By Dawn Ius
When Paislee Shaw agrees to chaperone her son Brody’s class to the gardens of the Leery Estate, she hopes to get a message to Shawn Marcus, the son of Lady Leery and the landlord of her knitting shop, which has just received an eviction notice.
Instead, she witnesses a dead man fall from the hedges, a man who looks a lot like her missing landlord. The corpse is actually that of Charles Thompson, Lady Leery’s nephew.
Of course, Gruff DI Mack Zeffer is on the case—but Paislee also has a stake in flushing out the killer, and her quest for the truth leads her down a very different garden path, one in which her very survival might be at stake.
Traci Hall is the USA Today bestselling author of more than 50 books across an array of genres, from cozy mysteries to contemporary seaside romances, YA, and nonfiction. She is also the co-author of the Salem B&B Mystery series as Traci Wilton. In this interview with The Big Thrill, she gives insight into her latest release, MURDER IN THE SCOTTISH GARDEN and shares a little about her future plans for the characters who she says have become “like family.”
Which took shape first: plot, character, or setting?
FOR MURDER IN A SCOTTISH GARDEN, it was the plot….and furthering the characterization of Paislee Shaw, which is entwined with the plot. And setting—Scottland is lovely and so much a part of the story.
What was the biggest challenge this book presented?
The biggest challenge was understanding the Scots dialect—it was a lot of fun learning the customs.
How does this book make a contribution to the genre?
I hope that Paislee Shaw entertains and shows the value of family and community.
Are there any genre conventions you wanted to upend or challenge with this book?
No—I was too busy trying to learn Scots.
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 changed who the killer was from my original draft.
What authors or books have influenced your career as a writer, and why?
I am a huge reader. I love Heather Graham, who is talented and generous. Nancy Cohen’s Bad Hair Day mysteries got me hooked as a reader a long time ago. Now I really like Alyssa Maxwell, Jennifer Ashley, and Carlene O’Connor.
Will there be more books?
I sure hope so. Character become family and after spending years with them, it’s odd to suddenly not write in their world anymore.
Traci Hall is the USA Today bestselling author of over fifty books across an array of genres, from cozy mysteries to contemporary seaside romances, YA, and nonfiction. She is also the co-author of the Salem B&B Mystery series as Traci Wilton. A member of Mystery Writers of America, RWA and former President of the Florida Romance Writers Association, Hall co-runs CommunityAuthors.com and provides editing services for many accomplished novelists.
She lives in South Florida and can be found online at TraciHall.com.