Wednesday, December 5, 2012

My Protagonists

Jean Henry Mead 
Thanks for inviting me here today, Patricia. Although you asked for one character, I’m about to describe two because my amateur sleuths are inseparable. The 60-year old widows who people my Logan and Cafferty mystery/suspense series are feisty and as determined as bulldogs to solve the murders they encounter.

Dana Logan and Sarah Cafferty gestated in my mind for a while before my computer gave birth to them more than a decade ago. Both women are loosely based on the relationship I’ve enjoyed with my friend, Marge, whom I’ve known for forty years. Marge is the witty one, so Dana shares some of my characteristics and Sarah inherited Marge’s. Together they form a team I originally called Shirl Lock and Holmes. When I left my former publisher, I renamed Shirley Lock and Dora Holmes and they found two additional homes.

Although I’m not the life of the party, humor manages to creep into all my books, including nonfiction, which my readers seem to enjoy. I’ve only been criticized twice over the years for inserting humorous dialogue into a novel with a serious theme. And Sarah Cafferty usually provides the witticisms along with a few quirky characters.

In A Village Shattered, the two women meet in my home state of California in a retirement village where their friends begin dropping dead alphabetically. They soon realize that the killer has stolen their Sew and So club roster, which contains their own names. When the newly elected sheriff botches the investigation, Dana and Sarah decide to discover who’s hiding in the San Joaquin Valley fog--and killing their friends. Dana’s beautiful journalist daughter Kerrie then arrives unannounced and complicates the plot.

After the murders are solved, the sleuths buy a motorhome to travel the West. While in Colorado, Dana learns that her wealthy sister has died and her widower claims it was suicide. When they arrive in Wyoming, they discovered the sister’s diary in Diary of Murder and nearly lose their own lives when they encounter a vicious drug gang. Dana inherits her sister’s money and mansion, which then becomes their headquarters.

The third novel, Murder on the Interstate, begins on a northern Arizona highway. While traveling in their motorhome, the two women discover the body of a young woman in her Mercedes convertible. The discovery leads to their kidnapping by a homegrown terrorist group as well as another murder. I researched explosives and terrorist activity along the Mexican border and placed Dana and Sarah in one dangerous situation after another.
Gray Wolf Mountain is the latest release and again takes place in Wyoming. Someone shoots at Dana’s Escalade, which rolls on the mountain where they’ve been taking photographs. They’re rescued by an old man they learn is saving the wounded wolves that someone is systematically shooting. Soon humans are also turning up dead. This novel is set on the mountain where I live, and I enjoyed writing about the area. I conducted a lot of research on aerial wolf killings and how nature suffers from eliminating keystone predators. It’s a serious subject interspersed with humor and a little romance.

Dana Logan and Sarah Cafferty haven’t changed much over the course of the series, although they’ve become more savvy in their investigations and increasingly risk takers. Sheriff Walter Grayson usually comes to their rescue, when needed, as does Dana’s daughter, Kerrie.

Bio: Jean Henry Mead has published 18 books, including the Logan & Cafferty series and Hamilton Kids’ mysteries. She’s also a national award-winning photojournalist, published domestically as well as abroad, and has served as a news, magazine and small press editor.

Giveaway: I'll be giving away a print copy or Kindle copy (winner's choice) of Gray Wolf Mountain at the end of the blog tour.


  1. I loved reading more about your heroines. They are such real,down to earth, and fun characters.

  2. It's a pleasure to be here today, Pat. Dana and Sarah are happy to visit you as well. :)

  3. I'm glad you like them, Marilyn. I've been writing aboiut them for so long that they're like old friends who greet me each morning when I boot up my computer. :)

  4. Your old friends are your readers new friends who entertain while reading. Enjoyed your posting.

  5. I've really enjoyed this series, Jean, and I like having a little humor thrown in to lighten some darker moments. I can think of some dark moments in my own life when humor brightened the day. Enjoyable post!
    Marja McGraw

  6. Thank you, Jake. I hope Dana and Sarah entertain my readers as much as they do me. :)

  7. I'm so glad you've enjoyed the Logan & Cafferty series, Marja. I've also had some dark moments when humor came to the rescue. I love your slogan:" A little humor, a little romance, a little mystery." That describes my series as well.

  8. Thanks, Collin! I'm glad you stopped by.