Thursday, August 6, 2020

A chat with Audra Clemmings, the craft shop sleuth!

Audra Clemmings is a character created by Diane Bator


Greetings, guys and gals! Today's guest, Audra Clemming, really likes the sound of her voice! We have a lot of questions and answers, so let's skip the introduction and dive right in. What was the first investigation you ever did? What was the last? Do you expect to do more investigations in the future? 

My first case has to do with graffiti at the school my kids went to. It wasn’t put into a book yet but could come back to bite me again! It involved the same officer I had to deal with when the cowboy was murdered.

What’s your major strength while investigating a murder?

I’m nosy and don’t listen well. I also have a great sidekick – my dog Drake.

What’s your major weakness while investigating a murder?  

I’m nosy and don’t listen well.

Did you choose to become a detective? Or didn’t you have a choice?

I really didn’t choose to become any sort of detective. I do like to read mystery novels when I’m not doing needlepoint or running my shop Stitch’n’Time so naturally I was curious when my best friend Merilee, Drake, and I found a dead man on the bench in front of our shop.

What’s your daytime occupation? How does it relate to your investigations?  

Merilee and I own a little craft shop in Sugarwood called Stitch’n’Time. We sell things like needlepoint supplies and craft kits, quilting supplies, and accessories for all sorts of needle crafts. Every Wednesday, we now have a quilting circle who takes over our space for a few hours. It only relates to investigations because it’s located along a busy street. We also have a great space in back to hang our posters that help us sort out who’s who in our investigations.

Do you have your own detective agency? Would you consider opening one and going pro? 

No way! It’s dangerous enough running a craft shop! I don’t think I’d ever be a professional detective. To much stress!

What made you think you could solve a case?  

I’m not sure I thought I could actually solve it, I just asked a lot of questions and got the wrong people angry with me for meddling.

Why were you the ideal person to solve that case? 

No one suspects the woman who runs the craft shop of trying to solve the case! Most of my suspects were people around me who knew me and didn’t take me seriously.

What do you like least about investigating a case?  

When one of my suspects decides to hurt me or someone I love.

What gives you the most satisfaction while investigating a case? 

I have to admit, it felt good to get justice for the poor guy who died. And for the kids accused of vandalizing the school once we caught the culprits.

What can you do that the police can't?  

Befriend my suspects without them thinking their names are on a poster board with a list of reasons why I think they could have done it.

How do you deal with the responsibility of being on a case?  

Responsibility never occurred to me. Well, aside from feeling bad if anyone got hurt. That did happen a couple times.

Did you ever doubt your skills as a detective? How do you deal with that? 

When in doubt, this amateur sleuth goes into hibernation mode with cheesecake and a great needlepoint. Currently, I’m making a Christmas stocking for my dog.

What do you know about investigating? How did you acquire that knowledge? 

Like I said, I’m nosy. I also watch mystery movies and read crime novels.

Are you a fan of crime novels? What are your favorites? 

I love to read when I don’t have a project to work on or a crime to solve. Kathy Reichs, Karin Slaughter appeal to me so do some lighter mystery reads like Agatha Christie, Ellery Adams, and Janet Evanovich.

Do you watch crime TV shows and movies? What are your favorites? 

I’m hooked on reruns of Columbo and Bones as well as Murder, She Wrote.

 Who do you see yourself the closest to: Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple or Sam Spade?

 More like Inspector Jacques Clouseau from the Pink Panther Movies. Peter Sellers always makes me laugh!

What do you know about crime scene investigation? 

About as much as I know about corporate tax law. Not much. All I know, I learned from television.

What do you know about the psychology of a criminal? 

Just that some of them can be very smart, but crazy. The one who killed the cowboy was clever and the last person on my radar.

Can you describe a time when your work as a detective was criticized? 

Pretty much daily. My husband, Rex, isn’t a big fan of me digging into any mystery. He even banned mystery novels from the house for a while until he realized I was reading them at work when it was quiet.

How do you deal with the authorities while doing your investigation? 

I’m polite and try to help them, but sometimes a girl just has to keep things to herself. Lucky for me, I’m neighbors with both a judge and the medical examiner. Good to have friends in high places when the police won’t cooperate.

Do you have anyone helping you in your investigations? Tell us more about them. 

