by Julie, making soup in Somerville
I’m delighted to welcome Patricia Sargeant, otherwise known as Olivia Matthews, to the blog today. Patricia and I recorded a great conversation for the Sisters in Crime podcast recently (it will be released later this winter), and I’m thrilled to let you know about this multi-published author.
Ordinary People in Extraordinary Situations
Thank you to The Wickeds authors for inviting me to spend the day with your community. I’m honored and excited to be here.
I write cozy mysteries as Olivia Matthews. My first cozy mystery trilogy, the Sister Lou Mysteries, debuted in 2017. The amateur sleuth was a Catholic sister. I’m working on my second cozy mystery series, the Peach Coast Library Mysteries, which features a fish-out-of-water librarian as the amateur sleuth. I’m looking forward to introducing my third cozy mystery series, the Spice Isle Bakery Mysteries, in 2023. The amateur sleuth is the owner/manager of a family-owned West Indian Bakery.
One of the reasons I enjoy writing cozy mysteries is that I love putting ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances to make them find the Hero Inside. Even when I wrote romantic suspense, my protagonists were people like me. One was a sci-fi writer. The other was a newspaper reporter. But I digress.
With cozy mysteries, we don’t have to feature law enforcement, or active or retired military personnel. Our protagonists don’t have to be experienced or proven when it comes to fighting crime. They just have to be motivated and earnest. They just have to try. If they bumble and stumble their way through an investigation, we grade them on a curve. We understand this isn’t their usual dance. If they need a pep talk before confronting a suspect, we empathize. We’re not comfortable with confrontations, either. And there’s no shame in screaming in fear during a dangerous scene. Heck, we’d scream, too.
Featuring people like me – people without experience, without training – as the sleuths in my stories also is a form of positive visualization. I imagine I’m in a situation like the one I’m writing. What would I do? How would I handle it? If my first guess doesn’t work out, I can revise it, hoping for a better outcome. That way, I’d have a plan if a homicidal maniac ever chased me along a jogging trail.
What about you? Do you prefer investigators who are “ordinary” people like Agatha Christie’s Ms. Marple or law enforcement protagonists like her Hercule Poirot? Do you put yourself in the role of the sleuth? You can tell us. This is a safe space.
Thanks again for allowing me to hang out with you. I look forward to reading your thoughts on cozy mystery sleuths.
About the Author
Olivia Matthews is the cozy mystery pseudonym of national best-selling and award-winning author Patricia Sargeant. Her mysteries put ordinary people in extraordinary situations to have them find the Hero Inside.
About the Peach Coast Library Mysteries
Marvey’s a librarian from Brooklyn who makes book-themed jewelry as a hobby, looks after her cranky cat, and supports events for readers and authors. She’s still adjusting to quirky small-town life in Georgia—and that’s before she discovers a dead body in a bookstore.
When her new best friend becomes a suspect, Marvey develops a new hobby: solving a murder mystery. With her talents for research, her knowledge gleaned from crime novels, and a whole lot of determination, she pursues the truth. But even as she gets closer to it, could she be facing a deadly plot twist?