Saturday, December 15, 2012

Mayhem and Murder for Christmas

by Terri L. Austin
Author of Last Diner Standing

I’ve been a mystery fan from an early age. I used to play detective with my friends at recess. I don’t remember what we were investigating exactly, but we were always looking for clues in the field behind the school. I watched mysteries on TV—Moonlighting was my favorite show. And I loved Agatha Christie books from the time I was in junior high. 

I think as readers we like putting ourselves in the shoes of the sleuth, be it a cozy amateur sleuth like Miss Marple or a futuristic detective like Eve Dallas. If we relate to the main character, we want to read to the last page.

With an amateur detective at the helm, the reader can sympathize with the main character going about her daily life, only to be blindsided by a mystery. Stumbling upon clues and having a cast of suspects from which to choose allows readers to work the mystery right alongside the main character. And did the readers guess correctly? Or did they jump from suspect to suspect as the clues unfolded? 

I write about an amateur sleuth in The Rose Strickland Mystery series. In my latest book, I have a very unlikable victim, a motley crew of suspects, and a quirky gang of regulars that help my heroine, Rose. In my new book, Last Diner Standing, Rose’s friend Janelle has been arrested for attempted murder. Janelle has two small children and Christmas is only three weeks away.

It’s important that an amateur sleuth has a good, solid reason to solve the crime. The reader needs to know what’s at stake. My hope is that Rose is a character readers can relate to. And I hope they enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. 

Thank you so much for having me on Poe’s Deadly Daughters. It was a pleasure to be here.
Last Diner Standing
By Terri L. Austin
ISBN 978 1938383083
Henery Press
Released December 3, 2012

Rose Strickland is having a blue Christmas. Her friend is arrested for attempted murder, her sexy bad guy crush is marked by a hit man, and her boss is locked in an epic smackdown with a rival diner. Determined to save those she loves, Rose embarks on an investigation more tangled than a box of last year's tree lights. With her eclectic gang at the ready, Rose stumbles across dead bodies, ex-cons, jilted lovers, and a gaggle of strippers as she searches for the truth. What she finds will leave her entrenched in a battle for freedom she might not survive.

Terri L. Austin lives in Missouri with her funny, handsome husband and a high maintenance peekapoo. She’s the author of Diners, Dives and Dead Ends, a Rose Strickland Mystery. Kirkus Reviews said of her first book, “Austin’s debut kicks off her planned series by introducing a quirky, feisty heroine and a great supporting cast of characters and putting them through quite a number of interesting twists.” 

Terri loves to hear from readers. You can finder her on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads,, and Henery Press. Terri and some of her writer friends have a Wednesday book chat on Little Read Hens. Stop by and join the conversation.


Terri L. Austin said...

Thanks so much for having me on today!

JJM said...

I'm glad you posted, Terri -- I had not yet heard of your mysteries, and it does look like the sort of series I might enjoy.

This question is probably answered somewhere on your website or elsewhere, but I haven't found it yet: why diners? You say you enjoy eating breakfast in your local diner (I can't blame you -- they do tend to do breakfasts superbly, diners do), but is there a more specific attraction? Or is it simply an under-represented venue around which to build a mystery? Just curious, and it'll be a while before Rose Strickland #1 arrives ...

--Mario R.

Terri said...

Hey JJM! I chose a diner setting because Ma's Diner is only open for breakfast. This allows Rose to have time for school and to solve the mysterious shenanigans that keep popping up.

Btw, the e-book of Diners is on sale at Amazon and B&N for .99 and Last Diner Standing for 2.99. Don't know how long the sale will last.

JJM said...

Good thinking!

And [shamefacedly] I did know about the sale on Amazon. Both the books will appear on my Kindle next time I connect ... I just didn't think it'd make you all that happy if you knew I'd taken the cheap route. It's not because it's cheaper so much as because I've completely run out of bookshelf space, but even so ...

I do look forward to reading your books, however. I'm always on the look-out for new writers whose works I can enjoy.--Mario R.

Terri said...

LOL! No problem! I'm always happy to get my books into the hands of new readers. Hope you enjoy it!

Larissa Reinhart said...

I was a Moonlighting fan, too! And Remington Steele. And the one with the brothers, AJ & Rick and Rick lived on a boat. Thanks for bringing up those happy TV memories for me!
Love your books, Terri, and so excited that #2 has come out!

Terri L. Austin said...

Thanks, Larissa. Was that Simon and Simon? I remember that one!