Merilee is good for helping create the posters that keep us both on the right track. We get takeout and a bottle of wine and brainstorm. My other sidekick is Drake, my dog. He’s got a nose for trouble and helped find some great clues while we were looking for the cowboy’s killer.

How do you handle investigating when people don’t believe in you? 

It’s not so much the believing IN me that’s a problem. It’s more a matter of believing what I tell them and not taking my evidence at face value.

What was the most difficult period in your investigation, and how did you deal with it? 

The most difficult part was having the police confiscate my evidence. Okay, I know that’s his job, but it didn’t help me any. It bothers me most when I hit a brick wall and nothing seems to add up.

Would you ever do something against the law to help your investigation? 

Who? Me? Not really, but it never helps to buy the Medical Examiner lunch or bake the judge muffins sometimes.

What will you do differently in your future investigations? 

That’s it. No more investigations for me. I’m focusing on my shop and never, ever solving another case. Well, unless one just happens to fall at my feet…

How would you describe your investigation style? 

Hm, I’m not sure about style. I’m more like a Jessica Fletcher-type investigator. Small town, I get to know most of my suspects without them suspecting I suspect them… Something like that. Being a cross-stitch aficionado, I’m more apt to notice the little details.

Who has impacted you most in your career as a detective (amateur or not) and how? 

Oh, good question. I guess I’d go with Jessica Fletcher. I try to think the best of everyone but remain skeptical.

Tell me one thing about yourself you wouldn't want others to know. 

That’s a tough one. I’m friends with a couple women who love to gossip, so I don’t really have any secrets. They even know about my husband being a lout and changing jobs without telling me. He works for a development company that plans to expand our little town while taking advantage on property owners. Not cool!

 Do you have a favorite quote? 

“Live the life you love.” That’s why I opened a craft shop. I love to do needlepoint and help other people to create their passion projects.

Thank you for the lengthy talk, Audra, and keep on with the good work!

___________________________________________________



 

Diano Bator

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Thursday, July 23, 2020

A Chat with Mrs. Odboddy, a Patriotic Detective!


Mrs. Odboddy is a character created by Elaine Faber

Hello, guys and gals! Today in Grandma Bertha Interviews we are going to have a special chat with Mrs. Odboddy, a terrific lady who did her investigations in the times of World War II.

Tell us, Mrs. Odboddy, what do you know about investigating? How did you acquire that knowledge? Do you have anyone helping you in your investigation?

To answer all of these questions, I'm not your run of the mill sleuth. If fact, in 1919, during WWI, I was one of the United States' most experienced and secret undercover agents stationed in Europe along with my partner, Godfrey Baumgarten.  If I was to disclose any of our secret missions that greatly influenced the outcome of the war, I'd have to kill you... Suffice it to say that during the three days we were trapped under a bombed-out building, we became very close...but that's another story.

Godfrey disappeared from my life. Several years ago, in 1942, at the age of 70 something, (a woman never gives away her exact age) he suddenly reappeared! He declared his undying love, expected me to reciprocate, and requested to be allowed to park his boots under my bed. Well! As an almost regular church-goer, naturally, I refused.  Hesitant to engage in a romantic entanglement (at least at the moment), he is a good friend and often assists me as I expose Nazi spies and conspiracies.

Faced with the current activities, once again at war with Germany, and too old to volunteer for active duty, I am determined to fight the war from the home front. Godfrey helps me accomplish that goal. With the likelihood that Nazi spies live in our home town, I was determined to expose their seditious activities. The war also provides local scalawags the opportunity to engage in conspiracies and black market skullduggery. 
In Mrs. Odboddy Hometown Patriot, I pursued a ration book conspiracy and a local Nazi spy.  

It seems you have a lot on your plate, Mrs. Odboddy. Tell me, what gives you the most satisfaction while investigating a case?  

Let's exchange the term 'investigating' with 'pursuing' a case, as when I was asked to carry a package across the country by train to President Roosevelt. When Colonel Farthingworth at the local military base, said he didn't trust the mail, I was convinced it contained secret military documents. Meeting several suspicious characters on the train, I concluded one must be a Nazi spy, determined to steal the package. Then, an unexpected situation caused me to miss the train and I  joined forces with a disabled homeless black veteran. Together, we devised an ingenious plan to reach Washington. Successfully quelling all odds and completing one's mission is most satisfying. You'll find this story in Mrs. Odboddy Undercover Courier.

