Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Three Authors, Three Milestones @BarbaraRoss @CateConte @maddieday

LUCY BURDETTE: I'm tickled pink to host three wonderful writers today--we've known these ladies since their books were only stars in their eyes and are thrilled with how far they've come as published authors! Take it away Edith/Maddie, Cate/Liz, and Barb!

Edith/Maddie: Thanks so much for hosting us, Roberta/Lucy! You know we love all the Jungle Reds authors, and for me, anyway, it’s the second blog I read every morning (sorry, our Wicked Authors blog comes first).

My blogmates Cate Conte (aka Liz Mugavero), Barbara Ross, and I (wearing my Maddie Day author hat) are delighted to have shared a release date last week. Barb’s Mrs. Darrowfield Professional Busybody is the first in a new series. Cate’s Tell Tail Heart is the third in her Cate Café series. And my Strangled Eggs and Ham is my sixth in the Country Store Mysteries. But Barb and Cate – writing as Liz – have also had sixth books, and we’ve all had more than one first book.

So we thought we’d share with the Jungle Reds and your fabulous blog community some of our thoughts and experiences about the first, third, and sixth book in a series! We would love to give away a special package of a Wicked Authors bag, a Kensington notebook, and each of our new books to a commenter here today.

First


Barb: Since there are seven Maine Clambake Mysteries out in the wild and an eighth back at Kensington in final production, it’s been an interesting journey to get back to book one in a series with Jane Darrowfield, Professional Busbody. So much scene setting to do! So much to learn about the “regular” series characters. Honestly, authors of standalones have my undying admiration. You really go through this every single time?

Maddie/Edith: You mean, like Hallie does? I know the feeling, Barb. In a way it’s fun to set up a brand-new world, as I recently did for my Cozy Capers Book Group Mysteries, with a cozy mystery book club, a fictional town on Cape Cod, and a bike-shop-owning, neat freak-bordering-on-obsessed amateur sleuth with an African Gray Parrot. But you’re right, there’s so much to keep track of. 

Cate/Liz: I hear you all too well! I’m back to a first book in a new series too with Witch Hunt, the first in the Full Moon Mysteries and it’s got magical components, so it’s kind of building two worlds - one on the human plane and one that’s, well, not. It’s been really challenging. Plus all the character work, like figuring out who has magical powers and what they are. It’s fun, when I’m not feeling like I’ve suddenly lost my ability to be imaginative.

Edith/Maddie: Ugh - I hope that doesn’t happen too often, Liz!

Third

Cate/Liz: And then there’s the whole dilemma of book three. Usually these series come in three-book contracts, so by the time you get to the third book there’s always the question of, Will this continue?And since you likely won’t know until the book is long written and turned in, you have to decide how much to wrap up and how much to leave hanging in the event you’re renewed. How do you guys handle that?

Maddie/Edith: Agree, that is so tricky, Liz. Sometimes book two isn’t even out yet when you’re writing book three, so there’s no way to predict its success. I’ll be coming up to that when I start writing my third Cozy Capers Book Group mystery this winter but at least Murder on Cape Cod, book one, has been doing spectacularly well so far. The way I handled the situation with my fifth Local Foods mystery was to tidy up any series loose ends and bring all the regular characters together at the farm in the last scene. If Kensington didn’t renew my contract, I (and my readers) would be fine, but I didn’t burn any bridges, either. As it turned out, Mulch Ado About Murder was the final book, and I was able to move on without angst.

Barb: I’m laughing because Musseled Out, the third book in the Maine Clambake Mysteries, has two endings, one that brings resolution to everything, and one that opens things up to new stories. My plan was to rip the second one out during copy-edits if the series was ending, though I guess it’s fine if readers imagine the characters going on with their lives after the series has ended.

