Former pharmaceutical researcher Maggie O’Malley is losing sleep. Her friend Constantine’s aunt is a multitasking sleepwalker who, in addition to wandering her stately home, prepares meals, folds laundry and, one winter night, stumbles across her husband with his throat slit.
It’s a rude and gruesome awakening that’s upsetting to Aunt Polly. And interesting to the police.
Maggie and Constantine work to uncover who killed the cosmetic surgery mogul and why. As they dig into the lives of those who knew him best, they discover that the truth is only skin deep and doctoring perception is a treatment with deadly side effects.
A gripping page-turner with more twists than a surgeon’s suture, 39 WINKS is a tale of lies, betrayals and greed that will keep you up at night. And looking over your shoulder.
39 WINKS author Kathleen Valenti took some time to meet with The Big Thrill and offer some insight into her latest mystery:
What do you hope readers will take away from this book?
I hope readers will be drawn in by the sleepwalking premise and come away with a new understanding of the social issues revealed in 39 WINKS.
How does this book make a contribution to the genre?
This book covers fresh ground, I think. Part medical thriller, part mystery, 39 WINKS tackles social ills as much as personal ones, all while serving up suspense and more than the occasional laugh.
Was there anything new you discovered, or surprised you, as you wrote this book?
PLENTY. I learned a lot about the underbelly (under tummy-tuck?) of cosmetic surgery and all of its attendant risks. Research also revealed plenty of examples of truth being stranger than fiction. The areas covered in 39 WINKS were ripe for mining!
No spoilers, but what can you tell us about your book that we won’t find in the jacket copy or the PR material?
I’m a chronic sleepwalker and brought my experiences, along with fictionalized what-ifs, to the page.
What authors or books have influenced your career as a writer, and why?
I’m a huge fan of Meg Gardiner, Liane Moriarty and Harlan Coben, just to name a few. I think Stephen King and David Sedaris have been my biggest influences. Yes, yes, they couldn’t be more different in their subject matter, yet both are masters at creating mood, spinning a tale and eliciting an emotional response.
When Kathleen Valenti isn’t writing page-turning mysteries that combine humor and suspense, she works as a nationally award-winning advertising copywriter. 39 WINKS is the second of the Maggie O’Malley mystery series and follows her Agatha- and Lefty-nominated debut mystery, Protocol. Kathleen lives in Oregon with her family where she pretends to enjoy running.
To learn more about Kathleen and her work, please visit her website.