Hello Friends of the Wickeds. Today I’d like to welcome Libby Klein back to the blog. Libby’s latest title is Beauty Expos Are Murder, which came out on June 29. It’s the sixth book in her popular Poppy McAllister mystery series. AND she’s giving away a copy to one lucky commenter below.
Here’s the blurb:
Easter weekend on the Jersey Shore is hopping. Poppy’s Bed and Breakfast is busier than ever, but she needs to leave things in the hopefully capable hands of Aunt Ginny–and paws of Figaro the black smoke Persian. She’s selling her paleo muffins and keto cookies at the Health and Beauty Expo in Cape May’s Convention Hall. Normally sharing a booth with the love of her life would be a treat, but she’s recently discovered secrets that throw her new romance into chaos.
But more secrets are about to be exposed at the expo. In his keynote address, prominent cosmetic surgeon Dr. Lance Rubin reveals his breakthrough anti-aging technology. Unfortunately, someone has one-upped him with a truly foolproof anti-aging formula: murder. With the plastic surgeon dead under his own UV mask, and bedlam reigning in the hall and back at the B&B, Poppy needs to follow a twisted trail marked by glowing footprints to unmask a killer…
Take it away, Libby!
Even since my first cozy mystery was published, friends and family have been trying to test my detective skills. Somehow, it’s become their personal mission to stump me like I’m channeling the ghost of Agatha freakin’ Christie here. They’ll chose a movie for us, then watch me watch it.
Them: “Did you figure it out?”
Me: “The victim hasn’t even died yet. Settle down.”
Sometimes I figure it out right away and tell no one. The humiliation of being wrong is way too high a price to pay. Like all my street cred as a mystery author is tied up in one episode of Poirot.
Then there are other times I think I’ve figured it out only to be disappointed at the reveal. Not only was I wrong about who the murderer was, but my version of the ending would have been way better. Oh, this week’s guest celebrity really was the killer. I was expecting the lead to have multiple personalities – but I guess this is good too.
And of course, most mysteries, whether book, TV or movie, are written in such a way that anyone could have done it right up to the end. So, most of the time when I figure it out – I didn’t actually figure anything out. I just had a hunch that paid off because that’s how I would have written it.
I was horribly deceived with one British mini-series recently. I suspected the killer right away (again – because that’s how I would have written it) but discounted them because my author’s sense of pacing was tricked. When a series has six episodes you expect the tension to go back and forth for six episodes. Not four episodes and two episodes that turn out to be postproduction interviews – I’m talking to you Acorn.
This brings me to Mother’s Day. My daughter bought me one of the Murder Mystery kits where you have to comb through the evidence of a crime and figure out who the killer is. We went through it together on vacation. I was very serious with my investigation. I wanted to put the clues on the wall and tie strings to link them, but I was afraid she’d think I was crazy. (It’s a good thing she hasn’t seen my office when I’m working on one of Poppy’s mysteries.)
I was so afraid of being wrong and looking like an idiot that I took a very long time to declare my killer. When we checked the answer online, I was beyond thrilled to have figured it out. I was relieved. I didn’t realize how important it was to me to be right. And it was close too. My second prime suspect had an error in the game documents. A typo affected the clue that was supposed to give him an alibi so we never cleared him. I mean no one is in jail for a year waiting to get bail. Not even in the 1800s. We figured he must have been released after a few hours and gotten himself arrested again a year later. Right? I thought it was a red herring. Stupid typo.
Readers: So how about you? Do you usually figure out whodunit before the reveal? Are you taking notes when you read and watch TV, or are you just along for the entertainment ride? And have you done a mystery box puzzle before? I’d love to hear about your experiences. Comment below and I’ll give away one copy of Beauty Expos Are Murder to a lucky poster.