I’m delighted to introduce Maureen Fisher, a lovely fellow writer whose work I’ve been following for years now. As dog breeder the animal theme in her books of course speaks especially to me. What better way to present her new book “Horsing Around with Murder” than with my Mystery Mondays Interviews.
Welcome back to my blog, Maureen.Please explain to my readers what type of crime fiction do you write and why?
With three romantic suspense novels under my belt (I refer to them as romantic crime mysteries with heat, heart and humor), I decided it was time to bounce into another genre (a no-no for an author, but I’m not in this for the money). Since I love mysteries, I thought it would be fun to write some cozy mysteries while incorporating lots of crime, animals, and a hit of romance. Horsing Around with Murder is the first in a funny and furry Senior Sleuth Mystery series.
I chose to write about three sixtyish sisters because, hey, been there, done that, and have the wrinkles and body to prove it. I know a little something about how aging looks and feels, and have used my experience to incorporate some boomer humor into my book. It’s my attempt to fight ageism by spreading the word that growing older doesn’t make seniors invisible, boring, or less worthy of respect.
What is a cozy mystery?
As far as I can determine, there are some basic rules cozies must adhere to. First and foremost, sex and violence are downplayed or treated humorously. Also, the crime and detection must take place in a small, socially intimate community. Although a killing is not mandatory, if there is a murder, the victim is typically detestable. Thus, the crime, if not justifiable, is often understandable. Finally—and I admit this set of rules gave me some trouble—there should be no blood, no cursing, and no explicit sex.
Okay, so maybe I stretched these final rules a tad here, but I did NOT cross a cozy line. No siree. To start with, the action takes place in a contained little community—Grizzly Gulch Guest Ranch, a dude ranch owned by my protagonists. The victim, far from being an upstanding member of society, has a history of horse drugging, preying on women, and general sleaziness. Finally, my corpse doesn’t drip blood, my protagonists invented replacements for their favorite naughty words, and by the end of the book, no one has managed to engage in sex. Yet.
Are you like any of the characters (and how so)?
I confess to having an inappropriate sense of humor. Try as I might, I seem incapable of preventing this trait from migrating into my main protagonists. Here’s an example from Horsing around with Murder:
Bending over to scrutinize the cookies, Dodie presented me with a disturbing view. She’d encased her plump legs in black leggings, a feat as miraculous as stuffing a bucking heifer down a drainpipe. Her queen-sized butt-cheeks bulged, straining the wafer-thin fabric in an alarming manner.
“Whatcha reading?” my sister yelled. “Financial Planning for Dummies?”
“Nope. Hard, Hung, and Horny: A Tender Love Story. You can borrow it.”
“Groovy.” She sucked in an audible breath and kept on walking with an odd stiff-legged gait, flared nostrils, and fixed expression.
“You look like you’re passing a kidney stone,” I observed.
“You have a … remarkable way with … words,” she said, staggering the last few steps. Once behind the counter, she flung herself into her chair with a grunt.
“That was a geezer-grunt,” I said. “What’s wrong?”
After a lengthy pause, she said, “Turns out cramming this year’s booty into last year’s jeans is the mistake that keeps on punishing.”
With horses, and goats, and a llama, oh, my!
There’s secrets, and intrigue, and someone must die.
Abby, Dodie, and Clara Foster, three 60-something sisters, are astonished to learn they’ve inherited Grizzly Gulch, a dude ranch in the Alberta Foothills. Facing financial ruin, they host a week-long horse breeding symposium to attract more guests.
Hours into the symposium, a cowboy’s sudden death appears accidental. When the Mounties dismiss Abby’s notion of murder, she convinces Dodie and Zeke, their hot barn manager, to conduct a covert investigation without alerting their guests. Problem is, the quirky guests are their main suspects.
Chaos ensues when the senior sleuths tangle with one seriously amorous gelding (yes, it happens), a runaway stud, dwarf goats and their guard llama, a cranky stallion, drug abuse, deceit, and more danger. It doesn’t help that late-life romance ups the ante.
Warning: This book may contain inappropriate boomer humor.
“Great fun to read! I love it! Laughed out loud and enjoyed all the characters.”
“The physical comedy infused throughout gave me several actual laugh-out-loud moments – the mark for me of a great read.”
” I LOVED IT!!! What a fun cozy mystery.”
Horsing Around with Murder is available at:
Apple and More
What are you working on now?
I’m currently working on Book 2 of the Senior Sleuth Series, tentatively entitled Dodging the Bullet. Octogenarian Mildred Cox, a cagey card shark whose major poker win enraged the losers, lands unannounced with her pet ferret at Grizzly Gulch in a bid to escape pursuit. Luckily, a local retirement home’s annual seniors’ getaway coincides with her visit, providing plenty of cover. Attempted murder, ornery animals, mistaken identities, and vengeful geriatrics add excitement.
After eons in the I.T. consulting world, I live with my husband in Ottawa, Canada’s beautiful capital city, where I write fresh and funny novels featuring romance, mystery, suspense, and always an animal or two. I’m also a besotted grandma, a voracious reader, the Gardening & Landscaping Coordinator for our community, an avid bridge player, yoga enthusiast, seeker of personal and spiritual growth, pickleball player, and infrequent but avid gourmet cook. My husband and I love to hike, bicycle, and travel. I swam with sharks in the Galapagos, walked with Bushmen in the Serengeti, sampled lamb criadillas (don’t ask!!!) in Iguazu Falls, snorkeled on the Great Barrier Reef, rode an elephant in Thailand, watched the sun rise over Machu Picchu, and bounced from Johannesburg to Cape Town on a bus named Marula.
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‘One for the Money’ with steamy romance meets ‘The Sopranos’. A bad boy gambler and a mortician-turned-event-planner find romance while overcoming obstacles such as a goofy dog, ruthless thugs, exploding trucks, an eccentric granddaddy, disappearing corpses, an unfortunate synchronized swimming episode, and the threat of live cremation.
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This romantic crime mystery features romance (sizzling hot), a second chance at love (hope and heart), crime (dastardly), an aging aunt (bawdy), dogs with personality (many), and humor (may cause mascara to run).
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“…magnificent characters and scenarios.”
“An intricately woven tale of mystery, romance and occult. Definitely a keeper.”
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