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Philomela Nightingale visits her sister in the town of Saltaire. While coping with a thieving museum volunteer and a charlatan psychic, the two women become involved with an identity theft, a hit-and-run car accident, and a murder. Will Philomela’s powers of observation and intuition be strong enough for her to help the police solve these serious puzzles?

The Big Thrill had a chance to speak with author Benni Chisholm about SHOWMAN OR SHAMAN:

What do you hope readers will take away from this book?

I hope they enjoy light entertainment and feel good after finishing the book. If they glean a bit of new information, that is a bonus.

How does this book make a contribution to the genre?

It will provide pleasant, escape reading while the reader also solves the puzzle of whodunit. Hopefully tid-bits of new information will be passed on to the reader.

Was there anything new you discovered, or surprised you, as you wrote this book?

I was surprised at how much I enjoyed writing and editing the book. It was also amazing how a character sometimes took over and I had to rein her in.

No spoilers, but what can you tell us about your book that we won’t find in the jacket copy or the PR material?

A lady’s dess-shop and fashion-show add frivolous fun. A compulsive shopper’s serious problems are informative, as are methods of trying to solve her addiction.

What authors or books have influenced your career as a writer, and why?

Agatha Christie first hooked me on cozy mysteries. Gail Bowen and Louise Penny taught me that kind, pleasant people can get caught in bad happenings. Anthony Bidulka showed me that humor is not amiss in a good mystery.


Benni Chisholm grew up on the Canadian prairies. She graduated with a BSN, worked as a Pubic Health nurse and wrote light verse, articles, and short stories. While helping four wonderful children raise themselves, she dabbled in writing cozy mysteries. Her published novels are—STAINED SAND, ODD ODYSSEY, SHOWMAN OR SHAMAN. Benni and her husband live in the Pacific Northwest.

To learn more about Benni, please visit her website.

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