(Book 1 in the critically acclaimed Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery Series)
When Anastasia Pollack’s husband permanently cashes in his chips at a roulette table in Vegas, her comfortable middle-class life craps out. She’s left with two teenage sons, a mountain of debt, and her hateful, cane-wielding Communist mother-in-law. Not to mention stunned disbelief over her late husband’s secret gambling addiction, and the loan shark who’s demanding fifty thousand dollars.
Anastasia’s job as crafts editor for a magazine proves no respite when she discovers a dead body glued to her office chair. The victim, fashion editor Marlys Vandenburg, collected enemies and ex-lovers like Jimmy Choos on her ruthless climb to editor-in-chief. But when evidence surfaces of an illicit affair between Marlys and Anastasia’s husband, Anastasia becomes the number one suspect. Now she’s in a race to find the killer and clear her name before he finds her.
Targeted Age Group:: general adult audience
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I began my writing career published in romance. One day an editor told my agent she was looking for looking for a cozy crafting mystery series. Knowing my day job was as a designer in the consumer crafts industry, my agent thought I'd be the perfect person to write such a series, even though I'd never written a mystery. I took on the challenge and loved writing mystery so much, I never went back to writing romances.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
I often get ideas for my characters from combining the traits of various people I've known. However, in my Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery Series, Anastasia's communist mother-in-law is based on my experiences living for six years with my own communist mother-in-law. Personality-wise, the two women are identical, although the various events featured in the book are all fictitious.
Marlys’s voice rose two octaves. Her face suffused with a color akin to her dress. “Denim and bandanas? Over my dead body! Where do you suggest we hold the fashion shoot? Dogpatch?”
She slapped her hand onto the table. “We are not featuring denim and bandanas. I won’t allow it.”
Naomi sat back in her chair and steepled her fingers under her chin. Somehow she managed to keep her voice calm and controlled as she spoke, but I’m sure the effort nearly killed her. “I happen to be the editor-in-chief of this magazine, Marlys. I make the decisions, not you.”
“We’ll see about that.” Marlys rose from her chair and stormed out of the conference room, slamming the door behind her.
As the rest of us squirmed nervously in our chairs, Naomi snapped at Hugo. “I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart, Dr. Frankenstein.”
Hugo grimaced. “I’ll see if I can talk some sense into her.”
“And if you can’t?”
He cleared his throat, straightened his skewed tie, and pushed away from the table. “I’ll think of something.”
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