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It’s been five years since Detective Amanda Steele’s life was derailed in the path of an oncoming drunk driver. The small community of Dumfries, Virginia, may have moved on from the tragic deaths of her husband and daughter, but Amanda cannot. When the driver who killed her family is found murdered in a motel room, she can’t keep away from the case.

Carolyn Arnold recently spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing her latest crime thriller, THE LITTLE GRAVE:

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

A renewed awareness that we all possess incredible strength within ourselves—even when affected by great loss or tragedy and times are truly dark. I think Amanda’s story also reminds us to be patient and forgiving with ourselves because healing takes time.

Carolyn Arnold

What was the biggest challenge this book presented? What about the biggest opportunity?

Some of the characters in this book showed up in another series of mine, but I was meeting a lot of characters for the first time, including the lead, Detective Amanda Steele. Her voice came to me rather distinctly and fast, but there’s always a challenge to understanding new characters. It’s like when you meet someone in real life—it takes time to get to know them.

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

I learned that it takes a lot of booze and time to die of alcohol poisoning. It’s also more commonly an accidental death. As a murder method, it’s unpredictable, and the killer needs to be willing to sit there and wait it out.

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

David Baldacci and Sandra Brown! Baldacci has a way of really introducing you to his characters. He provides lots of description and background. His characters feel real. With Sandra Brown, I’ve always admired her way of just putting it all there and not being afraid or bashful of saying anything.


Carolyn Arnold is an international bestselling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has several continuing fiction series and has nearly thirty published books. Her genre diversity offers her readers everything from cozy to hard-boiled mysteries, and thrillers to action adventures. Her crime fiction series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining. This led to her adopting the trademark: POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™.

Carolyn was born in a small town and enjoys spending time outdoors, but she also loves the lights of a big city. Grounded by her roots and lifted by her dreams, her overactive imagination insists that she tell her stories. Her intention is to touch the hearts of millions with her books, to entertain, inspire, and empower.

She currently lives near London, Ontario, Canada with her husband and two beagles.

To learn more about the author and her work, please visit her website.