Author Julie Seedorf

Monday, September 29, 2014

Hello everyone! 

Today I am thrilled to be hosting one of my favorite cozy authors, and just an around awesome lady, 
Connie Archer!

Connie writes The Soup Lover's Mystery series. 
If you haven't read this series, you must add it to your reading list!

Connie has been thinking a lot lately about who she wants to kill. In her books that is! 

After you read Connie's dilemma, maybe you can help her out by leaving a comment letting her know who you think she should and shouldn't kill. 

And to thank you, Connie is giving away a copy of your choice of one of her first three 
Soup Lover's Mysteries!

You can enter using the Rafflecopter form below.

So, lets see what Connie has to say. 

    Who should I kill next?
by Connie Archer

Someone recently asked me how I’ve managed to have one or more murders in each book of the Soup Lover’s Mystery series without depleting the admittedly small population of Snowflake, Vermont.  Originally, the town census was 953 but now, unfortunately, there are only 950 souls in the village.  (Psssst . . . . don’t tell anyone, but the murder rate in this charming village is rather high.)


Winter tourists come for the ski slopes, summer visitors for the lovely scenery and the reenactment of the Battle of Bennington and, of course, the Harvest Festival in the fall.  Outsiders are safe.  Well, I mean they’re safe for me to kill, but Snowflake may not be a very safe place for them to be.  And of course if anyone comes to town for nefarious reasons, I feel I have a completely free hand in bumping them off. 

So that got me to thinking . . . what would happen if one of the village residents, one of the regulars in town, were murdered?  Would that complete demolish the boundaries of a cozy mystery?  Would readers be upset and write angry emails to me?  And if I should decide to do just that, who would I choose? 


Speaking of bumping characters off -- I’ve watched pretty much every episode of Downton Abbey.  No, I’m not a rabid fan, although I really have enjoyed the series.  A reviewer recently described Downton as a “perfect soap opera.”  That gave me pause.  A soap?  Wow!  I hadn’t quite thought of Downton Abbey as a soap, but maybe that reviewer had a point.  Maybe whatever factors caused Downton to be so popular are the same elements that make a mystery series a success. 


Let’s examine some of the things that have happened at Downton.  Bates has gone to jail -- for a good long time for the murder of his wife, leaving Anna heartbroken and terrified.  It wasn’t looking as if Bates would ever be released.  Anna’s been raped by a monstrous valet.  The younger sister who ran off with the chauffeur (sorry, can’t remember her character’s name), has died after childbirth, and then there’s Matthew.  What a shocker that was at the end of the season! 


So here’s this marvellous series that pulls every fan in every week even though terrible things are happening to the Crawley family and other residents of Downton Abbey.  Could I take a leaf from that book?  (Speaking figuratively that is.)  Could I kill off a series regular character?  Is that actually DONE in cozies???  And who would I choose? 

Jack?  Lucky’s beloved grandfather?  Well, we know Jack has had some health problems and then of course there are his flashbacks to the war.  But no!  Not Jack!  Never!  Even though he’s 85 years young.  Besides, who would tell time by the bells if anything happened to that wonderful Navy vet?

Lucky?  Nope.  Can’t do that.  After all, she’s my main protagonist.  Without her there couldn’t be a series.  She has to stick around to solve all the crimes.  Sophie?  Lucky’s best friend?  Can’t see that.  Sophie just got married.  Well, she will have been married by the end of Book 4, Ladle to the Grave, which is coming out on March 3, 2015.  No, that would be terrible. 


Sage DuBois?  The Spoonful’s chef?  Yikes!  Who would make all those fabulous soup recipes?  And surely not Horace Winthorpe!  He hasn’t finished his book on the Revolutionary War years in Vermont yet.  He has a ways to go.  And definitely not his dog Cicero.  Never Cicero

Perhaps a more minor character?  Flo Sullivan who sends Jack into tailspins with her flirtations?  Hmmm.  Hank or Barry, the Spoonful’s regulars?  Uh, uh.  They’re the first customers of the day.  Killing them would cause a rift in the universe that is Snowflake, Vermont

The more I thought about it, I realized how hard the choice would be, if not impossible.  I love them all.  I need them all.  They people the pages of each book, lending texture and color and idiosyncrasies.  I couldn’t bear to kill any of them.  Just can’t do it. 

This title will be released on March 3, 2015.

What do you think?  Should everyone in Snowflake stay in Snowflake?  The important people I mean?  Even the ones who are so annoying, like Cordelia Rank?  Personally, I think it would just be too too sad.  I want them all there the next time I sit down to plot the new crimes in the village. 

What do you think?  Could you bear to lose anyone in Snowflake?  Would you never speak or write to me again? 

Wow! Connie sure is in a predicament. 