You are a woman of action! It's not always easy, though, especially when you're an elderly woman. How do you handle investigating when people don't believe in you? 

When a Japanese air balloon bomb struck and burned down the watchtower near the ocean, the military declared that air balloon bombs were a 'classified top secret'. I was compelled to take the blame for burning down the tower. The Newbury Daily Gazette sent a reporter and I had to invent a tall tale as to how and why it happened. I don't think he believed that a 'squirrel, or maybe it was a seagull', knocked over the electric heater and started the fire. Mrs. Odboddy Hometown Patriot I'm never at a loss to excuse my behavior that often goes awry...and I'm truly ashamed...


Would you ever do something against the law to help your investigation? 

Oh, my, of course not... Well, there was the time I sneaked into the casket factory, following the fellow that stole the ration books. Or maybe the time we stowed away in a boxcar, headed for Albuquerque or... or the time that I crawled through the bathroom window into the Gently Used Clothing and Shoes second-hand store, looking for the war bond money I accidentally misplaced in Mrs. Odboddy And Then There was a Tiger. I'm a law-abiding senior citizen and I'm at a loss to understand why these things continue to happen.

We have to do or best when they do happen. Thank you, Mrs. Odboddy, we'll make sure to read all about your amazing adventures!

______________________________________

Elaine Faber



Email:    Elaine.Faber@mindcandymysteries.com 

Saturday, July 18, 2020

A Chat will Alice Atkinson: the Retirement Village Sleuth!

Alice Atkinson  is a character created by Rodney Strong 

Hello, guys and gals! Grandma Bertha again. I'm sorry I wasn't able to post this last Thursday, as I usually do, but it has been quite a week. Today we are going to talk to a young lady named Alice Atkinson: she's 97 years old, and that's when life really starts after all!

Tell us, Alice, what was the first investigation you ever did? What was the last? Do you expect to do more investigations in the future?

I wouldn’t really call it an investigation, more being nosy, but the first time I was involved in a murder was in 1969 in London, England. No one thought he was murdered, but like I always say, be the smartest in the room and if you can’t then be the most cunning. I knew it, and I proved it. The last time was in 2019 and as long as no more murderers turn up at the Silvermoon Retirement Village then I don’t expect to do any more.

I too was involved with murder when I was much younger. That's the kind of thing that sticks with us. And what made you think you could solve a case? 

Well the most recent it was because no one else thought it was murder. Mmm, seems like a theme in these things. If I didn’t solve it then no one else was going to. Besides investigating murders is a lot like setting up cons, as long as you do your homework and plan for everything you succeed.



What can you do that the police can't? 

No comment. Seriously though, I know a thing or two about crossing the line, just a little bit you understand, well unless you count being a con artist as criminal. So I can lie and cheat if I need to. As long as I find out who the murderer is then it’s justified. And I only broke a couple of bones. It was their fault for underestimating me.

They usually underestimate us, and that's what gets them. What do you know about the psychology of a criminal? 

This isn’t on any sort of record is it? Well I suppose they’re not going to put a 97 year old in jail. I was a con artist for sixty years before I retired, a damn good one. I sort of stumbled into the life out of necessity. There weren’t a lot of options for smart, young solo mother’s back then, but it turned out I was a natural. I only ever took things from people that wouldn’t miss them. I know what it was like being poor and I’m not going to be responsible for making anyone else that way.

Tell us: do you have anyone helping you in your investigations? 

Ah, you’re talking about young Vanessa. Officially she works at the Silvermoon Retirement Village, but that’s a waste for a girl her age. With her looks and smarts I’ll have her learning my trade before she even realises it. She says she’s happy in her job, but I’ve seen the look in her eyes when we find clues and that’s not the look of someone happy sitting behind a desk.

Thank you for stopping by, Alice, and I hope to talk to you again soon. To my dear readers, don't forget that this weekend my books are at discount prices. Don't miss them!
______________________________________

Rodney Strong

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Thursday, July 9, 2020

A chat with Mona Moon: A classy detective!


Mona Moon is a character created by Abigail Keam


Hello, guys and gals! Grandma Bertha here. Our guest today is Mona Moon, one of the most interesting people I"ve ever interviewed for this blog. What’s your daytime occupation?  