Sixth
Maddie/Edith: Those of us with long-running series (most of the Reds, for example) start to have other issues and joys by book six, which Strangled Eggs and Ham is in my Country Store Mysteries. For one thing, it becomes clear how important it is to write down everything you know about ongoing characters as you go. By book six you have no effing idea what color the detective’s eyes are or what kind of car her bestie drives. If the series has been renewed for that long, though, you also have a dedicated following, an enthusiastic fan base. Sure, readers might start suggesting the direction they want the protagonist’s love life to go or an exciting new plot, but they Can Not Wait for the next book. And the next and the next. That’s very gratifying.

Barb: I know, Edith. I thought I’d relax once I had that Dedicated Fan Base, but now I’m more anxious than ever about letting readers down. In some ways, there’s less pressure with the first book. No one is invested in the series or the character yet. Anyway, book six was lucky for me. Stowed Away just won the Maine Literary Award for Crime Fiction, the first cozy mystery ever to win and the first mass market paperback to win in any category.

Cate/Liz: That’s so awesome, Barb - major congratulations! I feel the same way - I never want a reader to say one of the later books in the series has run out of steam. My sixth book in the Pawsitively Organic Mysteries, Purring Around the Christmas Tree, was definitely one of those books I agonized over. But people seemed to really enjoy it. It was my first Christmas-themed book and it ended up being really fun.


Strangled Eggs and Ham: Tempers run as high as the sticky August heat as a developer’s plans to build a towering luxury resort at one of the most scenic hilltops in Brown County, Indiana infuriate opponents, who concoct protests and road blockades. When tensions boil over and a vocal protester is silenced forever at the resort site, Robbie Jordan ditches the griddle to catch the killer. But if slashed tires are any indication, she’ll need to crack this case before her own aunt gets served something deadly next . . . 


Maddie Day writes the Country Store Mysteries and the Cozy Capers Book Group Mysteries. As Edith Maxwell, she writes the Quaker Midwife Mysteries, the Local Foods Mysteries, and award-winning short crime fiction. With eighteen novels in print and five more in production, Maxwell has been nominated for an Agatha Award six times. She lives north of Boston with her beau and two elderly cats, and gardens and cooks when she isn’t killing people on the page or wasting time on Facebook. Please find her at edithmaxwell.com, at the Wicked Authors blog, and elsewhere.

Jane Darrowfield, Professional Busybody: Jane Darrowfield is a year into her retirement, and she’s already traveled and planted a garden. She’s organized her photos, her recipes, and her spices. The statistics suggest she has at least a few more decades ahead of her, so she better find something to do . . . Note: Jane Darrowfield is available exclusively in mass market paperback at all brick and mortar Barnes & Nobles and Barnesandnoble.com

Barbara Ross is the author of seven Maine Clambake Mysteries. The eighth, Sealed Off, will be released in December 2019. Barbara’s novellas are included in the anthologies Eggnog Murder, Yule Log Murder, and Haunted House Murder. Jane Darrowfield, Professional Busbody, first in a new series, was released on June 25, 2019. Visit her website at  www.maineclambakemysteries.com and the Wicked Authors blog and Maine Crime Writers blog.

Tell Tail Heart: On Daybreak Island, Maddie James’ grandfather’s house-turned-cat-café is under construction and she’s also scoping out places to open a juice bar on the island. A big-name writer who’s on the island working on a new project winds up floating in the canal on the exact same day an eccentric woman shows up at the cafe claiming Maddie’s cat, JJ, is hers. As the investigation into the dead writer picks up, Maddie realizes that even the neighbors she’s known all her life might be keeping secrets that go deep into the heart of this small seaside town. Meanwhile, a killer remains at-large...and on the prowl.

Cate Conte writes the Cat Cafe Mysteries, which launched in 2017 with Cat About Town, followed by Purrder She Wrote and most recently, Tell Tail Heart. As Liz Mugavero, she writes the Pawsitively Organic Mysteries, the first of which was an Agatha Award nominee for Best First Novel. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and Sisters in Crime New England. She lives in Connecticut with her rescue pals.




Readers: Do you stick with long-running series? Which series have you binge-read (and did you find discontinuities)? What grabs you in a first book?

