I’m a Cozy Mystery Writer because . . .
Would you believe me if I said it was an instance of serendipity? Or several instances? As an English major, I did a brief stint as a high school English teacher and then moved on to a banking career where I became the go-to person for writing—no matter my actual job title. Trust me, they never let me near the money! Maybe that was the first instance of serendipity.
While I was still ensconced in that career, the next serendipitous moment occurred. I was inspired to write a guest column for a local weekly paper and before I knew it I was producing “The Ink Penn” every week.
I knew I enjoyed my corporate writing, but this was different. I’d found my passion, so I started a weekly blog. When I retired, I published a collection of my columns and then a book that grew out of the blogs written by my dog. Don’t ask how. It just happened.
I was seeking help in marketing a second dog book when a consultant uttered the words, “You know, I think you should write a cozy mystery.” My reaction? “Who me? What do I know about plots or mysteries?” Except it turns out I know quite a bit. After all, I’ve read two-three books a week my whole life, mostly mysteries.
How did I happen to talk to the one person who would see that potential in me? Once again, I’d call it a stroke of serendipity. Together, we ticked off a list of ingredients for my cozy—a list that represented my personality, my sense of humor, my writing style, and my likes.
- Be set in England to suit my Anglophile tastes
- Include a cat and a dog—Better yet, the main character can converse with her pets
- Have a more mature main character—not someone in their twenties or thirties.
From there, I followed the adage to write what you know. Like me, Leta Petkas Parker is Greek. She’s a retired banker, an avid reader, a word nerd, and a good cook. Unlike me, she’s a widow. My husband hasn’t yet forgiven me for that detail and keeps wanting to know when I’m going to bring him back to life. I keep telling him he is NOT Henry Parker, but he’s not buying it.
And there you have it. Leta, Dickens the dog, and Christie the cat move from Atlanta to the fictional village of Astonbury in the Cotswolds to start a new life. They make new friends, have new adventures, and—of course—find a dead body. Whiskers, Wreaths & Murder, Book Three in the Dickens & Christie mystery series is sure to put you in the mood for shifting into the holiday season. Enjoy!
Christmas in the Cotswolds. Three wise women. Two furry friends. One dead body. Will they unwrap the killer? Or become the latest victims?
Leta and her friends are busy preparing for the Tree Lighting on the Village Green. The children hang ornaments, the choir sings, and the Earl of Stow flips the switch to set the tree ablaze with lights.
What could go wrong?
Plenty when there’s a new Earl in town. The beloved elderly Earl passed away months ago, and his American grandson has arrived to claim his title and inheritance. And he has plans—big plans.
The village is rife with rumors about the goings-on at Astonbury Manor.
Add a tragic accident and a grieving family—and the season is off to a rocky start. Can the village pull together to chase away the dark mood? Only if the mystery surrounding the accident can be solved.
Leave it to the Little Old Ladies’ Detective Agency and their four-legged sidekicks Dickens & Christie. Fresh off investigating a murder at the Fall Fête, they’re once again on the case.
Amazon Link for Whiskers, Wreaths & Murder https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08FRTQP7F
Picture Kathy Manos Penn sitting serenely at her desk surrounded by her four-legged office assistants. Happily retired from corporate America, she’d never considered being an author until a friend suggested she write a cozy mystery.
As a child, she took a book everywhere—to family dinners, to doctors’ offices, and of course to bed. Years later, a newspaper article inspired her to put pen to paper and submit her thoughts to the editor. Before she knew it, she was writing weekly columns and blogs—in addition to her demanding day job. Then came a book co-written with her dog. As she says, “Doesn’t everyone do that?”
Now, she’s writing cozy animal mysteries featuring a dog and cat who converse with their owner. If a dog can write a book, surely animals can communicate. Naturally, her office assistants help with the dialogue. And, yes, they’re angling to be listed as co-authors.
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