Due to my hospitalization last month I was unable to post this guest post during Lois’s Great Escapes Tour.
I didn’t want you to miss out on it so I am posting today.
Eight Paws and a Beak
By Lois Winston
When I was asked to write a cozy mystery series, I knew I should include a pet. Cozy readers love books with pets, especially dogs or cats. Sometimes the pet is even an integral part of helping to solve the mystery. I also have many friends who write cozy mysteries, and most of them are pet owners.
I’m the outlier. I don’t have a fur baby. Instead, I have allergies. Allergies to just about all pets. At least the kind you can pet, cuddle, and play with. Tropical fish would probably be safe, but I consider those pretty things to watch swimming around rather than pets. If it has fur or feathers, I need to steer clear, and chances are, I’d probably also have issues with amphibians and reptiles. I’m even allergic to certain people—or at least to some of the grooming products they use.
I used to have pets. When I was a teenager, we had a dog. I walked around sneezing and coughing and suffering with horrible sinus headaches for several years until I left for college. Once I had my own apartment, I tried kittens. What was I thinking? The headaches, sneezing, and coughing returned with a vengeance.
When my kids were young, we got them a pair of gerbils. Even though I stayed far away from the cage, I still suffered.
So, unfortunately, I remain petless. My protagonist in the Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries is far from petless, though. Not only does Anastasia’s household include her mother-in-law’s French bulldog Mephisto and occasionally Catherine the Great, her mother’s Persian cat, but Anastasia has also inherited her great-aunt Penelope Periwinkle’s African Grey parrot.
However, Ralph is no ordinary parrot. Having spent most of his life in Great-aunt Penelope’s classroom, listening to lectures on the works of William Shakespeare, Ralph possesses a unique talent. He has the uncanny ability to squawk situation-appropriate quotes from the Bard of Avon.
Is this even possible? Some African Grey’s do have huge vocabularies, but even though I’ve read up on the species, I’m no parrot expert. It doesn’t matter, though. I write fiction, humorous fiction. If readers can suspend their disbelief enough to accept a protagonist who stumbles across more murders than the average cop in an entire law enforcement career, why not a Shakespeare quoting parrot?
Ralph is also very protective of his adoptive family. I hope you’ll check out how he proves his worth in Guilty as Framed.
About Guilty as Framed
Guilty as Framed (An Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery)
11th in Series
Setting – New Jersey
Independently Published (September 6, 2022)
Print length : 263 pages
Digital ASIN : B0B1XHPLBC
When an elderly man shows up at the home of reluctant amateur sleuth Anastasia Pollack, she’s drawn into the unsolved mystery of the greatest art heist in history.
Boston mob boss Cormac Murphy has recently been released from prison. He refuses to believe Anastasia’s assertion that the man he’s looking for doesn’t live at her address and attempts to muscle his way into her home. His efforts are thwarted by Anastasia’s fiancé Zack Barnes.
A week later, a stolen SUV containing a dead body appears in Anastasia’s driveway. Anastasia believes Murphy is sending her a message. It’s only the first in a series of alarming incidents, including a mugging, a break-in, another murder, and the discovery of a cache of jewelry and an etching from the largest museum burglary in history.
But will Anastasia solve the mystery behind these shocking events before she falls victim to a couple of desperate thugs who will stop at nothing to get what they want?
Crafts projects included.
About Lois Winston
USA Today and Amazon bestselling author Lois Winston began her award-winning writing career with Talk Gertie to Me, a humorous fish-out-of-water novel about a small-town girl going off to the big city and the mother who had other ideas. That was followed by the romantic suspense Love, Lies and a Double Shot of Deception.
Then Lois’s writing segued unexpectantly into the world of humorous amateur sleuth mysteries, thanks to a conversation her agent had with an editor looking for craft-themed mysteries. In her day job Lois was an award-winning craft and needlework designer, and although she’d never written a mystery—or had even thought about writing a mystery—her agent decided she was the perfect person to pen a series for this editor. Thus, was born the Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries, which Kirkus Reviews dubbed “North Jersey’s more mature answer to Stephanie Plum.” The series now includes eleven novels and three novellas. Lois also writes the Empty Nest Mysteries, currently at two novels, and one book so far in her Mom Squad Capers series.
To date, Lois has published twenty novels, five novellas, several short stories, one children’s chapter book, and one nonfiction book on writing, inspired by her twelve years working as an associate at a literary agency.
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