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An Au Pair to Remember:
A Male Housekeeper Mystery
by Stephen Kaminski
About the Book
An Au Pair to Remember: A Male Housekeeper Mystery
1st in Series
Cozy Cat Press (January 27, 2019)
Paperback: 260 pages
Digital ASIN: B07NCBZ23L
From the author of the award-winning Damon Lassard Dabbling Detective series comes the Male Housekeeper Mysteries, focusing on charming characters, snappy dialogue, eclectic murders, and cunning confidence schemes. To his mind, Cam Reddick has failed—as a husband, as a father, and as a professional. After recognizing that his vanilla credentials didn’t stack up in a big city brimming with overachievers and toiling in drudgery for half of a decade, an emotionally raw Cam returns to his childhood hometown—the quaint and quirky village of Rusted Bonnet, Michigan. He’s determined to resuscitate relationships marred by youthful immaturity, most importantly those with his ex-wife Kacey Gingerfield (who doubles as the village’s Deputy Chief of Police) and their first grader, Emma. Armed with striking looks and an endearing proclivity for mixing metaphors, but saddled by “momma’s boy” tendencies, Cam takes the helm of his mother’s housekeeping business—Peachy Kleen. Access to homes across the village facilitates Cam’s penchant for amateur sleuthing as Kacey’s aide-de-camp. Surrounded by Kacey, his sophisticated mother Darby, garrulous senior housekeeper Samantha, and recuse fish cum confidant Bait, Cam’s circuitous journeys to solving murders and unravelling complex cons hasten his struggle down the path of self-healing to self-respect. And there’s hope that—just maybe—he can rekindle the romance he once had with Kacey.
In An Au Pair to Remember, Cam’s plan for a quiet return to Rusted Bonnet is dashed when a beautiful German au pair, Greta Astor, is found dead in Dutch McRae’s foyer with all signs pointing to a hastily disassembled trip wire at the top of the stairs. When Kacey learns that Cam was cleaning the McRae home the previous afternoon, she confides to him that Chief Bernie Leftwich is set on arresting Dutch for the murder—either alone or in tandem with Greta’s bartender boyfriend. But she worries that Bernie’s been duped. And later, when his mother Darby becomes a suspect, Cam inserts himself into the investigation and stumbles through a series of ostensible incongruities—a thief swallowing a cache of stolen diamonds, a snack food distributor laundering money, and a Cash-for-Gold scam. Meanwhile, Peachy Kleen’s young African housekeeper has disappeared with one of the company vans. All the while, Cam finds himself flirting with his new neighbor and struggling with his complicated feelings for Kacey.
About the Author
Interview with the Author
What initially got you interested in writing?
I’ve always been a voracious reader. Coupled with that passion is the fact that I don’t have the opportunity to use the creative side of my brain in my professional life. So writing is the perfect outlet.
What genres do you write in?
I write cozy mysteries.
What drew you to writing these specific genres?
I chose that genre because dialogue-heavy writing allows the pace of the story to race along and character development to flow from characters’ words and interactions with one another, rather than from strong doses of description. In addition, cozy mysteries are a perfect genre for the development of complicated murders in terms of motives, methods, means, red herrings, suspects, you name it—I love nothing more than twisting and turning a reader silly, but wrapping up the package so neatly at the end that everything makes complete sense.
How did you break into the field?
By writing diligently, submitting to dozens of agents and publishers, and then listening to feedback. While most submissions go into a black hole, a handful who had taken the time to read my submission offered advice. For example, the publisher I eventually signed with—Cozy Cat Press—requested I significantly shorten and tighten my writing. And before it was accepted for publication, I cut 30,000 words from my debut book, It Takes Two to Strangle.
What do you want readers to take away from reading your works?
Excitement and entertainment—my writing is light and I simply want readers to enjoy themselves.
What do you find most rewarding about writing?
I find the satisfaction of readers to be very rewarding. But equally rewarding is the sense of calm that the writing process itself brings to me. My favorite time to write is very early in the morning with a cup of coffee in hand and a blanket on my lap.
What do you find most challenging about writing?
Getting stuck. All writers get stuck at times and it’s very challenging to work through. For me, it often happens when I need to get “from A to B,” but I can’t figure out a way to do it in a way that’s engaging to the reader.
What advice would you give to people wanting to enter the field?
Write and submit, write and submit, write and submit. Then take constructive criticism to heart and follow advice that publishers offer.
What type of books do you enjoy reading?
My favorite books are mysteries by British authors. Yes, that includes Agatha Christie, but it also extends to the likes of P.D. James, Ruth Rendell, and M.C. Beaton. I also enjoy fiction delving into complex family structures—for example, many of such books by Ken Follett and Jeffrey Archer. My books always have sub-plots that involve clever cons—I developed my love of writing about confidence schemes from my reading of Lawrence Block.
Is there anything else besides writing you think people would find interesting about you?
Not a thing! Just kidding— I think your mystery-loving readers might be interested to know that in my professional life I handle all things poison! I’m the chief executive of the association that represents the country’s poison control system—55 centers made up of medical professionals who answer about 3 million calls to poison control every year. While our centers regularly handle opioids abuse and accidental ingestions of household products, if there’s ever a place to expertly advise on hemlock, strychnine, or belladonna exposures, it’s our centers and their toxicologists.
What are the best ways to connect with you, or find out more about your work?
The best way to connect with me is to visit my author page on Amazon or Goodreads.
Stephen Kaminski is the author of An Au Pair to Remember, the first installment of the Male Housekeeper Mystery series. He also writes the award-winning Damon Lassard Dabbling Detective books. Stephen is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and Harvard Law School and serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the trade association representing the United States’ poison control system and its fifty-five centers. He lives with his daughter and rescue kitty in the Washington, DC area.
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/DamonLassard/
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