Time for Spring festivals and this week let’s get into fungi at Murder at the Mushroom Festival. The author, Janet Finsilver was kind enough to answer a few questions about her writing process and how she loves to write about dogs with special abilities. My dogs Martin and Max have special talents. All I have to do is open the refrigerator and they appear like magic from anywhere in the house!
Be sure to look for the prize guy! Today he gives you the chance to enter her giveaway for a digital copy of Murder at the Mushroom Festival.
About the Book
Murder at the Mushroom Festival (A Kelly Jackson Mystery)
4th in Series
There’s a corpse among the chanterelles!
Redwood Cove Bed and Breakfast manager Kelly Jackson is hosting a cooking class during the Week of the Mushroom festival to attract guests, not drama. But soon after she finishes foraging for an edible mushroom species on sacred Native American land, a local newspaper reporter gets shot dead at the same site. With suspicions spreading like fungi in the quaint Northern Californian community over the culprit’s identity, Kelly and a savvy gang of sleuthing seniors known as the “Silver Sentinels” must uncover the truth about the secluded property before a tricky killer prepares another lethal surprise . . .
A Visit With the Author
How did you come up with an idea for your book?
I have a series of books that I call safe whodunits. This means there is no graphic violence and the main characters will return in each one. In the mystery world they are called cozy mysteries. My books all have dogs with special abilities.
Where did the ideas come from? Traditional mystery writers like Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle influenced me. Murder She Wrote was a favorite show I watched. This is where the type of books I write came from.
As for the dogs, years ago I read about a standard poodle trained to detect cancer. That’s where the original idea came from for the dogs with special abilities in my books. I was fascinated and started collecting information about the different ways dogs contribute to our lives. Each of my mysteries highlights a certain skill. Murder at Redwood Cove has a basset hound trained to detect cancer. In Murder at the Mansion two beagles are bedbug and termite finders. Murder at the Fortune Teller’s Table has dogs trained in hearing-assistance for people who are deaf or hard of hearing as well as one trained to help people with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. My most recent book, Murder at the Mushroom Festival, has a diabetic alert dog that also finds mushrooms! These aren’t dog books, but the dogs all have a function in the stories.
What scene do you hope your readers enjoy the most?
There are many scenes I hope the readers enjoy. I’ve put an excerpt from Murder at the Fortune Teller’s Table below.
Mary gave me directions, and I headed out to discover my future. Auntie’s table was off by itself a ways away from the crowd. Summer and a pale man sat across from a woman in black, voluminous clothes, a cloth scarf on her head. She was staring into a small cup, and I could see her lips move.
Suddenly Summer stood up, and even at a distance I could here her loud “No!” She turned to the man now standing next to her and grabbed his arm. She pulled him away from the table, and they headed in my direction.
The man put his arm around her shoulders as they walked by me. “Mom, it doesn’t mean anything. It’s coffee grounds and Auntie’s active imagination.”
I saw tears in Summer’s eyes.
“You don’t know.” She shook her head from side to side and looked stunned.
“Mom, I have no dark secrets from the past that will be revealed,” he said, his voice beginning to trail off as they moved away. “And no one is going to die.”
Here are some hints for other favorite scenes. In Murder at Redwood Cove, Fred uses his hound abilities to find a missing person. An unusual room is discovered in Murder at the Mansion. An unexpected ride happens at a botanical garden in Murder at the Fortune Teller’s Table. My protagonist has to do some quick thinking to save herself in Murder at the Mushroom Festival.
What other things have you written or what projects might we see in the future?
Right now I’m focusing on my Kelly Jackson series. I have a contract for a fifth and sixth book. The tentative title for book five is Murder at the Marina. It goes to the publisher in June. The next “project” after that will be figuring out what happens in book six!
If you could write any other genre what would that be?
Growing up I enjoyed reading books that had dogs or horses in them. I think it would be fun to do a young adult series involving animals.
Where can readers leave reviews of your book?
The usual places like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Goodreads.
Janet Finsilver is the USA TODAY bestselling author of the Kelly Jackson mystery series. She worked in education for many years as a teacher, a program administrator, and a workshop presenter. Janet majored in English and earned a Master’s Degree in Education. She loves animals and has two dogs–Kylie and Ellie. Janet has ridden western style since she was a child and was a member of the National Ski Patrol. One of the highlights of her life was touching whales in the San Ignacio Lagoon. MURDER AT REDWOOD COVE, her debut mystery, was released on October 13, 2015. Her second book, MURDER AT THE MANSION, was released on June 7, 2016. Book 3, MURDER AT THE FORTUNE TELLER’S TABLE was released on March 14, 2017.
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