by Charlotte Stuart
GENRE: Mystery, Female PI
The campaign for the U.S. Congressional seat was referred to in the press as “Mr. Smith goes to Washington versus the carpetbagger.” The popular local candidate gets the majority of endorsements, but his opponent’s wealthy, out-of-state family is willing to do whatever it takes for him to win.
Penny-wise Investigations, a discount detective agency located in a mall, is hired to find out who is stealing the local candidate’s political signs. Two of their investigators, Cameron Chandler and Yuri Webster, not only catch the thieves in the act, they find a body next to a pile of stolen signs, proving that Campaigning Can Be Deadly.
STAKEOUT - There were no buildings on the smallish piece of land, just tall grass dotted with litter. Signs were scattered everywhere, like bulky cardboard weeds growing out of control, including a dozen or so for Knight. They stood out from the rest because of their color and careful placement on the lot. According to the file, Knight’s signs had been stolen from the lot in the past, and hopefully they would be a tempting target for the opposition this evening. Although I liked having an assignment, I didn’t necessarily look forward to spending too many nights in a car eating junk food and praying that I could last the night without needing a toilet break.
“Want to start with chips or Cheez-its?” Yuri asked.
“I brought a couple of sandwiches,” I said. “Egg salad or vegetarian?”
“What’s in the vegetarian?”
“Eggs,” I said, handing him a sandwich. “I didn’t have time for dinner,” I explained. “I also have a thermos of coffee and some candy bars.”
“I brought Coke and candy bars.”
“Think we’ll have enough?”
“Only if it doesn’t take all night.” Yuri laughed. I like his laugh. And I like him. We work well together. Initially my kids had hoped we would end up romantically involved, but when they realized that wasn’t going to happen, they seemed content to settle for his friendship in our lives.
A Word From the Author:
1.Did you always want to be an author?
No. I’ve always been an avid reader, but being an author wasn’t something I thought possible. And even once I started writing, actually getting published seemed out of reach. I still pinch myself when I realize I got 4 books to market in under a year and a half.
2.Tell us about the publication of your first book.
Getting an agent was the first step on the road to publication. She helped me land the perfect publisher, a woman and veteran owned small publishing group. They liked my idea of a Discount Detective agency located in a mall. Campaigning Can be Deadly is the second in that series.
3.Besides yourself, who is your favorite author in the genre you write in?
Within the larger category of traditional mysteries, there are books that fall under the sub-genre of humorous mysteries. In presentations I do on humor in mysteries, I break it down even further. I categorize mysteries on a humor continuum, from the exaggerated, laugh-out-loud stories all the way to dark gallows humor. Although my inspiration comes from hilarious writers like Lisa Lutz and Donald Westlake, my own mysteries are not overtly funny, but have serious themes with character-driven smatterings of humor. Like the Ruth Galloway series by Elly Griffiths. I love her settings and nuanced humor.
4.What's the best part of being an author? The worst?
The best part of being an author is that you have an excuse to write and to talk to people about writing. I’m particularly engaged in research on what makes us laugh at different things. In my presentation, Getting Serious About Humor: Murder Mysteries that Bump Your Funny Bone, I look at the impact of brain dominance on an individual’s sense of humor and connect types of humor to Myers-Briggs profiles and the Big 5 model of behavioral traits. I’ve also explored the evolving cozy mystery in several guest posts. I find speculation and discussion about topics like these to be energizing and enjoyable.
The worst part of being an author is having to market your books. Doing a virtual tour is fun, but being constantly on social media and running promos is time-consuming and complicated. And it’s hard to tell if you are getting your money’s worth.
5.What are you working on now?
I have a first draft of a 2nd mystery in the Macavity and Me series completed and am looking forward to finalizing it. The first in the series – Why Me? Chimeras, Conundrums and Dead Goldfish – was a semi-finalist in the Chanticleer Mystery and Mayhem contest before publication. The second is tentatively titled Who Me? Fog Bows, Fraud and Aphrodite. The main character lives on her sailboat in an urban marina with her cantankerous cat, Macavity. And, like many mystery protagonists, she seems to be a magnet for murder. Although I try to keep the tone light and hope readers find things to smile at when entering the world of Macavity and Me.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
In a world filled with uncertainty and too little chocolate, Charlotte Stuart has a passion for writing lighthearted mysteries with a pinch of adventure and a dollop of humor. Her first discount detective mystery, Survival Can Be Deadly, was a Foreward INDIES finalist. Why me? Chimeras, Conundrums and Dead Goldfish was a semi-finalist for the Chanticleer Murder and Mayhem contest before it was published. She began her career in academia with a PhD in communications. Then, she and her husband decided to build a commercial boat and go fishing for salmon in Alaska. Currently she is the VP for Puget Sound Sisters in Crime and lives and writes on Vashon Island in Washington State’s Puget Sound. She spends time each day entertained by herons, seals, eagles and other wildlife.
Charlotte Stuart – social media
Campaigning Can Be Deadly -primary online purchase links:
Charlotte Stuart will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
a Rafflecopter giveaway