Yes, there is a new series of mysteries coming now from my pen...well, actually, my laptop, but you get the idea.
The 'Mystery Hunter'© series features art historian, restoration expert and authenticator Dr. Rosalie Hunter. She's based in Boston, but goes anywhere her services are needed: museums, art galleries, private collectors...and of course, she end up somehow being embroiled in a murder mystery when she's just trying to do her job. Or, as in the first book of the series, 'Death on the Rocks,' when she's on holiday.
'Death on the Rocks' was published in 2021, and it takes place in one of my favorite locales, Perkins Cove/Ogunquit, Maine.
The new mystery is called, 'Death on Pointe,' and features a ballet studio, a lot of information about Degas and how he painted, and some pretty surprising revelations about the rivalry amongst young, up and coming ballerinas.
All books are published by Samothrace Press, and are of course available in paperback on Amazon in all countries, and in the Kindle e book format as well.
Let me know what you think of Dr. Hunter--her friends call her 'Rosie.'
People ask me--often--if there will be more mysteries coming. The answer to that isn't simple.
The easy and fast answer is, I always am envisioning murder scenarios, LOL. The smallest, simplest things can spark an idea, and I go off on a murderous tangent in my mind...but the murder itself is only part of the puzzle that, when entire, means a new book.
Often, I think up a way to kill someone but am not sufficiently inspired to create the scenario in which the murder happens. Or events happen which lead (or could lead) to a murder. But I don't have the murder itself figured out--the how, that is.
The complicated and longer answer is...maybe. I am toying with a couple of concepts right now, and have just realized that if I combine them, I would have both the method and the milieu for a new murder mystery. So--there's hope.
Now, people also ask, 'will it be a Gracie & Jack mystery?' Nope.
If I write more mysteries, they will have an entirely new protagonist or protagonists, and I have no idea who that will be, although it very likely will be someone who in many ways resembles myself (write what you know, you know?). So, we shall see.
The final book in the 'Reporting is Murder!'© series of mysteries is out: JUSTICE DESTROYED. This is the book that started the whole thing off, years ago, and was originally published as JUSTICE SERVED. For more information on that process, see the other entry on this website called "Justice Served 2020".
As I was re-reading, updating and editing the original manuscript of JS for its 2020 publication, I tossed around several names, as followers of this website will know: Justice Served 2020? Justice Reserved? (rather tongue in cheek, that). But I finally came up with Justice Destroyed because it seemed to me that what a couple of the characters engaged in really was the complete disregard and ultimate destruction of any sort of justice for criminals. Additionally, the question remains whether justice was served, or destroyed, by the conclusion of one storyline in the book.
I'm quite pleased with JD. It was a lot of fun doing the updating, too, and I giggled a lot when characters I had killed off after writing the original manuscript popped up, or when Gracie and Jack navigated their way around things without the use of wireless technology or mobile phones.
So much changed in the 15 years since I began the book.
JUSTICE DESTROYED is available in Kindle e book and paperback on Amazon, as usual. Once this COVID-19 epidemic is under control and book/author shows resume, I hope to be at some, and of course, you'll be able to get the book there as well.
Stay safe, stay healthy, and stay home and read my books! Thanks!
I first wrote Justice Served way back in 2005 and 2006. My Dad had died the year before, and I found that sending a chapter or two as I finished them to my Mother helped her feel less alone (she was still living in Boston, while I had moved decades before to Pennsylvania). The case upon which JS was based went on until 2009 if memory serves, and I covered all of it for the local paper. But by the time 2006 had drawn to a close, I felt that the seemingly never-ending filing of appeals would not only strain the belief of my readers, the actual case would not end in time for me to finish writing the book!
Therefore, I chose an ending for the case in the book which seemed to me to be most likely in real life, and which also would give readers a sense of satisfaction. Like many other details in the book, the ending is fiction. However, the substance of the case, yes, that is based on a real murder that happened not far from my home.
