Writing PIP Inc. Mysteries is my way of keeping a friend who has moved to another state close and letting pets who have crossed the rainbow bridge live on as more than memories.
When I began writing mysteries in 2008, my protagonist was a realtor like I was. I used my experiences to enhance the story lines and told readers that as far-fetched as the real estate references were, they were all true and based on things that happened to me or my associates during my twenty-five-year career. It was easy to write authentically because I knew the business so well. But after seven books in the Regan McHenry Real Estate Mysteries series, it was time for a change.
I have a dear friend, also named Pat like my PIP Inc. protagonist, who is the most fascinating person I know. She gave me many ideas for murders and was especially helpful with bank robbery insider information she knew for my stand-alone novel, Mags and the AARP Gang, because she was on the board of the credit union where I set the robbery.
As I started formulating the PIP Inc. Mysteries series, I asked if I could use her and her background―like my Pat, she was the county law librarian and is a private investigator―as my protagonist and if she would be a consultant for the books because I knew nothing about being a private investigator and would need her help. She agreed under one condition: private investigator Pat had to have green eyes because she always wished her eyes were green.
I made my Pat half her age, unmarried, and with an enviable figure, something the real Pat loved. When she saw the cover for the first book in the series she exclaimed that Pat had the hips she always wished she had.
I also gave Pat two pets, a Dalmatian named Dot and a ginger tabby named Lord Peter Wimsey. Dot is based on my beloved Freckles―whose real-life antics often find their way into the books―and my husband’s cat, Wimsey.
Having Pat as a consultant has worked out better than I hoped. She advises me on how to conduct investigations so details ring true, and she comes to Santa Cruz at least twice a year for an in-person consult. You should have seen us spying on a neighbor when she was here recently. Pat suggested we climb his security fence to see if we were right about him and what was happening on his property. When I told her that could be dangerous, she said, “Don’t worry, I always carry my Magnum 357, just like private investigator Pat does.”
You can read about the adventures of Pat, Dot, and Wimsey in the PIP Inc. Mysteries series. Book 3, The Corpse’s Secret Life was released earlier this year. The series is intended to be read in order so you might want to start with The Glass House and then The Funeral Murder before you take on the sin-eaters and undercover agents of The Corpse’s Secret Life. (And if you want to find out what that neighbor was up to, there’s always the barely fictionalized A Neighborly Killing from the Regan McHenry Real Estate Mysteries series.)
Pat’s fledgling private investigation company, PIP Inc., has a promising new case.
Pat is still wearing a wrist cast after breaking her arm in a confrontation with a killer, so when she’s hired by the City of Watsonville to unearth the identity of an older woman who died in her bed, she’s delighted that her next job promises to be a simple computer-based research project.
Why is it that things are never as simple as she thinks they will be? Pat soon discovers nothing is as it seems, beginning with a corpse who had secret identities, murder, and a post-death ritual thought to have last been performed decades ago.
“I love this series, and this particular mystery is very entertaining.”
Janice J. Richardson author of The Spencer Funeral Home series
“Captivating from the start! The Corpse’s Secret Life transports you into a realm of page-turning mystery… a must read”
Maryanne Porter, author of Haunted Santa Cruz, California.
You can find her all her books here: https://www.amazon.com/Nancy-Lynn-Jarvis/e/B002CWX7IQ
Nancy Lynn Jarvis left the real estate profession after she started having so much fun writing the Regan McHenry Real Estate Mysteries series that she let her license lapse. But after seven books, she was ready for a new adventure and is currently working on the fourth book in her PIP Inc. series which features protagonist not-quite-licensed private investigator, downsized law librarian Pat Pirard. She has also edited crowd pleasers Cozy Food: 128 Cozy Mystery Writers Share Their Favorite Recipes and Santa Cruz Weird. Read first chapters of her books at www.nancylynnjarvis.com