Detective Susan Ford notices a missed call on her phone from a number she doesn’t recognize, and when Madison Garcia, a woman with past ties to the town of Monticello, New York, is found stabbed to death the next morning, Susan realizes that Madison was the one who had called her. But why?
Susan teams up with her father, retired Detective Will Ford, to find the killer, and their investigation soon threatens to uncover Madison’s family’s secrets—an inheritance, accidental death, money laundering, extramarital affairs, and family rivalries, just to name a few—and they don’t appreciate the Fords digging into their business.
As the investigation twists and turns, the Fords discover that Madison was planning to confess to a long-kept secret, but someone brutally silenced her. Everyone she knew is a suspect. Anyone could be her killer.
“A gripping mystery of long-hidden, family secrets that features a fierce and utterly unforgettable female detective. McCreary’s crime novel simmers with astonishing prose and clever craftsmanship. This classic who-done-it with a modern edge and whole lot of heart grabs the reader and does not let go.” ~Natalie Symons, author of LIES IN BONE
“An enticing series launch… [with] more than one twist [that] will catch the reader by surprise.” ~Publishers Weekly
Marcy McCreary recently spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing her latest thriller, THE MURDER OF MADISON GARCIA.
Which took shape first: plot, character, or setting?
I spent every summer of my youth in the Catskills resort area. My dad was the Activities Director and singer/entertainer at The Hotel Brickman in South Fallsburg, NY. I’ve always wanted to write a story in this setting and when I came across a news article about a coffee shop waitress who disappeared from the area in the mid-70s and was found forty years later in an Alzheimer’s facility, the seed for the series was planted. The woman was unable to tell the detective what had happened to her in the intervening years. I was intrigued by the idea of fictionalizing this woman’s life—filling in the forty-year gap between disappearing and being found (which was the main plot of the first book in the series, “The Disappearance of Trudy Solomon”). Throw in a father-daughter detective team—some murder and mayhem— and I knew I had my series. With the characters and setting firmly in place, the plot to “The Murder of Madison Garcia” took shape rather quickly.
What attracts you to this book’s genre?
I write in the traditional mystery genre for the simple reason that I’m a passionate reader of this genre, and always have been. I enjoy the structure of a whodunnit—the pacing, red herrings, clues, plot twists, reveals—and love constructing a multi-layered mystery that is both engaging and suspenseful. I’m a big fan of the old and new masters of this genre: Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan Doyle, P.D. James, Louise Penny, and Val McDermid. I’m also an avid watcher of police procedural television series, and I’m especially drawn to the darker investigative stories you find in programs like The Killing, Mare of Easttown, and The Wire.
What was the biggest challenge this book presented? What about the biggest opportunity?
The journal entries written by the murdered character, Madison Garcia, presented both the biggest challenge (to make her a flawed, but relatable character) and the biggest opportunity (to poignantly draw out the novel’s themes). Finding her voice and building suspense through those vignettes took several drafts, even well into the developmental editing stage. I wanted the reader to follow her journey of awakening guilt, remorse, and redemption, so it was imperative that these reflective pieces not only provide clues to her murder, but insight into her life.
Marcy McCreary is the author of “The Disappearance of Trudy Solomon,” a Killer Nashville Silver Falchion 2022 Finalist in Best Investigative category. After graduating from George Washington University with a B.A. in American literature and political science, she pursued a career in the marketing field, holding executive positions in marketing communications and sales at various magazine publishing companies and content marketing agencies. She has two daughters and two stepdaughters who live in Brooklyn, NY, Nashville, TN, Madison WI, Seattle, WA. She lives in Hull, MA with her husband, Lew, and black lab, Chloe.
To learn more about the author and her work, please visit her website.