I'm going to throw in my opinion. 

I would hate to see any of the people Connie mentioned above get murdered. But it occurs to me there are semi-regular characters that could be killed off and it would add just the right amount of angst to the story without completely breaking our hearts by losing one of our beloved regulars. 

My pick would be Sage's brother, Remy DuBois. 

What do you think? Do you think Connie can kill off a regular? 
Or should she stick with visitors to Snowflake?

I can't wait to read your suggestions for her.

You can purchase Connie Archer's Soup Lover's Mysteries at you local bookstore or any of these online book sellers.


Connie Archer is the national bestselling author of the Soup Lover’s Mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime.  
A Spoonful of Murder, A Broth of Betrayal and A Roux of Revenge are set in the imaginary village of Snowflake, Vermont.  
The fourth book in the series, Ladle to the Grave, 
will be released in March 2015.  
You can visit Connie at her website and blog: conniearchermysteries.com, Facebook.com/ConnieArcherMysteries and Twitter @SnowflakeVT.

As always, please leave a comment and 
let me know what you think!

Want to follow my blog? 
Click on the link in the 
upper right hand corner of this page!

GOOD LUCK!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please read on for the answers to yesterday's
Monday Mystery Mashup!

?~?~?~?~?~?~?~?~?~?~?~?~?~?~?


SOLUTIONS

1. A Haunting Is Brewing

2. Murderous Muffins

3. Golden Malicious

4. Murder Most Maine

5. Abby Cooper, Psychic Eye

Check back next Monday 
for more Mashups!



35 comments:

  1. I have to get caught up on this series. I loved the first book. Thank you for the chance to win!

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    1. Hi Dawn ~ Best of luck today. I hope you get to visit the village of Snowflake soon!

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  2. I've not yet read any of the Soup Lovers' mysteries but I do read other cozy series' and I'd hate for any of the main characters to not be there next time I were to crack the spine, so to speak.

    Thanks for the chance to win.

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    1. Hi Laura ~ I know exactly what you mean. I like to feel as if I'm visiting good friends I haven't seen for a while when I pick up the next book in a favorite series. Good luck today ~ I hope you get to meet everyone in Snowflake, VT soon!

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  3. I haven't read any of the books in this series YET but I don't think that any core characters should be killed off—minor characters and people who drift in and out, YES!

    skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

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    1. Hi Sheila ~ I tend to agree. I'd hate to lose anyone. I hope you'll visit the village soon and get to know everyone there! Good luck today!

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  4. I would hate to see any of the main characters killed off---but maybe a main character could have a family member or close friend visit and that person could be killed.

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    1. Hi Sue ~ That's a great idea! And Lucky would have to investigate too! Good luck today!

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  5. I haven't read this series yet. But after reading some of the people in your town, I think Flo Sullivan would be the perfect one to kill off. A lot of mystery as to who done it and why could come from the death of the town flirt. Could turn out to be very interesting for sure.

    Angie Young
    angiey1974@hotmail.com

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    1. Hi Angie ~ Flo's a good idea too. But if she dies, then who would drive Lucky's grandfather Jack crazy? He has to run whenever she shows up at the soup shop! Good luck today and thanks for stopping by!

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  6. Keep the regulars! Bring outside victims in.



    patucker54 at aol dot com

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    1. Hi Patricia ~ Yup, I think you're right. It's too heart wrenching to think of losing anyone central to the Snowflake. No matter what they do on Downton Abbey! Good luck today!

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    2. It's so hard when a main character is killed off. This just happened on one of my favorite TV shows and I don't know if I can watch anymore (but I will). As long as it's not the very main characters you can get away with it but I prefer either minor characters or someone brought in.

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    3. Oh, I always hate it when that happens. I'm like you, I'll probably still watch a show, but I really miss my favorite characters. And I agree, strangers to Snowflake, VT only. Don't want to kill even the annoying ones! Good luck today, Kiki!

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  7. Well, if you are stealing a page from Downton Abbey, you could kill off a main character, BUT only if he/she had a contract (book deal) in his/her pocket to have an even better/bigger part in another series. All his/her character traits, but without the name or connection to Snowflake in ANOTHER book series. (example: Daniel Radcliffe) What say?

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    1. Hi Jackie ~ That's a good thought! But what if a reader says, "Hey, didn't that guy get killed in Snowflake???" I always remember a funny line from the movie 'Tootsie' at the funeral of the violin player. Dustin Hoffman's character asks, "What happened to the violin player?" He's told, "He asked for a raise!"

