by Sandra Murphy
This week we review the latest Garage Sale Mystery by Sherry Harris, and have an interesting interview with Sherry. Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of The Gun Also Rises. There is also a link to purchase it Amazon, and an indie bookstore where a portion of the sale goes to help support KRL.
The Gun Also Rises: Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mystery by Sherry Harris
Review by Sandra Murphy
Belle, a rich widow, has summoned Sarah Winston, garage sale specialist, to visit her home. The invitation was hand-written on beautiful stationery and delivered by messenger. It’s enough to cause minor panic in the calmest person.
Belle has decided to downsize. Since many items are genuine antiques, she has experts for those. She wants Sarah to sell her guilty pleasures—popular mystery books. It’s all Sarah can do to inventory them. The temptation is strong to just sit down and read every one.
There are books everywhere, including the attic. It’s a time-consuming job but a rewarding one, too. Of course, there are always surprises when going through so much stuff, some for entertainment only, some valuable.
When Sarah finds a truly priceless set of papers, the action ramps up into full speed. Belle is assaulted, her maid is killed, bullets are flying, and Sarah’s in the line of fire. With the help of her police friends, Awesome and Pellner, and neighbor, Ryne, and assorted friends, Sarah’s got protection, if they can get her to sit still and accept it. The thing is, she’s not just in need of protection from the killer but from a group of tweed-wearing literary treasure hunters. They’re more relentless than the killer!
The police agree, there’s only one place Sarah can stay where the treasure hunters aren’t likely to find her and that’s at Seth’s house. He’s the DA and out of town on a case, her case actually, to prosecute the stalker she dealt with last year. He was also a love interest but now things are just awkward. With no other choices, she agrees. Luckily, her brother Luke arrives in town and is able to keep her company and mostly, out of trouble.
This is the sixth book in this thoroughly enjoyable series. Sarah is someone you’d meet and be best friends with in five minutes. She got used to making friends quickly when she was a service wife, moving from one base to the next. There’s a nice subplot about a returning veteran who had to leave his dog behind in Afghanistan. Sarah is arranging a fundraiser to bring the dog to him to help with his PTSD. Sarah’s also able to help the vet’s wife. Not everyone understands the sacrifices service families make. I particularly like Sarah as she’s starting over but not an instant success, isn’t perfect, and has the best friends. The garage sale premise is different and fun.
At the back of the book, find an excerpt of I Know What You Bid Last Summer, also reviewed here. Readers can start with this book, but be warned, the first five will be in the To Be Read pile in no time.
Interview with Sherry Harris:
KRL: How long have you been writing?
Sherry: I’ve been writing stories since I was in elementary school.
KRL: When did your first novel come out? What was it called? Can you tell us a little about it?
Sherry: My first novel, Tagged for Death, came out in 2014. It is the first book in the Agatha Award nominated Sarah Winston Garage Sale mysteries. Recently divorced Sarah starts a garage sale business to make ends meet. Her ex, who is the chief of police in Ellington, Massachusetts, is accused of murder. While he’s hurt Sarah, she knows he’d never kill anyone and sets out to clear his name.
KRL: Have you always written mysteries/suspense? If not, what else have you written?
Sherry: There’s only one exception in my mystery writing career. I’ve worked on a romance but haven’t had time to finish it.
KRL: What brought you to choose the setting and characters in your latest book/series? Please tell us a little about the setting and main character of your book.
Sherry: My husband was in the Air Force and we were stationed in Massachusetts near the small town of Bedford. I fell in love with the area. It’s so charming, rich with history, and oh, my, they have such unique ways of pronouncing things with their cute accents. Sarah Winston is my protagonist. like me, her husband served in the Air Force. It’s hard to have a career with all the moves so when Sarah divorces, she starts her own business setting up garage sales.
KRL: Why yard/garage sales? Are you a fan of garage sales yourself?
Sherry: My editor at Kensington came up with the idea for a series with garage sales. I fell in love with yard sales when I was in second grade and my best friend’s family had one. A lot of the things in my house are from yard sales.
KRL: Do you write to entertain or is there something more you want the readers to take away from your work?
Sherry: It’s a combination of both. I love to share bits of life as a military spouse in the series. It’s not a “hit you over the head” thing but a peek at life on a base. And I add a bit of humor along with the more serious side of life.
KRL: Do you have a schedule for your writing or just write whenever you can?
Sherry: I usually write in the afternoon because I’m not a morning person – unless there is a garage sale to go to!
KRL: Finally another person who isn’t a morning person! Do you outline? If not, do you have some other interesting way that you keep track of what’s going on, or what needs to happen in your book when you are writing it?
Sherry: I don’t outline. I have a loose plot in my head before I start. However, I’m working on doing more plotting and did more for the book I’m writing now – the first in a new series – than I’ve done on any other book.
KRL: If you had your ideal, what time of day would you prefer to write?
Sherry: Around two in the afternoon is perfect for me.
KRL: Did you find it difficult to get published in the beginning?
Sherry: Oh, yes. I have two or three books sitting on my computer that will probably remain.
KRL: Do you have a great rejection/critique or acceptance story you’d like to share?
Sherry: I have a folder full of rejections from the days when everything was still done by snail mail. I take them as badges of honor for finishing a novel and being brave (or foolish) enough to put it out there.
KRL: Most interesting book signing story-in a bookstore or other venue?
Sherry: One bookstore stuck me in the children’s section because they were rearranging the adult section. My book covers are cheery looking. I spent the whole time I was there telling people not to buy my book for their children.
KRL: Future writing goals?
Sherry: If I ever have time, I want to finish the romance and write a stand-alone thriller.
KRL: Writing heroes?
Sherry: The whole crime fiction community is so generous and I’m so grateful to be a part of it.
KRL: What kind of research do you do?
Sherry: Everything from internet searches, to police “ride-alongs,” attending citizens police academy, and asking lots of questions of people with expertise I don’t have.
KRL: What do you read?
Sherry: Mysteries and thrillers are my favorites.
KRL: Favorite TV or movies?
Sherry: I love NCIS, Blue Bloods, and House Hunters International.
KRL: Any advice for aspiring or beginning writers?
Sherry: Don’t give up and get out there and meet other writers.
KRL: Anything you would like to add?
Sherry: Thank you so much for having me and supporting authors the way you do!
KRL: You are very welcome! What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
Sherry: I used to do stock market reports on a local radio station in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
KRL: Website? Twitter? Facebook?
To enter to win a copy of The Gun Also Rises, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “gun,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen February 16, 2019. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address (so if you win we can get the book sent right out to you), and if via comment please include your email address. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.
Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. Be sure to check out our new mystery podcast too with mystery short stories, and first chapters read by local actors. A new episode went up this week!
Use this link to purchase the book & a portion goes to help support KRL & indie bookstore Mysterious Galaxy:
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Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases using those links. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.