her short-cropped gray hair and dark skin, Cassie was
mother hen, part Amazon warrior queen.
Dashofy, Where the Guilty Hide,
Kindle Loc. 78
On the shore
of Lake Erie, Pennsylvania, a body lays half hidden, the waves slowly moving it
with the rising tide…
In the early morning mist,
freelance photographer Emma Anderson takes pictures of the rocky coastline. She
moved to Erie to escape a past that haunts her but the last thing she expects
to capture is a dead body.
Erie City Police Detective
Matthias Honeywell has been investigating a spate of home invasions but when
one of the robbery victims turns up dead, his case evolves into homicide.
Emma’s first encounter with Detective Honeywell leaves her shaken when he
reminds her of her ex-fiancé-turned-stalker. Matthias misinterprets Emma’s
anxiety and suspects she knows more than she’s letting on.
With the threat of another murder
and no obvious leads, will Emma and Matthias overcome their mutual distrust and
work together to capture a killer?
I was glued to the pages of Annette Dashofy’s first
book, Where the Guilty Hide, in her
new series. Main characters photographer Emma Anderson and police detective
Matthias Honeywell are equally compelling characters. However, Matthias’s
boss/partner, Detective Cassie Malone, competes with them in popularity.
Emma’s on the run from an abusive relationship and
trying to find her drug-addicted younger sister. Both women are damaged by
their parents’ deaths. Matthias has family and women issues. Cassie is a
grandmother, and she can’t seem to refrain from match-making single women and
Matthias. It’s a triangle bound for trouble.
Please ask Annette questions using our comments
area. E. B. Davis
About your new publisher,
Annette—One More Chapter is a global division of HarperCollins. I downloaded my
copy from a UK site, but I noticed that your punctuation is American. How did
the deal come about? Is it digital only? How did you decide about that?
My amazing agent, Dawn Dowdle, negotiated the deal with One
More Chapter, and yes, they’re one of HarperCollins’s UK imprints. I’m
definitely learning as I go. Having previously been published by a small press,
I can tell you this is a whole new ballgame. OMC publishes digital FIRST,
meaning Where the Guilty Hide will be released on January 20 in eBook
format with print coming later. I know the UK print release date is March 2,
but I haven’t heard when it will be available here. Thankfully, I’m content to
let it play out and see how it goes. As for the formatting, I wrote the
manuscript the same as I always do, and I wasn’t sure if they would convert it
to UK formatting or not. I’m glad they left it. The series is set here after
all. But if they’d changed it, hey, as long as they send the royalties to me here
in the US, I’m fine with whatever!
series is named A Detective Honeywell mystery. Does that mean he is the main
character? Since the book is written from Matthias and Emma’s POV, I thought
they shared the title.
This is another one of those learning curves, from small press to
big-five, items. They have a team who makes decisions. When I submitted to them,
I called it the Lake Erie Mystery Series, and my title was Rule of Thirds,
because Emma is a photographer. The OMC/HC marketing team made the changes to
both, with my consent, of course. Yes, while I’d thought of Matthias and Emma
having joint “ownership” of the series, it does seem that Matthias is now the
Your story is set in Erie, PA.
Are you familiar with the city and area? Have you experienced the lake-effect
My husband and I have been going to Erie and Presque Isle to
vacation for decades. Plus I teach at a writing conference in Erie every
October. I’ve wanted to set a series there for quite a while because of the diversity
of locations. There are lakeside mansions and there are areas of deep poverty.
I can find a place that makes sense for any type of story and stay within the
city. I admit, I’ve never experienced winter at the lake, but even here in
southwestern Pennsylvania, we get some of the lake-effect snowstorms. But we’ll
get a foot, and they’ll get six!
This book had no horses. Why?
When will they show up? If Emma can ride a bike, surely she knows how to ride
And no cats either!
Emma grew up on a farm and had horses. Matthias grew up in
Oklahoma and his mom was a champion barrel racer (backstory that we haven’t
gotten to yet), so he also grew up riding horses. While neither have horses right
now, I can see their mutual love of equines coming into play in a future book.
Describe the area of Presque
Isle peninsula and its relationship to the city and lake for readers. I was at
first confused by a bay within a lake. And that the peninsula, jutting out into
the lake, was actually a state park.
As you say, Presque Isle is a peninsula jutting out into
Lake Erie, but it also curves back toward the city, producing a bay. The northern
side of the peninsula faces the lake. Canada is across the lake, but you can’t
see it, so from the beach, Lake Erie looks a lot like the ocean. The city of
Erie sits on the southern shores of the lake and bay. Presque Isle peninsula is
indeed a state park and is gorgeous. Besides the beaches along the lakeside,
there are hiking and biking trails, lagoons, and lots of wildlife. One time,
while bike riding, we encountered a much-too-tame coyote that was eyeballing
the wild geese at the shore’s edge. We immediately rode to the park office to
report him to the rangers!
