My friend, Virginia Smith has written a wonderful cozy mystery that you must check out! I thoroughly enjoyed this story.
In the two years since she quit her day job, Virginia Smith has received seven book contracts – five of them from proposals! Her current release, Murder by Mushroom, received a 4-star rating from Romantic Times, and has been hailed as “a hearty chuckle a minute.”
I laughed out loud reading Murder by Mushroom. I love a good ol’ fashioned potluck, especially at church. And casseroles? Come on! I’m from Minnesota already, home of the hotdish! The idea of someone serving up murderous mushrooms? Now that’s too funny. The real kicker is that the small town gossips all suspect Jackie Hoffner, a young single at church. Jackie takes it upon herself to conduct a murder investigation, which lands her next to Trooper Dennis Walsh. I’m not spoiling any surprises if I tell you that Jackie and Dennis become an item.
I interviewed Virginia recently and this is what she had to say~
What is your favorite scene in Murder by Mushroom? I love the whole book, of course. But if I had to pick a single scene, it would be the confrontation scene at the end. The heroine, Jackie, is a quirky, klutzy young woman with a headstrong determination I truly admire. During that final scene she is at her blundering best, and I laughed out loud as I wrote it. But then it goes quickly from funny to heart-stoppingly suspenseful. This book is a cozy mystery, so throughout most of the book the focus is less on suspense and more on figuring out “who dun it.” As I wrote, that last scene came as something of a surprise to me, like “Wow! I really can write suspense!” What was the most fun part about writing Murder by Mushroom?
Well, I love the act of writing, especially the final third of a book when I have to fit all the puzzle pieces together in a way that completes the picture for the reader. That’s true of every book, whether it’s mystery or chick lit or women’s fiction. I also had fun while researching Murder by Mushroom. I contacted this guy who is generally acknowledged to be the Mushroom Expert, and I asked him, “So, if I was going to kill someone with poisonous mushrooms, which one would I use and where does it grow?” Definitely not a question he gets very often! Once I assured him that I wasn’t really going use the information to do someone in, he gave me all sorts of helpful tidbits. Some of them were pretty gruesome, too, like details of the symptoms of mushroom poisoning. I got so involved that I wrote them all faithfully into the book, making poor Mrs. Farmer suffer every nasty one. When I turned the book in, my editor said, “Yuck. Take that out.” So obviously I got a little carried away.
If you were a casserole, what would you be? (Tee, hee, hee) Why? I’d be a green bean casserole, because beans are long and slim (hey, I can dream, can’t I?) and tasty and good for you. And they mix well with other flavors, like onions – I’m a social kind of girl, and I can get along with even the strongest personalities. A green bean casserole has a thick, savory sauce (my husband says I’m kind of saucy sometimes) and a crunchy crust (I can be crusty at times, too.) And green bean casseroles have mushrooms. If I’m going to go through life as a casserole, I’d insist on lots of mushrooms. Finish this line: Writing a novel is… …like reaching down into the depths of your soul, dredging up the stuff you’ve had hidden there for years, and sifting through it to find the perfect pieces that will bring life to the story in your head. Do you care to dish about any future projects? (Dish…get it!?!)Trust me, I can dish with the best of them. (grin) In December I have another mystery coming out from Steeple Hill. Bluegrass Peril also takes place in
Kentucky, in the thoroughbred industry. And I have the first of a 3-book series being released from Revell. The books in Sister-to-Sister Series are humorous contemporary stories about three southern sisters living and loving and growing with each other. Stuck in the Middle will be in bookstores in February. And in March, I have another book coming out – Sincerely, Mayla is the sequel to my first novel, which was released last year. You can check out a blurb about each of my books on my website – www.virginiasmith.org.
What’s currently on your nightstand to read?I’m reading a nonfiction book called If It’s Not One Thing, It’s Your Mother by Anita Renfro. It’s really funny. And I’m also reading a novel called Off the Record by Elizabeth White. Next up is Life, Libby and the Pursuit of Happiness by Hope Lyda.
Virginia invites readers to pop over to her website and read about her upcoming books – and find out how they can win a 30GB video iPod! www.VirginiaSmith.org
This is such a fun read! I (Vicki) encourage you to go out and get yourself a copy of this book today!