89 comments:

  1. Congrats on all of your new releases! I'm not much of a binge reader, although if I find a series I like I will eventually read all the books. It tends to take me a while though, since I need variety. The only discontinuities I've really noticed are those that occur within a chapter or two of each other. I read a book recently where the character puts on a sundress, and a few pages later she's out and about in jeans (which I might not have picked up on except her outfit was important to the scene). My memory is not good enough to notice a change in eye color between books one and five!

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    1. Thanks, Marla. We always try to avoid those discontinuities, of course, but something always slips through the cracks.

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  2. Love series! I enjoy Kathi Daley’s Zoe Donovan which is a very long series. The characters hook me in the first book and then I love to follow them on their many adventures. Thanks for the chance.

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  3. I like intelligent characters but sometimes in a cozy that’s not easy to find. There are some really good series out there though and Barbara Ross has one of them. I wish I could visit Busman’s Harbor! What hooks me too is the location. I want the author to make me feel I am there.

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  4. I definitely do stick with long running series. The first series that really grabbed me was Stephanie Plums Mysteries by Janet Evanovich oh and I can’t forget Kinsey from Sue Grafton. Definitely like Series when the characters catch me from the start, then it’s the setting.

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  5. I've always been a series reader too--starting with Cherry Ames and Nancy Drew. And Diane Mott Davidson was a big favorite--now there are so many good ones. Looking forward to all three of these new books! Since you all three write more than once, how do you keep track of the characters and manage not to repeat yourselves?

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    1. Thanks, Lucy! I keep a detailed Series Characters list in my Scrivener project. Every time I learn something new about a character, I add it. The South Lick police department is a character, too, as is Robbie's store, Pans 'N Pancakes. It really helps when you get up to something like book eight, which I am polishing now (tentatively called The Gingerdead Man). Now, what color are the department's cruisers, again? Does that detective wear glasses? And so on.

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    2. Oh Lucy, I love that you mentioned Cherry Ames! I cherished those books. I was just thinking about them recently, while a nurse friend of mine was telling some work-related story.

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  6. Do I stick with long running series? HECK YEAH I DO! I love a series that runs a long time...so long as each individual book is entertaining.

    Back when I was a teenager and read fantasy novels, I was reading the Robert Jordan series The Wheel Of Time. But I ended up dropping it because in book 7, I had read 300 pages and NOTHING had actually happened. I was done.

    So if that happens with a series I read now (I'm 99 percent mystery and thrillers), I would bail (as I did with the Stephanie Plum series). Otherwise, I'm in it for the long haul. And sometimes even after the series ends, I still want more. Ask Jon Land. Whenever I see him at a signing, I ask if there's any chance he'll do another Kamal/Barnea thriller. And boy would I love a new Julie Hyzy written White House Chef mystery.

    And Edith knows how much I love the Country Store Mysteries so I hope there's no end in sight for that series...as Robbie Jordan kicks as much butt as Jack Reacher...with way better food! I have my copy of Strangled Eggs and Ham and can't wait for the next time Edith does an area signing that I can get to.

    I haven't read Cate's series yet (SORRY!) but I can add it to my list. And I enjoyed meeting Barbara Ross for a signing she did on the Cape and enjoy the Maine Clambake series! I'll have to look into your new book too. And congrats on winning the big book prize!

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    1. Thanks, Jay. I am delighted you love my stories. And I am SO stealing that line: "Robbie Jordan kicks as much butt as Jack Reacher...with way better food!"

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    2. That's me...great at one liners, just not storytelling.

      Does that make me a potential blurb writer?

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  7. I read several long running series like Peter Lovesey's Peter Diamond series and Louise Penny. I used to enjoy Joan Hess' Clare Malloy and Susan Conant's books. There seem to be so many series now, which is great for choices and opportunities, but a challenge to follow. There are very few series I gave up on. If I like them, I am hooked.
    browninggloria(at)hotmail(dot) com

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    1. I love Susan Conant's books. I've just done another major book purge, and Susan's series stayed on the shelves, once again.

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  8. I love reading books in a series. I love the Sheriff Brody novels by J.A. Jance. Also the Kinsey Millhone series by Sue Grafton. I still read all the J.D. Robb books with Eve Dallas. Can't forget the Hannah Swenson novels by Joanne Fluke. Plus a lot of others.

