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A Vintage Death (A Keepsake Cove Mystery)
by Mary Ellen Hughes
About the Book
A Vintage Death (A Keepsake Cove Mystery)
2nd in Series
Midnight Ink (November 8, 2018)
Paperback: 264 pages
As the new music box store owner and resident of Keepsake Cove, a quaint town full of collectible shops on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Callie Reed is eager to get more involved in her community. She volunteers to plan the Fall street decorations and welcome a visiting author who’s come for a special book signing. But the celebratory mood is cut short when the local B&B owner is found dead, killed by a pair of vintage scissors.
Suspicion is cast on the victim’s estranged wife, Dorothy, who owns Keepsake Cove’s vintage sewing shop. Callie is sure Dorothy is innocent, and the visiting author agrees. Together, they begin their own investigation, only to discover that many people in Keepsake Cove have secrets. Secrets that are worth killing to keep quiet.
Guest Post by the Author
Writing’s Not All That Solitary
Mary Ellen Hughes
People sometimes picture authors as semi-hermits, sitting in their rooms, curtains pulled to avoid distractions, typing away. But during the process of writing and publishing ten books, I’ve found that writing has actually taken me to places where I might not have gone and that I’ve discovered things I might never have known about.
That happened with my earlier series. In the Craft Corner mysteries, my protagonist was an expert on arts and crafts, so I took classes on wreath making, beading, and more. I met many creative people, and ended up with a wealth of ideas for those books.
I set my Pickled and Preserved series in upstate New York, where I’ve never lived. So my husband and I took a learning vacation there to look around and get a feel for the area and its residents. It corrected a few preconceived notions I’d had and helped me create my fictional town much more fittingly.
For my latest Keepsake Cove series, I chose a setting closer to home, thinking I was making things easier by putting my fictional town on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Living fairly close by, I’ve been to the Eastern Shore, off and on. But driving through on a high speed highway on your way to the beach at the far end isn’t near enough. So I took a more leisurely look-around and picked up a lot of local history, including that of Harriet Tubman, some of which I wove into A Vintage Death. We explored towns I’d never known about, enjoyed the cuisine (great seafood!), and I gained a much better feel for the area than I’d had before.
Beyond research trips, writers step out to meet the public at mystery conventions, book festivals, and library events. Even the most introverted author can’t help but be pulled out of her shell when meeting with enthusiastic readers. She’ll usually come home exhilarated and motived to write more and to write faster since she might just have learned that eager fans are waiting!
Of course, all these ventures away from one’s writing nook do take time away from actually writing. But they can make such a difference in your finished book.
Hermits might require solitude for putting together philosophical treatises and such, but a fiction writer needs to be out once in a while, mixing and mingling. True, a mystery writer isn’t likely to come across actual murders during an outing (and doesn’t want to!). But settings, characters, and sometimes motives, suggested by face-to-face or overheard conversations, are all there, waiting to be found.
All it takes is an observant eye and an alert ear. Oh, and a good pair of walking shoes.
About the Author
Mary Ellen Hughes is the bestselling author of the Pickled and Preserved Mysteries (Penguin), the Craft Corner Mysteries, and the Maggie Olenski Mysteries, along with several short stories. A Fatal Collection is her debut with Midnight Ink. A Wisconsin native, she has lived most of her adult life in Maryland, where she’s set many of her stories. Visit her at www.MaryEllenHughes.com.
Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/mehughes13/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/mehughesauthor
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