By J. H. Bográn
There´s an old Frank Sinatra song called “Love and Marriage” that claims the two go together like a horse and carriage. I, for one, find the same kind of link between books and coffee. They make a perfect blend of adrenaline rush and suspense. Waiting for your next cup of java is Lynn Cahoon’s latest entry in her Tourist Trap mystery series. She delivers the goods, which goes equally well with tea in this case.
Best-selling author Cahoon sat down with The Big Thrill to talk about TEA CUPS AND CARNAGE, the second novel in the series to feature progatonist Jill Gardner.
What is the new novel about?
The quaint coastal town of South Cove, California, is all abuzz about the opening of a new specialty shop, Tea Hee. But as Coffee, Books, and More owner Jill Gardner is about to find out, there’s nothing cozy about murder . . .
How did Jill Gardner come into the picture?
She’s the me I wanted to be; the woman who took a chance when she wasn’t happy with her life. I always seemed to let things happen. At the time, I was in the process of a divorce that I had initiated. I found the house that I modeled Miss Emily’s home after and South Cove was born from there.
What can we expect from her in this new adventure?
In TEA CUPS AND CARNAGE, Jill has to deal with a lot on her plate, including a new business moving into town that could be competition. When a body is found at the no-tell motel on the coastal highway out of town, she has to figure out if her newest business member of South Cove is not only a former beauty queen, but also a murderer.
The store Coffee, Books, and More presents lots of opportunities for a sleuth. How did you come up with it?
In my hometown of Meridian, ID, there’s a new coffee shop in an old house called The Library. It has a lovely sitting room, filled with bookshelves. I thought if they could do it with used books just to read, I could do a new bookstore that brought both of my loves, coffee and books, into one store. Also, since South Cove is very small, businesses need to serve more than one need.
Based on the store name, I feel obligated to ask: What’s your stand on that series comma (aka the serial or Oxford comma)?
Ha! What day is it? Seriously, I feel like the series comma is one of those things that it feels like we need the comma to make the sentence or title correct. I love my copy editors because they keep my storytelling in line with the technicalities of getting the story to my readers.
What kind of research did you have to do for this?
For TEA CUPS, I did a lot of work with my sister as she used to run a bank vault for a large bank. I wanted the small bank process to be realistic. For me, writing South Cove is like going home, I need to figure out what’s happening in the world of my imaginary friends. I’ve also done research on Geocaching and gluten-free diets for Murder on Wheels. It just really depends on what the book needs.
What are you currently working on?
I’m going back to South Cove and starting the next book. Greg is hosting a bachelor’s party for his best friends from college. When one of the guys winds up dead in the hotel pool, Greg is off the case and Jill has to step in and help clear his friend’s names while putting the real murderer behind bars.
You have two series going on, any chance they will cross paths?
I love writing more than one series. I like mixing up the worlds so it gives me a break between being fully into Jill’s life. I can also learn more about Cat’s writing retreat. I’m also trying a mystery within a mystery with the Cat Latimer mysteries so it’s a challenge to up my writing chops at the same time.
As far as them crossing paths, check out the last chapter in TEA CUPS. You’ll get a surprise visit to South Cove from Cat Latimer, the author.
Why do you write murder?
As a romance author, I was often asked if I’d tried out the sex scenes in my books. I’m happy to say I’ve never been asked if I’ve really killed someone using the method I introduce to dispatch a victim.
Lynn Cahoon is the author of the New York Times and USA Today bestselling Tourist Trap cozy mystery series. Guidebook to Murder, book 1 of the series, won the Reader’s Crown for Mystery Fiction in 2015. She’s also the author of the upcoming Cat Latimer series, with the first book, A Story to Kill, releasing in mass market paperback next month. Cahoon lives in a small town like the ones she loves to write about with her husband and two fur babies.
To learn more about Lynn, and sign up for her newsletter, please visit her website.