Killing Time (A Dodie O’Dell Mystery) by Suzanne Trauth #Spotlight / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour
Killing Time (A Dodie O’Dell Mystery)
by Suzanne Trauth
About Killing Time
Killing Time (A Dodie O’Dell Mystery)
6th in Series
Publisher: Lyrical Press (June 2, 2020)
Number of Pages: 215
Digital ASIN: B07W8ZX8JV
With Halloween just around the corner, Dodie O’Dell is making preparations to transform the Windjammer Restaurant on the Jersey Shore into a haunted house, while the Etonville Little Theatre is staging Dracula. But casting the titular Transylvanian is proving challenging. The amateur actors in the company are not shy about chewing the scenery, but who among them can convincingly sink their fangs into a victim’s neck? When a mysterious newcomer with a transfixing Eastern European accent lands the part, rumors that he might be an actual vampire start to take flight—not unlike the bat who’s recently been spotted in the town park.
But everyone’s blood really runs cold when a stranger is found in the cemetery with a real stake in his heart. Dodie decides to put her Halloween theme menu on the back burner and stick her neck out to bring the killer into the light of day. She’d better keep her wits about her, though—or Dodie may be the next one to go down for the Count . . .
“It sure looks haunted,” Edna murmured to no one in particular, to the cast of Dracula in general. They were grouped around her on the sidewalk that ran past the old Hanratty place that Carlos and Bella had rented. I’d never been inside though once I’d driven by it when I first moved to Etonville on my way out of town. The house stood on half an acre of scruffy lawn with patches of dried dirt, surrounded by a few straggly trees—minus leaves at this time of the year—and no neighbors. The nearest houses were on a side street some distance away. The three-story building looked as if it might collapse at any moment, its outer walls covered with weathered, gray shakes, the steps to the front door supported by concrete building blocks. There was no handrail. Light leaked out of windows on the first floor. Curtains covering small, circular panes on the third story—an attic room?—quivered. Was someone up there watching us? I shivered. A turret rose upward from the right side of the structure, giving the house a smidge of outdated dignity. A drain pipe dangled loosely from the gutter.
“Let’s go.” Penny corralled actors and nudged everyone forward to the front door. There were six company members, Renfield saying he’d be along later, plus Penny, Lola, Pauli, and me. Strength in numbers.
We crept across the porch cautiously, aware of the creaking beneath us as the flooring shifted with each individual’s footsteps. Penny put out a hand to knock on the door. Before she could hit knuckles to wood, it flew open. “Welcome everyone!” Bella stood in the doorway, a silhouette backlit by muted foyer lighting.
Behind her Carlos stood silently, observing the group huddled in his entryway, like deer caught in headlights.
Lola took the lead, moving graciously into the house. “Thank you. So nice of you to invite us to your home.”
I’m not sure what the members of the Etonville Little Theatre were expecting. Given the exterior and location of the Hanratty homestead, I anticipated something out of a late-night classic horror film.
About Suzanne Trauth
Suzanne Trauth is a novelist, playwright, screenwriter, and former theatre professor at a university. She is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, the Dramatists Guild, and League of Professional Theatre Women. When she is not writing, Suzanne coaches actors and serves as a celebrant performing wedding ceremonies. She lives in Woodland Park, New Jersey.
Great Escapes Praise for Killing Time (A Dodie O’Dell Mystery)
by Suzanne Trauth
Full of quirky characters, mystery, and surprise that all combine until you cannot put it down. A must read for fans of cozies. I totally loved it so I give it 5/5.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews
Killing Time by Suzanne Trauth is an exciting tale with lots of twists and turns, with secret identities and double agents.
~Baroness’ Book Trove
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Special Guest Suzanne Trauth – Author of Running Out of Time – Great Escapes Book Tour #Spotlight / #Giveaway
Author Interview – Suzanne Trauth
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a multi-genre writer. I started out writing screenplays and then transitioned to novels and plays. Since my background is in dramatic works, I focus a lot on plot and dialogue in my Dodie O’Dell Mystery Series.
What are three things most people don’t know about you?