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  8. I hated every time they killed someone off in Downton, but then -- that's TV & that happens in TV --- if you were reading a LONG novel (think Gone With The Wind long) -- at some point people are born & people die & new people come along. But I think the whole genre of the cozy mystery works on different guidelines. For a number of reasons, it really throws me when a steady (or recurring) character gets killed off. (Remember in Downton nobody was being murdered -- one died in childbirth, one in a motor accident & so on) -- so for a steady to be the murder victim in a cozy -- it just somehow doesn't feel *right*! Also -- in Downton -- someone died -- they're not there anymore -- life goes on without them. In a cozy -- if you murder someone -- the whole book then becomes *about* that person (who may have not been that important to the story before that) --- what he did & why was he killed & so on -- its a whole different dynamic! Finally -- consider that not everyone who picks up the book will be reading your series in order -- I was recently reading a series where I'd started with book #3 in the series, then I read book #4.. then I went back & started with the first one --- and found that I already could figure out who was the murderer simply based on the fact that I already knew that *this* prime suspect will be the victim in book #4, so obviously he's not the murderer in *this* one -- and *that* prime suspect can't be the murderer cuz he's owning the house of this victim in a later book (so I now know that he's her heir, obviously he's not the murderer if he's walking free & profiting from her murder!) & by process of elimination -- knew who had to be the murdered (w/o even knowing anything about that character, except that she had no part in later books & everyone else did!)

    So it just seems bad "craft" to kill off your regulars. (That said, Lillian Jackson Braun did it all the time & I just hated it!!!!!)

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    1. Ah, that's amazing! So a serious red herring person was used in later books? I once picked up a detective novel by an author I hadn't read previously (Nicholas Freeling and his Dutch Inspector Van der Valk). It's an older series, which I didn't realize at the time, but I was really loving the book and the main detective (the Inspector) is killed early on!!! I was devastated! How could the author do that??? I later learned, Freeling was tired of writing the series, killed his Inspector, but went on with a series based on the Inspector's wife, Arlette, who solves the murder of her husband. I still wanted to read more Inspector Van der Valk though! I really appreciate your thoughts! Good luck today!

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  9. Why don't you bring in a brother, sister, cousin of one of the regulars who has a secret that would REALLY upset someone??? That's one way to top them, isn't it?

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  10. Mmmmm I like that idea! Actually, in Book 4, Ladle to the Grave, (ooops I can't say too much here) but Sophie's brother does come to town. And lots of secrets come to light! But your idea is a great one. All these people could have siblings and cousins and whatever that do turn up at random. It's fun when characters have back stories and histories. Best of luck today!

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  12. I haven't started reading this series, but have added it to my TBR list.

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  13. I have not read this series, but will add to my TBR list.

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  14. I haven't read this series yet, but will add it to my TBR list.

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    1. Hi Raquel ~ I hope you get to visit the By the Spoonful Soup Shop soon, and meet all the characters there! Best of luck in the giveaway!

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  15. Oh heck Connie...just let them all live! I'd love to win a copy of the 1st installment as this is a new-to-me series. Thanks Lisa and Connie...great blog today!

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    1. I think you're right ~ everyone in Snowflake should stay in Snowflake. I'll only kill the outsiders! Thanks for stopping by today and best of luck in the giveaway too!

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  16. I have to agree, I love to see the main characters stay, I do admit though that after a few books I wouldn't mind seeing something happen to an obnoxious character, new wackos can always be brought in. LOL

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    1. LOL! Hi Debbie ~ good point! I'd love to bring in some new wackos! They'd make good murder victims too. Good luck today in the giveaway!

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    2. I have to admit I am drawn to the characters in the series. They are delightful and interesting. I would miss them. I would like to see a new arrival be the victim, one that is a trouble maker and perhaps that would add to the story. I love all the cast of characters and would miss them .

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    3. Oh, thank you, Lexie! That's so great to hear. I'm very fond of all of them myself. There are a few new arrivals to Snowflake in Book 4, and they will be causing/bringing a lot of trouble, so I hope you'll get to read that story too. Good luck today!

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  17. If you killed off a main character then you have to write in a replacement, like if Sage was killed off, Lucky would have to find another chef, that could lead to more people moving into town (maybe the new chef would have a family). somehow the void would have to be filled.

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    1. Absolutely! There's always a way to add new characters, but where would Lucky find a chef as good as Sage? Sage has been offered jobs at the Snowflake Resort, but he's been loyal to Lucky and the By the Spoonful Soup Shop. (He doesn't think Lucky knows, but she really does.) But if Sage were killed, what would poor Sophie do? They're planning to get married. Sophie would be heartbroken! Can I do that to Sophie???
      It's a dilemma! Good luck today, Marcy!

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  18. Bring in a character who lived in the town but had been gone for a long time.
    Maybe somebody people didn't like to start with. You could kill that person off.

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    1. Ah! That's a great idea! No one would know what he or she was really up to! Thank you and good luck in the giveaway!

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