I’m so happy to welcome back Jenn McKinlay! You are going to want to pack your bags and head to Connecticut after reading this post! We are celebrating the release of the twelfth book in her wonderful Library Lover’s Mystery series!
Jenn: How delightful to be invited to visit with six of my absolute favorite mystery authors on their spectacular blog — The Wickeds. Having grown up in Connecticut, I have a special place in my heart for writers from New England. Sherry, thanks so much for inviting me.
My latest library lover’s mystery Killer Research came out last month. Yay! It’s set in the fictional town of Briar Creek, which is based on the real village of Stony Creek on the Connecticut shoreline. Why did I fictionalize it? Because town historians can be persnickety when you write about a specific place and, frankly, I didn’t want to hear the whining and complaining when I twisted the facts to suit my nefarious purposes.
Thankfully, most old towns have a rich and glorious history, which we fiction writers can sift through for the golden nuggets of a story. The village of Stony Creek and the archipelago off shore, the Thimble Islands—which I call the Thumb Islands in the series—has a delightful past which I have plundered like a pirate to plot my murder and mayhem.
Interesting characters that have inhabited the area are the novelist Ayn Rand, who spent the summer in Stony Creek in the late 1930s where she developed some key plot points of her novel The Fountainhead. Other island residents of note who have contributed, unknowingly, to my mysteries, are General Tom Thumb, President Taft, cartoonist Gary Trudeau and broadcast newsperson Jane Pauley. In fact, doubling back and speaking of pirates, Captain Kidd is said to have buried some of his treasure on one of the islands, appropriately named Money Island. And, yes, I used this in one of my stories. Of course, I did!
There is a tour boat you can take around the islands that tells all of the juicy gossip and I’ve taken it several times to get a feel for life on the islands. There are hundreds of islands, if you count the big rocks, many are inhabited and six even have electricity. At the height of their popularity, there were grocery stores, a movie theater, and even a bowling alley out on the islands. Of course the hurricane of 1938 changed all that, wiping out many of the homes. But for me the islands still offer so many possibilities for mystery and murder…bwa ha ha…ahem.
If you want to read more about this magical area, here is a fun site: https://www.ctexplored.org/cruising-the-thimble-islands/
So, how about you, Wickeds? Do you fictionalize your settings or do you stick to accurate histories of actual places? Readers, do you have a preference? Do you care if an author fictionalizes a real place or no?
Thanks so much for having me visit today! Always a pleasure!
Spring has sprung in Briar Creek, but it is not all sunshine and roses, in the newest Library Lover’s Mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of One for the Books.
Spring is livening up Briar Creek after a long, cold winter, and newlyweds Lindsey and Sully could not be happier. Even though the upcoming mayoral election is getting heated, everything else in town is coming up daffodils…until a body is found.
Ms. Cole, a librarian and current candidate for town mayor, is shocked when she opens her trunk to discover a murder victim who just so happens to be a guy she dated forty years ago and the founder of the baking empire Nana’s Cookies. As the town gossip mill turns, a batch of rumors begins to circulate about Ms. Cole’s rebellious youth, which–along with being a murder suspect–threatens to ruin her life and her budding political career. But Ms. Cole is one tough cookie who will not go down without a fight.
Has the campaign for mayor turned deadly? It is up to Lindsey, Sully, and the rest of the crafternoon pals to see how the cookie crumbles and figure out who is trying to frame Ms. Cole for murder and why.
Bio: Jenn is the New York Times, USA Today, and Publisher’s Weekly bestselling author of several mystery and romance series. She is also the winner of the RT Reviewer’s Choice Award for romantic comedy and the Fresh Fiction award for best cozy mystery. A TEDx speaker, she is always happy to talk books, writing, reading, and the creative process to anyone who cares to listen. She lives in sunny Arizona in a house that is overrun with kids, pets, and her husband’s guitars.
Visit her website at: http://www.jennmckinlay.com
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