Series: The Nosy Parker Mysteries
Genre: Journey Fiction, Historical, Mystery
Publication date: August 1, 2017
Inspired by the famous Girl Detective, the members of the Olentangy Heights Girls’ Detective Society, affectionately known as the Nosy Parkers, spent their formative years studying criminology, codes, and capers. Unfortunately, opportunities to put their unique skills to work were thin on the ground in the post-war boom of their little corner of suburbia and they eventually grew up to pursue more sensible careers. Until…
As clues come to light, it’s clear someone hopes to frame Heather for the murder. Besides her quirky landlady, whom can she trust? How can she clear her name? The police and the American Consul have plenty of suspects, but only two seem to have both motive and opportunity: Heather and the quiet Scottish historian she longs to believe in.
I started making illustrated books as a child, then became a student who wrote two thousand words for a five hundred word essay. Hanging around with readers and authors just feels right, because we are all compelled to step into a story. I love beautiful words and images and there’s not quite so satisfying as finding just the right word. There may have been a time when I read a story and thought… I can do that! (Oh how naïve! I can do it but it’s darn hard work!)
2. What did you want to be when you grew up? Did being an author ever cross your mind?
Despite the fact I tend to be a bit driven by all I want to get done now, I wasn’t a particularly focused child. I recall a few years of wanting to be an astronomer, but basically I just liked to make things and spend time daydreaming. I was an art major (and we know how difficult that is as a career!) and then all of a sudden I was a housewife and mother who obsessively made things. Finally, I took a creative writing class in my thirties and it all just took off. Writing satisfies like nothing else!
3. What is your current WIP? What can you tell us about this project?
Currently, I’m working on my second contemporary romance novella. Somewhere along the way this project became a difficult emotional journey and was put aside while I finished this mystery and a colonial era novella. The first contemporary romance was a breeze—I wrote 17,000 words in three days. This one is like picking up egg whites, but I’m determined to see it through! It takes place on Cape Hatteras and will be out later this year from Forget Me Not Romances.
What inspired the idea for The Case of the Clobbered Cad? Oh I wish I knew how to explain the tangled lines that became this story. Ideas just seem to pop up and then explode into a puzzle that needs to be solved. When my setting changed from Sturbridge Village to Edinburgh, Scotland, research pulled me into the University’s archeology department. I had that lovely lightbulb moment upon seeing some reference to an artifact. I’d contacted the secretary of the History and Archeology departments and it happened that a retired archeology professor gave me all sorts of information on the very vibrant archeology department of the 1950s.
4. What do you want readers to take away from reading The Case of the Clobbered Cad?
This story doesn’t quite fit into a nice, neat genre and so I hope readers find it unexpected, fresh, enjoyable, entertaining and creates nostalgia for the days when a girl detective story kept them up late on a school night!
5. When you are not writing, what hobbies do you enjoy?
I love to make things that involve color, texture and handwork. It might be decorative painting, knitting, gardening and the occasional fairy house. But mostly I’m like to design and sew—quilting or making costumes. (I have a little problem with buying fabric.)
- We reference “The Girl Detective” but we never actually use her name! You know who I’m talking about though, don’t you?
- The book is set in 1956. Can you guess why I chose that particular year? Go ahead. You won’t offend me!
- Heather’s first trip abroad is to the U.K. Sixty years later, Debra made her first trip abroad and was greeted in the Edinburgh airport by a lovely customs agent with a broad Scottish accent. (Debra grinned like an eejit!)
- The Case of the Clobbered Cad was originally set in Old Sturbridge Village because I wanted to visit there. The heroine was a history major doing an internship. When I made the last minute decision to buy a ticket to Scotland, I asked my publisher if she minded if I changed the setting! She loved the idea!
- Like Heather, my grandfather was Scottish. (though mine was born in the U.S. to a Scottish immigrant family). He insisted I was “Scots t’ the backbone and prood of it.” What a thrill to be able to visit the village where his my great-grandparents called home.
- I visited the Archeology Department at the University of Edinburgh and went inside the archives room. If you read the book, you’ll understand why that was so important! (Though in 1956, the setting was completely different!)
- I actually stayed on both of the Edinburgh streets used as ‘home addresses’ for two of my characters.
- Some retired policemen and professors answered my questions, including a gentleman with an OBE. You do know what that means, don’t you?
- Lisa Richardson, author of The Counterfeit Clue designed the covers!
- While my earlier published works have been sweet romances, mysteries are my first love and I hope to take Heather elsewhere in Scotland and Ireland
A charming, cozy murder mystery set in 1950s Scotland. Although it is referred to as in honor of the ‘girl detective’, I have to say that this book was much more intriguing and enjoyable than any Nancy Drew mystery I’ve read…and believe me, I’ve read most of those originals…!
No, This book is more reminiscent of a Miss Marple mystery (which I’ve also read and enjoyed)…and I thoroughly enjoyed the reading of it!
It has action from the first chapter to the end! It’s an intriguing story, full of twists and turns, and I found the ending to be completely surprising!
And the characters-fun and completely relate-able! Heather is down-to-earth, just what you’d expect of a girl in her position–an American in Scotland, going to university, doing a job on the side to pay her way. She’s just newly arrived via a voyage aboard ship. On said voyage, she had the unfortunate experience of getting a teeny crush on a professor, Jack Winters. She tried to steer clear of him upon learning of his marriage.
And then, he happens to be killed so close to her office, on her very first day of work? What a strange coincidence! Or was it? Was someone framing her?
A few other characters- her landlady Mrs. K. Just the kind of person you’d want for a landlady when you’re so far away from your family. A kind, motherly type of lady, looking at for Heather, sharing advice, and such. Then there are those two professors vying for her attention, Sean and Tom. Both seem to be good men. And yet, they could have had a motive to want him gone…
They work together to solve the clues and find the culprit.
You will want to read this one!
October 3-Bibliophile Reviews
October 4-Singing Librarian Books
October 5-Joy of Reading
October 6-Karen Sue Hadley
October 7-Fiction Aficionado
October 9-A Baker’s Perspective
October 11-The Power of Words
October 12-By The Book
October 13-Ponderings of a Poet & Procrastinator
October 14-Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen