After solving two murders in the “peaceful” town of Buttercup Bend, Cathy Carter needs a rest. She also needs time to consider the marriage proposals she received over the holidays. But when the town’s librarian asks her to go undercover to solve the suspected murder of a co-worker who retired to a llama farm, Cathy leaves her kittens with her grandmother and her friends without an explanation.
The only person at Oaks Landing Farm who knows the true reason Cathy and Mildred have come there is Danielle, the murder victim’s daughter, who is having trouble convincing relatives and the police that her mother Doris was killed and didn’t suffer the heart attack that was termed her cause of death.
When it’s proved that Danielle’s suspicions are correct, the guests who attended the dinner at which Doris died are invited back for a reenactment of that night. These included the gardener, veterinarian, and farmhand who all had motives to murder Doris, as well as Doris’ sister and her ex-husband. When the dinner is staged, the only clue Cathy receives is given by Danielle’s grandmother who has dementia. Will this unreliable tip help Cathy deduce who murdered the llama raising librarian?
Debbie De Louise sat down with The Big Thrill team to discuss book #3 in her series, THE CASE OF THE LLAMA RAISING LIBRARIAN:
Can you pinpoint a moment or incident that sparked the idea for this book?
I featured a contest in my author newsletter for the title of my third Buttercup Bend mystery. One submission I received suggested the title, “The Case of the Llama Loving Librarian.” While I really liked the idea of featuring a llama as the next animal in the series, I changed the title slightly because the previous book was “The Case of the Parrot Loving Professor.” I also chose that entry because it mentioned a librarian which is my occupation.
When you first created your protagonist for this book, did you see an empty space in crime lit that you wanted to fill? What can you share about the inspiration for that character?
I knew that there were many cozies that featured protagonists with interesting professions and also ones who either kept pets or interacted with them in the series. However, I wasn’t aware of any cozy characters who owned a rescue center and pet cemetery when I created Cathy Carter. I also added her backstory that explains her shyness around people, to further illustrate her bond and interest in animals.
In addition to a great read, what do you hope readers will take away from this story?
I hope readers will learn more about llamas and farms after reading THE CASE OF THE LLAMA RAISING LIBRARIAN. I researched farms that raised llamas by speaking with their owners and visiting one of the farms. I hope they will also enjoy the twists I included in the book and the teaser at the end.
What can you share about what you’re working on next?
The fourth book of the series, The Case of The Whale Watching Wedding Planner, will involve the murder of a wedding planner who also leads whale-watching tours. Cathy and two of her friends become involved in solving this case after finding the woman dead.
Debbie De Louise is an award-winning author and a retired librarian. She is a member of Sisters-in-Crime, International Thriller Writers, and the Cat Writer’s Association. Her writing includes the Cobble Cove and Buttercup Bend cozy mystery series and novels of various genres. She also writes short stories, poems, and articles. Debbie lives on Long Island with her husband, daughter, and 2 cats.
To learn more about the author and her work, please visit her website.