Friday, April 6, 2018
The Advice Column Murders by Leslie Nagel - Character Guest Post
Today, I'm featuring one of my favourite cozy mystery authors Leslie Nagel.
Nagel writes The Oakwood Mystery Series and I've been fortunate to read the first book in the series The Book Club Murders.
It gives me great pleasure to feature The Advice Column Murders, book 3 in the series. Below is the synopsis followed by a character guest post in interview format for one of the characters in the book.
Book: The Advice Column Murders
Series: The Oakwood Mystery Series
Author: Leslie Nagel
Genre: Cozy mystery
Publication date: 3 April 2018
What’s the couple next door really hiding? Vintage fashionista and amateur sleuth Charley Carpenter finds out in this engrossing cozy mystery from the USA Today bestselling author of The Book Club Murders.
In a small town like Oakwood, Ohio, everyone knows everyone else’s business—except for Charley Carpenter’s standoffish new neighbors, who tend to keep to themselves. But behind closed doors, Paxton Sharpe’s habit of screaming bloody murder at all hours of the day keeps Charley awake all night. Coupled with the stress of the increasingly delayed expansion of her shop, Old Hat Vintage Fashions, the insomnia is driving Charley crazy. Her only distraction? The local paper’s irreverent new advice column, “Ask Jackie.”
Jackie’s biting commentary usually leaves Charley and her employees rolling on the floor, but her latest column is no laughing matter. An oddly phrased query hinting at a child in peril immediately puts Charley on high alert. After arriving home to a bloodcurdling scream next door, she follows the noise into the basement and makes a grisly discovery: the body of Judith Sharpe’s adult daughter.
With Detective Marcus Trenault off in Chicago, Charley decides to take matters into her own hands. Convinced that the murder is connected to the desperate plea for help in “Ask Jackie,” she embarks on a twisted investigation that has her keeping up with the Sharpes—before a killer strikes again.
Guest post by Leslie Nagel as part of The Advice Column Murders blog tour
Behind the Curtain: An Insider’s Guide to Who’s Who on the Oakwood Scene by Bambi Gazelle
An exclusive interview with the mysterious author of “Ask Jackie”, the sassy new advice column in The Oakwood Register. This reporter secured a one-on-one meeting with the ironclad proviso that we will NOT be revealing Jackie’s identity.
BG: I must say, you’re not at all what I was expecting, Jackie.
AJ: I take it you’ve read my column?
BG: Who hasn’t? In the few short months since it first appeared, “Ask Jackie” has become the toast of the town. And your identity has become the hottest mystery.
AJ: Keep ‘em guessing, I always say!
BG: May I ask why? Why the secrecy? The column is fantastic, a hilarious yet deadly accurate analysis of Oakwood society. You should be proud. Why not accept the accolades?
AJ: A couple of reasons. First off, not everyone gets the answers they’re looking for. I call it like I see it, and a lot of the time, that means calling people out on their prejudices or poor behavior. I live in Oakwood, and I’d prefer not to encounter a disgruntled advisee in a shadowy parking lot, if you get my drift.
BG: I certainly do. And the other reason?
AJ: I started the column as a lark. It was supposed to be a joke, a way to examine the human condition through the filter of anonymous letters. And for the first few months, that’s exactly the sort of letters that came in. My wife snores. My neighbor’s cat keeps pooping on my azaleas. My son’s girlfriend has an Adam’s apple. But then . . . (trails off, bites lip)
BG: Yes? Something happened?
AJ: You could say that. Last week I received a letter signed “A Tortured Soul.” The writer speaks in generalities, but anyone with half a brain can see what she’s getting at.
BG: Which is?
AJ: Child abuse. “Tortured” knows about a child that’s being mistreated in some way.
BG: Oh, no!
AJ: Oh, yes. It’s so serious and scary, I almost didn’t print it. Then I thought: This is exactly what abusers count on, that people would rather sweep the shocking and difficult under the rug, rather than drag it into the light of day.
BG: So you ran it in the column?
AJ: It’s going to appear in tomorrow’s paper. I expect it will rattle quite a few cages, as will my response. I told “Tortured” to get off her tush and call the cops. If that child suffers one more day, and she could have done something to prevent it? That’s on her. And that’s what I meant about calling people out.
BG: The writer of that letter is female?
AJ: Shit. I didn’t mean to . . . Listen, Bambi. I don’t know what’s going on with this poor woman, but she’s on the verge of leveling a very serious accusation at someone. If that someone figures out who she is, and if that someone suspects she might actually go to the police? Well. People have committed murder over less. If anything happened to “A Tortured Soul” because of something I wrote in “Ask Jackie”, I’d never forgive myself.
BG: You think whoever wrote that letter might be in real danger?
AJ: It’s possible. In fact, I have a very good friend who helps the police with the occasional bit of crime detection. This might be right up her alley.
BG: You wouldn’t be referring to Charley Carpenter, would you? I’ve written about several of her more outrageous collaborations with Detective Marcus Trenault, including her near death in the Mulbridge House fire last month.
AJ: (winks) I think perhaps it’s time for Jackie to step out of the shadows and call in the cavalry. If anyone can discover the identity of “A Tortured Soul” and get to the bottom of the mystery, it’s Oakwood’s own version of Sherlock Holmes. Of course, when she finds out who I am, something tells me Charley’s not going to be the least bit surprised.
Check out Nadaness In Motion’s five-star book review of The Book Club Murders, book 1 in The Oakwood Mystery Series by Leslie Nagel. Hint: It’s a five-star must-read!
About the author:
Leslie Nagel is a writer and teacher of writing at a local community college. Her debut novel, The Book Club Murders, is the first in the Oakwood Mystery Series. Leslie lives in the all too real city of Oakwood, Ohio, where murders are rare but great stories lie thick on the ground. After the written word, her passions include her husband, her son, and daughter, hiking, tennis and strong black coffee, not necessarily in that order.
Keep up with the rest of the tour
April 3 – Varietats – REVIEW
April 4 – Ruff Drafts – GUEST POST
April 5 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
April 7 – Ms. Cat's Honest World – REVIEW
April 8 – The Montana Bookaholic – SPOTLIGHT
April 9 – The Ninja Librarian – REVIEW
April 10 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 11 – A Blue Million Books – GUEST POST
April 12 – Laura's Interests – REVIEW
April 13 – Girl with Book Lungs – INTERVIEW
April 14 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT
April 15 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW