An Intimate Murder
by Stacy Verdick Case
When Jonathan and Susan Luther are murdered in their home, St. Paul homicide detective Catherine O’Brien and her partner Louise discover this isn’t the first time the Luther family has been visited by tragedy. Is it a case of bad family luck or is there something more?
Advance Praise for An Intimate Murder:
… the book is elevated above the standard police procedural by Case’s sharp, engaging characters, particularly an abundance of strong, interesting women. … Spending time in Catherine’s world is plenty of fun, and hopefully Case has more
novels in store.
Midwest Book Review:
… a spicy, fast-paced, first-person detective saga that produces winning characters and a satisfyingly-compelling mystery that will keep readers guessing to the end. – D. Donovan, eBook Reviewer, MBR
“Way to go, O’Brien.” Bob Shackelford leaned over my shoulder and tapped the newspaper. “Front page. I think that’s a first for you. Usually your tirades are limited to interoffice email. You’re really stepping up in the world.”
“Thanks, Shackelford. Say, you oughta have that growth looked at.”
I pointed to his head. “Oh, never mind, it’s your face.”
“Haw, haw, O’Brien. Very childish”
He was right but it was the best I could manage on limited coffee.
He lifted the paper from my desk and unfolded it in mid-air. “At least the story appears on the bottom half of the front page. Hardly anyone looks at the bottom half.”
The headline read, Saint Paul Police Defensive Over Botched Investigation. Under the headline was a photo of me in front of Pam Hind’s house. The photographer had snapped the photo while I was speaking. My lips curled back from my teeth and I was pointing into the crowd. I looked like KC when he sees the neighbor’s cat on our porch.
Shackelford tweaked the edge of the paper. “It took me a whole ten seconds to skim down far enough to see this article.”
I snatched the paper from his hands and began to read.
Officer Catherine O’Brien, a seven-year veteran of the Saint Paul Police Department, gave an impromptu press conference outside the house of Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan Luther who were murdered inside their Saint Paul area home Tuesday morning.
Officer O’Brien, stumbled drunkenly down the sidewalk, scolded the media, and referred to the press as “vultures” after attempts to question the officer about the path of the homicide investigation. This outburst is just the latest in what has become a pattern of denial and hostility by the Saint Paul Police Department and crime lab when questions regarding investigative procedures arise.
It is my pleasure to welcome Stacy Verdick Case, author of the Catherine O’Brien Mystery Series, to Room With Books!
It’s 100% my pleasure to be here with you today. I love your blog by the way especially the coffee theme. It plays writing into my own love of coffee and books.
Stacy, what do you do when you are not writing?
I have a 5-year-old who keeps me pretty busy but when she’s not demanding my attention I love to watch the shows on my DVR “The Walking Dead”, “Hell on Wheels”, and “Rizzoli and Isles”. If I’m not watching a story I’m reading a story. I know it’s cliché but I don’t know a writer who doesn’t love to read.
Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
I love To Kill A Mockingbird. I read it all the time. I think every author I’ve ever read has influenced me in some way good or bad. The late Cheryl Anne Porter was a big influence on me as well because she gave the best workshops ever. If you’re lucking and you can get your hands on one of the workshops she gave for RWA or other writing groups they will be worth your money.
Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
I think the challenges are the same for everyone. It’s a long road filled with rejections but it was all learning. The truth is the first books I sent out into the world weren’t where they needed to be to be published. That was hard to accept but the truth. I have tried to re-read those manuscripts now after all these years and they make me cringe. I had a lot of learning to do.
If you could have any superpower what would you choose?
This is so funny! I swear my daughter asked me that just a few weeks ago. I told her I wanted my superpower to be flight because I wouldn’t have to sit in a traffic jam anymore. Either that or teleportation. Anything that could get me from point A to point B faster so I wouldn’t have to deal with driving in ice storms, and around people who are texting and trying to kill everyone else around them.
What was your first job?
Delivering the local shopper after school when I was 13. My mom made me do it. I hated every second of it from the smell of the newsprint as I was folding them to walking around with a heavy bag in the hot sun. The smell of newspapers still makes me ill to this day.
What types of books do you write?
I write a humorous mystery series. Those two don’t seem congruous but think about movies like the Thin Man and then you’ll understand what I mean.
Who’s your main audience?
I thought I write for women, but I’ve been surprised at how many men have embraced the series. Anyone who enjoys a fun, fast-paced read will like the books.
Out of all of your characters, which is your favorite?
You can’t ask me that. That’s like asking a parent who their favorite child is. I love all my characters for different reasons. Any one of them could crash on my couch at a moment’s notice. Except those pesky killers. They can’t come over.
What does your writing schedule look like?
I don’t have a schedule. I write where and when I can and fit it in around life. I carry a pen and paper with me wherever I go and if there’s time I will write. Since my daughter was born I’ve lost the luxury of regular writing times so I’ve learned to make do with the time I have. If I’m in a doctor’s waiting room or a long line somewhere I’m usually writing. I also have a digital recorder so I could recoup all that stuck in traffic time for writing. Yes, I am the crazy person you see talking to myself as you drive by.
Do you use your OWN experiences?
Of course! I’ve never killed anyone, but I do take pieces of my own life and interject them into my books. I steal other people’s lives too. I tell my friend they are all fodder. Any situation I encounter can make it into a book.
Was it easy to pick the title for your book?
No. The original title was Murder is a Family Affair but no one like that but me. They were probably right. They usually are.
If you could pick one profession, other than author, which would you choose?
Rock star! I mean who wouldn’t want to be a rock star? Having your every whim indulged. I mean have you read those contract riders. I want one of those! If I couldn’t be a rock star because let’s face it, I can’t sing, then I guess I would have to choose interior designer. I love decorating and redecorating. I’ve been told I have an eye for it, so that might be fun. Rock star would be better though.
What are you currently working on?
The fourth book in the Catherine O’Brien series. I can’t say much about it except that Catherine’s mother-in-law plays a big part. That makes for some interesting moments for Catherine.
What is your favorite flavor of ice cream? Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Therapy
Night owl, or early bird? Both – it’s the middle of the day I don’t feel productive.
Red, or white wine? Red – Merlot to be specific.
Roller Coasters or Water Rides? Neither. I don’t like wet and I hate heights. I’m a merry-go-round sort of gal.
Swimming in the ocean or a pool? Pool! Definitely pool.
Walking or fitness club? Walking.
Any last words?
Are you going to kill me? I thought we were getting along so well.
We are getting along marvelously, Stacy. You have nothing to fear, unless it’s a caffeine overdose here with me! Thanks so much for chatting with me and our readers and for allowing Room With Books to be part of your tour!
Thank you and your readers for spending time with me! This was a really fun interview. I am grateful that you let me be with you today.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Stacy has written all her life earning a High School Writer Award and a Daphne Du Mauier Award for excellence in Mainstream Mystery/Suspense.
Stacy currently lives in a suburb of St. Paul with her husband of twenty-years, her five-year-old daughter, and their two cats.
An Intimate Murder is the third book in the Catherine O’Brien series.
Visit Stacy on the web:
Stacy will award a $50 Barnes and Noble GC to one winner, and a signed ARC of An Intimate Murder (US only) to two randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during this tour and her standard tour.
Room With Books encourages readers to follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found by clicking on the tour banner below.