Friday, January 02, 2015

{Guest Post} Susannah Hardy, author of Feta Attraction

Looking for this week's Let's Make Baby Quilts linky party? Just click here!

Unfortunately, I didn't get the chance to read Feta Attraction in time for today's post, but I'm looking forward to it.

Georgie Nikolopatos manages the Bonaparte House, a Greek restaurant and historic landmark in beautiful upstate New York rumored to possess ghosts and hidden treasure. But when her husband disappears and her main competitor is found dead, it’s up to Georgie to solve a big fat Greek murder.

With her husband, Spiro, inexplicably gone for days, Georgie has her hands full running the restaurant and dealing with the crew of the TV show Ghost Squad, called in by Spiro to inspect the house for haunting. So when she has a chance to take a boating excursion on the St. Lawrence River with her friend Keith Morgan, she jumps on it. But their idyll is quickly ruined when they discover the body of rival restaurant owner Domenic “Big Dom” DiTomasso floating in the water.

When the police start asking questions, it doesn’t help that Spiro can’t be found—and with Georgie on their suspect list, it’s up to her to find her missing husband and find out who killed Big Dom before someone else’s order is up.

Today I've got Susannah Hardy here to  share her thoughts about cozy mysteries. Be sure to read down to the bottom for the giveaway -- she's offered to give a $10 gift certificate to either Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts to one of my readers.

Hi, Michelle! Thanks for having me here today to talk about my debut mystery novel, FETA ATTRACTION, book 1 of the Greek to Me Mysteries.

So why are cozy mysteries so popular, and why do they matter?

For one thing, the reader always knows more or less what he or she is going to get—or not get—in a cozy mystery. One can always count on there being an engaging heroine (sometimes a hero, but overwhelmingly cozy sleuths are women), a victim, and a complex mystery with lots of suspects who each have their own reasons for wanting the victim dead, all set in a community the reader comes to know and love. Cozies generally come in series, so we get to revisit the characters (at least, the ones who don’t end up dead or incarcerated!) and the community more than once. I just love it when a new book in a favorite series comes out, so I can catch up with old friends and see what’s happening in a place I’ve come to know. Not that I’d necessarily want to live there—strangers often end up dying, LOL!

Other things you can count on in a cozy? You won’t find any gratuitous sex or violence. Sure, the basis of the story is a murder, but it happens off-stage. Death is sometimes accidental (perhaps victim and killer are arguing and it becomes physical, and the victim falls and hits his head), or deliberate, but the killing is not done in an excessive way. No multiple gunshots or stab wounds, and the killer isn’t hopped up on drugs or mentally ill. Nor will you find that the ultimate solution to the mystery involves anything other than the clues the reader has been given throughout the story—no surprising Mafia connections or drug cartels popping in at the last minute. No, the reasons for a murder are always personal—to someone. And romance? If there is one, it develops slowly, over several books.

There is a comfort in this kind of story. Aside from the familiarity of the setting and characters and the fun of trying to figure out what happened along with the amateur sleuth, a cozy mystery offers the absolute promise of justice.  Killers do not get away, they get what’s coming to them, and the community is safe again (at least until the next book). Our real-life world doesn’t always offer cut-and-dried, no-shades-of-gray justice.

That’s why we need cozies—to remind us that fairness and right can prevail, and we don’t need to see a lot of blood and gore to understand that. And that’s why I’ll keep reading them—and writing them.

It’s been a pleasure to be here today!




Susannah Hardy thinks she has the best job in the world: making up stories and inventing recipes to go along with them. A native of northern New York, where she attended St. Lawrence University, Susannah now lives in Connecticut with her husband, teenage son, and Elvira the Wonder Cat.

For a chance to win a $10 gift card to Dunkin' Donuts or Starbucks (winner's choice), leave a comment on this post before 11:59pm January 8 2015. I'll use the random number generator to pick a winner and Susannah will send you your prize.


Anonymous said...

Hi, Michelle and her readers! I'm here all day to chat, so ask me anything, or just leave a comment. I'm so excited to visit!

Maria2 said...

I always enjoy reading the reviews that Michelle has on her blog and I can't wait to read your new book.

SandyG265 said...

I'm always looking for new cozies to read

Anonymous said...

Thanks! I hope you like Feta Attraction. It was so much fun to write!

Anonymous said...

This story caught my interest immediately because I grew up in northern New York and spent my summers on the St. Lawrence River. The book sounds great! I can't wait to read it.

Anonymous said...

That's so cool, amreade! I also grew up in northern New York and worked summers on the St. Lawrence! You can move away but you never really get the North Country out of your system.

kiki w said...

Looks like a great cozy mystery. Can't wait to read it.


Anonymous said...

Thanks, Kiki! I hope you enjoy it.


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