Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Paula Holliday on DEAD HEAD!

ROBERTA: Dead Head, the third title in Rosemary Harris' Dirty Business mystery series has just been released. Rather than let Rosemary blather on about it , JRW asked Rosemary's heroine Paula Holliday to tell us about the book. Congratulations and welcome Paula!!

PAULA: Thanks Roberta. It's so nice to get out of the flash drive! As you probably know I'm a transplanted city girl who's moved to the suburbs to start a small business. When things are slow I spend a lot of time at the local diner. Just recently our small New England town has been rocked by a scandal. One of our neighbors is really a fugitive. She's been living here for years and none of us knew anything about her past. I'm hired to find out who informed on the woman and why..after all these's still a secret that someone would kill to protect.
I had a lot of fun in this book, and I got to hang out with my crazy pal, Lucy Cavanaugh. I even met a nice guy but quien sabe, right? Most amateur sleuths don't have much of a love life.

ROBERTA: Any early feedback on Dead Head?

PAULA: Absolutely geeked that it's a Mystery Guild selection, Romantic Times gave it four stars, and one of Rosemary's favorite booksellers, Robin Agnew from Aunt Agatha's said she really liked it and laughed out loud. (I'm sure Rosemary will take all the credit.)

ROBERTA: Who's in charge of the dirty business mysteries--you or Rosemary?

PAULA: Aaahh – Rosemary thinks she is, but it’s really all me. There are just so many dead bodies you can unearth in the garden before you get arrested for digging in the cemetery! I like to get out, hang out with my friends and these days I’ve got some time on my hands so I keep getting involved in their, um, problems.

ROBERTA: If you found yourself in the office of a psychologist (say Dr. Rebecca Butterman of the advice column mysteries,) what deep dark secrets would you discuss?

PAULA: My life’s an open book. Three of them so far. (Pushing Up Daisies, The Big Dirt Nap and Dead Head) Okay some people say I have commitment issues, but seriously, what guy would let me run around and do some of the crazy things I do? I need to stay single, at least for the next two books.

HALLIE: Did it shake you up when you discovered that one of your neighbors was a fugitive mom?

PAULA: You coulda knocked me over. I know everyone has secrets, but this was a doozy. I like to give people the benefit of the doubt though. She was very young when - as they say – she fell in with a bad crowd. A lot of people were ready to cut her loose, but I’m loyal. And what I discovered was that we all have secrets – hers were just a little deadlier.

HANK: Ah—Paula, you used to be in the garden all the time. Is your interest in gardening, um, growing? Or are you branching (eesh) out into other things?

PAULA: Punny you should ask. Most gardeners have second or third jobs, it is, of course, a seasonal business. But I don’t see myself going into snowplowing. Lucy always tells me there’s a job waiting for me in New York, but I like the ‘burbs. I guess I have to really investigate what else I’m good at.

JAN: Paula, Any gardening tips for New Englanders deluged with rain???

PAULA: Stay inside and read a good book until things dry out! Walking on wet soil will only compact it and ruin your soil structure. Then hire Paula Holliday.

JRW: Paula, thanks for stopping in--we better let you go before Rosemary notices you're gone! Meanwhile, you can visit Ro's website for more on Dead Head! Congratulations Paula--and Ro!

ps check out the cool, animated trailer for Dead Head right here:


  1. GO,RO! Congratulations...and can't wait to catch up this weekend in Conncecticut at Murder 203! (Will DeadHead be for sale there?)

    And talk about killer--your schedule is amazing! What's coming up?

  2. Great fun, ladies! Thanks for the invitation to this garden party. Having Paula stop by was a great idea! The series is great. Good job, Paula. I look forward to reading this and seeing what you are up to next.

  3. Jampacked schedule..but like you, that's the way I like it. Aunt Agatha's last night where the show got off to a good start. Robin is a doll, and such a great supporter of the mystery community. And the chocolate cake was decorated to look like the cover of Dead Head! How cool is that?

    Cassy, thanks for the kind words. I've gotten very positive feedback on Dead Head, including a great review in Crimespree Magazine, of which I'm very proud. They said I was a rising star and should be on everyone's bookshelves! Yippee!

  4. Rosemary -- Congratulations on the early raves for DEAD HEAD. I can't wait to, uh, prune my to-read list a bit and plant your latest at the top. (What, you thought Hank was the only one who couldn't resist bad gardening puns?). Looking forward to seeing you and all the other JungleRed ladies at Murder 203 this weekend!

  5. Paula,
    How much would you charge to take over my garden so I never have to get my fingernails dirty again???

    Kidding. I know you are too busy unlocking secrets and solving crimes. Have a great launch tonight. And tell Ro, I'll see her when she comes to Wellesley.

  6. Sounds great. I look forward to reading it. Good luck!

  7. Congratulations on the book launch, Ro! Love the cover...

  8. The squirrels are eating my tulips.

    Help help help, PAula!

  9. Sorry I didn't get here yesterday. Anybody who liked listening to Paula will get the chance to meet her in person at Malice Domestic in two weeks. Yes, you can meet Paula (although Rosemary will be at the convention, too).

    On Sunday, May 2nd at 11:40 a.m. Rosemary will be on the Characters We Know and Love panel, where authors appear as their character. Should be a hoot! If you haven't signed up for Malice, it's not too late. A few of the Jungle Red ladies will be there.

    Hope you all don't mind the convention plug:

  10. Hi Barb. Paula will be at Malice - it is THE place to see and be seen this spring, and she's hoping to get some Face Time (Hank plug!)with readers and other writers. malice is the one show I don't miss.