Posted in General on December 9th, 2010 by Casey Crow
Jackie King loves books, words, and writing tall tales. She especially enjoys murdering the people she dislikes on paper. King is a full time writer who also teaches writing at Tulsa Community College. Her latest novel, THE INCONVENIENT CORPSE is a traditional mystery. King has also written four novellas as co-author of the Foxy Hens Series. Thanksgiving with a Mysterious Stranger is her latest novella and is included in the anthology TWO FOXY HOLIDAY HENS AND ONE BIG ROOSGER. Her only nonfiction book is DEVOTED TO COOKING. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, Oklahoma Writers Federation, Oklahoma Mystery Writers, and Tulsa Night Writers.
Thanks, Casey, for inviting me as a guest blogger to discuss “Romancing the Mystery.” Very gutsy of you since I can’t seem to spin a romantic yarn without weaving in “Murder Most Foul” along with “Happily Ever After.” When my fingers hit the keyboard I’m immediately seized by the urge to murder some odious person on paper. ALAS for my LACK (pun intended) of control, but YEA for the fun of it. You see, I can choose any dolt I wish who has ‘done me wrong’ or ‘irritated the fire out of me.’ (Okie speak.)
Since I write traditional (cozy) mystery, the violence in my stories happens off scene and my main character stumbles onto the body. Circumstances then drag this hapless person into the solving of the crime. In my novel THE INCONVENIENT CORPSE, poor Grace Cassidy discovers a naked dead body in her hotel bed. Then (as if she didn’t have enough problems dealing with an unfaithful husband), I add a rugged cop named Sergeant Sam Harper, who thinks our Grace did the killing but likes her anyway. [Now available on Kindle $2.99]
Oh my! There’s nothing like murder and mayhem and secret lusting after someone who is totally wrong for you, to get a reader’s/writer’s juices flowing. I know, because those are the kinds of books I read until my eyes feel as if they have been sandpapered.
For writers out there, I suggest you consider spiking your romance with a touch of mystery. For my favorite people, readers (and of course this includes writers who are avid readers) let’s chat for a minute about authors who excel at this skill:
Nancy Martin has penned the delightful Blackbird Sisters mysteries series. She begins with HOW TO MURDER A MILLIONAIRE and continues to MURDER MELTS IN YOUR MOUTH. And I just heard a new Blackbird book is in the mill. Martin also writes the brassier Roxy Abruzzo series featuring a monster dog and a monster truck, along with the madcap heroine.
Charlaine Harris doesn’t just write about vampires! If you haven’t already done so, check out her Aurora “Roe” Teagarden line involving a young librarian and her evolving love life. Aurora “Roe” Teagarden begins as a stereotypical librarian wearing coke bottle glasses and sensible shoes. Her social highlight is a once-a-month meeting with other mystery enthusiasts to discuss murder. As might be expected, someone is iced and Roe becomes sleuth. She also evolves through the series into a sexy woman with an exciting social calendar. These books are well-plotted, exciting mysteries, combined with romance.
Have y’all (more Okie speak) read Elaine Viet’s ‘Dead End Job series?’ If not, you might want to read the first chapter of AN UPLIFTING MURDER (free on line). Bet you’ll love it. I intend to order my copy as soon as I finish writing this blog. She’s another writer who keeps me glued to the book until the last page is finished.
I’ve shared three of my favorites mystery/romance series. Let me know your best picks, whatever they may be, and if I haven’t already tried these authors I’ll head for my favorite bookstore.