A Chat with Brigid Barnes, the Cottonwood Springs Sleuth
Brigid Barnes is the main character of the Cottonwood Springs Cozy Mystery by Dianne Harman
Today's guest has solved a good share of mysteries in her time. I firstly approached Brigid to chat about her last case at the Alamo, thinking of all the old western movies I watched when I was young. Turns out she's not just a great detective, but knows also a dog lover, which makes me like her even more.
So tell us, Brigid, how did you start in this business? What was your latest investigation? Do you expect to continue doing that in the future?
The first investigation I did was just after I moved back to Cottonwood Springs. My closest friend was murdered at her Bed and Breakfast. Her brother was the sheriff and he was too emotional over the murder to investigate, so his deputy asked if I would help.
The last investigation occurred when I was on my honeymoon in San Antonio, Texas. When my husband and I were on a tour of the Alamo, a guard was murdered. I couldn’t help it, I had to find who murdered him. Fortunately, I had some help with a retired K-9 police dog.
Yes, there will definitely be more investigations in my future.
I'm glad, the world needs good investigators. But that doesn't always pay the bills, am I right? What’s your daytime occupation? How does it relate to your investigations?
I’m an editor and I work out of my home, so I have a lot of freedom and can take the time necessary to work on a murder mystery when it occurs.
That's important! And how do you deal with the police and other authorities while investigating?
I was more or less recruited by a deputy sheriff when my close friend was murdered and my friend’s sister, the sheriff, was unable to unemotionally investigate the case. Because I wasn’t in a uniform or officially part of law enforcement personnel, people opened up to me. The deputy sheriff became the sheriff and often asked me to help him with cases. He also suggested that I take self-defense and other courses pertaining to law enforcement, which I’ve done.
Actually, he and I have become quite good friends.
That's nice. Policemen often can't see subtle details of crime. Sometimes it takes an amateur sleuth to solve it. And how's your investigation style?
I would like to think that I can communicate with people just as an everyday person, not part of law enforcement. People tend to tell me things they wouldn’t tell someone in uniform and I know that helps. The first thing I do is to come up with a list of possible suspects, people who might have wanted or had a reason why the victim should be out of their lives. After that, I do a process of elimination, such as checking alibis, etc. Usually someone will slip up.
They always do, don't they? I have to confess, that's the part of the job that gives me the most satisfaction. What's yours?
Seeing that justice comes to the person who committed a crime. No matter what the crime, someone will be affected adversely by it, and those are the people I like to help.
That's why we do what we do! Thank you for your time, Brigid, and hope you continue kicking butt in your future investigations.
Two-time USA Today Bestselling Author and seven time Amazon All Star Author, Dianne Harman, draws her stories and characters from a diverse business and personal background. She owned a national antique and art appraisal business for many years, left that industry, and opened two yoga centers where she taught and certified yoga instructors. She's traveled extensively throughout the world and loves nothing more than cooking, playing backgammon with her husband, Tom, and throwing the ball for their dog, Kelly.
Being a dog lover and having attended numerous cooking schools, she couldn't resist writing about food and dogs. Dianne is the author of several cozy mystery series: Cedar Bay, Liz Lucas, High Desert, Midwest, Jack Trout, Northwest and her latest, Cottonwood Springs. Each of these books contains recipes from her travels. She's also the author of the award-winning suspenseful Coyote Series, Midlife Journey Series, and the Slade Kelly Suspense Series.