Guest Post / #Giveaway – What Fresh Smell by Jeffrey Marks – Great Escapes Book Tour


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What Fresh Smell (Marissa Scott Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Self-Published (August 9, 2016)
Paperback: 164 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1535456913



There’s Murder in River City – Daycare that is.

When Marissa learns that a teacher at the daycare center has been murdered, she comes to the realization that she really didn’t know much about the people who worked there, especially the murdered woman. She’ll now have to manage her son, her mother, her mother’s Scottish terrier, and an ex-boyfriend as she tries to hunt down the people behind a robbery ring and the person who killed a daycare teacher. If she’s not careful, she might meet the same fate.

So what is next for Marissa?

I get asked a lot about where the character and the series are going. I have two works for her in mind. The first is another short story, which will be set on Black Friday. I can’t imagine working on the busiest retail day of the year and also trying to solve a murder mystery, but Marissa will certainly give it a try. So far the dead body of a customer has been found in a shopping cart pushed to the wall by the crowds.

The other is the fourth novel in the series. I haven’t titled it yet. I tend to find the right title when the book is finished or nearly complete. The premise for this book will be a bit different, since one of the trends of the last 10 years is the death of the traditional shopping mall. The malls were really at the height of their popularity during the 1990s and early 2000s. Today, at least in Cincinnati where I live, the trend is toward more outdoor malls which are designed more like a village or strip malls. So Marissa is going to take a transfer to one of these stores, one that has been set up as a discount store selling off last year’s products and fashions.

There will also be some changes in the dynamics between the characters. People grow and their relationships either progress with them or fade away. So we’ll be meeting some new characters as well as not seeing as much of others.

The first three books all had a focus of how the crimes affected Marissa, but in this new book, the focus will be on Gavin instead. We’ll learn more about this man and find that he’s more complicated than originally thought. He’s going to be accused of killing an unarmed man in the line of duty, though he swears that the man had a weapon. Marissa’s task – once she decides that she believes him – will be to find out what happened to the gun and why.

With the other series that I write, the US Grant mysteries are on a hiatus of a sort. They take 15-18 months to write with the necessary research, so it takes an enormous effort compared to a mystery that occurs in the current time at a familiar place.

I am still working on biographies, which also expend a significant effort. Each biography is a work of love and time; I typically spend 5 years on each one. It’s akin to inviting a stranger to stay in your house and your life for the next 60 months. I take my time in finding the right people to write about. Currently, I’m telling the story of the two men who wrote as Ellery Queen while I prep my proposal for the next biography.



Jeffrey Marks is a long-time mystery fan and freelancer.  After numerous mystery author profiles, he chose to chronicle the short but full life of mystery writer Craig Rice.

That biography (Who Was That Lady?) encouraged him to write mystery fiction. His works include Atomic Renaissance: Women Mystery Writers of the 1940s/1950s, and a biography of mystery author and critic Anthony Boucher entitled Anthony Boucher. It was nominated for an Agatha and fittingly, won an Anthony. He won a Malice Domestic Grant for The Scent of Murder, which has spurred the Marissa Scott series. What Fresh Smell is the third novel in the series.

His work has won a number of awards including the Barnes and Noble Prize and he was nominated for a Maxwell award (DWAA), an Edgar (MWA), three Agathas (Malice Domestic), two Macavity awards, and three Anthony awards (Bouchercon). Today, he writes from his home in Cincinnati, which he shares with his spouse and three dogs.

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