Wednesday, April 02, 2014
Sleuthing in a canoe and on a motorcycle
Please welcome my Wednesday guest, Lesley Diehl. Lesley retired from her life as a professor of psychology and reclaimed her country roots by moving to a small cottage in the
Valley in upstate . In the winter she migrates to old New York —cowboys,
scrub palmetto, and open fields of grazing cattle, a place where spurs still
jingle in the post office and gators make golf a contact sport. Back north, the shy ghost inhabiting the
cottage serves as her literary muse. When not writing, she gardens, cooks and renovates the 1874 cottage with
the help of her husband, two cats and, of course, Fred the ghost, who gives
artistic direction to their work. She is
author of several short stories and a number of mystery series including the
microbrewing series (A Deadly Draught;
Poisoned Pairings), a rural Florida mystery series (Dumpster Dying; Grilled,
Chilled and Killed), A Secondhand
Murder, the first in The Eve Appel mystery series and her
most recent, Murder Is Academic. Please welcome Lesley as she tells us about her newest book. Florida
In keeping with the snooping amateur sleuths who populate my cozy mysteries, I’ve got a new woman who joins their ranks. In Murder Is Academic the setting is a small town in upstate New York, and the protagonist is Laura Murphy, psychology professor at the local college, a woman addicted to chocolate-covered donuts and something unexpected: solving murders. Don’t be fooled by her credentials. Despite all those degrees, she’s arrived at that point in her life when everything seems to be falling into place including her middle-aged body, sagging in ways she never anticipated when she was younger. What to do? The weather is fine, so Laura and Annie, her best friend decide that entering a fifty-mile canoe race might just be the thing for losing weight. The results are different from what they expected. Not only has Laura done little exercise other than lift her coffee cup to her lips, she’s not prepared for what she encounters on the water: the dead body of the college president. When she says yes to dinner with a Canadian biker, she finds herself and her date suspects in the murder.
Laura’s friend, the detective assigned the case, asks her to help him find out who on the small upstate New York college campus may be a killer. The murder appears to be wrapped up in some unsavory happenings on the lake where Laura lives. A fish kill and raw sewage seeping into the water along with the apparent drowning suicide of a faculty member complicate the hunt for the killer. So you see, college life for our professor is much more than grading exams, writing research papers of serious intellectual import, and swearing at her computer when something goes wrong on the internet. Yup, there’s this hunky biker dude and the possibility that she can outwit her detective friend in finding the killer. There is a downside to the joys of finding love later in life and chasing down clues to the murder, both slimming activities with fewer muscle aches than canoeing. Things can get personal, and they do. The killer makes a threatening phone call to Laura. With a tornado bearing down on the area and the killer intent upon silencing her, Laura’s sleuthing work may come too late to save her and her biker from a watery grave.
As you can guess, everything turns out well for Laura. Sleuthing replaces eating donuts, and riding on the back of a motorcycle results in much more than messed up hair. Another sassy gal takes on murder, gets thinner and falls in love. Laura Murphy defeats hot flashes and killers. There will be a sequel: Failure Is Fatal, in which Laura tackles bad frat boys.
Buy link: http://store.untreedreads.com/Books/UTR9781611879414 in all eformats
Amazon buy link http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00JCV6XG8