I am so excited to welcome Jeanne Quigley to Escape With Dollycas!!
Hi everyone! First I must thank Lori for hosting me today. I’m grateful for this opportunity to introduce myself and my first cozy mystery, All Things Murder. Five Star Publishing releases All Things today, fulfilling my very long-held dream of being a published author.
Writing has always been an escape for me; it started as a creative outlet to compensate for a routine job that did not offer much in the way of intellectual stimulation. Another escape for me has been Lake George, NY, in the Adirondacks. I have spent many vacations, both as a child and as an adult, at Lake George. It’s a beautiful, historic spot that has sparked my imagination for years. It was a no-brainer to set All Things Murder in a fictional Adirondack village called Barton.
Barton represents my idyllic town. It is a small village with a population under 10,000. Everyone knows each other, but residents are respectful of each other’s privacy (more or less!). Barton is a walking village, with its economic center spanning just a few blocks. Many of the characters can walk to their place of employment, an elusive job perk I would enjoy very much.
The four seasons in Barton are gems to behold, though the Adirondack winters can be a test of endurance. Bartonians have strong constitutions and can bear the snow and the frosty temperatures. They also like to celebrate the holidays through the year by outfitting their shop windows with colorful and festive decorations, holding parades down the main street (a green stripe is added for Saint Patrick’s Day), and traipsing through the pumpkin patch to pick just the right gourd at Halloween.
As Barton serves as an escape within an escape, it is fitting that it is the cozy’s setting readers first see when they pick up the book. I am so pleased the talented artists at ENC Graphic Services depicted the heart of Barton on the book’s cover. That’s Orchard Street you see, the main gathering place of commerce, community, and friendship. When Veronica Walsh, All Things’ main protagonist/amateur sleuth, arrives in her hometown at the story’s start, she sighs with joy and declares Orchard as beautiful and dazzling as Broadway, Times Square, and Park Avenue. Veronica is home for respite and comfort; the soap opera she starred in for more than three decades has been canceled and she cannot find another acting role.
Beauty isn’t the sole reason for Veronica’s Orchard Street admiration. She grew up in the appropriately named Orchard Street Books, the shop her parents opened in the 1960’s. The bookstore has been her family’s lifeblood, providing for their needs while also nurturing their spirits. Veronica’s mother, Nancy, still runs the shop. Nancy’s livelihood, as well as the fiscal health of all the shops on Orchard Street, is placed in danger when a local farmer agrees to sell his land to a mall developer. So much for Veronica’s peaceful visit; that hope is dashed within an hour of her arrival.
The village’s businesses are quickly granted a reprieve when Veronica’s neighbor, powerful businesswoman Anna Langdon, tenders a better offer for the farmland. It is a self-serving move; Anna owns most of the retail buildings on Orchard. The ENC designers cleverly represented Anna on the cover with the shop sign graphic. Anna owns All Things, a very profitable boutique that anchors Orchard Street. With “Murder” written in blood on the sign, I’ll give you one guess as to who the murder victim is! Anna may have saved the day for some by literally buying the farm, but she’s irked more than a few villagers with her domineering personality. One of them helps Anna buy the proverbial farm.
Anna’s murder notwithstanding, Barton is a lovely place to visit. Thousands of fictional tourists pass through the village each year. You are most welcome in Barton to spend a few days with Veronica and her friends. You can stroll along Orchard Street with Veronica and keep her company as she plays amateur sleuth to solve her neighbor’s murder. You’ll have fun!
About This Author
Jeanne Quigley grew up reading mysteries, watching soap operas, and vacationing in the Adirondacks, never imagining these pleasures would be the foundation of her debut novel. Her love of characters—real and fictional—led her to study Sociology and English at the University of Notre Dame. Jeanne has never been a soap star, but she has worked in the music industry and for an education publisher. She lives in Rockland County, New York, where she is writing her second Veronica Walsh Mystery.
All Things Murder
(A Veronica Walsh Mystery)
New Cozy Mystery Series
Five Star Publishing (May 21, 2014)
Hardcover: 275 Pages
Emmy-winning actress Veronica Walsh is accustomed to role-playing. Over her thirty-two-year career on the soap opera Days and Nights, her character has been a businesswoman, wife (multiple times), mother, prison inmate and fugitive. None of that prepared her for the role of a real-life sleuth.
When Veronica cannot land a new part after the soap’s cancellation, she returns to her Adirondack hometown for what she hopes is a temporary visit. No sooner does she arrive than Veronica finds herself in a swirl of turmoil, with her neighbor at the center. In the span of a few hours, powerful businesswoman Anna Langdon extends an invitation to Veronica to discuss a business proposal, ends a short romance with Veronica’s high school beau, threatens to evict one of her retail tenants and thwarts a deal to build a mall on local farmland. Veronica receives an unexpected welcome-home present when she finds Anna’s body the next morning, the cast-iron skillet used to kill her lying at her feet. Soon Veronica is chasing leads with the help of friend Mark Burke and her former co-star Alex Shelby.
Twists straight from a soap script, including two leading men vying for her attention, entangle Veronica as she gathers clues. Will Veronica solve the case, or will the killer be as elusive as an acting job? And will she play the heroine or the damsel in distress?
As a fan of cozy mysteries and soap operas, (I am an avid Days of Our Lives fan.) I loved this book!
Where do soap stars go when their shows are cancelled? Several find new roles to play and several like Veronica Walsh come home to regroup and start a new path in their lives. In Veronica’s case finding her neighbor dead puts a huge bump in her new path and it can derail her or she can use her years of soap experience and find the person responsible for Anna Langdon’s untimely demise.
Jeanne Quigley has created a great amateur sleuth in Veronica (Ronnie) Walsh and surrounding her with a great group of supporting characters. Having her former co-star come to visit was a brilliant idea. Who could create a better diversion while Ronnie tries to figure out who got rid of a woman so many people wanted dead? An actor that can make woman swoon and play any part Ronnie needs him play.
I can’t believe this is the author’s debut novel. She has definitely found her cozy voice and is a new author to keep our eyes on. I think this is going to be a very successful series and I can’t wait for the next installment.
Thanks to the author I have 2 ARC copies to give away!
My Review Copy and Another From The Author
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author. 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.”