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Living on a farm with four hundred goats and a cantankerous carnivore isn’t among vegan chef Brie Hooker’s list of lifetime ambitions. But she can’t walk away from her Aunt Eva after the dairy’s pot-bellied pig unearths a skull. The skull belongs to Eva’s husband, who disappeared years before, and the sheriff, kin to the deceased, sets out to pin the murder on Eva. He doesn’t reckon on Brie’s resolve to prove her aunt’s innocence.

Death threats, ruinous pedicures, psychic shenanigans, and biker bar fisticuffs won’t stop Brie from unmasking the killer, even when romantic befuddlement throws her a curve.

Author Linda Lovely recently spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing her novel, BONES TO PICK:

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

Humor is a powerful weapon to fight panic and pessimism in even the most dire circumstances.

How does this book make a contribution to the genre?

Confirms once again that the “thriller” adjective can apply to novels that don’t include gore or explicit sex but do inject humor. Bones to Pick’s smart heroine fights down panic and uses her wits when she’s in danger.

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

A “cozy” mystery author should still “get it right” in crafting scenes that are both exciting and credible. For this book, that meant interviewing paramedics, auto mechanics, attorneys, and detectives.

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

Susan Isaacs for her ability to find humor in her characters’ thought processes and use it in first-person point of view. Janet Evanovich for mining situational humor. Lee Child for pacing. Robert B. Parker for believable dialogue that doesn’t require a lot of tags. Michael Connelly for subtle character development that doesn’t get in the way of plot.


Over the past five years, hundreds of mystery/thriller writers have met Linda Lovely at check-in for the annual Writers’ Police Academy, which she helps organize. Lovely finds writing pure fiction isn’t a huge stretch, given the years she’s spent penning PR and ad copy. She writes a blend of mystery and humor, chuckling as she plots to “disappear” the types of characters who most annoy her. Quite satisfying plus there’s no need to pester relatives for bail. Her newest series offers good-natured salutes to both her vegan family doctor and her cheese-addicted kin. She served as president of her local Sisters in Crime chapter for five years and belongs to International Thriller Writers and Romance Writers of America.

To learn more about Linda Lovely, please visit her website.