by Cynthia Chow
This week we have a review of the latest Consignment Shop Mystery by Duffy Brown, along with an interview with Duffy. Details at the end of the post on how to enter to win a puzzle of the book cover, and a link to order the book from Amazon.
Wedding Day and Foul Play: A Consignment Shop Mystery By Duffy Brown
Review by Cynthia Chow
Prissy Fox Consignment Shop owner Reagan Summerside is finally marrying Walker Boone, the dreamily attractive Savannah attorney. More importantly, it’s been 183 days since she’s managed to stumble across a dead body, a habit that would be more disturbing if she also hadn’t played a significant role in solving the murders. Unfortunately, she’s going to break that record on the very same day her wedding dreams come true. As it soon turns out though, it was actually her Aunt Kiki who was the first to discover the corpse of auctioneer Cornelius “Corny” McBride, whom she then stuffed under the cake table in an ill-advised attempt to save her beloved niece’s Day. That also means that Aunt Kiki is the number one suspect for the murder, especially since Corny had recently revealed evidence jeopardizing the ownership of her Cherry House property.
Even though it meant making a deal with her lout of a cheating ex Hollis Beaumont, Reagan implements a plan to protect Aunt Kiki and Uncle Putter’s home. That makes proving her aunt’s innocence all the more critical, even if the jail setup is rather cushy with pastry breakfasts and beverages. It’s not long before Reagan is accidentally crashing another wedding on a rogue scooter, engaging in battle of the wits with an unarmed Hollis, and investigating those cheated by Corny’s shady practices.
This eighth in the series continues to be an exuberant romp that revels in the outrageous antics of Reagan and the hilarious Aunt Kiki. While Reagan is often the stabling force of the pair, she still finds herself corralled into adventures that make the most of the sizzling Georgia setting. The inclusion of Aunt Kiki’s Award-Winning Razzleberry Pie makes this cozy mystery all the more mouth-watering, ensuring for a luxurious Southern experience. Readers will be smiling and giggling throughout this fast-paced read, one perfect for a long weekend getaway.
Interview with Duffy Brown:
KRL: How long have you been writing?
Duffy: Thanks so much for having me at King’s River Life! I’ve been writing for thirty years. I started out in romance then switched to mystery. I love mystery books, mystery movies, mystery parties. When people ask what other genres do I read, I answer “There’s other genres?
KRL: Thanks for being here! When did your first novel come out, what was it called, and would you tell us a little about it?
Duffy: I wrote first for Harlequin. Harlequin American. Harlequin taught me how to write. I submitted for eight years before I got published. The editors showed me what I was doing right and wrong. They were/are amazing. My first book was A Cowboy and a Kiss. Kind What fun! Cowboys and Texas was very in at the time.
KRL: When and why did you start writing mysteries/suspense?
Duffy: I wrote romance for Harlequin and Kensington before switching to mystery. The editors at Kensington said my stories were starting to be more mystery than romance and I totally agreed. I made the switch.
KRL: What brought you to choose the setting and characters in your latest book/series?
Duffy: I love Savannah and that is where my Consignment Shop series is set. Savannah is a beautiful Southern city with the best food on earth! Lord, can they cook in Savannah! And it’s haunted! If you don’t believe in ghosts when you come to Savannah, you will when you leave. This is such a fun side of the city plus the voodoo aspect. Not much talked about but taken seriously. And then there are the live oaks, flowing Spanish moss, fountains everywhere and twenty-three squares that are parks right in the heart of the city. Lovely. The whole city is a giant watercolor painting in the spring!
The five main characters in the series are all so different. We have a judge, an ex-gang member, a present gang member, a shop owner, a dance teacher, police detective and others who show up from time to time. They are all Southern through and through.
KRL: Do you write to entertain or is there something more you want the readers to take away from your work?
Duffy: I write to entertain, period! There is no angst, no tears, no worry, no fear. My goal is to write a really compelling mystery of who-dun-it and have a laugh on every page. If you want serious and heartbreak read a newspaper. I am all about the fun.
KRL: Do you have a schedule for your writing or just write whenever you can?
Duffy: I do some type of writing every day, but promo eats a lot of time. If you don’t promote your books no one knows they are out or what they are about. There is so much more to writing a book than writing the book.
KRL: 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?
Duffy: I am a plotter. I plot the beginning and always know the end and some middle action to keep things going and some end catastrophe. Then I start writing and see where things go and fill in the chapters as I write along. Often the book I end up with is way different then the book I imagined at the start. That’s the magic of storytelling. The book truly does take on a life of its own.
KRL: If you had your ideal, what time of day would you prefer to write?
Duffy: Mornings are the best. It’s when I’m fresh and alert and not bogged down by the day. It’s when my creative juices are flowing. Of course, that might have something to do with all the coffee I drink.
KRL: Did you find it difficult to get published in the beginning?
Duffy: Eight years kind of says it all. Thirty years ago, there was no Amazon. If you wanted to get published, you went through New York. There were fifteen publishing houses then, now there are three and soon to be two. The publishing industry has changed so much. I miss the old ways like the bookstores and book signings. There was more personal interaction with the readers then. Of course, now we have Facebook etc. and that is terrific too.
KRL: Do you have a great rejection/critique or acceptance story you’d like to share?
Duffy: Before I got published, I had enough rejection letters to paper my office…for real. I used to send copies of my reject letters along with my tax returns so the IRS would know I was really working at getting published and could deduct my computer etc. I’m sure the IRS got a laugh out of that.
KRL: Most interesting book signing story-in a bookstore or other venue?
Duffy: Every year Tonya Kappes and I do Two Dames and A Mystery Train. We ride mystery trains…and sometimes boats…in different places. You’ve seen them, something like take a ride on our mystery dinner train. We’ve been to Kentucky, Pennsylvania, New York, Michigan and so on. We go with seventy-five or so of readers who sign up for a mystery weekend. We always a blast.
KRL: Future writing goals?
Duffy: I’m working on The High Cotton Caper next, and my goal is to get it done in six months. I am such a slow writer, but I’ve been saying that for years now.
KRL: What kind of research do you do?
Duffy: Lots. Since I set my books in real places I have to know where the streets are, if they are one way, the restaurants that are open all night, hospitals, etc. When you use a real city you better get it right or the readers let you know about it. Also, if there is a certain occupation you need to know that too. I once did a riverboat captain, so I know more about barges on the Mississippi than you can imagine!
KRL: What do you read?
Duffy: Janet Evanovich is my hero. I love her books.
KRL: Favorite TV or movies?
Duffy: Favorite move is Moonstruck. Cher is my hero. I use her in my series. One of the characters spouts Cherisms like… Snap out of it or Men aren’t necessities, they’re luxuries.
KRL: Any advice for aspiring or beginning writers?
Duffy: Write what you love. Don’t trust your work to critique groups as your book then becomes book by committee and you will lose your voice. Your unique voice is what sells your book. Make your book interesting. Surprise yourself, surprise your readers.
KRL: Anything you would like to add?
Duffy: Writers write. Do it every day. The hardest part of writing is putting your butt in the chair.
KRL: What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
Duffy: I am vegan. It’s good for my health but mostly because I love animals. I am in awe of Elon Musk. He is a man of the future. This world will be a different and better place because of the electric car and other things Elon Musk is pioneering.
KRL: Website? Twitter? Facebook?
Thank you much for having me. I truly appreciate the opportunity.
KRL: Thanks for being here!
To enter to win a puzzle of the book cover of Wedding Day and Foul Play, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “furbidden,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen April 10, 2021. U.S. residents only and you must be 18 or older to enter. If you are entering via email please include you mailing address in case you win, it will be deleted after the contest. You can read our privacy statement here if you like. BE AWARE THAT IT WILL TAKE LONGER THAN USUAL FOR WINNERS TO GET THEIR BOOKS DUE TO THE CURRENT CRISIS.
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.
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Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. 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.