by Cynthia Chow
Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win signed, print copies of the entire series so far, not including Hospitality & Homicide (that is 7 books) and a link to purchase Hospitality and Homicide from Amazon, and an indie bookstore where a portion of the sale goes to help support KRL.
Hospitality and Homicide: The Tourist Trap Mystery by Lynn Cahoon
Review by Cynthia Chow
If not for an unexpected inheritance, former attorney Jill Gardner would never have had the opportunity to become the owner of Coffee, Books, and More in South Cove, California. A former attorney, Jill is now in the process of attaining a Masters’ Degree in Business in order to help her book and coffee shop succeed in the tourist-dependent town. Part of her plan to lure in customers has been hosting events and party for returning bestselling thriller author Nathan Pike. Less delighted with the writer’s presence is Jill’s boyfriend detective Greg King, who finds Nathan’s ceaseless pratter, messy eating, and intrusive curiosity exceedingly irritating. A few potato chip crumbs and messy fingerprints will be the least of their problems when the body of a local bed and breakfast owner is murdered, in exactly the same manner portrayed in the draft of Nathan’s latest book.
Nathan never becomes a serious suspect, so the real puzzle is who had access to the novel and why the by-all-accounts very nice Walter Knicely was so brutally killed. Jill is someone who loves solving puzzles, and with her record of getting involved and solving crimes, there’s little doubt that she will be immersed in the investigation. Greg’s disapproval is actually welcome compared to latest snafu thrown into their relationship, namely his asking to move in together. When the town starts a betting pool on the date of the move, or whether they will just break up, Jill finds herself studying the commitment statuses of those closest to her for guidance. A new boyfriend’s influence may be mellowing her Aunt Jackie’s obstinate attitude, but the professional ambitions of a barista may cost her a boyfriend. Considering that Toby is Coffee, Books, and More’s “Barista Babe” and a local attraction, his being single may be good for business, but bad for romance.
Despite this being the eighth in the Tourist Trap Mystery series, new readers will be able to quickly catch up and become invested in the lives of the unusual South Cove residents. As Jill acknowledges, a new very weird business owner should fit into the town just fine. As the city council business liaison, Jill negotiates between a clock store named Killing Time, the tea shop Tea Hee, and bakery Pies on the Fly. Despite the gruesome murder, a humorous tone is maintained through Jill’s witty narration and complacent acceptance of the town’s eccentrics. What does unsettle Jill is the obsessive wanderings by her neighbor, the police dispatcher, and fortune-teller who refuses to believe that a missing child has drowned at sea. This is a thoroughly fun novel, dominated by Jill’s romantic ruminations, forthright questions, and search for a new hire. These unusual but delightful characters will have readers returning again and again to this satisfying and often surprising series.
Interview with Lynn Cahoon:
KRL: How long have you been writing?
Lynn: After a brief period in high school, I put away the pen until I started working on a Masters in Fine Arts, Creative Writing during my divorce period. Then when I met my next boyfriend/now husband, I stopped to play darts. Yes, I’m pretty good for a girl. Then 2007 was the year of cancer. I decided if I was given more time, I needed to use it to do what I wanted. And that was to write. I sold three essays that year, then didn’t sell anything else for three years. Finally, I got the email that someone wanted to publish my first book and I jumped.
KRL: When did your first novel come out? What was it called? Can you tell us a little about it?
Lynn: The Bull Rider’s Brother was my first published novel on June 4, 2012. It’s a sweet romance set in my home state of Idaho. My first mystery was Guidebook to Murder released in 2014 – where Jill and the South Cove gang in the Tourist Trap series were first introduced.
KRL: Have you always written mysteries/suspense? If not what else have you written?
Lynn: I’ve written about cowboys, witches, and regular people. I enjoy writing small towns and a big cast of characters.
KRL: What brought you to choose the setting and characters in your latest book/series? Tell us a little about the setting and main character for your most recent book.