I am Madeline Mona Moon and head of Mooncrest Enterprises, which specializes in copper and other mining concerns. It is a family-owned business left to me by my uncle, Manfred Michael Moon. That's when I began sleuthing. I never believed his death was due to pneumonia. It turns out I was right.  He was murdered by the housekeeper. Before my inheritance, I made my living by being a cartographer.  I made maps.

That makes you the first cartographer I've ever interviewed! Tell us, Mona, how do you deal with the authorities while doing your investigation?  

I avoid them as much as possible but that is not easy. I have to be careful around them as I am sometimes a target of their distrust. I am a woman owning a masculine business in 1933. There are many tongues in the community wagging saying that I'm going against God's feminine plan for me. I should get married and have children. Settle down. Let my husband run the business. Oh, how dreary. I have my wits about me and a gun in my purse.  They both serve me well.

With that answer, I think you just became my personal hero! What made you think you could solve a case?  

I didn't really think about it. I just followed one clue after another until I reached a conclusion.  Of course, my next-door neighbor, Lord Farley, was quite of bit of help. When I first came to Lexington, Kentucky he introduced me to all of the "swells" who didn't take to me at first. There are three things of importance to people in Lexington-bourbon, horse breeding, and horse racing.  And, of course, money.  I had the money but came up short with the bourbon and the horses. By the way, Lord Farley's full name is Lawrence Robert Emerton Dagobert Farley, Marquess of Gower. He owns the Thoroughbred farm next to Moon Manor, my home. We are currently engaged.

Are you a fan of crime novels? What are your favorites?  


Now you're talking my language, Miss Bertha.  I read all the time.  I love anything by Dashiell Hammett, especially The Maltese Falcon, and I've read The Thin Man so many times I've broken the spine. I love hard-boiled detective stories. Dorothy L Sayers is a British mystery writer that I'm fond of, but my favorite writer is James M. Cain.  I hear he is going to publish The Postman Always Rings Twice next year.  I can't wait and bought an advanced copy.  When it comes out, I'll be one of the first to read it. Have you read anything by Cain or Hammett?  I hear they are going to make Hammett's The Thin Man into a movie. I wonder who is going to play the lead role?

I love everything Hammett writes. My favorite is The Glass Key. I could tell you a lot about that movie from the timeframe I'm in, but I'll let you find out by yourself. Now tell us, what do you know about the psychology of a criminal?

I know a skunk when I smell one.

Give them hell, Mona! Thank you, my readers, and don't forget to check Mona's adventures. See you all soon!



___________________________________________________________


Award-winning author Abigail Keam writes the Mona Moon Mystery Series--a rags-to-riches 1930s mystery series which includes real people and events into the story line.

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Abigail-Keam/e/B0045PEGUQ

AWARDS
2010 Gold Medal Award from Readers’ Favorite for Death By A HoneyBee
2011 Gold Medal Award from Readers' Favorite for Death By Drowning
2011 USA BOOK NEWS-Best Books List of 2011 as a Finalist for Death By Drowning
2011 USA BOOK NEWS-Best Books List of 2011 as a Finalist for Death By A HoneyBee
2017 Finalist from Readers’ Favorite for Death By Design
2019 Honorable Mention from Readers’ Favorite for Death By Stalking
2019 Top 10 Mystery Novels from Kings River Life Magazine for Murder Under A Blue Moon

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

A chat with Inspector Montgomery, an old school investigator!


Inspector Montgomery is a character created by Clarisa Vau


Greetings, guys and gals! Today I'm talking to my good friend Inspector Montgomery. He's a master when it comes to putting together the pieces of a case, and reminds me of the Inspector Maigret books I used to love when I was young.

Let's have a chat, Inspector. Tell my readers what’s your major strength while investigating a murder.

I’d have to say it’s my patience. My colleague, Mr. Fellman, is young and enthusiastic, but he jumps to conclusions too quickly. I like taking my time and let the little grey cells do their work.

I see you love crime novels as well. But solving a mystery in real life isn't always fun. What do you like least about investigating a case?Do you have a favorite quote?


The deaths, certainly. I truly regret every life lost, especially when the people were young.

That's my least favorite part as well. And what gives you the most satisfaction while investigating a case?

Being able to solve it, of course. Catching the criminals and bringing them to justice. I also enjoy a little seeing my colleague at a complete loss, that happens frequently and, although I appreciate him very much, it adds a funny touch to the job.

