Friday, December 13, 2013

A Guest Blog by Lesley A. Diehl

Welcome to Make Mine Mystery, Lesley. Tell us about your latest release.

This is the second in the Big Lake Mysteries (the first was Dumpster Dying) featuring Emily Rhodes, retired preschool teacher and bartender turned amateur snoop.

It seems as if Emily is destined to discover dead bodies.  This time she finds one of the contestants at the local barbeque cook-off dead and covered in barbeque sauce in a beer cooler.  She should be used to stumbling onto corpses by now and the question of who killed the guy should pique her curiosity, but Emily decides to let Detective Lewis handle this one, at least until she figures his theory of who did the deed is wrong, wrong, wrong.

Lewis’ denigration of Emily’s speculations is condescending enough to stimulate her dormant snooping skills.  As the two of them go on their separate paths to find the killer, Lewis’ old partner, Toby the dirty, tobacco-spitting cop interferes in the investigation leaving Lewis with the wrong man in jail. Killers, bootleggers, barbeque and feral pigs—it’s a lethal game of hide and seek in the Florida swamp.

A Biased Review of My Writing

Author’s note:  My protagonist, Emily Rhodes insisted on writing this blog.  She said she had a right to tell it from her point of view.  So here’s what she thinks of my writing:
I’ll probably get in trouble with the author, but I wanted to take this opportunity to talk about what I like in her books and what I don’t like.  You’ll note from my remarks that some of what is positive in my character and my situation can also be problematic.  Let me get right to it.
She created me as a senior which is great because it gives me a wealth of experience upon which I can draw for my understanding of others.  It doesn’t quite make me a wise old woman, but it gives me some heft, and people listen to me perhaps more than a twenty year old—even twenty years olds listen to me, but maybe that’s because I’m a groovy, with-it kind of retired person. 
My career as a preschool teacher was both a plus and a minus.  It taught me how to wrestle three and four year olds into behaving nicely, a great trait which can be applied to seniors who are just as unruly at times and to men.  Those I’ve met can use a little wrestling into submission.  Read on about the men thing.
On the other hand, all those years of experience also point up some of my less admirable traits.  I picked the wrong guy in college and ended up pregnant.  And some might point out that I picked the wrong guy in my senior years and ended up alone, but that happens whether the guy marries you or not.  In my case, I think Fred was a little too na├»ve about how fit he was at age sixty-five or so.  It’s best to make a will and make it early!
Because she has profound respect for women and is one herself, the author gave me some of the best friends any gal could ask for.  They are supportive, adventurous, noncompetitive and truth tellers.  Of course, she also created some gals I don’t give a hoot about, especially the one who accused me of trying to take her man.  What I didn’t have a chance to say to that one was, why would I want him? 
I have a next-door neighbor who bakes like a dream and since I’m just a little thing, I can get away with eating anything she makes.  Unfortunately, the author isn’t so fortunate, and she’s a little snarky right now as she’s been dieting to take off those unwanted winter pounds, a difficult task when you’re nudging seventy (don’t tell her I told you that).
Then there are the guys she wrote into my stories, two of them in particular, a detective who’s cute enough to make my toes curl and a bass fisherman, sarcastic enough to make my head hurt.  Both of them like me, perhaps too much.  After Fred, my life partner died leaving me with nothing, I’m really not in the mood for another relationship.  I know, I know.  Women say that all the time, but that’s younger women.  At my sage age, it’s true.  A gal wants to think long and hard about getting involved with someone who has a lot of miles on him.  And these two guys do. 
The detective is a real know-it-all.  He thinks he’s an expert on human nature and therefore a great sleuth, but what he understands about women probably wouldn’t fill a shot glass at my favorite cowboy bar.  Yet he tries to pull rank on me all the time.  You’d think after I solved two murders he would show a little respect, but all I get is an evening with candlelight and wine.  Well, and a bottle of shower gel.  I might share it with him.

The bass fisherman is too prickly to get too close although he did save me from an alligator once.  For that he expects me to be grateful.  I have him where I want him.  I’m the bar manager at the Big Lake Country Club, and he works as a part-time bartender for me.  It does not set will with him.  I can tell.  What really rankles him is the detective.  I think he’s displaying something like jealousy but it’s hard to tell with him.  It could just be indigestion.
So that’s the pickle this author put me in. Stuck with experience that might make me smart but surrounded by two guys determined to dummy down my insights and skills.  I’ve heard she intends to do a third book.  I hope in this one she realizes I don’t need the help of these two guys.  Although the story might be better if she kept them in it.  Oh, well.
Here’s a hint:  She says she thinking of entitling the next one Scream Muddy Murder.  Unlike the others, she says she won’t have me blunder onto a body.  This time it will only be part of a body, the head.  Oh goody.
So thanks for letting me talk.  See you around the cowboy bars. And stay out of the swamps!
Respectfully submitted,

Emily Rhodes, Protagonist in Dumpster Dying and Grilled, Chilled and Killed

(Guest post submitted by Jean Henry Mead)


Patricia Gligor said...

I enjoyed this interview with Emily Rhodes. She's an interesting character with quite a knack for finding dead bodies. Great series!

Jean Henry Mead said...

I love the humor in your books, Lesley. Keep them coming.

Melodie Campbell said...

Fun interview, Lesley! And I agree about her best friends. They are people I would love in my life. :)

Jackie Taylor Zortman said...

What a wonderfully unique idea for your blog, Lesley. I loved reading it.

Morgan Mandel said...

Emily sounds like a fun character!
Also, I love the humorous titles of your books!

Morgan Mandel

Morgan Mandel said...

Emily sounds like a fun character!
Also, I love the humorous titles of your books!

Morgan Mandel

Lesley Diehl said...

Thanks for all your support. Emily is one of my favorite characters because she's witty, smart, and doesn't give up easily. I love to write humor and appreciate that all of you "get" me.

Claire said...

She's smart and sassy - perfect! Thanks for letting her speak to us.

Kathleen Kaska said...

Your books are so enjoyably funny, Lesley. I love the title of number two!

Lesley Diehl said...

Part of the fun of writing for me is coming up with a funny or catchy title.

ceblain said...

What a great way to write your blog. I loved it. I love humor and this sounds like a book that is right up my alley. Thank you for introducing this new author (to me) tonight.

Cynthia Blaiin