If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.

July Interview Schedule:
7/3 Jean Stone A Vineyard Summer
7/10 Mark Bergin
7/17 Christin Brecher Murder's No Votive Confidence
7/24 Dianne Freeman A Ladies' Guide to Gossip
7/31 J. C. Kenney A Genuine Fix

Saturday Guest Bloggers: 7/6 V. M. Burns, 7/13 Joe Amiel,

WWK Satuday Bloggers: 7/20 Gloria Alden, 7/27 Kait Carson


Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Susan Van Kirk's A Death At Tippett Pond was released on June 15th. Read E. B. Davis's interview with Susan.

KM Rockwood's "Frozen Daiquiris" appears in The Best Laid Plans: 21 Stories of Mystery & Suspense, edited by Judy Penz Sheluk. The anthology will be released on June 18th.

Congratulations to Margaret S. Hamilton for being a finalist in the Daphne Du Maurier contest. Margaret competes in the Unpublished/Mainstream mystery/suspense category.

Congratulations to Shari Randall for WINNING the Agatha Award for Best First Novel. Her book, Curses, Boiled Again was published by St. Martin's last year. Read the interview about the book here. Yay, Shari!

Fishy Business anthology authors include KM Rockwood, Debra Goldstein, and James M. Jackson. This volume was edited by Linda Rodriguez.

Please read Margaret S. Hamilton and Debra Goldstein's short stories (don't ask about their modus operandi) in a new anthology, Cooked To Death Vol. IV: Cold Cut Files

Warren Bull's Abraham Lincoln: Seldom Told Stories was released. It is available at: GoRead: https://www.goread.com/book/abraham-lincoln-seldom-told-stories or at Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/ydaklx8p

Grace Topping's mystery, Staging is Murder was released April 30.

James M. Jackson extends the Seamus McCree series with the May 25th publication of #6, False Bottom.


Wednesday, July 17, 2019

An Interview with Christin Brecher by E. B. Davis

Murder’s No Votive Confidence
Nantucket candle store owner Stella Wright specializes in creating unique candles for every occasion. But someone sets the stage for murder when a Memorial Day celebration becomes a wedding to die for . . .

Jessica Sterlingʼs candlelight-themed nuptial promises to be the perfect kick-off to the summerʼs first official holiday weekend. Stellaʼs thrilled to have been chosen to provide the decorative centerpiece for the wedding ceremony: a two-foot, tall scented unity candle—a symbol of the happy coupleʼs love. But it looks like the bride-to-beʼs uncle wonʼt be walking his niece down the aisle after heʼs found dead. The murder weapon is Stellaʼs seemingly indestructible candle, now split in two.

When a beloved local bartender is arrested, Stellaʼs sure a visiting police Captain running the case made a rush to justice. With superstitious brides-to-be cancelling orders and sales waxing and waning at her store, the Wick & Flame owner decides to do some sleuthing of her own. Abetted by a charming reporter and challenged by the townʼs sexiest cop, Stellaʼs determined to shine a light on the truth and uncover a killer whoʼs snuffing out her own flame.

Islands off the coast of Massachusetts seem to be my theme this month. Murder’s No Votive Confidence is set on Nantucket, an island east of Chappaquiddick. This is Christin Brecher’s debut novel in her Nantucket Candle Maker mystery series. I found it fascinating and had to limit the questions I asked her about the book, the setting, the characters, and how those characters related to one another.

Stella Wright is a native of the island. After college, she returned home and opened a candle shop, the Wick & Flame. Millie Wright, her mother, has a unique nose that makes her a perfume expert, and Stella has inherited that trait, which resulted in having the moniker, The Hound, bestowed on her in seventh grade by Andy Southerland, now a police officer.

When Stella creates a unity candle for a wedding ceremony and finds a member of the wedding party murdered, it isn’t much of a stretch that she noses around to find out whodunnit. And she has many reasons for wanting to do so.

I’m not going to spoil the ending, but it was one of the best culminations of a mystery I’ve read in a long time. Really fun!

Please welcome Christin Brecher to WWK                                                                                                             E. B. Davis
How far is Nantucket from the mainland? How long does it take to get there by ferry? Would you describe the island for our readers?

Nantucket is 30 miles off the coast of Massachusetts.  Sometimes referred to as the Gray Lady because of the fog that often shrouds her, she is small, but mighty! Arriving to the island feels like a step back in time.  Even when the summer traffic is crazy, and the prices are sky high, the charm of the island’s aesthetic is timeless with cobblestones on Main Street, shingled homes, bikes, dogs, and gorgeous beaches.  And the ice cream at the Juice Bar is not to be missed!

When I was a kid, we took a two-hour ferry to get to the island after a five-hour drive from New York City.  It was both torture and magic to spend those hours on the boat.  You realize how far out to sea you are, and once the small island’s skyline comes into view it feels as if you’ve found Brigadoon.  These days there’s a fast ferry that takes an hour, and I confess I take it all the time!  Tons of flights, too.  But if you have the time and patience, a slow ride across the seas is worth it.

What is the historical significance of candles and candle making on Nantucket?

Nantucket became one of the wealthiest communities in America in the late 18th and early 19th centuries because of its success in the whaling industry.  Nantucketers discovered the value of spermaceti oil, found in the brain cavity of the sperm whales.  This precious oil was used, among other things, to make candles which were considered to be the cleanest, whitest, and longest lasting candles in the world.  Fast Fact:  On a recent visit to Nantucket’s Whaling Museum (right across the street from the Juice Bar!), I learned that at one point the island’s candle industry accounted for one third of its economy, with exports around the world.

Although Stella has many relatives on the island, she doesn’t resemble any of them. Why?

Stella is part of a close-knit family that has lived on the island for generations.  They are easy to spot because of their trademark fair skin and red hair.  Stella, however, stands out from the crowd with her olive complexion and her thick mane of dark, wavy hair. 

Her markedly different appearance relates to a mystery in Stella’s own life – the identity of her father.  Her mother, Millie Wright, was an adventuress in her twenties, travelling the globe in search of unique scents to make perfumes, her passion.  One day, she returned to Nantucket with “a treasure that trumped them all,” Stella.  Although her mother never talks about Stella’s father, Stella has some ideas about her roots.  Perhaps one day, she will set off to solve this mystery, too!

The wedding reception is being held at the Melville Inn. Is the inn based on a real hostelry?

I am too superstitious to set a murder mystery at a place where so many couple actually have their weddings, so you will not find the Melville Inn on Nantucket.  You can, however, find a gorgeous hotel that’s pretty darn close:  The Wauwinet Hotel.  

Jessica Sterling, the bride, asked her late father’s brother, Uncle Simon, to walk her down the aisle since her father died. I was surprised she asked him since it seems the brothers were estranged. Why did she ask him?

Emily tells Stella about the bride’s decision to invite Simon to walk her down the aisle.  A bold choice, it was made by a gal in search of a fairy tale wedding, replete with family and tradition.  Unfortunately, her father and her fiancé’s parents have passed away, so her choices for a family member to stand in are limited, and Uncle Simon wins the honor. Although Simon Sterling seems, at first, to be a thoroughly unlikable character, there’s more to him than meets the eye. 

Uncle Simon had contraband in his room—a cat named Tinker. Tinker always shows up at the right place where a murder clue appears. How does he do that, and does Stella appreciate his pointers, even though she isn’t fond of cats?

Tinker is a savvy dude who knew the victim, Uncle Simon, better than anyone at the wedding.  Although Stella has little experience with cats, and their introduction to each other is less than cordial, she soon realizes that Tinker has one paw up on everyone.  She can’t help but fall for the little guy.

When Uncle Simon is found murdered, the weapon appears to be the unity candle Stella made. Would a candle be strong enough to kill?

A typical taper candle or pillar candle would not be strong enough to kill a man.  Stella’s unity candle, however, is a force.  Designed to be the centerpiece of the Sterling wedding ceremony, it is two feet high, six inches in diameter, and made of a strong, dense wax.  Beautifully decorated to match the bride’s beaded gown, it looks precious.  If someone whacked you across the head with it, however, you wouldn’t stand a chance.

Why did Stella compromise the crime scene?

The crime scene is a mess.  Eight people who have never seen a murdered man find themselves in the inn’s Game Room, beside Uncle Simon.  They are shocked by the violence that has taken place at the peaceful Melville Inn, during the perfectly planned Sterling Wedding weekend.  In a panic, they all make mistakes.  Stella’s is to pick up her unity candle.  Although she quickly realizes her error, her action is a desperate attempt to erase the fact that her beautiful creation was used as a murder weapon.