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  9. Love series. If I have all the books & in order I will binge. If not I’ll read them in order as I get them. Love them Murder She Baked series & so many others
    jwhaley4@aol.com

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  10. There are so many series books now and for the most part I do love them. My one "rule" is I have to read them from the beginning so if it's a long-running season and the author has a new book out it all kinda goes over my head because I'm just not there yet.
    I so loved the Judge Knott series from Margaret Maron and was sad and disappointed when it ended, although I fully understand her reasoning. In my head the characters continue to go on with their lives and I don't dwell on how old Kezzie must be by now!
    The other thing is when an author runs out of steam with a character and it just becomes stale. Same characters, same foolishness, different location.
    I can really appreciate the balancing act you authors constantly maintain. Keep up the wonderful work you all do! We're here eagerly waiting for your pages.

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    1. Knowing when to end a series is a real art.

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  11. I think we were talking about a series author doing standalones a few blog posts back--sometimes I'll discover an author through a standalone, then check to see what else they've written--and love it when I discover a book 1 is leading to a book 2 and a book 3 etc. Characters and setting will hook me. One thing I particularly enjoy in a series is how a minor character might suddenly appear in a book with a small part--but are so vivid that you just know (fingers crossed) that they are going to become a part of the continuing series.

    As for our three guest authors this morning--I bow to your productivity and to your continued success--clearly what you all do is still a labor of love and it shows!

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    1. Hi Flora. I do like it when minor characters become part of the continuing series. But I don't like it when authors feel like they have to drag every single character ever mentioned on to the next book. Sometimes I tell my minor characters, "This is not your story."

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  12. I am a big fan of series, and I read many. I strongly prefer to start at the beginning, too, though upon occasion I will make an exception. I am not a binge reader, though. I like to mix it up, reading one in a given series, then one or two other books before returning to that series.

    I have noticed that my library's audiobook database is heavy on cozy mysteries, and so that has introduced me to many series I may never have encountered otherwise, as the series format seems to be especially popular among cozies. There are many that I read and love, but also some that feel "phoned in" to me. They're formulaic, and the characters act like they don't have any common sense. I try to keep an open mind and check out the first entry of each series, then make a decision from there.

    If an author really catches me, I'm in for the long haul. (I'm looking at you, Debs -- along with Sue Grafton, Margaret Maron, Louise Penny and a few others.) But I have on a few occasions bailed after a long association with a series -- if the whole tone turns darker, for example, or if the author doesn't seem to be staying true to the essential character of the protagonists.

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    1. I'm with you, Susan. I love a lot of series but I have also let some go. My experience with cozies is they can be very good and they can also be bad, just like any other genre.

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  13. Happy Bookday Edith, Cate, and Barbara. And congratulations on your accomplishments.

    I read both series and stand alones, doesn't really matter to me except that I obligate myself to read a series from the git go, so I've indulged in a lot of binge reading in my day. Most recently was Val McDermid and the Tony Hill series, which ended and is now about to start up again. And I binge read Debs when I discovered her, along with Louise Penny, when recovering from a surgery. The thing that grabs me first is always found in the first few pages. If I'm not hooked by the end of chapter one, the book goes back on the virtual shelf.

    When I find a writer that I love, I read everything he or she wrote. It's so hard for me to grasp all the work involved in writing a book that I devour in a day or two. Kudos to all of you here.

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    1. Thanks, Ann. I am with you. When I find a book I love I will read everything by the author. I remember trying to chase down every single Ruth Rendell short story!

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    2. Oh we lost so much when we lost her

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  14. You are my people, ladies. The three book dilemma happens every single series! I’m always prepared to end each series with every book because you just never know. I’m delighted that you all have new books coming out! Do you ever see a time that you will write a stand alone?

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    1. The standalone question is a great one and I think each of us might have a different answer. I would write a stand alone if I had that "idea" but right now I don't.

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    2. What Barb said! I keep hoping the idea will present itself, but so far it hasn't.