What do you know abou
t the psychology of a criminal?

I took a few courses for starters. The rest, I learned as I worked. I think it’s a crucial aspect of any criminal investigation and can certainly be the key to solving it.

And do you have anyone helping you in your investigations? Tell us more about them.

I’ve been working for some time now with Augusto Fellman. He’s got potential, I can tell, and Works hard. He does need guidance, of course, but fortunately, he’s got me as his mentor. He’s a great friend as well.

Do you have a favorite quote?

Fortune favors bold ones.

Thank you for your time, Inspector! And you, my readers, don't miss the novel Mystery at the Weisseblume Hotel, where the Inspector shows that it takes a lot of intelligence to catch a jewell thief. The book is available in English, Spanish and Portuguese, the latter translated by our good friend Matt. Thanks a bunch and see you soon!


____________________________________

Clarisa Vau

Read Mystery at the Weisseblume Hotel in three languages!



Thursday, July 2, 2020

A Chat from Ella Shane, the Opera Singer Sleuth!



Ella Shane is a character created by Kathleen Marple Kalb


Greetings, guys and gals! Grandma Bertha here again! I'm back today with a new interview with the lovely Ella Shane. And what a character she is! Welcome to my blog, Ella, it's a great pleasure.

Delighted to meet you, Grandma Bertha, if I may call you that! Bertha is such a lovely name.

Thanks! My full name is Albertha Isobel Hepburn, but I love when people call me Grandma Bertha. Tell us, Ella, What’s your daytime occupation? How does it relate to your investigations?

Thank you for asking! I’m a mezzo-soprano, and I specialize in what are called “trouser roles,” male heroes sung by women, like Romeo. Between running a traveling opera company with my adored cousin Tommy Hurley, keeping my vocal and fencing skills sharp, and singing at benefits whenever I can, detecting was the last thing I wanted to do. Unfortunately, one night onstage, my Juliet drank real poison and died, and her cousin, who turned out to be a British Duke (of course he did!) asked my help finding out what happened. She was my employee and I felt responsible for her, and the poor man was clearly grieving…as well as rather appealing once I schooled him in how to treat a lady and an artist (with a little fencing match). So of course I helped him.

Did you know I used the story of Romeo and Juliet to solve a case? It's in The Homicide Magnet. Now tell us, why were you the ideal person to solve that case? 

As a fellow singer, I understood the young lady’s life better than anyone outside our world. Certainly better than the Duke, who seemed to think that singing was some dainty girlish accomplishment for the drawing room. I know how hard she had to work on her technique, and to maintain her instrument, and the challenge of finding roles suited to her voice and skills. Not to mention how incredibly difficult it is to launch a career. And the many dangers we face as traveling artists. But also, how incredibly fulfilling it is to sing well, know you are pleasing and moving an audience…then hear that moment of silence before the applause that only happens for an extraordinary performance.

Life in the theater sounds so exciting! Do you have anyone helping you in your investigations? Tell us more about them. 

The Washington Square townhouse I share with my cousin Tommy Hurley is almost never quiet…and if one of us is involved in something, we all are. Tommy, a former boxing champion, left the ring to manage my career, but he maintains strong friendships with several sportswriters, including noted columnist Preston Dare, who is a dear informal uncle to us both. Tommy’s best friend, Father Michael Riley, is also often about, playing checkers and arguing with Toms. For my part, I have two very close female friends, Hetty MacNaughten, one of two women reporters on the Beacon, and my fellow velocipede fancier, and soprano Marie de l’Artois, who is married with three small adorable children I enjoy visiting – and handing back to their mama.

How do you deal with the authorities while doing your investigation? 

As it happens, the authorities are part of the extended family too. Like so many Irish folk in New York, we have connections in the Police Department. Father Michael’s cousin is a detective, and Cousin Andrew the Detective, as he is known to us all, has been known to help us out occasionally. (We’ve also been known to help him out in his courtship with the lovely Miss Katie McTeer, but you won’t meet her until our next adventure.)

Being an amateur sleuth is tons of fun, but from my experience, there's always a time when things become harsh. What was the most difficult period in your investigation, and how did you deal with it? 

