Oct 172012
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

Today I get to welcome back one of my favorite guests. It is always a treat when he or one of his alter egos stops by for a visit. Today he is sharing some surprising information about this wonderful series. The life of an author is never dull. I will let him tell you all about it. 

Hi Casey!

Hi Everyone!

Talking about A Grid for Murder by Casey Mayes (aka Tim Myers)

It might interest you to know that A Grid for Murder( along with its predecessors, A Deadly Row and A Killer Column, in the puzzle mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime) began life as a very different thing entirely.  The series itself was originally based on a brand new popular puzzle-making technique, with my plots woven directly into my own puzzles and their included solutions, structured in a very specific way to mesh puzzle with mystery.

And then, out of nowhere, a mere handful of months before the first book in the series was set to be released, my publisher received a letter from the puzzle’s creator, demanding that we ‘cease and desist’ from publishing the entire mystery series!  I was understandably troubled by the news, since I’d even learned how to create the puzzles myself, and had included several in each book.

There was no time for disappointment, though.  I had to come up with an entirely new theme for the series, create new puzzles of my very own, and restructure three novels that had already been written, all in a very limited amount of time!

After much toil at the computer and more than a few sleepless nights, I finally had something I was proud of to replace my former submissions.  It was interesting to me, in retrospect, that the reworking of the stories gave me new opportunities to choose other directions for the novels to take than I had picked before, and I did my best to restructure them in a way that seemed fresh and alive.  They were accepted, each in their own right, and published right on schedule.  Looking back now, the roadblock wasn’t quite as dire as I’d originally believed, and I feel the books are , in their own way, stronger than they were before.

There are a few interesting things about this book in particular.  I chose Asheville as a setting for this novel in order to revisit a city I love that’s close enough to be an easy drive from where I currently live.  It didn’t hurt that I had family nearby as well.  The site of the murder occurs in a restaurant near Pack Square downtown, and the obelisk shown in the background of the cover is a monument dedicated to former NC Governor Zebulon Vance.

This series itself offered several firsts for me.  It was the first time I chose real places for my books (Charlotte, Raleigh, and Asheville NC) which was quite a challenge, and I blended cozy with police procedural, with Savannah creating her puzzles, and her husband, Zach, a former cop, solving crime right alongside her.  I also added several subplots to each of the books to add some depth, and tried to make each ending a bit more suspenseful than is my norm.  I hope my readers have enjoyed this foray into a different style of storytelling.  I know I have!

Finally, I added a succinct section at the end of each of Savannah’s puzzles called snippets.  They offer a brief glimpse of how she views the world, and they were some of the most enjoyable things I’ve ever written.

~Casey

It is so interesting to know the stories behind the stories. This series has been quite an adventure for the author and wonderful escapes for the readers. Casey/Tim you know the door id always open! I hope you will come back again soon!!!

p.s.  Savannah’s snippet in this edition touched my heart. Unbelievable how perfect it was for something my family is struggling with right now.

About This Author

Tim Myers has been writing mysteries since 1992. He is the Agatha Award nominated author of over 30 novels with Penguin/Berkley/Prime Crime, Penguin/NAL/Signet, St Martin’s Press/Minotaur, and Kensington. He is a New York Times bestselling author under one of his pseudonyms, and ten of his novels have been IMBA National Bestsellers, landing as high as #2. Tim has written under his own name, as well as Elizabeth Bright, Chris Cavender, Casey Mayes, and others.

His first story, My Late Aunt Hattie, was an 800 word short-short that combined elements of comedy, mystery, and the supernatural. It was published in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine and went on to be included in The Haunted Hour anthology. The author has also had stories included in the Mystery Writers of America Anthology A Hot and Sultry Night for Crime, as well as the hardcover anthology Murder Most Crafty. He is also the author of over 80 short stories, and has been nominated three times for the Derringer Award for Excellence is short mystery fiction.

For more information on Tim, please visit www.timmyers.net

A Grid for Murder
(A Mystery by the Numbers)

3rd Book in Series
Cozy Mystery
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (October 2, 2012)
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425251645
Cover Illustration by Sawsan Chalabi
Cover Design by Rita Frangie

A Grid for Murder

Savannah Stone makes her living creating puzzles for logic lovers but her life hardly follows a logical course. Who could have dreamed that Joanne Clayton would get a job for a local newspapers creating puzzles? A newspaper that has repeatedly turned down Savannah’s work. Joanna Clayton knows nothing about making puzzles, all she knows how to do is spread gossip. There is no way this makes any sense but Savannah heard it directly from Joanne herself. Right there at the Cafe Noir. Savannah just wanted to have a little lunch alone, by herself, but Joanne barreled right up and sat right down at her table and took complete joy in telling Savannah her news. Thankfully a phone call from her husband Zach allowed her to make a hasty but graceful exit.

The real bad news arrived later when Zach calls Savannah to tell her Joanne is dead. She had been poisoned. Retired police chief Zach has been asked to assist in the investigation. Will the police think “puzzle envy” is a strong enough motive for murder? Savannah decides to do a little assisting in the investigation herself to find out which of Joanne’s many enemies may have wanted to get rid of the prospective puzzle maker permanently.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I love the dynamic duo of Zach and Savannah. Think cozy mystery with a bit of police procedural added to the mix. While Zach follows the clues with Captain North, Savannah tries to logically sort through the facts and rumor. Together they seem to come to the correct solution albeit just not at the time. Savannah is a woman who will follow the lead, put herself in danger and scare her husband to death. These two even add to my gray hair and I love it. 

