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

October Interviews
10/2 Debra H. Goldstein, Two Bites To Many
10/10 Connie Berry, A Legacy of Murder
10/17 Lida Sideris, Double Murder or Nothing
10/23 Toni L. P. Kelner writing as Leigh Perry, The Skeleton Stuffs A Stocking
10/30 Jennifer David Hesse, Autumn Alibi

Saturday Guest Bloggers:
10/5 Ang Pompano
10/12 Eyes of Texas Anthology Writers
10/19 Neil Plakcy

WWK Bloggers: 10/26 Kait Carson


Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Lyrical Press will publish Kaye George's Vintage Sweets mystery series. The first book, Revenge Is Sweet, will be released in March. Look for the interview here on 3/11.

Shari Randall will be writing again for St. Martin's, perhaps under a pseudonym. We look forward to reading Shari's Ice Cream Shop Mystery series debuting next year. Congratulations, Shari!

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 was released on June 18th.

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.


Wednesday, March 21, 2018

An Interview with Agatha Nominee Annette Dashofy by E. B. Davis

On the way to the emergency room, an elderly woman regains consciousness long enough to inform paramedic Zoe Chambers that her fall down the basement steps was no accident. Before she can say more, she succumbs to her injuries, launching Zoe and Police Chief Pete Adams into the investigation of a burglary ring targeting the area’s vulnerable senior citizens.

Zoe—in spite of Pete’s objections—takes it upon herself to act as protection detail after the con men, disguised as water company employees, set their sights on Zoe’s beloved former landlady. It’s a decision that eventually puts Zoe in harm’s way.

With Zoe already recovering from one close call, Pete must race against time to stop the crime ring—and a dangerous killer—before they strike again.

I always enjoy reading Annette Dashofy’s Zoe Chambers mystery series. My enjoyment is due to Annette’s combination of talents, one of great plotting and the other of masterful writing. Zoe, the EMT main character, is likeable. A caring person, she looks after many of the secondary continuing characters who are older, if not elderly. Readers are already acquainted with Sylvia Bassi (the retired police dispatcher and mother of Zoe’s best friend), the Krolls (an elderly couple who own the farm where Zoe used to live and still boards her horse), and Pete Adams’s (Vance Township Police Chief and Zoe’s boyfriend) father, Harry, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s. We, like Zoe, are vested in their wellbeing.  

In this book, Uneasy Prey, the elderly become the victims of thieves who enter homes to case them for valuables under the guise of utility workers and later return to take the elderlies possessions. Annette brings the book to a surprising conclusion—a full circle conclusion—that is heartbreaking.

Please welcome Annette Dashofy to WWK.                                                              E. B. Davis

In the forward of Uneasy Prey, you said the plot was based on an experience your mother had. Would you share the story for our readers?
Thanks for having me back, E.B.! Several years ago, I received a phone call from my mom, who lived two doors away from me. She sheepishly told me she thought she’d done a bad thing. When I pressed her, she said a couple of men from the water company had come to her door and she’d let them in. I should add, we live out in the country and don’t have city water. But they’d told her they were running water lines in the next couple of weeks and needed to test the water pressure. I immediately called our local police and then rushed over to her house to see what they’d stolen. Fortunately, they didn’t take anything. I guess she didn’t have anything worth stealing. That incident has haunted me ever since, so of course, it made its way into a book!

Oriole Andrews, who Zoe and her EMT partner Earl find at the bottom of a stairway, has “frequent flyer miles” with the Monongahela County EMS. What do they mean by this, and does it contribute to the emergency staff having preconceived notions about what happened to the victim?
When I worked on the ambulance service, there were a few folks who for various reasons were well-known by all of us. You become familiar with their ailments and symptoms. The good part is you recognize when something is “different this time” and can treat or react accordingly. Thankfully, I never had a situation quite like Oriole’s.

Like many younger people taking care of their parents, Pete is torn by his sister Nadine’s insistence that their father, Harry, must enter a facility. Pete doesn’t have a good defense. He doesn’t have the right to refute since he is not his dad’s caretaker, Nadine is. But even though Harry says he doesn’t want to enter the assisted living facility, he actually solves the problem for his children. How did Harry do this?
The old coot finds himself a lady friend! Young love isn’t limited to the young!

Mrs. Kroll, whose husband is in the hospital, senses that something wasn’t right with the utility worker she allowed into her house. Trusting her senses, she confesses what she did to Zoe, who knows about the con men and insists that Mrs. Kroll make a police report. But she is reluctant to do so. Why do the elderly assume that they are stupid or incompetent and try to cover up their actions?
Ah, yes. This is the scene that was inspired by the incident I mentioned earlier with my mom. I don’t have good answer, but I think many times the elderly expect bad guys to look like…well…bad guys! These men were polite and clean-cut, so Mom didn’t want to be rude to them. (Now, if my dad had been alive at the time, he’d have kicked them to the curb!) Once Mom (and Mrs. Kroll) realized her mistake, she was embarrassed and didn’t want to have anyone, including the police, know she’d been so foolish. In fact, I didn’t dare write this story while Mom was still able to read and comprehend my books. She’d have been furious that I revealed what she’d done.

