Sunday, September 8, 2019

Sunday's Book Murder and Mint Tea Janet Lane Walters #BWLAuthor #MFRWAuthor #Cozy mystery #Hudson Valley

Murder and Mint Tea (Mrs. Miller Mysteries Book 1)
 I'm doing these a bit differently these days.  Murder and Mint Tea was my first electronic book so I'll talk a bit about how it came to pass.

Katherine is a retired nurse and a retired church organist. The small Hudson River village where she lives in her Victorian “Painted Lady” makes her the neighborhood matriarch. Along with her Maine Coon Cat Robespierre, she guards friends and families.

When amoral Rachel moves into the first floor apartment of Katherine’s house, trouble erupts. The murder weapon is one she recognizes and makes her fear for her friends and family. Finding the killer becomes her goal.

Editorial Review
Murder and Mint Tea is a gem in its genre, combining the voice of a classic American whodunit with that of a traditional British detective novel. Murder She Wrote meets Miss Marple in a beautifully crafted tale that makes the reader want to reach into the pages and dispense justice to the villainess themselves. ~ Writer Gail Roughton

May 17, 2018
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Mrs. Katherine Miller spends her days enjoying her friends and family and she's anxious for a new tenant in her downstairs apartment. Her son, Andrew, has found a woman with two children who will sign a year's lease.
The woman, Rachel, turns out to be loud, obnoxious, neglectful of her children, and seductive to any man in her vicinity.
Katherine worries about the woman's abused daughter and takes Susie under her wing.
This is more a slice of life story than a mystery. The murder happens nearly at the end of the novel, and the perpetrator surprised me.
I enjoyed the different characters in the neighborhood and Katherine is kind and good-hearted. She should have been more assertive with nasty Rachel. The woman threatened her several times, and Katherine should have reported her to the authorities for that and the obvious child abuse, which might have gotten Rachel evicted.
Of course, that would have ruined the ending. A good read for a rainy day.

So now for a bit about how the story came about. The small neighborhood where I live was filled with an uneasy tension. I had just returned to writing and wondered how I could turn this unease into a story. I began in first person
 a good choice for a murder mystery. I called it And So We Walk on Eggshells. Then I returned to work as a nurse
and put the manuscript aside. Nursing and writing aren't good buddies at least for me. A few years later when I was
able to retire, I found the manuscript.  The idea was good but I hadn't mastered first person. The heroine tended
to go off in a dozen directions and think and talk about everything. I managed to conquer that problem by not
allowing anything not belonging to the unfolding mystery.
     I finished and sent the mss winging on its way. That was in the days when manuscripts were sent via the post
office and often returned in sad condition. The book was rejected again and again. I persevered and along came
electronic publishing. The book was accepted and began its journey to publication. The reviews were both good and bad. Some people loved the book and others not. Thus began the saga of folding new publishers, publishers
deciding to specialize in one genre or another. So the book now Murder and Mint Tea found several other publishers.
Interesting things had to be done like giving the heroine a cell phone and changing station wagons into SUVs.
     I had intended to write just this one book but somehow it became a series when a second event occurred that I
felt gave Mrs. Miller a new enemy to seek out and perhaps give this widow a love interest. So that's the tale of Murder and Mint Tea. The book is now available in electronic form, print and audio.

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