In the comic mystery “Exile on Slain Street,” undercover detective Clancy Parker must find the killer on the set of a reality TV dating show before she gets eliminated—permanently.
Clancy thought she’d been hired to protect the show’s star, grunge-rock guitar god Patrick Price, from a stalker, but she quickly realizes she’s dealing with a clever murderer whose arsenal includes booby-trapped stripper poles and sabotaged stretch Hummers. As members of the cast and production team are killed one by one, Clancy finds herself with few allies. She’s at the mercy of a nosy camera crew and, even worse, reality show contestants who will do anything for fame.
However, Clancy is the right woman for this challenge. She plays guitar for a band, and she fancies herself a rock ‘n’ roll detective, like Kinky Friedman, only a whole lot prettier. With her music background, Patrick Price can’t resist her, but the attentions of a horny rock star threaten to distract her from her original purpose, which is to save her client’s life.
Targeted Age Group:
Because when I was writing “Heavy Mental,” I fretted that I was stepping outside of cozy bounds. I love cozies because they mix murder with two of my favorite things — cute animals and food.But, when I decided to write a mystery, I thought I might have two teensy-tiny problems. First, my main character, Clancy Parker, does not have pets. Harold, her landlord, is allergic, and it would be impossible to take a pet on tour with her band, the Marquee Idols. (As if Shane, Wayne or Muriel could handle the responsibilities of caring for a pet! If you have read “Heavy Mental,” can you imagine what Wayne would try to feed the pet?)Second, I am not a good cook, so I can’t add recipes. I don’t need to regale you with tales of my cooking mishaps, but there’s a reason Clancy’s favorite foods are Fritos and takeout beef and broccoli.So, I admit, I was a little nervous when I put the book on Amazon. I know not all cozies have pets and recipes, but a lot of them do. The good review over at Cozy Mystery Book Review makes me feel like I got something right. Not only did I capture the spirit of rock ‘n’ roll, but maybe I captured the spirit of the cozy, too.
What Advice Would You Give Aspiring Writers?
I love spreadsheets. Keep spreadsheets of details about each of your characters so you can always refer to them. That way, you stay true to the character, and your reader will be happy because they know you’re not writing a bunch of stuff without editing.
I write cozies your nana might not like. Then again, that depends on your nana.
I have two mystery series in the works — one featuring the rock ‘n’ roll detective Clancy Parker and the other starring the erotic bakery entrepreneur Muriel Kovacs. The first novel in the Clancy Parker series, Heavy Mental, is out now. The first novel in the Muriel Kovacs series, Missionary Position, made me a quarterfinalist in the 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards. It will be out soon.
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