Today we have a mystery that takes place in a vintage toy shop! If I could reclaim a toy from my past it would probably be my Mrs. Beasley doll. If you know what that is, then you know in my memory Mr. French is standing in the background in his white apron polishing the silverware! I love the idea of vintage toys <3 Barbara Early, author of Murder on the Toy Town Express has agreed to share a few words with us today about her writing process.
Don’t forget to look for the Prize Guy for your chance at signed copies of MURDER ON THE TOY TOWN EXPRESS (hardcover) and DEATH OF A TOY SOLDIER (paperback), a Vintage Toyshop tote bag, keyring, bookmarks, and assorted fun toyshop swag.
Take it away…Barbara
Oh, those triangles…
Not talking about the geometric shape or the musical instrument. But those romantic triangles that give readers delight. Or fits, depending on the reader. They’ve been a staple of the cozy mystery genre for some time now.
I have to admit, I’m a fan of a short-lived romantic triangle, so when I wrote Death of a Toy Soldier, the first book of the Vintage Toyshop series, I introduced two potential love interests. Jack Wallace is Liz McCall’s high-school sweetheart, and they’ve had an on-again, off-again relationship through the years. Ken Young is the village’s new chief of police, so I figured there’d be plenty of opportunities for their paths to cross.
Here’s the thing. While I plot the mystery in great detail, I like to allow the romantic subplot to progress naturally, organically. I give my characters the reins and I sit back and watch what happens. And I had no idea which, if any, of the men I threw at Liz in the first book would stick.
So in Murder on the Toy Town Express, while Liz is managing their vintage toy booth at a local Train and Toy show (and trying to figure out who killed her old school bully—a comic book dealer also at the show, and why two suspected mobsters are hanging around), she’s also pressed to narrow the field. Since the books are set a year apart, each during the Christmas season, it was time to make a decision.
The results surprised even me!
When I stared at what my fingers had typed, I shook my head. I even deleted a certain scene at the end twice, but it kept coming back. It was only as I wrote the third book (due out next year) that I realized the little surprise my characters cooked up had to happen.
Do you love romantic triangles? Hate them? Love to hate them? Hate to love them?
Let Barbara know how you feel about romantic triangles in the comment section.
Murder on the Toy Town Express: A Vintage Toyshop Mystery
2nd in Series
Liz McCall has come to love running her father’s vintage toyshop back home in East Aurora, NY, so when the Train and Toy Show comes to town, she’s all aboard for a fun toy-filled weekend. The only hitch is that her childhood bully Craig McFadden, now local business rival, has set up a booth next to hers. But the fun and games are over when Craig falls from the ceiling in a publicity stunt gone wrong.
What was initially thought to be a fatal accident proves much more sinister. Pulled into the case by her feelings for both Ken, the police chief, and Jack, her high school sweetheart whose brother is one the prime suspects, Liz dives headfirst into the investigation. But as she digs deeper, she’s shocked to learn her father may have been the intended target.
The trouble train is barreling down and Liz may have just bought herself a first class ticket in Murder on the Toy Town Express, Barbara Early’s delightful second installment in her Vintage Toyshop mysteries.