Liz here, excited to welcome Lauren Elliott! I feel like we are kindred spirits – bookmobiles and crystals!! I mean, come on! Welcome Lauren, and take it away!
Hi, everyone! I would like to say a huge thank you to Liz Mugavero and all the wonderful Wicked authors for inviting me to be a guest on their blog today.
I don’t know about you, but I’m a huge cozy fan because they’re fun, easy reads, and they all have a few elements in common. For instance, they’re generally set in an idyllic location and have a cast of colorful, quirky characters who live seemingly normal lives—that is until murder happens on their doorstep. Then the adventure starts as the generally inept amateur sleuth and her (or his) equally as unqualified friends attempt to discover “whodunit.”
Take my Beyond the Page Bookstore Mystery cozy series as an example. It centers on Addison (Addie) Greyborne, a thirty-something woman who worked as a research assistant for the acquisitions department at the Boston Library and got to do a bit of sleuthing in tracking down and authenticating rare books and documents. As a classic book nerd and long-time fan of the Golden Age detective writers like Agatha Christie, she had no idea that her research assistant skills would be of use in her real life until she inherited a house and opened a used bookstore in Greyborne Harbor, Massachusetts, a quaint little seaside town where murder is not … uncommon.
In the recent release of A MARGIN FOR MURDER, the eighth book in the series, bookshop owner Addie Greyborne leaves her Greyborne Harbor bookstore, Beyond the Page Books and Curios, in the capable hands of her assistant while she travels to the neighboring town of Pen Hollow to attend a book sale at a library that is closing. But the real find is a bookmobile bus, which she plans to refit as a traveling bookstore to hit all the summer festivals. But before the bookmobile can be delivered to Addie, a fatal car crash occurs. After an autopsy reveals poison in the victim’s system and prize first editions go missing, Addie must determine what would drive someone to murder.
Since I’ve been working on the Beyond the Page Bookstore Mystery series for the past few years, I can’t begin to tell you how much fun it has been to create an entirely new fictional world in my new Crystals & CuriosiTEAS Mystery series, which stemmed from my strong Irish roots and love of all things Irish—especially its history, folklore, and folk medicine. It was these stories about homemade cures, teas, and a mysterious blue bottle, which was rumored to induce second sight abilities, that inspired the contemporary character of Shayleigh Myers or Shay, a broke, divorced, intuitive gemologist that inherits Crystals & CuriosiTEAS, an eclectic tea and psychic shop, from a mystery woman named Bridget Early, someone she barely knew.
In the first book, STEEPED IN SECRETS, due for release in the fall, things reach a boiling point when Shay discovers a stranger’s body on the shop’s roof. The terrifying discovery sets her on an impractical investigation for answers. Not only is she desperate to unravel the secrets of her past but also to find out if there is a connection between them and the body on her rooftop. She soon discovers though that she’s not the only one in the small artsy community of Bray Harbor, California, whose life is steeped in secrets.
Despite where your personal tastes lie, be it with crafters, candy-shop owners, bakers, pet groomers, a tea merchant, or a bookseller—to name a few of the professions that these unusual amateur sleuths work in—there is something in cozies for everyone. Whether you’re lying poolside or on a beach, or you only have a thirty-minute timeout in your hectic day, cozies are the perfect choices to pick up. So, grab your favorite beverage, turn the world off, and get lost in a new one filled with entertaining adventures and a colorful cast of characters. Where else besides a cozy can you channel your inner Miss Marple and work alongside another amateur sleuth to try to put the pieces of a puzzling murder together to figure out “whodunit?”
USA Today Bestselling Author Lauren Elliott grew up devouring the entire Nancy Drew series and then graduated to Victoria Holt, Agatha Christie, Barbara Erskine, Lynn Kurland, and Michael Crichton to name a few of her favorite authors. When it came time for post-secondary education, journalism seemed like the logical choice as she had written for as long as she could remember. Soon after graduation, while working for a small publication, she discovered that reporting wasn’t what fueled her writing passions. As someone with an additionally strong background in professional theater who had the love of storytelling and captivating and holding an audience, her fiction-writing career began to take center stage. You can find her on Website, Facebook, Instagram, BookBub, and GoodReads.
Readers, what do you want to ask Lauren? Leave a comment below!