Friday, April 3, 2015

Introducing the Readaholic Mystery Series by Laura Disilverio




Breaking news: Cupcake58 was the winner on Tuesday of the MWA Cookbook--enjoy! Now back to our regularly scheduled business...

LUCY BURDETTE: I'm sure you've met Laura DiSilverio--she burst onto the mystery scene several years ago and has written more books than I can count! Plus she served as president of Sisters in Crime and raised two teenage girls. Impressive right? Now she's launching a brand new cozy mystery series which should be right up our alley. Tell it Laura!
LAURA DISILVERIO: Okay, Jungle Red readers, I'm going to let you in on a secret.

No, not the kind of secret that would make Jerry Springer salivate. It doesn't involve nudity, felonies, alcohol or gross stupidity and there are no embarrassing photos. Yeah, I know most of you just quit reading.

For those of you still with me, it's this: If I weren't enjoying my second act career as a novelist so much, I'd be an event organizer. Really. I get a kick out of making lists, being creative, and dealing with people, all of which are key skills for event organizers. Before you can gasp "What about the bridezillas?" I will admit that I wouldn't choose to do weddings. Emotions run too high. I'd be more inclined to concentrate on corporate events where no one would have a coronary if the ballpoint pens had sapphire blue ink rather than royal blue ink, and where no one would expect me to ride herd on cute toddlers strewing flowers and carrying ten thou worth of rings.

So, it's easy to see why my new Book Club Mysteries feature an event organizer, Amy-Faye Johnson, as the protagonist. It is just too much fun coming up with events for her to organize and ways in which they can go wrong. I've found that strippers, animals, roller skates, wardrobe malfunctions and fisticuffs are great in that regard. Leave a comment telling us about the most embarrassing, scary or hysterical thing you ever witnessed at an event. (I'll reveal the most embarrassing thing that happened to me, at my brother's wedding no less, in the comments . . . )

Set in the fictional town of Heaven, Colorado (renamed from Walter's Ford when the town council set out to woo destination wedding business), the series focuses on the five women who belong to the Readaholics book club: Amy-Faye, Maud Bell (a 60-something hunting/fishing guide and conspiracy theorist with a blog called www.outtogetyou.com), Kerry Washington (a Realtor and Heaven's part-time mayor), Brooke Widefield (former beauty queen and Amy-Faye's best friend who married into the town's richest family) and Lola Paget (owner of a plant nursery and guardian of her 15-year-old sister).



In each book, the club is reading a different classic mystery. In The Readaholics and the Falcon Fiasco, they're reading--you guessed it--The Maltese Falcon. In the second book, The Readaholics and the Poirot Puzzle (Sep 2015), they're reading Murder on the Orient Express. And in the third book . . . Well, I don't want to give away too many secrets. (I'll give you a hint: think Gothic.) Something from the book they're reading ties into the solution of each mystery they solve. Fun, huh?,


 Pre-order The Readaholics and the Falcon Fiasconow for release this coming Tuesday. Yay! And leave a comment (about an event, or the classic mystery you think the Readaholics should read next, or anything you want) for a chance to win a signed copy of the book!

51 comments:

Joan Emerson said...

Your new series sounds terrific, Laura . . . I'm looking forward to meeting Amy-Faye and her friends.

Kristopher said...

This sounds like a terrific new series. I love the idea of tying the classic book in with the solution of the new mystery. That's going to be fun.

I'm sure I have guessed the third book's book, but knowing the Jungle Reds, so has everybody else.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing with us Laura.

Hallie Ephron said...

"Something from the book they're reading ties into the solution of each mystery they solve. Fun, huh?"BRILLIANT! I'm a huge fan - Laura's got attitude, edge, humor, smarts, clever plotting... can't wait to read this.

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

OH, you are AMAZING. This is such a terrific idea--and you never cease to amaze me.

How did you pick which mystery to use? Do they have to be books everyone is familiar with, or does that matter?

Off to pre-order!

Laura DiSilverio said...

Thanks, Joan. I hope you enjoy Amy-Faye and the Readaholics.

Kristopher--Thanks for stopping by. It's not too hard for this mystery-savvy crew to guess which books I'm using.

Ramona said...

I love this premise! I look forward to reading.

To answer the question about embarrassments, my dumbest moment had to be in trying to invite Jill Biden to a reading at an historical site here in Delaware. I called the White House public line to get an address, explained the event, and was transferred to someone in her office. All was going well, until...let's just say you shouldn't make jokes about sticking things in the Veep's home mailbox.

Of course, if I'd known then what we know now about the Secret Service, I'd have invited her detail to liven up the reading.

The Scarlet Letter is always a fun book for a group to study.

Laura DiSilverio said...

Aw, Hallie, you are too kind! You too, Hank.

Yes, I'm supposed to use mysteries and/or authors that will be familiar to readers, even if they haven't read them.

Short JRW Poll: My editor was reluctant to use a Mary Stewart book because she said no one had heart of Stewart. Reds, is that true?

Laura DiSilverio said...

Hi, Ramona! Too funny about Biden and the mailbox. Did you get a Secret Service agent (drunk or not) on your doorstep?

I love the idea of The Scarlet Letter! Lots of possibilities . . .

Kristopher said...

I think that Mary Stewart is a lost gem. Most modern readers will not have read (heard?) of her, but long-time fans recognized the impact she had on the genre.

If they won't let you use her as the "main" book, please do mention her in passing. In the hopes that new readers will discover her and maybe she can regain some popularity.

Laura DiSilverio said...

That's my plan, Kristopher! I'm having Amy-Faye organize a "Celebration of Gothic Novels" for a local bookstore. It takes place on Mary Stewart's 100th birthday which is Sep 2016 when that book comes out! She led a very interesting life and I've managed to work some of that in. I also re-read "Madam, Will You Talk?" It was quaint in some ways, but I really liked the strength of the protagonist.

SalT said...

I love Mary Stewart. Is she still on library bookshelves? How else do people find new authors? Is she in bookstores? I haunt bookstores that carry new and used, so she'd be on those shelves. I'll have to check my local library.

I would love for your book gang to read REBECCA. That's a mystery, right?

Susan Elia MacNeal said...

Welcome, Laura! Adore the idea of pairing a classic with a new series. Count me in!

Susan Elia MacNeal said...

P.S. Also -- Mary Stewart fan here, too.

Mark Baker said...

I'm lucky enough to be working on reading this new book right now (for review and giveaway next Friday.) I am absolutely loving it. I've got about 120 pages left and hope to finish it today. Already looking forward to book 2.

Libby Dodd said...

I'm OK with list making, but dealing with the vicissitudes of people? Not so much.
I will happily read about it, though.

Debi Huff said...

What a great idea for a series!! I want to join this book club.I think it will be fun getting to know the members.Congrats, Laura.

Laura DiSilverio said...

Sal T--I think Stewart's still on library shelves. I don't know how a new generation discovers writers like Stewart, Victoria Holt, or Phyllis Whitney. Do those names ring any bells? Another author I used to love--not really a mystery author--was Elizabeth Cadell. But I don't think the under-50 set knows any of these names.

Laura DiSilverio said...

PS: Sal T--Rebecca is the book the Readaholics are reading in the third installment of the series, The Readaholics and the Gothic Enigma (title subject to change)

Thanks, Susan. Glad to hear not everyone has forgotten Mary Stewart. I really loved her Merlin trilogy.

Mark--So glad you're enjoying the Readaholics. The second book is out in Dec, The Readaholics and the Poirot Puzzle.

Laura DiSilverio said...

Debi--I know! I want to join the Readaholics, too. I don't currently belong to a book club, but writing this series has persuaded me I want to find one (or start one).

FChurch said...

Love, love, love Mary Stewart. I have read and re-read her novels and think they would make great movies--a way to introduce a new audience to her books. I know Disney did one as a vehicle for a teenaged Hayley Mills, but that was a typical Disneyish production and not true to the original. I think they stand the test of time very well because the writing was so terrific. I've tried to figure out how she did it, because I feel so immersed in the setting, and her writing just seems effortless.

And I can't wait to get my hands on your series, Laura! Congrats!

Laura DiSilverio said...

FChurch--Which Stewart book was a Hayley Mills movie?! I'd love to look it up. You're so right about her ability to bring a setting to life.

B J English said...