The scenario you describe of the home invasion can lead
to confusing a victim with a perpetrator. I can understand why people could
distrust the police in such a situation. How did the husband, Wesley, create police
suspicion, at least Cassie’s, of his working with the home invaders?
Wesley’s escape from being tied up felt “too easy” to
Cassie. She wanted to keep the possibility of him being an insider with the
gang as an option to counter Matthias’s concerns about Wesley trying to be a
hero. She knew Matthias’s history with a similar situation and feared he’d
fixate on that one scenario.
Emma is on the run from an
abusive boyfriend, Clay. Even though she was his victim, she’s trying to help
her drug addicted little sister, Nell, who disappeared in Erie. Was Emma’s
victim status temporary? How did Emma realize that she was a victim and get
Emma and her sister are both emotionally wounded. Nell
turned to self-medicating to deal with her loss. Emma sought comfort in Clay’s
charms. But like so many abusive men, while he started out charming, he soon
revealed his true colors, cutting Emma off from her sister and her home.
Ultimately, it took a while for Emma to see him as he truly was, at which point
she planned her escape to Erie, a town she was familiar with and where she knew
Nell had recently been. As for Emma’s victim status being temporary, I think
she’s toughened up by the end of the book to some degree, but still has some
work to do on herself.
Is it common that abuse victims
“see” their tormentors everywhere?
I’m not a psychologist but I believe there’s an element of
PTSD involved. Emma’s waiting for her nightmare to return. She wants to believe
she’s safe but knows she’s not. So she expects Clay to jump out of the bushes
at her at any moment.
What is the “rule of thirds
If you imagine a camera viewfinder (or a canvas in art) and
draw imaginary lines in the form of a large hashtag (#) over the viewfinder or
canvas, points of interest need to fall along the lines or where the lines
intersect. For example, in a portrait, the subject’s eyes should align with the
top horizontal line. In a landscape, the horizon should fall on one of those
horizontal lines rather than in the middle. If a landscape has one tall tree,
it should be placed on one of the vertical lines. That’s oversimplifying it,
but it gives you an idea. In this book, “thirds” also seem to apply to the
crime spree. The burglaries are happening three to a city.
When Emma first meets Matthias,
she thinks that he is Clay, her abusive boyfriend. But even when she knows he’s
a police detective, Matthias scares her with his intensity. Why is Matthias so
Matthias has a very dark past, going back to his teen years,
that hasn’t yet been revealed. There’s a lot going on beneath the surface with
this guy. He doesn’t trust easily, partly because of his career, but largely
because of what he’s lived through.
When Emma accidentally takes a
picture of a murder victim hidden under floating junk at the water’s edge, she
doesn’t realize that the murder victim is her neighbor Joe Platt’s son-in-law. Why
don’t Joe and his daughter get along?
Joe’s son-in-law has some of the same traits as Emma’s
ex-boyfriend in that he’s controlling. He has done his best to drive a wedge
between Joe and his daughter. Joe sees the son-in-law for what he truly is, but
his daughter is the dutiful wife who only sees Joe as critical of the man she
Matthias doesn’t have a great
history with women. Hasn’t he sought counseling? He must consider himself an
abuse victim, or can’t he see that?
Funny that you mention Matthias being a victim of abuse. He
absolutely does not see himself that way. As I mentioned, he has a dark past
that I hope to explore in book #3 when all his demons come calling. The only
counseling he’s had was with the department’s therapist following his earlier
partner’s death. Matthias tends to take out his frustration on the heavy bag in
the gym. As for women, he’s been deeply hurt twice when he’s made bad choices.
The county has a coroner and a
forensic pathologist? Where does one job end and the other begin?
The coroner is an elected official and may have medical
training, but often does not. The forensic pathologist is a specially trained physician
who is qualified to perform clinical autopsies. If the elected coroner doesn’t
have these medical qualifications, a forensic pathologist is called in as
needed and they work together. Some counties use a Medical Examiner system
instead of a coroner system. In those cases, the ME, who is hired rather than
elected, is also a forensic pathologist.
What’s next for Matthias, Emma,
As I write this, I’m working on the second Detective
Honeywell mystery, which is due to my editor on February 1. In it, Matthias is working
multiple cases when a man turns up shot to death in a residential alley after
leaving his favorite bar with a mysterious blonde. Additionally, a young woman
has vanished while walking home from work, although there’s some question as to
whether her disappearance is a matter for law enforcement, or whether she
simply ran off with a rich boyfriend. Emma’s drug-addicted sister Nell,
however, remains missing and in danger. Emma continues to search for her, but
it’s Matthias who finds more than Emma wants to know.