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Cozy Friday: To Fetch a Villain

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🐶Ahhh-Ooooh! Cozy mystery readers find cats in their stories, cats on the covers, cats solving murders while coughing up fur balls, but today is DOG DAY FRIDAY! I have four wonderful authors here to talk about their latest installment in the Mutt Mysteries Series: To Fetch a Villain! They’ve agreed to answer a few questions so read on!

To Fetch a Villain
To Fetch a Villain – Four Fun “Tails” of Scandal and Murder A Mutt Mystery
Cozy Mysteries
3rd in Series

Old dogs and new tricks abound in TO FETCH A VILLAIN, the third installment in the Mutt Mysteries series. This collection of four novellas illustrates why dogs are our best friends and the perfect companions for digging up clues, solving crimes, and bringing villains to justice. Let sleeping dogs lie? Not when the MUTTS are on the case.

About the To Fetch a Villain:

Old dogs and new tricks abound in To Fetch a Villain, the third installment in the Mutt Mysteries series. This collection of four novellas illustrates why dogs are our best friends and the perfect companions for digging up clues, solving crimes, and bringing villains to justice. Let sleeping dogs lie? Not when the MUTTS are on the case!

RUFF DAY by Jayne Ormerod
Store owner Darby Moore suffers through a “ruff” day when a dead body is discovered in her custom dog house. With her best friend topping the suspect’s list, Darby knows the police are barking up the wrong tree. It’s up to Darby’s Great Dane Mr. Belvedere to channel his inner Scooby-Doo and save the day.

AT YOUR SERVICE by Maria Hudgins
Mystery writer Jessica Chastain is deaf and relies on her service dog Trey who acts as Jessica’s ears. Kim, a Bichon like Trey, is the latest addition to their family. But life is not a walk in the park when someone threatens all they hold dear. Together they take on an unethical breeder and dog-napper, whose bite is worse than his bark.

A SHOT IN THE BARK by Teresa Inge
Dog-loving Catt Ramsey hires an ex-con as her handyman to help with her dog-walking business at the same time a crime wave hits the neighborhood. But it’s Catt who is accused of murder. She enlists the help of family, friends, and her dogs Cagney and Lacey to prove man’s best friend can be crime’s worst enemy.

STRUT YOUR MUTT by Heather Weidner
Sassy PI Delanie Fitzgerald attends the Strut Your Mutt festival, where her business partner’s English bulldog is a finalist in a pampered doggie pageant. The dog’s new-found fame leads to a client with a missing poodle. Delanie and her team put paws to the pavement, sniff out clues, and show the villain that when you lie with the dogs, you wake up with fleas.

Where to Buy To Fetch a Villain  – Amazon

A Visit With the Mutt Mystery Author Team

I’ve never interviewed so many people at once. Hey honey, bring in more chairs.

How did you come with an idea for your book? The four writers have worked together through the years on a variety of anthologies. We met one afternoon in Williamsburg and talked about a new project (novellas instead of short stories). The authors in the first two books are Teresa Inge, Jayne Ormerod, Heather Weidner, and Rosemary Shomaker. Mystery author, Maria Hudgins, has joined Teresa, Jayne and Heather for book three, TO FETCH A VILLAIN.

Heather: Delanie Fitzgerald and her partner, Duncan Reynolds, star in my private investigator series. Margaret the English bulldog is Duncan’s constant companion and the perfect character for a Mutt Mystery.

Maria: I don’t know where ideas come from. For this story, I suppose I thought: Dog. Story about a dog. How about my own two Bichons, Holly and Hamilton, now gone five years, but they played together so well. How about a story featuring them and their adventures? Their owner? Let’s make her deaf so one dog could be her service dog and the other could be . . . now let’s see. . . somebody needs to have a terrible problem so there’s a reason for the story. Something like that, I imagine.

Jayne: My story, “Ruff Day” begins at a display of custom dog house. The idea of setting a story there came from visiting a Bark-itecture event at the Norfolk, Virginia Botanical Gardens. As I toured the display of Pooch Palaces—showing everything from campers to casas— my mind wandered (as it’s wont to do) to “where could I hide a dead body.” My husband is used to these musings, but I do have to be careful because when I say things like that out loud, other people become quite concerned. Until I explain that I am a mystery writer, at which point they laugh nervously, as if not sure I am joking or not. Once I established the setting, the rest of the story wrote itself.

Teresa: For the Mutt Mysteries series, the four authors met to discuss writing a series about our two favorite things, mysteries, and dogs! We then developed a theme for each book in the series and began writing our stories. It’s been a lot of fun!

What scene do you hope your readers enjoy the most?

Heather: The Mutt Mystery novellas are fun to write. I love having my furry four-legged characters front and center in these mysteries. The Strut Your Mutt scene with Margaret the Wonder dog was a lot of fun to write. The city and the mall are real, but I made up the dog-themed event.

Maria: The scene in which Trey and Kim (the dogs) burrow under the fence and take off across the community square after the bad guy. The dogs may be little and fluffy, but they are fearless.