Zoe’s second cousin Patsy, who we met a few books ago, is closer in age to Zoe than to her mother, Kimberly, Patsy’s first cousin. Patsy has just flown back from Florida after visiting Kimberly. Patsy acts as a peacekeeper between Zoe and Kimberly. I’m flummoxed as to why Zoe isn’t more emotionally distraught by Patsy befriending Kimberly, who was a lousy mother to Zoe. Why doesn’t Zoe find Patsy disloyal?
Zoe and Patsy were friends long before they learned they were related. Zoe knows what it’s like to not have family, or be estranged from them, so she empathizes with Patsy suddenly finding that she has kin. If anything, Zoe feels sorry that that “kin” happens to be Kimberly!  

I know the symptoms of women’s heart attacks aren’t forthright like men’s. The symptoms mimic minor problems. How did Zoe know? Does emotional stress bring heart attacks on?
As a paramedic, Zoe better know these things! It’s part of the training, and she’s seen it before. If anything, Zoe was a little slow catching on. Stress is nasty. Long-term, it can raise blood pressure and cause any number of problems. But even the short-term stress that Sylvia was under can trigger a coronary episode. In Sylvia’s case, she’s carrying too much weight and hasn’t taken the best of care of herself, so she was bound to have a heart attack at some point. The stress simply brought it on sooner rather than later.

You’ve taken on various themes on the elderly. Which one bothered you the most, and was there a personal issue that brought you to take on these themes?
The issues with the elderly that I address are all personal on some level. My dad had Alzheimer’s. I was caregiver to both him and to my mom and know the stress involved. I had to battle the guilt of eventually placing them both in assisted living at different points. So, there’s a lot of my own truth in each of the storylines. But the con men preying on the older folks really infuriates me. I hope Uneasy Prey serves as a cautionary tale. If someone reads it and then finds themselves in a situation like that and thinks, “Hmm, maybe I shouldn’t let them in. Maybe I should call 911,” I will feel that I’ve done some good in the world.

Have you plotted your characters arcs for the series?
Indeed, I have!

What’s next for Zoe and Pete?
The seventh in the series, Cry Wolf, will be released this September and picks up Harry’s story where Uneasy Prey leaves off, with a homicide hitting close to home. And Zoe discovers Patsy isn’t the only family out there that she didn’t know about!

Annette, you’ve been Agatha nominated several times for this series, including this year’s Best Contemporary novel. I’m sick of seeing you not go home with that dang teapot. Who can I bribe, blackmail, or rough up for you?
E.B., I love you! I confess, I do lust after one of those teapots, but it truly is an honor just to be nominated. Hey, I get to stand next to Louise Penny, Margaret Maron, Allison Brook, and my good friend Ellen Byron! Being included in that company is like breathing rarefied air! (But feel free to twist a few arms. Winning would be amazing! Haha!)  


Annette said...

Thanks so much for having me back today! It's always great to visit WWK!

Gretchen Archer said...

What a great title for this story, and how relevant to one of the central themes of UNEASY PREY. Great job, Annette, and great interview, E.B.! I, too, wish you everything, Annette, but mostly right now, a teapot.

E. B. Davis said...

I love reading your books, Annette. Thanks for the interview and keep them coming! Still crossing my fingers for you. Now that years have gone by, my fingers will need surgery! My offer still stands.

Annette said...

Thank you, Gretchen and E.B. Not holding my breath, but the Agatha teapot would be a dream come true.

Kait said...

Hi Annette, thanks so much for visiting! I've followed Zoe and Pete from day one and I have to say, you have done an amazing job writing them. There have been several times when I've thought about them both as if they were real people. The character development is phenomenal. Well done and a wonderful series.

Annette said...

Thanks so much, Kait! You mean they AREN'T real? Oh, no! :-P They feel pretty real to me too.

Margaret Turkevich said...

Great interview and looking forward to reading your new book.

Annette said...

Thanks, Margaret!

Shari Randall said...

Great interview, Annette and E. B.! I, too, love Zoe and will keep my fingers crossed for you at Malice - I'll leave the roughing up to EB ;)

Annette said...

Thank you so much, Shari! I appreciate it.

And I really can't condone any "roughing up"! :-D

Jim Jackson said...

Annette -- I'm not a Malice attendee, so have no say in the matter, but best of luck in the Agatha voting. If you win, I'll have another of my "I knew her when . . ." stories (and pull out my photo with us and our crazy hats!)

Annette said...

I'll hold you to that, Jim!

Gloria Alden said...

Annette, I can't wait to read your latest book. I will vote for you at Malice.

Annette said...

Aww, thank you, Gloria! Looking forward to seeing you there!

Grace Topping said...

Always happy to see Pennsylvania featured in books. Good luck at Malice. Look forward to seeing you there.

Annette said...

Thank you, Grace! Be sure to grab me and say hi! So often, I just wander around in a confused daze at these conventions and need/want a friendly face to snap me out of it!

Kaye George said...

Terrific interview! Good luck at the conference, Annette. I'll see you there!

Annette said...

Thanks, Kaye. Looking forward to seeing you!

Sasscer Hill said...

Hi, Annette. Enjoyed your interview. Keeping my fingers crossed for you. GOOD LUCK!

Annette said...

Thanks, Sasscer!

Linda Lovely said...

Great interview. I love the Zoe Chambers mysteries-terrific plots and believable characters. Have my fingers crossed for you at Malice. Look forward to seeing you there!