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