Love meets murder in this new cozy mystery series set in a quirky romance bookstore, with a heroine to die for.
Lizzie Hale may be the lucky owner of a successful romance bookshop, Love Under the Covers, but she's decidedly un-lucky in love. Though she's read almost every famous romance novelist, from Jane Austen to Nora Roberts, none have helped her figure out how to get—and keep—a man.
But Lizzie has bigger problems to worry about. Like murder.
When Brody Pierce, swoon-worthy ranch owner and resident bachelor, is found stabbed through the chest, hearts were heard breaking all over idyllic Tinker's Creek. But when Lizzie's aunt is implicated in the murder, she's determined to clear her name. Lizzie quickly realizes that Brody was a hunk with many hidden secrets, and she's soon leafing through a stack of suspects longer than Brody's list of lovers.
With the killer still on the loose, Lizzie will have to find the truth before this act of passion ignites a fire she can't put out.
There’s a lot that goes into writing a cozy mystery. There’s murder and clues galore; suspects and red herrings; setting is important, too, as are the people who live in that place.
The true heart of a cozy, though, is its main character, the amateur sleuth. And for cozy mystery writers, finding, developing, and writing that sleuth is a combination of fun and challenging.
That’s pretty much what I faced when I started tinkering with the idea for the Love is Murder mysteries. I knew I wanted to set my stories in a romance bookstore called Love Under the Covers. And obviously to keep the bookshop front and center, my heroine needed to be the proprietor of the shop.
But who would she be?
Her name struck me first—Lizzie Hale. And there were some givens right from the start: Lizzie had to be a book lover, she had to enjoy the romance genre above all else, and because she had to have the energy to run the shop and solve crimes, she had to be young.
So far, though, Lizzie sounded like a standard character, and readers demand more than that in the books they love.
What could make Lizzie different? For one thing, she needed to afford her own bookstore. I took care of that problem lickety-split: Lizzie’s parents had been investing in Apple stocks for her since she was born. When the stocks came into her possession, she chose to follow her dream and open a bookstore. If only all money problems were that easily solved!
That still wasn’t enough to make Lizzie stand out in the crowd. The idea of making Lizzie a baseball fan and whiz when it comes to statistics wasn’t all that hard since my family has always been big into baseball, so I added that into the mix, and from there, things just started to rock ‘n roll. I needed a hero/love interest, right? I made him a gorgeous park ranger and former major league baseball player. Instantly, Max and Lizzie have something in common, something they can talk about—baseball.
Then just to turns things on their head, I made Lizzie, romance novel lover, a complete loser when it comes to real life romance! When Max is around, Lizzie gets itchy. She gets tongue-tied. If it wasn’t for the saving grace of baseball and the fact that when she and Max talk murder, Lizzie’s in her element, she’s sure he’d discover what a romance dork she is.
Lizzie makes her debut in Death of a Red-Hot Rancher, the first book in the new series, and I’ve already finished the next in the series as well. I discovered more interesting things about Lizzie in that book and I hope I—and readers—will get to know her even better in years to come!
Mimi Granger is a pseudonym for Connie Laux, an established mystery author. She is the author of the League of Literary Ladies Mystery series, the Button Box Mystery series, and the Haunted Mansion Mystery series. Mimi resides in Cleveland, Ohio. Learn more online at.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I’m always excited to start a new cozy mystery series, so I couldn’t wait to read DEATH OF A RED HOT RANCHER, book 1 in the Love Is Murder series by author Mimi Granger.
I loved the lead character’s book store. I had just about every romance you could mention. I also liked her little home town and most of its residents. Protagonist, Lizzie, did fall a notch on my likeability meter because of something I won’t mention as I don’t want to skew how you view her.
DEATH OF A RED-HOT RANCHER is a solid beginning to this new series, and I’m looking forward to the second title to see what changes author Granger may make, and to learn more about the characters as she fleshes them out.