Tag Archives: Cozy Mysteries

Confessions of a Mystery Writer

Did you read mysteries as a child? Saturdays often found me at the library, lost in Nancy Drew’s dangerous world.

I shared one bathroom with six others, but Nancy introduced me to the exotic world of an only child.

Nancy’s father rewarded her for solving mysteries with lots of money. Five dollars, even. My dad made me hoe the garden and gave me a daily quarter for school lunch.

Cool stuff happened to beautiful, blonde, blue-eyed Nancy. Nothing cool happened to geeky, brown-eyed, brown-haired Rachael.

Besides, Nancy wasn’t afraid of anything.

Conversely, my parents nicknamed me “Chicken Little.” The sky fell daily and hit me on the head. Which explains a lot of things. …

When a newspaper reported a huge monster loose in Detroit one summer, I locked all our windows, broiling my family like Fourth-of-July hamburgers.

My parents tried to monitor my reading material and television, including “The Twilight Zone” and “The Alfred Hitchcock Hour.” My teenage secret: Oz’s Wicked Witch still sent shivers up my spine.

Now, when creepy movie music slithers into the family room, I barricade myself with sofa pillows. I’ve spent far more time under theater seats than in them.

I read and write mysteries during broad daylight or when Hubby’s home. Otherwise, I lie awake, counting nighttime noises traceable to chain saw and ax murderers, respectively.

How can I read — let alone, write — mysteries?

Detectives intrigue me, especially Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple, who matches sharp old wits against naïve criminals who underestimate her. Other favorites: Christie’s Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot, and TV’s Adrian Monk. I celebrate Sherlock Holmes’ strange genius.

I love piecing together mysteries like jigsaw puzzles, to be solved by strong, funny women who eat pie without gaining an ounce.

However, I prefer that muggers attack imaginary people in dark alleys and that murderers enter elevators elsewhere, not in my hotel.

Research alone rattles me. Once I hiked through a for-real, p-p-pirate cave alone. Gulp.

After investigating weapons online, I receive pop-ups with way too much (shudder) information. My Internet history probably has put me on a CIA list.

Fine. They can find me hoeing my garden.

Mystery writers’ spouses also face unique challenges. Once, at a local restaurant, I asked my physician husband about intentional drug overdoses.

“Keep your voice down,” he hissed. “I don’t do that!”

Hey, living with him isn’t easy, either.

However, as I consider how to kill my latest victim, I wish Hubby wasn’t gone. That it wasn’t nighttime, with sinister shadows lurking outside.

I’m not Nancy Drew.

And they never did track down that monster in Detroit. …

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: Who’s your favorite mystery writer?

Whoa, I’ll Be on Facebook Live?

coffeeii-1432034_640Hi, and how are you this evening? Liz Eckardt, the heroine in my books, Secrets of the Amish Diary and Murder Simply Played, and I are having a steaming cup of coffee and warm muffin together. Actually, we’re splitting one pumpkin cream cheese muffin because Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Though I’m probably eating more than she is. …

Liz and I just wanted to let you know I’ll be going live on Facebook next Wednesday, November 16 at 12:30 EDT to tell you a little about the 24-book Amish Inn series. All you have to do is go to Annie’s (my publisher’s) Facebook page and “like” it. Then you can ask any questions you might have about the books, such as:

  • How did Liz, a Boston lawyer, end up solving mysteries in Amish country in Indiana?
  • Why do the covers of Secrets of the Amish Diary and Murder Simply Played include a bulldog? Is he Liz’s, and does he help her solve crimes?

Let’s get our favorite mugs of something hot and yummy, kick back, and share fun moments on Wednesday as you get acquainted with Liz, her Amish cousin Miriam, Beans the bulldog, and other friends living in Indiana’s Amish country!SecretsAmishDiary0001murdersimplyplayedcover-2