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  15. Congratulations to Barb on the award and all of you on the new releases!

    Yes, I absolutely stick with a long-running series (as long as the author doesn't start phoning it in, which of course none of you ladies have). And I will binge-read if I find an existing series I need to catch up on.

    I'm at the book two phase, "can I replicate the good things so people who liked book 1 won't be disappointed?" And next year is book 3, the last under contract, so yeah. How do I wrap things up so people won't be disappointed if the series ends there, yet not write myself into a corner if the publisher wants more? Fortunately, I've been (pretty) good about keeping my series bible up to date. I just went and back-filled character ages so I can age them appropriately as the series goes on.

    In the meantime, I'm getting ready to submit my WWII novel, which is envisioned as the first in a new series. Lots of world-building and research, although some of it is dictated by historical fact. That makes it...not easier, but at least draws some boundaries to work in.

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  16. Liz--I cannot image that world-building in a historical is "easier." Those same boundaries you speak of are also tripwires. Good luck with all of it!

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    1. Thanks, Barb. It was definitely an exercise in "coloring in the lines."

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  17. Yes to hooked on series. Yes to binge reading. Finding discontinuities vs "I not sure if I'm remembering correctly" - that happens more often if I have a large reading gap between books in a series. This winter I'll be happily binge reading Julia's books this winter so when Hid From Our Eyes comes out I'll be refreshed and ready to go. Okay, off to work now....

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    1. Oh, what a good idea. I might binge read Julia, too.

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  18. WELCOME *BACK* To Jungle Red to you three lovely and talented writers! I love series though I don't get a chance to catch up with them as often as I'd like. What grabs me in a first book is always character. Character. CHARACTER! It's so cool that you're all into new series.

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    1. Character--describing it and even more important demonstrating it in action. So many layers, so hard to do.

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  19. HEY! Congratulations, you fabulous ones!
    Yes, I'm a big series fan--though I always get behind. What grabs me? Hmm. I have to say--and ducking now because I know it's not the cool answer--is a great plot. I am so in awe of a great story-teller. And yes, I was a series person until I had my standalone idea. Now, for myself at least, I think I am on "new each time." Though you are so right, Barb, it is incredibly daunting.

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    1. Thanks, Hank! I can't wait to read your new one. And great quote, Barb!

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  20. I think it's James F. Hall who says a book without a plot is like a bunch of pretty Christmas ornaments sitting in a corner without a tree to hold them up.

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  21. Congrats on the releases, love The Wicked site, one of my first stops each morning. Once I find a set of characters I like I stick with a series. I like standalones, too, but there is something nice about that familiar feeling. I don't really worry too much about continuity or maybe the series I enjoy just have great authors who make me feel back home with the characters so I don't much care what color the car is. Interesting about the third in a series, hadn't thought of that until now. Always amazing how authors manage to do it, having to plan and write so far ahead with so many unknowns. I will usually binge read if I find a new to me book/author with a backlist and I want to start at the beginning. I think my first binge was with Debs and Duncan and Gemma - I happened across one for my Nook and ended up reading straight through the weekend.

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    1. Thank you! We're so glad you love the blog. And I agree about having a familiar set of friends to come back to...it makes all the difference.

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  22. Once again I am tempted to write ditto to all the above and move on...
    I will give up on an author who seems to cut and paste character introductions, to one who seems to dislike their character after writing a few, to an author who suddenly seems possessed by a dark force and writes nastily after being sunny for volumes. For the publisher who hires the ghost writer and doesn't find the write flavor of the dead author.

    I laud the series author that does the research, that provides an unusual setting or social group or profession for the amateur sleuth. I applaud the author who takes a leap of faith and starts something new. You go folks.. I will be fast behind you scooping up the novels.

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    1. Thank you, Coralee. We're so glad you're behind us scooping up the books.

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  23. Edith, I laughed when I read, "By book six you have no effing idea what color the detective’s eyes are or what kind of car her bestie drives." So true! I finally broke down and wrote an authority file for my characters and locations during, I think, the fourth book, and I wish i had done it sooner - it might have prevented the hero's sister name changing from Janet to Janice and back to Janet.