This third Mystery By The Numbers has the twists and the turns, a little southern charm and humor, fantastic characters in a beautiful setting, but it may have you rethinking that tea you love to drink. 🙂 


Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Would you like to win a copy of this wonderful book?

Thanks to the people at Penguin
I have 2 copies to giveaway!!

U.S. and CANADIAN RESIDENTS
You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Leave a comment for Casey for 5 Bonus Entries !

If you publicize the giveaway anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End October 31, 2012 at 11:59 PM CST
Winners Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winners Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

CLICK HERE FOR ENTRY FORM

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

  38 Responses to “Cozy Wednesday with Author Casey Mayes (Giveaway too!)”

  1. I enjoy many of your series…but haven’t read this one. I need to check them out!

  2. Sounds like another series to add to my list. Dee

  3. I love doing word puzzles, so this series sounds like fun. Thanks.

  4. This sounds interesting. Thanks

  5. I love the puzzle theme. Sounds like a great cozy 🙂

  6. I own the first two books in this series and enjoyed them immensely. I’m looking forward to reading “A Grid for Murder” as soon as I can. Winning a copy would just put the cherry on top of it.

  7. Have not read any of this series but am sure that I will love it!!!!

  8. What a fun series! 🙂 I can’t wait to read “A Grid for Murder.” Thank you so much for sharing! 🙂

  9. I love puzzles! This sounds like a great book!

  10. I love puzzle mysteries and although I haven’t read any of this series as of yet, I will certainly be looking for it at the bookstore!

  11. I love the idea of including puzzles in the series! I haven’t read the others in this series, so I’ll be adding them to my to-read list on Goodreads! I will be sad if it makes me stop wanting sweet tea though lol. My hips will thank me if I stop 🙂

  12. I think it’s unique to have puzzles as part of this series. It is on my Goodreads to-read list.The characters sound very interesting. Sweet Tea is the House Wine of the South! Casey, Do you do more puzzle writing? Is a collection published? Thanks for the chance to read this cozy mystery and know how its solved!

  13. I love hearing about how novels take shape. Interesting about the puzzles.
    I hope you have positive feedback from using real locations. I had a review of one of my books where the reader was upset that I didn’t mention a popular tourist attraction, stated that there were no people like the ones in my book (even though it was stated the characters were all fictitious) and also said there were no storms in this area (we get a lot of tornadoes).
    Looking forward to reading your novels.
    Ann

  14. Very interesting. I will definitely be checking out the rest of the series.

  15. i like to read mysteries and the fact that it involves puzzles to make me all the more interested in reading this book. Thanks for the chance to win

  16. I love a good cozy and have not read this particular series yet. Looking forward to the fun. Thank you for taking the time and effort to share with us today 🙂

  17. I would love to read this series. It sounds really good.

  18. My husband and I do a lot of puzzles together—and I like to read mysteries–so I think your series will really interest me. I’m looking forward to start reading it.
    suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

  19. I didn’t know this was you! I love your candle making and soap making series. I have the Inn series that I am getting ready to start. Looks like my TBR pile just got bigger. I cannot wait to read this series. Great work Tim, thank you for some wonderful cozy mysteries.

  20. I thought it was interesting that these are the first ones you’ve set in a real place.
    Looks like a great story, Casey, congrats on your success!

  21. Jigsaw puzzles and logic puzzles have been favorites of mine for years! I can’t wait to read this series!

  22. I love logic puzzles and jigsaw puzzles. I even like some other kinds of puzzles. I will have to look for these.

  23. I do enjoy puzzles, especially logic puzzles. I hope to enjoy your book soon.

  24. Casey, this sounds like a great read, love the title! Thank you for offering books for a giveaway.

    wfnren(at)aol(dot)com

  25. I would love to read it!

  26. Casey I enjoy reading your books and have many of them. Keep up the good work.

    Thank you for the chance to win this book.

    I blogged: griperangsbookmarks.blopspot.com/p/giveaways.html
    I tweeted: @ griperang
    I google+: Angela Holland
    I facebooked: Angela Holland (Angela Newcomb)

    I am also a follower here and on facebook.

  27. I have always loved police procedurals so it a pleasant surprise to find out that Tim Myers has combined a cozy mystery with that. I have never read a book by him so I am looking forward to that.

  28. Love cozy mysteries

  29. […] – Casey Mayes was my guest for Cozy Wednesday. I am giving away 2 copies of A Grid for Murder (A Mystery by the Numbers). This is the 3rd book in […]

  30. I love mysteries and I love puzzles. Together they make a great combination!!

  31. I haven’t read your books as yet but look forward to reading this one soon..

  32. sounds interesting

  33. This book sounds like a good read.

  34. Thanks for doing this giveaway. This book sounds like a good read.

  35. Cant wait to read this book. Nothing like a good cozy-mystery.

  36. I love a cozy mystery and this looks like a good one.

  37. awesome wallpaper.

    have a family member who loves mysteries, this would a great gift.

  38. thanks for this great giveaway. I am an e-mail subscriber.

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