I was at a national education conference with a group of teachers from my school district. My roommate was scheduled to be the Greeter at a session. When she found out that meant she had to introduce the session speaker, she freaked out. So she promised to attend a session I wanted to attend if I would do her session. I go to the room early to meet the speaker. No one was there. I wait. People start arriving. The room is filling up and still no speaker. I excuse myself to go find someone who might help. They tell me the guest speaker was not coming as he was involved in a hurricane. It is now too late for the teachers to go to another session. I had no knowledge on the topic but I moderated the session for a full hour getting the teachers to share information on the topic. My friend was glad she attended my session and I hers.

Laura DiSilverio said...

BJ--Oh, no! I think that's an example of "no good deed goes unpunished." I'm sure you did a splendid job.

Come back this afternoon and I'll reveal my most embarrassing event-related secret. It has to do with my brother's wedding in New Orleans. . .

FChurch said...

Laura, the book made into a movie was The Moon-spinners. The Moon-Spinners is a 1964 American Walt Disney Productions feature film starring Hayley Mills, Eli Wallach and Peter McEnery.

Laura DiSilverio said...

Thanks, FChurch. I'll see if I can find it on Netflix or someplace. Sounds like something I could watch with my daughters.

Kristopher said...

I think the gay reading public has done much to keep Victoria Holt, Phyllis Whitney, and Mary Stewart "alive." I'm not sure what exactly our affection for them is but most of those that I know are still reading them happen to be gay.

That said, with limited shelf space in bookstores these days, I don't think it likely that new readers are being uncovered that way. I'm sure libraries still carry them, but I suspect that e-books would be the only strong avenue for new discover of them. Off to look to see if many (any) of them are available in e-book format.

Laura DiSilverio said...

Interesting perspective, Kristopher. I would never have guessed that. What do you think their appeal is for gay readers?

Kathy Reel said...

Laura, your new series does sound like a boatload, make that a bookload, of fun! I love the name of the book group, Readaholics, and that you tie in a famous book with each mystery they solve. I think combining those is every reader's dream of great reading. So looking forward to reading your book!

Speaking of Mary Stewart, I was happy to see FChurch mention The Moonspinners and the movie with Haley Mills. I think that might have been my favorite movie as a young girl, and it certainly fostered my love of mysteries. When I took my granddaughter to see the the famous Lippanzaner horses perform, I bought Stewart's book Airs Above the Ground, but I haven't read it yet. Glad to have the reminder today that I need to do that.

Laura, you mentioned Victoria Holt, too. The Mistress of Mellyn was a book that ended up on our bookshelves when I was growing up as part of a book-of-the-month club selection or something of that sort that my mother belonged to. I was completely mesmerized by the wonderfully dark, mysterious cover of the book, and I'm sure I read it before I was ready to really appreciate it. However, it further spurred my interest in gothic mysteries and is probably responsible for the beginnings of my life-long love of English settings and stories.

Laura, thanks for a great post that enabled me to relive some great moments in my reading life and gave me a new series with which to continue the adventure.

Kristopher said...

I'm not really sure. As a culture (and yes, this is a bit of a stereotype, but as part of the community, I'm allowed) - As a culture, we tend to latch onto strong women in all forms of entertainment. Think of one major pop diva (or any genre really) and a large part of her audience is bound to be made up of gay men. Same with actresses (Helen Mirren, Meryl Streep, etc.) I suspect this is part of the same phenomenon.

Personally, I started reading those ladies when I was in my early teens, after the VC Andrews phase, but before Jackie Collins.

Chris said...

I can't wait to read the new series. I've always enjoyed Laura's books in the past. I have to say, The Moonspinners was one of my favorite movies when I was younger. I also loved Phyllis Whitney and Victoria Holt and started reading them, Agatha Christie and Charlotte Armstrong when I was in my early teens.

Grandma Cootie said...

What a terrific idea for a series. If I wasn't enjoying retirement so much maybe I would become an event organizer ;-). I can see that my TBR stack will continue to grow since I would have to read each classic along with each of your books in this series.

Laura DiSilverio said...

Oh, Kathy, I remember The Mistress of Mellyn. All those old gothicky covers were so brooding and atmospheric. I hope you enjoy the Readaholics, too.

Kristopher--You cracked me up with your 'between the VC Andrews and Jackie Collins phase.' I skipped the VC Andrews phase, but I certainly read Jackie Collins.

Laura DiSilverio said...

