By Daryl Wood Gerber
Call me a romantic, but I like my characters to find love. Yes, even in a mystery.
So how does a mystery author incorporate romance into a story, and how does she make it last for a series? It’s not easy. And, let’s be honest, some readers don’t like to read about gooey, gushy romance. They want a whodunnit. They want clues and red herrings. They want a mental workout. So, if I’m going to incorporate romance, I’d better make it seamless and not the central thrust of the story.
That’s why I create backstories for my characters, which is one of the joys and challenges for me as an author. In A SPRINKLING OF MURDER, I started with Courtney Kelly, who currently owns a fairy garden store in Carmel. She wasn’t always supposed to be a shop owner.At the tender age of ten, after the crushing loss of her mother, Courtney grew serious. Every step she took was toward the goal of working for her father in his prominent landscaping firm. She did well in school. She followed the rules. Luckily, she wasn’t so serious as to forgo normal schoolgirl crushes. When she and her high school sweetheart went off to college, they remained true to one another. When they graduated, they became engaged. As planned, Courtney joined her father’s thriving landscaping outfit in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, and dedicated herself to working the land: dig, plant, don’t have fun, repeat while her fiancé went on to law school. And then, the day after they had a co-ed bridal shower and their life of love and romance was to begin, Courtney’s beloved announced that he didn’t want to be married. Ever.He needed to focus on becoming a judge.
Does anything ever go as planned in life? In romance?
Courtney rallied,but she knew she needed to make changes if she was going to be truly happy. Thanks to her spiritually-aware friend, Meaghan, she stepped outside her comfort zone and attended a Renaissance Faire where Courtney met a whimsical fairy garden designer. Courtney was so enamored by the craft that she begged the woman to teach her the art. Soon, eager to give up her landscaping job and break out on her own, she used the funds left to her by her grandmother, and started Open Your Imagination, her fairy garden store.
With a new lease on life, will she find love? Someone who will treasure her and not see her as a hindrance? Someone with like ideals and values? Maybe an old flame? We’ll have to see. She might need a little magic to make it happen.
How do you feel about romance in a mystery?
About A Sprinkling of Murder
Sprinkling Of Murder (A Fairy Garden Mystery)
1st in Series
Publisher: Kensington (June 30, 2020)
Paperback: 304 pages
Kindle ASIN: B07W8Y4D6R
Fairy garden store owner Courtney Kelly believes in inviting magic into your life. But when uninvited trouble enters her shop, she’ll need more than a sprinkling of her imagination to solve a murder . . .
Since childhood, Courtney has loved fairies. After her mother died when she was ten, she lost touch with that feeling of magic. A year ago, at age twenty-nine, she rediscovered it when she left her father’s landscaping business to spread her wings and start a fairy garden business and teashop in beautiful Carmel, California. At Open Your Imagination, she teaches garden design and sells everything from fairy figurines to tinkling wind chimes and trickling fountains. Now she’s starting a book club tea.
But the light of the magical world she’s created inside her shop is darkened one night when she discovers neighboring dog-grooming business owner Mick Watkins dead beside a fountain. To make matters worse, the police suspect Courtney of the crime. To clear her name and find the real killer, Courtney will have to wing it. But she’s about to get a little help from an unexpected new friend . . .
About Daryl Wood Gerber
Agatha Award-winning author Daryl Wood Gerber writes the nationally bestselling Cookbook Nook Mysteries as well as the French Bistro Mysteries. In June 2020, her new series, the Fairy Garden Mysteries debuts. As Avery Aames, she pens the popular Cheese Shop Mysteries. Daryl also writes the Aspen Adams novels of suspense as well as stand-alone suspense. Fun tidbit: as an actress, Daryl appeared in “Murder, She Wrote.” She loves to cook, garden, and read, and she has a frisky Goldendoodle named Sparky who keeps her in line!
Review of A Sprinkling Of Murder
Review (4.5 Stars): I absolutely adore stories about fairies and A Sprinkling of Murder was an enchanting delight. Courtney was an amazing heroine that you will instantly like and I love how she created such a fun store, Open Your Imagination, to help people create their own fairy garden. The mystery was well-thought out and it even had me guessing. A Sprinkling of Murder is a great start to a new series and I’m now desperately wanting the second book.
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