Lynn: The Tourist Trap series started because of a spring break trip to the Central California coast to visit family. I was getting prepared to divorce my husband and I wanted to talk the decision over with my sister. While she worked, I did the tourist thing and found a little house outside a tourist town. The house was for sale and I dreamed of uprooting my life and moving. I didn’t follow through, but I kept the picture of the house and one day, my character, Jill Gardner took the leap.
KRL: Do you write to entertain or is there something more you want the readers to take away from your work?
Lynn: Both. I have a few books that have a message, but mostly, I want the message to be that there is a way for a happy ever after, no matter how bad it is now.
KRL: Do you have a schedule for your writing or just write whenever you can?
Lynn: Currently I work a second job, so I write when I can. I aim for 2000 words a day 5 days a week. But sometimes, it’s more, sometimes it’s less. I love writing in the morning, my mind seems to be more creative then.
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?
Lynn: I do a bullet point outline. I list out how many chapters I expect to have, set up the beats (or where things need to happen) and then I write out what’s going to happen in each chapter. I’m always a little off, either short or long, but it keeps me going and figuring out what the story is about. I keep rewriting and refining the outline as I’m writing the story.
KRL: If you had your ideal, what time of day would you prefer to write?
Lynn: First thing in the morning with a large cup of coffee.
KRL: Did you find it difficult to get published in the beginning?
Lynn: I think everyone finds it difficult to get published. We all think our stories are magical. But what that time does is build our voice, make us the writers we are when we finally get published and have an audience. I’m a better author today because I wrote yesterday, and I’ll be a better author tomorrow because I write today.
KRL: Do you have a great rejection/critique or acceptance story you’d like to share?
Lynn: I was ready to put Guidebook to Murder under the bed as I hadn’t had luck getting an agent. Finally, I found a card where I’d written the names of two companies that accepted non-agented submissions. One was Kensington with an editor I’d worked with on a RWA chapter contest. She asked for a full. Then a few months later, she emailed about possible series potential. A month later, I had an offer.
KRL: That’s great! Most interesting book signing story-in a bookstore or other venue?
Lynn: One reader turned down a book I was trying to giveaway at BookCon as she didn’t know the author. I guess she didn’t realize she was talking to the author.
KRL: Future writing goals?
Lynn: I’m currently writing a Farm To Fork series that will release in 2018. The first book, Who Moved My Goat Cheese finds Angie Turner returning home to open a farm to table restaurant in her home town of River Vista.
KRL: Writing heroes?
Lynn: Stephen King. He writes a good story. He doesn’t worry about what people think or the genre rules. He writes the story he wants to tell.
KRL: What kind of research do you do?
Lynn: For the Farm to Fork series, I’ve done a study of food. Fried Green Tomatoes are cooked so many different ways. I just had an Atlanta version for dinner. I’ve had them in Nashville, North Carolina, Kentucky, St Louis, and now in Georgia. I’ll be using one or more versions in the next book.
KRL: What do you read?
Lynn: Growing up, anything and everything. I tried to read the middle school library starting with the A’ authors. Now, I’m a little more discriminating. I’m trying to read all the JD Robb books this year. I’ve had a good start. Last year was mostly mysteries. I also love Robyn Carr’s Thunder Point series.
KRL: Favorite TV or movies?
Lynn: I’m addicted to The Magicians right now. I love the writing and the characters. Other than that, I love cooking competition shows like Top Chef or design shows like Project Runway. I like the creativity and people reaching for a dream.
KRL: Any advice for aspiring or beginning writers?
Lynn: Write at least three books before submitting. That will help you to figure out what you want to write and hone your voice. And remember there always has to be a lake monster (conflict) in all your books.
KRL: Anything you would like to add? What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
Lynn: I played competitive darts for several years. I’ve won a few competitions and have the trophies to prove it.
KRL: Website? Twitter? Facebook?
Lynn: www.lynncahoon.com, www.facebook.com/LynnCahoonAuthor & twitter.com/LynnCahoon.
To enter to win win signed, print copies of the entire series so far, except Hospitality & Homicide (that is 7 books), simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “hospitality,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen June 3, 2017. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.
Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section.
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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.
