It’s spring. It became official on March 20th. Mother Nature sometimes takes that in her stride, but there’s something about that date that always makes me feel better. There’s more sunlight with only more and more to come. My snowdrops and crocuses are blooming, my daffodils and tulips are poking their heads above ground, and the temperatures are warming. People are stepping out of their houses, life is revitalized, and romance is in the air.
There’s romance in my new mystery series, A Cut Above, but Karnie–my protagonist–isn’t looking for it.. Karnie works in her family’s butcher shop. She’s plain, 27, and has no interest in complicating her life. Her older brother, Chuck, is married with two kids, and she’s happy for him. Loves her niece and nephew, and enjoys family get togethers, but enjoys a simple, no stress lifestyle…until Donna Amick is killed. Her body’s left behind their butcher shop. Then everything changes. Detective Carmichael’s number one suspect is a young guy who trained at their shop, a kid Karnie is sure is innocent. Karnie’s determined to prove he didn’t do it. And then Matt Roeback, her brother’s friend on the football team in high school, who didn’t even notice her back then, suddenly realizes she’s grown and interesting.
In high school, since Matt’s so good looking, girls followed him in the halls, and Renee–a cheerleader–let him know she was available. He married her soon after they graduated, but it didn’t take long before he realized Renee liked him as the high school football star a lot more than as a farmer. Matt raises the grass-fed beef that Karnie’s dad and brother butcher for their shop. He makes a good living, but eventually Renee asked for a divorce and left him with their two kids to raise. The football hunk becomes a single parent, devoted to Jackson and Chelsea. Then Chuck invites him to one of his family meals, and he sees Karnie again–as prickly and opinionated as she was in high school. But now that he’s older, she interests him.
I don’t know if you like a romance subplot in a cozy mystery, but I do. I have a few things that turn me off–love triangles. I hate them. Someone has to get hurt. And romances that never go anywhere from book one to book kazillion. My friend Midu would add “Instant love,” but I haven’t read too many of those in cozies. Mostly, I think a romance adds to a cozy mystery. I’m reading Murder In An Irish Village by Carlene O’Connor right now, and I’m voting for the local cop to win fiery red-head Siobhan O’Sullivan. And I’m crossing my fingers that it won’t take a dozen books before they get together. I won’t make it that long.
Anyway, it’s spring. And I’m hoping warmer temperatures and the hope of flowers give you new energy and inspiration. Happy Writing!