Thursday, August 25, 2011

What is Mary Daheim reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Mary Daheim, author of All the Pretty Hearses.

The entry begins:
Readers who know my books probably realize that I base many of my characters on family members, especially in the B&B series. In the Emma Lord mysteries, the setting is the once-real town of Alpine where my ancestors lived almost a hundred years ago. Thus, I’ve shamelessly mined the characteristics and quirks of my nearest and dearest for over twenty years. Luckily, a sense of humor is a family trait.

I once used a relative much earlier in my publishing career. I cast Thomas Cromwell, Chancellor of England under Henry VIII, as my heroine’s uncle in one of my historical novels, Destiny’s Pawn. To my pleasure and enlightenment...[read on]
About All the Pretty Hearses, from the publisher:
Bed-and-breakfast owner and amateur sleuth Judith McMonigle Flynn has to deal with a case of insurance fraud—and mystery meat gone bad—in this delightful entry to the beloved series by USA Today bestselling author Mary Daheim

There’s no “fun” in “fund-raiser” for Judith McMonigle Flynn when she donates an overnight stay at Hillside Manor for the parish school’s annual auction—not when the pricey winning bid goes to the persnickety Paine family. Dinner is included—if Judith can sort through the endless allergies and aversions of the painfully picky Paines. The last thing she needs is another B&B guest who checks out permanently. Thankfully, her husband, Joe, is home early. His latest surveillance job has just ended abruptly with a .38 Smith & Wesson blowing away the insurance fraud suspect. Unfortunately, the gun belongs to Joe, who finds himself in a jail cell as a murder suspect while Judith tries to find what’s left of her mind—and the real killer.

But Joe’s dilemma and the unbearable Paines aren’t Judith’s only problems. Her cantankerous mother, Gertrude, has agreed to let a wealthy parishioner stable a horse in her toolshed apartment; cousin Renie is trying to force-feed her loathsome Shrimp Dump recipe to the parish cookbook fundraising committee; and neighbor Arlene Rankers wants to know why some parish schoolkids, including her grandson, are sick after the weekly hamburger lunch.

Judith figures she’s already got way too much on her plate, so what else could possibly go wrong? On the other hand, at Hillside Manor, what can possibly go right?
Learn more about the book and author at Mary Daheim's website.

The Page 69 Test: Vi Agra Falls.

The Page 99 Test: The Alpine Uproar.

Writers Read: Mary Daheim.

--Marshal Zeringue