer