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November 30, 2015

Love In The Time of Murder by D. E. Haggerty

Love in the Time of Murder
by D.E. Haggerty
The Gray-Haired Knitting Detectives 3
Standalone
Cozy Mystery
October 5, 2015

In Love in the Time of Murder, the Gray-Haired Knitting Detectives face their toughest case yet. Delilah, or Dee as she wishes everyone would just call her already, is the granddaughter of one of the knitting detectives and her life is in a bit of a shambles. She finally manages to pry herself away from her husband’s clutches, move out on her own, and start her own business. But then her estranged husband is murdered and she’s the number one suspect. The Gray-Haired Knitting Detectives aren’t about to let one of their own get sent to the slammer and jump at the chance to search for the true killer. As if Dee doesn’t have enough problems, the knitting detectives decide that Delilah being a widow is the perfect opportunity to find her a new man and decide to put their matchmaking skills to use. Will Dee end up in prison for a murder she didn’t commit or will she be taking another walk down the aisle?


How I came up with Dee’s Story
D.E. Haggerty



Readers and friends are always asking me how I come up with story ideas. That’s never an easy question to answer. Sometimes it really is the story-idea-fairy gifting me with ideas while I’m sleeping. Other times I’m assaulted by my muse in the shower (this is my husband’s favorite). And then there are the characters themselves that seem to push me to change my ideas while I’m typing away. I have no idea how that works, but it does.

There are even times when I specifically search for a story idea. That was the case with Love in the Time of Murder. I was having fun writing the Gray-Haired Knitting Detectives series and I was getting some great feedback. I wanted to keep the ball rolling and decided to write a third novel into the series. I went ahead and introduced Dee in the second novel of the series, Jack Gets His Man, for that very purpose.

Now I’ve got Dee introduced to the Gray-Haired Knitting Detectives but what to do with her? I love reading series, but I often get bored after the second or third book. I start to whine that the books are all the same. I didn’t want readers to accuse me of the same thing so I needed to put a spin on the book.

One of the frequent comments to the earlier novels in the series was that the romance was unbelievable. It happened too fast. It was too much like insta-love. So I started with the romance. I wanted romance to be a larger element of the story and I wanted it to be more believable. I even managed to get my act together enough to introduce the romance element for Dee’s story in Jack Gets His Man.

Another way in which I tried to differentiate Love in the Time of Murder from the earlier books was the mystery itself. I wanted the book to still be a cozy mystery but I wanted something more as well. I decided to add some suspense by making Dee the prime suspect in the murder. There’s even a twist – which you’ll have to read the book to find out about – on why Dee was not only the prime suspect but the only suspect of the detective in charge of the investigation for most of the story.

In order for Dee to be the main suspect in a murder and for it to be believable, there was only one character I could kill off – her husband. After all, Dee was newly returned to town. Who else could she have killed and been the first and only suspect in the murder?

Now the ball’s rolling: I’ve got romance, a murder, and the murdered person all set up. This is the point at which the characters take over the story. I sit down to write a chapter a day and just look on as they come up with their own story. Sometimes they lead me in a direction that doesn’t match where I want to go at all. In that case, I usually have a talk with the character and try to explain that hey! I’m the writer here. Sometimes that even works. Mostly I have to alter my story to fit where they want to go.






Love in the Time of Murder
D.E. Haggerty
Excerpt #1
I cross my arms and sigh. “What’s Brock done now?”
The detective’s sharp eyes focus on me. “You mean, Brock, your husband?” I nod. “Why do you assume this has anything to do with Brock?”
I snort. “Maybe because I got a protection order against him last week and filed for divorce yesterday.” I add the word ‘duh’ to the sentence in my mind because really, who is this dunce? Of course this has to do with Brock.
“When was the last time you saw Brock Clark?”
“Sunday, a week and a half ago when he came to my grandmother’s house and tried to forcefully get me to return to Oklahoma City with him.”
“Oklahoma City?”
I stop myself from rolling my eyes at the detective. Don’t these guys have to take tests to ensure they’re not total idiots? “Yeah, that’s where we live. Well, where Brock lives. I live here now.”
The detective stares at me for a long time. I’m really not in the mood for any baloney that Brock is throwing at me. I throw up my hands. “What am I doing here? What’s going on?”
The detective leans back and crosses his arms over his chest. “Mr. Clark’s dead.”
My eyes nearly bug out of my head. “Dead? How? What?” I can’t breathe. I start to hyperventilate. Somewhere in the fog of my mind I hear Noel curse. A strong hand is on the back of my neck pushing my head between my knees. “There you go, darling. Just take deep breaths. In. Out. In. Out.”
Slowly, the fog clears and I start to breathe normally again. I push against the hand on my head and the pressure immediately disappears. I sit back up and turn to Noel. “Brock’s dead?” He nods. “You couldn’t have told me? You brought me here instead?” My voice sounds like a screech. I’m beyond peeved. What the heck? I though Noel was my friend.
Noel blushes slightly and moves away from me. The other man, who still hasn’t introduced himself, speaks. “Detective Blackburn is not allowed to be involved in this investigation. He’s here as a courtesy to you.”
“Investigation?” I stare at the man. “What do you mean investigation?”
“Brock Clark was murdered.”
“Murdered?” My eyes start to blink out of control.
“Shot in the head at his place of residence.”
“Shot?” I sound like a parrot, but I don’t care. The words this man is speaking don’t make any sense. Brock murdered. “Who would kill Brock?”
“That’s what we’re trying to figure out.” He stares at me and then I finally get it. They think I did it. They think I killed Brock. I shoot up from my chair. It clanks to the floor behind me.
“What the…? You think I killed Brock! Are you out of your mind?” I start to hyperventilate again and Noel reaches for me, but I bat him away. “Why the hell would I kill Brock?”
“Because he abused you and was stalking you.” The man’s eyes are hard, evaluating me.
“You don’t kill someone for that! I have a restraining order. I’m divorcing him!”
The detective is undeterred. “But what about the fact that he was cheating on you? Maybe you wanted revenge?”
This stops me cold. Cheating? I didn’t know Brock cheated on me. I mean, I suspected, of course, I’m not an idiot. I just I never cared enough to find out the details. I shrug. “Good,” I say. “If he was fucking someone else, then he wouldn’t have the need to force himself on me.”
Noel growls, but I ignore him. I throw a hand up at him to stop as he again starts to approach me. “What else you got?” I don’t even know who this woman is right now. I don’t swear. I don’t confront people. I guess when someone accuses you of killing your rat bastard husband, all bets are off.
The detective shrugs. “He’s worth a lot of money. If he’s dead, you’re a widow and the money’s all yours.”
I laugh; only it sounds brittle. “I don’t want his money. Talk to my attorney. I asked her yesterday to file for a no-fault divorce and not to ask for any settlement.”
The detective stares at me. “Maybe Brock was already dead by then.”
I shake my head at him. “I don’t want his freaking money,” I push the words out from my clamped jaw.
But the man isn’t done with me yet. He pulls a Kindle from between the files on the table. “What about this?”
I scrunch my nose at him. Seriously, the police department needs to start testing these detectives’ IQs. “Is that my Kindle?” I ask even though I can tell from the cover it is. There aren’t too many people with Hello Kitty covers on their Kindles. “I don’t understand what that has to do with anything.”
He shakes the Kindle. “Why are you obsessed with true-crime novels, Mrs. Clark?”
I snort. “I also read shifter romance novels, but I’m pretty sure I’m not a werewolf.” And with that, I’m done. “Am I under arrest?”


Excerpt #2
The entrance to the strip club is open and in the small area between the open front door and the second door sits a man on a stool. As we approach, he stands and crosses his arms over his chest. Oh, my god! Call the press! We’ve found King Kong and he’s apparently a bouncer at a titty bar in the outskirts of Oklahoma City.
“Hey man,” Jack says to King Kong and attempts to saunter past.
King Kong shakes his head. “Um no, I can’t let you in.” He points to Grandma and her posse. “They are instant boner killers. Not good for business, man.”
Betty huffs. “You’re going to let in two gay men but not us?”
King Kong shrugs. “I don’t care if the gay dudes want to make a stripper sandwich. But the customers are going to run out of here like their asses are on fire the second this AARP bus arrives.”
The ladies huff, but they know a lost cause when they see one. Betty looks ready to take on the gorilla. Thankfully, Grandma and her cronies grab her arms and pull her away from the entrance before she starts a riot. Izzy watches them leave and then turns to the bouncer whose eyes about bug out when he sees her baby bump.
“What are you trying to do to me? First, old ladies and now a pregnant one.” He points at Izzy’s bump. “You! No! These men don’t need to be reminded of the consequences of fooling around on the side.”
Izzy rubs her belly but shrugs and follows the ladies to their car. I turn to the giant-sized man and see his gaze on me. “Am I okay? Can I go in?”
The giant’s eyes sweep from head to toe over me and suddenly I feel like I need a shower. I shiver as he reaches to his crotch and adjusts himself. Gross. Totally gross. “Oh yeah, babe, you’re welcome. Make sure you talk to the bartender about dancing. You’d make a killing.” 


