The Marriage Murders by Bobbye Terry

By L. Dean Murphy

Roxie Turner is back in the hot seat when the body of the groom from her latest wedding is pulled from the bay, apparently drowned under questionable circumstances. She’s on the scent to find his killer, but has other things to worry about, like the femme fatale who opened the naughty lingerie shop—and the witch’s former connection to boyfriend, Greg. Things heat up as more people die in Briny Bay, and all from the same wedding party. Is Roxie’s career headed for demise at the same time as her love life?

Bobbye added, “It’s a tale of the age-old clash of outsiders moving into a small Southern town. The difference is when Briny Bay outsiders move into town, they seem to bring murder and mayhem with them. You have sex (for sale?), money laundering, and murder. How’s that for a nice lineup of felonies? As usual Roxie and Trixie bungle into the middle of it all. This time, however, Roxie’s heart is also on the line as she questions Greg’s fidelity and learns new secrets about his past.”

Michelle Kelly of Another Look Book Reviews and Amazon’s 5-Star review of Buried in Briny Bay said, “The sisters totally made this book work. Trixie and Roxie kept my eyes glued to the pages. I never knew what they were gonna do next. I am trying to come up with how to describe them but Trixie’s husband captured it best by saying, ‘Those two are about as wild as crabgrass and just as persistent.’”

Bobbye Terry brings to the marriage of mystery and romance a certain Southern charm that is rapidly dwindling from contemporary novels. Think Deborah Sharp’s Mace Bauer series, with her fourth installment, Mama Sees Stars, due in September. Reviewer Oline Cogdill said of Sharp’s series, “A solid marriage of realistic characters, humor and a view of old Florida.” The same applies to Bobbye’s books, set in various regions of the South.

Bobbye introduces Southern charm to ePublishing, by way of Turquoise Morning Press. The Marriage Murders is Book 2 of the Briny Bay mysteries, about two sisters who bungle their way into murder investigations. They’ve been compared to Lucy Ricardo and Ethel Mertz. This mystery is long on Southern humor. Unlike the first book, this one is a bit more romantic and suggestive. The series takes place in the fictional town of Briny Bay, which Bobbye envisioned being at the mouth of North Carolina’s coastal Neuse River.

This is not her first mystery. Writing with Linda Campbell as “Terry Campbell,” they produced Slam Sisters of Serendipity. Set in South Carolina, it’s about a six-woman tennis team that goes into the amateur sleuthing business after the murder of their locker room maid. It was written a while back but came out in early June from Eternal Press. The characters are different but the tone is similar.

Bobbye added, “In September I’ll introduce the Climax series, set in the real town of Climax, Virginia, although details about the town are fictionalized. There really isn’t anything there except a reputation for an on-again off-again Moonshine Festival in the summer. Those are also full of Southern humor but they have a grittier edge, sometimes on the brink of horror.” Sounds thrilling!

Being a Southerner, Bobbye doesn’t use “y’all” gratuitously. “That’s the difference between someone being a true child of the South and those who want to write like they are. The dialect is so comfortable, I don’t really think about how to write it. Now, there are distinct differences in the way Southerners speak in regions of the South. I don’t write dialect quite the same way when my characters are from South Carolina, Georgia or Alabama as those who are from Virginia and eastern North Carolina. Having always been a chameleon when I go to a new place and stay there a few days, I easily pick up the nuances, y’all.”

Inspiration came from writing another book, This Magic Moment, that releases in December. “Trixie popped up as a walk-on secondary character. She stole the few scenes she had. Roxie also made a cameo. I decided I liked these ladies. As for the set-up, my friend always jokes about ways she’d kill people. So, I thought what if Roxie had this long-running feud with somebody and that person ended up dead, killed in the same way as one of Roxie’s fabricated murder techniques. I was off and running. The characters did the rest. They do come to life, you know (grin).”

Bobbye is an eclectic reader. “I read from almost every commercial genre. I’m not that fond of literary fiction—probably OD’ed on it in college. Maybe that’s why I often mix genres. I have elements of thrillers in some of my fantasy books as well.”

Advice is given for aspiring writers. “Don’t give up. This profession is fraught with disappointment and rejection. You have to believe in yourself, but also listen to the criticism and learn. If you hear the same thing about your work several times from different critiques, you need to listen and look at the parts of the WIP they believe need work.”

Bobbye said the story, “always changes some because all I have to begin with are the main plot points. Sometimes I have only the inciting incident, the mid-point and the end. Fill in the blanks. Even then, I sometimes change who the killer is. Some folks ask me how I can do that with a mystery, because there are so many things to keep track of, including seeding the story with red herrings. I don’t have an answer, except to say I don’t lose track of the threads.”

Very little of Bobbye’s style is rewriting. “I edit as I go along and several more times, but huge portions are rarely changed. Sometimes I’ll go back and add in more detail or catch a passage out of sync that needs to be moved. I write straight through in complete detail.”

Bobbye shared special thoughts from readers. “The words every writer wants to hear, and I just read not too long ago in a review, are I.Love.This.Book. It doesn’t get any better than that.”

The best is yet to be. “Coming to Climax comes out in September and its sequel, Nick of Time, will be released in November. The Shadow Knows is the next Briny Bay mystery. If you’re interested in fantasy, Daryn Cross, my other pen name, has The Book of the Beginning series premiering in February. All of these titles are with Turquoise Morning Press.”

*****

Bobbye Terry is an author of suspense, romantic comedy, and fantasy. She writes with extensive humor and suspense, where Southern charm meets macabre reality. Including collaboration with other authors, she has published nine titles through June. She lives in the Texas Panhandle near Lubbock. The author asks readers to “please let me know what you think of my books and characters. Writers live for words of praise.”

Glory be! Truth be told.

To learn about Bobbye Terry, please visit her website.

Dean Murphy

L. Dean Murphy interviews authors and reviews books for Bookreporter.com & The Big Thrill. The MWA, FWA and ITW member is working on, The Art of Murder, and Two Bodies. His maxim is "When there’s nothing left, write."

Visit him at: www.DeanMurphy.net.

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