    Also, I want to say to everyone how impressed I am you all have two books out this year (Edith will probably have five, under four different names :-) I started to count how many books you all had under your belts and lost track. You need to give a master class at Crime Bake on "Getting it Done."

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    1. Thanks, Julia! Those character bibles/authority files are huge. One thing we didn't mention is the importance of the early decisions. I decided in Country Store book one (Flipped for Murder) how Robbie's mother died. In Nacho Average Murder, book seven (2020), Robbie goes back to California to for her tenth high school reunion and someone suggests her mother's death might not have been a natural one. Cool, I thought! It was just by the skin of my teeth that I found a substance that might mimic that kind of death. Was cursing myself for locking myself into that death for the series. ;^)

      Yes, I gave that class at Pennwriters this year, or at least the Juggling Multiple Series class. Will propose a master class for next year!

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  24. LOL, Julia. I would be happy to give such a class, but the sections on "Pulling Out Your Hair" and "Rending Your Garments" might probably put people off. I think Edith might be better suited to teach it.

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  25. Edith, the same thing cracked me up!! I didn't start a series bible nearly early enough (of course I'll remember everything about every character!!) and so there are definitely a few continuity issues running through the books.

    And I agree with Julia on the master class on Getting it Done! You three leave me in awe! Congrats to you all on the new books, and I can't wait to dive in.

    Oh, and series reader here, from the get-go. I do like to start from the beginning but will hop around if I discover an author through a later book.

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    1. Thanks so much, Debs. The character bible was something I heard about early on in the Guppies or some Sisters in Crime workshop so I implemented it for each series with book one. Glad I did!

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  26. I love series! I feel like I get to know the characters in the book and want to know what's going on with them. I usually read a series in order.

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    1. Dianne, you are the winner of the Wicked prize package. Please email Barbaraannross at gmail dot com to arrange delivery--congrats!

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  27. Wonderful post! I often stick with long running series. I bought a first book in a series at my first Malice in 2016. The library finally had a second book and I am waiting for the third book.

    Which series do I love to reread? Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear

    What grabs me in the first book? A bonus point is a map in the book. If I can get into the story, then it works. Some books are quite challenging to read because I cannot follow the story or cannot connect with the characters.

    All of your novels sound wonderful. Look forward to reading your novels. Hope I win :-)

    Diana

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    1. I agree with you about maps in books, Diana.

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    2. Barb, thanks! Your new Jane Darrowfield novel sounds interesting! Look forward to reading your novel.

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  28. Congrats on your new releases! I enjoy long running series. Usually I'll discover a new to me author when reading their latest book in the series & so will then go back & read from the beginning. Most of the time I don't notice discrepancies & if I do I just assume that I remembered them incorrectly.

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    1. You have just described my favorite reading situation, Jana. Finding a new author and then finding their are a whole series of books to read.

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  29. I do love series and get very sad when they are discontinued. My problem is there are so many great series that I have trouble keeping up. Too many books, not enough time. Wish I could read faster. Thank you all on your new releases and love your series. Thank you so much for this chance at the giveaway. pgenest57(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. You are welcome! I remember how sad I was when I read the last Dorothy L. Sayers and realized there would be no more to read, because she waas dead.

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  30. I love series but don't binge read since I like variety. Also I can get sick of things if I get too much of them, like you used THAT WORD AGAIN! LOL I'm pretty tolerant of my favorite series but have stopped reading when they stopped being mysteries, didn't solve the mystery(I'm not talking about a background mystery that goes through several book. I mean the main murder), and being too silly or too dark. There are just too many good mysteries to put up with ones that aren't.

    I read Strangled Eggs and Ham. Love that Robbie is so practical. Even when she went to the crime scene alone and heard noises, she just got out as fast as she could and resolved never to do that again! I have Tell Tail Heart on my TBR pile and will buy Barb's soon.

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  31. So happy on all three book releases. I have 2 of the 3 and will get the third one later this week. Congrats to you all. Thanks.