I would just love to win books by one of my fav authors I just love the cozy mysteries and since they were cancelled by publishers that is when i needed to prove how much i like them so they wouldn;t stop writing them. Thank you for the chance !@! firstname.lastname@example.org
I absolutely love this series. Thank you for the chance to win this awesome giveaway.
I love her books and look forward to reading more
Sounds like an interesting read – I love the cover! thanks for offering to us!
I always wanted to work in a bookstore. Would love to read this book where the main character has a coffee/book store.
Sounds really fun and intriguing to read, thank you for the chance to win.
If the story didn’t interest me (but it does!), the rocking chair on the porch would make me want to read this one! ?
Good interview and book/series sounds fun to read.
P.S. Thanks for the chance to win. email@example.com
Am reading one of your books now. Enjoying it tremendously.
I’d love to read your books.
This sounds like a great series. I always like learning about new authors and I admire Lynn’s journey to becoming a published author. Thanks for the chance to win!
What a wonderful prize package!
Great interview with Lynn. Thank you for sharing more about this author that I’ve been reading.
I’ve never read any Lynn’s books, but the above review/interview has interested me enough to start. Looking forward to reading her books!
Nice giveaway! parkeremma2003 at yahoo dot com
Would love to win these books.
Thank you for the review and the interview. I do so love to read a bit about what a book or series is about to tease myself and finding out about the author and how they got to where they are as well as a little about them make the book mean more to me if that makes sense.
I would love to be the very fortunate one selected to win such an amazing collection as the whole series including Hospitality and Homicide: The Tourist Trap Mystery. Thank you so much for the chance!
We have a bit in common in that we own a Goldwing trike and I do so love to go riding whether it’s a short trip through the Ozarks or longer trips to other states. We ride as a family – hubby, me and Snickerdoodle. Snickerdoodle is our chihuahua furbaby that wears his helmet and goggles riding in his custom made Roxie Ride sidecar beside his Momma. 🙂
2clowns at arkansas dot net
I would love to win and read these books. Thanks for the great giveaway.
Wow what a generous giveaway. I really enjoy Lynn Cahoon’s books and her style of writing holds my interest. Thanks for this opportunity to enter the giveaway. robeader53(at)yahoo(dot)com
I can’t wait to read this if I’m lucky enough to win. Thanks for your great generosity. firstname.lastname@example.org
what a great giveaway!
I am fairly new to this author, but I love what I have read so far and will continue to read her books
Would be so amazing to win the books! I love cozy mysteries!
Really want to read this series!! Thanks for the chance to win!!
What a wonderful giveaway; thank you for the opportunity to win these books.
100 Marie Avenue
I love getting to know authors and how they started writing. I enjoy reading all the background about their life as well. Thank you for sharing!
I would love to win this series!!
A new series for me…..
I love this series and would love to win this set of books.
Wow! What a great giveaway!!
Awesome give away! Love reading your books!
I love the books that are given away on this site. Oh how I would love to be a winner this week! These books look amazing!
Wow this is a great giveaway…thank you. I would love to read this. I believe competitiveness helps people when they submit if for no other reason it keeps them trying and trying… until they publish. The Interview was fun.
Sounds like a great series. Would love to win.
Wow, this is an awesome chance to catch up on the series! Thanks!
Great interview. This sounds like a great series.
Wow! What a great giveaway! Thanks for a great review & informative interview.
What a wonderful giveaway from an awesome author!
I love love love these books! What a fantastic giveaway.
This looks like a really fun series. I’d love to get all the titles to date, then I can pick up the newest one on my own. Thanks for the chance to win these great looking books. crs(at)codedivasites(dot)com
I’ve read every book in this series and other books by Lynn. Love them all.
This is a new author and series to me. I love the description of the books and I would love to read the series.
Oh WOW! What an awesome giveaway!! I would LOVE to win this…Lynn’s books are 100% amazing! Thank you soooo much for the chance! 🙂
Love this series. A great way to escape on a rainy day!
Lynn is one of my favorite authors. The Tourist Trap Mystery Series is a great entertainment. Love the coffee shop/bookstore concept and the characters.
We have a winner!