I couldn’t have gotten a nicer compliment than to have a reader message me and ask if I was starting work on a new Jazzi and Ansel mystery yet. Boy, did that make me feel good! And yes, I am. I’m pounding out plot points, trying to find the right balance of keeping things in the story that readers like but making it fresh enough that it’s not just the same old, same old. That’s the thing about writing a series, at least, a cozy series. There are things readers expect and want, but at the same time, it’s hard to keep the series from becoming stale.
This time, Gaff isn’t going to work with Jazzi. The detective’s teamed up with Caden (who was in book 8) as a partner, and Caden doesn’t like a civilian involved in police work. Gaff’s worried, because he knows Jazzi will poke into things anyway, but he and Jazzi have to go their separate ways.
It’s not as hard for Jazzi to find information as Caden hopes because Doc, the man who’s the top suspect, works with her father. And Doc was taking the victim, Sparks, to small claims court. Sparks hired him to fix projects on his house, then didn’t want to pay him for “substandard work.” After talking to people, Jazzi realizes that was a pattern for Sparks. He smiled and complimented people while trying to cheat them. He also raced cars in the town’s demolition derbies, and she learns that Sparks wasn’t above cheating there either. Jazzi’s brother-in-law, Thane, loves the derbies and goes to enough of them to know most of the drivers. . . and the behind-the-scenes gossip. Which he’s happy to pass on to her.
I’m about halfway through my plot points right now and hope to finish them soon, so that I can start writing. Jazzi has to be good in this book because she’s pregnant and can’t do any heavy lifting. She and the guys are working on a new Greek Revival style house, and I’m busy trying to decide how they’re going to renovate it. I have lots of pictures torn out of magazines and stored on Pinterest to inspire me.
Between Jazzi’s pregnancy, the murder mystery, and a couple of subplots, I hope I have enough to make for a good book. I always feel like I’m coming home when I work on these stories. So, I hope the words flow. I hope YOUR words flow, too.