I was born and raised in Wisconsin, but think I’m a European (and have the EU passport to prove it!). After spending my senior year of high school in Germany, I developed a bad case of wanderlust that is yet to be cured. My flying Dutch husband and I have lived in Ohio, Virginia, the Netherlands, Germany and now Istanbul. We still haven’t decided if we want to settle down somewhere – let alone where. I’m leaning towards somewhere I can learn to surf even though the hubby thinks that’s a less than sound way to decide where to live. Although I’ve been a military policewoman, a commercial lawyer, and a B&B owner, I think with writing I may have finally figured out what I want to be when I grow up. That’s assuming I ever grow up, of course. Between playing tennis, running much slower than I would like, trying to adopt every stray dog within a 5-mile radius, traveling to exotic new locales, singing off tune, drinking entirely too many adult beverages, addictively watching new movies and reading books like they are going out of style, I write articles for a local expat magazine and various websites, review other indie authors’ books, write a blog about whatever comes to mind and am working on my seventh book.



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Talk Supe


35 comments:

  1. Thanks for letting me guest write on your blog today!

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  2. Great review and guest post Braine Thanks I love cozies :)

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    1. I have yet to read the books, but a blog buddy who has similar taste as mine love the books so it's on my TBR for sure

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  3. Great post! I really need to rekindle my love for cozy mysteries.

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  4. Oh this book looks fun and I always love a book like that from time to time. thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thanks for checking it out, I hope you like it!

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  5. The post grabbed me, and now I'm going to have to find a copy of this book to read.

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    1. A bloggy friend loves the series! She said it's a tasteful LGBT series and quite funny too. Enjoy!

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  6. Fun post and this is such a great time of year for a cozy mystery!

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  7. This post made me smile! I don't typically read cozies but maybe this one... :)

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    1. They're great palate cleansers, as I like to call my offbeat reads.

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  8. I love cozies and this sounds like one I would enjoy a lot! Also I have to give kudos to the author for listening to readers comments. You have to know when to listen and when not to, but it sounds like she did a good job in picking out the important things to work on!

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    1. I'm with you on that. I support creativity, every book has to be unique in some way so it should be the author's call in the end. It's great though when we readers get a treat and the author writes a story for us. That's sweet!

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    2. It's really hard to listen to criticism, but I'm not a young chicken anymore and I've learned that criticism can definitely be helpful and isn't (usually) meant to be hurtful. I once had a squad leader ask me how I prefer to receive criticism (normally they only yell at you in the Army) and I realized that giving criticism is a skill as well. Really opened me up to listening to others.

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  9. Cozy mysteries can be fun when I'm in the mood for them.

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  10. I really do want to read more cozy mysteries! sounds like an enjoyable read. Thanks for sharing!

    -Lauren
    www.letsgetbeyondtolerance.blogspot.com

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    1. I hope you get to read the books soon! Let me know if you liked it

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  11. This is a cute series and one of the reasons I do like it is that each book is so different - not just a repeat of the one before it. I meant to read this one this month but I've been so swamped I haven't been able to read anything in two weeks :-(

    Karen @For What It's Worth

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    1. I trust your judgment and taste, karen. When I find the time to squeeze at least book 1 in, I will take you up on that rec.

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    2. Thanks for your lovely comments Karen. This time of year is always so busy, isn't it? I hope you like the last book in the series

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  12. I am always on the hunt for a great new cozy, I think this is one I would enjoy. Thanks for putting it on my radar.

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  13. Oh those darn characters when they try to get their way... :) This was a fun post! I do enjoy a good cozy!

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    1. Don't you love it when these authors talk about their characters like they're real people?!

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    2. At this point I even have my husband convinced that the characters are alive. He asks me what they've been up to when he comes home from work as if I've spent the day drinking coffee with them :-)

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  14. I enjoyed this post! Honestly, it kind of bugs me when people claim a certain type of romance is unbelievable, because there are so may ways people fall in love all the time, including instantly. I've witnessed it a number of times, so it doesn't bother me. Just do whatever feels right for the characters.

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    1. Thanks for those thoughts. It's definitely got me thinking about believability and its importance in writing. I think it's really about fitting with the characters - like you say.

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    2. True and maybe I'm jaded, but I just can't stand insta-love! lol

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    3. I actually like insta-love if it's done right. I love reading about a man who knows what he wants. I hate wishy washy men who keeping changing their minds or trying to protect the woman from him. Ugh.

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  15. Oh this series sounds interesting! That's daring killing of her husband, but it does make for a nice twist and with how the main character is the prime suspect. Great guest post! I always like reading about how authors came up with the idea for their stories!

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    1. People are always asking where the ideas come from but often I really don't know! I really had to sit down with this and puzzle it out. My brain and its thought patterns are sometimes similar to a roller coaster - one with lots of twists & turns.

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