by Julie, surviving the yoyo temperatures in Boston
I’ve been fortunate enough to get to know Olivia aka Patricia Sargeant over the past couple of years. I did a podcast interview with her, and enjoyed a webinar she did for Sisters in Crime on plotting. I’ve also enjoyed conversations with this talented author, and I’m delighted to welcome her back to the blog.
Sleuthing is Relative
Thank you so much to The Wickeds Blog authors for inviting me back to visit with your community. I’m thrilled. My first visit last year was an exciting unknown. Since I had so much fun last time, this time, I’m filled with celebratory anticipation. Yay!
During my last visit, I’d mentioned I was launching a new cozy mystery series this year. My Spice Isle Bakery Mysteries features a West Indian American family that opens a bakery in Brooklyn, New York’s Little Caribbean neighborhood. The first book in the series is Against the Currant, which is available now. The second book, Hard Dough Homicide, releases in May.
One of the things I love about this series is that it’s centered on a multi-generational family. Our main protagonist is Lyndsay, our baker amateur sleuth who’s the business’s majority owner. In addition to Lyndsay, we have her parents and her maternal grandmother. The cast extends beyond the bakery to include her older brother, aunts, uncles, and cousins.
Another thing I enjoy about writing mysteries featuring a family is that the motivation for solving many of their cases is love. I believe love is the most undeniable and compelling motivation, regardless of the type of love: familial, platonic, patriotic, etcetera. The whole family rallies to help when a relative’s in trouble. The dangers involved in solving the case are worth the risk because you’re taking that risk for family.
And, yes, some of my relatives have inspired characters who’ve appeared in my mysteries. Unfortunately, sometimes they recognize themselves in my books and call me on it. For example, years ago, one of my victims was my protagonist’s very best friend. The friend was an exaggeration of my sister; the way she talked, her style of dress, her mannerisms. However, after my sister read the scene in which the friend was murdered, she called and asked whether we needed to talk. Apparently, I hadn’t made the friend’s character enough of an exaggeration.
What about you? Do you enjoy mysteries in which the amateur sleuths are related? Why or why not? I’d really like to know. Thanks in advance for sharing your thoughts. I look forward to reading them.
About the Author
Olivia Matthews is the cozy mystery pseudonym of national best-selling author Patricia Sargeant. Her mysteries put ordinary people in extraordinary situations to have them find the Hero Inside.
Against the Currant: A Spice Isle Bakery Mystery, Book 1
By Olivia Matthews
Investigating a murder was never on the menu. . . but someone’s set the table for bakery owner Lyndsay Murray to take the fall
Little Caribbean, Brooklyn, New York: Lyndsay Murray is opening Spice Isle Bakery with her family, and it’s everything she’s ever wanted. The West Indian bakery is her way to give back to the community she loves, stay connected to her Grenadian roots, and work side-by-side with her family. The only thing getting a rise out of Lyndsay is Claudio Fabrizi, a disgruntled fellow bakery owner who does not want any competition. On opening day, he comes into the bakery threatening to shut them down. Fed up, Lyndsay takes him to task in front of what seems to be the whole neighborhood. So when Claudio turns up dead a day later—murdered—Lyndsay is unfortunately the prime suspect. To get the scent of suspicion off her and her bakery, Lyndsay has to prove she’s innocent—under the watchful eyes of her overprotective brother, anxious parents, and meddlesome extended family—what could go wrong?
Buy link: https://bit.ly/3lK5IcS
Welcome Patricia. I love when characters are related because you can tell the hierarchy of knowledge and how they all help to solve the mystery that is afoot.
Absolutely! I enjoy reading about sleuths that are related. Always fun to read how they solve the crime together along the way.
Love your book covers!
Thank you so very much, B! And thank you for sharing your thoughts on the topic. I appreciate it.
Hi, Dru! That’s one of the things I enjoy about mysteries in which the sleuths are related, too. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts.
I don’t mind if the sleuths are related as long as the interactions are interesting and fun and they have an interesting mystery to solve.
Good morning! Absolutely! The interactions have got to be fun. I think familial interactions give another dimension to that. No one knows you like family. Ha!
I do enjoy a story involving related sleuths, Olivia! Queens of Mystery comes to mind immediately, with the Aunts always coming to Matilda’s aid, even when she doesn’t want it! Cheers!
LOL! JC, that sounds charming! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and the series recommendation.
Congrats, Patricia! I like family interactions when they are natural and not forced for the sake of the plot.
Hi, Liz! Absolutely! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on the topic.
Welcome back! I love your covers and titles. Since I’m from a small family I love reading books with big extended families!
Hi, Sherry! Thank you so much for having me back. I always enjoy visiting with your community. And thank you for sharing your thoughts on the topic. I love the way our families know us.
Yes, I do enjoy mysteries in which the amateur sleuths are family. However, “family” often aren’t blood related, but just as close – if not more so at times. It is true that love is a driving force in both cases which makes the story more realistic to me.
Haven’t had the opportunity to read “Against the Currant” yes, but hoping to rectify that before “Hard Dough Homicide” is released. Both sound amazing and I’d love to read and review them.
2clowns at arkansas dot net
Kay, thank you so very much for your kind words. And I agree with your point. You don’t have to be related by blood to have a close connection with someone. I hope you enjoy the Spice Isle Bakery Mysteries. I loved writing them.
Congrats, Patricia! Yes to family interactions. They often add a layer of conflict to sweeten the story.
Ooh! Kait! I hadn’t considered that. The added conflict is another really good point. Thank you for sharing that.
Kait, I don’t think my original reply to your comment posted. And it was a good reply, too. Bummer. 🙁 LOL! Let me try to recreate it. I hadn’t considered your excellent pint about the added conflict with the sleuths being related. Thank you for sharing that. 😃
Love the covers of your books. They are so unique. And I agree with “the motivation for solving many of their cases is love.” That is the driving force in my debut mystery “A Deadly Combo.”
Karen, I love that love is the driving force in your debut mystery, A Deadly Combo. Wonderful! Wishing you great success! And thank you for sharing your thoughts. I appreciate it.
Hi Olivia/Patricia. Welcome back to the Wickeds. I love stories with families, be they related by blood, law, or “found families” of supportive people.
Barbara!!!! “Found families!” Perfect! I love that, too. And thank you so very much for inviting me back. This is such a warm and welcoming community. Thank you.
I like family members jointly sharing the limelight but only if they have a good relationship. I don’t want to read about a lot arguing and antagonism. Cozies should be fun.
Ginny, you’re absolutely right. Cozies should be fun. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on the topic. I really appreciate it.
I enjoy it when we get to know the main character’s family as well as their friends. And having multiple generations as the main character provides some nice added insight into the going ons in the story. Plus, as you say, it adds great story possibilities.
So yes, I’m in favor.
Hi, Mark. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on the topic. I really appreciate it.
Yes. It brings a different element to the story. Thank you so much for sharing. God bless you.
My thanks to you, Debbie. And May God bless you, too.
Thank you so much for spending the day with me and sharing your thoughts on family amateur sleuth teams. I’ve had a wonderful time. Thank you.
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