In many ways, writing JS gave me the urge to write more. Before I had found an agent, which would happen in 2008, I had begun writing a prequel which rewound the clock and looked at the first time Gracie and Jack met and began to work together. So when my agent read JS, loved it, and told me I should write another Gracie and Jack book, I was delighted to tell him that Baby's Breath was under construction.
The name of the series came shortly thereafter as well: Reporting is Murder!© It's clever, since it hints both at the genre and at the main character's profession. But it's also something journalists may say fairly frequently!
Some readers may know that a number of things occurred in the following couple of years, both personal and professional, including the loss of my agent due to their poor health. In 2010, having heard from more than one fellow author at Book Fairs and such that being with a traditional publishing house was really not any better than publishing independently, I decided to self-publish Justice Served rather than go through another 18-month search for an agent or publisher.
There were only a few dozen copies sold, because I had not learnt, back then, how to market myself or my book, or even how to order author copies I could schlepp to Book Fairs. That was in 2011.
By the following year, I had learned a lot about how to format books, how to design them and market them. Social media was becoming ever more a force to be reckoned with and a great tool for letting potential readers know about my book. And by then, Baby's Breath--the prequel--was finished, with more books to come. I decided I wanted readers to start at the beginning, not read JS and then backtrack to BB and the rest of them. So I pulled JS and it was no longer available--even on eBay LOL!
Some readers were upset about this. Some, once they began reading BB and the subsequent books, were intrigued by the fact that JS was no longer available, and begged me--even offering me rather a lot of money!--to re-release it.
But I didn't. And I think in a few months when the new and improved version of JS is released, my readers will be pleased.
I want to keep the title, Justice Served. But because the book required significant re-writing and editing to bring it up to date--Gracie was still using a land line, and the new JS had to be informed by the relationship history between Gracie and Jack that developed in the intervening 18 books--I think I'll call it, Justice Served 2020. Or I could just keep the JS and list it as a second edition. Or perhaps Justice Still Served? You see, I'm not quite decided LOL!
One reader told me that if, on Kindle, she buys the book again with the same title, her original JS will disappear. I have never heard of that happening, and I"m not sure it will. However, to forestall such an event, I want to tweak the name just enough so that it avoids this situation.
So the good news is that I have finished the re-writes. I kept to the story line, and where possible, I switched a scene between, for example, Susan, whom I killed off in Massage me to Death, and Gracie to someone else and Gracie, to keep the scene. Some parts of course, just had to be excised completely. But nothing of the original case's story has been deleted. And I think some other scenes that I have written to tie this 'new' book in with the 18 which now precede it, will more than make up for any which have hit the cutting room floor, as they say in show biz.
Given the self-quarantine, social distancing thing we're all going through now, I expect I'll get the broad edits done before April. This could mean an early summer publication date in 2020, rather than autumn, 2020.
So do stay tuned and as always, thank you and happy reading!
With the corrections and edits due back from my beta readers on Feb 21, the release date for BEST SERVED COLD is now firm for February 24,2020! You'll be able to order hard copies as well as e-books on Amazon and Amazon's Kindle Store.
Meanwhile, I've been busy editing and in som cases re-writing JUSTICE SERVED. I began this book waaaaaay back in 2005, which is when the actual case upon which the book is based, began. It was finished in 2007 if memory serves, so now, in 2020, many things have changed.
In our real world, technology has developed apace, so I've had to give most of my characters mobile phones, and I've had to update my references to internet searches, databases, and the like.
Additionally, of course, with the action of 18 books now taking place prior to that of JUSTICE SERVED, characters have moved or died, Gracie and Jack's relationship has progressed and now has a significant back history, and new characters have been introduced who were not in the original manuscript.
Plus, I've noted an interesting reaction on my part: after 18 books, and approximately 15 years, Gracie and Jack are not the same people. They no longer act and react as they did when I first wrote the book.
So it's been interesting for me to go back and read the work, and update it on several levels to make it a fit, current, conclusion to the 'Reporting is Murder!'© series.
