Today’s author, Nancy Haddock, brings us a brand new series!
The Devil is in the Details …
And so is the Delight!
Hello, and thank you for having me! It’s a pleasure to be here!
I’m Nancy Haddock writing the new Silver Six Crafting mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime. The first book in the series, Basket Case, came out on September 1. Today I want to share one of the aspects of writing that I love: Research.
Okay, I usually love research. I’m not so enamored when I’m in the middle of editing a scene and find I’ve forgotten to dig up some specific piece of information I absolutely need. And it’s two o’clock in the blessed morning. At that time of night, do you think the tidbit I need to know is to be found on the Internet? Grrr, argh! No it is not.
Now, I do fully admit that I’m juuust a touch challenged when it comes to plugging the magic combination of words into Google. Thankfully I’m improving and/ or I get lucky, but my secret weapon is to simply phone experts. Might as well put unlimited calling to work for me, right? Besides, I get a wealth of tidbits in speaking with people that I’d never find online.
I also admit I’m a little obsessive when it comes to getting facts 100% correct. I once phoned a local national monument park multiple times and talked with multiple park rangers to get definitive answers to two very simple questions. It cracked me up to get different answers from the rangers—and, yes, drove me a bit nuts, too.
The same thing happened when I researched precisely what an Arkansas county coroner does and doesn’t do at a crime scene—for that matter, what a corner does and doesn’t do in general. I didn’t need the particulars to write an eye-witness description in the book. I needed to understand the processes so my detective could outline the basics to the heroine. This happens to me a lot. I must have a clear idea of how things work in order to write about them.
Thank goodness so many amazing people are willing to share their time and expertise to patiently answer writer questions!
For my new Silver Six Crafting mysteries from Berkley Prime Crime, I researched fun topics online, by phone, and in person. I live in St. Augustine, Florida where we’re fortunate to have several farmer’s markets each week—markets that feature produce, various ready-to-eat foods, and a wide range of crafts from jewelry making to carving. We also have at least two sizable, juried art and craft events each year. The artisans at the markets and the large fairs are wonderful about explaining how they create their work and allowing the public to take photos.
In Basket Case, the youngest character in the cast is Nixy, a woman in her late twenties who works in a Houston art gallery and must go to Arkansas to check in on her aunt. Again, living in St. Augustine proved a boon for my research because there are at least 27 galleries just in the general downtown and uptown area—roughly four square miles!
In other aspects of research for Basket Case, I delved into the differences between art and crafts, and studied the history of folk art. I found it amazing that some arts are sub categorized, a notable example being textile art. I lost track of the number of subcategories, but batik, needlework of all kinds, and weaving were on the list.
So I’m writing about art. I suppose that begs the question: Am I artsy or crafty? Yes and no. Unlike my Silver Six ladies, I don’t basket weave, carve, or make my own herbal lotions and potions. I do occasionally torture a canvas with brushes and acrylic paints. In the past I needlepointed and crocheted, and I’ve hung onto yarn and needles just in case I find more hours in the day to use them again.
How about you? Are you artsy or crafty? What kinds of projects do you most enjoy? What is the most unusual project you’ve done?
Whatever your creative outlets, I hope you’ll enjoy reading about the Silver Six when Basket Case comes to a retailer near you!
About the Author
Nancy Haddock is an award-winning and national bestselling author of mystery romance who now writes cozy mystery. Basket Case, the first book in the Silver Six Crafting mysteries, will be released in Sept. 2015 with Berkley Prime Crime. Her earlier books, also with Berkley, are La Vida Vampire, Last Vampire Standing, and Always The Vampire, feature Cesca, aka Gidget with fangs, and are set in Haddock’s current hometown, St. Augustine, FL. Nancy draws on historic wealth, southern culture, and the plain old quirkiness of places for her books. She lives with her husband and rescue dog Baron.
(A Silver Six Mystery)
1st in Series
Setting – Arkansas
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
Cover Illustration by Ann Wertheim
Cover Design by Diana Kolsky
The Berkley Publishing Group (September 1, 2015)
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
E-Book ASIN: B00SI0268I
First in a crafty new cozy mystery series from national bestselling author Nancy Haddock!
There isn’t much crime in Lilyvale, Arkansas, but local authorities have their hands full with Ms. Sherry Mae Stanton Cutler and her housemates—a crafty group of retirees who’ve dubbed themselves the Silver Six. But when Sherry Mae’s niece, Nixy, arrives to keep them in line, Lilyvale also plays host to a killer.
When Leslee Stanton “Nixy” Nix gets the latest call from Lilyvale detective Eric Shoar, she knows it means trouble. There’s been another kitchen explosion at her Aunt Sherry’s farmhouse, and the dreamy-voiced detective has had enough. If Nixy doesn’t check on her aunt in person, the Silver Six could become wards of the court. But the trouble Nixy finds in Lilyvale is not at all what she expects.
The seniors are hosting a folk art festival at the farmhouse, featuring Sherry’s hand-woven baskets, when land developer Jill Elsman arrives to bully Nixy’s aunt into selling the property. When Jill is later found dead in the cemetery, Sherry is suspected of weaving a murder plot, and it’s up to Nixy and the Silver Six to untangle the truth.
Recipes and crafting tip included!
Leslee Stanton “Nixy” Nix arrives in Lilyvale for a quick trip to find out what is happening with her aunt, Ms. Sherry Mae Stanton Cutler, and her housemates (The Silver Six) but the stay gets extended when a land developer is found dead and Ms. Sherry is a prime suspect.
Nancy Haddock introduces us to Nixy and the Silver Six, Ms. Sherry, Dwight Aloysius Baxter, Maisie Holcomb and her sister Aster Parsons, Eleanor Wainwright and Fred Fishner. A group of crafty seniors that all live together in Ms. Sherry’s farmhouse. They all have their strengths and weaknesses but stand by each other no matter what. Even during a murder investigation. She does an excellent job of of giving the reader time to get to know them all before the main mystery begins and I really appreciate that.
But when “Hellspawn”(love this nickname) Jill Elsman is killed and Nixy starts to dig into her background and investigate her business we soon have several suspects and the story’s pace picks up. Then we are caught up in solving the mystery right along with Nixy. Detective Eric Shoar at times wishes he never called the nosy niece to town but she seems to be growing on him.
I love the Silver Six and would love to be friends with them in real life. The entire community of Lilydale sounds like a great group of people. It is nice to see just a glimmer of romance on the horizon for Nixy.
I truly enjoyed my first visit to Lilyvale from the folk art festival to the beautiful town itself. Haddock has laid a great foundation for this series and given us a great mystery to boot. She also tempts us with a preview of GOODBYE GOURDEOUS, the next book in the series, and a craft tip and recipes too. What a fantastic start!
Thanks to the people at Penguin I have 2 copies to give away!
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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.”