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When Private Investigator Hetty Carson finds herself being interrogated by the police about the murder of a dive bar owner in downtown LA, she swears she knows nothing about it. Witnesses place her at the scene, and the police find her business card there. But it’s not the business card for her PI business but the one for her side hustle of selling tequila mixers. She keeps mum about her PI business, not that she’s trying to hide anything, but it doesn’t apply here. She admits to trying to get the victim to buy her tequila mixers, a job she took only because her PI business was slow. The death of one of her potential customers is a tragedy, for sure, but Hetty figures it’s a one-off, and it has nothing to do with her. Until someone figures it did, and now she has to investigate why if she wants to stay alive.


Vanessa A. Ryan recently spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing her latest thriller, THE TROUBLE WITH MURDER:

How does this book make a contribution to the genre?

It adds to the new noir genre because it’s about a female private eye who’s less than perfect but who’s not the usual hard-drinking private eye.

Vanessa A. Ryan

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

Yes. I began the book thinking one of the characters would be the culprit and then I kept adding new characters, and then culprits kept changing. It was like a joy ride where I didn’t know where I’d end up, much like a reader would experience.

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 actually got a side job selling tequila mixers once.



Vanessa A. Ryan is an actor in Southern California. She was born in California and graduated from UCLA. When not writing or acting, she enjoys painting and nature walks. Her paintings and sculptures are collected worldwide. At one point, she performed standup comedy, so her writing often reflects her love of humor, even for serious subjects.

As a child, Vanessa’s favorite books were mysteries and thrillers. She dreamed of being another Nancy Drew and hoped to solve real-life mysteries. Instead, she enjoys writing them. She is the author of eight mystery/suspense novels and once lived in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where two of her novels take place.

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