I have had play readings at a number of theatres in the New York/New Jersey area and a number of years ago, I co-wrote a play about Hurricane Katrina survivors in New Orleans. I also wrote and directed a short film. But I am a mystery book lover at heart. I once stayed home from work to finish a novel!
What is the first book you remember reading?
What are you reading now?
What made you decide you want to write?
I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to write! In grade school and high school, I tinkered with plays and short stories. But then I got caught up with theatre and my focus shifted away from writing. But fortunately I found my way back about twenty years ago and now I am focused on my mystery series.
Do you have a special place you like to write?
I generally do most of my writing in a home office in northern New Jersey. But I do take notes everywhere… Snippets of conversation, character ideas, everywhere I go it seems I find material!
Now that I have a series going, there is a town and its inhabitants that lay the groundwork for each novel. But each novel also introduces new characters, so many ideas come from them! The characters speak to me…Ideas also are generated by the play that I have chosen for each novel. For example, the first Dodie O’Dell mystery featured ROMEO AND JULIET so the play was a springboard for the setting, character interaction, and murder mystery.
What books have most inspired you?
In the mystery world, I am truly inspired by Elizabeth George and Louise Penny. Each of their series provides food for thought, exceptionally well-plotted stories with strong and engaging characters. In the non-mystery world, I love to read a range of authors. ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE stands out. I love books set during World War II.
For me getting the first draft down can be a challenge. Thoughts and ideas tumble out while I am trying to adhere to a very loose outline. Once the draft is finished and I start the next draft, it can be a challenge to establish clues, investigative procedures, and red herrings! I want to keep the reader engaged but not give away the end of the book.
What do you think makes a good story?
I think all of the standard elements must be present for a good story: well-drawn characters, a strong setting, believable and interesting dialogue. And then the X factor…that extra something that really pulls in the reader and makes her want to stay up all night, or skip work, to finish.
Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?
Hmmm…great question. I suppose I see myself in several characters. Dodie’s management skills, adventurous spirit, and sense of humor; Walter’s wacky rehearsal exercises; Lola’s friendship.
Why did you pick your particular genre?
Write what you know? Or at least write what you enjoy…I have loved mystery novels since I was a grade schooler, beginning with Nancy Drew. Reading a mystery novel is like solving a puzzle and puzzles fascinate me.
There are so many wonderful mystery series out there…when I started in on the Dodie O’Dell books, I decided to place the mysteries within the context of a small town restaurant (the Winderjammer) and community theatre (the Etonville Little Theatre). So, I am combining food and theatre. I think that combination might be unique.
What’s next on the horizon for you?
Thank you, Suzanne, for being my guest today!
About The Author
Suzanne Trauth is a novelist, playwright, screenwriter, and a former university theatre professor. She is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and the Dramatists Guild. When she is not writing, Suzanne coaches actors and serves as a celebrant performing wedding ceremonies. She lives in Woodland Park, New Jersey. Readers can visit her website at www.suzannetrauth.com and on Facebook.
Running out of Time (A Dodie O’Dell Mystery)
3rd in Series
Lyrical Underground (October 10, 2017)
Paperback: 220 pages
Digital ASIN: B01NBUM1LD
Restaurant manager Dodie O’Dell’s themed food ideas have been called cute, clever, and delicious, but never revolutionary—until now. Dodie’s Windjammer Restaurant is stocking the Etonville Little Theatre’s concession stand with colonial-era desserts and drinks: Swamp Yankee applesauce cake, pumpkin bread, hot cider punch, and mulled wine to complement the latest production. A local playwright has adapted Thornton Wilder’s Our Town into Eton Town, shifting the story to colonial America and the founding of Etonville, New Jersey, shortly after the Revolutionary War.
On opening night, hours before the curtain rises, Dodie runs into an agitated actress backstage with blood on her hands. Then a stranger is found among the chairs set for a graveyard scene with a knife in his chest. The show will not go on—the theatre is now a crime scene. Hoping to clear the red-handed suspect, Dodie returns to the role of amateur sleuth to mull over the clues and beat the backstage stabber to the punch—before someone else becomes history . . .
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