When the bartender, Bill Duffy, is arrested for the murder, Stella thinks they rushed the arrest and took the expedient suspect. Since she babysat for Bill and his wife, Maude, who also works at the inn, Stella thinks she knows the couple. What does she find out about Bill that makes her break into their house?

As Stella searches for the murderer, she learns that everyone at the Sterling wedding has a secret.  While the revelation of some of these stories has nothing to do with the murder, others lead her closer to the killer.  In spite of her affection for Bill and Maude Duffy, Stella learns that even they have secrets, and she knows she must follow up every lead.  As for what she learns?  I’d tell you, but…

What is FIGAWI?

The Sterling Wedding takes place Memorial Day weekend, which is also the weekend of FIGAWI, the island’s one-of-a-kind annual sailing event.  FIGAWI stands for “where-the-fug-ah-we?”  Now an international event, the race started decades ago as a dare between two friends who got lost en route from the Cape to the island, hence the name! 

As astute as Stella is, she is totally blind when it comes to Andy, especially his reactions to her dating new island journalist, Peter Bailey. Why can’t she see how interested Andy is in her? 

Two words:  Friend Zone.  Andy made the mistake of giving Stella an embarrassing nickname, “The   After a few subsequent pranks back and forth, they settled into a lifelong, but often antagonistic, friendship.  Andy is happily dating a woman named Georgianna when Simon Sterling is killed, while Stella is ready for a new love in Peter Baily after having suffered a heart-breaking disappointment the year before.  While solving Simon Sterling’s murder, however, new feelings, perhaps long-buried feelings, begin to bubble for each of them.  I’m curious to see how these two redefine their friendship now that Stella has discovered her talent for sleuthing.
Hound,” when she sniffed out a gas leak in science class in seventh grade.

Why does Stella take over some of her best friend, Emily Gardner’s duties as an event coordinator for the wedding?

 Emily Gardner is Stella’s other life-long best friend.  Emily is married and expecting her first child’s arrival soon after the Sterling wedding.  Unfortunately, third trimester complications hit her during the weekend event.  Because Stella has been hired to lead the wedding’s candle design and knows the wedding plans so well, Emily leans on her when things get tricky.

Why does the inn have its own boat?

The Melville Inn is a swanky spot, with every amenity to make the guests’ stay special.  The launch is one example.  Since the inn is secluded, but on the harbor, it’s faster to shuttle guests to town via a launch than by car.  On board, they can enjoy the sparkling waters, while reaching town in only minutes

How do you name your characters, which are perfect, BTW?

Thank you!
I have fun naming characters, especially after I’ve spent time with them.  Often the names spring to mind, but Stella Wright was a calculated decision.  Stella means star in Italian, and I just wonder if Millie had that in mind when she named her daughter.  Wright is inspired by the right whales, which launched the island’s famous trade.  These whales used to swim off the shores of Nantucket and were named because they were “the right whale to kill.”
If you are familiar with Nantucket, you will also notice that a couple of names (eg. Gardner) are old island names, but all of the characters are fictional – none of them based on people I know.

Your cover art is enticing. Did you have any input into its creation?

I had no input on the cover, but the designers at Kensington know exactly how to design a cozy mystery, I agree!  My favorite part of the cover is the title image, which is inspired by the quarter board signs which are common on Nantucket.  Best of all, this title design is going to be featured on each book.

What’s next for Stella and her cronies?

You’ll find out on February 25th, when the Nantucket Candle Maker Mysteries continue with Murder Makes Scents! 

Stella and her globe-trotting mom, Millie come home from a perfume industry conference in Paris, where their trip was marred by witnessing the stabbing death of a young man. It’s a relief for Stella to be back on her picturesque island, with the comforting company of her cat, Tinker. But lingering danger may have followed them back across the ocean.

After someone breaks into her candle store, the Wick & Flame, Stella starts feeling spooked. Their croissants continue to crumble when Millie suffers a blow to the head. Stella receives an anonymous note claiming that her mother smuggled a secret formula out of France—and threatening her life if it isn’t returned. Now Stella’s picked up the scent of a cold-hearted criminal and an intriguing puzzle, and things are about to get wicked.