Avery Morgan has had a harrowing first week on the job as manager of the Portage Path Woman's Club. Not only is she in charge of a grand old home with a mountain of maintenance problems and scheduling nightmares--thanks to a recent fire in the Marigold meeting room--but she's also got Muriel Sadler to deal with. Muriel is the current president of the club, the one "nay" vote when the rest of the board voted "aye" to hiring Avery.
After a morning of dealing with another one of Muriel's snits and a meeting with the delicious and delightfully unsettling Ben Harkness, who will be handling renovations in the fire-damaged portions of the house, the last thing Avery needs is for one of the fuses to blow. Again.
She grabs her handy flashlight and heads into the basement, where she stumbles across Muriel's body. She also stumbles across an unexpected helper, Clemmie Bow, the ghost of a young woman who was accidentally killed in the building almost a hundred years ago.
Together Clemmie and Avery are determined to solve Muriel's murder before the killer sends Avery to join Clemmie on the other side.
Where do you get your ideas?
Authors get asked that question all the time and although I can’t speak for other writers, I know for me the answer is always the same, “Well, that depends.”
Sometimes, a story idea will be sparked by something I see on the news. Other times, I overhear a bit of conversation and it sends my imagination into overdrive. A story idea can spring from pretty much anywhere, from an offhand comment my spouse makes to a person I pass on the street who looks interesting and different, and that sets my wheels spinning. “I wonder what that man does for a living. Where does he live? Who are his friends?”
For my new Haunted Mansion mystery series I can say exactly when and where the idea originated. I’d been asked to speak at a luncheon at the Akron Woman’s City Club, one of the oldest and largest women’s clubs in the country. AWCC was established in 1923 and since the 40s, it has been housed is a lovely old mansion. It was a pleasure being there with the club’s members, enjoying lunch, and talking about books. After my talk, my hostess gave me a tour of the house that included a visit to the basement.
I know, doesn’t exactly sound enchanting, does it?
Until I learned that back during Prohibition when it was illegal to sell liquor in the US, the basement of that lovely, gorgeous, historic mansion housed a clandestine speakeasy.
I dare any writer to hear that and not come up with a story idea!
Naturally, my wheels started spinning. I created my own club, the Portage Path Women’s Club, and made my heroine, Avery Morgan, it’s brand-spanking-new business manager. Avery has definitely got her work cut out for her. In addition to booking the mansion where PPWC is housed for things like parties and weddings, Avery needs to make sure that members stay engaged. In book number one of the series, Haunted Homicide,” she learns her job would all be a darned sight easier if she didn’t have to deal with Muriel Sadler, the president of the club, the only nay vote when the rest of the board voted aye to hire Avery.
That, of course, turns out to be the least of Avery’s problems when she finds Muriel’s body at the bottom of the basement stairs–and a ghost hanging around the old speakeasy.
Back in the Roaring Twenties, Clemmie Bow was hired as a singer at the speakeasy, but her stage career was cut short when she died before she ever had a chance to warble a note.
In spite of the fact that Avery’s aunt is a medium in Lily Dale, New York (the largest Spiritualist community in the world), she’s never believed it’s possible to contact the dead. Now, she has no
choice, and she needs to team up with her disembodied buddy and solve Muriel’s murder . . . before the murderer catches up with Avery and she joins Clemmie on the Other Side!