Wednesday, April 27, 2022

An Interview with Carol J. Perry by E. B. Davis


The staff at Salem, Massachusetts’s local station, WICH-TV, is looking forward to the wedding of their program director, Lee Barrett. But when Lee heads off on her Maine honeymoon, she’ll be haunted by the ghosts of her own past . . .
Lee and Detective Sergeant Pete Mondello are finally tying the knot—and Lee is tying up loose ends before the big day. It’ll be an adjustment moving out of Aunt Ibby’s house, but the couple will stay nearby—after all, they have to share custody of O’Ryan, their clairvoyant cat. And Aunt Ibby will be renting out Lee’s old apartment . . . though she’s getting some bad vibes from her current prospective tenant.
After the celebration, complete with a cake made by the station magician, there should be time to relax—but the Maine island happens to be near the site of the crash that long ago killed Lee’s parents, a mystery she’s never been able to solve. Soon she’ll be putting wedding gifts aside and turning to her psychic gifts instead, to wrap up crimes both past and present . . .


‘Til Death is Carol J. Perry’s twelfth book in the Witch City Mystery series, and it’s a grabber. The eleventh in the series, See Something is now on Kindle Unlimited—check it out!

One of Carol’s writing talents is setting up complications in her books. Sometimes the complications are resolved within the book, but others are setups to be completed in future books. In ‘Til Death there are several complications that she saves for future resolution, but the entire book is a huge resolution that main character Lee hasn’t even known about her entire life, as well as Lee’s finally marrying her Detective Sergeant beau, Pete. It’s a great read.


If you haven’t read my interview with Carol about the first in her new series, Be My Ghost, here’s the link. Please welcome Carol J. Perry back to WWK.            E. B. Davis

Wanda the weather girl has a master’s degree in meteorology, another in climate science, and served as a weather chaser in Texas. Why does she allow the station to dress her as a floozy? Because she is trying to get on a reality cooking show, cooking being her hobby. She’s trying to change her image and wears business suits on her weather show. Why didn’t she insist on being businesslike from the start? Why is the station helping to get her into the cooking show? Won’t that take her from the station?

Wanda was hired by Mr. Doan to dress in her flirty fashion, and the show is highly rated in Salem, so she doesn’t mind. Anyway, the station pays for the outfits. The national show, Home Town Cooks, is a competition among many TV cooks around the country. It won’t take her away from the station. They’ll air her segment, and TV watchers will vote for the best Home Town Cook in the country. Meanwhile Wanda is alternating between her businesslike outfits and her skimpy ones, and people are actually placing bets before the weather forecast as to which Wanda they’ll see.


Scott Palmer took Lee’s place when she took the job as station programmer and presents what I think is yellow journalism. He focuses on Michael Martell, who was recently paroled after serving twenty years in jail for the manslaughter of his wife. Scott asks the students at the school where Martell is teaching if it bothers them that a convicted killer is their teacher. Scott refers to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, alluding to Michael Martell as having possible similarities without evidence of such. Why does the station allow this? 

Scott feels that as a reporter, and Martell’s record is well known in the city, he can dig into how people feel about having an ex-con as a teacher. Since Martell has served his sentence, Scott feels it’s fair game to ask the questions and to make the comparison to Dr J. and Mr. H. It’s mean, but not illegal and it builds audience. Mr. Doan likes that.


The head of the school where Michael Martell teaches is a friend of Lee’s Aunt Ibby. Since Lee will be moving to her own house after the wedding, Aunt Ibby has converted Lee’s old apartment within her house into a short-term stay B & B. Does Aunt Ibby need the money? Why isn’t she more concerned about her own welfare? Even Pete is keeping Michael Martell on his radar just in case.

 Aunt Ibby surely doesn’t need money but likes the idea of meeting new people. Aunt Ibby and the “Angels” are fans of Martell’s successful mystery series and believe he has paid his debt to society and truly repented his crime. (That B&B also gives the author many more opportunities to introduce new and interesting characters.)


After Lee’s beloved Corvette is smashed up in a wreck, she buys a safety loaded Jeep Wrangler. I can’t help but think that the change in autos is a big reflection of changes Lee has undergone. Is it?

Lee has realized that the Corvette convertible was not a practical choice for Salem—especially in the winter. It’s also a two-seater, and impractical in that sense. She loved it because of her earlier fascination with Nancy Drew—a blue roadster! Now she’s older, more practical in many ways.


Lee is a scryer. She sees things reflected in mirrors and shiny objects—images or short sequences. How could she turn off this “gift” for so many years since she remembers having this ability as a child? When did she get the ability back?

She got it back when she replaced Ariel Constellation as a TV psychic on the Nightshades show. Ariel had a black obsidian ball, and Lee saw a vision in it. She told Aunt Ibby and her aunt took her up in the attic and showed her a pair of little black patent leather shoes in which she’d seen the plane crash that killed her parents. This had been suppressed all those years until the vision in the ball brought it back.


What was Pete’s reaction to her visions? How did she change his mind about her abilities?

It hasn’t been easy. She didn’t tell him right away, and little by little he’s come to accept that she has this “gift,” but he still doesn’t like to talk about it.


When the station’s owner asks Lee to make a documentary about Pirate’s Island off the coast of Maine, where she and Pete are going to honeymoon, I couldn’t believe his audacity and was glad that Lee finally decided to turn down the assignment. Are Camcorders still used? 

She used it in a couple of other books so I let her keep using it. Mr. Doan is kind of cheap, so if it still works, it’s good enough.


I was surprised to find out that Pirate’s Island was owned by Lee’s deceased father’s sister, Aunt Doris and her husband, Uncle Bill. Why hadn’t Lee had contact with her other aunt especially given the plane crash that killed both of her parents when Lee was five? You’d think family would circle round to care for the orphaned child.

They attended the funeral but other than birthday cards, graduation checks and such have had little contact with Lee. She doesn’t remember meeting them, but she was only five. It was best that Lee stay with Aunt Ibby whom she knew well and had other Salem friends. The father’s relatives didn’t live near Salem and moving the child wasn’t necessary.


I loved Lee’s cat O’Ryan. How did he get named?

Ariel Constellation had named him “Orion.” Lee misheard it as “O’Ryan.”


Two pirates operated around Pirate’s Island—Dixie Bull and Black Sam Bellamy. Were they real?

Absolutely real. Bad dudes, both of them!


Lee finds out that her parents’ plane crash was determined to be pilot error, but she finds it hard to believe. Why hadn’t Lee ever researched the crash before?

It was always assumed to be an accident and obviously wasn’t talked about because it was such a sad happening. There didn’t seem to be any need for her to investigate it.


Was there really a fake antique clock outside the Oval Office during the Clinton Administration?

How do you find out about such things?

Yes. There was. I love research and do a lot of it for these books. Sometimes that habit leads me down a rabbit hole and I find out all kinds of miscellaneous stuff!


What’s next for Lee and Pete?

Since I’m such a “pantser”—always writing “by the seat of my pants,” I don’t know exactly what’s next—but Kensington has offered a contract for three more Witch City stories so I’d better figure it out soon!








  1. Congratulations on your contract extension from Kensington!

  2. Great interview and congratulations on your new contract!

  3. Interesting series. Congrats. It will go on.

  4. always a fun read ... congrats on the series extension

  5. I'm pleased to see that this delightful series will continue.

  6. What a delightful sounding series. I’m planning to start with #1.