Aside from a rather depressing rainy day when a society matron did her worst to make me feel unworthy (and Tommy quickly reminded me what utter nonsense THAT was), I would have to say my final confrontation with the killer. Without going into too much detail, let’s just say that I found myself dueling this unpleasant person on a catwalk high above the stage. I was, naturally, equal to the task, but it was rather unnerving. I was quite glad for a medicinal sherry afterwards.

Now, to wrap this lovely interview, tell me one thing about yourself you wouldn't want others to know. 

I feel quite safe telling you this, since you are a grandmother and remind me just a bit of my dear Aunt Ellen.  When I hold Marie’s children, I sometimes wonder if I might want one of my own. And there was a moment in this recent adventure when I saw the Duke with a little boy, and suddenly there were all of these strange and unfamiliar feelings swirling about. It’s at least possible that I may want a husband and children someday. Not just any husband…but if the Duke continues to show respect for me and my career, and perhaps improves his fencing a bit, he might be worth a look.

Life is full of surprises, sweetie, and I'm sure you'll make a great mum someday. Don't forget to send me some tickets for your next performance!

__________________________________________

Kathleen Marple Kalb

Monday, June 29, 2020

Thoughts on Murder #4: A True Crime Cozy Mystery Story

Thoughts on Murder is Matt Ferraz's column on Grandma Bertha Interviews



It's been such a long time since I last posted here! What could have brought me back? Just a simple and fitting image: a cat's pawprint made on the blood of a burglar who invaded my house not that long ago. Something straight out of a Grandma Bertha book!

That particular night I went to bed late, with a lot on my mind. Ever since the pandemic started, I've been staying with my mother in the house I was raised in. It's a big house with a big backyard, and we have a dog and two cats. One of the cats, Fantasma, decided he belongs to me, so who am I to disagree?

It was about two in the morning when I took a hot shower and went to bed. I had just finished the first draft of my new cozy mystery novel the previous morning and was still overwhelmed. Just as I put my head in the pillow, a moan c frame om the living room:

Please, help me! Help me!

My first thought was that the voice was coming from my mother's room. She might be having a nightmare. But, no, that was someone else's voice, and it came from the living room window. My mother and I got there and saw a man, a complete stranger, standing in front of our window, holding the bars and yelling:

Please, help me! I'm hurt! Help me!

So many thoughts crossed our minds, and the first one, of course, was to call the police. We hid inside my study and dialed the emergency number while the dog kept barking and the man kept moaning. By the time the police arrived, the man was already gone. We waited until the cops were in our backyard before we walked out.

There was blood everywhere. That man was a burglar who jumped inside our backyard and cut himself doing so. By now he had already jumped to the neighbor's house. A police helicopter soon arrived, and it didn't take much time for them to get the burglar. After all, he was leaving a trace of blood behind him!

When things calmed down, I thought of how this resembles the plot of my first Grandma Bertha book, The Convenient Cadaver. My granny, who was the main inspiration for the character, used to live in this same house with us until she passed away last year. What would she have done in a situation like this?

The next day we had to clean all the blood that was left in our backyard. There's still a little souvenir of that night: the pawprint left by Fantasma when he stepped in the burglar's blood. It doesn't get more cozy mystery than that!