Jayne: I hope readers can visualize and find the humor in the scenes where my main character, Darby Moore, is dragged through the streets of the small coastal town by Mr. Belvedere, her silver Great Dane. All based on real life experiences. Hard not to laugh…now (not so funny at the time.)

Teresa: In To Fetch a Villain, I hope readers enjoy how my protagonist Catt Ramsey’s dogs Cagney and Lacey help her solve the crime and murder. They jump in and alert Catt to dangerous situations.

What other things have you written or what projects might we see in the future?

Heather: I am the author of the Delanie Fitzgerald Mysteries, and this is the first time that these characters have appeared in a Mutt Mystery story. To read more about Delanie, Duncan, and Margaret, check out the books in this series. I’m also the author of the Jules Keene Glamping Mysteries. This is a cozy mystery series set near Charlottesville, VA, and it launches in October 2021.

Maria: I have written six Dotsy Lamb Travel Mysteries, each set in a different but exciting foreign country, and two Lacy Glass Archaeology Mysteries. All are available on Amazon, etc. I love to travel and I love archaeology, so that’s what I write about.

Jayne: I have a total of fourteen literary babies out there, ranging in size from short story to full-length novels. I focus on murders that take place in small coastal towns (I love the juxtaposition of violence with tranquility.) I’ve recently had two short stories accepted for publication, but no date as to when they will be released to the world. I’m currently working on another cozy novel and something that is a little more mainstream. Those are my goals for 2021, since the pandemic threw me off my writing game this year. Threw me off a lot of things this year, but aren’t we all adjusting to a new normal now?

Teresa: Murder by the Glass will be published in 2021 and Virginia is for Mysteries III will be published next year.

If you could write any other genre what would that be?

Heather: I have always loved mysteries (since Nancy Drew and Scooby-Doo). I think I may want to venture in the YA or middle grade genres one day.

Maria: I’m currently writing an historical thriller, set in war-torn Europe in 1948. Can I do it? We’ll see.

Jayne: Historical romance. I love the strict rules of courting back in the day, offering many opportunities to break said rules, consequences be damned! I did try my hand at romance when I first started writing. Trust me when I say it is very hard to keep two desperately in love people apart for 90,000 words. I found the introduction of a dead body (or three) really ups the conflict and makes for an easier write, and hopefully a more entertaining read.

Thanks for having us stop by Teresa! That was fun! Wishing all your readers good health and good spirits!

Teresa: Romance but with a mystery element. I sometimes add romance to my mysteries. It’s a genre I am learning more about and love to write.

Where can readers leave reviews of your book? Writers love when readers leave reviews. You can leave a review at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, BookBub, and Goodreads.

About the Authors

Heather Weidner, co-author of To Fetch a VillainHeather Weidner

Heather Weidner writes the Delanie Fitzgerald mystery series (Secret Lives and Private Eyes, The Tulip Shirt Murders, and Glitter, Glam, and Contraband). Her short stories appear in the Virginia is for Mysteries series, 50 Shades of Cabernet, and Deadly Southern Charm. Her novellas appear in The Mutt Mysteries series (To Fetch a Thief, To Fetch a Scoundrel, and To Fetch a Villain). Her new cozy series, the Jules Keene Glamping Mysteries, launches October 2021.

She is a member of Sisters in Crime – Central Virginia, Sisters in Crime – Chessie, Guppies, International Thriller Writers, and James River Writers.

Originally from Virginia Beach, Heather has been a mystery fan since Scooby-Doo and Nancy Drew. She lives in Central Virginia with her husband and a pair of Jack Russell terriers. Through the years, she has been a cop’s kid, technical writer, editor, college professor, software tester, and IT manager.

Maria Hudgins, co-author of To Fetch a VillainMaria Hudgins

Maria Hudgins is a mystery writer and a former high school science teacher. She is the author of the Dotsy Lamb Travel Mysteries, the Lacy Glass Archaeology Mysteries and several published short stories. Her favorite things are traveling, reading, dogs, and cats. She lives in Hampton, Virginia with her cat, Lulu.

Jayne Omerod, co-author of To Fetch a VillainJayne Ormerod

Jayne Ormerod grew up in a small Ohio town and attended a small-town Ohio college. Upon earning her accountancy degree, she became a CIA (that’s not a sexy spy thing, but a Certified Internal Auditor). She married a naval officer, and off they sailed to see the world. After nineteen moves, they, along with their two rescue dogs Tiller and Scout, settled in a cottage by the Chesapeake Bay. Jayne writes cozy mysteries about small towns with beach settings. You can read more about Jayne and her many publications at www.JayneOrmerod.com.

Teresa Inge, co-author of To Fetch a VillainTeresa Inge

Teresa Inge grew up reading Nancy Drew mysteries. Today, she doesn’t carry a rod like her idol, but she hotrods. She is president of Sisters in Crime Mystery by the Sea Chapter and author of short mysteries in Virginia is for Mysteries, 50 Shades of Cabernet, Coastal Crimes: Mysteries by the Sea, and Murder by the Glass.

She resides in Southeastern Virginia with her husband and two dogs, Luke and Lena.

MUTT MYSTERIES

Where to Buy To Fetch a Villain  – Amazon