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    1. Thanks! It's fun for us to share a release date.

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  32. Oh, I so love reading series and absolutely stick with them. What's the best binge reading of a series I've done. Well, when I was going to my first Bouchercon back in 2013, I had to catch up on some authors' series because I really wanted to meet those authors. I started and caught up with Deb's Duncan and Gemma series and Julia's Russ and Clare series. What a treat that was! I started Rhys' Molly Murphy series and Lady Georgie series, but didn't get them finished before that Bouchercon. Of course, I've finished those now.

    All three of these series offerings today sound amazing. I do have to admit I'm a bit partial to Edith's Strangled Eggs and Ham because it contains my mother's recipe for Jam Cake and Caramel Icing in the back. I'm going to be buying multiple copies of that book to send to family. Of course, I've heard so many great things about all three of these books featured here today that I have to check them all out.

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    1. You were generous to share that recipe, Kathy!

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    2. I am thrilled you included it, Edith!

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  33. Home again! I love series. I love seeing the characters' lives unfold. I will quit a series though if it turns lame or phoned in. Congratulations ladies on your series!

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    1. Thanks, Pat! We do our best not to phone it in.

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  34. Congratulations to all three ladies on their new books . . . .

    I read both standalones and series books; I enjoy reading series and seeing the characters evolve over the course of the series. I do generally stay with them and read the new books as they come out.
    I’ve binge-read Julia’s Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne books and J. D. Robb’s In Death series; I can’t say that I remember any discontinuities jumping out at me.
    What grabs me in a first book? The characters and the sense of place that relates to the series.

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  35. Sorry I'm chiming in so late. This is an interesting look at the various milestones in a series from the author's point of view. Thanks for sharing.

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  36. Love some of the longer series. I just binged V. M. Burns Dog Club Mystery 1 thru 3. I really liked it. In some series, I do find inconsistencies and others not so much. When the stories start to sound the same, I stop reading them. I enjoy all three of you authors, so keep on writing. Congrats on the new releases.

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  37. I can still remember being incredibly excited when I read Mallory's Oracle by Carol O'Connell years ago. Finding a first book in a series that I loved and that was so totally original was thrilling. I'm always looking for that thrill. We do love series at my house, and we wait impatiently for our favorite authors new books every year.

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  38. I do love a series. Though over time I’ve found that I don’t always meet an author through their first book, which of course give me a chance to binge! So mystery authors whose stories have stayed with me, and I with them are: drum roll - Dorothy Sayers who I encountered as a teen. Margery Allingham, I’m in love with Campion still. Ngaio Marsh and PD James. Can you guess my country of origin? I have all Dick Francis and Felix too, books. My lovely Victor makes sure he buys me the new one every Christmas. And does anyone remember Professor Gervais Fen, Edmund Chrispin’s sleuth? Who else? Well Julia of course, and now I dipping into JR’s and loved Deb’s, A Bitter Feast. How did I get a copy of not yet published! Friends in low places, no name no pack drill. And I am a huge fan of Louise Penny, but it took me a couple of books to really appreciate her, now I love her books. Let’s add Dona Leon, Dana Stabalow, and Nevada Barr. Do I read the guys? Well yes, and the only one who comes to mind is the late Great John McDonald. I decided that I’m not throwing anyone under the bus here and in any case my bus does not include any Jungle Reds, but I do get annoyed with the authors who write to a script, so they lose my love early on. I do read lots of other fiction and follow authors there but it’s not the same feeling as being part of the life created for my enjoyment and pleasure. So a big thank you!❤️

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  39. I stick with series, for sure. It’s usually the protagonist with whom I really become enamored. Legallyblonde1961 at yahoo dot com

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  40. I definitely stick with long running series. My only problem is that there are so many I love! What grabs me most is the appeal of the characters, both main and supporting.

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  41. Yes and the Murder She Wrote Series is a good example as is the Peg Cochran 1930's or the Cindy Brown one...I think MSW though has great side characters. I adore Seth...
    Marilyn ewatvess@yahoo.com

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