Wednesday, March 25, 2020

A chat with Finn Bartusiak, from Port New






Finn Bartusiak is a character created by Kristine Raymond

Good day, everyone! Tonight we're interviewing Finn Bartusiak, who brings us an awesome mystery. Tell us, Finn, did you choose to become a detective? Or didn’t you have a choice?
First, I’d just like to say, welcome to my home.  It’s an honor having you here.  You remind me a little of my Grandma Lena.  Do you like to cook?  Grandma Lena loves to cook, to which my figure can attest.  I think there’s some leftover pierogi in the fridge.  It won’t take a minute for me to heat it up.  No?  Well, if you change your mind, let me know.  Her pierogi is to die for!
What’s that? Someone told you I’m a detective?  I’m afraid you’ve been misled.  I’m just a simple antique store owner.  As a matter of fact, that Tiffany lamp you’re eyeing is my latest acquisition.  Don’t you love the way the colors catch the light? One of the perks of my job is having first dibs on the inventory.  And I…
What?  Oh, sorry.  I tend to ramble when talking about antiques.  To answer your question, no, I don’t consider myself a detective, per se, although I did decipher that secret code awhile back which led me to… Garfunkel, stop begging.  You ate an hour ago.
My apologies.  He’s always ready for his next meal.  Yes, he is a Basset hound.  What’s that?  Oh, his baldness.  It’s a congenital condition, but he pulls it off, don’t you think?
So much information! I'm glad I remind you of your granny, though I'm not that great of a
cook myself. Tell us, Finn, what’s your daytime occupation? How does it relate to your investigations?
Right, my occupation.  Well, as I was saying, I’m the owner of Finn’s Finds, that cute, little antique store near the beach.  Yes, that’s the one.  A couple of doors down from Dough Knots.  Have you ever visited?  I’d like to think I’d remember all of my customers but the sad fact is, I don’t.  When we’re finished up here maybe you’d like to pop in and take a look around.  Something might catch your eye.  The shop is normally closed on Wednesdays, but I could ope-
Oh, right, sorry.  I'm rambling.  You’re on a schedule, aren’t you?
Well, when a new item comes into the shop, I do a little digging and trace its ownership back as far as I can.  Most of my customers appreciate the effort and enjoy learning the history of the piece they purchase, so I guess, in that sense, I am a detective.  Huh.  Who woulda’ thought?
I see being a detective more as a state of mind than a profession. Would you consider opening one and going pro?
I’m not sure that solving one case qualifies me as a gumshoe though the idea does hold a certain appeal.  On the other hand, after what happened in the cemetery that night, I’m not sure my heart – or any of my other organs and appendages – could handle the danger.  I mean, two hospital stays in the span of two weeks might be a great way to meet my deductible, but the fashions leave a lot to be desired, you know?
How do you deal with the authorities while doing your investigation?
Sorry for laughing.  You see, Port New’s head detective, Zara O’Hara, just happens to be my best friend, and her partner, Duley Beaudry considers me the sister he never had, even though he has two.  So, I tend to get the ‘inside scoop’ on the criminal happenings in town.  Though, come to think of it, they’ve both been kinda tight-lipped around me lately, ever since the secret code fiasco.  In fact, I had to find out about the break-in at Darby’s in the crime beat section of The Port New News. 
Why, those two have been holding out on me!  Just wait until girls’ night!  Zara’s gonna get an earful!
Do you have anyone helping you in your investigations? Tell us more about them.
To give credit where credit is due, I wouldn’t be sitting here talking with you today if it hadn’t been for Garfunkel.  He surprised the heck out of everyone who knows him when he… no, it’s not time for a Fido Bar.  Go take a nap while I visit with Grandma Bertha.  And, stop slobbering on me!
Sorry about that.  He gets enthusiastic when he hears his name.
Back to your question.  Besides Garfunkel, Spencer also lent a hand.  He helped crack the code and he called Zara when…would you like to see a picture?  Why, thank you, I agree; he is quite attractive.  Are you a reader?  The reason I ask is you may recognize him from one of his book jackets.  Yes, that’s right; Spencer Dane.  How many people can say their boyfriend is a best-selling author?

Oh, gosh, I love Spencer Dane! I would never imagine he was your boyfriend. But this is that crucial time in our interview. Tell me one thing about yourself you wouldn't want others to know.
Is our time up already?  Boy, that hour flew!
Hmmm…something about me no one else knows.
When I was seven, I wanted to play with the class gerbil so I let it out of its cage while everyone was at recess.  It slipped under the door and disappeared behind the lockers – hmmm…so, that’s why the exterminator showed up at school the following day.  Anyway, I blamed Gerber’s escape on Monty Halloran and he had to stay after school every afternoon for the rest of the month.  In my defense, he was a bully back then, always pulling my hair and calling me names.
You’re not going to print this in the article, are you?
I make no promises!
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It wasn’t until later in life that Kristine Raymond figured out what she wanted to be when she grew up, an epiphany that occurred in 2013 when she sat down and began writing her first novel.  Sixteen books in multiple genres later, she’s added the title of podcasting host to her resume, thus assuring that she will never be idle.

When a spare moment does present itself, she fills it by navigating the publishing and promotional side of the business.  When not doing that, she spends time with her husband and furbabies (not necessarily in that order) at their home in south-central Kentucky, reads, or binge-watches Netflix. 

To find out more about Kristine, please visit her website at www.kristineraymond.com and follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and BookBub. 

And for links to podcast episodes, guest posts, and other great stuff, check out Word Play with Kristine Raymond at www.wordplaypodcast.com.
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