Chris--Thanks for liking my books. You made my day! I don't know Charlotte Armstrong; I'll have to look her up. This is why I like JRW--I'm always finding out about new books/authors I have to read. Yippee!

Laura DiSilverio said...

Grandma Cootie--Writing this series is making my TBR pile grow, too, because I hadn't previously read most of the books I'm having the Readaholics discuss. I'm getting great suggestions from many folks and reading lots of classic mysteries to see which ones the Readaholics should read in upcoming books.

Lucy Burdette aka Roberta Isleib said...

Kristopher, that's so interesting about strong women and a gay audience. If Laura doesn't use that, I will.

And BJ, your event has to take a prize! You really thought on your feet. some of us might have simply snuck away...

Laura, congrats, can't wait to read these--it seems like a fabulous premise!

Laura DiSilverio said...

Okay, here it is, my embarrassing moment.

I was a bridesmaid in my brother's wedding, but I lived in Colorado and the wedding was taking place in New Orleans. Another bridesmaid was sewing all our dresses; she worked off my measurements and I had one fitting the day before the ceremony. Well, at the reception, I was dancing vigorously when I discovered that the zipper was merely basted in. Yup--the dress basically fell off me and snagged at my hips (no surprise there). I held it up, scurried to the bathroom, and was rescued by some former Girl Scout who had come prepared with several very large safety pins. I returned to the dance floor and continued to have a great time. (My bro and his bride are still happily married, 23 years later.)

Luckily, this was in the days before everyone had cell phone cameras, so the event is not immortalized on film somewhere.

Kaye Killgore said...

I can't think of any really embarrassing events that I've gone to, but my sister worked as an event coordinator (setting out tables, helping the caterer, etc) and just prior to a wedding she fell, fractured her leg and had to go off by ambulance. Luckily the guests hadn't arrived yet.

kaye dot killgore at comcast dot net

cyn209 said...

sounds like a book I would enjoy..........
thank you for the giveaway.......
congrats to Laura!!

cyn209 at juno dot com

Laura DiSilverio said...

Kaye--Your poor sister! I might have to work something like that into one of my books. It would definitely up the conflict level.

Cyn--Thanks for stopping by and for your good wishes. I hope you enjoy meting the Readaholics.

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

Rebecca! SO great.

You could also do Strangers on A Train--that'd work!

Linda Rima said...

New series sounds great! Looking forward to reading it!

Reine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Laura DiSilverio said...

Thanks very much to the Reds for having me here today. It is always such fun to hang out in Jungleland (a nod to you Springsteen fans, if there are any in this group).

gg said...

I seriously miss E.J. and company, but I do think this series also looks like a winner, I love the classic mysteries - I would lovelovelove if they read a Nero Wolfe!!

dot kel said...

This sounds like a great new series. A Rex Stout or Phoebe Atwood Taylor book would be fun for the book club to read.

Laura DiSilverio said...

GG--Oh, I miss EJ and company, too. I'm still hoping (against all odds) to go back to them one day. I had such plans for EJ!

Rex Stout is a great idea. I don't know if I've ever read Phoebe Atwood Taylor--which one do you recommend I start with?

Pat D said...

Don't forget Helen MacInnes. I read all hers, plus Stewart, Whitney, and Holt back in the day.
I can't think of anything outrageously embarrassing I've done at any event. But I've plenty of time to make up for it.

Laura DiSilverio said...

Pat D--Oh, yes yes yes. Helen MacInnes. I read all her books. Loved them. That was my Helen MacInnes/Alistair McClean phase.

bookwomen said...

I love biblio mysteries. One of my favorite forgotten classic biblio mysteries is the Mr. and Mrs. North series by Richard and Francis Lockridge.

stitchkat said...

Oh, bookwomen, you are so right! Pam and Jerry North were my introduction to sophisticated sleuths.

As for my most embarrassing moment, try having your half-slip puddle around your feet in the midst of grocery shopping.

Laura, congratulations on your new series. It's gone on my massive TBR list. The Reds are responsible for entirely too many books on that list!

Laura DiSilverio said...

Bookwomen and Stitchcat--I've never heard of the Mr. and Mrs. North series. I am so happy to find another series to add to my about-to-tumble TBR piles. Thanks for showing up at JRW today!

About the slip: Oh, no!