But I have been thinking, if I am so inspired, of another possibly one off, possibly series, mystery. We shall see if the muse speaks. Meanwhile, look for BEST SERVED COLD in just under a week!
Many readers have asked for a chronological list of the mysteries, so they can read the books in order. While each book in the series may be read as a stand-alone, they are a series, and I respect readers’ wishes to follow along chronologically. It’s kind of fun, too, to see where Gracie, Jack and their various friends and attachments end up, and then go forward with each successive book.
So here it is, the list, beginning with the first:
WHERE THERE’S SMOKE, THERE’S MURDER
CRIME & CRIMINI
APPLE OF MY EYE
MASSAGE ME TO DEATH
A-HUNTING I WILL GO
DEATH BY DIBBLER
BEST SERVED COLD (2020)
JUSTICE DESTROYED (2020) (originally published as Justice Served)
The 'Reporting is Murder!;© series stars sleuthing journalist Gracie Barufaldi and her on again off again boyfriend Jack Draper. Will they ever be more than that? You'll have to read the books and find out! Jack is the Police Chief and then the County Detective in the western Massachusetts region where the books are set. As I'm from Boston, it's a place I know well, and which has character enough to be enticing but scope enough to allow for my inventions.
Gracie and Jack approach life, and solving crimes, from very different vantage points. Gracie, who is something of a computer mavin, thinks outside the box; she relates disparate bits of information to each other and often (but not always, that would be boring) reaches the correct solution, to Jack's surprise--and sometimes annoyance. But hey, he's only human! Gracie also has a very wide and multi-layered circle of friends: she knows prison guards, society matrons, museum docents, bank tellers, librarians, animal rescuers, dancers, shop owners, musicians...you name it. And she has the kind of sympathetic personality that makes people want to tell her their stories, which comes in handy when she's covering a murder for her newspaper, and trying to solve it., mostly for her own satisfaction but also because she loves a challenge and enjoys solving the cases with Jack.
Jack is the consummate methodologist: he chases down leads, does the legwork and the research, makes the calls, holds the interviews, examines the evidence, and usually (but not always--that would be boring) figures out 'whodunnit.' Sometimes he and Gracie come to the same conclusion together, and sometimes they do that separately; sometimes one of them suspects the wrong person and the other goes to great lengths to change their mind.
The series begins with Baby's Breath and goes on through 17 other books until the last book, Justice Served, which will end the series. Weirdly enough, JS was the first mystery I wrote. But having finished it, the 'backstory' of how Gracie and Jack met and came to work together--and more--just begged to be told. And so, Baby's Breath was born.
Most of the books take place in western Massachusetts, but Gracie (like me) travels a lot, so some are set in other places, like the Loire Valley in France, Istanbul, or the estuary islands of the River Thames in England.
Each book may be read separately as a stand along mystery, though I think it's more fulfilling if the reader begins at the beginning and follows Gracie and Jack all the way through. Number 18, Best Served Cold, should be out in early spring, 2020. Although it's possible I will pen another in between Best Served Cold and Justice Served, since that would make it an even 20 books in this series, I'm not sure. I may just start another series, with different protagonists: you never know.
I hope you enjoy the murder mystery series. Do let me know! You can email me (or rather, Eugénie) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s coming along well! Am 25 K words into the new mystery, which unless i am very much mistaken will be the first of a new series! This one is called ‘Death on the Rocks’ or at least that is its working title. I am not sure yet of the series’ title; the main character is a divorced art historian from Boston, which may sound like it could have nothing to do with murder, but…
This book thus far is proving most interesting to write, and I do like my new protagonist. She is something like me, but there are differences, which make it fun. She has not yet met a sidekick, if indeed she ever will have one. Perhaps she will be a solo act. We shall see.
I hope to have this out in time for holiday gifting.
Meanwhule the new Marie Antoinette and French Azilum book should be available by early September. Check back here through the History doorway to find out!